Thursday, August 22, 2013


Chemicals in plastics may boost kids’ risk for obesity

| August 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

Chemicals used in plastic food wraps and containers could be contributing to childhood diabetes and obesity, two new studies claim.

One study links phthalates to increased insulin resistance in children, while another associates bisphenol A (BPA) with high body-mass index (BMI) and expanding waistlines. Both studies appear online Aug. 19 and in the September print issue of Pediatrics.
“There is increasing concern that environmental chemicals might be independent contributors to childhood diseases related to the obesity epidemic,” said phthalates study author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. “Our research adds to these growing concerns.”
Trasande’s study reviewed insulin resistance and urinary levels of phthalates in 766 kids aged 12 to 19. Previous studies have linked phthalate exposure to insulin resistance in animals and human adults.
Phthalates are chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics and vin­yl. They are suspected endo­crine disruptors, and manufacturers have discontinued their use in baby products like teething rings and pacifiers.
The study found that insulin resistance in children increased with levels of a phthalate called di-2-ethylhexylphthalate, or DEHP. The association held even after researchers took into account the children’s caloric intake, BMI and other risk factors for diabetes.
“There are lab studies suggesting these chemicals can influence how our bodies respond to glucose,” Trasande said. “In particular, they are thought to influence genes that regulate release of insulin. There are other potential mechanisms, but that is the main mechanism of concern.”
In the other study, researchers Dr. Donna Eng and colleagues at the University of Michigan found that high urinary levels of BPA are associated with increased risk of obesity.
BPA is used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins for a wide variety of products. For example, aluminum cans use a BPA lining to prevent corrosion. It has been linked to a wide variety of health concerns, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned its use in sippy cups, baby bottles and infant formula packaging.
The study reviewed data on about 3,300 kids aged 6 to 18, and found that children with high BPA levels tend to have excessive amounts of body fat and unusually expanded waistlines.
However, in a related journal commentary, Dr. Robert Brent of Cornell University pointed out the limitations of using urine levels alone to determine the extent or impact of chemical exposure.
Dr. Hugh Taylor, chair of the Yale School of Medicine’s department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, said these studies “point out the vulnerability of children to environmental chemicals. It seems the younger you look, the more things are developing and the more vulnerable they are to these type of insults.”
However, Taylor added that the food wrapped in containers with phthalates and BPA likely are doing as much or more to contribute to diabetes and obesity as the chemicals themselves.
“It’s probably more about the type of diet these kids are eating,” Taylor said. “A move toward healthier natural food is always a good idea, not just because of the elimination of BPA and phthalates but for all the other health benefits. If we think about more common-sense eating of healthy foods that aren’t packaged in a way that would introduce BPA and phthalates, we would be so much better off.”
Trasande recommends that parents avoid using plastic containers with the recycling numbers 3, 6 or 7, in which phthalates or BPA are used.
“I also advise families not to microwave plastics, hand wash plastic containers, and throw away plastic containers where there is etching or other damage to them,” he said.
While the new studies found associations between chemicals in plastic and insulin resistance and obesity in children, they did not establish cause-and-effect.
Source: WebMd
Category: Health, Health News

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why are Russians so Good at Chess?

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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 19 August 2013
by GM Daniel Gormally

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Reading through the FIDE rating list (I know what you're thinking, he should get out more) is interesting reading at times (really).

For example I noticed that very few players rated below 2520 (my classical ELO rating is currently 2514) have anything like my rapid and blitz ratings of 2546 and 2571 respectively. Which I like to take as an example that I am underrated. Or that I'm just a speed chess expert?! More on this subject later.

Quite frightening can be reading through the top of the Russian rating list. Basically on my current rating I wouldn't even get in the top 100 in that country. Being over 2700 doesn't even ensure you a place in the top ten!

Why is Russia so strong? This is hardly a new development either, Bobby Fischer was complaining about "those damn Ruskies" before I was even born.

Well I think there are several factors to take into consideration. Firstly chess is in the culture over there. I can't say I'm a great expert on Russian cultural history, but it is obvious that after the Russian Revolution in 1917, chess was been used a promotional tool by the ruling communist elite, as a means to demonstrate Soviet intellectual dominance.

Ever since the early days of Botvinnik, Russia has been pretty dominant in world chess. It's only in recent years that Ukraine have started to challenge that, and while Armenia has cleaned up in the last few Olympiads, they have nothing like the strength in depth of Russia, and it should also be pointed out that both Ukraine and Armenia are former Soviet-bloc countries.

