Chess: Singapore's four Grandmasters to take on 100 challengers to celebrate 'Father of chess' Professor Lim Kok Ann

SINGAPORE – In honour of Singapore’s ‘Father of chess’ Professor Lim Kok Ann, who would have been 100 this year, the Republic’s four Grandmasters Kevin Goh, Zhang Zhong, Wu Shaobin and Wong Meng Kong will each take on 25 challengers concurrently on Saturday (May 23) from 4pm.

Prof Lim, who died in 2003, is widely known in the chess community for helping many aspiring chess players and popularising the game here.

He set up the Singapore Chess Federation in 1949 and helmed it for 18 years.

Prof Lim also served as the secretary-general of Fide, the World Chess Federation, from 1982 to 1988.

Outside of chess, the professor of microbiology was the first to isolate the flu virus at the height of the Asian influenza epidemic in 1957. Prof Lim also helped to establish the newer Sabin polio vaccine in the 1960s.

The 100 board simultaneous exhibition will take place on online chess server Lichess.

In a simultaneous exhibition, the exhibitor – usually of a high rank such as Grandmaster – plays multiple games at a time with several players and will move from board to board in a fixed order.

Saturday’s exhibition match is also part of the #ChessAgainstCovid charity initiative started by Goh.

While registration for the event is free, challengers can select their opponent for a donation of at least $50.

The #ChessAgainstCovid charity initiative was established to raise awareness of chess and $100,000 for the Lakeside Family Services’ Caring Amidst Covid-19 Fund, which offers assistance to needy individuals and families adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Events such as exhibition matches and live analysis of games, which are streamed online on platforms such as Twitch and Lichess, have been held to engage the local chess community.

So far, about $63,000 has been raised.

Read the latest on the Covid-19 situation in Singapore and beyond on our dedicated site here.

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