THE Mapua Filipino-Chinese Alumni Association is looking back to its illustrious past to see the future in chess.
Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre is helping them get into the right path.
An alumnus of Mapua himself, Torre has agreed to help in the staging of the first-ever GM Eugene Torre Cup, a three-division chess tournament scheduled on May 18 at the Mapua University gym in Intramuros, Manila.
“With the help of GM Torre, we decided to launch this Torre Cup as a way of promoting chess not only in Mapua but in the whole country as well,” said MFCAA president Edmon Aguilar during the 13th Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) “Usapang Sports” at the National Press Club.
Aguilar said Torre, who became the country’s first GM in 1972, and the late Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, the country’s first IM, both studied in Mapua.
“We have a long and rich tradition of chess excellence. Both GM Torre and IM Cardoso came from Mapua. So, we talked to Torre to help us in organizing this tournament aimed at discovering more young and talented players,” added Aguilar, who was accompanied in the weekly forum by fellow alumni officials Victor Lau, Nelson Salazar, Elias Ang and Mapua coach Boyet Tardecilla.
“It is also one way of honoring Torre and his immesurable achievements in chess.”
Lau said he hopes bringing Torre back to Mapua would help encourage student-players to take up chess seriously and stay away from illegal drugs.
Salazar, a former Board 1 player of Mapua in the NCAA in 1976, said there are a lot of young and talented players who can excel in chess given the right training and proper motivation.
“In the past, Mapua produced GM Eugene Torre in the 70s. Hopefully, we can help produce more young Eugene Torre through our alumni association,” said Salazar.
Youth Football League (YFL) president Mike Atayde and National University junior basketball coach Goldwin Monteverde also attended the weekly session supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and National Press Club (NPC).
Tardecilla, also the tournament director, said more than P120,000 are at stake in the one-day tournament divided into three categories: Open, high school and elementary.
The champion in the Open category will bring home the lion’s share of P30,000 and trophy.