Albert LIM Kok Ann

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Kok Ann LIM

Birthplace: Singapore, Singapore
Death: March 08, 2003 (83)
Place of Burial: Singapore
Immediate Family:

Son of Walter LIM Kho Leng, 林可能 and Wife 1: Violet YUNG Giok Chin
Husband of Rosie SEOW Guat Kheng
Father of Private; Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Alice LIM Ee Lay; Eunice LIM Ee Jin and Mimi LIM Bee Bee
Half brother of Private; Private; Private; Private; Private and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Albert LIM Kok Ann

•Occupation: Prof. Microbiology, University of Sinjgapore •Education: ACS, RI, BSc MBChB MD (Edin) Dip. Bact. FRCPath (Lon). •Religion: Methodist •Title: Dr. •Note: Born S'pore. Lived in Amoy 2-7. Queen's Scholar. Postgraduate: School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London Univ. Sec-Gen of FIDE LIM Kok Ann, Professor Retired Professor of Microbiology, Univ of Singapore; isolated the flu virus in 1957 at the height of the Asian influenza epidemic. b 27 Jan 1920; grandson of S'pore pioneer Dr Lim Boon Keng; son of late Lim Kho Leng; m Rosie Guat Kheng Seow; 5 children. Educ: ACS; Raffles Instn; Univ of Edinburgh (Queen's Schol, Ch.B); Univ of London (Dip Bacteriology). Member, WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Virus Disease. S'pore Society for Microbiology Award 1997 for contribution to microbiology; Secretary-General 1988, Hon Member, World Chess Federation, Switzerland (Fide).

Singapore’s chess patriarch Lim Kok Ann passed away on March 8 2003 at the age of 83.

