Sunday, 25 October 2015

Malaysians at the World Youth Chess Championships in Greece

Once again we are being represented by many of the usual suspects - a large number almost travelling as "a gang" now - and some have even brought their trainers along.

So many have played in the many other world, continental and regional youth events held earlier this year (don't they need to go to school?) and were almost all participating too in the recently concluded Malaysian Chess Festival while at least one I know of from Penang has played in a couple of International Opens.

Based on initial ranking and earlier results not too much can be expected but then again given the large number of pay your own way participants typical of this event, the field will greatly vary in strength.

As always, we will have a chance to create some upsets at the lower age group categories and who knows what the last round pairings could throw up?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

It's Amazing for Chess in Thailand

On the spur of the moment - and at very short notice - I decided to accept an invitation to go to Bangkok and visit a small tournament... except that it wasn't in Bangkok and it was a FIDE Rated Rapid tournament.

Being picked up at the airport and then driving for four hours two provinces away to Nakhon Sawan was not what I was expecting (as pleasant as the company and journey was!) and along the way I realised I was going to have the privilege and honour of attending the inaugural Thailand Open Rapid Chess Championship.

My report for Chessdom - do see: - mostly says it all (I was impressed) but in case you don't wishy to click on the link and read on, let me share this photo of the playing hall above.

Really superb conditions for the players! The media was first rate too with games video taped and displayed on screens. Hospitality? It's Thailand! So of course there were analysis and rest areas, official hospitality services and all day long operating refreshment stands.

And just look at this! Kittiratt Na-Ranong was just over a year ago Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister but as President of the Thailand Chess Association he is not just present but fully engaged at every event they organise and here is just one example where he sits down with parents and not only gives personal encouragement and shares the benefits of the game but he taught them the moves and soon after got a parents competition going!

It was really a pleasure to be part of all this! (Of course the great Thai food and my many friends there certainly helped as did the blue sky's and fresh air!)