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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Of A Postponed Event - Kelantan Open

Due to the current heavy rain and downpour along the Eastern Coast of Peninsula Malaysia, with flooding ocurring in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, the Persatuan Catur Negeri Kelantan has decided to postpone this weekend's Kelantan Open due to the unpredictable bad weather.

For those who have already registered and paid for the event, and would like to get a refund, or would like to know more about the situation, you can do so by contacting the Association Secretary, Nik Ahmad Farouqi Nik Abdul Aziz at +6019.999.6006 or write to him at farouqi.chess@gmail.com

Nik Ahmad Farouqi stated that it was one of the most difficult thing to do considering that so much effort has been put in to organize the event. However, safety and players well being are of the utmost concern and therefore, the Association has decided that it is for the best to postpone the event in order to avoid further inconveniences and difficulties should the situation turn to the worse.

Currently, there is no postponed date confirmed but it should be held once the situation is more favorable for players to travel to Kelantan for the event.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Of Crowning New Junior Masters - Yit Sang and Li Ting

For the Girls section, it was a close and shut issue - Tan Li Ting was way ahead of the others and her last round game against Mok Shu Zing completed rather quickly to seal her the Girls title. It was also a rather straightforward results for the runner up and third place with WFM Nur Najiha and Nithyalakshmi winning against their respective opponents on Table 2 and Table 3. Najiha outplayed Sarika on Table 2 whilst Nithya had to overcome a strong resistant from Ho Chen Ee, one of the few pair that went almost the distant to complete the game

For the Boys section, Fong Yit San were victorious early when Ahmad Afiq Afyfy made a blunder in the opening but, Yit San had to wait for Jun Feng's game to conclude before he can celebrate. A win by Jun Feng will equal the score for both players and a play off beckons in order to determine the champion. Both Tan Jun Feng and Fong Yit San had met in the earlier round which resulted in a drawn game. 

Jun Feng was not in the better position against Chuin Kai early in the game. Although he had managed to equalize the position, Jun Feng decided to play it safe and offered Chuin Kai a draw which the latter accepted. And with the drawn game, Jun Feng handed the title to Fong Yit San as the National Junior Master 2012

Jun Feng ended in 2nd spot with Aron Teh coming in 3rd. Each Champion from the Girls and Boys section earned RM600 for their effort, 2nd place were RM400 richer and the 3rd place winners pocketed RM200.

Prizes were given away by Puan Haslindah Ruslan who is also the VP of the Malaysian Chess Federation.

There was also a Blitz event organized after the prize giving ceremony which was won by Sumant Subramaniam followed by Wong Jianwen and Zaidan Zulkipli.

Final standings and tables for the event can be found at Chess-Results website by clicking the following LINK 

Photo collection can be viewed at Chess-Malaysia FACEBOOK page at the following LINK
The newly crowned champions Yit San and Li Ting flanked by MCF VP Puan Haslindah (left) and Arbiter Nik Ahmad Farouqi (right)
IM Jimmy Liew came to visit and played a few games of Chess with Dato Tan, who also dropped by to witness the event
IM Jimmy Liew glancing over the game between Nithya and Ho Chen Ee, one of the few games that went almost the distance

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Of A Terrible Loss - Cikgu Sabirin and Family

It is a sad news for Malaysian Chess. Earlier this morning, our Malaysian Chess Community lost one of the rising chess family in the country. Cikgu Sabirin and wife Puan Halina, including 2 daughters, Siti Khadijah (12) and Siti Aishah (14) who are both rising chess juniors in the country, were involved in a fatal accident near Kemasik, Terengganu at about 1:30am. According to sources, Cikgu Sabirin and family were on their way back to Dungun after participating in the 3C event in Petaling Jaya earlier in the day.

They will be sadly missed by the chess community.
Our condolences to the family - Alfatihah.....

News about the terrible accident can be read HERE  


Friday, December 21, 2012

Of Letting Go The Lead - Its Anybody's Game Now

Tan Li Ting sealed her crown after a convincing win against Nur Sabrina Aliya in Round 8, regardless what ever the score will be in the her last Round 9 game against Mok Shu Zing. Although Najiha can mathematically equal Li Ting score of 7.5 points, her earlier lost to Li Ting in Round 5 does not work to her favor as PE (Personal Encounter) will be the first tie break used to determine the outright winner.

For the Girls section, the race now is for second place with Najiha currently in lead with 6.5 points over Nithyalakshmi who had 6 points. As both players are not expected to lose their last round encounter against their respective opponents, the standing should remain the same with Najiha the runner up and Nithya in third place

The same could not be said for the Boys section. With Yit San loss to Aron Teh in Round 8, and Mark Siew surprising lost to Ahmad Afiq Afyfy, the event is now wide open with at least 3 players having the chance to share or secure the top spot. Tan Jun Feng also managed to come from behind with a convincing win against Lim Kim Siong to catch up on par with the leader Fong Yit San, both now having 6.5 points. If both players win their last round game, a playoff is set to take place as both players had drew against one another. 3 other players who are within half point striking distant from the leader duo are Lim Chuin Kai, Ahmad Afiq Afyfy and Aron Teh, all with 6 points each.

Mark Siew who started well prior to Round 5, was not seem to be able to rebound after his loss to Yit San, suffering 2 more draws in Round 6 and 7, and lost Round 8 match to Afiq Afyfy. Mark currently has 5 points and is sharing 9th to 18th place with.

