AN exhibition game between Grandmasters Anatoly Karpov of Russia and Eugene Torre will push through sometime in February or March of next year, according to Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez.
Ramirez said he met with Maxin Ananyin of the Russian embassy on Monday to start laying down the groundworks for an event that will be held at the Club John Hay in Baguio City.
“The PSC will take care of the games and we are coordinating everything with the Russian embassy,” said Ramirez.
Karpov, 64, was world champion from 1975 to 1985. It was during his reign that Torre came close to challenging him for his world title during the 1983 Candidates Matches, where the Filipino lost to GM Zoltan Ribli of Hungary.
Torre, who is Asia’s first grandmaster, defeated Karpov in 1976 during a four-man chess meet in Manila featuring then reigning world champion GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic of Yugoslavia, and American GM Walter Shawn Browne of the U.S.
Incidentally, President Duterte recently had a bilateral meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru.
Ramirez said they will invite several chess enthusiasts including Sen. Manny Pacquiao to the event.
“Mr. Karpov is not only a grandmaster, he is also a Russian senator. He’s part of the Russian parliament. We can invite him not only as one of the most famous chess players in the world but also as a senator,” said Ananyin.
Ramirez said the exhibition match is only one of several collaborations between the PSC and its Russian counterpart.
“We are looking to bring in Russian coaches to help us in shooting, gymnastics, fencing, and other sports,” said Ramirez.