After drawing my morning round with Nik Farouqi, having to defend an almost hopeless position, I was really tired and mentally exhausted. It has been a long time since I played "real chess", pondering for moves after moves, for 2-3 hours in a day, cracking my head to make sense of a puzzle on a 64 square board. And because of that, the past 4 days was indeed a painful experience. Enjoyable.... but also rather painful. I guess I am not as active (and as young) as I used to be and the afternoon round had a clear indication of fatigue and lack of stamina as I lost my game to Fong Yit Ho rather easily. Perhaps the fighting spirit was no longer there - as I had already reached my 50% mark which I had targeted at the start of the event. Or perhaps, I just want to get it over and done as quickly as possible.... Either way, I lost my Round 8 encounter and maintained my 4.5 that I had accumulated thus far.
During those 8 rounds, I lost 3 games to players who are rated 2000 and above. At the same time, I also won 1 game and drew another against players of the same rating bracket ergo, I should gain some rating points by the next rating listing (due in July). Not sure how much it will increase to, but increase it should be. My last round game will be against Jamal Sulaiman who does not have a FIDE rating but has a National Rating of 1587. Whilst I am rated slightly higher than him, my aim is to seal the day with a high note and play well
As for me to go back playing actively..... Well, thanks to Jimmy for those encouraging words - that I should start to play again. I think I will but I will probably limit it to local KL circuits considering that this will be a "part time for fun venture" and further, with my consultancy work to restart at the end of June, I will not have much time to spend on chess anymore. Again... another door close, a few others opened!!
Going into the last day, and the last round, Roshan has nailed the door shut and irregardless of what happened in the last round, his unassailable lead has secured him the National Champion title for 2012. The only question now is whether he will make it a perfect 9, or will he falter in the last round. If you ask me to give him an advice, I will say - "GO MAKE YOUR DAY!". If IM Rolando Nolte made it 9/9 in Selangor Open, I believe Roshan should try the same.
With Roshan securing the top spot, 3 players are in the run for second place - Syazwan should seal the runner up position should he win against Roshan but failing that, two Juniors with 6 points may have the chance to leap frog him to steal the 2nd best player. The two players are Yeap Eng Chiam and Yeoh Li Tian who has been paired to play each other on Table 2. Another 2 players with 5.5 points are Nik Farouqi (who has been paired to play 5 pointer Loo Swee Leong) and Muhd Nabil (who has been matched up against Zaidan).
Another 9 players with 5 points are trailing the leading pack with hopes to finish the event in the top 10 spots.
Pairing for Round 9 of the Open Section are as follows:
Similarly, the same is happening in the Ladies Section with Najiha being crowned the new Women Champion even before the start of the final round. Although her last round opponent in Siti Khadijah may spring a surprise and Fong Mi Yen won her last round game to equal the points, by virtue of tie break, Najiha would still be crowned as the 2012 champion, taking the throne which was won by her elder sister last year.
On Table 2, 2010 champion Fong Mi Yen has been paired to play against Siti Aisyah and on Table 3, Nabila is set to meet Wong Siew Ting.
The rest of the pairing for Round 9 Ladies Section are as follows: