Asia's first International Master Passes Away Print
Monday, 26 August 2013 08:59


International Master Rodolfo “Rudy” Tan Cardoso, one of the pioneers in the growth of the sport in the Philippines and in Asia, passed away due to a heart attack 21st August at the Philippine Heart Center in Manila, Philippines.

Cardoso, the first Filipino and Asian to earn an IM title who was to turn 76 on Christmas Day this December, suffered a heart attack last Tuesday and was immediately brought to the hospital where he passed away the following day.

He is survived by his only living brother, Narni. His remains were transferred to his hometown in Alaminos, Pangasinan.

Cardoso was a member of the first Philippine team that competed in the 1956 Chess Olympiad held in Moscow along with teammates Florencio “Campo” Campomanes who was to become the FIDE President, and National Masters Glicerio Badilles and Carlos Benitez.

Cardoso is to be remembered as the only Filipino to have beaten American chess wizard Bobby Fischer. Cardoso earned his IM title and reconfirmed it by becoming the first player to be crowned First Asian Zonal champion held in Manila.

After his retirement from active competition, Cardoso concentrated on grass-root development program in his personal capacity, identifying and developing young players by way of organizing chess tournaments and training.

“Rudy’s death is a big loss particularly to the sport of chess,” the Philippines’ and Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre said by way of paying tribute to Cardoso’s contributions to the development of the sport.

“He was a tactician even before the introduction of positional play, reason why I idolized him in my earlier days of playing,” Torre said.

Rodolfo Tan Cardoso was born in Anda in the Philippines in 1937. Awarded the IM title in 1957 he was Philippine Champion in 1958 and 1963. Winning the Asian zonal tournament of 1957-58 he qualified for the interzonal at Portoroz in 1958. He finished in 19th place (out of 21 players), but his performance was notable for the last round defeat of David Bronstein which kept Bronstein out of the subsequent Candidates Tournament.

 cardoso fischer

Rodolfo Cardoso (19) of Manilla and Bobby Fischer (14) of Brooklyn came together in an international match in 1957, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. Cardoso had competed in the World Junior Championship. Fischer at the time was engaged in winning the U.S. "Open" Championship. The encounter had its moments of excitement and Cardoso won one and drew two games; but Bobby scored a convincing triumph with a score of 6 to 2.

In photo, Ambassador Carlos P. Romulo of the Philliphines makes first move in the match between Bobby Fischer and Rodolfo Cardoso, as Morris Steinberg (left), Vice-President of the Manhattan Chess Club, Florencio Campomanes, and (right) John Rhodes, Vice-President of Pepsi-Cola International also look on.


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