For today's schedule, the prize giving ceremony will begin at 2:00pm and will be officiated by MCF President, Tan Sri Dato Seri DiRaja Ramli Ngah Talib. Soon after at 3:00pm, there will be an Open Blitz Event for everyone to participate. Entry fees is RM15 and the event will be played over 9 rounds Swiss. Those interested can come and register at the playing hall before the prize giving ceremony starts.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Of Round 8 - National Junior 2012

Two more rounds to go and chances are, we will see runaway trains in the form of Yit San and Li Ting to seal the deal for the Boys and Girls section respectively. 

With only 2 more rounds to go, it seems clear that Yit San and Li Ting are well ahead in their quest to become the 2012 National Junior Champions. Even more so in the Girls section as Li Ting has already met and defeated the three main contenders in sisters Nabila and Najiha, and outside favorite Nithya.

For the Boys section, there are still a few more hopefuls that can probably spoil Yit Sans celebration but, with convincing win over once leader Mark Siew and others who were in the way, Yit San looks the favorite to win the 5th edition of the National Junior Championship. Paired to play Aron Teh in the 8th round, a win for Yit San will almost definitely close the drape on the championship. But, a surprising win by Aron Teh would open the field to everyone once again.
Mark Siew - trying to rebound after losing Round 5 and drawing Round 6 and 7
It is quite rare to see that none of the sisters, Najiha or Nabila, are in the top 2 boards in an all Ladies event
Nabila (left) and Najiha (right) on the 4th and 3rd board respectively.


Of Making A Run For It - Fong Yit San and Tan Li Ting

After 6 rounds of play, both the Boys and Girls section have produced a single leader who is a point clear of their nearest rivals. Top seed Fong Yit San has secured 5.5 points after a convincing win over CM Amier Hamzah whilst Tan Li Ting scored the same points after beating Nithyalakshmi in the Girls section.

After his loss to Yit San in the earlier morning round, Mark Siew suffered another setback with a drawn game against Nor Azam on Table 2. Whilst he was clearly the better rated player and with a slight edge of having the white pieces, Mark was unfortunate to not able turn the advantage to a full point. At one point in the game, Nor Azam was a pawn up but after a series of exchange, lost his extra pawn but managed to hold the position and with both players playing very cautiously in a Pawn/Knight ending, Mark was left little choice but to accept the draw from Nor Azam.

It was expected to be a good fight on Table 1 between top seed Fong Yit San and CM Amier Hamzah but the latter concede defeat rather tamely and quickly after 35 moves.  The win gave Yit San the sole lead of the event with 9 other players trailing 1 point behind at 4.5 points lead by Mark Siew, Aron Teh, Lim Kim Siong, CM Amier Hamzah amongst others. Aron Teh suffered another setback with a drawn game against relatively unknown Lim Kim Siong. Kim Siong was a piece up after Aron played the opening wrongly but was not able to turn the advantage into a win. On Table 4, Afiq Afyfy secured a point against Kung Kah Heng whilst on the next Table 5, Tan Jun Feng returned to his winning ways to edge Ong Wei Bin. 

For the Girls section, Tan Li Ting played extremely well to gain an overwhelming advantage against Nithyalakshmi on Table 1. After a few exchanges, Li Ting gave up her Rook pair for Nithya's Queen to continue hammering her into passive play with an open King. With the King wandering off too far into enemy's territory, Nithya unorganized forces began to drop one by one and left with no choice but to convede.

On Table 2 and 3, sisters Najiha and Nabila regained their composure to win their 6th round game against their respective opponents - Anis Fariha and Nur Faqihah. Sarika split another point on Table 4 against Nur Sabrina Aliya whilst Kelly Lim was triumphant against Ho Chen Ee on Table 5.

After 6 rounds, Li Ting is the sole leader of the Girls section with Nithya and Najiha a point adrift. 

It will be an interesting match up with the sisters playing against one another on Table 2 for Round 7 whilst Li Ting facing Kelly Lim on Table 1. 

Sisters at war - Najiha (left) against Nabila (right)
Its lonely at the top - Fong Yit San is a clear point ahead of his nearest rivals at 5.5 points with 9 players at 4.5 point
Another tough match up for Mark Siew (right) against third seed Aron Teh (left)
Andrew a.k.a. Gilachess (in red) putting on his thinking cap to resolve an internet issue with Arbiter Nik Ahmad Farouqi (in black)


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Of Sharing The Lead - Amier and Yit San, Nithya and Li Ting

It has been an interesting Round 5 at the 5th National Junior Chess Championship in both the Boys and Girls sections. The fallen leader in the Boys section, and the defeated sisters in the Girls section.

Mark Siew had a good chance to seal the lead had he won his game against top seed Fong Yit San but all was not well for the Perakian as he had to concede the game after Yit San's 64th move, handing the full point to his fellow statesman. On Table 2, CM Amier Hamzah did very well to outplay Tan Jun Feng and with the win, Amier now shares the lead with Yit San with both having amassed 4.5 each after 5 rounds of play. Amier and Yit San are currently facing each other in the 6th round and the winner will seal the sole lead of the event, a critical point considering there are only 3 more rounds to go before the event concludes. With most of the strong players are now out of the way, it will be a race to the finish line for the leader at this late point of the tournament. Destiny would be in their own hands

On Table 3, Aron Teh outplayed Shreyes to keep himself within striking distance with 4 points. Joining him in the same point group are Mohd Noor Azam and a surprising unknown Lim Kim Siong who defeated Subramanian Sivanesan on Table 6. Liew Ken Yew dropped further from the running after another drawn game against Kung Kah Heng.

