Friday, July 16, 1999


Aye to Olympic recognition

By Quah Seng Sun

THERE are several developments on the international chess front in recent weeks, all involving the World Chess Federation (Fide), but I will limit myself to commenting on the two most interesting ones.

Russias Gary Kasparov is the No.1 chessman while compatriot Anatoly Karpov (right) is at No.7.

The first concerns a significant and welcome development for chess. In a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Seoul last month, Fide has finally been accepted as one of the IOC's International Sports Federations (IF) under Rule 29 of the Olympic Charter.

What this means is that chess is now recognised as a sport by the IOC.

Each of the IFs is responsible for the integrity of its own sport on the international level. These organisations establish the playing and eligibility rules, set the schedule of events and select the referees, judges and other officials to run their respective sports at the Olympic Games or other international competitions. With Fide included, there are 35 International Olympic Sports Federations and 28 International Recognised Federations.

The recognition by the IOC means that national chess federations around the globe can now apply to be full-fledged members of their respective national Olympic councils.

To my knowledge, the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) has never been a member of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM). The MCF may have been accorded observer status in the past, but this status counts for nothing. A check with the OCM reveals that there are presently 44 national sports associations affiliated to it, with triathlon being the latest to be accepted into the OCM fold.

So far, there is no indication how long it will take the MCF to react to this development. Perhaps for the federation, the implication of this news has yet to be fully absorbed. However, with the OCM set to hold its 114th council meeting on July 28, this may seem a good time for the MCF to prepare the necessary membership application to the OCM.

The sooner the MCF becomes an OCM member, the better it will be for the chess movement in the country. For one, the state chess associations can now promote the game as a recognised Olympic sport.

The other chess news involves the release of Fide's July international rating list. Fide issues two editions of its rating list annually - in January and July - and they are keenly awaited by the worldwide chess community.

Another Russian, Vladimir Kramnik, is third on the Fide biannual rating list while Indias Viswanathan Anand is second.

After all the controversy surrounding the delayed release of the January list, Fide has made amends by ensuring that its July list came out on time. This list, in Zip format, can be downloaded from the new Fide homepage at

This list is a huge collection of 16,384 names of chess players worldwide who have a rating. Nobody knows for sure how many chess players there are in the world but it is estimated that these names represent only a very small fraction of them. These are the players who are lucky or good enough to have fared reasonably well in an international tournament to be accepted by Fide for the purpose of ratings.

Of course, at the top of the heap is Gary Kasparov (Russia) whose rating surged 29 points to 2,841 during the past six months. Viswanathan Anand (India) dropped 10 points to 2,771 but he still retains second spot in the overall list.

The world's current best 10 players and their rating points are as follows:

1. Gary Kasparov (Russia) - 2,841
2. Viswanathan Anand (India) - 2,771
3. Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) - 2,760
4. Alexander Morozevich (Russia) - 2,751
5. Alexei Shirov (Spain) - 2,722
6. Boris Gelfand (Israel) - 2,713
7. Anatoly Karpov (Russia) - 2,709
8. Michael Adams (England) - 2,705
9. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) - 2,702
10. Peter Leko (Hungary) - 2,699

There are 62 Malaysian names on the Fide rating list but I am again very concerned that Fide has not resolved the problem of split personalities. Wong Zi-Jing and Ng Tze Han are still listed twice and thrice respectively, but now I find that even Deon Moh is affected. This Ipoh schoolboy is mentioned twice in the latest Fide list.

Apart from these discrepancies, I can now confirm that Ahmad Maliki and Mohd Jamil Yahaya are officially mentioned on the Fide rating list. Their names were missing from the official January list although I later discovered their names elsewhere.

Only four Malaysian players were active internationally since the January rating list appeared. Lim Chuin Hoong played two rateable games but there is no change to his rating which remains at 2,226; Mas Hafizulhelmi has been the most active with 35 rated games and his rating has gone up to 2,426; Deon Moh played nine rated games and he has a rating of 2,035; and Wong Zi-Jing, having played 11 rated games, is now rated at 2,288.

