40 days to go and 50 years ago…

by ChessBase
7/10/2007 – The fourth edition of the Dato’ Arthur Tan Championship begins on August 26, 2007 in Kuala Lumpur. It is an 11-round FIDE-rated event, with time control of 90 min + 30 sec increment from the first move. The tournament is sponsored by chess philanthropist Dato’ Tan Chin Nam, the total prize money for this year’s competition is US $21,000. Here are impressions of what awaits you.

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4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championships
40 days to go and 50 years ago…

By Edwin Lam Choong Wai

Today is the 10th of July 2007. There are 40 days more to go before the commencement of the 4th edition of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship. To be contested at the Cititel Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur from the 20th to the 26th of August 2007, the 4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open is an 11-round FIDE-rated event with the time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from the first move. Sponsored by chess philanthropist Dato’ Tan Chin Nam, the total prize money for this year’s competition is US $21,000.

First initiated in 2004, this annual tournament is held in memory of Dato’ Tan Chin Nam’s beloved late son, Dato’ Arthur Tan. A great promoter of friendship and cultural understanding throughout his life, the late Dato’ Arthur Tan, in his all-too-brief span, had a great love for the game of chess.

During the closing ceremony of the 1st IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship, Dato’ Tan Chin Nam had pledged his financial commitment to this tournament for at least another four years. This at least assured the continuation of the annual chess competition until its 5th edition in 2008 (next year).

When it first started four years’ ago, the tournament’s prize money made it the richest event in this region. As such it attracted chess players of considerable capabilities and thus made it the strongest tournament ever held in Malaysia.

The tournament has never looked back since. The total prize money has continued to grow over the years. And, the competitive level of the participants in each of the past three editions has grown from strength to strength. With the total prize money of US $21,000, this upcoming tournament will be its richest ever edition.

GM Ni Hua, winner of the inaugural edition of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open

GM Wang Hao, winner of the 2nd IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open

We have seen the “cool” GM Ni Hua become the inaugural champion. Then, “typhoon” Wang Hao came, saw and conquered. Last year, Filipino IM Oliver Dimakilling almost swept his way to the title – but, his charge to the finish line lost a little steam towards the end and GM Dao Thien Hai edged out Dimakilling to the title

GM Dao Thien Hai is the defending champion of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open. Will he repeat his success again this year?

Having seen Asian domination in the past 3 editions of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championships, it makes me wonder: will the a European break this voodoo and take the title this year? One can only wait and see.

50 years ago… in 1957

August is the busiest month in the Malaysian chess calendar. Besides witnessing the super strong IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open, August also sees the organization of various other chess events, such as tradition-filled Merdeka team championships.

This coming August 2007 holds even greater meaning for all of us Malaysians. Come 31st August 2007, our nation would have celebrated its golden jubilee of independence. Looking back 50 years ago to 31st August 1957 when Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, stood at Stadium Merdeka to pronounce Merdeka (which in Malay language stands for “independence”), this is a significant milestone for all of us.

This is the historic moment of Malaysia’s declaration of independence (merdeka) on the 31st of August 1957. The man standing on the left of this photo is the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister

Time has certainly flown by! But, it’s all good… as it has been 50 years of running a good race for all of us, multi-racial Malaysians. And, we ought to be proud of it.

“Jalan-jalan” around Malaysia…

Five days after the conclusion of the 4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open, Malaysia will celebrate its 50th year of independence. As this is a Golden Jubilee of Malaysia’s Merdeka celebration, a host of activities have been pipe-lined and planned throughout the nation.

With so many exciting events around the country, I would urge you to consider extending your stay in Malaysia to experience this once in a lifetime 50th Merdeka celebration. Go and “jalan-jalan” (“jalan-jalan” means to go on a trip / tour) around Malaysia and check out some of the must-see places around Malaysia. Take a break from your profession as a chess player and be a chess tourist (Oops! Isn’t that what the great Kasparov said of GM Movsesian a few years back), for a couple of days!

From Langkawi and Penang in the North to Malacca in the South, Johor, Redang, Tioman, Mount Kinabalu, Sipadan and Taman Negara, these are a handful of the various attractions in this country. To give you a flavor of what Malaysia has to offer, please take a look at the following snapshots of a nation.

This is the tram that brings passengers up to the hilltop of Bukit Bendera on Penang Island

This is a distant view of Penang Bridge that connects the residents of Penang Island to the mainland Peninsular of Malaysia

Malaysia is a food paradise – Ipoh, Penang, Malacca and Johor Bahru are food heavens in their own rights, with unique specialties that delights the taste buds

Hainanese chicken rice balls… are not meant to be kicked.

Dutch influence in the historic state of Malacca

Jonker Street, the heart of Peranakan culture in Malaysia

For those who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of city life, there are plenty of such serene fishing villages along the East and West coasts of Malaysia

This is the famous one km long Morib beach, which used to be Vijay Singh’s “driving range” when he was residing here in Malaysia

How do I register for the 4th Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open 2007?

Besides the fifteen main prizes (with the top prize for the Champion amounting to US $4,000!) allocated for the top finishers in the tournament, there are also special prizes to be given out to the Best Malaysian players. Special prizes are also allocated for the two top female, Under-16, Under-12 and Veteran (over 55 years of age) finishers respectively. There is also a Best Game prize worth US $250. On top of all that, an incentive prize is also available for participants of any rank for defeating Grandmasters!

Grandmasters, International Masters, Women Grandmasters, Women International Masters and players rated above 2500 in the July 2007 FIDE rating list will be accorded free entrance to the tournament. As for the others, the entrance fee varies between USD 50 and USD 200, depending on the player’s FIDE Rating points (July 2007 list).

The closing date for entries is on the 9th of August 2007. For more information and to register for the event, please contact Hamid Majid either via phone (603 – 4021 9576 / 6019 – 315 8098), fax (603 – 4024 4337) or email (aham@pc.jaring.my). Late entries will be penalized.

So, what else are you all waiting for? Go get yourself prepared, register yourself for the tournament and book your flight to Malaysia, today! Hope to see you here in Mid Valley City this August 2007!

Previous articles by Edwin Lam Choong Wai

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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