Thursday, 26 June 2008

Invitation for Young Champions to Participate in the World Schools Individual Championships 2008


The Singapore Chess Federation has the honour of inviting National Chess Federations, School Sports Associations and school chess champions to participate in the 4th WORLD SCHOOLS CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS organised in Singapore from 22nd July (Arrival) to 31st July (Departure) 2008.

Each National Federation or School Association or schools may enter an unlimited number of players in each of the 12 age groups. In the event that any girls’ category has less than 10 participants, it will be merged with the same age group of the open category.

Entitled to participate are players who shall not have reached the age:

- Of 7, by 1st January 2008 (date of Birth – January 1st, 2001 and after) – Category Under 7;

- Of 9, by 1st January 2008 (date of Birth – January 1st, 1999 and after) – Category Under 9;

- Of 11, by 1st January 2008 (date of Birth – January 1st, 1997 and after) – Category Under 11;

- Of 13, by 1st January 2008 (date of Birth – January 1st, 1995 and after) – Category Under 13;

- Of 15, by 1st January 2008 (date of Birth – January 1st, 1993 and after) – Category Under 15;

- Of 17, by 1st January 2008 (date of Birth – January 1st, 1991 and after) – Category Under 17;

Entry forms must be filled from the National Federations or School Associations or own School and returned to the Organising Committee not later than 15th June 2008. If the registration form is not filled by the Federation a copy must be sent to the National Federation.

The Playing Venue is Teck Ghee Community Club, 861 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Singapore 569734. Board and Lodging will be provided at Hotel Royal (4-star), Newton Road (20 minutes by train) and Hangout Hotel (30 minutes by train).

All participants are obliged to lodge at the official hotels. Every accompanying person who requests a visa from the Organising Committee is obliged to lodge at the official hotels. Bookings are made only through the Organising Committee (fill registration and bookings forms).

For registration and more details, go to:

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

A Generation of Young Talent Emerges at the 9th ASEAN Age Groups!

L-R: Camacho Chardine Cheradee, Cherrie Ann Meija, Nguyen Thi Mai Hung were All Gold Medalists in the U-14 Girls Rapid.

Vietnam, with 134 medals, more than twice that of the Philippines, was the clear winner at the ASEAN+ Age-Group Championships 2008 held in Danang, Vietnam.

But they did not have it all their way in the ultra competitive U-14 age-group categories! 

In ASEAN today, as in the rest of the world, talent is confirming itself after 12-13 years of age, and Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore all showed they have many such players, amongst boys (all) and amongst girls (most). 

Singapore: Gold, Philippines: Silver, and Vietnam: Bronze in the Boys U-14

There is no doubt at all in the normal course of events, all these players would easily become IMs/WIMs in the next two years (the weakest would be FMs/WFMs and the very best possibly GMs/WGMs).

But there are very serious questions as to where they would be then and their respective National Federations must pay attention!

1. Young players are not professionals - they will be faced with increasing challenges of school, even going to college.
2. They need proper training and they need international tournaments - otherwise they will be FMs/WFMs and not GMs/WGMs.

None of the above is new, and certainly not rocket science. The question therefore before parents, teachers, and officials is what are we doing for them?  

Monday, 16 June 2008

NCFP Outsources the Event Management of its International Competitions

From L-R, Standing: Sabli Metussin (Brunei), Gregory Lau (Malaysia), Yap Choon Tun (Brunei/Auditor), Casto Abundo (Deputy President, Asia Chess Federation), Thanit Chirananthavat (Thailand), Edmundo Legaspi (Philippines), Peter Long (Executive Director) Seated: Sebastian Simanjuntak (Indonesia/Secretary General), Ignatius Leong (Singapore/President), Prospero Pichay (Philippines/Deputy President), Dang Tat Thang (Vietnam/Vice President & Host) and Maung Maung Lwin (Myanmar/Treasurer).   

In a ground breaking development, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), represented by its President Prospero Pichay signed a contract - outsourcing the Event Management of all its International Events in the next two years - to Intchess Asia Pte Ltd represented by its CEO Ignatius Leong.

This followed the ASEAN Chess Confederation (ACC) Board Meeting in Danang, Vietnam, where amongst other things it was agreed that all ACC events would be managed for ACC by Intchess Asia Pte Ltd on the proposal of ACC Treasurer Maung Maung Lwin which was seconded by ACC Deputy President Prospero Pichay.

ACC Secretary General Sebastian Simanjuntak was then tasked by the meeting to develop host and organiser guidelines together with and any necessary rules and regulations required to support the bidding process.

This agreement, according to Prospero Pichay, was significant as it engages professionals with a proven track record in organising international chess events while challenging both parties to develop mechanisms to better engage media and developing activities which would not only further promote chess but also bring tangible benefits to media.

More importantly, it would also allow the NCFP to focus its resources on grassroots and talent development in the provinces while supporting the aspirations of top players in meeting its stated ambition of becoming No. 1 in Asia and ultimately a chess world power.

Besides planned bids for major FIDE events, the NCFP have already confirmed sponsors for 4 GM Opens - to anchor the planned Asia-Pacfic Pro Tour - in each of the two years of the initial contract with Intchess Asia. For Intchess Asia then, its challenge would be to successfully leverage these assets in a brand opportunity that can be expanded across the region.


