Wednesday, 30 December 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 www.kolkata2009.blogspot.com!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

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


ASIAN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
20-29 DECEMBER 2009
KOLKATA, INDIA

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 Championship was started in 1974 with the celebration of the golden jubilee of FIDE on the initiative of the Malaysian Chess Federation with assistance from the government, and a specially designed USD 10,000 Silver trophy named after the late Tun Abdul Razak, then Prime Minister, was offered as a challenge trophy.

The first Asian powerhouse Philippines of course won the inaugural event in Penang, Malaysia, with 8 teams, and in fact remained winners of the bi-annual event till 1983 when bridesmaid China finally took their first honours, after which the title was largely exchanged between these two nations till the emergence of post-Soviet Asian nations.

Kazakhstan was therefore the winner in 1993, the Philippines in 1995 (where the women championship was first introduced and won by China whose total of four of five titles and near absolute dominance was only briefly interrupted just once by Vietnam in 2005), and while following a four year cycle, it was Uzbekistan for the very first time in 1999 before reverting again to China in 2003.

But since then India has won back to back events in 2005 and 2008 and so a historic hat trick awaits them on home ground this year!

Additional information is at the official website: http://www.asianteamchess09.com/

Posted by Susan Polgar at 12/15/2009 09:34:00 AM
Labels: Asia, Chess team

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

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.

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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 help from KLCA earlier also proudly claims to lead chess in the Commonwealth, ASEAN and Singapore (and his position in FIDE is apparently sold on that too).

Well, Singapore via this individual apparently had the money to bid for the World Championship Match Anand-Topalov so why has the Masters disappeared and all these events have a prize fund totalling just USD 14,500?

A moment ago I had a quick look up of the Commonwealth Championship at http://www.chess-results.com/tnr27873.aspx?art=0&lan=1&m=-1&wi=1000 and guess what? I saw a grand total of 5 countries participating. India, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore (this is the huge total of 24 entries in the Open!).

Well, I do know that India has kept the Commonwealth Championship going for years now, Australia and South Africa have just token representation, and of course we in Malaysia are next to Singapore.

But no Grandmasters, no one at all from Great Britain (are they not the very reason for the Commonwealth?) and not even an African nation or the usual suspects from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan?

My reaction? First relief, and then followed by a big thank you to the Malaysian Chess Federation (as claimed by the individual I keep mentioning) for objecting to KLCA doing the Commonwealth Championship.

And a hope that our Mas Hafizulhelmi, the fourth seed (in a very weak event) can win it for Malaysia and himself.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

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 http://trainers.fide.com/.


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 FIDE Trainer Academy in Berlin, we were able to share and recommend our positive experience with the excellent work of Artur Yusupov (listed above as Artur Jussupow) and that of Quality Chess books in general.
 
Of the others, Mikhail Botvinnik was always going to be our first Hall of Fame inductee and two back to back Olympic Gold Medals is impossible to beat for Arshak Petrosian!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Asian Team Championship 2009 to be in Kolkata

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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 come along again and while it seems we don’t know now if our trophy still exists, I do think we have no reason not to send a team because as I said before to Hamid, we started the event and it even bears the name of our Prime Minister’s father!

This time around I have called current MCF Secretary Gregory Lau (greglau64@gmail.com) and told him I would be happy to play if others are not available and would even be prepared to help organise (and manage?) a team of young talents if that turned out to be the case as this would be a one time opportunity for them as well as fantastic exposure.

So do read on for details…

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The All India Chess Federation on behalf of FIDE and Asian Chess Federation cordially invites Asian Federations to participate in the Asian Team Chess Championsip-2009 Men & Women to be conducted 20-29 December 2009 in Kolkata, India. Download invitation.

Full article at: http://www.fide.com/component/content/article/4-tournaments/4146-asian-team-championship-in-kolkatta

Thursday, 10 September 2009

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

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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 able to earn their first International Master title norms and a new star for the future may have been found in Indonesia’s Masruri Rahman whose calm and mature play impressed all present.

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In the KL Young Talent Team Challenge, Indonesia as expected proved a convincing winner of the Young KL Talent Team Challenge with 38.5 points from a possible 54 with Singapore, represented by Serangoon Chess Club, edging PCU Asia for second place while the KL team which focused on giving its players exposure was the bridesmaid.