For the Girls section, Tan Li Ting continued her fine run with a win against Nur Najiha Azman Hisham on Table 1 - one of those rare outings for the Azman Hisham's siblings where both sisters suffered defeat at the hand of a single player in the same tournament. Nithyalakshmi continued her fine run in the event snatching another full point against Kelly Lim on Table 2 to share the top spot with Tan Li Ting - both now have 4.5 points after 5 rounds. Nithya and Li Ting will square off in the 6th round to have the sole lead of the event, and a win by either may just be enough to seal the fate of the event.

A win by either Amier (left) or Yit San (right) will earn him the right to brag as the sole leader of the event after 6 rounds
Players in concentration - Round 6
Nur Najiha (left) dropped to Table 2 after losing her game to Tan Li Ting in Round 5 and currently facing Anis Fariha (right)
Nithyalakshmi playing on Table 1 - a win against Tan Li Ting will contribute to her quest of achieving her first National title.



Of Having The Sole Lead - Mark Siew

Mark Siew continued his fine run beating Lew Ken Yew in their 3rd round encounter after the latter succumbed to a tactical miscalculation in the hope of earning a counter attack on the Queen side. The attacked fizzled and a few moves later, Ken Yew resigned giving Mark the full point. With top seed Fong Yit San drawing his game against Tan Jun Feng on Table 1, and Amier Hamzah splitting the point with Aron Teh on Table 3, Mark Siew remains as the only player standing with a perfect 4 points out of 4 rounds

It will be an interesting encounter between pole leader Mark Siew and top seed Fong Yit San in tomorrow's early morning Round 5. A win by any of the two player could mean a runaway championship will be in the making. From here on, stamina, focus and determination will play a major role towards sealing the championship title.

For the Girls section, three players sharing the lead with 2.5 points each in Nur Najiha, Nithyalakshmi and Tan Li Ting. Tan Li Ting played well on Table 2 to hand Nur Nabila her second consecutive defeat in the event. Li Ting played well to maintain her extra pawn advantage and after being able to mobilize her rook to the 8th rank, attacking White's King from the rear, it was difficult for Nabila to continue her game as she was on the defensive throughout the endgame. 

On Table 1, Nithyalakshmi continued to play well and managed to draw her game against Nur Najiha after forcing the latter into repetition of moves. Dominating the 7th rank with her connected rooks, Najiha had little choice but to accept the drawn game from Nithya albeit having 2 pawns to the better including a passed pawn on the d file.

In tomorrow's early round, Nur Najiha will take on Tan Li Ting on Table 1 whilst Nithya will be up against Kelly Lim on Table 2. Anis Fariha is paired against Sarika on Table 3 and top seed Nur Nabil dropped to Table 4 to face Cheong Keat Zhen

Round 5 tomorrow will start at 9:00am followed by Round 6 at 2:30pm

Tan Li Ting played well to hand Nur Nabila her second defeat. It was a bad day for Nabila as she also had lost her early morning round game
Scene towards the end of Round 4
Tan Jun Feng drew his game against top seed Fong Yit San whilst Mark Siew (in the background) won against Lew Ken Yew to remain undefeated after 4 rounds
Nithya splitting the point with Nur Najiha after forcing repetition of moves



Of National Junior Round 3

Whilst the two top seeds in the Boys section had it rather easy to secure their 3rd full points of the event, the same could not be said for the Azman Hisham sisters in the Girls section. Whilst Nur Najiha was lucky to escape a lethal attack by Kelly Lim on Table 2, Nur Nabila was not as lucky. Nabila's opponent, Nithyalakshmi, put up a very convincing show and managed to steal pawns after pawns in the end game and at one point, managed to corner Nabila's lone Knight to gain a sizable advantage. Both Table 3 games for the Boys and Girls sections ended up in draws with Kung Kah Heng getting the better of 3rd seed Aron Teh in the Boys section, and Sarika Subramaniam holding NWM Tan Li Ting in a King Pawn endgame in the Girls section.

After 3 rounds of play, 5 players in the Boys section - Fong Yit San, Mark Siew, Liew Ken Yew, CM Amier Hamzah and Tan Jun Feng are still on track with 3 full points each. For the Girls section, Nur Najiha and Nithyalakshmi are leading the pack with 3 perfect points after three rounds. 

Round 4 clocked off at 2:30pm earlier today and Round 5 will continue tomorrow morning at 9:00am

In the game between Kelly Lim and Nur Najiha, the following position was reached, and it was apparent that Kelly had a good strong attack on the King side against Najiha's King

Expecting that her h7 pawn will be greatly weakened, Najiha played 1.... gxh5, making way for the b1-h7 diagonal to be used by her queen. The game continued with:
2. Qh4 Qa4 (trying to exchange the Queen to soften the attack) 3. Rd4 Qc2 (achieving its goal to protect the h7 pawn) 4. Qxh5 Ra7 (protecting the f7 pawn) 5. Rh4 (piling the pressure on the h file) 5..... Qg6 (another attempt to exchange the queen) 6. Qxg6 fxg6 7. f7+ (with f7 pawn gone, white is able to unleash the power of the Bishop along the a1-h8 diagonal) 7..... e5 (only way to stop the check).
8. Bxe5?? and Najiha breath a sigh of relief.  After exchanging the Bishops, it was all over for White. 

