ASEAN+ Age-Group Championships in Chiangmai

6/7/2013 – The beautiful city of Chiangmai in Thailand is playing host to 400 children and their families for this unusual event. They play in an open, where it is possible to earn CM, FM and IM titles without the usual requirements of norms and ratings, and in five age-defined groups. Apart from the chess there is also the opportunity for whitewater rafting, mountain biking, hilltribe visits and elephant riding.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand


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Chiang Mai (meaning "new city", sometimes written Chiangmai or Chiengmai) is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. It is located 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok, among the highest mountains in the country.

The city is along the Ping River and provides the participants of the event with whitewater rafting, elephant riding (at the Mae Ping Elephant Camp above), mountain biking and hilltribe visits.

In recent years, Chiang Mai, with its beautiful temples, has become an increasingly modern city and has been attracting over five million visitors each year, of which between 1.4 million and two million are foreign tourists.

Tuktuks outside the old city wall

Cultural events such as traditional Thai dancing are popular in Chiang Mai

Dancers celebrating the Loy Kratong Festival

The Championships

The first rounds of the Rapid tournament are under way. Friday promises to be "organised chaos" as the organisation switches from Rapid to Blitz, while the main tournament begins on Saturday. Each country can register any number of players to participate in the U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16, and U-20 age groups for Girls and Open. Players who are entitled to participate must not have reached the relevant ages before 1st January 2013. Each country may register any number of players to for Seniors above 50.

Each player is accorded with a time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move. Walkover time is one hour after the start of each round. Results will be sent to FIDE for rating calculations for the Open group only. Time controls are:

  1. Standard Chess: each player has 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment (starting from move one)
  2. Rapid Chess: each player has 25 minutes to complete the game.
  3. Blitz Chess: each player has 5 minutes to complete the game.

Similar to the Olympiads, it is possible to be awarded CM, FM and IM titles without the usual requirements of norms and ratings, so the tournament has attracted some of the best young players in the region – particularly from Vietnam, whose players have turned the hall into a sea of red.

Junior players have come from as far afield as India, Hong Kong and Mongolia,
as well as the Southeast Asian nations.

"The best thing about this tournament is the response of the children," said Tournament Director Panupand Vijjuprabha. "We have amazed them with our Thai style welcome at the airport, luxurious hotel surroundings, traditional dance show at the Opening Ceremony and a spacious playing hall, and their excited happy faces are the reward."

Not served in plastic or styrofoam – Khantoke food from Northern Thailand

Information and pictures provided by Peter Darby


Topics Thailand
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