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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Of Another Malaysian Chess Festival - 2012

The 9th edition of the Malaysian Chess Festival is set to start from 20th August 2012, immediately after Hari Raya celebration. Whilst international players are expected to arrive at the venue on the first day of Hari Raya on 19th August to check in their accommodation, the players meeting will only be conducted the next day at 11:00am with the first round to start immediately after. With the actual games starting only on the 2nd day of Raya, it will allow some time for local players and enthusiasts (especially the Muslims) to celebrate the first day of Eid Fitri and enjoy the Chess Festival from the second onwards.

For this year's edition, it has been a challenge for the organizers to find the most suitable dates for the event - what more with the coming of Chess Olympiad in Istanbul to be held just immediately after the event concludes. With Istanbul dates just around the corner, the idea was to make the Chess Festival a stopover for many players who are en route to Turkey to play in the Festival as a warm up event before the big game. The other idea was of course to take advantage of the long school holiday to encourage participation from students who makes up the largest chess population in the country. 

Another significant change that was made was to change the time control for the three main individual events to Rapid format, forgoing the usual classical format that has been used since the Festival first started in 2004. The time format for the ASTRO Team event and the SWENSEN Age Group event remains status quo and will be conducted once the individual events have concluded.

With the event timing producing the greatest challenge, this years event has attracted less than expected entries for all the Individual events prompting the organizer to combine all three individual events - 9th IGB Dato Arthur Tan Open, Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng Seniors and AmBank Challenge, into a single event to make it more respectable. Although it is now a single event, the organizer will maintain the category prizes for the Open section, Senior section (above 50) and Amateur section (below 2000 FIDE Rating) albeit a slight reduction in the total prize fund offered.

To make it more interesting, Dato Tan Chin Nam, the adviser for the festival has agreed with the proposal to reduce the entry fees for the event to RM50 for players with FIDE rating and RM100 for players without any FIDE rating. As usual, all titled players will continue to enjoy free entry for the event as per the event's traditional practice.With more than RM45,000 total prize fund given out for the Individual events, and the low entry fees for participants, this will definitely be the most lucrative event ever offered to players with regards to the entry fees/prize fund ratio given out. A definite attraction for more players especially the local ones, to play in this year's Chess Festival while enjoy the long Hari Raya and school break - a Raya angpow of a different sorts!

For those who would like to know more about the event, please contact the Organizer, En Abdul Hamid Majid at +6019.215.8098 or write to him at aham@pc.jaring.my. 

Entry forms for the individual events can be downloaded by clicking HERE whilst entry forms for all the other events (Team, Swensen, etc) can be downloaded by clicking HERE

Look forward to seeing everyone at the 9th Malaysian Chess Festival 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Of Making A Comment on Olympiad Team

I made a comment on Jimmy's blog about the team that has been selected for the Olympiad event come this August and part of the comment was:

"I sincerely feel that the selection committee is doing their utmost to select the best players for Olympiad (or any other event), regardless whether there is an actual process being used or just a voting procedures where the selection committee discuss and vote for the best players that they can find based on availability and strength. But based on the 2012 Olympiad team that has been selected, their selection seems to be "fair"."

I have been shying away from making any "politically inclined" comments or articles in my blog for not wanting to "make SOMEONE excited". Apparently, the comments above did make someone drooled in excitement.... Remember the story about the non stop barking dog that I wrote some months ago??? Well, a dog being a dog, you dangle a bone and it gets excited all over.... running and wagging his tail like nobody's business... I mean after all, its a dog with a puny brain... What can you expect the dog to do???

Anyway,  the comment that was made against my comment from "the-blog-written-by-the-person-whose-name-I-do-not-want-to-waste-my-time-typing" is as follows:

Why is Najib talking about MCF selection committee when it doesn't exist and he is not in MCF? In fact there was no meeting in MCF on this matter. Caught out in a big lie this time Najib. Thank you. Chess is making you very smart.

