PH chess great Cardoso succumbs
By MST Sports | Posted on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:01am
Rodolfo Tan Cardoso, who put the Philippines on the chess map by ending the world championship bid of a famous Soviet grandmaster, died Wednesday of a heart attack at the age of 75.
Christine Chua, Cardoso’s niece, told the Manila Standard Today in a phone interview, her uncle was supposed to have an angioplasty but the levels of creatinine in his kidney were high.
“It was so sudden,” said Chua of her death of her uncle, the country’s first international chess master by winning the 1957 Baguio Zonal.
Cardoso also won the national title several times and led several Olympiad teams.
Cardoso stood only 5’3,” but his eyes, friendly at first, hardened when he was engrossed in finishing off his opponent. He was well known for his attacking play and fighting spirit.
Cardoso was the last surviving member of the Philippines’ first team which competed in the biennial Chess Olympiad, 1956 in Moscow. He gained game when he lost a fighting match against the rising chess star Bobby Fischer.
Cardoso joined the 1958 Interzonal in Portoroz, Yugoslavia. The tournament went badly for him, but in the penultimate round, he met David Bronstein, who drew a world championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik in 1951.
Bronstein, who had to win that game, lost in spectacular fashion as black in a Ruy Lopez by Cardoso.
More than 40 years later, Cardoso said Bronstein took his loss calmly.
“He shook my hand and congratulated me, a real gentleman,” he said.