Monday, February 22, 2010

What is the future of Malaysian chess?

Over the last few weeks, I was following the progress of Vietnamese grandmaster Le Quang Liem, Chinese GM Zhou Jianchao and Philipino GM Wesley So in the Aeroflot and Moscow Open.

Zhou has been in the shadows of his more famous compatriots such as Bu Xiangzhi, Wang Yue and Wang Hao. But I think this year he will be emerging out of their shadows so expect to hear more from this 22 year old. He was undefeated in the Aeroflot Open and tied for third with 6/9.

Wesley So finished with a creditable 5.5/9, this is no easy feat considering that the Aeroflot Open is one of the strongest open around.

Le probably had his best performance ever, tying for first in the Moscow Open and coming clear first in the Aeroflot Open which immediately followed.

As I was watching these players on Playchess, I feel kind of sad. Will Malaysia ever have these kind of players who are able to compete with some of the world's best chess players and bring some glory to the nation? And who will these players be? Will it be Sumant Subramaniam, Yeoh Li Tian or Yeap Eng Chiam or some other yet to be discovered talent? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part?

Another thought came to my mind. Besides having monthly meetings, submitting tournament results to FIDE, running annual Nationals and send a team to the chess olympiad every other year, what is the Malaysian Chess Federation doing? Does the MCF have any plans to achieve something that we can be proud of?


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