Mendoza: Why Cardoso did not become a grandmaster-A A +A
Saturday, August 24, 2013
READERS fired questions almost immediately after my column on Rodolfo Tan Cardoso saw print on Saturday, Aug. 24.
“If Cardoso was a child chess prodigy, how come he did not become a world champion?” asked a reader.
“If Cardoso was Asia’s first International Master, how come he did not become a grandmaster?” asked another.
“Why did Cardoso remain single up to the day he died?”
Cardoso, who was born in Anda, Pangasinan, but took residence in Alaminos City, Pangasinan, succumbed to a heart attack at age 75 on Aug. 21, 30 years to the day Ninoy Aquino was gunned down at the Naia Airport as he was returning home from exile in Boston, Massachusetts.
To those not in the know, Aquino, the father of incumbent President Aquino, was a mortal political enemy of the deposed dictator Marcos.
Aquino’s assassination at the airport, which remains unsolved, sparked nationwide anger and massive protests, sparking the 1986 Edsa Revolt that dismantled the dictatorship and banished Marcos to Honolulu where he died in 1989 from lupus complications.
Now, to Cardoso not becoming world champion despite being a child chess prodigy, the answer is simple: Not all child prodigies would become world champions.
We’ve had prodigies aside from Cardoso: Lontok, Badilles, Naranja and even Campomanes himself. Then came Rosendo Balinas, Ruben Rodriguez, Sammy Estimo and Eugene Torre, among others.
From their ranks, no one became world champ. The highest achievement was being a grandmaster: Torre, Asia’s first GM, and the late Balinas.
Will GM So become world champ? Only time will tell.
Cardoso also didn’t become a GM because, as National Master/lawyer Estimo, put it: “He seemed to have lost appetite pursuing it.”
Maybe, it also had to do with Cardoso’s first love, lawyer Carmelita Salomon?
Lita, a national ladies chess champ, married a wealthy engineer, “completely breaking Rudy’s heart,” according to Sammy.
“Rudy loved Lita so much that he continued pursuing her even if she was already married,” Sammy said.
Chess greats lead lonely lives – most of them, I guess.
The reason I quit the game?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 25, 2013.