Showing posts from 2009

Kolkata Was Great

Kolkata was great, Indian hospitality as wonderful as always... but it is good to be home!

Everything can be found at!

Now I am in Kolkata - Making a City of Joy Diary at the Asian Teams

Well I have decided to go to Kolkata and will most certainly be looking to document my stay through an online diary

Is Malaysia Missing Again? Well, I don’t see China and the Philippines playing either!

20-29 DECEMBER 2009

From 20-29 December 2009, Kolkota, India, will once again be the host of the Asian Team Chess Championship, men and women.

There are to date ten countries registered, with the Indian sub-content heavily represented and hosts India of course favourite, but a strong and serious challenge is expected from Vietnam, the top performing Asian team at the Dresden Olympiad 2008, while Iran, Indonesia and Mongolia are expected to also fight for medals.

The event is organized by the Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy and ALLSPORT Management for the All India Chess Federation (AICF) under the auspices of the Asian Chess Federation and the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in Kolkata – best known internationally to be the City of Joy – and even better known to chess lovers all over the world as where the long standing Kolkata International Open held in September each year takes place.

Now in its 16th edition, the Asian Team Chess Championshi…

Commonwealth Championship 2009 is Back to Singapore

In the last few years the month of December has seen a Singapore Open – the Singapore International Chess Festival with a Masters and a Challengers plus various seminars – always a certainty because it was also apparently one individual’s main claim to successful international organisation in his own country.

With the collapse of the attempt by the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) to save the Singapore Chess Federation the cost of the Commonwealth Championship, this same individual had essentially no choice but to announce it as part of the Singapore International Chess Convention, but also surprisingly announced as under the auspicious of the Asian Chess Federation.

I was a little confused as I did not understand that the Commonwealth Chess Association needed its Championship to be endorsed by anyone other than the World Chess Federation (FIDE) aa in fact it is, like the ASEAN Chess Confederation, also a part of FIDE.

But how would I know? This very individual who asked for hel…

Results of the FIDE Trainer Awards 2008

The FIDE Trainers' Commmission (TRG) is pleased to announce the results of the FIDE Trainer 2008 Awards as approved by the Kallithea Halkidiki FIDE Congress 2009.

Botvinnik Medal (Men): Arshak Petrosian (Armenia)

Furman Medal (Women): Ye Jiangchuan (China)

Euwe Medal (Juniors): Adrian Mikhalchisin (Slovenia)

Boleslavsky Medal (Book - Build Up Your Chess Series): Artur Jussupow

Petrosian Medal (Special Achievement): Smbat Lputian (Armenia)

Hall of Fame: Mikhail Botvinnik (USSR)

The full story is of course at

I was part of the nomination commitee and am really pleased that I was able to ensure that Asia was represented in the process through Ye Jiangchuan being recognised for his work with Hou Yifan and previously with their first ever World Champion Xie Jun!

But his winning against tough competition from Yuri Razuvav who of course is the trainer of current World Champion Alexandria Kosteniuk was a very big bonus indeed!

Also, with Uwe Boensch, Director of the…

Asian Team Championship 2009 to be in Kolkata

Some of us might not know this but the Asian Team Championship was started by Malaysia, and first held in Penang in 1974 with the challenge trophy named for and provided by Tun Abdul Razak, our second Prime Minister and father of the current leader of Malaysia, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak!

I remember that a few years back, before the previous event (it is held every two years), I had called then MCF (Malaysian Chess Federation) Secretary Abdul Hamid Majid and asked him if Malaysia would be sending a team and when he finally had to answer, the reply was no money!

That was so typical of Hamid in his time, no information and when caught out he would say: “I like senang (easy life)”. To be fair, there is consistency in that it was exactly the same response for Asian Junior Championship in Mumbai that year where if I remember correctly our big young talent then, Anas Bakri, was keen to play.

