The Singapore Chess Federation

The Singapore Chess Federation or the SCF is the main chess governing authority in Singapore. Involved in virtually all chess events in the country, the SCF was established in 1949. Largely due to its efforts in promoting the game by way of various youth and interschool chess events, the number of players participating in these events jumped from just over 500 in 1999 to well over 1200 in 2004. Subsequently, Singapore today has the distinction of having one of the highest numbers of scholastic chess players per capita in Asia. The Singapore Chess Federation is a member federation of the world chess governing body FIDE, and is a member of the ASEAN Chess Confederation as well.

Notable chess events in Singapore

The 1997 National Championship

In this event, Vietnamese player IM Tu Hoang Thong managed to beat out the competition with a single defeat. Because IM Tu was neither a local citizen nor a permanent resident of Singapore however, the trophy was awarded to Gregory Choog who was the 1st runner up. The 1996 National Champion winner CM Lau Keng Boon actually managed to defeat IM Tu, although he would later lose his next game to Gregory Choong.

The 1998 National Junior Championship

The winner of this Under-16 event was Navin Sawalani, who was then a student of the ACS. As part of the team that was sent to the Asia Teams Championship, Sawalani performed admirably in the Singapore Open, achieving a draw with FM Chia and NM Lim.

1998 National Blitz

The winner of this event was Goh Weiming. As was his usual performance, Weining manged to beat out almost all of the competition with relative ease.

1998 Singapore Open

The winner of this event was FM Chia CS. IM Tu did manage to achieve the highest score, but again because he was not a citizen of Singaporean, the trophy was awarded to FM Chia who was the 1st runner up.

Karpov's Singapore Exhibition

One of the definite high points of the Singaporean chess scene was the visit of FIDE World Champion, Anatoly Karpov, which lasted from November 26 to November 28. While in the country, Karpov met with Minister of Education Rear Admiral Teo Chee Hean, and also held a press conference for the Singaporean media. During the press conference, Karpov suggested that local education authorities begin to teach chess as part of the local school curriculum.

On November 28, Karpov played in a simultaneous match against 25 local chess players. The event was held at the Singapore Intellectual Games Centre in Bishan. Karpov played this match against several national players in addition to a few local juniors. The burgeoning popularity of chess in the country as well as the overwhelming admiration for Karpov was apparent in the huge turnout of the event, which numbered more than 200 spectators.

The 2nd Nee Soon East CC Chess Championship

This relatively low-key event was held at Nee Soon CC on June 14. Nevertheless, the attendance was fairly well received, with a respectable turnout of more than one hundred participants.