At 6:00pm today, most of the top 10 tables from the International section were still slugging it out to earn valuable points to continue moving forward. After the smoke cleared, 3 players now share the lead at 3 1/2 points followed by another 4 players with 3 points including our very own IM Mas Hafizulhelmi.
On Table 1, GM Attila Czebe of Hungary will be playing white against GM Alexander Forminyh of Russia and the winner of this game may become the sole leader at the head of the pack. On Table 2, another 3 1/2 pointer GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines will be handling the black pieces against Adam Horvath of Hungary who is half a point behind. Two Indian IMs - Kantholi Rathnakaran and Karthikeyan will be going against one another on Table 3 and on Table 4, the remaining player with 3 points, Malaysia's IM Mas Hafizul will face IM Oliver Dimakiling of Philippines who currently has 2 1/2 points. A win for Mas in this round will definitely push him up closer to the top of the pack.
Other notable pairings for Round 5 are Yeoh Li Tian against IM Praveen Kumar on Table 8, and Zaidan Zulkipli against WGM Kruttika Nadig on Table 10. Yeoh Li Tian currently has 2 1/2 points after his draw against IM Rolando Nolte in Round 4.
On the top table in the Challenger section, co leader Abdul Rahim Ramli of Terengganu will face Indonesian Suci Rohaya - both with a perfect score of 4 points from 4 rounds. Suci Rohaya earned her co leader spot after outplaying Malaysian Lum Zhun Hoong in round 4 after an interesting Rook sack for a Bishop on f7 to create a lethal attack on the latter's open King. For Abdul Rahim, his victory in the earlier round was against Latifah Syamimi who had miscalculated a Bishop sack for two pawns but fizzled when her Queen ran out of checks. On Table 2, Rohaya's compatriot Gatot Suyono will play against another Indonesian Yuranda Irawan who had earlier won against Fairul Yusoff after 50 moves. Both Eddy Fong and Mohd Ezmi Mahmood are currently back in the running for the top spot playing on Table 3 and Table 4 respectively. Eddy is paired against Muhd Nur Asyraff whilst Ezmi will have a tougher opponent in Endang Andrian who had earlier beaten Eddy in Round 2.
Pairing for the Challenger section for Round 5 tomorrow is as follows: