Friday, February 15, 2013

Pestaño: Wives of selected grandmasters

Friday, February 15, 2013

BEHIND every successful man is a woman. I am sure most grandmasters have the support and encouragement of their wives or the marriage will not last long as chess is a difficult profession.
Our article today is all about love as yesterday was Valentine’s day.
Eugene Torre is married to the former Marilyn Alano, who was the Miss Basilan in 1976 and is niece to the then Basilan governor. Eugene holds two records—Asia’s first grandmaster and for having played in the Chess Olympiad 21 times.
Rogelio “Joey” Antonio has a supportive wife, Aileen, a niece of former Manila mayor Mel Lopez. Joey has been playing in the Olympiad for a long time, mostly in board 2 behind Eugene. He is a 10-time National Champion.
Mark Paragua, the only player aside from Wesley So to have a rating of over 2600, is married to Mary Christine Joyce Dacayo.
Cebuano Richard Bitoon, the Sportswriters Association of Cebu athlete of the year in 2012, has a lifetime partner in Joyce Lee, a registered nurse and med-tech.
Another Cebuano GM, Enrico Sevillano, who was a recent visitor and played in two simuls last December at the Colonnade Mall and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu is now a resident of the USA. His wife is Rose, reportedly a nurse.
Another Cebuano who is also based in the USA is Banjo Barcenilla, a nephew of Bombi Aznar. His wife is also a chess player from Iligan, Lilibeth Lee.
The executive director of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, John Paul Gomez, is married to Shiella Sorrel, a graduate of De La Salle University.
Miguel Quinteros from Argentina is married to a sister of former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz, Benjie (Miss Philippines, Maid of Cotton), the prettiest of the Diaz sisters which includes Rio (Mutya ng Pilipinas).
Bobby Fischer had a marriage of convenience with the former president of the Japanese Chess Federation, Miyoko Watai, to escape imprisonment in Japan. I think she inherited Fischer’s estate estimated at $3 million.
Alexander Alekhine was married four times. In 1920 he married a Russian baroness, who was several years older. In 1921, he married Annelise Ruegg, a Swiss journalist who was 13 years older. His fourth wife, Grace Freeman Wishard (1876-1956) was a chess player and 16 years older. They were married in 1934.
Anatoly Karpov has a son from his first marriage. His second wife, Natasha, was a librarian. They were married in 1987.
All-time great Garry Kasparov has been married three times (Masha, Yulia, and Daria), and has three children.
Emanuel Lasker married Martha Bamberger Cohn at the age of 42. He was the best friend and roommate of Albert Einstein.
Mikhail Botvinnik’s wife was an Armenian named Gayane Davidovna, the daughter of his algebra and geometry teacher. She was a student at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in Leningrad and later, a ballerina in the Bolshoi Theatre.
Boris Spassky married Marina Stcherbatcheff, a secretary of the French embassy in Moscow. This was his third marriage.
Jose Capablanca married Gloria Simoni Beautucourt in Havana in 1921. He had a second marriage in 1938 to Olga Choubaroff Chagodaeva, a Russian princess in Elktron, Maryland.
All of those mentioned were former world champions aside from the Pinoys and Quinteros.
Paknaan B. The top 5 winners in the Paknaan B Mixed Open tournament last Feb. 9-10 were Allan Pason, King James Torres, Diego Claro and Dennis Labrador. The participants were kiddies, ladies and non-rated players.
This coming Saturday and Sunday there will be an open tournament also at the Paknaan gym. On March 3, they will hold an exclusive tournament for lady players. The sponsors are Barangay Captain Malaquias Soco and councilors Willy Semblante, Jonathan Dechos, Dulce Jumao-as, Francis Bongo, Danny Andaya Jenjen Cortes and Carlito delos Santos.

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