Showing posts from July, 2015

Malay Mail Online: The Rise And Rise Of China?


KL Open 2015

1. Sponsors & Organisers
With sponsorship from the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific and IGB Corporation, the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) is pleased to announce the KL International Open & Junior Rapid Chess Championships will be held at the Cititel Hotel Ballroom, Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with Merdeka Day Celebrations from 30-31 August 2015.

2. Format of Play
The tournament will be played over 9 rounds using the Swiss System according to World Chess Federation (FIDE) Rapid Chess Regulations, with a time control of 25 minutes each to the finish.

3. Prizes
Open: 1st RM 3,000, 2nd RM 1,500, 3rd RM 1,000 4th RM 700, 5th RM 500 6-10th RM 300 each, and 11th-20th RM 150 each. (The top KLCA player will receive a special RM 500 prize together with the title of KL Champion)
Juniors (U-16): 1st RM 600, 2nd RM 300, 3rd RM 150, 4th RM 100, 5th RM 50, and Best U-12 RM 100.

4. Schedule
Saturday 29 August 2015
Arrival 1800 Final Registration & Technical Meeting


8th amongst the 16 participating at the Asian Cities Team Championships 2015

Before you go on reading this, let me tell you in no uncertain terms this is not a critique of the players who represented Shah Alam, all whom I know and am friendly with.

No one has the right to criticise players without good reason - everyone wants to do well and at least over the board would have tired their best - and even if one argues there were better players available, who knows why they did not go so never blame those asked who simply took the opportunity.

I only have issues with players without professionalism when going about representing their country.

So, just the facts:

1. Gregory's MCF, playing as Shah Alam, started as 5th ranked with an 2105 average rating, and finished 8th (after ending tied 6th to 11th with 8 match points) and it was not the strongest event and clearly ahead owas winners Bangalore (India), Qingdao (China), Bishkek City (Kyrgyzstan), Calicut (India), and Kandy (Sri Lanka).

2. Tied together with Gregory's MCF was Taipei (Chinese Taipei), Erden…

Promoting the Malaysian Chess Festival 2015

Hamid is a busy man who also gets around quite a bit. This year I have already bumped to him at several overseas events now and apparently this is not going to end soon since he too is going to Korea!

I am pleased that my work in chess media is beginning to rub off with many organisers and I am especially impressed with Hamid fixing his website - - thankfully not with help from the usual suspects and perhaps also motivated to get it into shape as the official website of the Malaysian Chess Festival 2015.

Then there is the press release that I picked up today at and which I think represents another big first for him!

It does not end with these as I have also seen on his website a link to a Facebook Page promoting the Malaysian Chess Festival 2015 I will certainly be going there to "like" it. So who says we old dogs can't lea…

The Interview That Was? If It Happened, Perhaps Then A Dream For Some!

Q: Thank you Dato' Tan for agreeing to this interview. The big news for the chess community is that you are once again running for Malaysian Chess Federation President in the coming elections. Why are you coming out of retirement to do this? You stepped down ten years ago while continuing to financially contribute to Malaysian chess in many ways, most notably with the Malaysian Chess Festival.
A: I am disappointed that there has been no progress these last ten years and to see the constant financial problems of the Malaysian Chess Federation which I have even from time to time helped them with. It is not my nature to criticise anyone but my track record is there for all to see as is my love and devotion to chess over forty years now and I want to put to get the Malaysian Chess Federation on the right track financially and also there is a need to restructure it so that every state affiliate will have a full and equal stake in its council and decision making.

Q: You understand that …

MCF's Shah Alam at Asian Cities Team Championship

No worries. In a weak field at the Asian Cities Team Championship currently being played in Sri Lanka, the Gregory Lau led MCF plays Hong Kong next.

Furthermore there is still a chance to be paired in the remaining rounds to meet both Kabul (Afghanistan) and Jerusalem (Palestine) which would really help in getting a respectable score and then even give "Haslindah's Biro Catur Wanita MCF" something to brag about.

Beating Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) was absolutely critical after losing to Male (Maldives).

See details at:

The Malaysians Registered For The Asian Youth Championships

There will be Malaysians playing at the Asian Youth Championships to be held from 3-11 August 2015 in Suwon, Korea.

From the published official entry lists I see a total of eight, the usual suspects less a few regulars whom I suppose whose parents were concerned about the earlier MERS outbreak and had opted out but would no doubt show up at the World Youth Championships later this year.

Darrel Elgin Yap and Dawson Tan Soon Wei seeded 17th and 19th respectively from 25 participants.

Ng Jen Sheng seeded 11th from 25 participants.

Lye Lik Zang seeded 6th from 30 participants.

Wong Zi Yue seeded 13th from 32 participants.

Rosamund Koo Wei Sin seeded 13th from 23 participants.