Ok... So, the selection committee does not exist? Hmmm.... I think the selection committee exist but maybe it is not "active". Ok la.... Whatever la... Maybe he is right, then again maybe he is wrong. I mean.... I do not want the dog to start barking at my "door" again... so ok lah. You right..... 

Secondly... this is is very interesting.... He wrote "....and he is not in MCF?". So, as someone who is not in MCF, I am not supposed to comment???? Ok la.... But one thing boggles me... Who are you la??? Are you in MCF? Nope... Do you play chess? Nope.... But you can comment? And I can't? Hah!!! This is definitely mind boggling.... But again, never mind la... The dog wants the bone, let him have it la.... Its just a bone.... :)

Thirdly, he claimed that there is no meeting in MCF in this matter??? Wah!!! Are you in MCF ah? How does he know this? Now I know why he knows a lot of things and I don't... .He is in MCF!!!! Wow!!!! But, does a meeting has to have the entire MCF Committee in it ah?? I mean, I and my staff can sit down and have a meeting - just the two of us... It is also called a meeting....And from what I understand, a selection committee is made up of a group of people that may or may not be from MCF committee itself. The practice is that the chairman for the various committee (or sub committee) needs to be chaired by an MCF Exco member but the committee members itself can be from members of the chess community so, come to think of it, of course there is no meeting in MCF on this matter because it was decided by the Selection Committee and NOT the MCF Committee.... FYI, the other committee that "should exist" (doggie... don't bite me on this ah?) are the Finance Committee, Development Committee and Tournament Committee. There may be others but these are the ones that I know that MCF should have... But ok la... Maybe this practice is no longer use in the current MCF management. But I think the real reason is because ???? Think think think.... Ah!!! (A light bulb appears!!!) The person was not included in the meeting for the selection.... Ohhhhh!!! That is the main reason la.... Poor you.... Sorry lah, can't help you there.....

And he also wrote "Caught out in a big lie this time Najib..." Err... when did I lie? I mean as far as I know, there is a selection committee so, since I am not in MCF, I assume there was a selection that decides on the team selection. Ok la... my mistake for assuming that there is one but, I did not lie... Never mind la.... Again, when the dog barks, no point barking back. Let the dog thinks he has the loudest bark this side of the neighborhood.... 

But I like the last one.... "Thank you. Chess is making you very smart". And with that, I say "Your very welcome!!! Want another dog biscuit?"


Monday, July 16, 2012

Of Kasugi Team Chess Championship

For photos of the event, please visit Chess-Malaysia FACEBOOK page HERE

Dubbed as the biggest Team Event in Malaysia, the KASUGI Team Event was conducted rather successfully. The immediate setbacks that came to my mind was that the playing hall was too small (to accommodate more than 500 enthusiasts) and the lounge area was literally packed with people (more like sardines in a can) - players, moms, dads, wives, husbands, kids, babies and book sellers. Sitting, standing, lying, squatting rooms were all taken. I had a hunch that the place will be packed (I have been involved with some events at CitiTel Express before and understood the "size" of the place) and the nightmare became a reality when I arrived for Round 1. Come lunch time, it became worst where kids literally sitting on the floor eating their food and people swerving their footsteps to make sure that they do not step on someone's rice. A bigger hall would have given way for more team to register (I was told the organizer had to reject 10 teams) but at the same time, a bigger hall would also allow the organizer to aggressively market the event and the number of teams playing would have easily hit 150 teams. Nonetheless, it was a great and grand turnout from many chess players around the country - and from Philippines and Brunei. Surprisingly, teams for Singapore and Indonesia did not take part in this event when they usually do.

The second setback was the food poisoning issue that many players faced in the very late hours of the first day. Apparently, the chicken rice that was served during lunch earlier in the day was not too fresh and many players suffered stomach discomfort during early morning hours of the second day. One player had to forfeit his early Sunday round and my opponent that morning also had experience excruciating pain at 4:00am and was not in the "right mind" to play. But he was still good enough for him to beat me in my game *grin*. It was one of those generous events where organizers prepare food for the participants but, the experience left many players shying away from the free food on the second day. It was definitely unintentional (and stomach discomfort varies from one person to the other - the young ones usually tolerate it better!) but, nonetheless, it left a bit of dent in an otherwise memorable event.

