Florencio Campomanes (Chess Politician, Former FIDE President) 1927 - 2010 (R.I.P.)

Florencio Campomanes Demographics:
  • Name - Florencio Campomanes (pictured)
  • Nicknames - Campo, Pocamps
  • Born - February 22, 1927 (Manilla).
  • Died – May 3, 2010 (Iggy’s Inn in Baguio City, Philippines) R.I.P.
  • Cause of death - Prostate Cancer.
  • Nationality - Filipino.
  • Occupation - Political scientist, chess politician & chess organizer.
  • Plaudits - Former FIDE President (1982-1995).
Florencio Campomanes Personal Details:
  • 1948 - B.A. in Political Science from the University of the Philippines.
  • 1951 - M.A. from Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island) as a Fulbright Scholar.
  • Doctoral studies (thesis on the nascent United Nations) at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., from 1949-1954.
  • For a time he was a Political Science lecturer at the University of the Philippines, & subsequently a Presidential Palace aid.
  • 1990 - Serious car accident in Uganda.
  • 2007 - Campomanes has a serious car accident whilst travelling in Turkey, requiring hospitalisation in Antalya, Turkey.
  • 2009 - Doctorate in humanities, honoris causa awarded by University of Baguio.
Florencio Campomanes & Chess:
  • National Master strength player at his peak.
  • Was a frequent attender at the Manhattan & Marshall Chess Clubs during his time in the USA.
  • On returning to Manila he co-founded the Philippine Chess Federation (PCF) & also affiliated the PCF with FIDE in 1956.
  • Philippine national champion (1956, 1960).
  • Represented his country at 5 Chess Olympiads - Moscow 1956, Munich 1958, Leipzig 1960, Varna 1962, & Havana 1966.
  • At a meeting of FIDE in the 1960s, following a snide remark by FIDE British Delegate Harry Golombek (“We might as well have penguins and polar bears playing chess.”), Campo stood up & shouted, “I will put up a Philippine team to beat England one day.”
  • At the concurrent Olympiad, the Philippine team, as promised by Campomanes, beats England in the preliminaries - finishing second behind the Soviet Union (they qualified for the 2 slots in Group A), England being relegated to Group B.
  • In 1967, Campomanes invited Bobby Fischer for a series of matches in the Philippines.
  • Fischer came back to open the first Philippines International Chess Tournament in Manila in 1973 with Ferdinand Marcos, as he explained, “I was there in ‘67. I was not champion then, but they treated me like a champion,”. [see photos here]
  • Campomanes helped to organize the 1978 World Championship match (Baguio, Philippines) between Anatoly Karpov & Viktor Korchnoi.
  • He was FIDE President from 1982 until 1995.
  • He turned FIDE into a truly universal organisation -increasing FIDE membership by another ~ 50 nations.
  • Campomanes was succeeded as FIDE President in 1995 by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, & was subsequently appointed as emeritus FIDE Honorary President.
Political Friendships:
  • Close to former Philippine President Carlos Garcia.
  • Close to former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
  • Close to former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Florencio Campomane Legal Issues:
  • Philippine anti-graft court Sandiganbayan (on February 5, 2003) convicted Florencio Campomanes of failure to account for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) government funds.
  • The amount of funds involved was PhP12.876 million (~ US$240,000).
  • Florencio Campomanes was sentenced to one year & 10 months imprisonment.
  • He was subsequently cleared of these charges, on a technicality, by the Philippine Supreme Court in December, 2006 as Campomanes was not a government official to whom the anti-graft laws applied.
Quotes By Campomanes:
“One World Through Chess."
Quotes About Campomanes:
“There are three types of men whom women don’t like – Santa Claus, Superman and Campomanes.”
“Santa Claus comes only once a year. Superman is too fast – slam, bang, thank you ma’am. And Campo – once he’s in, you can’t get him out.”
[Woman from a Caribbean chess team] [here]

“I lost a man who was more than a brother to me,"
“And, if I may add, I also lost a poker mate, whose passion for and skills in the card game are rivaled only by his love for and deft-laden moves in chess."

~ Des Bautista, longterm friend & owner of Iggy's Inn, Baguio City.

Related Links:
Bobby Fischer (1973) Philippines, Tokyo, Hong Kong

Image: by karpidis (cc)
Bobby Fischer - Baguio City - Brown University - Campomanes - Carlos Garcia - Chess - Ferdinand Marcos - FIDE - Florencio Campomanes - Fulbright Scholar - Georgetown University - Juan Antonio Samaranch - Kirsan Ilyumzhinov - Manhattan Chess Club - Marshall Chess Club - Philippines -

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