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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Of National Junior Round 3

Whilst the two top seeds in the Boys section had it rather easy to secure their 3rd full points of the event, the same could not be said for the Azman Hisham sisters in the Girls section. Whilst Nur Najiha was lucky to escape a lethal attack by Kelly Lim on Table 2, Nur Nabila was not as lucky. Nabila's opponent, Nithyalakshmi, put up a very convincing show and managed to steal pawns after pawns in the end game and at one point, managed to corner Nabila's lone Knight to gain a sizable advantage. Both Table 3 games for the Boys and Girls sections ended up in draws with Kung Kah Heng getting the better of 3rd seed Aron Teh in the Boys section, and Sarika Subramaniam holding NWM Tan Li Ting in a King Pawn endgame in the Girls section.

After 3 rounds of play, 5 players in the Boys section - Fong Yit San, Mark Siew, Liew Ken Yew, CM Amier Hamzah and Tan Jun Feng are still on track with 3 full points each. For the Girls section, Nur Najiha and Nithyalakshmi are leading the pack with 3 perfect points after three rounds. 

Round 4 clocked off at 2:30pm earlier today and Round 5 will continue tomorrow morning at 9:00am

In the game between Kelly Lim and Nur Najiha, the following position was reached, and it was apparent that Kelly had a good strong attack on the King side against Najiha's King

Expecting that her h7 pawn will be greatly weakened, Najiha played 1.... gxh5, making way for the b1-h7 diagonal to be used by her queen. The game continued with:
2. Qh4 Qa4 (trying to exchange the Queen to soften the attack) 3. Rd4 Qc2 (achieving its goal to protect the h7 pawn) 4. Qxh5 Ra7 (protecting the f7 pawn) 5. Rh4 (piling the pressure on the h file) 5..... Qg6 (another attempt to exchange the queen) 6. Qxg6 fxg6 7. f7+ (with f7 pawn gone, white is able to unleash the power of the Bishop along the a1-h8 diagonal) 7..... e5 (only way to stop the check).
8. Bxe5?? and Najiha breath a sigh of relief.  After exchanging the Bishops, it was all over for White. 

It was very unfortunate that Kelly did not see 8. Rxe5 maintaining the Bishop on the diagonal to keep the pressure on the cornered black King. With 2 extended pawns and the King now able to move safely to g7, White's lost its advantage and soon after, lost the game.

Fritz gave White checkmate in 17 moves after Black plays Na4 (to capture the Bishop on c3 after Rook move), prolonging the inevitability.

For the Girls section, Nithya and Najiha will fight it out to claim the outright leader spot whilst for the Boys section, full pointers Jun Feng is playing against Yit San on Table 1 whilst Mark Siew faces Ken Yew on Table 2. Another full pointer CM Amier Hamzah floated down to meet Aron Teh who is half point adrift from the leader's pack

Sivanesan played well to give Mark a good fight but, in the end, it was Mark who was triumphant
Kelly's attack lost its fire after a wrong exchange
Top board Boys section - Jun Feng (left) against Yit San (right) and at the background, Mark Siew (left - purple) against Ken Yew (right - white)
For the sole leader - Najiha (left) and Nithya (right) on Table 1 in the Girls section

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