Chess in the schools only started taking off in 1972. With chess now accepted into the Malaysian schools sports calendar, we had for the very first time various state education departments pushing for state-level chess competitions among the schools. It culminated at the end of the year with the national-level chess competition. Penang seemed to be the most prepared to host the inaugural event and this report appeared in The Straits Echo on 17 December 1972 (exactly 36 years today):
MSSC TO HOLD FIRST TEAM CHESS CH'SHIPS
PENANG, Sat - The Malaysian Schools Sports Council will hold its first national students team chess championships at the Dewan Sri Pinang from Dec 28 to 30.
It is being held here to coincide with the Pesta Celebrations and will be officially declared open by the Minister of Education, Dato Hussein Onn at 3pm on Dec 28.
Following the opening a chess display of an internationally well known match will be held by pupils of the Han Chiang Primary School on a board 32 feet square. The pupils will be dressed as chess pieces.
Ten States will be taking part in the championships and they are divided into three groups for the preliminary rounds which will be on the league system.
The winner of each group will qualify for the final rounds also on the league system for the first three places.
The runners-up of each group will then play a round robin for the fourth, fifth and sixth places.
The groups are: 'A' - Selangor, Trengganu, Perlis, 'B' - Negri Sembilan, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, 'C' - Kelantan, Johore and Penang.
The teams are Selangor: Wahid Karim, Woo Beng Keong, Lee Yee Meng, Peter Wong - Manager: Rene Cheang
Trengganu: Phua Chuan Seng, Chan Chong Leong, Mohd Noor Harun, Tan Boon Tat - Manager: Lim Chin Eng
Perlis: Annuar Abdullah, Abdul Razak Abdullah, Kamaruddin Kasa, Mohd - Manager: Akil Ali
Negri Sembilan: Chuah Poh Soon, Wong Chee Foo, Lew Wing Kwong, Au Leck Chai - Manager: Lee Thean Hoe
Perak: Liew Yoong Wah, Chuah Han Leong, Phan Leong Kim, Thye Fook Keong - Manager: Tan Chong Wah
Kedah: Ong Boon Keat, Lim Ee Seng, Lim Soon Keat, Asit Chatterjee - Manager: Tan Kok Huat
Pahang: Ng Kam Weng, Goh Ching Woo, Thong Thiam Seng, Abdul Rashid Hassan - Manager: Abdul Rahman Sabri Hamid
Kelantan: Bakhtiar Md Fakruddin, Ahmad Raddi Ahmad, Wee Tiong Keow, Wan Ismail Wan Yusoff - Manager: Rawi Abdul Rahman
Johore: Jamaluddin Hashim, Lee Boon Kwang, Tan Hai Hong, Tan Sung Hee - Manager: Tan Seng Hui
Penang: Quah Seng Sun, Low Khea Wah, Yeo Khee Huat, Lee Teik Leong - Manager: Gong Wooi Mau
Competition chairman Mr Fang Ewe Churh, Headmaster of the Han Chiang Primary School here, stated that during the championships an exhibition of photographs taken by him at the 26th Chess Olympiad for men and the Fifth Chess Olympiad for women in Skopje, Yugoslavia, would be held.
Mr Fang, who captained the Malaysian team there, also took several slides of the championships and these would be shown as well.
The chess championship will end on the evening of Dec 30 when prizes will be given away by Mrs Tan Teik Beng, wife of the Chief Education Officer, Penang, at a closing ceremony.