Thursday, 25 February 2010

Identifying & Developing KL’s Young Talent

 PCU 3

Last year the KLCA organised a KL Young Talent Championship targeting the U-19, U-11, and U-13 age-groups from which winners were invited to participate in a year round training program faciliated by Polgar Chess Asia.

Ultimately a few conclusions had to drawn as follows:

1. From the selection perspective, there is a big difference between the winner, a top three finisher and those making up the top ten so when many of the top finishers were not eligible, opted out (or more could not attend regularly), the program was reduced to trying to address knowledge gaps and a big differences in strength amongst participants.

2. In terms of trainer-student relationship (and of course we knew this but had to give it a go), the fact is that when a child is already 12 or 13 years old and an active participant in local (even international) competitions, there was little we could do to engage them effectively except perhaps unless on a one to one basis and that approach was outside the scope and objectives of the program.

3. And when looking at having a team which could work together as a cohesive unit - critical for participants to improve by taking a longer view and to push each other – this never happened for all the usual reasons, from being “kiasu” to having vested interests to even wanting to believe one’s own publicity!

So this year the KLCA will used the KL Rapid Grand Prix as a whole as a basis from which those who fall into U-9 and U-11 age categories can bring attention to their talent and if also committed KLCA members, can apply for training and sponsorship in the 2010/2011 program.

Of course I, as the Program Director, will facilitate the application process (via email to me at for eligibility and qualification) but their progress in the program (if accepted) will be overseen by a committee made up of various stakeholders from KLCA and MSSKL.   

Friday, 19 February 2010

Nigel Short intends to be at the KL Open 2010!

Nigel Short

This year, subject to his expected participation in the Thailand Open (as advisor to the organising Bangkok Chess Club), Grandmaster Nigel Short, former World Championship Contender, many time Commonwealth Champion, and the current English Champion still ranked as the No. 1 British player, will visit Malaysia as a guest of the KL Open 2010!

Short who is tentatively scheduled to arrive on 10 April via Bangkok after an expected long flight from Europe, has still kindly agreed to conduct a simultaneous exhibition at 4 p.m. that very same day (as it is a Saturday) and we hope to persuade him to do another on Sunday.

This simultaneous exhibition is limited to a maximum of 20 places (we have increased the number to meet expected demand) and seats are priced at RM 500 each on a first come first serve basis.

For the best possible experience, we will limit spectators, participants will have their score sheets signed by (and their photo taken with) the most famous grandmaster ever to grace a local chess tournament, and they will also be invited to join the dinner function to be held immediately after (where their questions may be directed to this legend of the game).

Any enquiries and your registrations should be directed to KL Open 2010 Organising Secretary Peter Long at

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

First Saturday Type Tournaments in Bangladesh?

I got the following communications for a WGM tournament 6-15 March 2010) and a GM tournament (`13-22 March 2010) to be held in Cox’s Bazaar and described in a tourism brochure as “Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful sea-food--this is Cox's Bazar, the tourist capital of Bangladesh. Having the world's longest (120 kilometers.) beach sloping gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, Cox's Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist sport in the country.”



Dear Chessplayer,

We have initiated a campaign to promote the game of chess in Bangladesh and the region at the highest level. The idea is to hold regular “Title Tournaments” in the country, enabling the aspirants to complete their norms for various international chess distinctions i.e. International Grandmaster (GM), International women’s Grandmaster (WGM), International Master (IM) etc. These events not only benefit the local players, but the players in the region and in fact in the whole Asian Continent.

There are already examples of round the year norm tournament, such as the First Saturday in Budapest which as the named suggests is held every First Saturday of the month. Many Asian players pay exorbitant entry fees, not to mention the high air fare and accommodation expenses to participate in these events. There are no cash awards in these tournaments. However title holders are paid appearance fees, while the aspirants pay and entry fee to participate in the tournaments.

We plan to choose exotic locations in Bangladesh as venues for such events as we would like players and accompanying persons visiting us to have an enjoying a good time side by side pursuing their respective aspirations in the game. This will serve the purpose of introducing our beautiful country to guests who come from various regions around the world.

GM Niaz Murshed

Director - Six Seasons International Chess Tournaments


There are two places left in the WGM tournament needing ratings averaging 2180 and two places left in the GM tournament needing ratings at least 2350.

So if you are interested, please contact the organisers at

Playing at the Malaysia-Singapore Match


It has been a year since I last played and I suppose a draw and a win is an acceptable result in classical chess especially against a young player.

Unfortunately we lost by the narrows of possible margins – just one point - and despite optimism in some quarters because we took a lead after day one into the rapid games (because the majority of our local events are played with the same time control) - I had my reservations as our older players would not find it so easy.

But in line with my resolution of not commenting about things MCF unless it directly impacts KLCA or concerns me personally, I will offer no post mortem or insights (or share opinions offered by many informed parties) but instead would like to congratulate several officials who worked their socks off, amongst them a new MCF VP I met for the first time and who generously offered incentives to players for each win, veteran Ismail Ahmad who was an excellent choice of captain who led by example, and of course Gregory Lau who seemed to care more than anyone else of the results and so worked feverishly to find the best players available during this festive holiday period. 

Monday, 8 February 2010

A Weekend Organising the KL Rapid Grand Prix

It’s been a while but I spent a weekend helping get the KL Rapid Grand Prix up.

Sponsored by the Malaysian Intellect Development Foundation and the Royal Selangor Club (RSC), the 1st leg, one of 4 planned every month to be followed by a final, was held from 6-7 February at the RSC premises at Dataran Merdeka.


My “old-new” vehicle, Polgar Chess Asia ( which is operated by Effective Commerce, has a special focus on helping develop potential in children, and we plan to have organising of suitable activities and the right type of competitions not only with the KLCA but other places around the country as an equal complement to more formal learning in a classroom environment.

And I do think that thanks to the wonderful support by the RSC, an original home of Malaysian chess, and especially the efforts put in by co-organisers Dr Ajeet Singh and later by Wahid Karim, the KL Rapid proved to be an enjoyable experience for all!


(Dr Ajeet with young winner of the U-12 Section Subramanian Sivanesan) 

Full results can be found at (Open Section), and at (U-12 Section).

See for more and do note that the next leg will be 6-7 March, that places are limited to just 80, and this would also be a fantastic warm up for the Malaysian Chess Federation’s planned National Age Group Championship in Penang a week later.