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The Malaysian chess community can now breath a sigh of relief after MOE issued a formal letter confirming that chess will continue as a sport under MSSM for “2020 and the subsequent years to come”. The letter dated 15th November 2019 from Bahagian Sukan, Kokurikulum and Kesenian, was sent to MCF Secretariat earlier today in response to an Open Letter sent by MCF President Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah TS Sanusi to Ministry of Education middle of last month in its effort to keep chess in MSSM.

Although it was never confirmed that MOE will eventually remove chess from MSSM calendar of activities for 2020 and beyond, President Akhramsyah decided not to chance it by starting a petition for the community to vote for chess to remain in MSSM when news started circulating in late September. With continuing rumors that MOE has finally come to a decision, President Akhramsyah step up the effort further by writing an Open Letter to YB Dr. Maszlee bin Malik to reconsider the decision made by the Ministry. While the YB Minister has provided positive and encouraging feedback to “overturn” the decision, it left the chess community in a state of uncertainty as the days went through without any firm decisions from the Ministry.Although MCF has made some alternative plans in the event of a worst-case scenario, the President was upbeat and optimistic that the decision will eventually favor the community. Lo and behold, the long-awaited decision has been reached with chess to continue as one of the sport contested in MSSM calendar of events. And for that, a heartfelt thanks to the President for his persistence to pursue the matter and personally taking up the challenge to help the community.

Now that everything has been formally confirmed, MCF looks forward to working with MOE to realize the proposed development programs and initiative to help catapult chess in MSSM to a higher level of recognition. In the same letter, MOE also expresses its eagerness to collaborate with MCF in providing recommendations and proposals to improve its technical and administrative requirements in order to manage a more efficient and effective chess programs for schools. As a start, MCF will look to recognize potential talents within the MSSM pool that can be showcased and selected to don our National colors for International events overseas in 2020.

Thank You to our Ministry of Education and YB Dr Maszlee bin Malik for listening to the plea of our community to maintain chess in MSSM, and Thank You to our MCF President, Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah TS Sanusi for your relentless effort in ensuring that chess continue to flourish as a sport for the youngsters. But most importantly, the biggest Thank You to the chess communities, teachers and students who continue to show your support and aspiration to make chess a sport of choice that will continue to be played and contested amongst the school children.