All in all, only Merdeka Team event (during the Malaysia Chess Festival) would probably have the capability to amass such a number of team playing but, the feat achieved by Kasugi Team Event shows that good prize money, good support, and excellent organization can always attract many players from all corners of the country to take part in such an event. With the lack of team events in Malaysia, this was definitely THE EVENT being waited by many and for that, kudos to all for a job well done!

Most importantly, not only that KASUGI Team Event is the biggest Team event ever (even the Merdeka/Chess Festival can only attract at most 60 teams and event then, the venue is bigger!), it also attracted the most state team playing in a single team event - only state teams from Melaka and Perlis were absent. Further, with team average rating not to exceed 2100 points (Merdeka uses 2250 as its ceiling average), the event became interesting with no "running" away teams". Team strategy take importance with many team downplaying their top board and beefing up their lower boards. As most teams (the stronger ones with titled players in the team) uses the common rule of thumb by placing the players line up according to strength, the last board usually ends up as their weakest link. For teams where there are only one or two strong players, they balance the line up of the team by placing a weaker player on Table 1 (sending the poor fellow to the "slaughterhouse") and beef up the 3rd and last board for possible points.  I was one of the player who got caught in the arrangement (we line up our team according to strength with IM Ronaldo Nolte on Board 1, Eng Chiam on Board 2, yours truly on Board 3 and Dilwen Ding on the last board) as I had to face many strong players in Loo Swee Leong of Penang, former NM Kamalariffin Wahiduddin and sister NWM Khairunnisa, and Abdullah Che Hassan of Johor. But looking at the team line up before the start of Round 1, there were many teams putting "strong players" on Board 3 (some due to strategy and some by strength) such as the newly crowned NM Roshan Singh, last year's NM Lim Zhuo Ren, another former NM Evan Timothy Capel. I gasped!!!!

Nonetheless, it was a good "training" and "entertainment" ground as I had not had so much fun in playing a team event. All in all, as a player, it was a pleasant experience for me (even better since my team was seeded 7th and we ended 7th as well in the final standings) albeit the little "discomfort" and "packed" crowd that I had to deal with. But once the round starts, everything became oblivious and the focus shifted to the game on the board. And once the event is over and with all the laughter that was shared with so many people, the poison food issue and the jam packed hall (and the mistake in the prizing category), all the so called "setbacks" were quickly forgotten the moment I took my train ride back home.

The top seeded team for the event was TESLA Chess comprising of FM Nicholas Chan, brother NM Marcus Chan, NM Evan Timothy Capel and Penang youngster Wong Yinn Loong. The second seeded team was Selangor Senior and the 3rd seeded team was Johor A. IM Jimmy's Chess is Chess is seeded 4th followed by Penang A at 5th and host KASUGI Team A was seeded 6th.

Host KASUGI Team A was the highest seeded team with a foreign player in Ian Idani. At 7th seed, my Mastermind Team with IM Rolando Nolte at the helm was the second highest seeded team with a foreign player in the line up. Other teams with foreign players in their team composition were STMIK-STIE Mikroskil comprising of players from Sabah, Indonesia and Brunei led by Indonesian Pitra Andika - seeded 14th. Bicol Express comprising of three Philippines players and a single Malaysian player in Cheah Cheok Fong were seeded 16th and Apocalypse Manila Team led by IM Roland Bancod was seeded 17th. Of course with the Philippines players, although unrated, they are great tactician and very positional and strong over the board players. So, they were definitely the team to watch for. There were perhaps many other teams with foreign players in their line up in the lower seeded teams but these were the ones that were more noticeable and formidable.

