Asia’s First Grandmaster!

In Chess Olympiads, the Philippine team made its debut at the 12th World Chess Olymypiad held in Moscow 1956, where by topping Group C placed 25th among 34 countries.

In the 18th Olympiad held in Lugano 1968, the Philippine team qualified for Group A for the first time and placed 14th out of 53 countries.

Once again, it was in Group A at the 21st Olympiad held in Nice 1974, finishing even better with 11th among 73 countries.

The Nice Olympiad was where Eugene Torre scored 9 wins and 10 draws from 19 games to win the Silver Medal on Board One behind Anatoly Karpov who won the Gold.

More importantly, Torre, with this result completed the title requirments to be a GM and so became Asia’s 1st ever Grandmaster.

The Philippines best performance in the Olympiad was still to come and it that was at the 28th Olympiad held in Thessaloniki 1988.

In competiton pairing using the Swiss System the Philippine team placed 7th place out of 107 countries.

Due too the increasing number of teams, this format of competition was employed for the first time in the 22nd Chess Olympiad, Haifa 1976.

Torre and the Olympiads have a special place in history as he holds the record for the most number of participations, 25 in all, 23 as player and 2 as non-playing coach!

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