Friday, December 03, 1999



Good turnout for Asian chess challenge

By Quah Seng Sun

LAST October's fourth Grand Asian Chess Challenge was a considerable success for the Universiti Malaya's Second Residential College; the event took place at the university's Engineering Faculty and the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

The tournament attracted some 138 players from 12 universities in Asia, and among them were numerous titled and rated players. It was conducted as an individual Swiss event and the accumulated results of the best four players from the same university, inclusive of a woman player, were used to compute team results.

The winner of the tournament was the Mongolian State Pedagogical University which accummulated 29.5 points from nine rounds. The points came from Duurenba Erkhembayar who won the men's Swiss event with 7.5 points, WFM Tuvshintugs Battsetseg who scored 8.5 points in the women's event, Grand Master Dashzeveg Sharavdorj with seven points and FM Odondoo Ganbold with 6.5 points.

The University of Gunadarma (Indonesia) was second in the tournament with their points coming from IM Liu Dede and Eko Supriyono (both seven points), Majella Rudijanto (six points) and WIM Upi Darmayana Tamin (eight points).

Other standings in the tournament: Rizal Technological University (Philippines) 27 points; University of Khorassan (Iran) 23.5 points; Cyberjaya Multimedia University "A" 23 points; Hue University (Vietnam) 22.5 points; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia 22 points; University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka) 21.5 points; Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE), University of Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Malacca Multimedia University "A" 20 points each; Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman 19 points; Universiti Malaya "A," Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Sabah Malaysia 18 points each; Parayangan Catholic University (Indonesia) 17 points; Universiti Utara Malaysia "B" 16.5 points; Cyberjaya Multimedia University "B" 16 points; Universiti Malaya "B" 15.5 points; Kolej Yayasan Mara Kuantan and Malacca Multimedia University "B" 13.5 points each; Universiti Utara Malaysia "A" 11.5 points; and Universiti Brunei Darussalam 10.5 points.

Impressive Juniors

Also in October, the Royal Selangor Club organised a junior chess tournament for 97 children at its new sports annexe in Bukit Kiara, Selangor.

The six-round tournament featured separate events for children in the under-8, under-10 and under-12 age categories.

There were 42 players in the under-12 category and the winner was Wong Zi-chuang who scored 5.5 points. In second place was Chan Litt Binn with five points, while Eric Ng Keng Gee, Low Chung Deng and Thaw CheeHou--all with 4.5 points each--were joint third to fifth. The best girl player was Lim Huey Jer who scored four points.

Litt Binn was the winner of this year's national under-10 age-group championship at the PWTC while Eric was the winner of the same event a year ago. They are still 10-year-olds, so it was a great credit to them that they chose to play in the under-12 category. Zi-chuang was the national under-10 champion in 1997.

The under-10 category attracted 28 players and the winner, Mo Kim Hung, scored five points. The second prize went to Wong Sing Kiat and the third prize to Ooi Ching Chung, both having obtained 4.5 points. Chan Wei Qi, with four points, was the best girl player.

In the under-8 category, the three players who took the top prizes had similar scores of five points each. Chong Geng Cheng was declared the overall winner, followed by Teh Qing Yang and Arshant Nair. The best girl in the event was Harwanth Kaur who scored four points. There were 27 players in this category.

The two youngest players were both five years old. Brian Homi Mehta, who scored three wins against his older opponents, learned to play chess solely by following the simple diagrammed instructions that came with a chess set his father had bought him. The other five-year-old, Teh Kai Wen, was largely outplayed in the competition but she was able to correct her older opponents who had wrongly recorded their moves.

According to RSC chess convenor Dr Wahid Karim, 28 of the 97 participants were girls. Although none of them finished within the top three in any category, they scored many wins against the boys. The top girls in the three categories all scored four points each, which he considered very encouraging as the tournament had attracted many current and former national age-group winners.

