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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Final Round 9

The final day Round 9 started with clear leaders in both playing section - Czebe of Hungary in the International section and Gatot in the Challenger section. For the International section, it will make no different if GM Attila Czebe win or lose his final game as he is still at least half point away from his nearest challenger. After amassing 7 points from 8 rounds, Czebe should be comfortable at the top of the leaderboard and definitely pleased with his current performance. In his final game, he will face Indian GM Deepan Chakkravathy and it will not be surprising for Deepan to go in full assault to win this final encounter as it will provide a good chance for him to secure the runner up spot. At time of print, GM Laxman and IM Karthikeyan had already agreed to a draw on Table 2 with both players now having 6 points out of 9 rounds.

The other person who has a chance to steal the second spot from Deepan would be GM Romero Holmes of Spain who is battling GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines on Table 3. Whilst a draw may secure a 3rd-5th placing for Holmes, Bitoon may have other ideas in mind.
All eyes on Table 5 - FM Hamdani Rudin against Yeoh Li Tian
That deadly look! - WGM Kruttika Nadig
Melaka lass - WFM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri
On Table 4, an interesting encounter is in store with GM Alexander Fominyh of Russia facing off against GM Arun Prasad of India. With Alexander fight to the finish style of play - as he has shown in many of his previous games, the encounter will definitely stretched to the max.

 All eyes will be on Table 5 where Malaysian hopeful, Yeoh Li Tian will be playing against FM Hamdani Rudin of Indonesia. For Tian, a win will put him in the ranks of the top GMs in the event and will probably placed him in the top 8 but as more top board players lost or drew their games, his chances of climbing the ranks will definitely be better.

In the Challenger section, interestingly enough that on the top 5 tables, all the Malaysian players are paired against the foreigners. On Table 1, Gatot faces Eddy Fong whilst on Table 2, Endang Andrian will be playing against Fairul Yusoff. Over on Table 3, Ugandan Wakoko Enos meets Latifah Kaiyisah whilst on Table 4 Yuranda Irawan will fight it off against Muhd Faris Aminuddin. The darling of the Challenger event, Suci Rohaya will be playing against another beauty, Latifah Syamimi on Table 5 to round up the top 5 tables.

Three Malaysian - Eddy, Fairul and Kaiyisah, all playing back against foreigners Gatot, Endang and Wakoko, all playing White
Whilst Gatot Suyono is almost certain to lift the title - having had 1 clear point of his nearest challenger compatriot Endang Andrian who has amassed 6 1/2 points, it will not be an easy game for him as he faces top seed Eddy Fong of Malaysia. A tie for the title, and an eventual tie break to separate the top winners may still happen if Gatot losses his game and Endang won his encounter with Fairul Yusoff on Table 2. And again, with country pride at stake, Fairul will definitely pump up the effort to secure a point from his Indonesian counterpart.
Latifah Kaiyisah against Wakoko Enos
All in all, it has been an interesting event albeit the number of players were not up to expectation. For the International section, it has been fighting chess all around as displayed in Round 8 where all the top board players bashing it out to get within reachable distant to the leader. For GM Czebe, it has been an outstanding display and by the conclusion of Round 6, it was left to GM Bitoon to slow down the runaway train but alas, as he secured his 8th round win and with the surprising defeat of all the players who were within reach of the leader, it was a close and shut case as he triumphed over GM Arun Prasad in the penultimate Round 8 to secure the championship title

For the Challenger section, the absence of Abdul Rahim who had to withdraw from the event, was clearly felt as it was left to Eddy Fong and Fairul Yusoff to lead the Malaysian charge. It was clearly an event dominated by the foreingers with Indonesians and the sole Uganda representative in Wakoko Enos dominating the top tables. For Wakoko, it was an amazing come back as he managed to climb bank into the top rank following his first round defeat at the hands of Indonesian Endang Andrian. But from then on, there was no looking back for Wakoko who eventually become the only player to steal half a point from current leader Gatot Suyono in Round 7

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