Fiji Chess Federation
Chess has been played in Fiji for a long time, but it was the 1972 World Championship, between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spasky, that provided the impetus for chess competitions in the country with the formation of the Suva Chess Club. Other chess clubs soon sprang up, like the Fiji School of Medicine Chess Club and the University of the South Pacific Chess Club. In 1979 it was decided to from the Fiji Chess Federation, to enable participation in international tournaments and to get international support and recognition. The founding members of the Fiji Chess Federation were Dr. Champak Rathod, Dr. Virgilio De Asa, Dr. Som Prakash, Nazim Khan, Surjeet Singh, Len Raj and Damodara Naidu.
The Fiji Chess Federation obtained sponsorship for regular tournaments and players were given chess rating. In 1986 the Federation sent its first team to the 27th Chess Olympiad in Dubai with help from the organising committee of the olympiad. The team was made up of Surjeet Singh, Damodara Naidu, Jaiwant Singh, Dr. Virgilio De Asa and Dr. Jasvinder Singh, with Surjeet Singh as the Captain. Despite it being the first international tournament for all the players, the team performed credibly with one of its members, Jasvinder Singh, obtaining international rating.
The military coup of 1987, put restrictions on chess games on Sundays and by the end of the year the president and treasurer had resigned due to work commitments. The leadership of the Federation passed onto Surjeet Singh, who was elected president. Despite the hard times that Fiji was going through at this time, Singh went on to reorganise the Fiji Chess Federation with the establishment of a number of new chess clubs. Some of these were the Lautoka Chess Club, Nausori Chess Club and a number of school chess clubs. Chess lessons were provided free of charge and efforts were made to promote chess through the media.
The Federation organised fund raising activities to send a team to the 28th Chess Olympiad. In 1988, the Federation using its own funds and with some member contributions, sent a team to the 28th Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece. The team was made up of Surjeet Singh as Captain, Jaiwant Singh, Bal Krishna, Rakesh Kumar and Satendra Deo.
Fiji Chess Federation's history took another turn when at the end of 1989, Surjeet Singh resigned as President to reside overseas. Other members, like Dr. Sanmogam Goundar stepped in and the Federation has continued to function smoothly with teams being sent to most of the Chess Olympiads.
Dr. Virgilio De Asa was elected President from 1990 - 1994. In 1995, Prof David Jenkins of the University of the South Pacific was elected President in a very closely contested election. Dr De Asa was re-elected in 1996 and has maintained his presidency unopposed until his retirement in June 2014.
In 2006, the Fiji Chess Team took part in its 7th Olympiad, the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy. There were some outstanding performances by the Fiji players. Round 1 saw Asheesh Gautam win his game against International Master (I.M.) Danner Georg, in a wonderful display of tactical chess. Calvin Prasad, a former national champion, obtained international rating and earned a Candidate Masters title. Fiji Chess Federation General Secretary Jashint Maharaj was awarded his FIDE Arbiter's title in April 2006. Keiran Lyons, who played on board two for the Fiji Women's team at the 36th Chess Olympiad in Spain, was awarded the Women's FIDE Master title in January 2005.
2006 - 2014 have seen a series of high profile awards being issued to players of the Fiji Chess Federation.
- Acting President - CM. Calvin Prasad
- Vice President - WCM. Gloria Sukhu
- General Secretary - CM. Mr. Goru Arvind
- Assistant Secretary - TBA
- Treasurer - CM. Manoj Kumar
- Webmaster - CM. Calvin Prasad
- Public Relations Officer - TBA
- Women's Development Officer - WCM. Mrs. Gloria Sukhu
Committee Members - TBA
- Champak Rathod (1979 - 1987)
- Surjeet Singh (1987 - 1989)
- Virgilio De Asa (1990 - 1994), (1996–2014)
- David Jenkins (1995)