Penang Grand Prix

The fourth and final leg of the Penang Chess Association's Penang Grand Prix chess circuit will be played at the Bukit Mertajam Country Club on Dec 12 starting at 8am.

The main prizes range from RM200 for the winner to RM30 for the eighth place. In addition, consolation prizes will be given to the best under-15 boy and girl.

To encourage more participation by players from the island, the PCA is arranging for a bus to take them to the tournament venue.

Readers interested in playing should contact Goh Yoon Wah

(04-644-5687, evenings) or Ooi Kiem Boo (04-657-4596, office hours).



I WISH to comment on your article in Section 2 (Sunk in Oblivion, Oct 22) on the selection of players who participated in the Asian team championship in China. I wonder why, in the first place, Agus Salim's name was chosen by the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) when it was clear that he is not a Malaysian citizen. In fact, I remember reading that Agus Salim had even played in last year's national closed championship.

I am quite surprised that nobody was interested in Agus' status. I should think that this tournament, being the top one which chooses players to represent Malaysia, would be exclusively for Malaysians only. The MCF should be more careful about whom they allow to play in this tournament. I hope that it will not be repeated.

via e-mail

THANK you, Anon2342, for your e-mail. Normally, I do not respond to letters or e-mail in which the writer has not identified him/herself adequately--but you have brought up a point which is too pertinent to ignore, especially with this year's national closed championship just round the corner.

Yes, I do agree with you that the MCF must be more careful about the people they allow to participate in our country's top tournaments. But, maybe, the inclusion of Agus' name in last year's national closed championship was a plain oversight.

What I do know is that the MCF's rules are silent on a player's

eligibility. The state chess associations are allowed to send four representatives to the national closed championship but the selection of the representatives is left entirely to the associations. Traditionally, the MCF accepts all names in good faith.

Perhaps the MCF should lay down clear guidelines for the state associations on whom they can or cannot select for national events like the national closed championship or the state section of the Merdeka team championship. It goes without saying that the MCF should screen their own tournaments to ensure that their own guidelines are followed.

I, for one, would like to see only local participation in these two national events. We already have such a wealth of talent at the grassroots level. Therefore, we have to be possessive of these two titles--our national individual and team champions--and we should be proud of the Malaysians who have won them. It will be awkward if a non-Malaysian were to win the national closed championship or be part of the winning state team in the Merdeka chess championship.

In defence of Agus, maybe I should say that there is nothing to prevent him from playing in the many open tournaments in the country. In fact, he is already a very familiar face. A popular figure with many chess friends in this country, Agus is also a strong player and organisers readily accept him into local events.



National Closed Championship

The Malaysian Chess Federation will organise this year's national closed chess championship at the Putra World Trade Centre from Dec 16 to 20. The men's section will be a nine-round Fide-rateable event while the women's section will most probably be played over seven rounds.

MCF-affiliated chess associations can each send a maximum of four official representatives for the men's section and two players for the women's section. With eight days left before the closing date, readers interested in being selected should contact their respective chess associations as soon as possible.

The persons to contact are Jackie Wong, Selangor ( 03-703 8237); Ooi Kiem Boo, Penang ( 04-657 4596); Dr Yee Meng Khoon, Perak ( 05-546 4530); Stephen Cheong, Johor ( 07-333 9636); Muhammad Arshad, Terengganu ( 018-849 0497); Wan Abdullah, Pahang ( 010-989 4924); Norlaili, Perlis ( 06-976 0006); Eugene Kong, Malacca ( 06-232 1018); Charles Chan, Negeri Sembilan ( 06-631 7971); Taulani, Sabah ( 088-788 843); Lim Kian Hwa, Sarawak ( 082-427 772), Ibrahim Yaacob, Kuala Lumpur ( 03-636 3082) and Nizam, Kelantan ( 09-790 9870).

The entry forms for the championship can be downloaded from my website at ( For more information, contact Hamid Majid at 03-4021 9576 or e-mail (




Quah Seng Sun's chess articles are archived at ( or ( Readers can write to him at:

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