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Love for children and respect for veterans in Malaysia

by Atul Dahale - 02/10/2017

If there was one tournament that players from all over the world, especially Asia, look forward to with great enthusiasm, it is surely the Malaysian Chess Festival. This year the 14th edition was held in Kuala Lumpur from 25th August to 4th September 2017. The main attraction of the festival are the sheer number of different events that are held ranging from team, children and veterans' tournament. ChessBase India author Atul Dahale visited the festival and sent us a colourful report. Here's the part I of the festivities.

Photos by Mr.Khong Wai Cheong

Malaysian Chess Festival 2017

14th Malaysian chess festival 2017 was held between 25th August to 4th September at the Cititel Hotel Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. The main event of this festival was IGB Arthur Tan International Open Chess Championship which was won by Vietnamese Grandmaster Tran Tuan Minh by scoring 7.0/9 points. Apart from this international open this festival had other events, rapid tournament for kids and open section. A special tournament was conducted for Seniors and there was a Challenger section for players rated below 2000 Elo rating and in addition to this Rapid Team tournament was organized to enhance the team spirit in players. This was truly a chess festival for everyone.

This was the 14th edition of Malaysian Chess Festival, the first edition of this festival was held in 2004 ever since then this festival is being successfully organized every year. The main person responsible for the festival to be organized is great chess lover Dato Tan Chin Nam, who is a Malaysian born entrepreneur and developer. His family is the majority shareholder of IGB Corporation Berhad.

The patron behind the Malaysian Chess Festival Dato Tan Chin Nam. 

Dato Tan Chin Nam is a great supporter and patron for the game of Chess. He is a visionary. In 1975 Tan decided that there was great potential in expanding the game of chess in China and together with some leading Chinese officials, Tan set-up the “Big Dragon Project”, with the aim of having China dominate the chess world by 2010. We can see now that China has established itself on the chess map, it has pretty strong 2700+ players, not to forget Ding Liren becoming the first Chinese player to qualify for the Candidates 2018. In 1982, he became the first Fide Deputy President for Asia.


With the vision of popularizing the game of chess in Malaysia and to give the opportunity to Malaysian players to compete against strong players of world he started sponsoring the Malaysian Chess Festival. Dato Tan Chin Nam is a true lover of the game of chess.



It has been a tradition for players from Asian countries like China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand to participate in Malaysian festival since 2004. Many super talented players have participated in IGB Dato Arthur Tan International Open Chess Championship and won it. Just to look back at history, we can see players like GM Ni Hua (China- 2004), GM Wang Hao (China 2005) GM Dao Thien Hai (Vietnam 2006) GM Li Chao (China 2007 and 2008), GM Parimarjan Negi (India 2009), all these players have made to the top of the world rankings.


This year 14th IGB Arthur Tan Open Chess Chess Championship was won by Vietnamese Grandmaster Tran Tuan Minh by scoring 7.0/9 points. After nine rounds four players tied with a score of seven points but Tran was declared as the champion by better tie-break score.


GM Tran Tuan Minh and his winner’s trophy standing with Dato Tan Chin Nam and other organisers

Before we start with our report of International open let’s have a look at other events organized in this grand chess festival.

Anatoly Karpov’s visit to Malaysian Chess Festival.

As this was the 14th edition of the festival, organisers wanted make it special. Dato Tan Chin Nam’s invited 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov. Karpov was the world champion from 1975 to 1985. Karpov has inspired many generations till date. Having him with you in the same hall is itself is a great thing. It was a good move by organisers to invite the great champion here.

Karpov spent some quality time with the players, addressed them and distributed prizes of Astro Merdeka Open Rapid Team Chess Championship which was held on 25th and 26th Aug, 2017. Along with the open section 2nd Datin Yee Wai Fong Merdeka Rapid open Team Championship was also held for Under-12 age group.

Wch Anatoly Karpov sharing his wisdom with players and parents!

You can expect huge crowd when Karpov is in the tournament hall! 

Obviously everyone was rushing to take an autograph and pictures with the World Chess Champion! He has some kind of power in him to pull people!