Chua Kia Tien seeded 8th from 25 participants.

Agnes Chong Ka Ni seeded 13th from 28 participants.

I will be going too as an arbiter and will probably cover the event for Chessdom if I find it possible to do so as I have already agreed to try and find time to assist some players the…

Malay Mail Online: Malaysian Chess Federation At A Turning Point? Doesn't Look Like It


Chess Asia Pacific

Dear Chess Friends,

The Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific is pleased to announce the relaunch of our website - - as a showcase for chess in the Asia Pacific and welcome your news and contributions.

I will be the Editor in Chief/Webmaster and can be contacted at as well as and look forward to working with all of you to further promote chess in our region.

We hope that together we can bring attention to the many efforts of local organisers that may not receive the coverage and recognition they deserve, and through this website we wish to complement the work done by the various official websites as well as those news services provided by the popular commercial websites.

Best Regards


Where Next?

Since following what I want to do in chess, I have been at the Bangkok Open in April, then returned to Pattaya in May for the World Schools Championships, and in June I had an amazing twenty days at back to back Asian Schools Championships and ASEAN+ Age Group Championships in Singapore.
Then somewhat on impulse, I went to the Asian Dragons Invitational from 11-18 July in Taipei but which was really very nice indeed.
I have been thinking where to go next...

The Asian Cities Championships in Sri Lanka (where I have had only bad experiences?) from 21-28 July was never on my list but for sure I will be in Suwon, Korea for the Asian Youth Championships from 3-11 August and have planned to stay on after in Seoul till 22 August.
How about Al Ain for the Asian Continental Championships from 1-13 August? Well I have been there and anyway for some reason the dates clash with Korea.
Now the possibility of dropping in on my friends in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for the World Youth U-16 Olympiad from …

9th Asian Dragons Invitational 2015 Report on Chessdom


Malay Mail Online: Learning From The Success Of Chess In Taiwan


The Wonderful Taipei MRT System

One of the things that I always like when visiting in a major city is a great transportation system and that is usually achieved with a combination of well designed system of trains and buses (trams can be optional!) supported by shuttle services.
Taipei is clearly at a leader with a superb network which makes 85 percent of the city no more than 15 minutes from any stop and I have always found it extremely easy to use (as well as very cheap) to get around to all tourist attractions.  

Look at the size of a typical station and that is only one platform!

There a numerous access points which moves commuters swiftly along.

The signages are both highly visible and clear.

Not to mention enormous carriages with trains that run at very regular intervals. 

Yonex Chinese Taipei Open at Taipei Arena

Lots is happening in Taipei and besides the Asian Dragons Invitational, the Yonex Chinese Taipei Badminton Open Championship has started and what better to do then drop by the start to support our representatives!

Sharp eyed readers might understand who exactly we have come to cheer on...

Well, if you did not spot our one leading sportsman giving his young Korean opponent a master class, the following familiar shots of our only real Olympic Gold hopeful should leave absolutely no doubt!

In Taipei And At The Asian Dragons Invitational

The Asian Dragons Invitational is being held in Taipei from 11-18 July 2015 and there are two Malaysians taking part i.e. Chan Kim Yew who is seeded sixth from the twenty one participants in the Open section and Goh Jie Yi.

While the seven first time Thais (which represent one third of the entries) managed not to have a single first round encounter amongst themselves, the two Malaysians were somehow paired together and after a long hard fought battle, had to settle for a draw.

It has been some time since I have been to Taiwan and so took the opportunity to visit an event that I have had a long association with, having been Chief Arbiter in 2008 and 2009 (after it first took place in 2007 in Kaohsiung) and helping convince them to move permanently to Taipei in 2009,

Although the Asian Dragons has always been a friendly competition for players from Macau, Hong Kong, South Korea, and hosts Chinese Taipei (with Singapore also a regular presence), in recent years Japan has also been repre…

The HPE Program is Taking Shape

I have been surprised by the enormous response for my Young Talent HPE (High Performance Excellence) Program - not only in KL but also Penang, of course Singapore too, and a few other countries I rather not mention at this point for fear I might be already committing to take on more than I can handle!

The feedback has however been invaluable and accordingly I have decided that I need to create three offerings within the HPE program framework:

1. My core offering of a series of workshops over 30 sessions designed around and leveraging major national and international events remains (see where the delivery and level of content will of course depend on the age, experience and strength of participants.

2. Concurrently with this core offering, I will now also be doing regular HPE Master Classes which some that have signed up for the HPE Workshops have asked for as they also want more regular immersive training sessions, …

Malay Mail Online: The Curious Case Of Koneru Humpy And The All India Chess Federation


ASEAN Chess Website


Malay Mail Online: A Championship Or Just Another Big Tournament?