Saturday, 21 August 2010

Playing the Pichay Cup and not the Campomanes Memorial or Dato Arthur Tan Memorial


When I was told some time back that Malaysia might struggle to put up a representative team for the Olympiad to be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from 19 September to 4 October and if I would play if needed, I saw no reason to say no (provided I was given equal terms with all other representatives) as I never for a moment thought that so many players would not be available.

(I must also admit that playing would be one way easy to avoid being caught up in the coming FIDE Elections where I have friends from both sides should I decide to drop by as I did in Dresden last time around).

But in the weeks that followed, players kept dropping out and I found myself constantly suggesting alternatives and other solutions but in the end it seems I will indeed be playing in Siberia, and so here I am in Manila trying to get some games in at the Prospero A. Pichay Jr. Cup.


Of course, like all my so called chess trips, I am combining business meetings (and luckily I am not conducting a workshop too!) and I really did want to be part of the Campomanes Memorial except that this event overlaps with the Dato Arthur Tan Memorial which seems to be this year to be very much a part of the campaign for the rather sad Karpov camp, and as I have said so many times before, I am "Not impressed by FIDE election options" and so have chosen not participate in either in whatever capacity possible.

Real Young Talent Development!



A new event, and committed for an initial 5 years!, the inaugural MSSM-Masterskill National Scholastics (U-9, U-11, U-13) Chess Championships will be held at the Masterskill University College Campus in Ipoh from 8-12 November 2010, and Polgar Chess Asia will be organising this event for the Ministry of Education and the Malaysian Chess Federation.

Winners will have the opportunity to play in the Asian Schools Chess Championship to be held from 16-23 December 2010 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

At the same time, Polgar Chess Asia will be looking to conduct a Seminar for Coaches designed together with Polgar Chess University to provide teachers and parents with the methodologies, skills and tools needed to effectively support their young talents.

Please direct your enquiries to louisa.yip@gmail.com.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Taking in the Sights of Bandar Seri Begawan

Bandar Seri Begawan is not a very large city but well laid out and easy for the tourist with most of its major attractions based on culture and history laid out by its river waterfront.

After 9 rounds at the rate of two games a day, Friday morning saw the conclusion of the first tournament with Indonesian WGM Irene Sukandar and Indian FIDE Master Ramnath Bhuvanesh emerging winners and earning International norms, the first for Irene and the final for Ramnath! (do see one of the many reports at http://reports.chessdom.com/news-2010/1st-brunei-title-tournament)

While young chessplayers would be chessplayers and moved on to blitz, Facebook, and shopping, I decided to take an afternoon tour of the city.

Sultan Father Mosque
I call it the Sultan’s Father’s Mosque!

Ceremonial Boat Royal Regelia Museum  

Highlights for me were the stories of 29 Sultans of Brunei, whose rules and lifetimes had simply everything you could imagine, the wonderful extravagance of a Royalty with wealth second to none, and seeing how the people of Brunei live, work, and play with their own identity intact and evolving notwithstanding the obvious influences of its neighbouring countries, the western world, and parallels that can be drawn with some of the Gulf states.

Water Village
This is at the centre of the waterfront area and although now modernised with water and electricity and internal furnishings that would rival a luxury condominium, it represents a major link to Brunei’s past as is therefore well preserved with the full support of the government.
   
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