It was very unfortunate that Kelly did not see 8. Rxe5 maintaining the Bishop on the diagonal to keep the pressure on the cornered black King. With 2 extended pawns and the King now able to move safely to g7, White's lost its advantage and soon after, lost the game.

Fritz gave White checkmate in 17 moves after Black plays Na4 (to capture the Bishop on c3 after Rook move), prolonging the inevitability.

For the Girls section, Nithya and Najiha will fight it out to claim the outright leader spot whilst for the Boys section, full pointers Jun Feng is playing against Yit San on Table 1 whilst Mark Siew faces Ken Yew on Table 2. Another full pointer CM Amier Hamzah floated down to meet Aron Teh who is half point adrift from the leader's pack

Sivanesan played well to give Mark a good fight but, in the end, it was Mark who was triumphant
Kelly's attack lost its fire after a wrong exchange
Top board Boys section - Jun Feng (left) against Yit San (right) and at the background, Mark Siew (left - purple) against Ken Yew (right - white)
For the sole leader - Najiha (left) and Nithya (right) on Table 1 in the Girls section

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Of Arbitering the National Junior - 5th Edition

The 5th National Junior Chess Championship 2012 attracted only a handful of players, probably one of the lowest turn out in recent years. There were 56 players in the Boys section and another 19 in the Girls section.

Top seed for the Boys is Perakian Fong Yit San followed by fellow state man Mark Siew Kit Tze. Aron Teh is next in line followed by Low Jun Jian as the 4th seeded player. 

For the Girls section, current National Champion WCM Nur Nabila tops the list followed by younger sister Nur Najiha. Former National Champion, Tan Li Ting occupied the 3rd seed followed by Nithyalakhsmi Sivanesan of Negeri Sembilan in the 4th seed.

This year's edition seems to lack participation from out of state players, most notably from Penang and Johor. For the Girls section, Azhar's siblings of Rifqah and Munajjah including Olympiad squad Camilia Johari are also missing from the annual junior tournament. With many events running back to back and other international events being contested around the same time, perhaps the players are having an overdose of chess events.

Round 1 in the Boys section saw an early upset when Low Jun Jian, handling the black pieces, lost to Ling Zhan Yang on Board 4. Another minor upset happened on Board 5 when the higher seeded Ahmad Afiq Afyfy drew with Daryl Wong Cheng Lim.

There were no major upsets in Girls section as most of the higher seeded player managed to breeze through their first round games.

All results and pairings can be viewed at Chess Results website

Round no 2 started at 3:00pm and the event will continue tomorrow with Round 4 Round 3 to start at 9:00am

The 9 rounds Swiss is scheduled to conclude on Saturday, at about 2:00pm, followed by a Blitz tournament and the prize giving ceremony at 5:00pm

Top seed Fong Yit San (left) up against Tan Yong Zhao (right) on Table 1 Round 2
Sarika Subramaniam (left) up against National Champion WCM Nur Nabila Azman Hisham (right) on Table 1
Second seed Mark Siew (left) playing against Lim Chuin Kai (right) on Table 2 in Round 2

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Of Chess Events Up North - Penang and Sungai Petani

I was in Penang over the weekend to meet some friends during the Penang Open. It was indeed a grand event - with display board acting as a "mural" to the stage hall, displaying the game between two players on the top board. Somehow, you have the feeling as though you are witnessing a World Championship game held some where on the other side of the globe! Kudos to PCA for an astonishing organization....

It was a short trip - was there for less than 2 hours, but the memories were lasting! It was indeed a great set up....

On a more interesting note, I drove up further to Sungai Petani for the Kedah Open. Since my wife hails from Sungai Petani, it was a trip back home for her, and a trip for chess for me. She does her "family kindling" and I, my "chess fiddling". Earlier, I thought that Penang Open will end on 16th December and with all the strong players flocking to Penang, this will be a "quiet" outing for me... Boy I was wrong!

Top seed was Nelson Villaneuva and the next two seeded were 2 National Masters - Evan Timothy Capel and Tan Khai Boon, followed by Anthony Ing, Nik Ahmad Farouqi and Ismail Ahmad - All of whom (except Anthony) were fresh (or tired) from their outing in the Penang Open. If they had not come, I would have been seeded 2nd or 3rd (behind Ismail Ahmad - since this is his adopted home!)

The seven round event started with 20 minutes per player per game but changed to 25 minutes per player per game after lunch - due to popular request. Regardless, it was a fun outing and, after almost a year of not playing in a Rapid event, I find this outing rather refreshing. 

My first round was an easy one - a youngster from Kedah but, he did give me a scare in the opening (I was playing too ambitious!). But pieces start to drop as early as the 10th move and I quickly won the game. The second game was harder if my opponent had not missed a queen move to check my King, i would probably be the end of my game. 

I drew my third Round game with youngster Mohd Faqih - again for being too ambitious as I had wanted to win his Queen. I dropped a piece and was playing a piece down for the next 5 moves before he made a mistake and I managed to win the piece back. The game went on for a few more moves and mistakes after mistakes were made and we ended up in a drawn position

I lost my Round 4 game against Mohd Ali Chor who went on to grab the second place. His seeding showed that he was Unrated but after digging the National Rating list, he has a rating of 1625. Minor issue as he had played well to secure the place beating myself and Tan Khai Boon along the way, and drawing Nelson in the last round.

