On 23 April 2014, Garry Kasparov, 13th World Chess Champion and Candidate for FIDE President, flew into a grand welcome in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The next day, 24th April, was the meeting with Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister for Youth and Sports. Brilliant and articulate, the young Minister was quickly able to position chess in Malaysia with the demands of education, explaining that he was in agreement with and would work with his colleagues in the Education Ministry to support Garry’s vision for chess for education.
Khairy Jamaluddin was the guest of honour at the Gala Dinner, where in his keynote address, after confirming the support of both the Malaysian Chess Federation and the Malaysian chess public for Garry, he endorsed Malaysia’s support for Garry for FIDE President.
No evening with chessplayers could end without some chess and Garry obliged with a simultaneous exhibition with the best chessplayers amongst the dignitaries, all who brought along secret (or not so secret) help.
The final day in Malaysian was April 25th and first up was the National Age Group Championships. It had been postponed by a week so that Garry could speak to the 600 young talents that are likely to be Malaysia’s chess future.
No chess activity is too small for Garry to support and he was only too happy to officiate the launch of the University Tenaga Malaysia (UNITEN) chess club.
Then came a no holds barred session with Malaysia’s best and brightest young at the Strategic Leadership & Entrepreneurship Conference for Malaysian Youth Leaders with Garry was in his element.
Last stop for a truly memorable visit that would certainly not be Garry’s last was the Global Leadership Awards organised by The Leaders International together with American Leadership Development Association (ALDA).
Garry was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, following no less than another legend in Mohammad Ali as the only other sportsman winner!