Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Filipino Chess Writers Discovered

I have been reading the chess book authored by veteran PR and Advertising practitioners Tony Benedicto and Frankie Lacambra and I am amazed at their passion for chess, specifically, Philippine Chess. The book called "The Philippines vs The World" was published in 2002 by CONTEXT Communications International, Inc. and if not for my return to DLSU Manila to finish my graduate studies, I would have never discovered one of the best ever published book about Philippine Chess.

The book has twenty chapters that starts with a chapter aptly titled "A Nice Beginning". It covers Asia's first international grandmaster, Filipino chess Icon, Eugene Torre. His games against Portisch of Hungary, Hort of then Czechoslovakia, Schmid of West Germany, Hartson of England, Sanz of Spain and Pavlov of Bulgaria were featured with historical sketches of what was then happening to chess around the world.

The book also covered several well-known Philippine chess stories --Bong Villamayor's grandmaster title run in a short period of time, the Odessa Odyssey of GM Balinas, GM Joey Antonio's World Championship run in 2009 1999, IM Andronico Yap's death at the beach and others.

There was a chapter where the young guns of Philippine Chess were featured and guess what, the names like Paragua, Caoili, Mariano, Dableo and Laylo were the ones in it.

What have I been doing the past eight years that I simply missed the launching of this book in 2002? I have not found a single copy of this book in any bookstores here in the Philippines nor was it ever been mentioned in any online chess forum among the Filipinos too.

It's a nice read and again, it shows you the stories of the times when the games were played, all were written in the eyes of a Filipino and made for the Filipinos.

Here are some links you can find on the Internet  that deals with the book and its authors:

- A hobby becomes and obsession
- Philippine National Library Catalog

And I found an entry at Chess Games DOT Com by Spawn 2:
I was going around greenhills last night and I happen to pass by Fully Book located along the stretch which was formerly known as Crossroad. They have the most number of chess related materials in all the bookstores Ive visited in the Philippines. Titles I saw were : Petrosian vs The Elite, Najdorf Life and Games, The Bishop Opening explained, The French Defense to name a few. But the price of the books I mentioned is more than a thousand bucks, I had second thoughts of buying them (we have to remember na me global crisis : )Then I saw the book "The Philippines vs The World" written by Tony Benedicto and Frankie Lacambra with 150 pages with a price tag of P 350.00. After browsing through it, I immediately went to the counter and pay for the book. It was a pleasant surprise to find a book discussing Philippine Chess which was not written by Bobby Ang. The book contains chapters like A New Beginning, Battle Royale in Manila, Tribute to Yap and Rodriguez, One-on-Onederful (which showed the game Torre vs Short in 1988 which was part of a six game mini series (one game won by each player and 4 games were drawn) etc. Going thru the book, the P 350 price tag is very reasonable. There is one copy left. If you are interested you can call the Publisher : Context at 7275251. Why am I promoting the book? Well, if the demand for chess books will be substantial and both the writer and publisher will get a good income from the book, they will be encourage to write and produce more books in the future. Information will be a key in promoting the game of chess to the public.
About the copy I have, I found it in the Filipiniana section of De La Salle Unveristy-Manila and its been on my loan cart for the last seven weeks.


  1. Sad to say, Francisco Lacambra passed away last March 16, 2011.

    1. Hi there! At least his work on Philippine chess will forever be remembered!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Free Internet Chess Server

FICS: Free Internet Chess Server