Thursday, July 15, 2010

Serious business


Training programme to groom young chess talents in the country.

BANGLADESHI grandmaster Ziaur Rahman (pic), who will be based in Malaysia for the next year or so, will soon be getting down to the serious business of training young chess talents in the country.

The Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) has finalised a 15-month development programme stretching over six terms to groom young talents.

Each term of the MCF Young Talent chess development programme is self-contained and will last 30 days. Every programme will cover all aspects of chess training. These include assessment of a player’s capability and understanding of the game, an intensive study of the chess middlegame and endgame, and the important chess opening theory.

Ziaur will take the students through all the stages of chess preparation, identify their playing styles, their strengths and weaknesses, and look into areas of improving them. To achieve this, he will have a small group of local international masters to assist him during each term.

According to the MCF, the focus of the programme is to discover and develop junior chess talents in the country who are between eight and 14 years old as they represent the future of Malaysian chess. Nevertheless, older youths are welcomed, too.

The programme will run from this month until September next year. The first term is from July 24 to Aug 22 so that the first batch of students to finish the programme can also take part in the Malaysia Chess Festival scheduled for September.

There will be a fresh intake of students every term. The second term starts in September, the third term in November, the fourth in February next year, the fifth term in April and the sixth term in July. So there will be ample opportunities for readers to send their children to attend these intensive programmes.

The approach to each term’s programme is simple: group training for all students to learn the fundamentals of chess, and a personalised session during which the students are paired with the grandmaster or an international master who will take them through a more detailed study mode. This session will help the trainer fine-tune the student’s skills to the best advantage of his playing style and preferences.

At the end of the term, each student would have undergone a maximum of 68 hours of end-to-end chess improvement experience and learning.

The fee is capped at RM500, thanks to sponsors. Normally, such training programmes with grandmasters can easily cost between RM4,000 and RM6,000.

Students interested in attending the first term should contact the MCF before July 19. Due to space constraints, there are only places for 10 students.

The MCF stressed that the development programme is not meant for beginners. Students are required to possess certain playing strength and skills.

For enquiries or to request for the programme prospectus, contact Najib Wahab (016-3382542, or the MCF secretary Gregory Lau (012-9020123).

---- the star online

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