Penang hosting Asian youth chess championship

SOME 400 chess players from 18 countries will be taking part in the Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship (EAYCC) 2024.

The annual event, organised for young players within the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Asia Zone 3.3 and 3.5, will be held from July 12 to 21 at the Cititel Hotel in George Town, Penang.

Asia Zone 3.3 is made up of 17 countries, most of which are within the Asean region.

The sole country in Asia Zone 3.5 is China.

Into its 8th edition since 2016, the event is divided into six age categories – Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 for Open/Boys and Girls.

The governing international body for the event is Asian Chess Federation (ACF) and FIDE.

Agnes is among the many highly ranked chess players from Penang.Agnes is among the many highly ranked chess players from Penang.

It is organised by Penang Chess Association (PCA) and co-organised by Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF).

No cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Instead, the top three winners in each category of the Standard, Rapid and Blitz events will receive trophies, medals and ecertificates.

MCF president Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi was quoted by state publisher Buletin Mutiara as saying that the championship was part of the federation’s strategy in bringing continental-level FIDE titled tournaments to Penang.

“Malaysians will get to compete with the best players in the region, from as far as China and Japan.

“By having more such tournaments here, we hope to accelerate Malaysia’s pursuit of its first ‘Grandmaster’.”

Akhramsyah noted that Penang had proven itself as an international chess tournament host.

Yu Tian will be taking part in the Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship 2024.Yu Tian will be taking part in the Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship 2024.

“Penang has organised the first Continental Tournament, the 5th Asian Cities Tournament in 1984 and the Penang Heritage International Chess Open, which is in its 16th iteration.

“It will also host the Penang Chess Festival in December,” said Akhramsyah.

The state has also produced excellent chess players, from its first ever International Master (IM) Jimmy Liew, through to current stars like FIDE Master (FM) Poh Yu Tian and Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Agnes Chong.

PCA president See Swee Sie said PCA and MCF had a collective vision of promoting and enhancing the presence of chess in schools.

She said Yu Tian, a Penangite and the golden hope for Sukan Malaysia (Sukma), would also take part in the EAYCC this year to obtain his final IM Norm.

Penang Sports Council director Harry Chai Heng Hua hopes to see more chess stars emerge from the state and represent Malaysia internationally.

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