Only during the first 2 rounds that most of the top teams were able to score convincing shut outs with perfect scores against their respective opponents but as the round progresses, it was not a easy to see team winning 4-0 especially on the higher tables. And it became apparent that this was not going to be an easy tournament for the top teams what more with the underrated STMIK, Bicol and Apocalypse were seeded lower than what their "actual" seeding supposed to be ergo, there were bound to be "upsets" all over the place for teams that were paired with these 3 teams.

In Merdeka Team event, runaway winners are usually identified by the time the event hit its penultimate round but for this event, there were still chances for the lower teams to leap frog to the top even at the very last round. For this event, it was so tight as only 4 points separates the top 16 teams with the eventual winner amassing 23 points and the 16th placed team collecting 19 points. And at 7th spot, we were the sole team with 20 points - half point behind KASUGI A and Penang A, and half point in front of Chess Is Chess, Penang B, Kelantan A, Nameless and Johor A. Our position is helped further by the fact that we were able to avoid many of the top teams. After the final standing, the only team that we had met in the event who were ranked higher was the Penang A Team and we lost to them 3-1. 

After all the smoked cleared, at the end of Round 8, it was no surprise that the Apocalypse Manila Team came out on top as the inaugural winner, followed in second place by the second mixed foreign team STMIK-STIE Mikroskil Team. Another foreign team Bicol Express (the team had Cheah Cheok Fong) came in 3rd overall and 4th placed TESLA Chess Team - the highest scoring for an all Malaysian Team bagged the Best Malaysian Team. 5th overall was Penang A and they took the Best State Team prize - the second all Malaysian Team. Sixth overall team was host KASUGI A (which also had a foreign player in Ian Udani) and with TESLA grabbing the local prize and Penang A securing the State prize, KASUGI A was declared fourth. Our Mastermind Team - also with foreigner IM Rolando Nolte, came in 5th and 7th overall.

There were some mixed up in the prize giving ceremony when KASUGI Team A was omitted from the prize list but it was later rectified by the organizer and Arbtier En Hamid Majid. 

All in all it was a nice and successful event and I look forward to joining the event again next year - as player or perhaps, as part of the organizing team, or even the Arbiter.

Of course the event would not have been a reality without the generous contribution from Mr Zuhri and his KASUGI Prima Group for their sponsorship, and Puan Adzlin for giving away the prizes. On behalf of the chess community, thanks a million for the contribution. And in the words of IM Jimmy Liew, perhaps the prize fund can be increased for future events. Others that needs mentioning is Arbiter IA Hamid Majid (I know how tough it is to run a jam packed event) for an almost flawless event (except towards the end when the prize winners were mixed up - it happens even to the best of us!), and YBhg Tan Sri Ramli who dropped by to witness the event. To all the players, see you all again next year or perhaps earlier during the Malaysian Chess Festival ASTRO Team Championship - revenge beckons....... That will be a month and a half away so, plenty of time to prepare, study and practice!

Finally, the final standings for the KASUGI Team event looked something like this. Take note that these are not official results as it may differ from the one released by the organizer. For the Junior results, please visit Chess-Results website

Jam packed hall!
Pairing Round 2
The underrated Apocalypse Manila Team led by IM Ronald Bancod
NM Kamalariffin of Pahang A Team
Interesting match up between Chess Is Chess against Apocalypse Manila Team in Round 6
Penang against Johor - Who is the better state?
Deadly ladies of chess!
Hey!!! I came in 5th!!! Good job team!
Champion - Apocalypse Manila Team
Host KASUGI A Team
One for the album - Philippines IM Nolte (left) and IM "James Bond" Bancod (right with the "gun" in hand)



Of KASUGI Team Event - Prize Giving

Please proceed to the Chess Malaysia FACEBOOK Page to view the photos from Day 2 and the Prize Giving Ceremony. All the winning team photos have been uploaded for your viewing pleasure

Kindly click HERE to proceed 
For full event results and cross table, you can click HERE 

