Sunday, May 6, 2012


While reading the blogs of the Malaysian chess scene, I stumbled upon this disturbing post:

Wonder how this news could have been posted on a Malaysian blog?? It can really tarnish the Singapore chess scene. Such private matters should not be discussed over a blog??


  1. Kindly post sensibly as this is a serious matter which may be potentially defamatory to me since I was the party allowing anonymous posts. I reserve all rights to censuring comments which I deem defamatory to me.

    Thank you

  2. Good Mr John

    This very terrible & horible !

    How can ?

    Now I chess parent resign and call chess associations everybody committee and chairman all together step down let government check all clear then do chess !

    And everybody help check anymoore like same type of case ?

  3. This is a Singaporean affair and not for anyone outside of Singapore to air.

    Just like Sam Sloan libellious attack on Ignatius years ago, it leaves a black mark on Mr Leong's character. Only people close to him know that he is not as bad as his enemies portray him to be.\

    Without Ignatius Leong, Singapore chess would not have progressed to be what it is today!

  4. I am not sure what you mean by libellious attack on the part of Sam Sloan. Perhaps you can elaborate further?

    As far as chess politics is concerned, the fact of the matter was that Ignatius called for reform in FIDE at the 1996 FIDE elections, then again at the 2002 elections. Yerevan 1996 turned out to be a high stakes affair with Ignatius and Tang having to leave via a border town just to escape assasination. This was told to me by Tang (KF) himself.

    In 2002 the reform movement was strong enough to emit hope for change for a better FIDE. However, at the last minute, the reform team chose to surrender the fight and joined hands with Kirsan. See for Morten Sand's explanation.

    Today both men are still around in the chess world, while Bactiar Kouatly and Lin Feng have chose to exit the political arena.

    For another perspective of what took place, perhaps you would consider getting a copy of Don Schultz's ChessDon and find out if Sam Sloan's reporting was truthful or not?

    As to your last statement, we shall leave to the readers to decide if indeed Singapore chess has progressed. I shall reserve my judgement on this.

  5. I am another observer. In my opinion, chess has not progressed in Spore. In fact it has deteriorated in many areas. I would not be able to cover them here due to space constraint. We need a drastic change for the better. Hope that the Federation can give way to new blood.

  6. Dear Anon@603pm,

    There are no space constraints when you wish to make a point. You can email me your views and I can help publish them, so long as it is objective, factual and substantiated. I am sure many who read the blog would like to hear your views.

  7. Those wanting to know more about the FIDE elections can read this summary :

  8. Hi John,

    Besides this particular case of Handjojo, are there other cases ?

    We hear of other irregularities but don't seem to have people committing to statements like Handjojo ?

    Any reasons ?

  9. Can this case and Mr Limono's statement be posted on SCF website and let all readers give their views ?

    Maybe the SCF committee can then answer all the views and feedback so that all concerned can better understand SCF's position on this rather embarrassing situation ?

    Did Mr Limono refer his case to any authorities in Singapore ?

  10. Anon@10.04am,

    I do not know of irregularities. If there's anyone who does, I will suggest that they email me rather than post it as a comment.


    If you wish, you can write to SCF at to request them for posting as I do not have jurisdiction over their website.

    As to your last question, Mr Limono spoke and dealt with Peter Long on this matter. I do not know the answer to your question.

  11. The main problem with Singapore chess is the apparent conflict of chess businessman especially if they run for office in the chess federation.

    How many chess schools and trainers are there in Singapore ?

    Beside chess trainers, what other modes of chess business are there ?

    Is it true that chess companies can arrange chess matches and tournaments and help some players gain international points and/or awards ?

    If true, what is the chess federation's position on this ?

    If true, can a company arrange a chess match / tournament for a Singapore player outside Singapore which is outside the control of our chess federation ? Will such results be recognized ?

    This is like for example our team Singapore in any sports playing commercialized matches overseas ?

  12. How has chess progressed in Singapore under Ignatius Leong? How can chess progress if his objectives are not towards chess for the masses? Mixing public office and commercial interest is not progress.

  13. I agree with Anom@9.44.
    Many tournaments in Singapore today have majority only children playing. Leong's focus is on this group for whatever reasons. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Few adults play these days as the conditions of play is quite poor, to say the least !

    Can a group of dedicated, passionate chess people come forward to restore integrity and transparence, among other positive values ?

    By the way, these 2 values are proclaimed by SCF for their classes and "why you should play chess ?" campaigns ?? A case of the saying "hanging goats' heads and selling dogs' meat" ??

    1. There are many tournaments organized by chess organizers not connected to the SCF such as those by Queenstown, Cairnhill, Serangoon Gardens, Thomson, Chess Academy to name some. There could be others, so i think even if you do not want to play in any SCF tournament because you think the "conditions of play is quite poor", then perhaps these other tournaments will be more to your liking.

  14. As a chess parent, my children are very much into chess and competitions. We put our kids under the training of an outside chess school, and as with any commercialised chess schools, I feel that the trainers are more concerned about making $ and his livelihood, than about the general progress of our children's chess-playing skills.