Well, as you can see from the title of his blow and the introduction and link below, this event has …

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son wins the KL Open 2009 and Indonesia the Young Talent Teams Challenge

Grandmaster Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son from Vietnam lived up to his top billing by winning the KL Open 2009 with an impressive 7.5 points from 9 games and take the first prize of RM 10,000 while half a point behind, boasting seven wins, was Indonesian Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto whose victory over Grandmaster Dao Tien Hai of Vietnam earned second place and RM 5,000.Veteran Uzbekistan Grandmaster Saidali Iuldachev, now primarily a trainer, had a strong finish to score 6.5 points for sole third place and RM 3,000 while sharing 4th to 8th places and RM 1,000 each were Grandmaster Dao Tien Hai from Vietnam, Grandmaster Marat Dzhumaev and International Master Tahir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, Candidate Master Nguyen Hoang Nam from Vietnam, and International Master Richard Bitoon from the Philippines.The KL Open participant mix was optimised for International Master norm and rating opportunities so it was gratifying when Nguyen Hoang Nam and Candidate Master Farid Firman Shah from Indonesia were …

KL Open & Young Talent Teams Begins

The Kuala Lumpur Open & Young Talent Team Chess Challenge has officially started today with a technical meeting at 8 p.m. where a total of 82 entries have been confirmed, amongst which are 6 GMs, 7 IMs, 2 WIMs, and 5 FMs and 7 other titled players.Of the 58 entries in the Open from 11 countries, 27 are titled and 49 have FIDE ratings, a turnout that has successfully built on last year's inaugural KL Open Chess Championship.In the KL Young Talent Team Chess Challenge, 4 teams of 6 players each, 3 under 14 years of age and 3 under 10 years of age, are playing using the Scheveningen System and they are Indonesia, the Serangoon Chess Club (Singapore), KLCA (Kuala Lumpur Chess Association) and Polgar Chess University Asia. Held from 3-9 September at Shah's Village Hotel in Petaling Jaya, the 9 round swiss system tournament which is the flagship event of the KLCA boasts a total prize fund of 35,000 Ringgit (US$ 10,000).As with all KLCA events, the Kuala Lumpur Open & Young T…

One Week to the KL Open 2009 - So what does KLCA Hope to Achieve?

With one week to go, the KLCA has confirmed the majority of international participants for the 2nd Kuala Lumpur Open Chess Championship 2009 (see – and there are more than we expected given the switch of dates to dovetail the Malaysian Chess Festival and so join in our national day celebrations but also a bit stronger than I wanted - and so I must apologise to the many grandmasters and international masters who wished to take part but simply could not without help with hotel and meals.Very simply, the KL Open is not meant to be a big event like what leading chess nations in the region (who have many grandmasters and numerous professional players) successfully host annually (and sometimes as in the case of the Philippines, even multiple times in a year!).Yes, indeed some smaller (but aspiring) chess nations also try to do this too but KLCA is a small association in a country with just a handful of professional players and we have always…

Walikota Bima All Indonesia Open

The Taipei International Airport is a marvelous place to be at even when having to wait a couple of hours to catch an flight back home to KL. For a mere USD 150 or return so I was flying AirAsia X on an ultra modern Airbus (as you can see below, plenty of leg room too).I then got a call from Sebastian Simanjuntak inviting me to come to Bima for a new event that would start the next day! To be fair he had mentioned this possibility a month or so ago because some new organiser in a remote province was asking for PERCASI (All Indonesia Chess Federation) endorsement for a national open that boasted the largest local prize fund ever! That was an amazing USD 23,000 and it was really on. I was of course suitably intrigued.  A quick search on one of the many  Internet stations in the airport and soon I had discovered that Bima was in West Nusa Tenggara and best known for horses and as the jumping off point for those on the way to Komodo Island (of the Komoda Dragon fame). A few clicks later a…

