Ex-FIDE president Florencio Campomanes dies in Baguio
By Marlon Bernardino
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 08:18:00 05/04/2010
FORMER FIDE President Florencio Campomanes died yesterday after a lingering illness. He was 83. The chess icon, who stunned the world by capturing the FIDE presidency as an underdog in 1982 in Lucerne, Switzerland, breathed his last at 1:30 p.m. at Iggy’s Inn in Baguio City.
“He moved on peacefully, and with quiet gentleness all around him,” said sportsman Des Bautista, owner of Iggy’s Inn. “He was a giant in Philippine sports and his passing created a void that will be hard to fill in.”
Bautista and Campomanes – Pocamps to his dear friends – had been bosom buddies since the 1960s.
Asia's first Grandmaster Eugene Torre said he was honored to have known Campomanes and was deeply saddened of his passing.
Campomanes’ former legal counsel lawyer Samuel Estimo whose bitter falling out with the former made sports headlines years ago said: “I mourn the death of Mr. Campomanes. He was like a second father to me. All local chessers who rose to fame owe their success to him. And he widened the base of chess worldwide by inviting all chess-developing nations to FIDE. I haven't seen and admired one like him. He's a big loss to the chess world.”
“We had our quarrels but we maintained mutual respect for each other. I texted and made peace with him a long time a ago. My only regret was I was not able to play poker with him when he invited GM Torre and me to a session some three weeks ago,” added Estimo.
Sifu's mentor and friend when ever Campomanes in Kuala Lumpur, he was here recently getting his medicine for his cancer, a personal secret among friends, we had lunch together at the mines and we had a steam fish, his favourite and he would go for the head.
Sifu would take him around whenever he need to move around in a mini and he loves travelling local putting aside all his VIP status as a FIDE President and a good friend and sifu will miss you.
We had good memories in Moscow and Shuhumi Sports University where sifu was invited by Campomanes and FIDE to attend CARDEC Chess Trainer Course, but he was full of life and laughter when playing Blitz, he would use Campomanes's Caro Khan version and he was a strong blitz player.
Goodbye friend and mentor, sifu will always remember you and may God bless your soul.......