For Liew Ken Yew, his fine run continues with a win against the higher seeded Zaidan Zulkipli on Table 2. The shocker was on Table 1 when Li Tian went down against Roshan Singh which sets up the duel between the two remaining perfect 4 pointers between Roshan and Ken Yew in Round 5. With early favorites failing against the lower seeded players, it seems that the National Closed 2012 may go down the wire and might be decided in the last 2 rounds unless of course Ken Yew or Roshan managed to maintain their momentum, then one of them may be crowned the new National Champion. With only 54 players in the field and 9 rounds to play, there is plenty of time for players to rebound and playing catch up with the leaders.
On Table 2, the only pair with 3 1/2 points - half points behind the co leaders, is Yeap Eng Chiam going up against Muhd Nabil Azman Hisham. Following them are eight players with 3 points each in top seed Li Tian, 5th seeded Zaidan, Yit San of Perak, Veteran Lim Kian Hwa of Sarawak, customs officer Rizal Ahmad Kamal, IPT student Syazwan and surprisingly, yours truly in the same pack - all of us a single point adrift from the leaders.
One notable player in the pack that is clawing its way back up is Loo Swee Leong whom collected 2 consecutive points from his Round 3 and Round 4 encounters to climb back into the middle of the pack.
Pairing for Round 5 in the Open Section are as follows:
For the Ladies Section, WFM Nur Najiha proved to be too strong for the other competitors, bulldozing her way through with a perfect 4 points out of 4 rounds. Her latest victim in Round 4 was Nithyalakhsmi of Negeri Sembilan. On Table 2, elder daughter of Azman Hisham, Nur Nabila drew with Tan Li Ting which sets up a mouth watering duel between the two sisters for Round 5. The younger one with the ambition of scoring her first National title and a perfect run towards the title whilst the elder sister, defending the throne which she won last year. A win or a draw by Najiha would probably render her untouchable but a win by the sister may open up the field slightly.
On Table 3, Camilia Johari did well to hold 2010 Champion Fong Mi Yen to a draw whilst on Table 4, Latifah Kaiyisah proved to be too strong for Najihah Mohd Saufi. On Table 5, sisters Siti Aisyah and Siti Khadijah game ended in an amicable draw.
For Round 5, six players with 2 1/2 points are paired against one another - Latifah Kaiyisah against Mi Yen on Table 2, Sarika and Li Ting on Table 3 and Camilia against Nithya on Table 4
The rest of the pairing are as follows:
|Proud parents - Azman Hisham and Zazaluma talking to another parent Zurin (center)|
|Table 3 encounter between 2010 Women Champion Fong Mi Yen against another rising star, Camilia Johari|
|IM/FA and FT Mok Tze Meng having a chat with MCF VP Haslindah Ruslan|
|Zaidan Zulkipli (right) had it tough against the lower rated Ken Yew and lost this encounter leaving Ken Yew with a perfect 4 points out of 4 rounds.|
|Ladies in black - defending champion Nur Nabila (right) up against Tan Li Ting which ended in a drawn game.|