Friday September 17, 2010
Finest moments in chess

THIS year’s Malaysia Chess Festival was a resounding success on all fronts. A slicker organisation and yes, more teams and players from home and abroad that registered for the 11-day chess fest than ever before. The chess festival has indeed become a recognised event in the international chess calendar.

However, there is some consternation within the chess community that this year’s chess festival may be the last that we would see organised in its present format. In my private conversations with the man at the forefront of the chess festival in recent years, Datuk Tan Chin Nam told me that he would be taking a two-year leave from sponsoring chess.

“I feel that I have become a hindrance to chess development,” he said. “Chess should not solely depend on Tan Chin Nam. I need to stand down so that other big sponsors can come in and help lift the game to its next level in the country. Please help tell the chess community to understand. I shall be on a sabbatical.”

Curiously piqued, I asked how he would then occupy his time. I doubted that he could take a back seat for too long. After all, chess has been in his blood since 1974.

“I want to look at chess from the other side of the chess board,” he replied. “I shall want to play in more chess tournaments in the next two years. It doesn’t matter if it is a slow or fast game, I just want to play.”

Obviously, Tan had been bitten by his foray at the Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng international seniors open tournament. “I’m encouraged with the two points scored in this tournament. In other games, I found that I had reasonable chances too but unfortunately, I spoilt them all. I shall want to play more so that I can learn. I’m not too old to learn how to play better.”

How then will the Malaysia Chess Festival proceed without his financial sponsorship?

“There are other sponsors but as long as I’m there, they are reluctant to come forward. This is the time for chess organisers to build their relationships with them,” he said.

So this seventh Datuk Arthur Tan Malaysia open chess tournament may be the last we shall see played in memory of his late son, Arthur Tan, for some time. But in the meantime, this seventh Malaysia open tournament was won fittingly by Vietnam’s 37-year-old grandmaster Cao Sang.

Here is the full article.

Posted by Picasa
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
Tags: ,