Friday, May 1, 1998
Selangor's silver jubilee celebration
By Quah Seng Sun
TODAY signals the start of the month-long silver jubilee activities of the Chess Association Of Selangor, one of the oldest and most active chess associations in the country.
I remember attending the inaugural general meeting of the CAS way back in 1974. My name should be there as a founder member of the association, although, admittedly, my membership lapsed a long time ago after I returned to Penang.
There was a big group of chess enthusiasts gathered at the La Salle Secondary School in Petaling Jaya, and a very colourful and vocal figure, K.C. Lee, was elected as the association's first president. J.J. Singam, if I remember correctly, was the first secretary of the CAS.
Although there were already some chess activities in Kuala Lumpur in those days, particularly the weekly games sessions at the Royal Selangor Club, every chess player in the area looked forward to the CAS' first chess tournament.
This was the Selangor open chess tournament, which was held at the Royal Selangor Club. At that time I was a student in Petaling Jaya, fully dependent on public transportation, but I made it a point to be at the RSC to take part in this tournament. I have stories to tell of my chess adventures in Selangor, but they are better left to another occasion.
Coming back to the CAS silver jubilee, the first item on their calendar is the two-day 12th Royal Selangor juniors open tournament, for the under-10, under-14 and under-18 age groups, which begins today at Sunway College in Subang Jaya.
Malaysian Chess Federation president Datuk Sabbaruddin Chik will launch the month-long CAS chess festival at 10am today.
The two-day event this weekend is actually only the first half of the Royal Selangor juniors open tournament. The second half of this tournament, which caters for the under-12, under-16 and under-20 age categories, is scheduled for May 16 and 17 at the same venue.
Next week, from May 9 to 11, an inter-team tournament for institutions of higher learning in the Klang Valley will be organised, and on May 30 and 31, the Sakura Selangor junior girls tournament will be held. Both events will be held at Sunway College.
If these events seem to convey the impression that the CAS is giving a lot of emphasis to youth, rest assured that the association has also planned several tournaments for the adult chess players in the community.
For starters, there will be a silver jubilee allegro tournament this Sunday, and on May 23 and 24, the CAS silver jubilee blitz tournament will be held. The venue for both these events is yet to be finalised. Those interested can contact CAS secretary Jackie Wong (03-703 8237) or Lim Tse Pin (03-733 0927).
The expected highlight of the month-long chess festival is, of course, the Royal Selangor silver jubilee open chess tournament. This tournament, a nine-round Swiss event, is scheduled to start from May 27 to 31 at Sunway College.
There will be 20 cash prizes, including a first prize of RM1,500, a second prize of RM1,000 and a third prize of RM700.
The minor prizes range from RM500 for the fourth-placed winner to RM60 each for those who finish 11th to 20th in the tournament. Trophies will also be given to the top three winners.
In addition, there are cash prizes of RM50 each for the best woman and the best under-16 players if they score at least 50% in the tournament.
Those who do not qualify for any of the cash prizes will be eligible to take part in five lucky draws at the closing ceremony.
Entry fees for the Royal Selangor silver jubilee open tournament are RM35 for CAS members, RM50 for members of clubs that are affiliated to the CAS, and RM60 for other players.
International masters and visually-handicapped players are given free entry to this tournament.
The main partners who are making this silver jubilee chess festival possible for the CAS are Royal Selangor (which has been sponsoring chess events in Selangor for the past 16 years), Sakura Cafe And Cuisine (which sponsors the junior girls' tournament annually) and Sunway College (which is providing the venue for most of the events this month).
IIUM tournament results
This event was won by the Royal Selangor Club team which comprised Jimmy Liew, Wong Zi Jing, Ng Ee Vern and Mak Weng Yee.
Second was the Keramat Wangsa team in which Kamal Ariffin Wahiduddin, Hashim Jusoh, Mohd Zamri Mohd Sharif and Annuar Idhuan Yusoff played; and third in the tournament was the Muhibbah team which consisted of Agus Salim, Julian Navaratnam, Ismail Ahmad, Fikrul Saifuddin and Chay Joon Hong.
Also participating in this event was the Beirut team, comprising Ahmed Najjar, Antoine Kassis, Nassim Sakr, Maan Ftouni, Mouhamad Ben Archad and Elias Khairallah.
Initially, I had expected this team to be placed among the top three, but it failed to do so. The team eventually finished fifth in the standings.
The first inkling that the situation was not going well for the Beirut team was when I suddenly found Kassis and Ftouni back at the Awana late on the evening of May 17.
The previous day, MCF secretary Hamid Majid had arranged to send off the Beirut team but like a bad penny, the two Beirut players suddenly turned up at the Awana without any plans to return to Kuala Lumpur.
It seemed like a bad dream, but Hamid was forced to put them up for the night and made hasty arrangements to send them to Wenworth Hotel the next morning.
If Hamid and I had thought that this would be the end of the matter, imagine our surprise again when we saw Ftouni at the Awana on the morning of May 19, chatting to one of the Uzbekistan players!
Anyway, the six board prizes at the IIUM team tournament were awarded to Aziz Jaafar, Law Zhe Kang, Ng Ee Vern, Mak Weng Yee, Abdul Aziz Shoukor and Mohd Azizul Mat Daud.
The Best Junior prize was won by Wong Zi Jing, and the Best Woman prize went to Effalini Mohd Farid.
Amcorp blitz tournament
The winner of the knock-out event was China's Zhang Pengxiang who won RM500. Second was Zaw Win Lay of Myanmar, who won RM300.
The winners of the RM200 prizes were Wang Rui of China and Aung Myo Hlaing of Myanmar.
The Myanmar players dominated the field of 58 players when Myint Han and Naing Lim Aung both won RM100 each, while Maung Maung Lwin and Zaw Oo each took back RM50.
Local players Darren Yong and Law Zhe Kang were the other winners of RM100 each.