Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Chess archive: Alexander Kotov in Penang, 2-3 Apr 1975

One of the first grandmasters to visit Penang was Alexander Kotov of the Soviet Union. During his two-day visit, Kotov gave talks and a simultaneous exhibition to the public and members of the Association. Here are various reports and pictures from the newspapers:

PENANG, Wed - Soviet chess grandmaster Alexander Kotov took on 18 opponents simultaneously here last night and retired undefeated.

His opponents ranged from Tan Bian Huat, the current Penang champion, to five-year-old kindergarten pupil, Goh Han Lim (above).

After about 2 1/2 hours, he had beaten 15 opponents, and declared draws with Lim Teong Sit, 15, of the Methodist Boys' School, Chuah Heng Meng, 18, and Mr Chuah Soon Pheng, a Penang Free School mathematics teacher.

Mr Kotov praised the high standard of play among Malaysia's young chess enthusiasts.

"That is the right spirit. Start young and one day you may produce Malaysia's first chess grandmaster," he said.

Mr Kotov, 61, played with some schoolboys while in Kota Baru yesterday and was "very impressed" by their keenness and enthusiasm.

(New Straits Times, 3 Apr 1975)

A Malaysian grandmaster soon?

PENANG, Thurs - Soviet chess grandmaster, Alexander Kotov, predicted yesterday that Malaysia would have a grandmaster in the not too distant future.

"The standard here has improved and from personal experience, I would say that Malaysia would soon have a chess grandmaster," he told a large gathering of chess fans at the Methodist Boys' School hall this afternoon during a lecture on chess.

Mr Kotov especially suggested that the younger generation be given more training so that when they grow up, they would be very good at chess.

In the Soviet Union, chess is played everywhere by school children. Teachers provide lessons, during weekends to chess enthusiasts, he said.

"That perhaps account for the great interest in chess.

"From chess-playing, the best are selected and sent to centres where they are given more advanced training by grandmasters to prepare them for international games.

"Malaysians with more training and experience, would go far in international games," he added.

Mr Kotov thrilled the large audience with his quick moves which he demonstrated.

(The Straits Echo, 4 Apr 1975)

1 comment:

stephen said...

The straits echo.... mmmm.. the only newspaper we subscribed to on weekdays.
I remember the print and paper quality left a lot to be desired.They quickly switched to tabloid and better print when The Star started eroding the readership with its sleazy pics and stories splashed in front and lower price.In its heyday, it groomed journalists of distinction that even the venerable Straits Times couldn't match. Teoh Eng Tatt,Lee Siew Yee, Chia Poteik, Sit Yin Fong and Khor Cheang Kee to name a few.This is where old school news reporting lost out to modern day hard sell.