With this posting, looks like i have posted about Terengganu chess for 3 times in a row. A hat-trick. But i cannot help it, not with these so much interesting and positive developments that currently happened in Terengganu chess.
I called this phenomena as Second Revival of Terengganu Chess.
To me, the First Revival of Terengganu Chess happened in mid 80s to mid 90s when chess is being recognized as sport by Terengganu State Goverment. Terengganu Sports Council generously sponsored many tournaments as well as sponsored players that represent state in tournaments such as National Closed, Merdeka Team Event, Selangor Open etc. 'Sponsored' here is not referring to give a paltry sum of RM50 to players. Sponsored here means that our (state players) hotel, travelling fee, entrance fee are taken care of. We are also given generous pocket money and jackets/ wind breaker, at one time it was a coat! We are the envy of other players who needs to fork out their own, hard earned money to enter tournament at Kuala Lumpur :)
Pak Sachlin Mail, our head honcho then, even let half of his house as sanctuary to us, chess refugee/ addict.
Of no surprise we are able to produce national players such as Ghalam and Norazmi and dozens other players that able to keep breathing fire at their neck!
After that, and for next 20 years, Terengganu chess is sort of in doldrums...
Yes, there are activities, players etc but somehow ( to me) the passion is just not there...
Now it is about to change... The passion is back!
Part of it is no doubt due to Ruzenan's effort in gathering most of Terengganu players from 3 generations (Sargon Generation, Mephisto/Novag Generation and Fritz/Chessbase Generation) under Whatsaps Group called 'GanuMaster'...with aptly 'GM' as abbreviation!
From this group, many old warriors are manage to be seduced...and lured to play chess again. Most notably is the comeback of many players that have retired from the game for a long, long time. The players from 'Novag/ Mephisto' era such as Lim Sim Leong, Adnan Salleh, Azli, Lutfi Amir, Cikgu Hafez and Heng Aik Kiat etc. From these list, many i know are opening their dusty and yellowish chess books again and some even started to enter tournaments after tournaments like man possessed!
Unity in chess
Talked about Heng Aik Kiat or better known as Franco Heng, two weeks ago he is the undisputed winner of tournament he entered, an Inter Mosque Chess Tournament. Only in Terengganu, non-muslim entered chess tournament organized by a mosque (and win!). Chess here after all manage to do what politicians in this world tried to do (but failed), unite all regardless of race and religion.
Talked about passion or love of chess, last night we, GanuMaster's citizen, are shocked to know about one of Terengganu player (Khairul Hafiz), met with an accident that resulted in his car spinning turtle many times over. Condition of his car is total wrecked (but thank God, he is ok) and an hour or two after this nerve wrecking accident, and due to perhaps without his car, he can be seen busy arranging for his transport to his next chess tournament at Tronoh.
An hour after accident (that could easily be fatal), Hafiz is thinking and worried about his next chess tournament! :)
This morning, he went to the accident site to recover his chess set and clock!
What a passion!
Place to play chess are also mushrooming. Every now and then there are news on new chess center being open...
Tournaments are now also many. From planned tournaments to 'spontaneous' tournaments, from offline to online...its everywhere.
Talked about tournament, Ruzenan is now busy preparing to hold a lucrative year end tournament called Ganumaster 2014 with thousands in total prize fund.
Want to enter this tournament? Sorry! This tournament is by invitation only and limited to top 32 players...Top 32 Terengganu players that is! :)
...and i just yesterday manage to get my leave approve to enter this tournament.
All in all, it is now definitely a good time for chess in Terengganu...