Friday 26 November 2010.
In US and Canada, Black Friday shopping season begin...
In Tennesse, a package containing radio active material has been reported lost...
In London, Black Friday for Malaysian Chess. We, chess citizen of Malaysian chess, lost our one and only Lim Chong.
Lim Chong needs no introduction (though in his life, he never fails to introduce to us the beauty of chess). We all know him and in a time before Wikipedia, Al Jazeera, Chessresult.com, Gilachess and Hairulov, Lim Chong is all above combined. If Lim Chong did not write it, it did not happen. Simple.
We chess players treasured what he write (especially if our name or picture, or even better our game!, is mentioned on his article!), we physically (and literally!) cut and paste his article, entered tournament he mentioned and improve our game by playing/ studying via chess games he published. And not only that, to me, via his writings, I learned English language. Whenever I discovered new words in his article, I will look for the meaning in dictionary and write it down on my little '555' notebook (paper notebook, not battery powered notebook) of my new English word.
I remember how in late 80s and early 90s. I was still schooling at Dungun Terengganu...first thing to do on Saturday morning is to look for Malay Mail (Lim Chong’s column appeared on Friday, afternoon but Terengganu will normally received it a day after). It is once a week compulsory date with Lim Chong. Forget about breakfast...and on Saturday morning we will normally have the best breakfast in the form of Nasi Dagang, still a date with Lim Chong is what I valued more!
For someone who played such a central role in Malaysian chess (equivalent to the e4, d4 square), Lim Chong as a person always quiet and humble and chose to be a quiet a2 pawn but we chess player know without the very quiet a2 pawn, the equilibrium of the position collapse! And furthermore there is no need for Lim Chong to do that (to be very vocal, highlighting his contributions, plans, for chess from the central e4 or d4 square) because in chess kingdom and among us, he actually stood at e1 square!
Lim Chong is now no longer with us (though his writings shall forever be part of Malaysian chess history) We cannot say how thankful we are to him but the least we can do to pay our respect to the King of local chess columnist is perhaps by entering Lim Chong Memorial Chess Tournament tomorrow.
See you there!