CHESS legend Eugene Torre reiterated his call for both the public and private sector to join hands in encouraging the youth to play chess and stay away from drugs and other vices.
Torre, who made history by becoming Asia's first GM in Nice, France in 1974, said playing chess will also provide the youth with some of the most important values in life.
"Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, once compared chess to life and talked about the three morals of chess: foresight, circumspection and caution, which are all necessary to succeed in life," said Torre in a speech before participants of the "Learn and Play Chess with the Masters" program of the ERJHS Alumni Sports Club at the Barangay N. S. Amoranto in Quezon City last Feb. 22.
Torre, who also conducted a 15-board simultaneous exhibition matches against select student-participants, also talked about the contributions of late FIDE president Florencio Campomanes, who would have turned 91 on the same day.
"Today is a special day in chess. We are not only having this chess event, but we are also marking the 91st birth anniversary of the Father of Philippine chess, Campomanes," said Torre.
The 66-year-old Filipino champion lauded Quezon City Councilor Onyx Crisologo, Barangay Chairman Von Yalong and ERJHS ASC president Ed Andaya of Batch 81 for their efforts to get the youth into sports.
The One Meralco Foundation, headed by Jeff Tarayao and Rolly Sol Cruz, also conducted a chess clinic for aspiring young players.
Cruz was assisted by FM Edgardo Garma and NM Efren Bagamasbad.
One of the top performers during the four-hour long event was Jerry Labato of the Roberto Castor Rover Scout group.
The other ASC members are Reuel Vidal, Jane Jimenez, Bess Maghirang, Roland Doncillo, Albert Andaya, Ramon Ypil, Roy Madayag, Michael de Castro, Joseph Magpantay and Richard Nell and Zeny Castor and Rene Baena, advisers.
Batch 68 was a major presentor.