KUALA LUMPUR: In recognition of his vast contributions to Malaysian chess, the Lim Chong Memorial Chess Championship will be held at the DATCC in Wilayah Kompleks here on March 27.
The late Lim Chong was a noted columnist with his weekly Chessmate articles in The Malay Mail for more than a decade beginning 1978 and more recently with his online writings for the Datuk Arthur Tan Chess Centre (DATCC) blog.
Lim Chong's interest in chess was sparked in the early 1970s after coming across a book written by world champion Alexander Alekhine on his best games at the Klang public library. Realising he could not ever play like Alekhine, Lim Chong made his next best move -- writing about chess in The Malay Mail.
"Lim Chong shared his passion for the game with so many of us by diligently writing about goings-on in the chess fraternity when he was a young reporter in the late 1970s.
"His was the first local chess column that gave enthusiasts regular updates on the home scene," said Abd Hamid Majid, organising chairman of the tournament.
"Even when he was promoted to senior general manager of IT publications of the New Straits Times Group, he made it a point to attend or play in tournaments and to lend his support to various chess organisations," added Abd Hamid, who is also a member of the Malaysian Chess Federation.
Lim, 56, who joined the Bernama economic news service as a sub-editor in 2004 after opting for early retirement from IT Publications, succumbed to a heart attack on Nov 26 on a flight back to Malaysia from London where he had been sent on assignment.
The holding of a tournament to honour Lim was mooted by Datuk Tan Chin Nam, Honorary Life President of the Malaysian Chess Federation who noted that Lim steadfastly managed to write about chess at a time when "space in newspapers was so precious".
"The late (Tan Sri) Dr Noordin Sopiee, then the group editor of the NST, once even told me when I approached him for a chess announcement, that even if one-square inch of space was given, the politicians - 168 members of Parliament then - would start clamouring for (the whole chess board of) 64-square inches of publicity."
In view of Lim's invaluable contributions to the chess fraternity, Tan has offered to donate and match "ringgit for ringgit" by friends and members of the public towards the organisation of the tournament.
"No amount is too big or too little in support of this tribute to a respected journalist," he added.
Lim's wife Jan Tan Hong See, who is also assisting in organising the tournament, said family members were touched by the efforts of the chess fraternity as well as others in honouring her husband.
Lim incidentally was aware that he was to receive the Darjah Kebesaran Ahli Mahkota Selangor (AMS) in conjunction with Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's 65th birthday on Dec 11.
The posthumous award was accepted on Lim's behalf by his son, Yue Seng, 22.
More than 100 participants are expected at the Lim Chong Memorial Chess Championship to be held in conjunction with Lim's birthday on March 27.
The tournament offers RM2,000 in cash prizes, hampers and trophies.
For entry forms and details, contact Abd Hamid (019-315 8098 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org) or Najib Wahab (016-338 2542). Entry forms can also be downloaded from datcchess.blogspot.com.
Original article here.