The 3rd Asian Dragons Invitational Chess Tournament 2009

From 1 to 9 August 2009, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) will again play host to the 3rd Asian Dragons Invitational Chess Tournament.The sponsors and organisers are again the Sports Affairs Council, Executive Yuan, and Chinese Taipei Chess Association, with the main difference is that it is now held in the vibrant capital city of Taipei instead of beautiful Kaohsiung as in the previous two years.  From its start, the Asian Dragons has been an international regional developmental event and so has involved players from Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, and Singapore.So this year it is no different, two 11 round robins, for players rated 2100 and below, and for players under 16 years of age, and both will be played at the Engineering Faculty of the prestigious National University of Taiwan.The participants registered via invitations to their respective National Chess Federations are:FEDCATEGORYSURNAMENAMEGEN.BIRTH RATINGJPNOPENKENICHIHAMANEM1951.08.071923JPNOPENOSAMUYUKIM1956.03.04…

KL Open 2009

The Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) is pleased to be able to announce the 2nd KL Open Chess Championship 2009 for the Raja Nazrin Shah Challenge Trophy.With sponsorship from the Malaysian Intellect Development Foundation (MIDF) and the Masterskill University College of Health Sciences, the KLCA will be organising this year’s KL Open Championship at Shah’s Village Hotel in Petaling Jaya from 3-9 September 2009.The KL Open is KLCA’s flagship event, and this year’s championship seeks to build on the extraordinary success of last year’s inaugural event (see post at: of the playing venue and official hotel which show clearly the resort village within the city theme.Once again it is expected that the KL Open will somehow attract a disproportionate number of Grandmasters together with other internationally titled and highly rated players relative to the modest RM 40,000 prize fund, and big deleg…

Wither ASEAN Chess?

The ASEAN Chess Confederation (ACC) has reached its 10th birthday and I think that while in the past there are achievements, today there is little to celebrate and so it is perhaps time to take stock, especially with a board meeting planned during the Zone 3.3 Championship in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.Traditionally the board meeting meeting is held at the ACC’s flagship event – the ASEAN Age-Group Championships – but this year, at Hue, Vietnam, perhaps for the very first time, it had to be cancelled.  I was appointed Executive Director of ACC in mid 2007 and it is fitting that two years later, in mid 2009, I have stepped down but in my time I have been a party to as well as observed a lot of what was attempted and had also gone wrong and so I will offer just observations and perhaps pertinent questions for the leaders of ACC member countries to consider should they in fact attend the rescheduled board meeting:Q1. History has shown that few leaders are able to reinvent themselves and o…

Official “Pay-to-Play” Opens?

Zone 3.3 ChampionshipI just had a visitor to KL – a senior member of a neighbouring National Chess Federation who will remain unnamed - and while talking about various things chess, he mentioned that the most immediate problem that he was facing was funding his players to the coming zone 3.3 championships (men and women) to be held in Ho Chi Minh City from 22-30 July 2009.Apparently the time honoured tradition of giving each member country an official entry with all expenses paid for (other than travel there) effectively no longer applied. Yes, the organisers said that men above 2550 and women above 2350 would be free but that meant just their two two local GMs, top seeded Wesley So of the Philippines, and also the top ranked Mongolian WGM. It also seemed that anyone could play as well if they paid the entry fee and stayed in the official hotel (USD 75 for a single room and USD 50 on a twin sharing basis).--------------------------------------------------------------------------------…

Young Talent Development Program

Kuala Lumpur Young Talent Chess Championship 2009 (Incorporating the KL Young Talent Development Program 2009/10)This championship is the main basis for selection to the program and is being organized by the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) from 25-26 July 2009 at the 2nd Floor, Pearl Point Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpur.This championship is co-sponsored by Pearl Point and also supported by the Malaysian Chess Federation and there will be 3 categories, under 13, under 11, and under 9, played over 7 Rounds using the Swiss System with each player given 45 minutes per round to complete their games.What then is the Kuala Lumpur Young Talent Development Program?1. Selection. The first 3 winners together with the top 3 girls in each category will be invited to join the Kuala Lumpur Young Talent Development Program 2009/10. Other participants may also apply to be members and the KLCA Council will give due consideration on a case by case basis.2. Enablers. The Kuala Lumpur Young Talent Deve…

Our Very Best Wishes to KF Tang… May Your New Life Be The Success You Richly Deserve!