Karpov distributed prizes of Astro Merdeka Open Rapid Team Chess Championship, above you can see Indian team receiving their second Prize from Karpov. From left to right: Srinath Rao, IM Ravi Teja, IM Krishna CRG and IM Chakravarthy Reddy. It must have been a delightful experience for players to receive the prize from a World Champion! 

Winning team from Indonesia receiving their medals and championship trophy from Wch Karpov! 

Wch Karpov seems to be very happy to receive a medal, on his right is Mr. Ng kay Yip (son of late Datin Yee Wai Fong) and on Karpov’s left is Ms. Tan lei Cheng (daughter of Dato Tan Chin Nam). 

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds

Rk.SNoTeamGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3 
110PTP IPC A98101730,50
21GARUDA RETURNS98101728,50
311PAMA Chess Club97021425,50
517ACA Men's Team96121323,50
618Team MATIK96121323,00
74KL Chesskids Team 196121322,50
926TEAM KL (MAS,STATE)96121320,50
106PeBT Selangor (MAS,STATE)96031225,00

Complete rankings

Age Group Chess Championship

Nowadays it is said that chess is becoming a sport of young guns. We can see that the age to become a grandmaster is getting lower by the day! In these kids we see the talent, the enthusiasm, the dreams , the hope to achieve something great in future. Our future world champions are brought up from the young kids of today! To fulfill this dream the festival had a separate section for kids. DATCC Age group Chess championship was held on 27th August, 2017. Many kids from different schools, institutions and different background participated in this tournament. There were plenty of medals and trophies for the winners of this event.

Medals for the winners!

I present you with some of the interesting pictures from this age group tournament. I have tried to give the captions to the best of my abilities. If you have better ones, do suggest them in the comments section below.

That moment when you realize that you just got Checkmated! # 

Like mother, like daughter! 

Prayers before the game!

Oops!! I missed something!

Ultimate concentration!

Oh! Am I really winning? 


I brush my teeth twice a day!

Should I calculate my move or pose for the camera

Mr. Micky Mouse

So cute! She is my favourite!

8th IGB International  seniors open chess championship 2017

8th IGB International Seniors Chess Championship was organized for the players above 50 years of age. Usually while playing in open tournaments senior players have to compete with young generation and win prizes which is surely not easy. Having a separate tournament for seniors is something good. You can compete against players of your same age. Some players enroll in this kind of tournaments to meet their old buddies across the board! Organizing a tournament for seniors with a good prize money is a good way to give respect to these old masters of chess. 


This tournament had a total prize fund of 18500 Malaysian Renggit (Rs. 2,85,000), which attracted 41 players from 15 different countries  including four Grandmasters and five International Masters. Old masters of their time like GM Antonio Rogelio Jr (2438 PHI), GM Alexei Barsov (2420 UZB), GM Alexander Fominyh  (2409 RUS) and GM Dmitry Kayumov (2404 UZB) were fighting for the title. In the end GM Barsov Alexei from Uzbekistan won the championship by scoring 7.0/9 points staying ahead of the field by half a point.

GM Alexei Barsov with the winner's trophy!

IM Senador Emmanuel of Philippines was runner up scoring 6.5/9 points.

Famous GM Antonio Rogelio Jr from Philippines stood 3rd. He scored 6.5/9 points

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12GMBarsov AlexeiUZB24207,00,05,05
25IMSenador EmmanuelPHI23066,50,55,04
31GMAntonio Rogelio JrPHI24386,50,54,04
415Lorena CarloPHI21076,00,05,04
56IMGunawan RonnyINA23016,00,04,05
64GMKayumov Dmitry DUZB24046,00,04,04
73GMFominyh AlexanderRUS24096,00,03,05
88Milagrosa AlexanderPHI22525,50,05,05
910IMLiew Chee-Meng JimmyMAS22005,50,05,05
107Gatus EdmundoPHI22695,50,04,05

Complete rankings


Part II of the Malaysian Chess Festival will follow soon with focus on 14th IGB Dato Arthur Tan International Open Chess Championship 2017

About the author

Atul Dahale is one of the first internationally FIDE rated players from Parbhani. He loves the game of chess and enjoys the fact that he can travel to different places, meet people and make new friends thanks to chess. He has a rating of 2096 and is a successful coach currently based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. You can contact him on

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