Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Heritage and chess together in Penang

Methinks, this is just about the coolest chess backdrop that I've seen in a long while. The first time that I noticed it was before I walked into the tournament hall yesterday and I went, "wow." And why not?

That girl in the centre of the picture can rival the Ernest Zacharevic street art paintings in George Town anytime. It projected the right image for the tournament. Plus, the Queen Victoria memorial clock tower, the Customs building and former railway clock tower, City Hall and Penang trishaws are some of the iconic attractions that point towards the cultural heritage that visitors can see for themselves everywhere. 

The chief arbiter, Hamid Majid, sorting out some details with one of the Indonesian players prior to the start of the first round.
The President of the Municipal Council of Penang Island, Patahiyah bt Ismail, (Hamid wanted to refer to her also as the Lord Mayor of the City of George Town, but his tongue tripped along the way) adding some class to the opening ceremony of the fifth Penang heritage city international chess open tournament. It is important to get the Municipal Council involved. 
As usual, the guest of honour was invited to make the ceremonial first move. Would be about the first time that Uzbekistan's international master, Andrey Kvon, was pushed into the limelight but anyway, he was the highest rated player and thus the first seed in the tournament. Photo opportunities for everyone around. 
The first round in progress. There were 117 players in the open section and 153 in the challengers section. Of the players in the open section, the field included one grandmaster, five international masters, one woman international master, six Fide masters, one woman Fide master and one candidate master.
The top two boards were played on the stage. That's Russian grandmaster Alexander Fominyh standing.
This is my blog and so I shouldn't deny myself the opportunity to take a picture with the Municipal Council president. Haha....

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