Individual standouts were Luftu Ali (Indonesia), Joel Chan (Singapore), and Aziz Farhan (KLCA) in the under 14 section and Mohammad Firmansyah and Novendra Priasmoro (Indonesia) and Ryan Ow (PCU Asia) in the under 10 section.

The KL Open & Young Talent Team Championship 2009 attracted representation from 11 countries and was organised by the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association in partnership with Polgar Chess Asia with sponsorship from the Malaysian Intellect Development Foundation and Masterskill University College of Health Sciences.

Official website is at www.klchess.com

Saturday, 5 September 2009

KL Open & Young Talent Teams Begins

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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 Talent Team Chess Challenge, is to support the development of chess in KL and Malaysia, and so is positioned as an event to provide International Master title opportunities for players from the ASEAN region.

In the Open, once again there is a large and comprehensive turnout from our Indonesian neighbours and this year they have shown that they are good friends indeed of the KL Open with 17 entries represented by players from all over Indonesia and at all levels, amongst them Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto, International Masters Sadikin Irwanto, Dede Liu, and Tirto, FIDE Masters Wahono Awam and Mahmud Sharif, Candidate Master Farid Firman Shah, and so on.

Singapore has 10 players, led by FIDE Masters Timothy Chan Wei Xuan and Daniel Chan Yi-Ren (unrelated), both who are amongst their countries best young talent and genuine International prospects today.

Uzbekistan Grandmasters Saidali Iuldashev and Marat Dzhumaev are no strangers to Malaysia but the KL Open is new to them and they are for sure in the absence of their defending champion countryman Anton Filippov, and joining them is their National Champion, International Woman Master Nafisa Muminova.

Of the six Grandmasters playing, Vietnam is contributing three - half the total! They have five players, three of which are members of the Vietnam National Team that was the big surprise of the Dresden Olympiad late last year where they were the top Asia team!
Grandmaster Nguyen Anh Dung was always coming together with Nguyen Van Nuy but it was a big surprise when one of their rising stars, young Grandmaster Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son also asked to play and then Grandmaster Dao Tien Hai informed us he was just back to Vietnam and that he would be coming together with Nguyen Hoang Nam!

So, from a planned event for International master title norms for the 2300 level players and opportunities to increase their ratings for others we had in one stroke become a Grandmaster event!

Last year the KL Open was a disaster for the strong Philippine delegation but it is a clash with a national elimination event that has seen a much smaller group this year, just four players (or officially five if including locally based Ian Udani who is a constant top prize winner at all Malaysian events), International Master Richard Bitoon, 2362 rated Rustum Tolentino, International Woman Master Beverly Mendoza, and National Master Edmundo Legaspi.

Notables from the other countries participating are Yevgeniy Pak, the young 17 year old Kazakhstan National Champion with many International Master norms already, and our good friend from Sri Lanka, Luxman Wijesuriya who recently agreed to a developmental partnership with KLCA and has started the ball rolling by entering two prospects, that of R.S. Kalugampitiya and R.D.A.C. Dissanayake.

Glenda Chen I-Chen is the sole entry from from Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) and we also welcome this brave young lady who is about to start a Masters program in University as the KL Open will indeed be a baptism of fire for someone who has not touched a chess piece in anger since the Dresden Olympiad in November 2008!

Malaysia of course is represented by both veterans and some youngsters for the future.

Ismail Ahmad is a seasoned campaigner as is Haslindah Ruslan and even Najib Abdul-Wahab who is usually an arbiter has joined in. Edward Lee, 16, and Tan Li Ting, 11, are National Champions and Wong Jianwen is perhaps the most promising young player to emerge recently.

Official Website is http://www.klchess.com/, The Official Media Partner is Chessdom at http://www.chessdom.com/ and KL Open Press Releases, Results, and the Games, with Photos, and Videos can be found on http://www.chessasia.net/.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

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

KLCA Logo

With one week to go, the KLCA has confirmed the majority of international participants for the 2nd Kuala Lumpur Open Chess Championship 2009 (see http://www.chess-results.com/tnr24792.aspx?lan=1) – 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 to balance our member needs together with our long term vision of what chess can offer to national building.

