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Friday, May 22, 1998

Gearing up for local tournaments

By Quah Seng Sun

THERE are a number of local chess events organised by various chess organisations around the country during the next one month or so.

For starters, the Malaysian Chess Federation will organise the national age-group championship at the Majlis Perbandaran Shah Alam building from June 5 to 7.

According to the Federation's secretary, Hamid Majid, this year's championship will be held on a smaller scale because sponsorship has not been forthcoming. As a result, there will not be any cash prizes for the winners. Instead, the various age-group winners will be given medals.

Hamid also said that the winners will be selected to play in the world age-group championship later in the year.

The Federation has also slotted in the annual Malaysia-Singapore match on June 27 and 28. This match will be played at the Putra World Trade Centre, and the visitors housed at the Stamford Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Labour Day team tournament in Kuala Lumpur has been postponed indefinitely.

Bera Chess Open

In Pahang, The Persatuan Catur Daerah Bera will organise a three-day open chess tournament starting today at the Dewan Majlis Daerah Bera. This is a seven-round event with a time-control of 1 1/2 hours per player for each game.

The prize fund is quite attractive, with a RM700 first prize, a RM500 second prize and a RM400 third prize. There are seven other prizes ranging from RM300 to RM100. Entry fees are RM15 for members of the Persatuan Catur and RM50 for non-members.

As the first round will start at 2.30pm today, readers planning to take part should contact Zakaria Saleh ( 09-255 6103), Mohd Fadzal Hamid ( 09-255 7823) or Ghazali Mamat ( 09-255 5370) immediately.

Accommodation is not provided for outstation players but, according to the organisers, there are a number of hotels nearby which offer reasonable room rates.

Royal Selangor Open

The Royal Selangor silver jubilee open chess tournament which is the highlight of the month-long silver jubilee activities of the Chess Association of Selangor will be played at the Sunway College in Subang Jaya from May 27 to 31.

Several top players from around the country are expected to play in this nine-round Swiss event. 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 are also awarded 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 during the closing ceremony.

Entry fees for the Royal Selangor silver jubilee open tournament are RM35 for Chess Association of Selangor members, RM50 for members of clubs that are affiliated to the CAS, and RM60 for other players. International masters and the visually handicapped players are given free entry to this tournament.

Readers are reminded that, apart from this event, the CAS's silver jubilee blitz tournament will be held tomorrow and on Sunday, and the Sakura Selangor junior girls tournament will be played on May 30 and 31.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact either Jackie Wong ( 03-703 8237) or Lim Tse Pin ( 03-733 0927) for more details or registration.

Eighth Penang Chess League

The Penang Chess Association's eighth Penang Bayview Chess League will start on June 7 at the City Bayview Hotel. The hotel, which donated a 45cm pewter challenge trophy worth RM6,000 in 1993, will sponsor the use of its premises for the championship which will be played on Sundays until mid-August.

Only teams legitimately representing the public and private sectors, institutions of learning and registered associations, societies and clubs are allowed to play in the league. A guest player may be included in each team, but the other players must strictly be employees, students or members of the organisation they represent.

In the past, the organisers recognised the fact that there were several players who were interested in playing in the league but could not do so because they were not accepted as guest players on any of the teams. For this year's event, the organisers are requesting that these players contact the Penang Chess Association immediately. If the response is encouraging enough, the association will consider grouping them together to play under its banner.

Provision has been made for about 24 teams to take part, and each team is allowed up to eight players. However, only four players from each team will play in every round.

This year's event will again be split into three divisions. The third division will comprise teams of mainly novice players, while the first and second divisions will be made up of the teams that have been taking part regularly in previous chess leagues.

Entry fees are RM150 per team and cash prizes are guaranteed for the top teams in each of the three divisions. Closing date for entries is May 30, and a managers' meeting will take place at the hotel on June 3 at 8pm.

For more details, contact Goh Yoon Wah ( 04-644 5687), Ooi Kiem Boo ( 04-826 3764) or Eoh Hook Kim ( 04-826 0196) in the evenings.

Meanwhile, the Penang Chess Association will hold its annual general meeting on May 31 at the Bayan Baru Resident's Association clubhouse. The 6pm meeting be preceded by a blitz tournament one hour earlier.

Members who wish to play in the blitz event are required to be at the clubhouse by 4.30pm. There will be dinner for the members after the meeting.

Batu Gajah events

There will be two tournaments this Sunday at SK Toh Indera Wangsa Ahmad in Batu Gajah, Perak. The first is the Batu Gajah open tournament and the second, the Batu Gajah under-12 closed tournament.

Both are six-round events. Registration for the tournaments will be from 8am and the first round is expected to start at 9.10am. For details, call Azmi Ishak ( 05-365 1848) or W.K. Wong ( 05-366 1692).

use this as separate article:

Kalmyk tournament winding down

THE strong knock-out tournament in Elista, in the Russian republic of Kalmykia, which I wrote about last week, has reached the semi-final stage. Of the original 32 players in the field, only four are left.

In the first of the two semi-final encounters, Evgeny Bareev (of Russia) will play the Ukraine's Vassily Ivanchuk. The second semi-final match is between Alexander Khalifman and Alexei Dreev, both Russians. So far, their first games have ended drawn.

Earlier, in the quarter-final stage of the knock-out event, Ivanchuk had triumphed easily over Armenia's Rafael Vaganian. Bareev, Khalifman and Dreev had taken slightly longer to dispose of their respective opponents, Konstantin Sakeav, Sergei Tiviakov and Valery Salov.

The knock-out event began in Elista, the Kalmyk capital, on May 6. At stake is a US$100,000 prize fund raised by the Kalmyk president, Kirsan ljumzhinov, who is also the president of the World Chess Federation.

The official tournament web site is located at When I visited the site, what struck me was that the official flag of the Kalmyk Republic is an open lotus flower. Furthermore, the President's Cup is adorned with an etched picture of the Buddha all this from a land that was formerly Communist, under the old Soviet Union's regime!

But it seems that there is good reason for these symbols: the people of Kalmykia are predominantly Buddhists. The republic was settled by Chinese migrants in the 17th century who managed to retain their beliefs and culture even under Communist rule.

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