To chess players who were associated with him, he was always known as ‘Prof’, which was conferred to him as the Professor of Bacteriology during his days at the University. Mild mannered and generous, he was selfless in giving his time and money to further the chess movement in Singapore when it mattered. Prof’s spirit of generosity was inherited from a lineage of local active pioneers in volunteerism. His grandfather Dr Lim Boon Keng, a Queen’s Scholar like himself, was one of the most influential men in Singapore’s history. He served for over twenty years on the Legislative Assembly of the colonial Government of Singapore. He was co-founder of the Straits Chinese Association – the grouping of the ”loyal Queen’s Chinese”, which was the forerunner of the Peranakan Association. He tried to foster ties between Singapore and China, and held a post from the last Emperor of China. He founded the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School in the premises of his house at 2 Emerald Hill Road. Prof Lim was born in this house. Mrs Lim, known to many as Rosie Seow (but Madame to me), was a great-grand- daughter of Tan Tock Seng, the founder of the famous hospital.
His fervent interest to bring chess to the masses led to the formation of the Singapore Chess League, thereafter converted to the Singapore Chess Federation in 1961 where he was President for a good 18 years. Many may not know this but the SCF symbol containing the national crest was designed by Prof who persuaded the authorities to leave it unchanged (the crest was a national parliamentary symbol used only in government matters). In his years as SCF President, Prof also started the annual school junior and team chess championships in the 60’s and till date this tradition has not only continued here but also flowered in China, propelling the Chinese chess growth till its present position as one of the top 5 chess-playing powers in a period of 22 years. In the inaugural 1949 National Championship, Prof resourcefully secured a yacht-sailing trophy from his family, which was later, christened the Lim Boon Keng challenge trophy in memory of his illustrious grandfather. His keen eye for spotting chess talent led to the discovery of Singapore’s top talents as he nurtured our 1st International Master, IM Tan Lian Ann, IM Leslie Leow, NM Pang Kwok Leong, GM Wong Meng Kong, IM Hsu Li Yang and FM Jeremy Lim, Mark Chan, Yip Fong Ling amongst many others. He found time to write for the local chess column, contributed a 60-part series ‘Learn Chess with LKA’ which was instrumental in converting many people to chess like myself. In the eighties, he came to me to work on taping chess lessons into Hokkien for some visually-handicap players who understood no English.
Prof’s highlight in his FIDE career must have been the appointment of one of the 3 members of the Jury in the 1978 World Chess Championship in Baguio. His diplomacy, political clout and tact saved many hair-raising situations in a match marred by lots of incidents from both camps (particularly the ones surrounding the parapsychologist Zukhar and subsequent counteraction by Korchnoi in introducing the Ananda Margas). After the match, he led world-class Grandmasters Yuri Averbakh and Josif Dorfman to Raffles Institution and other schools during a simul conducted by IM Nikolai Karaklajic, as well as the clock simultaneous featuring GM Raymond Keene a year later. Through his contacts as FIDE Secretary General, Singapore chess-players had the fortune to host several chess legends. In 1981 before taking up the appointment of FIDE Secretary-General, he donated his entire chess book collection to the Raffles Institution/Raffles Junior College chess club. He was a keen organiser and often sought sponsorships for Asian chess events through his wide circle of friends, notably Dato Tan Chin Nam, S T Lee and the late Mohd Hassan who created several opportunities for our local players to achieve norms and titles, in the last 2 decades. He managed to move sponsors into investing in chess in China via the creation of the Dato Tan Chin Nam and ST Lee Cup tournaments. He was most helpful to the Chinese women talents; opening doors for their participation in tournaments in Europe with the aim of seeing the Chinese attain world standards. His efforts have been amply rewarded with the creation of 2 Women’s World Champions.
After his term in FIDE, which ended in 1988, Prof remained an influential figure in world chess affairs and was involved in many world-class events. It was in 1989 that I met him in London during the Karpov-Yusupov match held at the Sadler’s Wells theatre. He spotted me from afar and brought me to the Press Room where I received the bulletins for the match. I thanked him by buying him a hearty dinner in Gerard Street where he partook his favourite roast pork with glee. Later in 1992 we got together again at the Manila Olympiad where he served as Chief Arbiter. He was darting about executing his duties in his trusty denim jacket, always the gentleman who patiently explained the new pairing system to many disgruntled players just introduced then.
He was still actively taking part in chess tournaments in the 90’s, playing in many World Senior tournaments wherever he could make it. He could still take on the youngsters in spite of his age (especially his game against Lau Keng Boon in the 1998 National Championships covered in the Singapore Chess Digest). He captained the Singapore team in the Asian Cities Team Championships in 1998 in Genting Highlands, playing chaperon and mentor to a relatively young team where the youngest player was only 13. Till date his conduct on the chessboard is exemplary to many – he sits quietly, records his moves in his impeccable hand-writing, never rushing unless pressed for time.
For his tireless efforts in spreading his passion for the game, he has groomed generations of players, gave his time and care freely to those keen on chess and inspired many others to continue his legacy of enriching the lives of others through playing chess. It was his dream to have a chess set for every home in Singapore. I am sure that we will continue to make that dream come true.

Lived in amoy aged 2-7 his mother Violet Yung left home with her 4 children to go to Shanghai when he was 11 yrs because Walter (father) was being naughty.

Violet's sister Alice promised to take them under her wing Alice & her husband Dr Wong were both doctors in Shanghai.

Enroute to Shanghai they stopped at Amoy at grandfather Lim Boon Keng's house (located @ Brush Rest Hill [Pek Kek Suah] on Gulangyu [Gulangsu] Xiamen.

(grandpa's grandpa: Min Yu's great great grandfather)

Mrs Lim Boon Keng said grandpa [LKA] was not to study in Shanghai, must go back to Singapore to study: so he was sent back to Singapore: •Date: 31 OCT 2005

•Change Date: 2 SEP 2010 at 15:43:20

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Albert LIM Kok Ann's Timeline

January 27, 1920
Singapore, Singapore
March 8, 2003
Age 83
March 11, 2003
Age 83