Tuesday, January 26, 2016

20th GACC International Inter-Varsity Chess Championship Champion: Tan Wei Hao


The Grand Asian Chess Challenge (GACC) is a regional chess competition opens to undergraduates in various Asian universities. The Grand Asian Chess Challenge (GACC) has been renamed to GACC World Inter-Varsity Chess Championship starting from year 2003. Since year 2008, it was renamed to become International Inter-Varsity Chess Championship.

The objectives of this event are:-
(I) To encourage chess activities among the participants from various Asian universities and Malaysian students;
(II) To foster closer ties amongst participants and universities in the whole world;
(III) To promote the games of chess so as to become one of the hobbies among undergraduates around the globe;
(IV) To promote Malaysia’s culture and heritage to the international participants.

The 1st edition of GACC backed in the mid 1990's was a collaboration between Chess Association of Selangor, IA Hamid Abd Majid, and University of Malaya. Many years later, I was engaged as Deputy Chief Arbiter for 2 editions and Chief Arbiter for another edition. This event had contributed 2 International Arbiter norms in my application as an International Arbiter. I remembered in one of the editions that I'm involved - It was a very strong tournament  (to be exact the 2003 edition) with many GM or GM-to-be in the like of GM Li Shilong, GM Zhang Zhong, Russian GM Sergey Iskunyh, FM Wang Yue (today a 2700's Super GM), IM Liang Chong (today a GM), IM Wang Rui (today a GM), IM Yu Shaoteng (today a GM and FST), Zhao Jun (today a GM), and etc. 

Seeing so many talented and hardworking young chess players in one tournament playing at such a high level has inspired myself to focus in producing more national-level players among school boys and girls via Chess Training Excellence Programme (first coined by Chess Association of Selangor back in the mid 1990's) concept. That's the same period I have started serious coaching with school boys and girls aged between 7 and 12.

I didn't have an opportunity to be part of this event as a player. However, my thought back then was how nice could it be if one day in future one of my students who was absolute beginner (then) can be standing on the podium in this event. Well, my dream has turned into a reality today! with Tan Wei Hao emerges as the Individual Champion for the 20th GACC International Inter-Varsity Chess Championship. During his younger days, he won a National Age-Group Championship 3 years in-a-row (2007 - 2009). 

A big congratulation to Tan Wei Hao!