World Chess Day: Meet Kevin Goh, Singapore's Chairman Of The Chessboard
STORY: Nicholas Yong
20 July 2021
This video was filmed before the outbreak of COVID-19 locally.
“The beauty of chess is it can be whatever you want it to be. It transcends language, age, race, religion, politics, gender, and socioeconomic background. Whatever your circumstances, anyone can enjoy a good fight to the death over the chess board.”
- Simon Williams aka GingerGM, English chess grandmaster
Wah liao, did you know the earliest forms of chess were played nearly 1,500 years ago? Thanks to Netflix’s must-watch “The Queen’s Gambit” and life on lockdown, there's been a resurgence of interest in chess over the past year. It’s easy to pick up and play online, and even pro gamers have turned to chess on Twitch and YouTube.
July 20 is World Chess Day, a day recognised by the United Nations, and the same day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded way back in 1924.
What better way to commemorate World Chess Day by shining the spotlight on Singapore's very own chess grandmaster, Kevin Goh Wei Ming.
He da man
Kevin holds the title of being the first Singaporean chess grandmaster since 1999 (we've only had three previously!), and is one of only 1,700 grandmasters in the world. He is a seven-time national champion and a three-time SEA games medal winner.
His interest in the game started because his primary school was famous for its chess club. Thanks to the teacher-in-charge, the school’s chess club was among the best in Singapore. He finished 3rd in his first-ever tournament, the National Schools Under-10 championships.
He is grateful to his CO, then-LTC Lam Siew Tong, who allowed him to compete in the national championships. He won a bronze medal at the 2003 SEA Games while serving NS, and later won two bronze medals at the 2005 SEA Games.
Kevin juggles his passion for chess while working as CFO for Lucence, an oncology company. He recently competed in Sochi, Russia for the FIDE World Cup 2021.
Interested! Where can I play chess in Singapore ah?
Here are places you can go to learn / play the game shared by local player Ong Yujing (Eugene) from his chess blog. Click the links to learn more.