Friday, April 20, 2012

The Spirit of Selangor Open Tournament

Source take from CAS website:

Here comes again another milestone celebrating Selangor Open Chess Tournament for 39 consecutive years in running which also known as "Royal Selangor Open Chess Tournament" since 1983 until 2008. This tournament may not be able to last until today if not for the strong corporate support from Royal Selangor in sponsoring this event.

Selangor Open has been accorded the longest running tournament in Malaysia by The Malaysia Book of Records in 2000. Since its inception in 1974, this event has attracted foreign participations from countries like Russia, India, England, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Uzbekistan, New Zealand, and many others.

Foreign players continue their total domination in this event by winning the first six editions with Indonesian IM Dr. Max Wotulo winning thrice. The foreign domination only came to an end when IM-to-be Jimmy Liew won the 7th edition. As a result from Jimmy win, the year 1980 was marked as a significant year to be remembered for our local players and signal the beginning of a new era of chess development in Malaysia. Nevertheless, Ajai Choudhry continued back foreign domination when he won the 8th edition. However, Jimmy again came to the rescue of local players when he wrested back the title in the following year before losing it to Englishmen IM David Goodman in the 10th edition.

Jimmy began his supremacy by virtue of his IM strength by then to win for 4 consecutive years from the 12th to 15th edition before lost back the title into foreign hand. This time it is IM F. Mirabeau who won the 16th edition. Nevertheless, Jimmy won another two times i.e. 19th and 26th edition to become the "best of the best" among the winners by winning a record of 8 times in 38 editions.

In the 1990s, we saw the emerging of Mok Tze Meng who won in the 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th and 30th edition to become the next best player after Jimmy with a record of 5 wins so far. Other local winners are Nicholas Chan (31st, 36th, 37th, 38th edition), Lim Yee Weng (25th & 35th edition) Peter Long (20th edition), Nor Azmi (21st edition), Mohd. Kamal Abdullah (22nd edition), Anas Nazreen Bakri (32nd edition) and Lim Chuin Hoong (34th edition).

In the year 2000 when CAS is celebrating its 27th Selangor Open, again we saw another set of total foreign domination. This time was the Philippines led by GM Eugene Torre, GM Antonio Rogelio, Ronaldo Nolte, and IM Rico Mascarinas. Meawhile, our local representatives are four-time winner Mok Tze Meng and one-time winner Lim Yee Weng together with a string of national players.

With the participation from the four Filipinos in the 27th Selangor Open, once and again it has shown that the Selangor Open event has never failed to capture the attention of foreign chess players. No wonder the Selangor Open has been dubbed as the de facto Malaysia Open over the years that are without the Malaysia Open being organise. Lets Selangor Open to continue its spirit and tradition into the future generations.

While, the 28th edition saw participation came from both local and Singaporean players only. Mohd Saprin Sabri emerged winner for the first time. Next, the 29th edition won by Fikrul Saifuddin, an Indonesian whom many local players regarded him as the strongest non-FIDE rated chess player in the country at that time.

The 31st edition saw participation from Brunei National Champion AK Hira, Selangor Open winner Mok Tze Meng (5 championships) and Saprin, National Champions Siti Zulaikha and Nicholas Chan, and many other top national players. After a gruelling 9-round, CAS is very please to see the moment of waiting for a home-grown youngster, FM Nicholas Chan, to become the Selangor Open champion has finally arrived. He left the country shortly after that to pursue his study in medicine. Upon returning back to Malaysia, he went on to win the title three years in-a-row from 2009 to 2011.

The achievement of Chan is a best way to show the success of CAS Chess Training Excellent Programme which started as a brainchild of two people i.e. Mrs. Jackie Wong and former top-ranked National player Peter Long. While, Lim Tse Pin is assigned as the chief engineer to carry out this project in 1996 as part of his maiden assignment since joining the Association Council. By 2006, this programme had completed 10 editions successfully and churned out many national champions and age-group champions. Nevertheless, this programme will never exist in the first place if not for strong corporate support from Royal Selangor. A big thank you to Royal Selangor for 26 years support.

CAS has continued to organise the 36th and 37th edition with her own funds at a cost of using one-quarter of available fund that was built since 1983. At the going rate, CAS funds will be wiped out completely by 2015.

In 2011, CAS has made a pledge to the chess community to seek for donations. A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has stepped forward to rescue the 38th edition by donating RM10,000/=. As for this year edition, the same donor has pledged to underwrite any shortfall from the on-going fundraising exercise for this event. We at CAS are thankful to all donors who have contributed towards continuity of this event as the longest running tournament in Malaysia.