In 1993, Vida y Partidas de Carlos Torre appeared, published by Incaro. The current work began as a straightforward translation of that work, but the author, working closely with the translator Taylor Kingston, expanded the original manuscript and the result is this English edition. This book is offered to chessplayers and enthusiasts of all Spanish-speaking countries as an homage to one of the greatest Latin American chess players of all time: grandmaster Carlos Torre Repetto, originally from Yucatán, Mexico. In recognition of Torre’s formidable accomplishments and triumphs during the years 1924-1926, the Fédération Internationale Des Echecs (FIDE, the International Chess Federation) in 1977 bestowed on Torre the title of International Grandmaster.
The author visited Torre in the town of his birth, Mérida, where he passed away a year later. Though Torre knew the intent of this book, it is sad that he did not live to see it realized. Those who knew Carlos Torre recall him as an unaffected person of noble sentiments. His health was always fragile and he suffered constantly from insomnia. In his book The Psychology of the Chess Player, Reuben Fine described some of Torre’s eccentricities, as well as the nervous breakdown he suffered in October 1926, which forced him to retire permanently from chess at the age of 21. Fine related that Torre could never sleep more than two hours a day and described some of his strange habits, such as eating 12 pineapple ice cream sundaes in a day and other such extravagances. In this book we will make no attempt to psychoanalyze Torre, nor will we indulge in theorizing about his untimely and unexpected retirement from chess, in which respect he was similar to some other grandmasters. Our major concern will be to present Torre’s great games, his beautiful combinations and his strategic and tactical concepts. The author was able to compile about 170 games of the Yucatan grandmaster, which were narrowed to a selection of 100 of the best, though, in fact, the final total turned out to be 105. We have included four losses and a number of draws, but the great majority of games offered were, logically, won by Torre. Naturally, many trips, letters, and inquiries were necessary to assemble the games.
The author would like to express his gratitude to all those who assisted in the collection of the games, the biographical data, and the tournament tables, including Dale Brandreth, the late Alice N. Loranth, Julieta viuda de Gilberto Repetto Milán, Alejandro Báez and Taylor Kingston. To all these people, my sincere thanks.
Gabriel Velasco León, Guanajuato, Mexico, March 2000