In the early 1970s, chess was just starting to be organised in Malaysia. The Penang Chess Association was founded in 1972, the Chess Association of Selangor and the Malaysian Chess Federation in 1974, and the other state chess associations followed suit. In 1974, the PCA assisted the MCF by organising the first Asian team chess championship at the Dewan Sri Pinang in George Town on 9-21 Dec 1974. This event was organised concurrently with the Golden Jubilee celebration of the World Chess Federation which held its Bureau Meeting here.
Here are all the messages from the souvenir programme. The first message was from Abdul Razak Hussein who was, at the time, the Malaysian Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister, he had agreed to donate the challenge trophy for this regional competition.
Message from the Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Hussein
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.
Message from the Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Hussein Onn
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.
Message from the Honorable Chief Minister of Penang, Dr Lim Chong Eu
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.
Message from Mr Tan Chin Nam, President of Malaysian Chess Federation
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.
Message from Prof Lim Kok Ann, President of FIDE Zone 10
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"
Message from Prof Dr M Euwe, President of Federation Internationale Des Echecs
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