...but will the present Japanese government honour it?
Can I hold them to this promise?
The chess articles here are taken from the old homepage of the Penang Chess Association on Geocities. I wrote them about 10 years old, taken from old records and newspaper cuttings in my possession. In this item and the next, I shall continue with the first Asian team chess championship in Penang at the end of 1974. From the souvenir programme:
|OPENING CEREMONY |
Tuesday, 10th December 1974
|5.00pm||Arrival of His Excellency the Governor of Penang, Tun Datuk Syed Sheh Barakbah, SMN, SSM, DUPN, SPMK, PSB |
|5.05pm||Welcoming speech by Chairman, Organising Committee, YB State Secretary, Encik Mohamed bin Yeop Abdul Raof, KMN|
|5.15pm||Speech by President, FIDE Zone 10, Prof Dr Lim Kok Ann|
|5.25pm||Speech by Hon Chief Minister of Penang, Dr Lim Chong Eu|
|5.35pm||Speech by His Exellency the Governor of Penang and declaring open the competition|
|6.20pm||Life Chess display|
|6.40pm||State Anthem |
His Excellency the Governor leaves for Residency
Mr Max Fuller 2365
Mr Kan Wai Shui 2360
Mr Arovah Bachtiar 2305 (Captain)
Manager: Rear Admiral F Sumanti
Mr I Haruyama
Mr Abdul Rahman Ahmad
|NEW ZEALAND |
Mr Andrew Day (Captain)
Mr Rodolfo Tan Cardoso 2335 (Captain)
Mr Giam Choo Kwee 2210 (Captain)
Below are the photos from either The Star or The Straits Echo:
The Malaysian team - from right, Quah Seng Sun (from Penang), Jerry Augustus (from Johor), Tan Kai Ming (from Penang), Chew Soon Keong (from Selangor, originally from Penang) and Abdul Rahman Ahmad (from Kelantan). Seated to the right of the Malaysian team were the Indonesians and the Australians.
The Life Chess display during the opening ceremony of the championships. The performers were pupils from the Han Chiang Primary School.
According to popular belief, the Dragon Boat races and the Dumpling Festival honours scholar-poet Chu Yuan who took his life by jumping into a river. Chu Yuan was a loyal minister of the state of Chu and was a court favourite until his replacement by a rival through Court intrigues. He was banished. When General Pai Chi of the Tsin State launched the second attack on the capital of Chu in BC 278, Chu Yuan knew all hope to save the state was lost.
With sallow cheeks and dishevelled hair, he went to the shore of a river in Hunan, intending to end his life. A fisherman asked why he wanted to end his life: "Why do you seek a watery grave?" And Chu Yuan answered: "The whole country is corrupt except me. The people are inebriated except me. So it is better this way."
"But in that case wouldn't it be better for you to move with the trend and rise in power?" the fisherman ask. Chu Yuan replied that he preferred a death of honour and to be interred in the bellies of the fishes of the river. And with that, he clasped a large stone with both hands and jumped.
Traditionally, the story continues that as soon as he jumped into the water, the fishermen instantly rowed out in their boats to try and save him but in vain. Fearing that fish would eat Chu Yuan’s body, the fishermen's families made dumplings and threw them into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of the body.
“I will guide probably the strongest team in the world. I don’t know in how many years’ time, but my name is already written on the Manchester United bench. I’m not saying Ferguson will go. I hope with all my heart that he has eternal life with the Reds. I truly hope so. But I assure that sooner or later you will see me at the helm in England because I’m part of the history of Manchester United and I’m number one.”
Malaysia sungguh berbangga dengan perhormatan yang diberi kepadanya menjadi tuan rumah untuk Kejohanan Catur Asia yang Pertama ini. Sepanjang yang saya ingat, permainan catur hanya mendapat sambutan dan perhatian di kalangan negara-negara Barat sahaja tetapi pada masa akhir-akhir ini nampak minat yang semakin meluas di negara-negara sebelah sini, terutama dikalangan jenerasi muda yang mengikuti pertandingan juara-juara catur Amerika-Soviet tidak lama dulu.
Saya mengucapkan tahniah kepada Persekutuan Catur Malaysia atas inisiatifnya mengelolakan Kejohanan Catur Asian yang Pertama ini, yang mana akan disertai juga oleh pemain-pemain dari Australia dan New Zealand. Sudah tentu sekali dengan adanya perlawanan seperti ini minat terhadap permainan catur akan meningkat dan begitu juga mutu serta kehandalan pemain-pemain kita sendiri untuk menyalangi juara-juara antarabangsa.
Disamping mengalu-alukan peserta-peserta dari luar negeri yang akan menghadiri pertandingan kejohanan ini, saya ingin merakamkan tahniah penghargaan kepada FIDE sempena ulangtahun ke 50 Pertubuhan Catur Sedunia itu.
