Sunday, 20 September 2015

Dato Arthur Tan Malaysian Open round 1.

Dato Arthur Tan Chin Nam

My first trip to play chess in Malaysia was in 1983 (I think) and that was the first time I met Dato Tan, who was already the main sponsor of Malaysian chess and quite a strong player. He took us out for dinner many times at one of his shopping malls and played blitz regularly with anyone who cared to play. He was also not the youngest man even back then. We Australians just knew him as "the Datuk".

Now he is in his 90's and in a wheelchair but still sharp, playing the occasional game and remembering all the players from the past. A few years ago I remember seeing him arrive at the Cititel hotel and since I had not seen him for decades I did not impose myself and walked past until I heard a loud "Wohl" from behind. He remembered me from all those years ago and we had a nice chat.

He still drops in to watch the games and to plan future tournaments.

So the tournament started this morning with a bit of excitement. The chief organiser, Mr Hamid, had decided not to be too authoritarian and therefore there was no "zero forfeit" rule applied, meaning if you are not at the board when the round starts you lose. Many players took advantage of this and meandered in late. A forfeit in the first round is a disaster for the player receiving the gift because then there is no norm possibility anymore.

He regretted his leniency and berated the assembled audience after some time had gone by and even the players on board 1 were missing. I suspect he will apply "Zero tolerance" next time.

Round 1

My game was quite easy as my young opponent didn't know my obscure opening choice. This variation is best played when the draw is not made the night before and the opponent cannot prepare. Otherwise it is quite dangerous. Quiet positional play does not work.

Anyway folks, hope you enjoyed that, now its time for the second round.
                                         Wish me luck :-)

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