There is after all, already a Malaysian Open, and our prize fund was deliberately made attractive only to the biggest winners – I really do not see any point in having an event that does not further KLCA's stated agendas and making a strategic contribution to the development of the game in KL (and Malaysia) and frankly do want to get it right as everything costs us both valuable time and money and that is a luxury today.

Personally I see the KL Open, now in its second year, aspiring more to be a long standing regional event like the Bangkok (now Thailand) Open, and which offers something to the enthusiast who tries to combine his hobby (passion?) for chess with demands of career and family as well as the young player looking to improve his game in serious competition and perhaps even to valid his talent by achieving an international title norm.

KL (and Malaysian) chess players are basically those who have largely missed the boat (or whose best time has gone) but still enjoy the game or young talent who need opportunities and a benchmark to understand where they are and perhaps even what else might be required to excel.

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After all, our guests (the chess players from overseas participating) do seem to think that Malaysia is a most attractive destination with a great deal to offer and so we will continue to capitalise on this when organising the Kuala Lumpur Open Chess Championship in 2010 and beyond!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

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).

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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 and confirmation via SMS, I would be on a plane to Bali the next day (again AirAsia) and then on to Bima on Merpati Air.

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The opening ceremony! Grandmaster Utut Adianto, Member of Parliment and Deputy President of PERCASI, is all smiles as you can see. Below you can see why and that was just a portion of the 7,000 who participated in a hour long parade!

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Yes, this is the Major of Bima who is gracefully accepting the accolades for making it all happen!

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Grandmaster Megaranto was top seed, the big favourite, and the only unbeaten player. He fought every game to the end (as all Indonesian players did) but this draw with stable mate and Dresden Olympiad teammate International Master Tirta Chandra Purnama cost him the championship on tie-break even though some USD 3,250 in prize money (after sharing first and second places) probably made it up a little.

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What’s all the excitement about? Of course young Dewi Citra like her friends and national team mates Chelsie Monica and Medina Warda Aulia were a special attraction for the locals but mainly because of the excellent chess they played throughout.

And to be honest, this was the crowd at practically every table where a top player played!

The people of Bima were very hospitable and gave all they could to each and every guest and I have never ever thought I would enjoy the carnival atmosphere where the player having the White pieces had to provide the chess set and clock, everyone (including spectators) talked loudly during the games, and the chess championship was the centre piece of a sports carnival where soccer games and activities like rock climbing were held concurrently.

None of this affected the great chess on display – all the chessplayers appreciated being treated so respectfully - and so accepted this unusual playing environment in the best spirit possible!

Well done Bima and next year I will for sure not be the only non local there, wild horse milk notwithstanding! Too bad I had to leave before the end…

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The 3rd Asian Dragons Invitational Chess Tournament 2009

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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:

FED

CATEGORY

SURNAME

NAME

GEN.

BIRTH

RATING

             

JPN

OPEN

KENICHI

HAMANE

M

1951.08.07

1923

JPN

OPEN

OSAMU

YUKI

M

1956.03.04

 

KOR

OPEN

SONG

JIN WOO

M

1973.12.01

1990

KOR

OPEN

LEE

KI YUL

M

1993.12.09

1963

KOR

U16

GU

IN JUNG

M

1995.02.15

1667

KOR

U16

PARK

HYUCKMIN

M

1997.01.06

 

MAC

OPEN

WONG

KAI MENG

M

1990.08.18

 

MAC

OPEN

MAK

TONG KUAN

M

1991.02.02

 

MAC

U16

CELIS

JOEL CHANG

M

1994.07.19

1652

SIN

CAPTAIN

HENG

GUEK KWEE, ANNIE

F

1972.12.11

 

SIN

ACCOMP

KOH

PUAY HWA

F

1959.01.02

 

SIN

OPEN

NED

XIUWEN , CHRISTABEL

F

1994.11.24

1732

SIN

OPEN

ISKANDAR

BIN ABDULLAH

M

1996.09.16

1815

SIN

U16

OW

JUN WAI , RYAN

M

2000.03.23

1743

SIN

U16

CHENG

JIE LING , ZERLENE

F

1995.07.18

1826

TPE

COACH

YUEH

WEI PO , JOE

M

1976.12.15

 

