Sun Herald, August 12

The countries of ASEAN, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, include chess growth areas such as Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines but other ASEAN members have shown minimal interest in the royal game. 

Brunei Darussalam, an oil-rich country of 300,000 situated on the northern tip of Borneo, has long been regarded as a chess minnow but recent events may begin to change that status. 

As part of an ambitious 10 year plan aimed at eventually producing a Brunei Grandmaster, last week Brunei hosted the first ASEAN Open Championship and many were pleasantly surprised by the results. 

Played in the luxurious Orchid Garden Hotel and featuring stunning opening and closing ceremonies, the tournament was attended by many school groups who watched intently as the field of 82, including 5 Grandmasters and 7 International Masters, fought for the ASEAN title. 

With most of the GMs struggling for form, this writer was able to take able to take an early lead in Brunei and hang on to it until the finish. 

The tournament was an impressive debut for the Brunei organisers, many of whom are currently Brunei's best players. 

Keen to inspire a new generation and create a world class Brunei player, the locals were particularly impressed by Indonesia's Susanto Megaranto. 

The 13-year-old rising star from Jakarta beat the top seed and narrowly missed his first IM result but came unstuck against the tournament winner in the following game. 

Brunei 2001 
White: I.Rogers 
Black: S.Megaranto 
Opening: Caro-Kann 
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 e6?!
Played twice before by Megaranto, this dooms Black's bishop on c8 to a difficult life. 7.Nf3 Bd6 8.Bg3 0-0 9.Nbd2 b6 10.0-0 Bb7 10...Bxg3 would avoid some of the ensuing problems. 11.Ne5 Bxe5 12.dxe5 Nd7 13.Re1 Nc5 14.Bc2 d4!? 15.Qh5 d3 16.Bd1 a5?! 17.Bh4 Qc7?! Black fails to foresee the coming storm. 17...Ne7 18.Re3 Qd5 19.Bf3 Qd7 was necessary. 18.Re3! Ne7 19.Rh3 h6

20.Bf6! Nf5 20...Ng6 loses to 21.Bxg7! Nf4 22.Qxh6. 21.Bg4! Nd7 21...g6 traps the White queen, to no avail in view of 22.Qxh6 Nxh6 23.Rxh6 with checkmate to follow. 22.Bxf5 Nxf6 23.exf6 Qf4 24.Rg3! exf5 25.Rxg7+ Kh8 26.g3 Qxd2 27.Qxf5 1-0

 ASEAN International Open Brunei Leading final scores (82 players, 9 rounds): 

1. I.Rogers(Aus) 7.5; 
2eq. Juswanto(Ina), Antonio(Phi) 7; 
4eq. Nguyen Thanh Son(Vie), Boricsek(Hun), Senador(Phi) 6.5; 
7eq. Villamayor(Phi), Nguyen Ahn Dung(Vie), Megaranto(Ina), Sitanggang(Ina), Ginting(Ina), Irwanto(Ina), Mariano(Phi), Chuah(Mas) 6. 

GM Classic Biel, Switzerland Final scores: 
1.Korchnoi(Swi) 6/10; 2.Svidler(Rus) 5.5; 3.Gelfand(Isr) 5; 4eq.Lautier(Fra), Pellettier(Swi), Grischuk(Rus) 4.5.