Friday August 27, 2010
All set for chess fest
ChessBy Quah Seng Sun

TODAY is the eve of the Malaysia Chess Festival and tomorrow, the first of six main events – the Merdeka individual rapid open tournament – will kick off the 11-day chess festival at the ballroom of Cititel Hotel at Mid Valley in Kuala Lumpur.

Elsewhere on this page is a summary of the various events that everybody can look forward to. There is something for everyone, be it a simultaneous chess game, a five-minute blitz tournament, a 30-minute rapid chess tournament or a full 90-minute normal time regulation tournament.

Concerns that I voiced last week about the Malaysia Chess Festival taking a possible beating from a major rival tournament being planned at the same time in nearby Manila seems to have eased.

I have been checking with the organisers the whole of this week, and their confidence seems to have been restored. In fact, the organisers are delighted that the response to the festival has exceeded last year’s.

Tomorrow’s one-day event has attracted at least 74 players. This was the number told to me three days ago and as more chess players arrive in Kuala Lumpur, the number of participants is set to increase.

Similarly, too, there are at least 67 teams in the Merdeka team rapid open with foreign grandmasters from Australia, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Germany and India joining in the fray.

But the real icing on the cake is the increased entries for the main event, the Datuk Arthur Tan Malaysia open, that will start on Sept 1. Last year, the field consisted of exactly 100 players. Until Tuesday, 135 players have already registered for this year’s edition.

Here is the full article.

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