Sunday, 24 August 2008

Both My & Chessdom's Report on Asian Dragons Invitational

Kaohsiung was warm, the hospitality even warmer - thanks to Chinese Taipei Chess Associations's Liu Ko-Fei Fei, Dina Chen and Elsa Yueh - my schedule was very tight from arrival at night to double rounds daily and departure immediately after but they found a way to drag me out two evenings.

Despite only getting out after 8 p.m. and with an 11 p.m. curfew (!), I got to ride the MRT, see Central Park, stroll along Love River with other tourists, visit and eat at a Night Market the first night out, and on the second occasion, to take a drive across the entire city to the Harbour to catch a ferry to an Island for Seafood and after to climb up to the former British Consulate for a great view and of course more of the "Flavoured Tea" drinks locals enjoy so much.


A happy picture - the Singapore team celebrating Gold, Silver & Bronze! Once again, and expected, the biggest winners and probably will be for some time yet.

On the chess tournament, the report by Elsa Yueh published on Chessdom pretty much covers the event and because we used Swiss-Manager, results are at http://www.chess-results.com/tnr15129.aspx?lan=1.

I should end here by congratulating the players on their fighting spirt, the organisers for understanding the importance of having events such as this to expose their players to competition and to give them the opportunity to earn FIDE ratings, and all for the spirit of friendship.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Asian Dragons in Kaohsiung, Taiwan


After catching a welcome few days back home to catch up with family and work (see "A Successful African Seminar for Trainers" http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/1-fide-news/3121-a-successful-african-seminar-for-trainers), I'm off again - this time to be Chief Arbiter at the Asian Dragons Invitational in Kaohsiung, Taiwan from 16-23 August 2008.

The Asian Dragons Invitation, held at the National Sports Training Centre, is an annual event that involves 5 countries - South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and of course the hosts Chinese Taipei - and has two sections, an Open for players 2100 and below, and Youth Under 16.

So it is a largely developmental event.

Last year Singapore took the bulk of medals and it is expected to be the same this year although a more serious challenge is expected from South Korea and Hong Kong which have made significant progress in the last year.

Until I get there, for more details you will have to contact Dina Chen of the Chinese Taipei Chess Association via email at dinasa1992@yahoo.com.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Travelling to Gaborone, Botswana, Africa

Ever tried long distance air travel recently?

I have been so used to hops of a few hours between ASEAN and neigbouring countries of late that I have forgotten what it was like!

The other big thing is that security arrangements tend to vary by country, airport, and airline.

Of course, KLIA, Changi, and Johannesburg are some of the very best airports in the world but it was "still off with your shoes", "take out your laptop", etc., all I suppose necessary in today's much less safe world.

I am now in Gaborone, Botswana, Africa at a very pleasant time indeed - the end of winter where it is cool but not cold and a jacket is a nice thing to wear while sleeping without air conditioning is very enjoyable.

But to get here necessitated a 4 hour wait in KLIA to get onto a one hour flight to Changi, Singapore for another 4 hour wait to catch a 2.20 a.m. much longer flight to Johannesburg, South Africa where on arrival it was yet another 4 hours (but now with also having to check out with baggage and clear immigration before checking right back in) before boarding a twin turbo prop driven plane for the short hop to Gabonone.

The seminar has started - but my assistant lecturer is still trying to convince Indian immigration to let him leave the country because he has already gotten a visa on arrival in Botswana - but that is for a further post.

A pictorial essay of my journey is being updated as I go along at: http://picasaweb.google.com/peterlong64/BotswanaAfrica