The cause of death was heart trouble. She customarily came to the US every summer, but did not come in 1999 because of health problems. However, on the day before she died, she played cards and was feeling better, so she called the US to say that she was coming soon.
Ruth Cardoso was born in Salvador, Brazil. Her father was a Brazilian businessman who had come to Germany to study engineering. There, he met and married Ruth's mother. He brought the mother to Brazil and Ruth was born there.
Shortly after Ruth was born, the marriage broke up and Ruth and her mother went to Germany. The war broke out and Ruth and her mother spent World War II in Eastern Germany. When the war was over, the Russians moved in and took over Eastern Germany. Ruth would have been trapped there, except that she had dinner with General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who saw to it that Ruth would be allowed to escape to Brazil.
Ruth Cardoso was for many years the strongest woman chess player in South America. She was eight times Brazilian Woman's Champion. She played four times in the Woman's Interzonal Championship. She played in many World Chess Olympiads, playing first board for the Brazilian team. Her trainer was Grandmaster Pal Benko.
She played chess in the US for 30 years, mostly in open Swiss tournaments. She was a popular chess personality, who was always able to see the bright side of the worst possible situation.
Ruth Cardoso was perhaps best known for playing in strong grandmaster tournaments in Spain and Italy in the 1970s. She played tournament games against grandmasters Ljubojevic, Pomar, Timman and Bisguier. She occasionally scored against the grandmasters, drawing with Grandmaster Barczay in Reggio Emilia 1970 and with Grandmaster Quinteros in Malaga, Spain in 1971.
In addition to being a chess player, she was an artist and a woodcutter.
One confusing point which has often arisen is the similarity between her name and that of International Master Radolfo Cardoso of the Philippines. Radolfo Cardoso became famous for playing a match against Bobby Fischer in 1957 and in the Interzonal in Portoroz in 1958. As a result, when games played by R. Cardoso against grandmasters began being published in the 1970s, everyone assumed that these were games played by Radolfo Cardoso, whereas they were actually played by Ruth Cardoso.
Ruth Cardoso was married and divorced early in life and had no children. There are no survivors.
[Event "World Chess Olympiad"] [Site "Buenos Aires"] [Date "1978.??.??"] [White "Cardoso, Ruth "] [Black "Borisova, B "] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C00"] [Round "6"] 1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 dxe4 5. dxe4 Bc5 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Qe7 8. c3 a5 9. Qc2 Nc6 10. Nc4 h6 11. Be3 O-O 12. Bxc5 Qxc5 13. Ne3 Be6 14. Nh4 Ne7 15. Rfd1 Rad8 16. b3 g6 17. Nf3 Nc8 18. Bc4 Bg4 19. b4 axb4 20. cxb4 Qe7 21. Nxg4 Nxg4 22. Bb3 Nd6 23. Rac1 c6 24. Qc5 Rfe8 25. h3 Nf6 26. Qe3 Kg7 27. Rc5 Nd7 28. Ra5 Nb5 29. a3 Nb8 30. Rxd8 Qxd8 31. a4 b6 32. Ra8 Nc7 33. Ra7 Nd7 34. Qd3 Re7 35. Qd6 Ne8 36. Qd3 Nef6 37. a5 Qb8 38. axb6 Qxb6 39. Ra4 Qc7 40. Ra2 Nb6 1/2-1/2
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