It has been a long wait for many chess fans for chess to be included in SUKMA, and after more than a decade of waiting, chess has finally been accepted. It was a team effort not only from the MCF Committee led by President Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, but also with the support from the various state leaders with their quick and swift action to appeal for chess to be considered as a sporting event in SUKMA.
As MCF gears up to ensure that chess will shine at its inaugural appearance in Kuching, Sarawak in 2024, the President of the Malaysian Chess Federation – Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, hosted an online meeting with the various State Associations to provide an overview of what is in store for the chess community.
Based on the feedback received, while a few State Chess Associations have been approached by their respective State Sports Council on what are the preparations required for SUKMA 2024, a number of states are yet to get the connection going. It seems apparent now that many states aspire to get their chess contingent to be finalized by this year in order to enable the players to be trained by next year. Based on the dates provided, SUKMA Sarawak 2024 is scheduled from the 17th to 24th of August 2024.
For SUKMA 2024, a total of 10 gold medals are up for grabs with 5 gold each for the men and women category. All three disciplines – Standard, Rapid and Blitz, will be contested with each state allowed to field up to 6 Men and 6 Women players, each with a dedicated coach, and a Team Manager. Like many other sports in SUKMA, only players aged 12 until 21 will be allowed to participate as a state representative.
For the Standard events, 4 players per state to play individually but their combined points will be tabulated to contribute for team medals. Time control used will be 30 minutes + 30 seconds played over 6 rounds.
For the Rapid events, both Team and Individual format will use the time control of 15 minutes + 10 seconds . The team event will be played over 4 boards (with no reserve) using 5 rounds Swiss. Each state allowed to send only a single team. For the Rapid individual event, each state can send 2 players but the event will be played over 6 rounds Swiss.
As usual, the Blitz event will be the last event contested with each state allowed to send 2 players. Games will be played over 13 rounds using a time control of 3 minutes + 2 seconds. While some of the other event details are still being drawn up, the tentative schedule will be as follows:
For SUKMA 2024, the rules set by MSN is that chess must be contested by at least 6 states in order for it to continue as an event in SUKMA. While MCF is confident that chess will have no less than 10 states – or more, participating in SUKMA 2024, the effort from State Chess Associations is very crucial in ensuring that the state can produce players to the biannual event. MCF take note that smaller states may have challenges to get enough quality player to play, while some of the more chess centric states may have an abundance of players that will competing to vie for a spot.
In any event, MCF sees this as a good opportunity for more players to come to the fore and started showing what they can do by getting in touch with their State Chess Associations to inquire on how they can qualify or be a part of their state team. Parents and players must also take note that the process and prerogative to select players belongs to that of the state and MCF will not intervene nor dictate what the selection criteria would be. However, MCF strives to ensure that all selections are done justly and that each player is given the rights and opportunity to be selected.