Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A tribute to Alfredo B. Base, Filipino, US chess master

WHAT he never achieved in the Philippines, Alfredo B. Base obtained in the United States—the US senior chess master title—when he immigrated there in early 1990s. Earlier he used to be a regular participant in most Metro Manila tournaments and had swapped chess pieces with the likes of FM Fernie Donguines, national master Antonio Calvo, and other local masters playing for the Philippine Army in the 1980s.

Base has a solid style of play, preferring slow build up over direct attack on his opponent’s king. As such his play tended to be passive and boring but this suited him just fine as he could take advantage of his opponent’s impatience, over-confidence or lapses.

As White he always opened with 1.e4, apparently an open game, but most often continued with the King’s Indian Attack setup. With Black his bread and butter was the French Defense. With both colors most of his games featured pawns on white squares usually in stonewall formation. This proved successful in open chess competitions in the United States where he achieved the US senior chess master title.

Among the tournaments he had taken part with in the United States include open events in Chicago (1991 and 1996), Las Vegas (1994), Memorial Day in Long Beach (1994), and Continental in Los Angeles (2000), the 1995 National open in Las Vegas and the Oak Park Master Challenge in 1996.

Reportedly the highest international rating he obtained was 2310; his current FIDE rating is 2222 as his FIDE profile shows.

His peak US Chess Federation rating was 2375 between 1996 and 1997, the period of his immense chess activities. However when his USCF rating took a deep plunge from 2310 (approx) in 1999 to 2200 in the beginning of the 21st century, his tournament participation became sporadic while his rating leveled at 2203.

The news of his death was learned by The Chess Connoisseur from the Philippine Boxing website (its webmaster, it seems, is a chess enthusiast). The full article follows:

Base, US Chess Master, Writes 30

LOS ANGELES—Alfredo Base, a former member of the Philippine Army chess team, passed away last August 19. A US Chess Master residing in Los Angeles, Base was 47.

Base, a strong master who once held an Elo of 2310, teamed up with National Masters Fernie Donguines and Antonio Calvo to form a solid team for the Philippine Army before migrating to the United States where he reportedly did not have a family.

Nobody has claimed his remains, which is still connected to a life support system in order to preserve his organs. His has lost brain impulses.

His body remains at the ICU Room 6328 of Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Los Angeles. Reports indicate that he is a native of Butuan City and a search for relatives has been conducted by friends. Should nobody claim the remains, the life support system will be unplugged by Saturday afternoon, (early Sunday morning in Manila), and legal interment proceedings will be administered by the hospital.

Philippine relatives can get in touch with Base’s church mate Jennie Irving, telephone no. 310 735 7745, or email
Irving_jean@yahoo.com. Kaiser Permanente Hospital is located at 1526 N. Edgemont St., Los Angeles, CA 90027, telephone number 323 783 4011.

Source: PhilBoxing.com, Sat, 22 Aug 2009
Our readers may replay some of Base’s won games in our ChessViewer. Note: You must have JRE (Java Runtime Environment) installed in your computer to view and replay the games.


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