I won my Round 5 game against another Kedahan and ended up meeting Lim Kian Hwa for my Round 6 encounter. Kian Hwa admitted his game was a bit cramp and after winning the center pawns from him, and a few exchanges later, he resigned as he would drop more pawns and pieces in reaching the end game

My last round encounter was with former National Champion Tan Khai Boon, handling the black pieces in a Benko Gambit opening. The game started with the not usual Benko (he declined bxa6) and after pressuring the lone white a-pawn on the Queen side, I shifted my attack on the Kingside, pushing the h-pawn to the limit - h3, threatening Queen mate on g2.

Somehow, he ended a Knight up but time was not on his side. After some exchanges, he overlooked a simple win. I took the opportunity to exchange off all the pawns and he was left with a lone Knight on the board - draw due to insufficient material.

For my effort, I managed to secure 7th placing, a single notch higher than my actual seeding - an ok outing.

According to Percak (Persatuan Catur Kedah) President, Tuan Haji Yahaya Ahmad, the event will be bigger next year.... Another good reason for me to "persuade" my wife to visit her parents... yet again! :)

Top board playing in the Penang Open - with display board on hand
I managed to get 7th - a nice weekend outing
Champion in action - Nelson in Round 1
Nik Ahmad Farouqi addressing the crowd, inviting them to Kelantan Open to be held next weekend. Nik suffered a shocking first round defeat, but managed to crawl back up to the top to secure the 3rd place
Champion Nelson with Puan Habshah (center), Principal of SMK Bandar Sungai Petani and Tuan Haji Yahaya Ahmad (right), President Persatuan Catur Kedah


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Of New Events at DATCC in 2013 - 9 Rounds Swiss FIDE Rated

Under its new management as of 1st January 2013, DATCC will organize its first DATCC FIDE Rated Classical event for 2013 from 24th January until 28th January 2013.

Dubbed the DATCC GOLDEN SPECIAL, the event will cover the long holiday weekend during Prophet Muhammad's birthday and Thaipusam starting on Thursday, 24th January and concluding on Monday, 28th January. Rounds are schedule either during the public holidays days, or after office hours on regular days as per the following schedule:
The FIDE Rated Classical event will use a time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment per player and will be played over 9 rounds using Swiss Pairing System (Swiss Manager).

This will be the first event in DATCC long list of activities planned for 2013. The GOLDEN SPECIAL offers a total prize fund of RM 2,000 with special prizes allocated for the best juniors (U12/U17), best female, best Veteran and best Unrated – subject to minimum 3 players playing in each category. 

Entry fees is set at RM30 for players with a FIDE Rating of above 2200, RM50 for players between FIDE Rating 2000 and 2200, RM100 for players with a FIDE Rating of below 2000 and RM150 for players without any FIDE Rating. 

The event will also provide a platform for players to gain FIDE Rating points, or for those who do not have any rating points, to start getting one for themselves.

On the same note, DATCC is also planning to conduct its loyalty program starting from 1st January 2013 allowing DATCC members to win additional prizes set for its members on top of the usual prizes offered that they may have won. More news on the Loyalty program will be published in the website as 2013 draws closer. For those who sign up as DATCC member, the entry fees will provide a discount between RM10 and RM30 for each entry received.

Closing date for this event is 20th Jan 2013 and entries are limited to the first 100 paying players only. Entries received after closing date WILL incur a RM50 penalty provided seats are still available. And again, for those who sign up as DATCC Loayalty Member, no late fees will be added.

TO register or learn more about this event, please download the entry form HERE. Alternatively, you can call Najib Wahab at +6016.338.2542 or write to him at najib.wahab@chess-malaysia.com


Friday, December 7, 2012

Of Coming Events - Sungai Petani and GACC

Currently, many chess players are flocking to Penang to participate in the Penang Heritage Open being contested in the heart of the city island. The Open event will end on Saturday, 15th December and once it concludes, another event awaits players in Sungai Petani, Kedah for the SMK Bandar Sungai Petani. This will be a National Rated event played over 7 rounds using a time control of 20 minutes to finish.

Closing date for the event is Friday, 14th February 2012 at 6:00pm. Entries and inquiries can be forwarded to Norazwan Kamaruzaman by contacting him at +6017.560.5071 or email shinazwan_07@yahoo.com.my. Payments can be made via MAYBANK account 152152013413 (NORAZWAN KAMARUZAMAN). Players are advice to email the transaction slip and present it to the organizer prior to the start of the event. Take note that the organizer will not accept any new entries during the event day

For more information, you can download the event details by clicking on the following LINK - SPOpen

On a more International level, the 17th edition of the Annual GACC (Grand Asian Chess Championship) organized by University Malaya is set to start on 25th January 2013 with the players meeting and followed by Round 1 at 9:00am on the next day. This will be a FIDE Rated event open only to University and Higher Learning Institution students from all over the world. Previous participants and winners for both Team and Individual Categories have included players from Iran, China and Russia to name a few. 

GACC uses an interesting tournament format which allows players to play as individuals but the points collected from each player contributes to the team accumulative points. In most of the previous editions, the Men and Women section were played in separate categories but for the 2012 edition, only a single category was used. This was probably due to the lack of response as GACC moved its event calendar to mid-year instead of the usual year end period as a result of the changes made by the Government towards the semester terms resulting in the omission of the 2011 edition. 

For more information on the 17th GACC 2013 event, please click on the following LINK - GACC

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Of National Junior 2012

After much guessing on the venue for the National Junior 2012, and after some "changes" in the renovation date for DATCC, the 5th National Junior Chess Championship 2012 is now confirmed for 18th December to 22nd December 2012 at DATCC (Dato Arthur Tan Chess Centre) located on the 4th Floor of Wilayah Complex Kuala Lumpur. This will probably be the last event held at DATCC before it is scheduled for a 2 week renovation work to make way for a new appearance for the center. 

The National Junior event is Open only to Malaysian Citizens below the age of 20 years old (born on or after 1992). Entry fees is set at RM60 for players with FIDE Rating and RM100 for players without any FIDE Rating. Previous National Junior Masters (for both boys and girls), National Masters and National Women Masters who have not exceeded the age limit will be given Free entry to the event.

As per the previous years, NJCC will be played over 9 rounds Swiss Pairing (Swiss Manager) using the classical time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds increment per player per move. 

Champions for each Boys and Girls category will bag a challenge trophy with RM600 cash prize whilst the second placed player will earn RM400 and another RM200 for the 3rd place finisher. A special Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal shall be given to each of the top three players below the age of 14 and 12 years old. 

To download the entry form for the event, please click on the following LINK

For more information, please contact MCF Secretary Gregory Lau at +6017.289.8215 (Email: msianchess2010@gmail.com), MCF VP Haslindah Ruslan (Email: haslindahr@yahoo.com), Najib Wahab at +6016.338.2542 or Zuraihah Wazir at +6017.283.7808

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Of Kelantan Open - 28th and 29th December 2012

Fancy going to Kelantan to play in Kelantan Open?

The Persatuan Catur Negeri Kelantan will be organizing the FIRST KELANTAN OPEN to be held on 28th and 29th December (Friday and Saturday) at Politeknik Kota Bharu, Kok Lanas. The event will have a time control of 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment over 7 rounds using Swiss Pairing.

For more details, please contact Mr Nik Ahmad Farouqi Nik Aziz via his email at farouqi.chess@gmail.com or you can also call him at +6019.999.6006

The official release for the event (with slight amendments) are as follows:

Berita baik untuk peminat-peminat catur di Kelantan dan juga tanahair, Persatuan Catur Negeri Kelantan buat pertama kali akan menganjurkan Terbuka Kelantan pada 28 dan 29 Disember 2012. Bertempat di Politeknik Kota Bharu, Kok Lanas.




TARIKH : 28 - 29 DISEMBER 2012








Monday, November 26, 2012

Of Insofar November Edition

Another edition of the Insofar Monthly event and the number of players participating increased despite having to compete with another event held in Shah Alam on the very same day. 14 players took part in the Open section led by Philippines Ian Udani, FM Ronnie Lim and National Junior Tan Li Ting with some of the top University players in the country in Ahmad Fadzil Nayan of IIU, Mohd Syazwan of UM and Chek Kin Keuw of UPM, and not forgetting, local blogger Nor Ilhamuddin

For the U1600 section, the top seed was veteran Mustafa Said and the second seeded player was non other than Mat Zaki Yeop, Insofar head honcho. Perhaps, the excitement was too much for him to bear! There were a few young and upcoming youngsters taking part such as Tan Wei Ting, Melanie and brother Benjamin Koo, Kung Kah Heng and Vinton Wong. Adding to the list of youngsters playing were 7 year old Asia Moo and 5 year old Puteri Rabiatul Adawiyah (who happens to be Mat Zaki's daughter).

The U1600 section was almost clear cut with the top leaders maintaining their lead throughout the event. The only upset came in Round 3 when Kung Kah Heng defeated the much more experienced Mustafa to disrupt his clean slate. Kung Kah Heng fine run suffered a setback when he lost to Mat Zaki in the following round. And on the last round, he faced Melanie Koo and a win would have secured his 3rd placing but, the KL lass was able to overcome her opponent to secure the lone 3rd spot.

After the surprising defeat at the hand of Kah Heng, Mustafa was able to rebound and collect 2 more additional points to maintain his 1 point deficit behind leader Mat Zaki. When both players were paired to fight it out in the last round, Mustafa managed to gain the upper hand and with the win, was able to take over Mat Zaki's position as the leader and winner of the U1600 section.

For the Open section, it was much tougher for the leaders with the first seeded player FM Ronnie Lim drawing his first round match against Chek Kin Keuw. There were two casualties for the higher seeded player when Liew Ken Yew lost to John Law and the more surprising upset on Table 6 when Nor Ilhamuddin lost to Rosamund Koo. Nor Ilhamuddin woes continued when he was paired with top seed FM Ronnie in the second round and again lost his second match for the day. 

In Round 3, the encounter between leaders Ian Udani and Ahmad Fadzil Nayan ended in a peaceful draw, paving way for 4 players to share the top spot - FM Ronnie Lim, Ian Udani, Ahmad Fadzil Nayan and Chek Kin Keuw, all with 2.5 points a piece. 

In Round 5, Tan Li Ting pulled off an upset by drawing with then leader Ian Udani and according to observers, Li Ting could have pressed for a win but decided to play it safe by accepting the draw. With the draw, Ahmad Fadzil Nayan has the sole lead of the event with one round to spare. Trailing behind him with half point different was Ian Udani, and a further half point behind was Tan Li Ting and FM Ronnie Lim. 

