Saturday, June 13, 2009

Remembering the 1992 Manila Chess Olympiad: still one of the best ever?

It was 17 years ago today..

The Philippines hosted the 30th edition of Chess Olympiad that took place from June 7 - 25 1992 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila. It's still considered by many as one, if not the most successful staging of the biennial meet in the history of the sport. Top three teams were Russia, Uzbekistan and Armenia respectively. Top Individual performers were Vladimir Kramnik, Garry Kasparov and Joel Lautier.

The host country the Philippines finished in 31st place. Then IM Rogelio Antonio and Eric Gloria emerges the top performers among Filipinos. Antonio scores 8 points in 12 games while Eric Gloria posted 6 wins in 7 games earning him the silver medal for 1st reserve board, half a point behind gold medalist, then FM Vladimir Kramnik (8 1/2 out of 9) who celebrated his 17th birthday at the closing day of the Olympiad.

The historic PICC in Roxas Boulevard. Site of 1992 Manila Olympiad

The Philippine (team A) is composed of GM Eugene Torre, IM Rogelio Antonio, IM Rogelio Barcenilla, IM Ricardo De Guzman. Reserves were IM Enrico Sevillano (1st) and Rodrigo Atotubo (2nd).

The game Garry Kasparov vs. Predgag Nikolic was voted as the best game of the Olympiad.

Another interesting game of the Olympiad is this one. The game between perennial rival, Alexey Shirov and Vassily Ivanchuk. Brutal counter-attacking at it's finest. Two things that are often overlook in the game of chess, that is patience and timing. Love it!

  • The Philippines, the host nation did not put all of their strongest player in "A" team. Two strong IM were seeking for their GM norms as members of "B" and "C" teams. Those were IM Rico Mascariñas and IM Rubén Rodríguez respectively. Unfortunately they both failed.
  • In 2003 Florencio Campomanes, former FIDE president and mastermind of the idea of Manila Olympiad was convicted of graft and sentenced in 2003 to serve one year and ten months in jail in Manila. The court ruled that he failed to account for government funds of $238,745 entrusted to him to run the Olympiad hosted by the President Corazon Aquino. In 2004 the anti-graft court reduced the sentence to a 6,000 pesos (ca. $150) fine without imprisonment on compassionate grounds because of his advanced age (76).
  • Campo did not accept the ruling of the lower court by appealing to the Supreme Court to clear his name of the allegations against him. The Supreme Court set aside both decision and resolution of the anti-graft court and deemed it "unnecessary to rule on the other issues raised by both parties." In the Supreme Court decision promulgated on December 19, 2006, the high court ruled that Campomanes, not being a public officer, had no criminal liability in the case.
  • The 1992 chess Olympiad in Manila was the first to have multiple teams from the former Soviet Union. Instead of one USSR team, there were 12 teams from the former Soviet Union out of the 102 teams. They took the Gold, Silver, and Bronze and none of these ex-Soviet Union countries had a minus score.

Important Note: some of the information I gathered about the Manila Olympiad came from my old collection of chess books and magazines like Chess Asia Magazine: Manila Olympiad Edition and the The Complete Games of the 1992 Manila Chess Olympics among others. They are now rare and prized possessions of this blogger. Some information (the trivias) are the result from extensive and careful research I've done through the web such as and not solely from the author of this blog.

Yours truly was just 13 years old back then but had the opportunity to get a glimpse of Kasparov, Anand and other top players at that time as they plays friendly games with politicians, children and sports personalities at famous Luneta (Rizal) chess park.

The Philippines successfully hosted Asian Continental Championship for two straight years. Now, let us bid again for the right to host the coming Chess Olympiad! If we did it in the pass, surely we can do it again!

1 comment:

boy lopez said...

Let's do it again!!