(Sands Cotai Central, Macau)
Garry Kasparov was the guest of honour at the 15th ASEAN+ Age Group Chess Championships held at in Macao from 3-11 June 2014
(The huge crowd at the start on the first round)
With the regions biggest and longest standing event being held for the first time outside the original 10 national ASEAN grouping, the presence of the 13th World Chess Champion and FIDE Presidential Candidate, his third to the country(!), was an enormous boost indeed to both the organisers.
As always a visit by Kasparov not only energises the local chess community (in this case also the 650 participants from 21 countries!) but he also generates huge local interest with public, corporations and government.
SOCIAL EVENING & GALA DINNER
(Ceremonial VVIP seating at the Gala Dinner, far right is Jose Tavares, President of the Macau Sports Development Board)
So mindful of the huge impact of his previous visit where USD 400,000 was committed for a fully sponsored three year Macao chess in schools program, the Macau Chess Association together with IDM (Macau Sport Development Board) hosted a Gala Dinner at the world famous Macau Fisherman’s Wharf in conjunction with the traditional event highlight – Social Night – on 9 June 2014.
(Garry was of course the keynote speaker)
( The Philippines took the honours in the blue-ribbon U-20 Girls and U-20 Open Standard Chess with International Master titles on offer to winners)
(Which was very satisfying to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines leadership)
(A great night with a Filipina also winning the talent contest at Social Night!)
(VVIPs on stage)
The evening ended with an exchange of gifts between Jose Silveirinha, President of Macau Chess Association, Kasparov, Tavares and Ignatius Leong, President of the ASEAN Chess Confederation.
CHESS IN EDUCATION
Next up was the Chess in Education Workshop open to all where Garry was an enthusiastic facilitator for the presenter Graham Jurgensen who introduced the Mini Chess program that showed the use of chess as an education tool for very young children could changing their lives and their communities in Africa.
(Leon Ramos-Ryan signing the agreement with Prospero Pichay Jr and Ignatius Leong with members of Team Kasparov 2014 looking on)
This potential of Mini Chess was very exciting to the many participants but Guam was fastest in seeking the help of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific to help introduce and roll-out this and other chess programs.
Finally, Garry officiated at the closing ceremony where the Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess winners were announced and together with the earlier Standard Chess results, the overall winners were declared.
1. Vietnam (57 Gold, 46 Silver and 26 Bronze)
2. Philippines (35 Gold, 42 Silver and 17 Bronze)
3. Singapore (13 Gold, 7 Silver and 20 Bronze)
4. Indonesia (4 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze)
5. China (4 Gold, 3 Silver and 4 Bronze)
6. Malaysia (3 Gold, 5 Silver and 15 Bronze)
7. Russia (1 Gold, 1 Bronze)
8. Mongolia (1 Silver and 2 Bronze)
9. India (1 Silver and 1 Bronze)
10. Laos (2 Bronze)
11. New Zealand (1 Bronze)
(Opening Remarks by Silveirinha)
(A Huge Crowd in Attendance)
(An emotional moment on stage showing the very long and deep friendship between the two co-organisers)
(A relaxed and upbeat closing address by Kasparov which offered encouragement to the many young talents participating)
(Nothing but cameras when Garry is around!)
(It takes great teamwork: Jackson Li – Chief Arbiter, Maung Maung Lwin – Chairman of Appeals Committee, Panupand Vijjuprabha – Tournament Director, and Philip Chan – Social Director)
(Some of youngest of the many happy winners)
(Ian Wilkinson provided “serious” entertainment midway through the prize giving ceremony)
(Seems that even the veterans enjoyed winning prizes as much as the little ones)
(Team winners amongst the girls)
(Team winners amongst the boys)
(These young girls must be the future)
(As would be these even younger girls)
(To end a wonderful event, what less than the youngest participants in a final group photo with all the dignitaries present!)