Saturday, 30 January 2010

My Third & Final Resolution Fulfilled: No "Ifs" and "Buts" - I am Now a Trainer!

Polgar Chess Asia
22-1, Jalan 27/70 A, Desa Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur,
T: +60 3 2300 1680  F: +60 3 2300 1689

30th January 2010

Dear Parent/Student,


It has taken some time - perhaps a bit longer than we would have liked since we announced Polgar Chess Asia - but it was the right decision to start with and then build on the lessons from our successful holiday programs - and we have now put together a complete chess education and training program that we are both happy with and also know will actually work!

So from 1 February 2010, Polgar Chess Asia through Effective Commerce Sdn. Bhd. in our first centre in Kuala Lumpur will no longer be the service provider to the now dormant Intchess (M) Sdn. Bhd, but the actual operator.


We are offering three separate but synergistic tracks to meet every need - chess as child enrichment, chess for development, and chess through high performance - and all our courses will be conducted as yearly programs, where in over as little as five years, a young talent who as early as 8 to 10 years of age can be helped to grow into a young chess champion!

Peter Long
Director for Polgar Chess University in Asia

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Trying to Play Chess!

One of the things I feel trainers should do is to play from time to time (and of course while no longer playing with ambition it is still necessary that the level of tournament would be challenging).

After all the objective is to "keep your hand" as I have said before in an earlier post and to understand better what the current competitive environment is like so as to be able to do a better job with your students.

Well, as much I would like to play the KL Open (most convenient), I am the organiser so that is fairly unrealistic if I wanted it to be a useful exercise!

One idea I had was to play in the Thailand Open and perhaps one or two others every year (Unfortunately not the Malaysian Open as I find that the participants pretty much the same each year) but now that the KL Open has started a partnership with the Bangkok Chess Club to do our events back to back I was not sure I would be able to get away so soon after my event ended.

So when the opportunity to play Chennai came along I jumped despite our latest professional chess player and newly minted International Master Lim Yee Weng (who was playing both New Delhi and Chennai) telling me after he finished New Delhi that the players he had met were talented and under rated (and he did play 11 of them round after round!).

Yes, Yee Weng is a young man and still ambitious while I am now the opposite, so book a ticket I did and luckily (I thought) I already had a multiple entry visa from my earlier visit to Kolkata helping out at the Asian Team Championship.

But it was not to be. I arrived in Chennai and was refused entry. Apparently the Indian government had in the last two or three weeks changed their regulations regarding multiple entry visas and if I were to return to India within two months I had to apply for a re-entry permit (which I was allowed to do so at the Chennai airport immigration but which was then rejected!) and so, very politely but firmly, I was deported back home on the nearest available flight to horror of Indian Chess Federation officials, the embarrassment of Malaysia Airline staff and ultimately the amazement and amusement of a very sympathetic Malaysian immigration!

After 12 hours total of flying to and fro overnight I don't see myself doing this again in a hurry so looks like I will just be playing a game or two at the coming Malaysia-Singapore Match in February for now and then will have to revisit the possibility of the Thailand Open!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

KLCA is looking to organise big locally in the first half of 2010!

Well, it is time to put up over my New Year resolutions and I am pleased to say that the current report card would indicate that my first resolution is being maintained, the second successfully being done and the third is finally well on the way!

Here, let's just talk about that which is being done and that now means that KLCA (Kuala Lumpur Chess Association) will not only hold the KL Rapid Grand Prix which will run with a 45 minute time control played over weekends monthly at the Royal Selangor Club at Dataran Merdeka  from February to June 2010 over 4 legs and a final (see, but also that we are also now ready with the details of the 3rd KL Open Chess Championship to be held from 6-12 April 2010 (see


The KL Rapid series has an open section and an under 12 section, and the reason for the latter is to provide more opportunities for the younger players, and at the same time we have also decided to do away with the KL Young Talent Championship and instead identify this years prospects from the best under 11 and under 9 performers from the four legs and finals.

The major change is that the top 10 finishers have the right to apply for scholarships and the KLCA will form an expert panel to consider the merits of each young talent.

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year Resolution

The last three years since I returned to chess has been a wild adventure - for sure one that I wished I never started - and I suppose New Year's Eve is as good as any a time to take stock even though to be absolutely honest with myself I do know what I need to do for some 6 months now!

1. FIDE, ACC, MCF? Well, I won't presume to tar everyone involved with the same brush but fundamentally it is the "Koya" culture and I am no great man like India's D.V. Sundar at national level to bring things around like he has with sheer force of will together with incredible energy and talent, and of course while I am still hopefully of change regionally as the leadership is absolutely without credibility, I can say from experience (now!) that it is an even more thankless task at the biggest stage of all without loads of money. So as I understood so well 20 years ago, good luck to the stakeholders. It is your fight! And I salute you....

2. KLCA! Well I intend that to be my sole focus in 2010, from organising a KL Open that will get better with every year, starting new and holistic activities for our membership (and the local chess community as a whole) that when put together would showcase what would I hope to be then leading chess club locally (and even regionally) and in doing so I would most certainly offer an alternative vision for the organisation and promotion of chess. It can be done. Educate by making a success!

3. FA? FT! Well, in the last few months my dabbling in teaching chess has escalated somewhat from taking the occasional class to doing it more regularly and even accepting assignments locally so maybe it is also time that I did this very seriously with a long term view in my own country. I will now be a trainer too! But I believe that the student has to do the work to progress.

So dear reader, a very Happy New Year to you (and do enjoy making your own resolutions too!). Whatever we think of 2009, if we want it to happen and am prepared to do what is needed, then 2010 will be a great year for you as I know it will be for me!