Remembering Fadli Zakaria: A Chess Enthusiast Who Left a Lasting Legacy

Christi Hon and Fadli Zakaria


In August 10 2019, the chess world lost a remarkable figure, Fadli Zakaria, at the age of 50. Though he may have been more recognized as an organizer rather than a player, his philanthropic passion for chess deserves to be celebrated and remembered. Today, we delve into Fadli Zakaria’s incredible contributions to the chess community, particularly his generous cash incentives offered to Southeast Asian (SEA) Games players during the 2005, 2007, and 2009 SEA Games.

Beyond the chessboard, he was a dedicated organizer who played a vital role in nurturing and promoting the game. However, it’s his benevolent spirit and love for chess that truly set him apart.

During the SEA Games held in 2005, 2007, and 2009, Fadli Zakaria offered substantial cash incentives to those who excelled in their performance. Here are the incentives he provided:

  1. Individual Gold Medalists – A generous reward of RM1,000 awaited those who clinched the individual gold medal, recognizing their exceptional skills and dedication to chess.
  2. Team Gold Medalists – Fadli Zakaria extended his support even further by offering RM1,500 to the victorious teams who secured the gold medal, fostering camaraderie and teamwork within the chess community.

As we reflect on the life and contributions of Fadli Zakaria, let us remember him not just as an organizer but as a philanthropist who left an indelible mark on the chess world. His dedication to the sport and his support for young talents will forever be cherished.

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