FM Ronnie Lim performed well in the last round to deny Ahmad Fadzil Nayan of the top spot, and with Fadzil out for the count, Ian Udani crept back into the top spot after a convincing win against Mohd Syazwan. Although he lost the last round and allowed FM Ronnie Lim to catch up on level points, Ahmad Fadzil Nayan remained in the second spot having a better tie break compared to that of Ronnie. Fine performance by Tan Li Ting put her in the 4th spot followed by brother Tan Jun Feng in the 5th spot.

Full results of both categories are as follows:
Open Section
U1600 section
Final round match up between Fadzil Nayan (left) against FM Ronnie Lim (right)
Organizer but a player for this edition - Mat Zaki (right) facing Mustafa Said (left) in the final Round 6
Philippines Ian Udani accepting his winnings from Chief Arbiter, FA Najib Wahab
A fine outing by Tan Li Ting - securing the 4th spot
Players at the Insofar November Edition
Intense last round encounter between Melanie Koo (left) and Kung Kah Heng (right)


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Of DATCC Masters - Slight Change in Schedule

"THE EVENT THAT STARTS in 2012 and ENDS in 2013"

The Rapid and Blitz event has been moved to another date as such, the DATCC Round Robin event will be reschedule as follows to minimize playing on a working day. It will also allow for students who take part in the event to avoid playing on 1st January as school reopens on 2nd January 2013.
Other terms and conditions remain the same.
For more information, please contact Najib Wahab at +6016.338.2542 or write to him at najib.wahab@chess-malaysia.com

NOTE: Drawing of lots (to determine players position in the table for pairing purposes) will be conducted on 18th December and the complete pairing will be posted before 22nd December

Of Another FIDE Rated Round Robin - DATCC Masters


At the request of some players - especially those who had to sit for year end exams (SPM, STPM) and, considering that Singapore will not be holding any event during the X'mas week (like they usually would), a Round Robin event has been planned at DATCC Wilayah Complex from 25th December (Tuesday - Christmas Day) until 1st January (Tuesday - New Year Day).

The 20 players Round Robin event (10 players to each Masters and Challenger group) will be a FIDE Rated event using a classical time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move per player.

Entry fees is free to players above a FIDE Rating of 2200 (limited to 2 players only), RM50 for players with a FIDE Rating between 2000 and 2200, RM100 for players with a FIDE Rating below 2000 and RM150 for players without any FIDE Rating.

The top 4 FIDE Rated players will be pooled in the DATCC Masters group while the balance will be divided between the 2 groups to balance the playing strength. Those without any FIDE Rating will be pooled in the Challenger Group.

Only the champions from each category will take home the prize money of RM250 for the Masters and RM150 for the Challenger section. For players with a FIDE Rating of more than 2200, the player will earn RM200 if they are able to accumulate at least 6 points, or higher. 

Tentative playing schedule is as follows:
Playing Schedule
For more information or to sign up, please contact Najib Wahab at +6016.338.2542 or email najib.wahab@chess-malaysia.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Of Nf6 Events - The Final Result

The Nf6 2012 edition would probably be remembered as the one with high attrition rate with 4 players having to pull out from the 20 field players. The latest casualty was Zaidan Zulkipli who was advised by the doctor to take a rest due to extreme fatigue. 

When top seed Yeoh Li Tian won his Round 8 game against FM Johan Iskandar, it was clear that he would run away with the event with only one round to go and two points ahead of his closest rival. The battle in Round 9 is left between Kamaluddin Yusoff, Ismail Ahmad and Kamalarifin Wahiduddin to take up the second and third spot and interesting match up beckons with Kamalariffin facing FM Johan Iskandar, Ismail facing the solid playing style of Mohd Saprin and Kamaluddin against Lim Kian Hwa. 

With both Kamaluddin and Chin Seng at 5 points a piece, a win in their last round encounter would help them to maintain their respective 2nd and 3rd spot and in their way are Kian Hwa and Ismail Ahmad. Whilst Kian Hwa may not be able to break into the top 3 spots, his objective in the last round is just to maintain a winning game hoping to keep his rating points or steal from his higher rated opponents in Kamaluddin Yusof. Unfortunately, Kamaluddin proved to be too strong for Kian Hwa and the latter resigned after his 37th move. With the win Kamaluddin secured the second spot behind Yoeh Li Tian with 6 points out of 9 rounds.

For Yeoh Chin Seng, a win against Ismail Ahmad will maintain his position in third place but Ismail had other ideas in store. A brilliant performance in the morning round to secure a point from Mohd Saprin, Ismail was clearly on a hot streak. Although Chin Seng maintained the upper hand throughout the game, he was not able to maintain the initiative and Ismail equalized his position on move 17. Chin Seng still had the chance to continue pressing but missed a brilliant rook sacrifice on move 21, pulled back his Queen to d1 and the same happened to his game. With his win, Ismail has to wait for the result of the game between Kamalarifin and FM Johan Iskandar to see if he can leapfrog into the 3rd position.

With Chin Seng losing his game, the situation is open for Kamalarifin to seize the position but his last round draw with FM Johan allowed Ismail to claim the third spot.

