Brunei’s First IM Tournaments!

The Brunei Chess Federation (BCF) is currently holding its first ever IM title events – the Brunei Invitational IM Tournaments being held from 25 July to 4 August in Bandar Seri Begawan  and I am honoured to serve as the Chief Arbiter.

Participants in Brunei Invitation IM Tournaments

Both are 10 player round robins, with a strong ASEAN presence, and a touch of glamour with WGM Irene Kharisma Sukandar also participating. (All participants in group photo above).
Details of the just started Brunei Invitational IM Tournament 1 is at and Brunei Invitational IM Tournament 2 at

In Search of Everest

Hj Zainal is BCF's Prime Mover

The BCF is very ably led by their long serving President Hj Zainal Abidin Ali who is well supported by a dedicated team of professionals, and in doing so has always chosen its own path in chess – which is whatever that makes sense for Brunei (and for Brunei chess!) given its relative small size.

From a spate of big organising in the early 90’s, BCF has been an adopter of technology, and as a pioneer in Internet chess organised a very successful blitz held on ICC on 15 July 2008.

Today it is certain that pride of place is the BCF becoming the first Brunei team to reach the Mount Everest Base camp and playing the first ever and highest ever altitude chess tournament to be organised there (of course all in the name of charity where 50,000 Brunei Ringgit was raised!). See

Of course there has also more conventional moves too by the BCF like the setting up the Brunei Chess Centre and a develop-mental program including engaging Grandmaster Taxir Vakhidov from Uzbekistan to develop a young national team.

BCF PlaqueGM Vakhidov at Work

The Brunei Chess Federation’s website is at


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