I think it also helps that Russian people tend to be both naturally analytical and creative at the same time, a potent combination for chess. They also have a large population to draw upon, almost 150 million, which dwarfs the population of England for example, but probably can't be used as an explanation, as both China and India have far more people, yet nothing like the amount of strong players (although both are catching up.)

There's also the factor of long and cold Russian winters, poring over a chessboard deep in concentration seems a more natural prospect in that kind of environment, than in a sweltering Miami summer. But that can't be the only reason.

The biggest factor in my eyes is simple- success breeds success. You have a large group of players, you are more likely to develop more strong players, than if you are isolated and don't analyse with anyone.

Most of the top Russian players doubtless live in the big cities like Moscow and St Petersburg. They work together and they work hard. It's a serious profession. You spend time working with strong players you are not certain to get to their level, but you are more likely to do so than if you don't at all.

That's what makes the success of Magnus Carlsen so impressive, coming from a country with very little chess history. There aren't any other players in Norway even approaching his strength. But not only is he an exceptional talent, I'm sure he's also worked with strong foreign trainers from a young age. 

Essentially what I'm saying from this is that it's much easier to reach a high level in Russia than it is in other countries. It's like the analogy of a racing stable. You have good horses working together, eventually they will all start running really fast and start beating horses from other stables, because they will be used to running fast as they do it at home all the time.

If Botvinnik was the archetypal analytical, scientific style of player (in fact he pretty much pioneered this approach)Alexander Morozevich, currently competing in the Chess World Cup, is much more the creative type.

He got through in R2 against another creative and strong player, the Brazilian Leitao. It's always fascinating watching Moro's games and I would expect him to go a long way in this tournament- I would not be surprised at all if he won the whole thing. 

GM Daniel Gormally is open for chess lessons. You can contact him using this e-mail

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chess game ends in long stand off with Bellevue cops

A chess match between neighbours turned into an eight-hour police stand off after a Bellevue man pulled a gun on his opponent early Thursday morning.
Seattle Times 
A chess match between neighbours turned into an eight-hour police stand off after a Bellevue man pulled a gun on his opponent early Thursday morning, police said.
Police said the man ultimately surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody on investigation of assault shortly after 10 a.m.
According to Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate, officers were called to the Bellefield Manor Apartments at 1830 108th Ave. S.E. around 2 a.m.
Police said a man had invited his neighbour over to play chess and have a few drinks when, for reasons yet unknown Thursday afternoon, the man pulled a gun and threatened the neighbour.
The neighbour ran out of the building and called 911, police said.
Because the man was known to have at least one weapon, and possible access to others, police evacuated neighbours and closed several streets, including some of the city’s major transportation arteries.
The closures caused lengthy delays for morning commuters, police said.
Police attempted to talk the man into surrendering and also used a robot equipped with a camera, flash bangs and tear gas, according to The Associated Press.
The man finally surrendered by waving a white flag out his window.
Christine Clarridge can be reached at or 206-464-

iana Mirza's dad has nurtured her talent but many of our gifted children need more support

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Queen of the castle: Diana Mirza and her father Gabriel pictured at home in Limerick

Like many 13-year-olds Diana Mirza is a big Rihanna fan. The Limerick schoolgirl is also a devotee of top teen fiction writer Jacqueline Wilson and has been engrossed in her hit Queenie.

So far, so standard but Diana's third idol is a little unusual. "Bobby Fischer," she says proudly, "he's my absolute favourite."
There aren't many teenage girls who could tell you the name of the deceased American chess grandmaster (let alone list him as a hero) but Diana Mirza isn't just any teenager.
The pretty, quietly spoken girl has just been crowned Irish Women's Chess Champion, is the only Irish chess player to win silver and bronze medals at the European Union Youth Chess Championships and, when she entered the World Youth Chess Championships last year, she was ranked 36th in the world.
Today, she is competing with the Irish Chess Union's national team against the cream of young chess talent from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Glorney Cup in Cardiff.
Her father, Gabriel Mirza (47), knew he had a prodigy on his hands when his daughter picked up the complicated board game at the tender age of five and, spurred on by his promise of a one-off €100 cash prize, beat him in a game aged just 11.
The Romanian-born chess coach, who runs a chess club at Limerick's St Michael's sports club, now tries to support his daughter's talent by bringing her to tournaments where she can improve by competing against more demanding opposition.
But perhaps the biggest challenge Diana faces is the lack of support – financial or otherwise – for young talent in the chess world.
"In 2011 I almost didn't go to the World Youth Chess Championship in Brazil because it was so expensive," she explains.
"My school helped me raise some money but this year I have the same problem with going to the EU Youth Championships in Austria in a few weeks. I think this year I could win gold but flights and accommodation are expensive and I need funding."
While typically attending a tournament can run to around €1,000 a pop – and Diana tries to enter more than 20 a year – chess prize money is meagre.
Today's Glorney Cup is for a trophy and title only while even the larger events on the Irish circuit only run to a top prize of a few hundred euro.
This hopeful future grandmaster's only means of honing her skills is competing against her eight-year-old brother, reading books and practising two hours daily on the laptop she bought with her winnings.
Unfortunately as a child prodigy or gifted child, Diana is far from alone in lacking support to hone her skill.
While America, Russia, China and other densely populated countries can afford to set up centres of excellence for their skilled youngsters, Ireland lags behind.