In the Junior Section, it was a nail biting finish with Gabriel only half point behind leading brothers Muqqri and Ghaazi both with 7 points. A win in his last round would allow Gabriel to steal the top spot from Muqqri who had the better tie break against his brother Ghazi. Muqqri did well to secure his lead throughout the event but a surprising draw to Amira Farhana in Round 8 had put a stumbling block on an otherwise exemplary run. The draw with Amira cost him the pole finish and with Gabriel winning his last round match against Lim Ming Kang, Muqqri had to settle for the second spot while elder brother Ghaazi clinched the 3rd spot. Muhammad Faqih who did well to stop Gabriel in Round 7 and continued his fine run to overcome Lim Ming Kang in Round 8, could not continue his winning streak and lost to Ming Kang elder brother Ming Xian in the last round to settle for 4th place.

The final crosstable for both Masters and Juniors section are as follows:

Yeoh Li Tian, top seed and winner with 8 points out of 9 rounds - no losses

Gabriel Bick in first place followed by brothers Muqqri and Ghaazi
Kamaluddin last round win against Kian Hwa secured him the second spot
After his first round loss to Lim Kian Hwa, Ismail Ahmad (left) fought his way back to the top and winning his last round game against Mohd Saprin (in photo - right) helped him to secure the 3rd spot with some assistance from Kamalariffin who drew with FM Johan Iskandar in their last round encounter
The 3 Juniors top finishers - Champion Gabriel Bick in the center flanked by second placed Amir Muqqri on the right and elder brother Amir Ghaazi on the right at 3rd place.
2012 Nf6 Masters Chess Champion - Yeoh Li Tian, top seed and top finisher with 8 points out of 9 games - 2 draws and 7 wins


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Of Nf6 Event - End of Round 5

At the end of Round 5, Yeoh Li Tian is the sole leader for the event at 4 points after earlier joint leader Zaidan Zulkipli surprising lost to Kamaluddin Yusof in Round 5. One of Li Tian's point came from a walkover game against Abdul Aziz Shukor who had to withdraw from the event due to medical reasons. Li Tian drew with father Chin Seng in Round 1 and Ismail Ahmad in Round 4. In the match between Li Tian and Ismail, the latter missed a winning move after opting for a repetition of moves due to time trouble. Post mortem of the game showed that Ismail could have won the game had he played Ne8 in one of the variation of the the end game. 

Coming off from a long layoff from competitive chess, FM Johan Iskandar Foudzi lost his opener against Zaidan but managed to salvaged draws against Abdul Aziz and Mohd Saprin in Round 2 and 3. In Round 4, he returned to his winning ways by beating Sarawakian Lim Kian Hwa in a nail biting King Pawn ending.

Ismail Ahmad lost his opener against Lim Kian Hwa and drew all his subsequent games to record 2 points out of 5 games. His most interesting game came in Round 4 when he drew against youngster Li Tian after overlooking the brilliant Ne8 that could have sealed his first victory.

Currently in second place, Kamaluddin Yusof won against Abdul Aziz in his first day opener but on the second day of the event, he drew against Ismail Ahmad in the second round and fared worse in the afternoon Round 3 when he lost to Li Tian. Kamaluddin came back strongly on day 3 of the event to record 2 wins out of 2 games against Kamalarifin Wahiduddin and Zaidan Zulkipli.

Mohd Saprin Sabri lost his opening game against Kamalarifin and recorded 2 draws in Round 2 and 3 against Zaidan Zulkipli and FM Johan Iskandar respectively. He scored a win against Abdul Aziz in Round 4 and drew again against Yeoh Chin Seng in Round 5.

The current standing and table for the Nf6 Masters event is as follows:

Full results and ALL GAMES from the Nf6 Masters Chess Championship can be viewed and downloaded from the Chess Results website HERE

For the the Nf6 Juniors Chess Championship, the current leader for the event is youngster Amir Muqqri Mohd Saprin who shared the top spot with Gabriel Bick, both with 4.5 points from 5 games. 3 players, Mohd Faqih, Amir Ghaazi and Lim Ming Kang are one point adrift at 3.5 points with Lim Ming Xian in 6th position with 3 points. 

So far, the young Amir Muqqri has done well to secure valuable wins against the much more experience Mohd Faqih, and siblings Lim Ming Kang and Ming Xian. Having drawn his first round game against elder brother Mohd Ghaazi, the only player capable to stop the young Muqqri from bulldozing his way through is American youngster Gabriel Bick who had earlier beaten the elder Ghaazi in Round 5. Gabriel only drawn game came in Round 2 against Lim Ming Xian.

With Abdul Aziz withdrawing from the event due to medical reasons, the Nf6 Juniors event is now left with 8 players with Aziz daughter Siti Aishah and friend Norshafaah Zamri, had to do the same. Despite their absence, the event will continue with the same playing format and pairing but unavoidable impact on the FIDE rating calculation will definitely take effect. It was sad that such a situation had arisen but all is not lost as most players still look forward to using the event as their training ground to practice playing longer time control games in a tournament environment. 

The current standing and table for the Nf6 Junior Chess Championship is as follows: 

Scene from Round 6. At the foreground, Yeoh Chin Seng having a skittle game against Lim Ming Kang
Ismail Ahmad (in yellow) playing the white pieces against Zaidan (not seen) and on the right, Kamaluddin Yusof playing against FM Johan Iskandar Foudzi (not seen)
On the first table, Kamalarifin (on the right) playing against Yeoh Li Tian and on second table, Mohd Saprin (right) is paired against Lim Kian Hwa