Dr. Pedro Barrera has died

Dr. Pedro Barrera, Chairman of the FIDE Medical Commission and Continental President for the Americas of the World Chess Federation, has died. He died on October 14, 2002.
Dr. Pedro Barrera
Dr. Pedro Barrera


I am really shocked by this. He was not very old. When I lived in El Salvador in 1983, he was not in the El Salvador Chess Federation. This was because he was in Canada attending medical school.

I first met him in 1986 when I was trying to get Abdullah Shah, a Pakistani who is a distant relative of my wife, Honzagool, into El Salvador. The civil war was going full blast at that time. Dr. Barrera gave me and Abdullah Shah a ride from the Sports Stadium where the chess club was located at about 8:00 PM. However, he left us off two miles from our hotel. Abdullah Shah and I had to walk for a half hour through a battle zone where were could have been shot and killed at any moment. Abdullah Shah had no idea how dangerous our position was. He thought that we were just walking down a nice quiet avenue which just did not happen to have any cars, people or other signs of life on it. He did not understand that there was a war going on which explained why the main street in El Salvador was completely deserted at 8:00 PM. I knew of course because I was very familiar with El Salvador.

I later met Dr. Pedro Barrera at FIDE events, most recently at the 2000 World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul.

One reason I find his death so shocking is that he was a relatively young man, younger than I, and several other relatively young chess players have died recently, including Dr. Ricardo Calvo of Spain, and Grandmasters Edouad Gufeld and Edmar Mednis.

Sam Sloan

UPDATE: On October 23, the USCF passed an important resolution on Drug Testing by FIDE.

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