Event report will be posted shortly 
Our Team led by IM Nolte came in 5th (and 7th Overall). It was a fun event and albeit that I was the lowest scoring team member, the others did well. We were also seeded 7th hence the rating and seeding was justifiable
The winning Team - Apocalypse Manila Team
My home state team - JOHOR A got the third best State Team
IM Jimmy's Chess is Chess was 2nd in the local Malaysian Team. Comprising mostly of Junior players, the team did well in this event
Best Malaysian Team led by the Chan brothers - FM Nicholas and NM Marcus, NM Evan Capel and Junior Wong Yinn Loong
KASUGI Team A was left out from the winning list by mistake. Team team seen here with Puan Azdlin, Encik Zuhri's other half who was the man behind the event, and the proud sponsor of the first ever KASUGI Team Event
An interesting position which sealed the win for our team against Penang Team in the last round. Eng Chiam (black) had just made an astonishing move Rg2! Can you find the continuation if Qxg2? Will it lead to check mate or just winning the material?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Of Kasugi Team Event - Photos Gallery

You can view the photos captured during the Kasugi Team Event - Day 1 from my FACEBOOK page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chess-Malaysia/168231673260531

Full results, photos from Day 2 and winners gallery will be published tomorrow.

In the meantime, enjoy the memories!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Of Ramadhan Events - Insofar Chess Weekends

Usually, Ramadhan will be a quiet month for chess. Considering that chess tournaments usually will take an entire day to conclude - and fasting being a religious activity, organizers tend to shy away from conducting any chess event during the Muslim's month long fasting period for obvious reasons. The only event that is usually conducted during the fasting month is the Malaysia Chess Festival as August is its traditional event month in order for it to coincide with Merdeka Day. And also, because it is an International event as such, the primary target audience are not Malaysians, instead the organizers are luring foreigners from all corners of the world to come to Malaysia for the lucrative event. 

But for 2012, with 31st August coming in after 1st Syawal - that is Hari Raya, and with the Chess Festival now shortened from 10 days event to only 7 days, even the Festival is being quickly organized immediately after the fasting month providing just enough time for it to end sometime during our 55th Independence Celebration so, Ramadhan would once again be a quiet month. But then again, in previous years, we never had Insofar and Mat Zaki Yeop, and with aggressive move towards organizing more events this year, guess what....? It will not be a quiet Ramadhan after all..... And to top it off, Zaki and his Insofar Academy has decided to "break all rules" and organized not one, but two events back to back weekend during the fasting month! Talk about being aggressive! But for me, it is a good move - e4! Just because it is fasting month, does not mean that we have to fast from playing chess as well. And there you have it - 2 events from Insofar Chess Academy.

The first event is the Insofar Age Group event to be held on 22nd July in Shah Alam on the 5th floor of the Ampac Building located at No 33 Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah F9/F, Section 9, Shah Alam. Registration confirmation is at 9:00am and the entry fees is RM20 for each participant regardless of their ages. Event will be conducted over 4 rounds using Swiss pairing system with a time control of 25 minutes each. Players will be divided into their respective age groups and the event is expected to conclude at about 4:00pm - just enough time for parents to pick up their kids, hit the best "param" (short for "Pasar Ramadhan" - a galore of food stalls selling traditional, mouth watering and tantalizing arrays of kueh mueh and rarely seen Malay food for Buka Puasa) to pick up food and hit home just in time for Buka Puasa time.

A total prize fund of more than RM 1,000 in cash and much much more in the form of vouchers are up for grabs, and of course, a certificate of attendance to be given to each player for their participation in this extra curricular activity.  So parents, grab that phone and start calling!

