Speech of the FIDE Representative at the World Youth Championship
Sunday, 02 November 2008 07:20

Her Excellency Mrs Truong My Hoa, former Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Dear Mr Tran Minh Sanh, Chairman of Baria VungTau People’s Committee and Chairman of the Organising Committee, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

This year’s World Youth Chess Championships is not the only first in Asia but the first to be organised by a chess-developing country, a national chess federation which is classified as one which requires and deserves assistance from FIDE.

To be honest, many federations and their members and parents were sceptical about whether or not to participate.

But what happened?

We had for the first time ever for a FIDE event that the opening ceremony, cultural show and the closing ceremony broadcast live on the national television – not just one but 3 live telecasts. We had daily bulletins for every player. We had team prizes for all categories.

We had volunteers for all the delegations and at all the hotels where the delegations stayed.

We had a Social Talent Nite where the youths showed their other talents beside chess-playing and attractive prizes and souvenirs were awarded to all he performers.

We also had several hotels staging their respective parallel activities.

But most of all, we received the warm hospitality of the local people – in the traditional Vietnamese ways.

To summarise – We came, we saw, BUT we were conquered.

When the Asean Chess Confederation won the bid in 2003 to host this event, I personally chose Vietnam.

I explained to the Vietnamese leadership why I chose Vung Tau ahead of 3 other interested and bigger Vietnamese cities.

I have been involved in its preparations since more than one year.

I know that the Vietnamese leadership and the Organising Committee had put in its best efforts.

Vung Tau City and her people have left us an impression not only for herself, but for Vietnam and for Asia.

Vung Tau showed the world that even a small city can do a magnificent job.

The sad moment has come for us to say goodbye.

No words can express the feelings I have now.

On behalf of FIDE and the foreign participants,

Thank you Vietnam, Thank you Vung Tau,

See you again Vung Tau!

Ignatius Leong
Technical Director
World Youth Championship 2008 & FIDE General Secretary

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