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/.