Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Obituary: Fang Ewe Churh

Early Monday morning I received an SMS from Quah Seng Sun informing me that Mr. Fang Ewe Churh had passed away. 

I reproduce his obituary from chess malaysia yahoo groups for those who are not subscribed.

It is with deep regret that I announce the demise of Mr Fang Ewe Churh this
morning at 3.45a.m. Fang, who had long been out from the chess scene, for
possibly around 25 years, had been ill for quite some time. About two years ago,
he underwent surgery for a malignant growth on his scalp and was thought to be

For those who are unaware of Fang's contributions to chess in Malaysia, let me

say briefly that we consider him to be the Father of Chess in Penang. It would
not be too far-fetched to suggest that he had played a significant contributory
role to the development of chess in Malaysia as well.

In March 1972, he set in motion the founding of the Penang Chess Association at

the Penang Library and became the association's founding president. Under his
watch, the following chess activities were initiated:

a) In June or July 1972, the first Majlis Sukan Sekolah-Sekolah Pulau Pinang

(MSSPP) Chess Tournament was organised at the Han Chiang Primary School where he
was the headmaster;

b) In October 1972, he captained the first Malaysian chess team that played in a

Chess Olympiad in Skopje, Yugoslavia;

c) In December 1972, he organised the first Majlis Sukan Sekolah-Sekolah

Malaysia (MSSM) Team Chess Championship at the Dewan Sri Pinang, George Town,

d) In 1974, he organised the first Penang Chess Open Tournament;

e) In 1974, together with other chess enthusiasts nationwide, he helped

establish the Malaysian Chess Federation. At the inaugural meeting, he was
elected as one of the vice-presidents;

f) In December 1974, he was a key organiser of the first Asian Team Chess

Championship which was held at the Dewan Sri Pinang n George Town, Penang;

g) In 1975, he organised the first Malaysian team chess championship at Recsam

in Glugor, Penang;

h) In 1978, he brought the Penang team to participate in the first Asian Cities

Team Chess Championship in Hong Kong. The Penang Chess Association was to
participate in three or four more similar events in Hong Kong.

There were several other significant chess activities held in Penang under his

tenure as the PCA president until 1989, but I shall not list them further.
Suffice for me to say that the Penang Chess Association owes its successes in
its formative years to this man. He remained a good friend to me until his final
days. My thoughts are with his family.


SS Quah
Penang, Malaysia


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