TPE

OPEN

LIU

YI YOUNG

M

   

TPE

OPEN

LIN

CHIEH SHENG,JASON

M

1994.05.22

1686

TPE

OPEN

LIU

YUNG HUNG , HENRY

M

 

1833

TPE

OPEN

LIN

YU TONG , ELAINE

F

1994.08.30

 

TPE

U16

CHEN

PIN HUNG

M

1997.10.19

1733

TPE

U16

SHIAU

SUEN WEN

M

1997.03.08

1772

TPE

U16

TSENG

WOEI HAWY

M

1995.10.30

1479

TPE

U16

CHEN

YAN FANG,TOMMY

M

1998.08.28

1782

TPE

U16

HO

MENG WEI , ALBERT

M

2000.12.02

1534

TPE

U16

LIAO

JO KAI

M

2000.01.23

 

TPE

U16

YOUNG

AUSTIN

M

   

To be a part of the Asian Dragons, please contact Ms. Dina Chen by calling 886 921474 802 or email her at dinasa1992@yahoo.com and you can follow the event at the following links: Open, U-16.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

KL Open 2009

KLCA Logo

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: http://thefidetrainer.blogspot.com/2008/12/kl-open-begining-of-new-chapter-for.html).

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Photos 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 delegations are also expected from our enthusiastic neighbours Indonesia and Singapore as well as from Asia chess powerhouse India.

The KL Open 2009 has been approved by the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) and will be officially registered with FIDE as an international rated and title event.

For more details and to register, please go to http://www.klchess.com/ or email the Tournament Director: peterlong@aol.asia.com

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Wither ASEAN Chess?

ACC Logo - Small ACA Logo

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 offer a fresh vision that can renew a country or an organisation after 10 years at the helm especially with rot beginning to set in so is it time for a change?

Q2. The three stated objectives of the ACC (1. organising developmental events, 2. chess in SEA games, and 3. broaden membership) may have once have been achieved but no longer is today and because it is essentially failure, I will break them down as follows for possible action:

  1. With the “natural death of the ASEAN Grand Prix”, as the President himself says, the ASEAN Age-Group Championship is the final remaining event (with titles to winners approved by FIDE) but without sponsorship and using the same model of making money from official hotels.
  2. These revenues are not available to ACC for development although banked in under Intchess Asia or its sister company the ASEAN Chess Academy (two vehicles, one private owner, and the latter endorsed by ACC) and certainly the event is no longer organised by member federations and perhaps sharing (not with levies) is the way to better unity and cooperation?
  3. The ASEAN Chess Academy has also failed to convince ACC members to be allowed into their countries via joint ventures let alone proving that the franchise model works. The sole branch in KL is marginally profitable only because it focuses on child enrichment.
  4. No national chess federation will outsource their talent development or training of top players to a foreign entity whose purpose is purely commercial and in many cases this is not only political suicide but also impacts government funding.
  5. Do we have a plan to address this pillar of ACC especially when Asia is doing well at Asian Games level recognition and there is also an Asian Indoor Games? Creating a better standing for chess together with political clout in every country might be the only way. After all, when was chess last in the SEA games? More importantly, will it be in the next SEA games?
  6. What is the real membership of ACC today? Of the three giants, Philippines is doing a great deal alone yet struggling with that cost and is also close to Indonesia which like Vietnam focuses its resources on participation on the international stage.
  7. Singapore aspires to lead but is expensive and small and as the home of ACC and Intchess Asia, Vietnam offers it a cheaper organising alternative while poor Myanmar tags along. Unprofessional chess wise, but economically rich, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei continues as they always have.
  8. So, ACC is just 8 federations, two tiered at best (maybe even three in terms of their playing levels), and so how should this membership be best accommodated, supported and then grown? I would say a real and properly funded secretariat and brand development around grassroots development and aggressive fund raising or in short professional management!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Official “Pay-to-Play” Opens?

FIDE Logo - Black VCF

Zone 3.3 Championship

I 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).

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NCFP-New

Subic Open

This comes on the back of the organisers of the recent Subic Open apparently demanding that all the players had to stay in the official hotel at USD 40 a night inclusive of three meals which turned out to really mean 6 players to a house with very minimal facilities, poor food, and much commuting as at some distance to the playing venue!

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Chess Sponsorship versus Official Hotels

Yes, sponsorship for chess is hard to come by but I think it has reached the point where some organisers have realised that they need not worry too much about getting sponsors other than perhaps for a prize fund as they can hold international events by essentially marking up hotel rates, announcing that all had to stay at that designated hotel if they wished to participate and perhaps even then running the event for profit!

The concept of having official hotels (as I understood it) was to get a good rate for participants as well as to ensure easy access for officials and that if there were savings no one had a problem if some went towards administrative/organising expenses.

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FIDE & World Championships?

Organising opens in this way I think is wrong but what more when it is an official FIDE event which is part of a World Championship qualifying cycle - there must be strict obligations that have to be enforced when awarding such official FIDE events to federations.

Also what is the point when just about anyone can play in such official qualifying events if they have the money?

It seems to me that under this model, anyone can bid to organise as there will certainly be players paying to play and if it is an official event like a zonal, I do think that FIDE’s prestige and the World Championship has effectively been put up for sale!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Young Talent Development Program

Kuala Lumpur Young Talent Chess Championship 2009 (Incorporating the KL Young Talent Development Program 2009/10)

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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 Development Program will be facilitated by Polgar Chess Asia (www.polgarchessasia.com) and Polgar Chess University and run from August 2009 till July 2010 as follows:

  1. Twelve (12) weekend training sessions throughout the year and supported online.
  2. Free entry to the KL Open and representation of the KLCA in local and also international team competitions where both possible and  advisable.
  3. Special four (4) day boot camp during the long school term break.
  4. Financial support in consultation with MCF if selected to represent Malaysia in designated ASEAN/Asian/World Youth competitions.

3. Objective. The KLCA sees this program as a key and necessary initiative to identify our best young talent early so as to be able to assist their development by complementing the role of their parents with critical resources such as quality training, expert guidance, right exposure, and financial help. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

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

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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 Ignatius Leong, FIDE General Secretary and also ASEAN, Commonwealth & SCF President, especially in matters of strategy and dealing with procedural and legal matters and I think will be greatly missed.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Full House For Chess Coaches Workshop

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By Arvind Aaron

The 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 Sunday and Monday as well.

The AICF is actively pushing conduct of such workshops to ensure that the next generation of young Indian chess players will get the best training methods from the most qualified chess trainers.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Report of the Iraq FIDE Trainer/FIDE Instructor Seminar

درع بطولة عربية

See http://getchesstraining.com/?p=646

What 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.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

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 (peterlong64@gmail.com).

Hence Susan's post taken from her blog as below:

 

Friday, May 22, 2009

Polgar Chess Asia


Polgar Chess is now in Asia. Check out www.PolgarChessAsia.com for more information.

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Posted by Susan Polgar at 5/22/2009 08:43:00 AM

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

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.

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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 already having experienced the hospitality of the people there I had to accept!

Two busy days with numerous interviews followed (including holding a one day workshop for local coaches and of course participating in the activities of a very fine chess school) and then it was time for a non chess highlight and that was a 4 a.m. wake up for a trip down the river to the market on the water!

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Back in Jakarta, and probably some 10 kilos heavier (they like to eat there and I tried very possible local food), I met up with my good friend Bunawan for a nice dinner (food again!) and was also able to take a look at the Gunadarma University Chess School in action.

For sure a very impressive setup and like SCUAR in Surabaya that I visited earlier and Sekolah Catur Norasya Verdiana in Banjarmasin, lessons were free of charge. The main difference was that all the students there were all girls (!) and amongst them I saw several of their top women players and some very promising talent. 

In my opinion, Indonesia wants for nothing except to be taught how to teach and have programs for the same (together with better access to technology and perhaps more fluency in international languages). They have strong players willing to be trainers and these have some ability to make materials. In this respect, the fee charging Sekolah Catur Utut Adianto, the brain child of FIDE Senior Trainer and Grandmaster Utut Adianto, is the undisputed leader.