PHILIPPINE STAR FILE PHOTO

FOR his “special contribution to the world of chess,” Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino was conferred the award as an Honorary Member recently by the International Chess Federation or FIDE.

The mayor from Tagaytay served as FIDE general secretary during his term as president of the FIDE Southeast Asian (SEA) Zone a few years ago while concurrently being the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) secretary-general.

He gave up his spot in the NCFP to give way to younger blood.

Interestingly, the board spot went to his daughter, Cavite vice-governor Athena Tolentino, who was recently elected NCFP first vice-president under chairman-president Butch Pichay.

FIDE also recognized his service and accomplishment as head of the POC as well his presidency of the SEA Games Federation when the country hosted the games’ 30th edition in 2019.

It was the highest honor to be bestowed to anyone by the 195-member FIDE General Assembly.

The PhilCycling chief was quick to share the honor to the whole country.

“It’s an honor to be conferred such award from the FIDE, but this honor is not for me personally, but for Philippine chess, Philippine sports and the entire country in general,” said Mr. Tolentino. “It was also an honor to have served the FIDE, one of the international federations with the most number of member countries.”

The other FIDE awardees are professor Kurt Jungwirth of Austria, European Chess Union President from 1990 to 1998; Jorge Vega of Mexico, American Confederation President from 2002 to 2022; and Grandmasters Vlastimil Hort of Germany and Slim Bouaziz of Tunisia. — Joey Villar