MANILA, Philippines -- Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, the first Asian International Master (IM), passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack.
Cardoso, credited for putting the Philippines on the chess world map, was rushed to the Philippine Heart Center on Tuesday after complaining of chest pains.
He died the day after. He was 75.
"His death was a big loss for Philippine chess,” said Eugene Torre, Asia’s first grandmaster. “Malaki ang contribution niya sa Philippine chess kasama na lately ang pagtuturo nya sa mga kabataan. Isa siya sa hinahangaan kong player ng bata ako, tactician siya. Siya ang nagpa-uso ng positional play."
Two-time chess Olympian Samuel Estimo cited Cardoso as a “true gentleman over the chessboard.”
Cardoso, together with Florencio Campomanes, Carlos Benitez and Glicerio Badilles, composed the country’s first chess team that represented the Philippines in the 1956 Chess Olympiad in Moscow.
“He was the only Filipino to ever beat Bobby Fischer in chess," Estimo said.
Cardoso was awarded the IM title in 1957, making him the first Asian IM.
Several veteran chess players also paid tribute to Cardoso.
"Rest in Peace Cardoso," said Singapore-based IM Domingo Razo Ramos.
“Condolence to Tan-Cardoso family.. May God give them the strength they need.. and may he rest in peace," said Bangkok-based Dante Sagyaman, who hails from Benguet province.
"Condolence po sa family ni IM Cardoso, I once met him some years ago, he was so full of wisdom and chess strategies" said Bicol chess player Joseph Mendoza.
Cardoso’s wake will be held at La Funeraria Paz in Sucat, Paranaque. His remains will be transferred Saturday morning to his province, Pangasinan.
Interment is scheduled on Monday. For details call or text his nephew Rene Cardoso at 0922 853 6256. -- Marlon Bernardino