Chess cool for thinking kids

Last updated 13:00 09/08/2013
MIND GAME: Roderick Morrison, of Nelson, ponders his next move.
Chess. It's a thinking person's game, and you need only your brain to play, boasts grand master-in-the-making Roderick Morrison.
Nayland College hosted an interschool regional chess tournament yesterday, with a bumper turnout of 164 keen young competitors suggesting that the traditional board game might be making a comeback, among even the coolest kids.
Friends Fabian Strauch, 11, and Roderick Morrison, 12, both learned to play chess under the tutelage of their fathers, and both honestly admit they have never beaten them - yet.
Roderick, of Nelson College Preparatory School, said he had played chess "since he could lift a piece". He liked the strategic board game because it "doesn't run on batteries", and you "don't need wi-fi" to play, like many computer games require these days.
Fabian said, frankly, "it's just a really good board game".
Nayland maths teacher Andrea Adair was charged with keeping the peace in the frantic chess hall, which hosted 539 individual matches between competitors from primary, intermediate, and secondary schools from across Nelson and Tasman.
Adair also organised a sausage sizzle fundraiser, with proceeds appropriately going towards the purchase of a giant chess set for the college.
"It feels like this is the revival of chess," she said.
"There are more than double the number of competitors as last year. It just shows that young people are not just about video games. Some kids do still want that mental challenge."
She said chess, a game of logic and strategy traditionally popular among males, was clearly also appealing to girls, who made up at least half of the competition.
Adair said all players were fair and put fun ahead of serious competition.
"It's great the academic kids have an opportunity to compete, and not at sports.
"It's not all about sports, and these kids really embrace it."
The tournament was brought to Nelson by Auckland company Chess Power, and was arbitrated by Bruce Pollard, who said Nelson's regional tournament was by far the most well-attended in the country.
"Nelson are over-achievers at chess," he said.
He said the top 20 players from each region would be invited to compete at the national championships in Auckland next month.
Ten-year-old Rosie Brazendale, of Motupipi Primary School in Takaka, said she was having heaps of fun, and it had been worth waking up at 6am to drive to Nelson.
Hira School's Chi Kavanagh, 10, went out of his way to thank the people who had organised the chess tournament, the first he'd ever taken part in."[Chess] helps your brain think," he said.

- © Fairfax NZ News


 Chess / by Shelby Lyman

In retrospect, Bobby Fischer’s chess precocity was mind-boggling.
In 1958 at 15 he was the world’s youngest grandmaster.
If we look at his early recorded games we encounter evidence of a remarkably mature approach to playing chess.
How did this self-taught Brooklyn boy become so good so fast? In particular, whence the early maturity of style?
The clue may be found in his unusual beginnings. Chessboards have two sides to accommodate two players. But Bobby’s early experiences were solitary.
When his sister Joan defaulted as an opponent, later explaining that “we Fischers do not like to lose,” the younger brother - abandoned to his own resources - had to do it alone.
He would first make a move from one side of the board, then from the other.
We can imagine Bobby Fischer with the black pieces playing Bobby Fischer with the white pieces. Both of his avatars, Bobby One and Bobby Two, of course, unwilling to give an inch or cede a single square. As much as each passionately wanted to win, each hated even more to lose.
Willy-nilly, the games would have mimicked the wariness of modern grandmaster play.
Did this kind of play boost his early maturity.
Is this fanciful reconstruction realistic? There is no way to know.
But we do know that he had an enormous capacity to do it alone. Perhaps an interval of solitaire chess, Fischer-style, did play a role in his early development?