Sunday, 15 June 2008

Danang IM Tournament - Concluding the ASEAN Masters Circuit

Concurrently and little known, at the same time as the 9th ASEAN Age Group Championships held in Danang from 9-18 June 2008, the Vietnam Chess Federation is organising an IM Tournament which is of course part of the ASEAN Masters Circuit.

The objective is to give deserving players a chance to make IM norms, and the participation of two GMs have make the candidates' job both easier and more difficult!


1. CM Nguyen Van Huy 4.5/5, 2. GM Dao Thien Hai 3.5/5, 3. Nguyen Thien Viet 3/5, 4-7. David Elorta, FM Hoang Canh Huan, GM Zaw Win Lay, FM Nava Roderick, 8. IM Wynn Zaw Htun 2.5/5, 9. FM Bao Quang 1.5/5, 10. Nguyen Hoang Ham 0.5/5

Only two players are still unbeaten in this very hard fought tournament, the leader CM Nguyen Van Huy, most recently the winner of the Vietnam National Championship who only needs one draw from his remaining 4 games to make an IM norm, and GM Zaw Win Lay who has made 5 straight draws!

Nguyen Thien Viet is also on track with +1 while FM Hoang Canh Huan and FM Nava Roderick needs to win one more game to join him. But David Elorta has the tougher task of making two wins as his IM norm requires +2

See Latest Results

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Appeal by Myanmar Chess Federation for Cyclone Nargis Victims

Many of us in ASEAN would personally know IA and FM Maung Maung Lwin, the selfless President of the Maynmar Chess Federation who for 20 years now has single handedly kept chess alive in his country.

When Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar recently, Maung lost his businesses and yet he has chosen to focus his energies on trying to help those even less fortunate!

I cannot post the copy of the official appeal of the Myanmar Chess Federation due to the graphic nature of the embedded photos but would be happy to forward it if requested by email (be warned that it is a very big file).

The facts as we know them today are up to 134,000 dead and 2.4 million destitute. But you only need to Google "Cyclone Nargis" to see for yourself how bad it is.

Chessplayers are considered rather self centered and not known to part easily with their money but let us prove otherwise this time around.

Donations can be made:

c/o Mr. Maung Maung Lwin
Bank: Bangkok Bank
A/C Number: 127-0-672262
Branch : Soi Aree, Bangkok, Thailand

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Radical but Long Overdue - Enforcing Changes in Chessplayer Tournament Behaviour

The recent FIDE Presidential Board Meeting held in Athens from 31st May to 1 June 2008 finally addressed two long time issues in chessplayer behaviour during competitions - driven by IOC and International Sports standards - that of being punctual for games.

Chessplayers, for some strange reason have always been allowed to show up as long as an hour after a game has started and not only is this clearly poor sportsmanship but very often even a deliberate ploy to put an opponent off. And of course it encourages tardiness and clearly demonstrates a lack of professionalism.

With media being recognised as key to universal acceptance to recognistion of chess as a sport, it is clear that chessplayers would have to be dragged into line with their counterparts in other sports to be recognised as professionals. Not being on time (seated) at the start of a game would now be penalised with an immediate loss!

The 38th World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany later this year was to be the first event where this new rule would be implemented but instead the young participants at the 9th ASEAN+ Youth Team Championships now being held in Danang, Vietnam, have been urged to show grandmasters how to conduct themselves!

A second problem - one that is constantly discussed by just about everyone - is that of quick (or even arranged) draws and here FIDE has failed with yet another half measure by stating that draws would not be allowed before 30 moves are completed.

The real problem is fundamental to what a competition is supposed to achieve, and for me one has to distinquish between a game result and the outcome of a match or tournament - for chess to be easily understood and appreciated as a sport, there needs to be winner and loser for every game.

It matters not that the winner is lucky or the loser valiant and the impact on players FIDE ratings cannot be a consideration either as that is based on competitive performance anyway.

Firmly implementing both of these long overdue changes will finally bring chess in line with the rest of world sport and in doing so allow the participation of the general public and international media so FIDE must show resolve and courage in making sure this happens.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Philippines 46.5 - Myanmar 25.5

Following successful back to back international tournaments in the Philippines, a training match was organised between the Philippines and Myanmar on the initiative of National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President Prospero "Butch" Pichay.

This double round match played using the Scheveningen System between the two 6 player teams was held in a boutique hotel overlooking beautiful Lake Taal and sponsored by the City of Tagaytay led by its Mayor Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino who is also the NCFP Secretary General.

NCFP Events Director Willy Abalos flanked by the Myanmar Team the day before the big match in beautiful Tagaytay.

Despite playing against an essentially Philippines "C" team, the Myanmar team, perhaps exhausted from two months of non stop chess and worried about conditions back home in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis which has left 133,000 dead or missing and over 2.5 million homeless, tried hard but were convincingly beaten.

Rolando Nolte top scored for the Philippines with 10/12 with GM elect Jayson Gonzales on 9/12 and Oliver Barbosa on 8/12 the other standouts. Rolando Andador with a valuable 7.5, Dino Ballecer with 6.5 and Edgar Reggie Olay with 5.5 were the other Philippine team members.

For Myanmar, GM Zaw Win Lay led with 6.5/12 while IM's Aung Aung and Wynn Zaw Htun both scored 5/12. FM Kyaw Lin Niang and IM Nay Oo Kyaw Tun managed 3.5 while FM Kyaw Kyaw Soe got 2.

GM Zaw Win Lay is still very much the "desperado" of the Myanmar "posse" when playing cowboy or tucking in to a special Jolibee highlands burger!