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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A 25-Year-Old Chess Tradition from Fiji

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

A simple chess tradition, but an expression of great love of chess. Such is this story by Arin Kumar from Fiji. One of the chess players who introduced and took part in every Mohammed Badshah Memorial Open Chess Tournament will not feature in this year's chess tournament.
Australia-based Dr Sanmogan Goundar is a notable exclusion from this year's Mohammed Badshah Memorial Open. Dr Goundar, who has been sponsoring the tournament since its inception 25 years, was also one of those players who had competed in the tournament for 25 years.

Fiji Chess Federation president Dr Virgilio de Asa said Dr Goundar was not able to get leave for the event. "He is working in Australia and he did not get leave for this event," De Asa said.

"But he has not lost interest in the tournament. In fact, he has increased the prize money to $1500."

De Asa said Mohammed Badshah was Dr Goundar's classmate and the two players were the pioneers of chess clubs at the Fiji School Medicine in Suva. "Unfortunately, Mohammed Badshah was involved in a tragic accident in Canada that claimed his life and his classmate and friend, Dr Goundar and Dr Singh started this tournament in his memory. And ever since then, Dr Goundar has been the major sponsor for the tournament," he said. FCF general secretary Teliko Koroi said the tournament was rapidly becoming the most hyped local tournament in the sport as the prize pool is one of the largest.

"We are hoping to see a huge turnout since prizes will be allocated in all categories, with concentration on rewarding younger and intermediate players to encourage long-term growth of chess as a professional sport in Fiji," Koroi said.

The 2012 Mohammed Badshah Open will be held this Sunday at the Pasifika Campus of the Fiji School of Medicine in Suva.

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