Wednesday, August 15, 2018

IM Giam Choo Kwee - RIP

Posted by GilaChess
Today is a sad day as I found out that IM Giam Choo Kwee passed away 2 days ago.

I didn't know him well but I did know of him all the way from the first Malaysian Open which was 15 years ago. It was only the last 4 years we got to talk - my fault as I am not a very sociable person.

Whenever I decide to come down super early for breakfast at Cititel during the Malaysian Open, Giam always beats me to it. In fact he is usually the first person at the breakfast place.

...and I thought I was early !

I asked him why he was early and his answer is he always wakes up early. He finds the quietness and the lack of people to disturb him during the early hours is very conducive to doing work.

My preconception that Giam was a "salty" old man who liked to complain about every little thing was unfounded as I got to know him. He is pretty sociable.

The rest of this post will be pictures of Giam. Reason being, he never asked anything from me except for maybe verbal or printed updates on what's happening in the middle of the tournament. The only thing he consistently asked was I take a good picture of him. I never did, because I was more focused on other "superstars", GMs or some young talent of the event. So as a tribute I went thru all my pictures and included every picture I have of IM Giam Choo Kwee. I feel really sad and guilty now as  I believe Giam never got to see any decent picture I took of him because I did not post it, or show it to him on my computer.

in 2010, at Wilayah Kompleks - meeting with Dato Tan

with blogger Louis Yat who asked to take the picture because he was excited he got an IM on his team

This one incident was memorable. A very young chess player got into a dispute with Giam during blitz and the thing the strike me the most is how sporting and calm Giam was letting the kid explain everything without interruption and him smiling throughout which I can tell helped eleviate the stressful situation. Everything turned out ok and the game continued without incident.

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