Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Themed "MALAYSIA WELCOMES GM ANATOLY KARPOV", the dinner to welcome GM Karpov last night was attended by a big group of chess enthusiasts who came early to brave the rain and catch a glimpse of the former World Chess Champion who is now in the running for FIDE Presidential post to be held later this year. It was an informal and casual gathering of support to Karpov and his team which includes Malaysia's very own Abdul Hamid Majid for the post of Secretary General. Karpov was definitely happy with the turnout as he entertained questions from local ASTRO news team, reporters and bloggers including the requests for autographs and posing for pictures with him, considered to be one of the greatest chess players of all times, a living legend of the royal game.

After the press conference, GM Karpov played a friendly game with Dato Tan Chin Nam, who is also on his advisory board before taking on Malaysia young talent, Yeoh Li Tian and our strongest player, IM Mas Hafizul. Both game were well fought and IM Mas Hafizul, who skipped his training to experience playing and meeting with GM Karpov said that it was a once in a lifetime experience that should not be missed to be able to play against the former World Champion.

"It was a surreal experience and I was really nervous the entire game - here I am playing against GM Karpov," Mas commented after the game ended. He played an interesting game with Karpov but the thrill was too much for him to handle that he blundered a whole rook and resigned soon after realizing his mistake.

GM Karpov who is currently on his campaign tour in South East Asia is planning another visit to Kuala Lumpur during the Malaysian Chess Festival later in August. For those who would like to see the news coverage of the event can tune into ASTRO Nadi Channel 801 at 7:30pm today.

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