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Friday, July 3, 1998

Ilyumzhinov in murder poser

By Quah Seng Sun

LAST week, I mentioned a news report from Moscow which quoted Kalmyk Republic and World Chess Federation president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as saying he would be contesting the Russian presidency.

A few days later, there was another news item from Moscow which reported that three people had been detained in Elista, Kalmyk's capital city, in connection with the murder of the editor of Kalmyk's only opposition newspaper.

Larisa Yudina, editor of the Soviet Kalmykia Today newspaper, was found dead on June 8 with multiple knife wounds and a fractured skull. Two of the three detained later confessed to the killing; one was a former aide of Ilyumzhinov while the other was Ilyumzhinov's envoy to a nearby region.

By any standard, murder is alarming enough but when the crime can be linked to a man who is the leader of an international sports organisation, it becomes a very delicate point. Moreover, these reports were making the rounds on the Internet and many people were drawing negative conclusions from them.

It was not surprising that the World Chess Federation (FIDE) soon felt it necessary to comment on these reports. In a statement released on June 24, FIDE executive director Emmanuel Omuku drew attention to the reports, calling them rumours.

According to him, FIDE was in touch with the office of the President of Kalmykia and had access to statements by the relevant officials of both the Kalmyk Republic and the Russian Federation. He said the Russian Interior Ministry had stated that there was no political motive behind this murder.

Omuku said Ilyumzhinov had consistently maintained the need to isolate FIDE from his other activities as a political leader in Russia.

Nevertheless, whether the murder had anything to do with Ilyumzhinov's bid for the Russian presidency or not, FIDE was forced to issue the statement because certain members of the chess fraternity had been circulating and adding to these rumours.


Klang Valley events

The two-day national age-group chess championship starts tomorrow at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

There are five categories in this event: under-10, under-12, under-14, under-16, under-18. There will be seven rounds in each category and a time control of one hour per player for each game.

Entry fee is RM10 per player. Although there will be no cash prizes, the winners of the various age-groups stand to be considered for selection to the world age-group championships in Oporesa del Mar Castellon, Spain, this October.

Those interested in playing should be at the foyer of the PWTC by 8am tomorrow. Unless a player has registered earlier for the championship, those registering at the PWTC tomorrow will only be accepted on a first-come basis. For more details, contact Malaysian Chess Federation secretary Hamid Majid (03-421 9576).

This coming Monday, the first leg of the third Royal Selangor under-15 chess grand prix will be held at Sunway College in Petaling Jaya.

The grand prix consists of four legs. According to the Chess Association of Selangor (CAS) calendar, the second leg will be held on July 12, the third leg on July 19 and the final leg on July 25 and 26. Each of the legs will be played over six rounds, with a time control of 30 minutes per game for each player.

Game points won by players in each of these legs will be accumulated and the results of a player's best three legs will be used to determine the overall winner of the grand prix. The top four winners will each receive discount vouchers that can be used to buy a digital chess clock from CAS. The two top winners will also be given free participation in a chess workshop conducted by CAS and free entry to a CAS chess camp in November. Entry fees for each leg are RM10 for junior members of CAS, and RM20 for non-members. For more information, contact Mrs Jackie Wong (03-703 8237) or Lim Tse Pin (03-733 0927).

Bayview League

After a break of one week, the Penang Bayview Chess League resumes this Sunday, beginning 10am at The City Bayview Hotel's revolving restaurant.

The chess league is a round-robin event and the standings in the Premier Division after three rounds are: Penang Free School A (10 1/2 points); Chung Ling High School A (9); Old Frees Association A (9); Chung Ling Old Boys Association (8 1/2); MSSPP Juniors (5 1/2); Methodist Boys School (4 1/2); A Pessca (4 1/2); Universiti Sains Malaysia (3); Old Frees Association B (2 1/2); Chung Ling High School B (2 1/2).

Division One: Penang Free School B (11 1/2); St Xavier's Institution A (10); Chung Ling High School C (9 1/2); Penang Development Corporation (7); Chung Ling High School D (5); Penang Chess Association Novices (4 1/2); Penang Free School C (4); Hewlett-Packard (3 1/2); Chung Hwa Confucian A (3); Union High School (2).

Division Two: MSSPP Girls (11); Police (9); Chung Hwa Confucian B (7 1/2); St Xavier's Institution B (7 1/2); Penang Free School D (7 1/2); Chung Ling High School E (6); Methodist Boys School B (5); Dynacraft (3); Penang Chinese Girls High School (2); Westlands Secondary School (1 1/2).

The results of the Bayview Chess League can also be viewed at the PCA homepage (

Tan Chin Nam tourney winners

UKRAINIAN grandmaster Alexander Onischuk won the fourth Tan Chin Nam grandmaster tournament that took place in Beijing from June 8 to 18.

This Category 12 event had a prize fund of US$16,000 and Onischuk took the first prize of US$5,000 with a score of 7 1/2 points from 11 games.

China's international master Zhang Zhong and Russian grandmaster Sergei Tiviakov were half a point behind Onischuk, and they each won US$2,950. It was a satisfying result for Zhang who also obtained a GM norm.

Tying from the fourth to sixth places with 6 1/2 points each were Xie Jun, Estonian grandmaster Jaan Ehlvest and Spanish grandmaster Jorge Magem Badals. China's grandmaster Ye Jiangchuan scored six points while Kudrin, an American grandmaster, obtained five points.

Lin had 4 1/2 points, and below him were international master Tong Yuanming and woman grandmaster Xhu Chen with 3 1/2 points each. Chinese international master Liang Chong had 2 1/2 points.

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