History of Chess in Taiwan – Chinese Taipei* Chess Association

The Chinese Taipei Chess Association was established in 2004 in Taiwan. The sport was relatively little known before then. It all started in 2001 when the government started looking for Chess players to participate at the World University Games, and realized that they did not have professional players in these fields. The Sports Affairs Council of Taiwan decided to found the chess group and entrusted Prof. Liu-Ko Fei with the responsibility of organizing a Chess Federation. He was then elected as the president of the Federation. It eventually became the Chinese Taipei Chess Association, which was later recognized by the National Olympic Committee in 2003.

Mr. Yueh Wei-Po and Mr. Lin Ming-Hong who were chess enthusiasts and strong amateur players, joined the group and helped in Taiwan. Eventually, the Chinese Taipei Chess Association was officially registered under FIDE in 2004, with Mr. Yueh Wei-Po being appointed as the Head Coach. Since then, Chinese Taipei has participated in numerous tournaments, including the prestigious Chess Olympiads in Turin, Italy and Dresden, Germany in 2006 and 2008. And also some tournaments for young players, such as World Youth and Junior Team event. Chinese Taipei Chess Association has enjoyed some success over the early years. With its emerging young players and increasing popularity, chess is certain to become one of the most popular sports in Taiwan in the years to come.

*Chinese Taipei is the designated name used by the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, to participate in some international organizations and almost all sporting events, such as the Olympics and Asian Games. The international community commonly employs the term “Chinese Taipei” due to several considerations arising out of the complexities of the political status of Taiwan and cross-strait relations.

Taipei City.

Taipei (台北) is the largest city in Taiwan and has served as the de facto capital of the Republic of China (ROC) since the Chinese Civil War in 1949. It is situated on the Danshui River, almost at the northern tip of the country, about 25 km southwest of Keelung, which is its port on the Pacific Ocean. Taipei is part of a major industrial area. Most of Taiwan‘s textile factories are here, and other products include electronics, electrical machinery and appliances, wires and cables, and refrigeration equipment. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung east of the city. Railways and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport west of the city in Taoyuan.

Taipei City has plenty to offer, from truly unique scenery to exciting sporting activities and colourful festivals, not to mention the most varied Chinese food on earth. It is also home to new boutique hotels and trendy bars that have sprung up in a flurry of construction culminating in the opening of the ‘world’s tallest building’, Taipei 101 (now overtaken by Burj Dubai). Perhaps a result of this growth, Taipei‘s cultural scene has blossomed giving local sculpture, art and architecture a distinctly Taiwanese edge. Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei, including the Taipei Lantern Festival when thousands of sky lanterns are released in Pingxi, Taipei. Common locations for festival celebrations include Memorial Square, Taipei 101, and the Zhongshan Hall in Ximending. On Double Ten Day, celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Moreover, Taipei has many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District of the city. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market get extremely crowded during the evening. Most night markets in Taiwan open around 4 p.m. as students begin returning home from school; crowds reach their peak between 8 and 11 p.m. Businesses continue operating well past midnight and close around 1 to 2 a.m. Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen in older buildings in Taiwan. Besides large temples, the city has many Memorial Halls and Museums which definitely is worth to have a look.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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