STAR ONLINE: SS Quah's Malaysian Chess Column

Friday, November 19, 1999



National contest next month

By Quah Seng Sun

THE Malaysian Chess Federation will organise this year's national closed chess championship at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur from Dec 16 to 20.

The men's section will be a nine-round Fide-rateable event with the winner awarded the Datuk Hussein Onn challenge trophy.

The winner of the women's section will receive the Datuk Sabbaruddin Chik trophy. In addition, the PWTC will award trophies to the most promising under-18 male and female players.

Like in previous years, 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.

Anyone interested in this competition and who would like to be selected should contact their respective chess associations immediately since the MCF has fixed Dec 11 as the closing date for entries. Call:

  • Mrs Jackie Wong of the Chess Association of Selangor ( 03-703 8237, evenings).
  • Ooi Kiem Boo of the Penang Chess Association ( 04-657 4596, office hours).
  • Dr Yee Meng Khoon of the Perak International Chess Association ( 05-546 4530, evenings).
  • Stephen Cheong of the Johor Chess Association ( 07-333 9636, evenings).
  • Muhammad Arshad of the Terengganu Chess Association ( 018-849 0497).

The national champions of the past 15 years and local players who are on the Fide rating list are given direct entry into the competition. However, they must still be registered for the championship through their respective chess associations.

(Click here for a more comprehensive list)

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


 Up next

Chess camp (Nov 21 to 25): Jointly organised by Chess Association of Selangor (CAS) and Royal Selangor at Genting Highlands.

This annual camp is aimed at grooming selected junior players in the state to achieve the status of national players within three years.

The eight junior players selected this year are Wong Zi Chuang, Nicholas Chan, Marcus Chan, Ahmad Hafiz Shafruddin, Ahmad Fariz Shafruddin, Siti Zulaikha, Lim Ven Gee and Lim Han Ying. The camp will be conducted by Terry Van Derveen, winner of the CAS second quarter allegro tournament.

CAS members who have benefited from previous camps are Ng Ee Vern and Lim Yee Weng who both went on to become national champions.

CAS fourth quarter allegro (Nov 28): This six-round event with a 30-minute time control will be held at Sunway College in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya.

Prizes totalling RM1,000 will be given to winners in the open, junior and best CAS player sections.

As this will be the last CAS chess tournament of the year, the association will print limited edition T-shirts to usher in the new millennium. It is learnt that CAS may organise up to 25 chess events next year, including nine events which will be exclusive to CAS members only.

For more information, contact Lim Tse Pin (e-mail:

UKM tournament (Nov 27 to 28): Urusetia Alumni Kamsis Rahim Kajai, UKM, will organise an open tournament at the university.

Entry fees are RM15 for students and RM30 for the public. Closing date for registration is tomorrow. For more details, contact Bakri Abdul Karim ( 03-829 3101, e-mail:

JB Open (Dec 5): The Bandaraya Chessmaster tournament, organised by the Johor Baru city council, will be played at the Indoor Stadium in Johor Baru.

There are three sections in this event: open, under-16 and under-12. The open section features 10 cash prizes totalling RM4,150 with a first prize of RM1,000. The winner will also receive the Piala Datuk Bandar Johor Baru. The under-16 and the under-12 sections also have 10 cash prizes each, totalling RM645 and RM455 respectively. The top prize for the two sections are RM200 and RM100 respectively.

Entry fees are RM30 for the open section, RM7 for the under-16 section and RM5 for the under-12. Entries will close tomorrow. For details, contact Narayanan Krishnan ( 07-333 8215, e-mail:

Penang Grand Prix (Dec 12): The fourth and final leg of the Penang Chess Association's GP circuit will be played at the Bukit Mertajam Country Club starting 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 from island players, the PCA is arranging for a bus to take them to the tournament venue. Readers interested in playing can call Goh Yoon Wah (04-644 5687, evenings) or Ooi Kiem Boo (04-657 4596, office hours).



Longer time control

ALTHOUGH I am not a chess player, I have been following some of the local tournaments. I have also taken an interest in your column and visited your web page occasionally. I hope you don't mind if I share some personal observations with you.

Firstly, I wish to compliment you on the Oct 22 article. It was good that you highlighted the selection of players for the Asian cities chess tournament in China recently. The Malaysian Chess Federation should be transparent in its selection of senior and junior players, especially those sent overseas, if they are sponsored by the MCF.

In fact, all participants representing the country must be selected through proper tournaments and not picked at random. The criteria for selection must be based on certain performances, and their subsequent results must be made known in the media for the knowledge of other chess enthusiasts and MCF members.

Despite the numerous local tournaments being held, the time control is usually only 30 minutes per player, except for a few tournaments with a longer time control. I would think that local tournaments should have a time control of at least 1 1/2 hours per player. This is important, especially for the upcoming junior players to prepare themselves for international tournaments.

Last but not least, I hope you will continue to report more on our local tournaments and results.

Han Nako, via e-mail


YOUR points on the MCF's transparency and selection procedures are very valid.

Certainly, the MCF has to be more professional in its approach to selection. Not only must the selection committee be seen to select players based on merit or some pre-agreed principles, the selected players must also be given enough time to respond to the selection and then to prepare themselves.

On your point about local time controls, most organisers have to balance between making their tournaments popular with the public and catering only to the smaller number of more serious-minded players.

To draw the crowds, tournaments must be fast enough to finish within a day or two. The allegro or Active Chess time control (30-minute games) was recognised by Fide more than a decade ago and since then, Malaysians have grown to embrace this format fully.

The only danger is that our players, being accustomed to playing so fast, may not be able to appreciate or cope with long playing sessions, such as at the Asian team championships or Chess Olympiads.

Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to hold local events with long time controls. Most players do not have the time to spare.

I think as a good compromise, the occasional tournaments with 1 1/2 to two-hour time controls have helped fill the players' needs sufficiently.




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

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