Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament 2008 - The Past Winners

The first 'Selangor Open' was launched soon after the establishment of The Chess Association of Selangor ('CAS') in 1974. The tournament soon gained strength attracting both local and foreign players and is now well entrenched as a premier event in the Malaysian chess calendar. It has in fact been awarded as the longest running chess tournament in the country by the Malaysia Book of Records some time ago, and is still trotting strongly into its 35th year.

Royal Selangor came into the picture in 1983 and has not looked back since as the main sponsor of the tournament. It would not be an easy task for CAS to maintain this tradition without the unwavering support of this corporation.

On the local winners, Woo Beng Keong made a comeback in the local allegro circuit recently after a long absence. An 8-time winner including a 4 consecutive dominance in 1985-1988 IM Jimmy Liew could still be seen in selected local tournaments. FM Mok Tze Meng with 5 titles under his name is still active and a strong contender should he choose to play this time round. He is coincidently the Vice-President of CAS. Current title holder Lim Chuin Hoong may want to defend his title before his career as a doctor demands more of his time. Youngster FM Anas Nazreen is in college but should he be able to take time-off will definitely add colour to this tournament. Other names such as FM Lim Yee Weng, Mohd Saprin, Mohd Kamal,and even Nor Azmi who appears occasionally, FM Christi Hon ("chess is a waste of time' but he did play and win) or FM Peter Long (yes, his recent foray in Singapore proved he could still sting) could deny any new entry into the winners' list. FM Nicholas Chan is back somewhere in Malacca now and could also sneak in to wrestle the title for the second time. And of course there will always be the challenge from the visitors be it the Indonesians, the Filipinos, Singaporeans or even from those further afield.

Fortunately in chess this tournament is not about the winners only. Players can benchmark their achievements through the internationally recognized FIDE ratings. To those players venturing overseas where standard-time or Fischer time control are the norm, this tournament would serve as a useful training ground and experience.

This year's tournament is scheduled from 30th April to 4th May 2008. With the venue at the Royal Selangor showroom complex in Setapak Jaya, Kuala Lumpur this should provide a conducive environment for the players.

Posted by Picasa