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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Going into the Penultimate Round

 After having the day off yesterday, it is business as usual with the resumption of the Melaka Chess Festival - Round 8 starting at 3:00pm. Most players were already in the playing hall early today as they eagerly wait to continue the event and trying to steal valuable points as the event reached its penultimate round.

For Round 8, the venue returns to the main ballroom on the 2nd floor as the Organizer prepare for the last round, Round 9 starting at 9:00am tomorrow, followed by the closing ceremony at 2:00pm.
The backdrop in the Ballroom
Back on the 2nd floor - the playing hall
 For the International section, GM Arun Prasad of India looks to stop GM Attila Czebe of Hungary on Table 1 from running away with the inaugural Melaka Champion title. On the hand, a win for GM Czebe who is currently 1 point clear of the pack, may seal the deal for him to earn a huge paycheck from Melaka. Aside from GM Prasad, 2 other players who are within striking distance should Czebe is unable to hold Prasad, are GM Fominyh of Russia (who is facing GM Laxman of India on Table 2) and GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines (playing against IM Karthikeyan of India). On Table 4, GM Romer Holmes is playing against IM Dimakiling and on the next Table 5, IM Rathnakaran is up against compatriot GM Deepan Chakkravathy.

GM Deepan Chakkravathy of India - 4 1/2 points
GM Arun Prasad of India - Currently tied for 2nd place with 5 1/2 points
After his sensational win against WGM Kruttika Nadig of India, Malaysian hope Yeoh Li Tian is facing an uphill task against GM Adam Horvath of Hungary. A win for Tian could help him to ease into the top 10 players and earn valuable rating points to add on to his impressive performance in Brunei.
WGM Kruttika Nadig - pondering her move
Young Tian will have a tough time against GM Adam Horvath
 For the Challenger section, the top 5 players are dominated by foreigners with Gatot Suyono leading the pack with 6 1/2 points, half a point more than his compatriot Endang Andrian who is the only person trailing him at second position. The next 3 placing are Suci Rohaya and Yuranda Irawan of Indonesia and Ugandan pride, Wakoko Enos - all with 5 1/2 points.

On Table 1, both Suci Rohaya and Endang of Indonesia are slugging it out for the bragging rights to be the best in the Challenger section. A win by Gatot would definitely secure his title and the RM 1,500 pay out for the eventual champion but a loss will allow other players to overtake his throne in the final round. On Table 2, another Indonesian pair, Endang Andrian and Yuranda Irawan are also fighting it out to have a better chance of catching up with the leader Gatot. On Table 3, Malaysian Fairul Yusoff is paired against another newcomer to the Melaka chess scene, Ugandan Wakoko Enos and a win by any of the two would put them within the top 5 winners bracket of the challenger section. With the withdrawal of Abdul Rahim Ramli due his mother's passing, the task now falls onto Fairul to keep the hopes alive for a Malaysian to finish in the top 5 or higher for the Challenger event. 

Malaysian Fairul Yusoff - looking to stop Wakoko Enos of Uganda on Table 3
Suci Rohaya going against Gatot Suyono on Table 1
 Melaka's top performer, Masros Tukiran is currently playing on Table 6 against Latifah Syamimi and on Table 5, Muhd Asyraf Razman who played well to split the point with Suci Rohaya in Round 7, is playing against Syamimi sister Latifah Kaiyisah. On Table 4, early favorites Eddy Fong is paired against Lum Zhun Hoong

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