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

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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!

FIDE Logo ACA Logo SCF Logo

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.