    If we feedback that our children are not 'improving', the coach would tell us that 'more lessons are required' or 'sign up for the holiday intensive chess lessons'. Hard to find any genuinely sincere and passionate chess school or trainer outside that is really concerned about the progress of a chess student, as it's really a good means to good steady income. Chess parents are seen as 'wealthy providers' for these chess schools, largely run by foreign talents....sigh..

    Would really be good to start a nation-wide chess movement whereby the passionate chess seniors would guide the juniors, and spar with fellow seniors, and all playing chess with no hidden agenda, just out of pure love for this game. When that happens, I can really see the progress in our chess scene in Spore.

  15. Anom@1159 hit the nail on the head.

    When a group of passionate chess volunteers started doing that and brought 2 world champions to Singapore for purely chess promotion, the SCF tried making things difficult.

    Thus chess under the wrong leaders especially if the president has commercial interests is not likely to progress.

    We need passionate people with an overall view and desire to make chess for the masses.

  16. Anon 9 May 2.05pm seems to be a Leong supporter ? If indeed the Sam Sloan article is libellous, why didn't Leong sue ?

    This current statement, signed mind you, by Handjojo. Is it in the same light ?

    Would love to see some comments by our chess federation, or one will wonder about the silence ????

  17. I have read many of the comments and am puzzled by the claim that the SCF is not catering to the masses. Who are the masses that the commentators are talking about? You need to look at tournaments organized by the SCF and by non-SCF affiliated organizers to see that ultimately the largely same group of children turn up and the adults and teenagers form but a very small group. If both the SCF and non-SCF organizers are already organizing many tournaments, then it is for the teenagers and adults to make the effort to play, if as some commentators say that there is not enough being done for the older players, then make the constructive suggestions. It is valueless to make sweeping statements that the conditions are not right for older players and it is also valueless to grumble about the SCF leadership without giving constructive ideas. If the commentators purportedly have the promotion of chess then this blog is as good a platform as any to make the suggestions.

    1. There were many constructive suggestions given to SCF but SCF remains silent. What's the point then? SCF does not take suggestions seriously. They tend to brush aside ideas that do not benefit them.

  18. Anom@8.40pm misses the tree because he stands in the forest. He sees that whether SCF or other organizers tournaments, very few adults. He should then see that most tournaments even in cc or civil service is run in conjunction with SCF or a special chess company.
    Bottom line is that few adults play because the conditions are less than ideal.

    How does this writer knows that no constructive ideas have been given. I sense he is either in the SCF council or closely associated ?
    Pray this writer would enlighten all of us on this blog.
    If so, perhaps it is good that this incident is made known on SCF website for everyone to comment starting with SCF council ?? (except the president as he is a very involved party)

    1. No you are mistaken about the chess organizers. Mr. John Wong has mentioned in this blog many tournaments organized by independent chess organizers. Another commentator in this string also mentioned many tournaments organized by chess enthusiasts. Many commentators here are not familiar with the chess situation in Singapore about independent (non-SCF) tournaments.

      Also the question can be asked how do commentators here know that constructive ideas have been given especially when just because an idea is given it need not necessarily be constructive? Anyway at SCF AGMs u never see constructive ideas but only complaints but fortunately there are many independent parents and chess enthusiasts who do attend to give their views.

      Why get defensive when your comments are shown to be not logical?

    2. Constructive suggestions were rejected as negative suggestions. This is the main reason SCF remains in a pathetic state. You just need to attend one of the non SCF organized tournaments and compare the difference. Playing conditions are better, trophies are of much better quality, and the list goes on.

  19. Anom@5.39am argues like a lawyer so no prizes for guessing his real identity.

    When our children are involved, logic and reasoning go out of the window !

    Kind advice is to get off the high horse, feel the grass and run a tournament to truly understand :)

    He reminds all and sundry of a similar and unique character across the causeway. FGM !

  20. Yes, I tend to agree with the last comment.
    Instead of answering questions posed, the anomaly at 5.39 counters with questions.
    Does give reason to believe the anomaly is legally trained.

  21. Hi John,

    Why are the comments on your blog diverging to other areas?

    Let's come home to the key issue of the 2 main characters : the writer Handjojo and the person he encountered, Ignatius Leong !

    What is the latest development with regards to the whistle blower Peter Long ?

  22. Regrettably many commentators take matters personally which makes it difficult to have reasoned discussions. Not surprising that some of the anonymous commentators appear to be the same person from the tone and structure of the comments. It is a good testimony for chess that even independent organizers such as Serangoon Gardens has joined the SCF Exco. Serangoon Gardens has always had a reputation of having good tournaments. New blood can hopefully generate fresh ideas.

  23. Think the last writer refers to Serangoon Community Club - which is different from Serangoon Gardens Country Club.

    Is Serangoon CC really independent chess organiser? Just saw on their entry form that the chess event they organize is in conjunction with the chess federation. Even more shocking that a cc chess event's entry fees is to be paid to the chess federation.

    1. I think the CC organises it with the help of SCF? It is for community bonding etc that CCs must do. I think on their own the CCs have not enough experience. Anyway i thinks CCs are required to keep the fees low so all can take part for community bonding.

    2. yes i also think the writer must be refering to the Serangoon cc chess club. To help chess for more people maybe SCF should help the CCs to do the chess tournaments? Maybe the cc can sponsor the hall and collect and give money to help more children learn to play chess?