ASIA’s First Grandmaster Eugene Torre — PSC

FOR trailblazing Asian chess for almost half a century, Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Eugenio Torre was aptly carved a special place where all legends like him truly belonged — the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF).

After a long delay, Mr. Torre, 70, was officially inducted into the WCHOF in an unforgettable ceremony attended by no less than Philippine-born American Wesley So at the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station in Missouri Wednesday.

Accompanied by wife Maria Lina, Mr. Torre received the plaque bearing his image and biography.

His notable games and highlights will also be featured in a digital interactive gallery.

Mr. Torre was actually named into the Hall along with Hungarian Judit Polgar and Poland-born Argentine Miguel Najdorf last year but it was only now that his name was indelibly etched forever as one of the sport’s greatest alongside world champions Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov among others.

It was made more exceptional that Mr. Torre was the first Asian to receive such honor.

Among Mr. Torre’s multitude of accomplishments, emerging the first GM in Asia, first to defeat a reigning world champion in Mr. Karpov and first to reach the Candidates stage of the World Championship were the most unforgettable.

“Thankful and honored to be an inspiration not just to Filipinos and Asians, but also to the whole world,” said Mr. Torre. — Joey Villar