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While it is now confirmed and done deal that the SEA Games in Cambodia will not include the standard chess for Gold medals glory, other forms of chess will still be contested namely Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) and Ouk Chatrang (Cambodian Chess). The responsibility to field the Xiangqi team will fall under the purview of the Xiangqi Association, but for Ouk Chatrang – as it is considered a variation of chess, the selection of the players to compete in the event has come under the Malaysian Chess Federation.

2023 SEA Games logo.svg

As of now, Thailand and Vietnam – the favorites for the top spots, have confirmed their participation with host Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines agreeing as well. Indonesia is yet to commit and Malaysia is keen to compete with a few players already voicing their interest.

With IM Mok Tze Meng as the head coach and one of Malaysia’s leading chess players who are masters of other chess variations like Ouk Chatrang and ASEAN Chess, MCF is confident that Malaysia has a good chance of challenging other nations for the medals. Although Vietnam and Thailand may be the favorites, the absence of a proper circuit and the lack of exposure to the game means that it can be an open contest for every country to try for medals. While the game may be different, its basic principles and fundamentals of the game are similar hence those who are good at chess should be able to adapt to playing Ouk Chatrang rather well.

With this in mind, MCF is inviting chess players – preferably titled players with a minimum rating of 1800 (for men) and 1600 (for women), who are interested in exploring opportunities, to apply to represent the country at the regional meet.

Interested players are to write to mcfsecretariat@malaysiachess.org and include the following information in their email, with an application fee of RM20.

  1. Name
  2. Contact Number
  3. Email address
  4. Chess Title – if any
  5. FIDE Rating (Standard or Rapid)
  6. Chess Achievements – since 2020
  7. Proof of Payment for RM20
  8. Please indicate if you have an International Passport
  9. Please indicate if you have played/familiar with Ouk Chatrang.
  10. Please add information that can help us to select you as our player

The closing date is Monday, 5th February 2023 (before 6:00 pm).

Successful applicants will be informed on Tuesday, 6th February 2023

MCF Secretariat