Below is a win by Hao Wang against Anish Giri from the FIDE Grand Prix in Beijing, China.

FIDE Grand Prix

Hao Wang Anish Giri

1. d4 ..... d6
2. e4 ...... Nf6
3. Nc3 ..... e5
4. Nf3 ..... N(b)d7
5. Bc4 ..... exd4
6. Qxd4 .... Be7
7. Bxf7ch .. Kxf7
8. Ng5ch ... Ke8
9. Ne6 ..... c5
10. Qd1 ..... Qb6
11. Nxg7ch .. Kf7
12. Nf5 ..... Bf8
13. O-O ..... d5
14. Nxd5 .... Nxd5
15. Qxd5ch .. Ke8
16. Bg5 ..... Qg6
17. R(a)d1 .. Rg8
18. f4 ...... a5
19. e5 ...... Qxf5
20. Qxg8 .... Ra6
21. R(f)e1 .. Rg6
22. e6 ...... Black resigns

FIDE policy of zero tolerance for lateness

Peruvian chess prodigy eliminated from World Cup due to misunderstanding

By Rachel Chase

18-year-old Peruvian chess prodigy Jorge Cori was eliminated from the 2013 FIDE World Cup in Tromso, Norway after a language error caused him to arrive late to a match.

Peruvian chess prodigy eliminated from World Cup due to misunderstanding
(Photo: Rochi Leon/Depor)
According to Depor, Cori was playing a series of games against Azerbaijani Teimour Radjabov, and arrived approximately two minutes late to the pair’s fifth game.
It appears, however, that Cori’s tardiness was caused by the language barrier. Depor reports that Cori, who does not speak English, was told by an arbiter that his next match against Radjabov would take place at 6:15. Unfortunately, Cori misheard 6:15 as 6:50; when he tried to check the time with another arbiter, the official seemed to confirm that the next match would take place at 6:50.
Chess-News reports that Cori only realized that his match would start at 6:15 while watching an internet live stream of the event. At that time, he hurried to the hall where the game was supposed to take place, but arrived about two minutes late.
The World Chess Federation has a policy of zero tolerance for lateness, and Cori was disqualified. His appeal for reinstatement was rejected.
Cori’s sister, Deysi Cori, also participated in the tournament, falling in the first round to Hikaru Nakamura of the United States. There is still one bright spot for fans of Peruvian chess, however: veteran player Julio Granda Zuñiga has advanced to the second round of the tournament and will now play against Hungary’s Peter Leko. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Atlet paralimpik dapat sama rata

PUTRAJAYA - Memang satu keputusan yang mengejutkan, kontroversi atau pun tidak, semua pihak perlu menerima hakikat bahawa pemberian Skim Hadiah Kemenangan Atlet (Shakam) yang diterima atlet normal selama ini akan turut dinikmati oleh atlet paralimpik negara secara sama rata.
Keputusan itu dibuat Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Khairy Jamaluddin, semalam yang mahukan layanan dan pengiktirafan terhadap atlet paralimpik dilakukan secara adil serta saksama.
"Pemberian insentif kepada atlet paralimpik perlulah sama rata dengan atlet yang normal. Bagi saya tidak ada bezanya kerana mereka juga bertanding di peringkat tertinggi. Jadi, ini yang kita cuba lakukan bagi menghargai jasa dan pengorbanan mereka," katanya.
Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri Majlis Pelancaran Sukan Para Remaja Asia (AYPG) 2013 di sini, semalam yang turut dihadiri Penaung Majlis Paralimpik Malaysia (MPM), Tun Jeanne Abdullah di sini, semalam.
Ini bermakna, atlet paralimpik negara yang menyertai Sukan Paralimpik di Rio pada 2016 turut berpeluang menerima insentif bernilai RM1 juta sekiranya mereka meraih pingat emas, RM300,000 untuk perak dan RM100,000 bagi pingat gangsa.
Berbanding ganjaran sebelum ini, atlet paralimpik hanya menerima RM300,000 jika berjaya membawa pulang pingat emas, RM200,000 untuk perak, manakala bagi pingat gangsa atlet berkenaan diberi RM100,000.
Khairy memberitahu, insentif tersebut akan diberi mengikut skala yang telah ditetapkan oleh kerajaan sebelum ini dan atlet paralimpik negara, Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli bakal menjadi penerima pertama setelah keputusan tersebut dibuat, semalam.
"Ziyad memenangi pingat emas pada kejohanan dunia, baru-baru ini, jadi sudah tentu dia akan diraikan dan diberi ganjaran yang sewajarnya," ujarnya.
Muhammad Ziyad meraih pingat emas acara lontar peluru kategori F20 lelaki pada Kejohanan Olaharaga Dunia Jawatankuasa Paralimpik Antarabangsa (IPC) di Lyon, Perancis, 22 Julai lepas.
Atlet berusia 23 tahun itu yang pertama kali beraksi di kejohanan tersebut, melakukan lontaran sejauh 15.32 meter untuk pingat emas dan menewaskan Jeffery Ige dari Sweden dan Todd Hodgetts dari Australia.
Bagaimanapun, Khairy dalam ucapannya mengakui keputusan tersebut bakal mencetuskan pelbagai reaksi termasuk pihak yang mungkin kurang menyenangi tindakan tersebut.
"Saya sedar keputusan saya ini mungkin ada yang mempertikaikan, tetapi setelah berfikir sedalam-dalamnya dan mendapat maklum balas daripada rakyat Malaysia melalui laman sosial, saya nekad dengan keputusan saya ini," tegasnya.
Sementara itu, Malaysia bakal menjadi tuan rumah AYPG 2013 yang berlangsung pada 26 hingga 30 Oktober ini dan dijangka seramai lebih 2,000 atlet dari 42 negara Asia yang bernaung di bawah Jawatankuasa Paralimpik Asia (APC) akan menyertai temasya tersebut di ibu negara

