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