The second Insofar event for Ramadhan will be held the weekend after on 29th July and this time around, the venue will shift to Kuala Lumpur for the Insofar Combined Tournament (July Edition). The event will be held at the Arthur Tan Chess Center located on the 4th floor of the Wilayah Complex building located on Jalan Munshi Abdullah, right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, next to the Masjid India business center. As per previous edition, the Combined Tournament offers a unique event format where players are allowed to choose whether to register and qualified for a single prized event or a double prized events. And if that is not confusing (but interesting enough), both category events run concurrent in a single event! Yup... you have to play it to understand its unique format. And if you sign up for the double category, you can win 2 prizes and there are a lot of prizes to be won. From the usual open, ladies and rating winners, the Insofar event stretches the prize category beyond imagination to almost everything and anything under the sun - best government, best IPT, best Teacher, best Primary Student, best Secondary, best Mother, best Blogger, best Veteran over 45, over 55 and over 70. Unfortunately, there is no prize for best Arbiter *LOL*.

The total prize fund with all the cash prizes and vouchers offered exceeds RM2,000, and the unique monthly pay out means you will not run out of cash for at least the next 60 months! 

As the Arbiter for the event in the last 3 editions, running the Insofar event has its obstacles (just like any other event) but the most challenging part of running the Insofar Combined event is trying to figure out the winners of each of the category that is being offered! It is challenging (at times confusing and mind boggling) but interesting, and the event as a whole is beginning to catch up with many local players. Despite the dwindling numbers (the last edition attracted the least number of players), Insofar under the leadership of Mat Zaki Yeop has done a wonderful job to continue invigorate the local chess scene with interesting and unique chess tournament format and with that, his Insofar event will continue to pick up new followers and players.

For more information on the Insofar Age Group event to be held on 22nd July 2012, please click HERE to download the event information.

For more information on the Insofar Combined Tournament to be held on 29th July 2012, please click HERE to download the event information.

Else, you can pick up the phone and call or SMS your full name and details to +6017 203 2051 to register for the events

Most importantly, come and join the Insofar events this coming Ramadhan and enjoy the unique tournament format, and the great host and hospitality from the organizers - especially from Mat Zaki himself! See you there!
Mat Zaki Yeop is also an avid chess players and actively participates in many local and International events

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Of GACC Event - The Closing Ceremony

All is well and it ends well. 

A new champion has emerged in the form of National University of Singapore which has amassed 23 points to beat its closest rival Islamic International University Malaysia by 0.5 point. Host University Malaya secure the 3rd spot with 22 points making the 16th GACC event as one of the closely fought event in recent years with only a single point separating the top 3 teams. Universiti Putra Malaysia was crowned the best Malaysian Team with 20.5 points.

Isuru Alahakoon of E-Soft Computer Sri Lanka earned the top spot for the Open Individual section with home boy Syazwan Zulkifli of UM in the second spot and early favorites and top seed for the event Ahmad Fadzil Nayan of Islamic International University Malaysia in 3rd place.

Universiti Tenaga Nasional lady player Nur Atiqah Mohd Niza notched the top women category followed by Ruby Kwan Tszee Yeung of Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris in the second spot and Universiti Putra's Marsyitah Baba in the 3rd place.

Some selected photos from the closing ceremony 
The GACC Team Challenge Trophy
Hey look who is at the closing? Andrew Ooi a.k.a Gilachess - the official media
Officiating the closing ceremony - YBhg Datuk Dr Rohana Yusof, Deputy Vice Chancellor Students Affair
Let there be lights! The official closing gimmick - Moving rook to f3 checkmate!
Exchange of mementos

Best Lady Performer - Nur Atiqah Mohd Niza of Universiti Tenaga Nasional
The proud son of UM - Syazwan Zulkifli runner up in the Individual open section
2012 Individual Champion - Isuru Alahakoon of Sri Lanka
National University of Singapore - Team Champion 2012
One for the album - winners of the 16th GACC 2012

Of GACC Event - The Final Results

It was a nail biting finish to the 16th Rakan Muda GACC International Inter Varsity Chess Championship 2012. Islamic International University was leading at the start of Round 9 with 20.5 points but breathing heavily at the back of its neck is 2nd placed National University of Singapore (A), only half point behind. To make it more interesting, host University Malaya is at 3rd place, also another half point behind the 2nd placed team. Adding drama to the situation is 4th placed University Putra Malaysia who is also another half point behind University Malaya with 19 points - 4 teams separated by a total of 1.5 points and each have a fair chance of going to the top.

