MUNIR Azizi bin Ahmad emerged champion in the Laksamana College of Business (LCB) Institutional Rapid Chess Tournament 2018 after hitting the magic nine points at the Brunei Chess Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.
Muhammad Adib Syauqi finished as runners-up with 6.5 points while Muhd Ridhwan settled for third place.
Organised by the LCB Chess Club, the tournament attracted a total of 28 entries from across various higher education institutions in the country making it a large-scale inter-school meet.
The LCB Chess Club was formed a year ago driven by the passion and vision of its founder Muhammad Syafiq Syukri bin Awang Arifin, whose personal desire and undertaking has brought him towards both the organisation and success of the tournament.
“As what I was told, we had students from various schools and higher education institutions. It is really nice to have you all and I really need to thank my chess club because it was founded a year ago by Syafiq Syukri,” said Sivarajah Subramaniam, Chief Operating Officer/ Deputy Principal of LCB in a speech.
“It is really nice to see a number of young kids and youths who took part in the chess competition. I’m really amazed with the motivation and encouragement from the Brunei Chess Federation.”
Meanwhile, the President of Brunei Chess Federation (BCF), Haji Zainal Abidin bin Haji Mohd Ali said, “This is the first time I believe that such an organisation from a school organising its own competition without having us to interfere. We only have to facilitate with our arbiter and chess facility.”
The tournament became a reality following the establishment of the LCB Chess Club with the then-freshman Muhammad Syafiq Syukri, who was the tournament director of the competition, the architect.
Muhammad Syafiq had just been enrolled with LCB on March 2017 when his passion and motivation drove him towards setting up a chess club in his own initiative around the same time he was also appointed as a member of the Student’s Council.
“Last year, it was my first time going to Laksamana College so I became a student council as well as the first founder for Laksamana Chess Club,” said Muhammad Syafiq Syukri in an interview with the Bulletin.
“When I first came to the school, I made a proposal to open up a chess club and they approved it. That was on my first semester and it was my first day in school that I made the decision,” he added.
Muhammad Syafiq, who was also the club’s first president, approached the sports department of the college and initiated the thought of setting a chess club which has never been done before.
“I see that there was a CCA registration and I talked to the sports department in our college. So I asked if I could open a chess club.
“They said that I could but I would need to make a proposal. So I did and after a while, it got approved and that’s when it all started.
“Back then, I was really passionate. I only knew BCF in 2015 so two years later, I decided that I wanted to have my own club. I wanted to build something out of my own passion,” said the founder of the LCB Chess Club.
The founder explained how he wanted to see the club grow after passing his role to the second president of the club Muhammad Taqy Syazwan bin Haji Hasnan.
The current president of the LCB Chess Club is Marcel Lim Kian Tong who highlighted the importance of the influence gained from his predecessors towards leading the tournament.
“We just finished our first tournament and during that time it wasn’t easy at all without both the ex-presidents. It wouldn’t have been easy for me to do anything,” said Marcel.
“Without the original founder, I wouldn’t have gotten a lot of information and without our ex-president I wouldn’t have gotten more interesting players.
“Since this semester, I learnt a lot. I wanted to do my best in knowing other players so with me and the past presidents, all three of us, we wanted to do this just to improve chess in Brunei.”
Also echoing Marcel sentiment was his predecessor Muhammad Taqy who expressed his keenness to promote and advocate the expansion and development of chess in the country.
“We hope that chess can grow in Brunei and make it a bigger sport. It is not limited as an adult game, it is a fun game where we can socialise and connect with other people,” he said.