Torre, Pacquiao get chess awards
Grandmaster Eugene Torre and Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao were unable to come, but were feted just the same in the 1st Annual Chess Excellence Awards held recently in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Torre was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award for being Asia’s first GM, for having the most Chess Olympiad participation (21 including next month’s Tromso edition), and for his efforts to promote the game through the Eugene Torre Chess Foundation.
Pacquiao was cited as Chess Patron of the Year in recognition of his support for last year’s Asian Continental Championships held in Manila and for inspiring millions of youths to learn chess, which he plays during breaks in his training for big fights.
The 62-year-old Torre wasn’t able to receive his award in the ceremonies held June 25 at Danat Hotel, Al Ain, because he was then competing in the Battle of Grandmasters, which he topped to bag a spot in the Philippine Olympiad team.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, was vacationing with his family in Israel.
Team Tagaytay City, which placed second behind India in the Asian Chess Club Champions League also held in Al Ain, received the award in behalf of Torre.