For this year's event, the 17th in the series which started in the early 90's, 75 players from 8 countries took part in the event - Russia, China, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam and host Malaysia. The highest seeded for the event is made of Russian quartet led by FM Dzhumagaliev Yan, FM Pavel Bublei, WFM Myslevskaya Izabella and 4th seeded Nikolai Kuzmin.
5th seed is Malaysia's own Ahmad Fadzil Nayan followed by Sri Lankan Isuru Alahakoon at 6th and Singaporean Kelvin Wee at 7th seed. Two Malaysians in Fariz Shafruddin and Mohd Syazwan Zulkifli filled the 8th and 9th spot, and Sri Lankan TSS Peiris round up the 10th seed.
There were a few interesting games from Round 1 and 2 where top seeds 1 and 2 had to battle fierce oppositions from their opponents. In Round 2, Ramone Mikgail Kok had a spare pawn on the d file when playing against FM Dzhumagaliev but could not turn the advantage into a win and succumbed in time trouble. Even in the first round of the day, FM Pavel Bublei was a Rook down against Siti Noraihan but accurate play by the more experience Pavel ended the game for Noraihan.
The first of the higher seeded to hit a brickwall was Isuru Alahakoon who had to split points with Chan Sheng Yip in the second round. Another minor upset happened on the same round when Mohd Syazwan Zulkifli had to accept a draw by repetition from Firdaus albeit having a whole Rook up.
For Round 3 today, it will be interesting to see how 8th seed Fariz Shafruddin will fare againsttop seed FM Dzhumagaliev on Table 1 whilst 11th seed Abdullah Khairi taking on 2nd seed FM Pavel Bublei on Table 2.
Table 3 will see the battle between Russia WFM Myslevskaya and Sri Lankan TSS Peiris and on Table 4, local Chek Kin Keuw taking on the last of the Russin quartet, Nikolai Kuzmin.
Other notable pairings happen on Table 7 where Isuru Alahakoon faces countryman Lamahewa, and Table 8 between Malaysian Mohd Syazwan playing against Indonesian Yoga Nugraha, the highest unrated player in the current ranking.
Results and pairing can be viewed HERE
Pictorial news and photos can be viewed HERE at Chess-Malaysia FACEBOOK page
|Scene at the playing hall at the start of Round 3|
|Malaysian Ahmad Fadzil Nayan (left) facing Yong Jenn (right). At the background is Singapore's Kelvin Wee|
|Top 2 Tables - FM Dzhumagaliev (left) looking over the game on the next table as his opponent, Malaysia's Fariz Shafruddin (right) pondering on his move. On the next Table 2, Abdullah Khairi (right) facing FM Pavel Bublei (right)|
|Highest pointer for unrated, Yoga Nugraha of Indonesia (right) playing next to Sri Lanka's Isuru Alahakoon.|