• 10:31 am Events Submitted for MCF Rating – and future MCF Rated events
  • 3:39 pm Malaysia to Organize Commonwealth Chess Championship 2023-24 from 19th to 28th February in Melaka
  • 10:25 pm Malaysians Youth To Participate At The 25th Asian Youth Chess Championship in Al-Ain, UAE
  • 1:03 am Eastern Asian Juniors and Girls Chess Championship 2023 Officially Kicked Off in Sabah
  • 12:42 pm ASIAN Online Chess Championship for Players with Disabilities

Great news for the Malaysian Chess Community as the National Security Council (MKN) has given the green light for chess events and tournament to resume albeit having to adhere to stringent SOPs and guidelines set by the council.

Without a doubt, the chess community can now breathe a sigh of relief in response to the announcement made by Senior Minister YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob yesterday which specifically mention chess as one of the sports that are allowed to resume its tournament activities. Around the world, Bangladesh and Armenia have already resumed over-the-board tournaments and it looks certain that Malaysia will be following suit soon although events are limited to national levels only.

While the Malaysian Chess Federation welcomes the encouraging news from the Ministry, organizer who are eager to resume their tournament activities should practice caution and understand thoroughly the SOPs that are needed to be followed or they might end up at the wrong end of the law. With many Malaysians especially parents and those considered as “high risk” are still sceptical about resuming their daily activities to the fullest, it may take time for organizers to once again enjoy raking in hundreds of players for a weekend event. Further, with SOPs like social distancing, crowd control and sanitization requirement that the organizers need to enforce during a tournament, the operations cost to complete such an event may increase substantially against the minimal earnings gained due to limited participation.

For chess players, some of the more important general individual protocol that needs to be followed are:

  1. No customary handshake at the start or the end of a game
  2. The use of face mask for players and officials throughout the competition
  3. Reservation of slots i.e. late registrations or walk ins must not be allowed

For the organizers, the general administrative protocol that may pose challenges for it to be executed are:

  1. Preparing a registry to record body temperatures of everyone who intends to enter the premise. Those who display illness or are having temperatures must not be allowed to enter at any time
  2. Ensuring that the premise or playing hall is not crowded with participants – in other words, limited number of participants are allowed
  3. Social distancing which requires tables/players to be set at least 1 meter apart
  4. Sanitizing of premise (table, chairs, etc.) and equipment that are shared between players (sets and clocks).
  5. Provide hand sanitizing liquid/dispenser at strategic places around the premise/playing hall
  6. Crowd and traffic control – single point of entry/exit
  7. Exiting the premise/hall once a game is completed.
  8. Displaying of emergency numbers for quick action when required.

While these are some of the more significant general guidelines provided by the National Security Council, which are also in line with FIDE guidelines, the Malaysian Chess Federation would like to remind organizers that those who defy or fail to adhere to the SOPs and guidelines set by the National Security Council will definitely be reported to the authorities and will be severely reprimanded, even penalized by the authorities as the events will be viewed as posing threats. Do take note that aside from the Federation, the general public will also observe how organizers are managing the events and complaints can originate from anyone who views an event as a potential health concerns and hazards to the masses.

Organizers must be aware that the good name of our sport is at stake and any new clusters caused by irresponsible organizers and players will definitely impact the public perception of chess as a sport, the community, players, the association and that of the Federation. And organizers also need to be aware that while the pandemic in Malaysia may have eased in the last few weeks, a new cluster may emerged considering the fact that many countries around the world are still struggling to manage the spread of the virus with a few countries experiencing a relapse.

The Malaysian Chess Federation is hopeful and confident that organizers will adhere to these requirements and hereby requiring that all future tournaments from here on, are registered with the national federation to allow us to monitor the situation closely. Organizers are required to write to mcfsecretariat@malaysiachess.org and inquiries@malaysiachess.org to register their events by providing the following details:

  1. Event Name
  2. Organizer’s Name
  3. Names of Tournament Director and Chief Arbiter
  4. Venue/Location
  5. Date and Time of event
  6. Number of Rounds/Time Control
  7. Expected Entries
  8. If events are open to School children (Under 18) and Senior Citizens (Above 60)
  9. Registering and uploading event details at www.chess-result.com

A more proper and detailed forms will be made available within the next couple of days.

In summary, The Malaysian Chess Federation would like to express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those who have kept chess well and alive via various online events that were organized throughout the MCO period. And as we move towards resuming chess tournaments via the new norm, we should progress with caution and prioritize health and safety measures at all time.

#staysafe #togetherwecan #kitajagakita

For details on the SOP for Recreational Sports, please click HERE

For Statement by the Sports and Youth Minister, please click HERE

MCF Secretariat