ORGANISERS of the Marlboro Championships are confident their October event will still be a success although their number one draw-card, Michael Chang, has opted to play in Beijing in the same week. Chang has been the biggest attraction of the event in the past four years but he dropped a bombshell on Sunday when he announced he would not be back for his fifth successive appearance in the tournament. The 21-year-old world number nine from the US said he would play in the ATP Salem Open from October 18-24 in Beijing instead. However, organisers of the Marlboro Championships are confident there are enough ''big name'' players to ensure their event will be as popular as ever despite the absence of Chang. Tournament director Ken Catton said: ''When the invitations were sent out we were obviously aware that there was some deciding he (Chang) had to do. ''It's just a matter of his own choice. We made him an offer to play here but because of other commitments he just couldn't make it, and there is nothing we can do about it.'' The Marlboro Championships, an exhibition tournament that has been going on since 1988, has brought some of the world's best known players to Hongkong over the past five years. Among the top names who have graced Victoria Park for the event are Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Michael Stich, Stefan Edberg, Yannick Noah and Henri Leconte. Now-retired Miloslav Mecir won the first two editions of the tournament while Lendl has won it in the past three years. Chang, who finished a three-year contract after last year's tournament, was the losing finalist three times - to Mecir in 1989 and to Lendl in 1990 and 1992.