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!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

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 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:

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.


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 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.