With 31 players from Philippines playing in the event, it was not surprising to see the Philippines players dominated the top boards. In Round 6, the top 3 tables featured 3 pairs of Philippines players with table 4, another Filipino in Ian Udani up against GM Eldar of Ukraine. But as the day progresses and at the end of Round 9, the Filipino grip on the leader boards loosen slightly with GM Eldar and IM Wahono of Indonesia are tied with 3 other Philippines players - GM Antonio, IM Dableo and IM Nolte, each with 7.5 points to lead the event with 2 more crucial rounds to go.
Three players are half point adrift - GM Kayumov, GM Bitoon and untitled Diano Eden hot on the trails of the leaders.
In the next point group, 10 players with 6.5 points are also looking to strengthen their position in hope to gain 2 more valuable points to have a chance of going for the top Open prizes. The group includes FM Nicholas Chan, the top Malaysia player after 9 rounds despite losing his Round 8 game due to his phone ringing! Had he managed to win his Round 8 game, he would have been able to make to the top group and a chance to go for the one of the top prizes. With no Best Malaysian prizes being offered this year, it will be tough for many top Malaysians to vie for some of the prizes offered.
16 players have 6 points each which includes Malaysian youngster Yeoh Li Tian, IM Mok Tze Meng, NM Lim Zhuo Ren (all are members of the Malaysian Olympiad squad!), with 3 surprises in Foo Chee Kin, Fong Yit Ho and Lew Ken Yew in the same scoring bracket.
Other notable mentioning are Nor Ilhamuddin Shaikh Ali who had an almost disastrous first day but made up for lost points in the second day, securing 4 points out of 5 rounds - the last being his draw with NM Yeoh Chin Seng. The senior Yeoh - father to Li Tian, also did well to maintain his form to earn 5.5 points after 9 round. Mohd Nabil, Ong Thian Loo, Zaidan Zulkipli and Ooi Li Tao are also in the same score group after some surprising scores (and defeats) in today's rounds.
It will be an interesting last 2 rounds and the fast pace rapid time control may offer some surprising results in the penultimate and final rounds. It will definitely be heart pumping, butterfly stomachs and intense warzone in the last 2 rounds as points fall and gain between the top leaders and the trailing groups. Be on the lookout for some remarkable surge from the trailing groups especially those who are in the 6.5 point bracket as they can provide the spoilers for some of the leaders to secure their top positions.
As per the festival schedule, once the Combined Rapid Individual event concludes, a blitz event (preliminary round) will be held starting at 2:00pm with the final knockout stage to start at 5:00pm. Entry fees is RM25 and a total prize fund of RM1,720 has been set aside for the top 16 winners.
This will then be followed by the Prize giving presentation to be held at 6:00pm at the same venue which will be attended by representative from the sponsors.
The ASTRO Merdeka Team event will start at 9:00am on Thursday, 23rd August 2012 at the same venue. To date, 60 teams have already registered and the organizer is expecting another 5-8 more teams to register before the start of Round 1. The ASTRO Merdeka event will use Rapid time control of 25 minutes per player per game over 9 rounds.
For more information on the Team event, please contact En Hamid Majid at +6019.315.8098 or write to him at email@example.com
|Top 34 players|
|The AmBank Amateur Challenge Trophy|
|WIM Emma Guo of Australia|
|Pairing Arbiter Zarina of Cerdik Catur|
|WGM Irina Sukandar of Indonesia|
|Three roses in a row - Rosamund Koo (left), Shelly Lim (center) and Renita Narayanan (right)|
|Tournament Director and IA, Abdul Hamid Majid - his ninth cap as the organizing secretary....|