BATTLE OF WITS: Lions Club teams up with City Hall to organise competitions
KUALA LUMPUR: BEING visually impaired, deaf, mute or physically challenged need not mean one has to miss out on the fun challenges presented by chess, the game of wit and strategy.
This was attested to during the recent 17th International Chess and Inaugural Chinese Chess Competition for the Disabled held at Berjaya Times Square in Jalan Imbi, here, which involved 48 participants with disabilities. The event was organised by the Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur Central, in cooperation with City Hall.
Those who were visually impaired had assistants to guide them, while sign interpreters were on stand-by in case the deaf and mute participants needed assistance.
The contestants had to outsmart their opponents before advancing to the next stage, and the victors were decided in the sixth round.
In the International Chess category with 39 competitors, Ho Hea King emerged champion and received RM600. Saharudin Mapa was second, winning RM450, while third place and RM250 went to Chuah Heng Meng. All three also received a trophy each.
There were seven consolation prize winners, with Muhamad Kelana Yusof, Hasidin Abdul Rashid, Aqila Syahira Ahmad, Shaharuddin Sidek, Ahmad Zubir Yaakob, Iskandar Rashid and Hishamuddin Wahab each receiving a token amount.
As for the Chinese Chess section, which had nine players, 67-year-old Wong Sing Kong showed that age had not slowed him down when he took first place. Second was Chang Ming Lai and Ng Say Leng.
There were six consolation prize winners, namely Lim Eng Chuan, Siau Chuin, Kong Cheok Ning, Chia Lee Chai, Lee Wai Kit and Toh Chin Yuan. All the winners received the same prizes as their International Chess counterparts.
Certificates of participation were also presented to all who competed.
The prizes were presented by Edwin Phua, president of the Lions Club of KL Central, and organising chairman Alvin Wong.
Helping out during the event were 10 members of the Omega Leo Club of Kuala Lumpur Central while Lions members from Kuala Lumpur (Host), Sri Petaling, KL Titiwangsa, KL Mega City KL North, KL Bukit Jalil, Oversea Union Garden, KL Vision City were also there to lend their support.
Wong said the number of participants was double that of last year's.
"We sent out letters to the organisations for the disabled before Chinese New Year, informing them about this competition. At the same time, we also sent out SMSes and email to last year's participants," said Wong.
Phua said the club was grateful to City Hall for sponsoring the stage decorations, furniture as well as taking care of meals.
"We would also like to thank our venue sponsor Berjaya Times Square for providing us with the elevated stage, backdrop panel, banquet chairs and tables, sound system, poster board and VIP sofa seats," said Phua.
Wong Chang Wai, who is also Past District 308 B1 Governor, said the Lions Club of KL Central has been organising the competition as one of its community service projects.
"The competition is held to recognise the special skills of the physically challenged while also providing an avenue for them to have fellowship with one another," said Wong, who is also a member of KL Central.
The event was officiated by 1st Vice District 308 B1 Governor Lau Teng Chye.
Alvin Wong presenting a consolation prize to a contestant as Edwin Phua looks on. Pic by Ricky Yap