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Friday, March 26, 1999


Double trouble

By Quah Seng Sun

Since my last article about the Malaysian players on the Fide rating list, I have uncovered additional information that seems to support my contention that the World Chess Federation is unable to administer its rating system efficiently.

I mentioned that when organisers do not pay much attention to the players' identification numbers, a lot of problems can arise. A player can sometimes find himself with more than one identification number and I cited two such cases among the Malaysian players on the list of Fide, the international chess governing body.

The first was Wong Zi Jing whose two identification tags gave different readings. As "Wong, Zi-Jing", he was credited with a rating of 2220 but as "Zi-Jing, Wong", his rating was 2304. The second case was Ng Tze Han. As "Ng, Tze-Han", he has a 2140 rating but as "Han, Ng Tze", his rating was 2284!

You can easily verify these anomalies on the Internet from the Fide January 1999 ratings homepage at .

I came across another database of the Fide rating list which was compiled by a Jose Alberto Ferreira dos Santos. From this database, I extracted a list of 63 Malaysian names. In most parts, the ratings of the Malaysian players mirrored the official rating list but there were a number of surprises too!

I found that Wong and Ng had been made to suffer multiple personalities. Wong was given three identification numbers with two of them having the same name, "Zi-Jing, Wong."

But Ng's predicament was even worse for he was listed four times. And just like Wong, two of his identification numbers bore the same name, "Han, Ng Tze."

Ng confirmed that he had played in only three rated events last year - the Asian Cities team championship at Genting Highlands, the Chess Olympiad in Russia and the World Under-18 championship in Spain. How then was a fourth event attributed to him?

I think all of us need an explanation on how these anomalies had come about. The Malaysian Chess Federation should make it a point to press Fide for an answer for unless this is done, how can we be confident of the integrity of the Fide rating list?

In the meantime, there were pleasant surprises. On dos Santos' list are Malaysia's two other inactive players: Eric Cheah (2255) and Dr Wahid Karim (2210).

At last year's Asian Cities team event, those unrated players who had played all the nine games and achieved a minimum 50% score were supposed to have gotten a nominal rating. Apart from Ng, the only other Malaysian player who scored at least 50% was Ahmad Maliki, but his name was missing from the official Fide rating list. Nevertheless, he was listed and rated 2200 in the dos Santos database.

And finally, the biggest surprise was finding Mohamed Jamil Yahaya's name in dos Santos' database. Jamil's rating, which was given as 2061, was obtained from a minor tournament in Hungary last year. He had then accompanied his son, Hussein Jamil, to one of the many First Saturday tournaments in Budapest. This was the first time in Malaysian chess that a father and son had made it to the rating list together.

Penang tourneys

April will be a busy month in Penang and chess players can look forward to tournaments on three Sundays. The first tournament on April 4, which is the Penang Free School Open, will double as the first leg of the 1999 Penang Grand Prix chess circuit.

Because a high turnout of participants is anticipated for this event, the tournament will be played over eight rounds. The first two rounds will employ a 20-minute time control while the remaining rounds will use a 25-minute time control.

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 two under-10, under-12 and under-15 boys and girls.

The entry fee is RM5 if payment is made before April 3, and RM7 if paid on the day of play. For details, contact Eoh Thean Keat (tel: 04-826-0196) or Tan Khoon Yeow (tel: 04-890-3609).

The Union High School Open will be played on April 18. Incidentally, this event also doubles as the second leg of the Penang Grand Prix chess circuit. It will be played over eight rounds using a 25-minute time control, and the prizes will be similar to the first leg.

Entry fee is RM10 per player, and the closing date is Apr 10. For more information, contact Lim Chu Ai (tel: 04-226-7067) or Lim Swee Tin (tel: 04-262-9824).

On April 25, the sixth leg of the Bank Pertanian Malaysia-sponsored BPM national allegro chess circuit will be held. The venue is the Kolej Damansara Utama in Jalan Anson, Penang.

Each leg of the circuit consists of six rounds and has a total cash prize of RM1,500. The bulk of this prize fund goes to the main winners while RM500 is set aside for the minor winners. The winner of each leg will qualify for the Grand Prix final in Kuala Lumpur.

Entry fees are RM10 for members of the state chess associations organising their respective legs, Bank Pertanian employees, women, under-12 and veteran players, and RM15 for all other participants.

For the Penang leg of the national circuit, the closing date for entries will be April 23. However, the organisers are prepared to receive last-minute entries subject to availability of space and the payment of an additional RM10 as late penalty. For details, contact Ooi Kiem Boo (tel: 04-657-4596 during office hours) or Khor Bean Hwa (tel: 04-658-1662 in the evenings).

Up Next

Four-day fest in Klang

The Malaysian Chess Federation and the Klang Parade are jointly organising a four-day chess fest which will be held over two weekends in Klang. All games will be played in the concourse area of Klang Parade. Cash prizes totalling RM2,500, hampers, trophies and other prizes in kind will be given to the winners.

On April 3, the organisers will hold the Klang Parade under-12 and under-16 tournaments beginning at 9am. There are four prizes for each age-group and the winners of the two categories will each receive RM100 and a trophy. Entry fee is RM10.

On the next day, the Klang Parade junior (under-20) open tournament will start at 9am. The winner will receive RM100 and a trophy, first runner-up RM80 and second runner-up RM70. There are also cash prizes for the best under-12 and under-16 boys and girls. Entry fee is also RM10.

The Klang Parade blitz tournament will begin at 1.30pm on April 10. There are altogether 11 rounds and five cash prizes will be awarded to the winners. The champion will get RM200 and a trophy. The entry fee for this event is also RM10.

The last event will be the Klang Parade open tournament on Apr 11. The winner will receive RM250 and a trophy. The second prize is RM200 and a trophy, the third prize RM150 and a trophy, the four and fifth prizes are RM100 each, and the sixth to 10th prizes are worth RM50 each.

In addition, RM50 prizes await the best under-16, under-14, under-12 and girl players. The entry fee for this final event is RM15 except for under-12 players who need to pay only RM10.

According to the organisers, only a maximum of 100 players will be accepted for each of the events. For registration or more information, contact Stephanie, Christopher or Ms Kuek (tel: 03-343-7889, fax: 03-343-7313).

Perak circuit continues

THE Perak International Chess Association's (Pica) own state-level Grand Prix chess circuit continues with their second leg on April 3 and 4 at the Sekolah TAR library in Ipoh.

Category A, a six-round event with a time control of 60 minutes per player for each game, will be played on April 3 and 4. It is open to all players with a Fide, MCF, Perak or Penang rating of 1,700 or better. Entry fees are RM10 for PICA members and RM15 for non-members.

Category B is a one-day event on April 4, open to players without a rating or rated below 1,700. Entry fees are RM5 for PICA members and RM8 for non-members.

Registration will start at 2pm on April 3 for the Category A event, and 8.30am on April 4 for the Category B play-off. For details, call W.K. Wong at 05-366-1692.

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

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