At the middle of the round, it was almost clear that GACC traditional host and organizer UM would probably score its best outing and might just end up as the champion and all eyes was focused on the last game between UM Team member Saodah Yaacob and her opponent Su Wen Xin of UTP. A win by Saodah would definitely secure UM a second placing, and perhaps a chance at the podium top spot - after due calculation of the tiebreak, as they would have tied with National University of Singapore (A) with same number of points.

Saodah was definitely having the upper hand but as the game developed, Wen Xin slowly became the more dominant player and after some end game error, Wen Xin dealt the heartbreak blow by having an unstoppable queening pawn on the b-file ending UM's hope of a chance to become the champion. With Wen Xin win, National University of Singapore (A) clinched the victory with 23 points, followed by the IIUM (A) Team - the best Malaysian team in the GACC previous edition, half a point behind the champion. UM had to be contented with the 3rd placing with 22 points, another half point behind the 2nd placed team. The best Malaysian team goes to Universiti Putra Malaysia (A) at 4th place overall with 20.5 points

On the individual open category Isuru Alahakoon secured the top spot after a convincing win against Santhosh P, collecting 8 points out of 9 rounds following his 2 draws against Lawrence Teoh and Wang Guan Yu. Early leader Syazwan Zulkifli of host team UM came in second followed by top seed of the event, Ahmad Fadzil Nayan of Islamic International University Malaysia at third.

4 players with 6.5 points shared the 4th to 7th spots starting with Santhosh P of National University of Singapore (B), Kelvin Wee of Nanyang Technological University Singapore, Loooi Xin Hao of Universiti Sains Malaysia and Hu Yang of National University Singapore (A).

For the ladies category, another dramatic finish was on the card with Ruby Kwan from Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris leading the ladies group with a half point advantage going into the last round over her closest rival Nur Atiqah Mohd Niza of Universiti Tenaga Nasional, and 3 other players - Marsyitah Baba Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, Norhaida Hussin and Nurwahida Atira of Islamic International University Malaysia (A) and (B) respectively - all three with 4 points each. A win by Ruby would secure her the top ladies player and a draw would probably give her the same position taking into account her better tie break. But a mistake in the opening left her with a crushing defeat at the hands of her opponent Tan Zhi Quan of UM left Ruby hoping that Nur Atiqah would somehow fumbled her game. Alas, it was not and after a careless exchange made by her opponent Yong Jenn of UTP, it was home free for Atiqah for the top spot and a sweet victory for her as she had earlier lost to Ruby in their Round 6 encounter.

All in all, it was an interesting 16th GACC and my heartfelt thanks to the GACC boys for providing me with undivided assistance and help throughout the event. Their efficiency and desire to be the best organizer and event manager continues to amaze me - as this has been my third consecutive outing of the event. I definitely look forward to be a part of the 17th GACC edition and hopefully, the new GACC Team will again consider my services. Good job guys!!!

To the players and team, congratulation to the winners and to those who had participated but came short, there is always a next time - in this event or some other event. Continue learning and continue improving.

See you in 2013!

Table results for final Round 9
 Final team standings   

Final individual standing (Open and Ladies)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Of GACC Event - Going into the final day

With only one more round to go, the GACC Team event is getting more interesting with only 1.5 points separating the top 4 teams. Current leader Islamic International University Malaysia (A) is leading the pack with 20.5 points but hot on their trails are National University of Singapore (A) with 20 points, host University Malaya at 19.5 points and University Putra Malaysia at 19 points.

