A one-on-one chess match between Grandmasters Anatoly Karpov and Eugene Torre that was long in coming may finally takes place.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is looking at the possibility of reviving its sports relations with Russia following a recent meeting with Russia's ambassador to the Philippines Igor Anatolyevich Khovaev.
PSC chairman Richie Garcia said Khovaev has expressed willingness to help Philippine sports by bringing Russian athletes to the country particularly in the field of basketball and volleyball, where the Eurasian country is considered a powerhouse.
But at the same time, Khovaev suggested bringing in one of the greatest chess players in history in Karpov for an exhibition match possibly with Torre, according to Garcia.
“Marami siyang suggestions. As a matter a fact, he said maybe we should have Karpov and Eugene Torre together in a promotional event,” said Garcia.
Karpov, 64, reigned as world champion from 1975 to 1985. It was during his reign when 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.
Now retired from active play and part of the Public Chamber of Russia, Karpov regained the world title from rival Gary Kasparov in 1993 and held the crown until 1999.
Torre, also 64, who is Asia’s first Grandmaster, defeated Karpov in 1976 during a four-man chess meet in Manila featuring the then reigning world champion GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic of Yugoslavia, and American GM Walter Shawn Browne of the U.S.
He was recently inducted into the Philippine sports Hall of Fame.
Garcia said the government sports agency has a standing memorandum of agreement with Russia that was signed in 2012, and which they want to revive.
“We want to reignite the standing that we have. He (Khovaev) told us to prepare a wishlist and then sasagutin nila kung kaya nila,” said Garcia.