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


A 10-Player Logjam at a High-Stakes Event

The World Open has been the biggest tournament in the United States for four decades, the draw being the hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.
When this year’s tournament, in Arlington, Va., ended three weeks ago, 10 grandmasters tied for first in the top section, with Varuzhan Akobian, an American, taking the title by winning an Armageddon game playoff. The 10 leaders included four other Americans, two players from Cuba, one from India, one from the Czech Republic and one from Georgia.
Such a logjam had happened only three times before, most recently in 2003.
With that quality of competition, entertaining games were guaranteed. One of them was in Round 7, when Tamaz Gelashvili, a grandmaster from Georgia who was among those who tied for first, defeated Ray Robson, an American grandmaster.
In the top diagram, Gelashvili took a pawn with 18 ... Qb2. So Robson decided on an all-out attack, beginning with 19 g5. The game continued 19 ... Nh5 20 Bc7 Ng7 21 Rb1 Qa3 22 Ne4 Qa4 23 Re1 Qa2 24 Bd6 Qb2 25 Bf8 Nf8 26 Qf4.
Gelashvili avoided 26 ... Qd4, when he would have lost his queen after 27 Nf6. Instead, he played 26 ... Be6, and the game went 27 Nf6 Kh8 28 Qh4 a4 29 Re4 a3 30 Qh6 a2 31 Rh4 a1/Q 32 Kh2 Nh5 33 Rh5 gh5 34 Nh7 Nh7 35 Be4. Gelashvili seemed to be in real trouble.
But he saved himself with 35 ... Qg1, a spectacular move in which he sacrificed his queen. After 36 Kg1 Qc1 37 Kh2 Qf4, Robson resigned. If he had played 38 Kg1, then 38 ... Qg5 would have forced a trade of queens, the attack would have been over, and he would have been down a rook in material.
Another Round 7 game with a white-knuckle finish was between Alexander Shabalov, a four-time United States champion, and Bogdan Vioreanu, an international master from Romania.
In the bottom diagram, Shabalov, who loves to attack, sacrificed an exchange by playing 17 Ra3, which allowed 17 ... Ba3. After 18 ba3, Vioreanu played 18 ... Kd8 in an attempt to remove his king from danger.
The game continued 19 Nd6 Rf8 20 Qh7 Kc7 21 Ndf7 Nac3 22 Re1 c5 23 dc5 Ne7 24 Ne6 Qe6 25 Ng5 Qd7 26 e6 Qe8 27 Nf7 Bg2 28 Bf4 Kc6 29 Kg2 Kc5 30 Qg7 Ned5 31 Bd6 Kc6 32 Bf8 Qf8 33 Ne5 Kd6 34 Qd7 Kc5 35 Qc6 Kd4 36 e7 Ne7 37 Qb6 Kd5 38 Nd7, and Vioreanu resigned.
The only way he could have stopped the immediate threat of 39 Qc5, mate, and not lose his queen would have been to play 38 ... Qc8. But then the game could have concluded 39 Qe6 Kd4 40 Qe5 Kd3 41 Qe3 Kc2 42 Rc1 Kb3 43 Qc3 Ka4 44 Qb4, mate.