I just found out that Tang Kum Foo (KF), the low profile co-founder of Intchess Asia Pte Ltd and the ASEAN Chess Academy and also a former Singapore Chess Federation (SCF) President who until yesterday (30 June 2009) served as the FIDE Singapore Branch Office manager and edited Intchess Magazine, has decided to move on. When I briefly spoke to him, Tang – who is also now also diabetic and also needs dialysis - indicated he would still need to make a living and so will likely be going into some form of business (and sadly for Singapore chess it will be in a completely different field altogether).Being very well educated, holding a Masters Degree in Business Administration, and in his vast work experience (amongst many other things an Editor of the Straits Times Newspaper), he has all the skills and qualities needed to be successful and I am sure all who know him wish him the very best. Tang has been for very long also the trusted confidant-advisor of his Intchess Asia co-founder Ignati…

Full House For Chess Coaches Workshop

By Arvind AaronThe All India Chess Federation organised Orientation Workshop For Coaches attracted 56 players from 14 Indian states and was a big success. FIDE Trainer Peter Long who conducted the camp lectured before a virtual full house at the Nehru Stadium in Chennai on June 20. The opening day focus was on methods and approach to be used to train children, said AICF's Coaching Ordinator, K.Visweswaran of Chennai. Long was assisted by FIDE Instructor Praful Zaveri of Mumbai.
Notable among those who attended the workshop were Woman Grand Master and former World Under-18 girls champion Aarthie Ramaswamy, International Master Jayant Gokhale and M.R. Sangeetha. In the afternoon, a 90-minute test on tactics was conducted. After such Workshops, those who attend them can apply for Development Instructor (DI) , FIDE Instructor (FI) and National Instructor (NI). The focus this time will be on DI and NI titles said Visweswaran who is a FIDE Trainer himself. The workshop will be held on Su…

Report of the Iraq FIDE Trainer/FIDE Instructor Seminar

See more can I say? A very beautiful place. Warm and generous people. Enthusiastic and passionate lovers of chess. Great conditions... some of the best food I have ever had.Chess is clearly bringing something to the people of Iraq after twenty years of on and off war and great suffering and I am honoured to have made a small contribution.

I will be representing Susan Polgar in Asia

With the Polgar Chess University (PCU) up and running via a partnership with ICC, an infrastructure for affordable and on demand general chess courses delivered on video via the Internet is now in place. ICC is also providing PCU subscribers with the World Chess Live platform for practice and training games, and in the near future, organise special tournaments for kids as well.In Asia, I hope to be able to set up Polgar Chess Centres throughout the region so that kids in every country (and perhaps every city!) will have a place to go to meet to have fun chess activity weekends and during school holidays.We hope in this way to be able to better demonstrate the benefits of chess for young children to their parents and other stakeholders such as teachers.At the same time perhaps also being in a position to facilitate the development of young talent that would certainly emerge and I invite those who wish to participate in this initiative in any way to contact me ( H…

Kalimantan - Indonesia Borneo

A month ago the organisers of the Telkom Open to be held in Bandung from 10-16 May 2009 asked if I could play. It seems they were looking to upgrade an already highly successful local FIDE rated event to become an international title tournament next year and so I agreed to check it out.But obviously they are not ready because they postponed it at very short notice to 21 May.Well, I could no longer play at Telkom or even visit Bandung due to other commitments but I had a ticket already purchased to Jakarta for the earlier dates and on Facebook, Noraysa Verdiana, a young participant whom I met at the Intchess Mixed in Singapore last year and who was also a successful FIDE Instructor candidate at the FIDE Seminar for Coaches held in Bali after the Dresden Olympiad invited me to her home in Banjarmasin to take a look at her chess school.Earlier this year I had been to the much smaller town of Sampit nearby and also in South Kalimantan where my friend Joni Naik was a wonderful host and so …