International Chess Tournament in Brunei

Officially launching the Brunei Campomanes Memorial Grandmaster Open at Orchid Garden
There is currently one international tournament currently taking place in Brunei which not many people in Brunei know about. I thought I will highlight that The Brunei Campomanes Memorial Grandmaster Chess Open 2012 is currently taking place at The Orchid Garden Hotel in Berakas.

The Chess Open is organised by the Brunei Chess Federation and I was lucky enough to have the honour to launch the tournament yesterday afternoon. The tournament is held in honour of Florencio Compamanes who was the former President of FIDE (1982 to 1995) and Honorary President (1995 to 2010), has passed away at age 83 in May 2010. Campomanes was often present at significant international competitions such as zonal and continental championships, chess olympiads and world chess championships including a few times here in Brunei Darussalam. For those who are curious FIDE stands for Fédération Internationale des Échecs or in English, World Chess Federation or more accurately International Chess Federation.

The tournament which began yesterday and will end on April 12 have several chess grandmasters including Olivier Barbosa of the Philippines, who was a silver medallist at the 2005 South East Asian (SEA) Games, and Dao Thein Hai of Vietnam, who claimed the gold medal in last year's SEA Games and was also the World Youth Champion in 1993. Prizes total US$10,000, with the Open Category winner getting US$1,500. There are special prizes and local prizes, as well.

What I did not know was that Brunei has one player which is already ranked in FIDE as FIDE Master (FM) Yee Soon Wei. His ranking points I have been told is 2200. To be a Grandmaster, it should be around 2500. The top 3 players in the world all have ratings of 2800 above, Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2835, Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2820 and Kranmik Vladimir (Russia) 2801. The top 100 players have ratings above 2652.

If you are interested, you can visit the tournament now taking place at Level 8, Orchid Garden Hotel. But you have to be very quiet and switch off your mobile phones otherwise you will be affecting all those players.

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