Initiatif Persekutuan Catur Malaysia pada menganjurkan kejohanan Catur Asia yang pertama di Malaysia mulai 7hb hingga 21hb Disember, 1974 ini sudah pasti akan meletakkan negara kita pada tempat yang terkemuka dalam bidang permainan catur yang mempunyai nilai intelek itu. Saya mengucapkan tahniah kepada Persekutuan Catur Malaysia atas usahanya itu sambil mengucapkan terima kasih diatas kehormatan yang diberikan kepada saya menjadi Penaong Persekutuan ini.
Hasil dari kejohanan ini sudah pasti akan menggalakkan lagi rakyat Malaysia dari semua bangsa khasnya murid-murid sekolah meminati permainan ini. Dengan itu juga saya yakin mutu permainan kita akan bertambah tinggi setanding dengan taraf permainan dinegara-negara maju.
Saya mengucapkan selamat bersidang kepada Persekutuan Catur Sedunia (FIDE) yang mengadakan mesyuaratnya disini dan mengucapkan tahniah kerana merayakan jubli FIDE yang ke 50 disamping dan juga ahli terkemuka dalam bidang catur. Saya berharap persidangan ini akan berjaya pada mencapai tujuannya.
Sempena kejohanan ini, saya berharap peminat-peminat catur khususnya dari Malaysia akan mempelajari teknik-teknik permainan dari juara-juara Asia bagi menambah pengetahuan dan pengalaman mereka.
The holding of the first Asian Chess Championships in Penang is a very important step towards our promotion of Chess in Malaysia.
It assumes world-wide significance because the championships held coincide with the 50th Anniversary of F.I.D.E. This means that the participants from nine Asian countries representing the best chess players in Asia will be competing in the championships.
I congratulate the Malaysian Chess Federation for having been bold enough to undertake the organisation of these championships in the light of the significance of this occasion and I am sure that your enthusiasm and zeal as well as your capability in organising these championships will stimulate more Malaysians to take up chess as well as to put malaysia on the Chess World Map.
The holding of these championships has been made possible by the initiative of the Malaysian Chess Federation and the support given by the Federal and State Governments and I hope that more of our people in the State who have already shown some interest in chess will join the Malaysian Chess Federation and help to develop the game.
The first Asian Chess Championships held in Penang will give us an opportunity to meet the best chess players in the Asian countries and therefore provide us an opportunity to measure our own development in this game as well as to provide the participants with an occasion whereby through chess they will make new friends, renew friendships and therefore contribute towards the spirit of international sportsmanship.
I wish every one participating in these championships, either as competitors, organisers or supporters, every success and I hope that you will all have an enjoyable time in our State. I hope also that the organisers will give the participants some time off to relax and to visit some of the places of interest in Penang.
The Malaysian Chess Federation extends a very warm welcome to all participants to the various Chess events to be held in Penang between 9th and 21st December, 1974 to mark the end of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of F.I.D.E.
We are greatly honoured to have been entrusted with the responsibility of hosting this first ever Asian Chess Team Championship. In the very limited time available to us, the Organising Committee has done its utmost to ensure that all participants will find their stay here hospitable, enjoyable and memorable. However, should there be any shortcomings, kindly accommodate us.
With the introduction of the Asian Chess Team Championship yet another avenue is open to further strengthen the bonds of friendship existing among Austral Asian nations. I am confident it will also help to further promote the game of Chess in this region, the popularity of which I regret to say is well behind that in the Western countries. It is our hope that Malaysians particularly will use this opportunity to derive the maximum benefit and improve their standard of play.
In conclusion, I thank all participating Federations for their support and wish all competitors every success.
Although the game of chess is far more advanced in the western world than in Asia where the game originated, it is rapidly gaining in popularity in Asian countries.
It is therefore most appropriate that the World Chess Federation should inaugurate an Asian Team Tournament to commemorate its Golden Jubilee.
For the honour of holding this event we are indebted to the imaginative and vigorous initiative of my predecessor, Mr HM Hasan who had practically settled all issues before I took office in June, 1974. He is now a member of the FIDE Bureau which benefit from his creative insight.
Concurrently with the Team Tournament, the FIDE Bureau will be meeting to conduct its regular business as well as to perform the closing ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations. There will also be a seminar on chess promotion for the benfit of officials of Asian chess federations.
On behalf of the participants, I thank the Malaysian Chess Federation for organising all these events as a chess festival, and the Malaysian Federal Government and Penang State Government for supporting it.
Our special thanks go to Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, who has donated a Challenge Cup for the Team Tournament as well as agreeing to be Patron of the festival.
I wish all participants success in their undertakings in the spirit of our motto, "Gens Una Sumus"
FIDE is happy that the Malaysian Chess Federation hosts the closing ceremonies of the Golden Jubilee of our World Chess Federation.
We appreciate the initiative to institute the Asian Team Championship: a new leaf on the tree of Chess in Asia.
May Asia, the cradle of chess, remain a shining example for other chess centers.
GENS UNA SUMUS