Rico Mascariñas is a Philippine (Filipino) chess player with the title of International Master who was born 2 March 1953. He was one of the premiere chess players of the Philippines during the 1980s and the 1990s and for a long period of time he was the No. 2 ranked player of the Philippines behind Grandmaster Eugenio Torre. During his prime, he almost always played board 2 in the Chess Olympiad behind Torre before he was eventually replaced by Grandmaster Rogelio Antonio Jr.
Per World Chess Federation (FIDE), his highest numerical Elo rating was 2437 which he reached in January 2001 up to July 2001. At present, he has a numerical Elo rating of 2416 with a World Rank of No. 1800 and a National Rank (among Filipino chess players) of No. 16. However, per chessgames.com, Mascariñas achieved a highest numerical Elo rating of 2470.
He is now based in Singapore where he coaches the junior team while still playing occasionally at the Singapore Chess Open and the Vision Masters Tournament. He placed runner-up in the 3rd Vision Masters and won the championship of the 4th and 8th editions of the Intchess Vision Masters tournament.
In 2004 Mascariñas was awarded the title of FIDE Instructor.
He played in eight Chess Olympiads (1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992) garnering a total score of 46.5 points/82 games on the strength of 26 wins, 41 draws and 15 losses. He played Board 2 for Team Philippines from 1980-1984 and 1988 and Board 3 in 1978 and 1990 and Board 4 in 1976 as an untitled player. In the 1992 Chess Olympiad played at Manila, Philippines, he spearheaded Team Philippines "B" which tied for 38th - 44th places.
His greatest moment in the history of the Chess Olympiad came at the 1982 Lucerne Olympiad where he bagged the Gold Medal in Board 2 going undefeated in 9 games, winning 6 and drawing 3 for a total of 7.5 points.
He also participated in eight Asian Team Chess Championships (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1991, 1993) manning Board 2 in 1977, 1979, 1983 & 1991, Board 3 in 1981 & 1986 and Board 4 in 1993 and 1st Reserve Board in 1974.
In his debut in the 1974 edition held at Penang, Malaysia, he scored 3.5/4 to bag the Gold Medal in the 1st Reserve Board. In the 1977 championships played at Auckland, New Zealand, Mascariñas played Board 2 for the first time in his career and immediately made his presence felt as he won the Bronze Medal scoring 6 points in 8 games. In the 1979 edition, he won all his 7 games en route to winning the Gold Medal in Board 2. In the 1986 edition held at Dubai, he went undefeated in 6 games manning Board 3, winning 5 and drawing 1 to score an outstanding 5.5/6 winning the Gold Medal in the process. Finally, in 1991 at Penang, Malaysia, he secured the Silver Medal in Board 2 scoring 6 points out of a possible 8. His last participation at this tournament was in 1993 where he played 2 games in board 4, with 1 draw and 1 loss.
He has been a regular fixture in the Intchess Vision Masters tournament where he has already participated four times: 3rd, 4th, 8th and 10th editions. He won the 4th and 8th editions of the tournament and finished runner-up in the 3rd edition. During its 10th edition, he finished in 6th place where his countryman Eric Gloria finished as Champion.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK---Filipino International Master Rico Mascariñas defeated countryman and fellow IM Luis Chiong IV in the ninth and final round to finish runner-up in the just concluded 2005 Singapore Open Chess Championships dubbed as 3rd Vision Masters Tournament held at the Singapore Chess Federation headquarters in Singapore over the weekend.
The undefeated Cebuano ace Mascariñas scored five draws and four wins to raise his total of 6.5 points in nine games of play. On the other hand, Chiong, a native of Antique was stuck at 6.0 points with the loss to Mascariñas that dropped him in a tie for 3rd to 4th placers with FIDE Master Sadikin Irwanto of Indonesia, winner over local bet FM Goh Weiming.
Untitled Vietnamese Canh Huan Hoang emerged champion in the said chessfest after scoring 7.0 points with a last round victory over FM Bao Quang also from Vietnam.
Armenian IM Ashot Nadanian make it to the top five with 5.0 points by demolishing Thien Viet Nguyen of Vietnam. (By Marlon Bernardino, National Master, Special to PhilBoxing.com, 11 October 2005)