1st Asian, Filipino Grandmaster Eugene Torre enters World Chess Hall of Fame

Filipino Grandmaster Eugene Torre World Chess Hall of Fame
Eugene Torre made history by being the first Filipino and Asian to reach Grandmaster status, and will now also be the first Filipino and Asian player to be inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame. Photo from FIDE, courtesy of David Llada.

Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre of the Philippines has been approved for entry into the World Chess Hall of Fame by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), making him the first man from Asia to receive the honor.

The Philippines’ and Asia’s first Chess Grandmaster, Eugene Torre joins two other exceptional chess players, Polish-Argentine GM Miguel Najdorf and Judit Polgar of Hungary, in the list of nominees recently approved by the FIDE council in an online meeting on April 19, 2021 (April 20, Philippine time).

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The FIDE historical committee composed of chairman Willy Iclicki of Belgium, Andrzej Filipowicz of Poland, Berik Balgabaev of Kazakhstan, and Casto “Toti” Abundo of the Philippines submitted the nominations.

“It’s a great honor to be included in the revered list of names who I hold in high esteem. This I share with my countrymen,” the 69-year-old Eugene Torre said in a statement.

In 1974, Torre made history when he became the first Asian to achieve the Grandmaster title, by winning the bronze medal in the Chess Olympiad held in Nice, France.

Torre has represented the Philippines as a player in the World Chess Olympiad for a record 23 times and won several Asian Team Championships, Asian Cities, Asian Games, and South East Asian Games starting in 1977.

The World Chess Hall of Fame was established in 1984 in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. There are currently 37 members of the World Chess Hall of Fame, which include chess greats Mikhail Botvinnik, Tigran Petrosian, Vasily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, Mikhail Tal, Alexander Alekhine, Anatoly Karpov, and Garry Kasparov.

Filipino Grandmaster Eugene Torre was recently granted the first government professional chess license in the Philippines and the world.

Renowned Super GM Wesley So greeted Eugene Torre with a social media post saying, “Congratulations to a wonderful human being!”

The recently established Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) is set to host the first Wesley So Cup with the full backing of the Filipino American Super Grand Master.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Eugene Torre of the Philippines who has been inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), making him the first man from Asia to receive the honor.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.