What I understand from the MCF is that it is still following up with Fide on the discrepancies. Hopefully, by January next year we shall see a correct list where the Malaysians are concerned. By the way, I have posted the list of Malaysian rated players on my website and readers with Internet access can download it from

Bayview results

AT THE halfway stage of the ninth Bayview Chess League, Chung Ling High School "A" has opened a significant lead over its nearest rival, Penang Free School "A", in the Premier Division. In the fifth round a fortnight ago, CLHS "A" scored a 4-0 win over St Xavier's Institution while PFS "A" could only draw 2-2 with the Chung Ling Old Boys' Association.

CLHS "A" now has 16.5 points, followed by PFS "A" with 13.5 points. CLOBA is behind them with 11 points, the Old Frees' Association 10.5 points, Pessca seven points, PFS "B" 6.5 points, CLHS "B" and International College six points each, and St Xavier's Institution three points.

In Division One, PFS "C" won 4-0 against the Penang Development Corporation to maintain its lead. The team now has 16 points, which is two points more than CLHS "D" which beat the MSSPP Girls 3-1. CLHS "C" inflicted a 4-0 score on PFS "D" to keep within a point of its "D" team.

Dell "A" has 12 points, Hitachi 11 points, Penang Chess Association Novices 10.5 points, Penang Development Corporation 9.5 points, MSSPP Girls eight points, Hewlett-Packard three points and PFS "D" two points.

Meanwhile, in Division Two, CLHS "E" had its lead trimmed after managing only a 2-2 draw with the MSSPP Juniors. CLHS "E" now has 13 points, one more than the Penang Chess Association Ladies who scored a triumphant 4-0 win over PFS "F".

Trailing them are Chung Hwa Confucian School and Penang Chinese Girls' High School with 9.5 points each, Dell "B" and the MSSPP Juniors with nine points each, Union High School 8.5 points, PFS "E" five points and PFS "F" one point.

The sixth round of the chess league will be played this Sunday at the Sri Perak Room on Level Four of the City Bayview Hotel's new wing. The hotel is sponsoring the use of its premises for the weekly games. The Penang Chess Association homepages at and are updated weekly detailing the results.

Up Next

Malaysia-Singapore match

THIS year the annual Malaysia-Singapore match will be organised by the Singapore Chess Federation on July 31 and Aug 1. The two-round match will be contested over 40 boards. While the games between the six men and four women and two veteran players in each side will be close, the final outcome is expected to hinge on the performances of the boys and girls in the under-20, under-18, under-16, under-14, under-12 and under-10 age-group sections.

In last year's match, organised by the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysians won 20-14 in the first round and 24.5-9.5 in the second round. The match was played over 34 boards.


Merdeka team championship

THE MCF will organise the 18th Merdeka team championship at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 29 to 31. Like in previous years, the championship will be played over seven rounds with cash prizes for the top teams. Entry fees are RM150 for the state and open sections, and RM80 for the youth section. More details will follow in a fortnight.


Seremban Parade challenge

THE four-day Seremban Parade Chess Challenge, jointly organised by the MCF and Endah Parade, starts this weekend in Seremban.

On Saturday, the 11-round Seremban Parade blitz tournament begins at 2.30pm. The registration of players will start one hour earlier. There will be five cash prizes with the champion receiving RM150 and a trophy. Entry fee is RM10.

On Sunday, the six-round Seremban Parade age-group tournament for under-12 and under-16 players will start at 9am. There are three cash prizes for each age group with the winners of the two categories each receiving RM100 and a trophy. Entry fee is RM10.

On July 24, the Seremban Parade junior (under-20) open tournament will start at 9am. The winner will receive RM100 and a trophy. There are two other main cash prizes and also special prizes for the best girl, under-12, under-14 and under-16 players. Entry fee is RM10.

The Chess Challenge concludes on July 25 with the Seremban Parade open tournament. The winner will receive RM200 and a trophy. The second prize is RM150 and a trophy, the third prize RM100 and a trophy, the fourth RM80, the fifth RM60, and the sixth to 10th prizes RM50 each.

For registration or more information, call Jessie or Jamuna at 06-764 8282 or fax: 06-761 9177.

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

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