On the individual race, Table 1 will see Isuru Alahakoon who is currently leading the event with 7 points facing Santhosh P of National University of Singapore who is just half point behind at 6.5 points. On Table 2, two UM players Syazwan Zulkifli and Calvin Chong - the former representing the team whilst the latter playing for the individual title, will fight it off and Syazwan with 6.5 points may still be able to make it a miracle to win the event if both Isuru and Santhosh draws on Table 1. On Table 3, two 6 pointers - Philip Goh of National University of Singapore and Ahmad Fadzil Nayan of Islamic International University Malaysia will square off for a chance to earn the top 3 spots. A string of 5.5 pointers who amongst them are Looi Xin Hao of Universiti Sains Malaysia and Chek Kin Keuw of Universiti Putra Malaysia are also looking to perform their best to maintain their standings in the top 10 of the event

For the ladies title, Ruby Kwan of Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris is leading the pack with 5 points but hot on her trail is Nur Atiqah Mohd Niza of Universiti Tenaga Nasional with 4.5 points. Any hiccup from Ruby may allow Nur Atiqah to overtake her at the 11th hour. To make it more interesting 3 players with 4 points - Marsyitah Baba of University Putra Malaysia and 2 players from Islamic International University in Norwahida Atira and Norhaida.

The 16th edition of the GACC International Inter Varsity Chess Championship will close its curtain later tonight with a farewell dinner and prize giving ceremony starting at 7:00pm at the Swiss Garden Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Team and Individual Standing

The curtain will close on the GACC 16th Edition as today will be the final day of the event
Host University Malaya will be proud to know that 2 of its players are ranked among the top 5 finishers of this year's event. Seen here are Calvin Chong (6 points) and Muhd Syazwan Zulkifli (6.5 points)
Nur Atiqah Mohd Niza of Universiti Tenaga Nasional will be doing her best in the last round to leap frog Ruby Kwan for the ladies title
Ruby Kwan of University Perguruan Sultan Idris (in cream cardigan) is truly the rose amongst the thorns, the only lady player to play in the top 10 tables. A win or a draw, will secure her the ladies title.
Isuru Alahakoon of Sri Lanka and Santhosh P of India but studying at National University of Singapore, fighting it out on Table1 to earn the GACC 16th Individual Chess title.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Of GACC Event - Day 5

After one rest day, the event resume with Round 7 which started at 9:00am today. On Table 1, leader Syazwan Zulkifli suffered his first loss of the event when he went down to Isuru Alahakoon of Sri Lanka who had the advantage of a passed pawn on the a-file which created a bit of complication for the UM student. On Table 2, Santhosh P of National University of Singapore had one of the quickest win in the round when he won against Looi Xin Hao of  USM whilst on Table 3, another UM student Calvin Chong played well to overcome a resilient Kelvin Wee of Nanyang Technological University Singapore after the latter lost on time.

Other interesting results coming from Round 7 was Fadzil Nayan of IIUM victorious against Tan Zhi Quan of UM on Table 6, Nor Atiqah of UTEN outplayed Faeznor of IIUM and on Table 12, the sole rep from UPSI Ruby Kwan had a convincing win against Melvin Ang of NUS in a tight rook/bishop/pawn endgame.

At the conclusion of Round 6, National University of Singapore is now the sole leading team with 19 points, creating a 1.5 point gap with the 2nd placed team of Universiti Putra Malaysia who has collected 17.5 points. Islamic International University A in third place with 17 points, University Malaya with 16.5 points at 4th place and two team tied for 5th and 6th place with 15.5 points - Nanyang Technological University Singapore and Unversiti Teknologi Petronas.

Team Standing After Round 7
Top 20 individual players standing after Round 7
Isuru Alahakoon of E-Soft Computer Sri Lanka is currently the joint leader of the event with 6 points out of 7 rounds. The other 2 leaders are Santhosh P of National University Singapore and another UM player Calvin Chong
Wan Nor Syahirah of Islamic International University Malaysia
Marsyitah Baba of Universiti Putra Malaysia
Scene of the tournament hall at the start of Round 7