Movie Reflects the Rivalry of Humans vs. Computers

The movie “Computer Chess” — which premiered last week in New York and will open in the rest of the country over the next several months — takes place over a weekend at a nondescript hotel during a North American Computer Chess Championship tournament in the late 1970s or early ’80s, when computers were beginning to master the game.
Though the movie, written and directed by Andrew Bujalski, is fiction, there are references to real games and real people like David Levy, an international master who made a bet with programmers in 1968 that no computer would be able to beat him within 10 years. He won that bet, though he finally lost to a computer in 1988. He is now the president of the International Computer Games Association.
In the movie, there is a Levy-like character named Pat Henderson, a master who makes a similar bet involving a champion computer program called Alliance. But it does beat him.
The critical moment in their game is shown in the top diagram. Henderson, who is White, should have played 1 Kd2, when he would have had a clear edge. Instead, he played 1 Rc5, and after 1 ... b4 2 Rd5 ba3, he resigned by overturning the board because he could not stop one of the Black pawns from promoting to a queen.
Bujalski said in an interview that he played chess “very infrequently and very poorly.” He was inspired to make the movie, he said, when he bought a chess trivia book that included questions about computers and their games. “The notion of a computer chess tournament lodged in my head,” he said.
He focused on early programmers because “what they were doing was fringe enough to the culture at the time.”
“The questions that were science fiction there are now part of our lives now,” he added, “and they don’t seem as important now. Of course, it has had this hugely large impact on chess and how it is played. It is something that players of today are adapting to. That is something that goes beyond chess.”
Bujalski often uses nonactors in his movies, which include “Beeswax,” about twin sisters, and “Mutual Appreciation,” a musician’s story. For “Computer Chess,” he hired computer scientists who helped him make the movie appear as real as possible. He also consulted programmers of the era depicted in the film, including Robert Hyatt, a creator of Cray Blitz, the world computer chess champion in 1983 and 1986, and David Slate, who helped write the program Nuchess.
Peter Kappler, the author of the computer program Grok, researched or created the games used in the movie. The match for the championship showdown between Alliance and a program called Checkers is based on one in the 2001 World Computer Chess Championship between Deep Junior and Shredder.
For the movie, Kappler started with the position from that game after 66 ... Rd6. He then changed the moves so that it ended 67 Qe4 Rf6 68 Nh5 Ra6 69 Qd5 Qd5 70 Bd5 Re6 71 Be6, checkmate.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Published on: Thursday, August 01, 2013
Normal and paralympic athletes to receive same incentives: Khairy
Putra Jaya: Newly appointed Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin brought a breath of fresh air into sports with his landmark decision to reward normal and paralympics athletes with the same incentives for winning medals at international competitions.
"Incentives will be given out according to championships.
Incentives will not be decided based on whether the athlete is a normal athlete or paralympic athlete.
"For example incentives will be decided on whether they competed in Youth Games, Asian Games or other major events and incentives decided according to the scales determined," he said when launching the Asian Youth Para Games Malaysia 2013-AYPG 2013, here, Wednesday.
Khairy said the decision was made after taking into consideration all aspects, including their commitment in training and difficulty in participation.
"So the incentive for paralympic athletes will be the same with able body.
I considered all the reasons. They have many categories but no heats and all that. Since we are not paralympic athletes, we don't know what they go through compared with able-bodied athletes," said Khairy.
"It is hoped that the incentives will help spur all athletes, including paralympic athletes in the future. In the case of Muhammad Ziyad who won the men's F20 shot put gold medal at the IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France, on July 22, it shows his commitment and sacrifices, just like normal athletes."
Khairy said the ministry would reward Muhammad Ziyad accordingly but the incentives would the same as that for the achievement of normal athletes.
Meanwhile, the AYPG 2013 which will be held from Oct 26 to 30 at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, would feature 2,000 of the best young paralympic athletes from 42 countries.
The championships will feature 14 types of sports, including athletics, archery, boccia, swimming, badminton, table tennis and wheelchair basketball.
It is a major development compared with only five sports contested in the 2009 edition held in Tokyo, Japan. - Bernama