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Monday, April 30, 2012

Of Melaka Chess Festival - GM Czebe Triumphant

After 8 days and 9 rounds, GM Attila Czebe was crown the undisputed champion of the inaugural Historical Melaka International Chess Championship 2012. When asked about his achievement, a smiling Czebe said that he was surprised but happy with the results and seemingly convinced that he will be back again next year to defend his title. The first time visitor to Malaysia took home RM 10,000 cash prize, a medal and proudly holds aloft the Rt. Hon. Chief Minister of Melaka Challenge Trophy with a big smile. 
A smiling Hungarian, GM Czebe with his winning trophy!

GM Laxman came in second after his draw on Table 2 with IM Karthikeyan who came in 4th. GM Deepan who started with the idea of stealing a game point from Czebe on Table 1 finally decided to settle for a draw and ended in 3rd place. GM Holmes of Spain also played well to hold off a charging GM Richard Bitoon of the Philippines on Table 3 and took 5th place with his opponent taking the 7th spot.

Focus is on the 6th placed player, Yeoh Li Tian of Malaysia, the only non titled player and the youngest, and the only Malaysian amongst the top 10 finishers. It was a repeat of his Brunei performance and similarly, he also missed his IM norm due to the lack of rating points to amass such a norm. 
Yeoh Li Tian receiving his certificate and medal from YB Dato Gan

Rounding up the top 10 are Russian GM Alexander Fominyh at 8th placing, top seed GM Arun Prasad of India at 9th and IM Karthikeyan also of India at 10th spot.

In the Challenger section, early leader Gatot Suyono lost his last round game to Malaysian Eddyy Fong paving ways for Endang Andrian to steal the top spot. Gatot came in second followed by Wakoko Enos of Ugand in 3rd. 
Mohd Ezmi receiving his certificate from Tan Sri Ramli for finishing 10th in the Challenger section
With his last round win over Gatot, Eddy Fong was able to pull himself up to 4th spot followed by Indonesian youngster Yuranda Irawan at 5th. Malaysian lass Latifah Syamimi came in at 6th followed by Pekan, Pahang youngster Muhd Asyraf Razman at 7th spot. Suci Rohaya of Indonesia takes up the 8th placing followed by Lum Zhun Hoong at 9th and Mohd Ezmi rounding up the 10th spot.

VVIP on stage prior to the prize giving ceremony. YB Dato Gan, Melaka Exco for Education, Youth and Sports who is also the Organizing Chairman, is seated in the center flanked by MCF President, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib to his right
MCF President Tan Sri Ramli gave away the prizes for the Challenger section whilst YB Dato Gan who is representing Rt Hon Chief Minister of Melaka, gave away the main prizes for the International section.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Final Round 9

The final day Round 9 started with clear leaders in both playing section - Czebe of Hungary in the International section and Gatot in the Challenger section. For the International section, it will make no different if GM Attila Czebe win or lose his final game as he is still at least half point away from his nearest challenger. After amassing 7 points from 8 rounds, Czebe should be comfortable at the top of the leaderboard and definitely pleased with his current performance. In his final game, he will face Indian GM Deepan Chakkravathy and it will not be surprising for Deepan to go in full assault to win this final encounter as it will provide a good chance for him to secure the runner up spot. At time of print, GM Laxman and IM Karthikeyan had already agreed to a draw on Table 2 with both players now having 6 points out of 9 rounds.

The other person who has a chance to steal the second spot from Deepan would be GM Romero Holmes of Spain who is battling GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines on Table 3. Whilst a draw may secure a 3rd-5th placing for Holmes, Bitoon may have other ideas in mind.
All eyes on Table 5 - FM Hamdani Rudin against Yeoh Li Tian
That deadly look! - WGM Kruttika Nadig
Melaka lass - WFM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri
On Table 4, an interesting encounter is in store with GM Alexander Fominyh of Russia facing off against GM Arun Prasad of India. With Alexander fight to the finish style of play - as he has shown in many of his previous games, the encounter will definitely stretched to the max.

 All eyes will be on Table 5 where Malaysian hopeful, Yeoh Li Tian will be playing against FM Hamdani Rudin of Indonesia. For Tian, a win will put him in the ranks of the top GMs in the event and will probably placed him in the top 8 but as more top board players lost or drew their games, his chances of climbing the ranks will definitely be better.

In the Challenger section, interestingly enough that on the top 5 tables, all the Malaysian players are paired against the foreigners. On Table 1, Gatot faces Eddy Fong whilst on Table 2, Endang Andrian will be playing against Fairul Yusoff. Over on Table 3, Ugandan Wakoko Enos meets Latifah Kaiyisah whilst on Table 4 Yuranda Irawan will fight it off against Muhd Faris Aminuddin. The darling of the Challenger event, Suci Rohaya will be playing against another beauty, Latifah Syamimi on Table 5 to round up the top 5 tables.

Three Malaysian - Eddy, Fairul and Kaiyisah, all playing back against foreigners Gatot, Endang and Wakoko, all playing White
Whilst Gatot Suyono is almost certain to lift the title - having had 1 clear point of his nearest challenger compatriot Endang Andrian who has amassed 6 1/2 points, it will not be an easy game for him as he faces top seed Eddy Fong of Malaysia. A tie for the title, and an eventual tie break to separate the top winners may still happen if Gatot losses his game and Endang won his encounter with Fairul Yusoff on Table 2. And again, with country pride at stake, Fairul will definitely pump up the effort to secure a point from his Indonesian counterpart.
Latifah Kaiyisah against Wakoko Enos
All in all, it has been an interesting event albeit the number of players were not up to expectation. For the International section, it has been fighting chess all around as displayed in Round 8 where all the top board players bashing it out to get within reachable distant to the leader. For GM Czebe, it has been an outstanding display and by the conclusion of Round 6, it was left to GM Bitoon to slow down the runaway train but alas, as he secured his 8th round win and with the surprising defeat of all the players who were within reach of the leader, it was a close and shut case as he triumphed over GM Arun Prasad in the penultimate Round 8 to secure the championship title

For the Challenger section, the absence of Abdul Rahim who had to withdraw from the event, was clearly felt as it was left to Eddy Fong and Fairul Yusoff to lead the Malaysian charge. It was clearly an event dominated by the foreingers with Indonesians and the sole Uganda representative in Wakoko Enos dominating the top tables. For Wakoko, it was an amazing come back as he managed to climb bank into the top rank following his first round defeat at the hands of Indonesian Endang Andrian. But from then on, there was no looking back for Wakoko who eventually become the only player to steal half a point from current leader Gatot Suyono in Round 7

Of Melaka Chess Festival - An Impressive Win by Yeoh Li Tian

If it were football, or tennis, it would have been a thunderous applaud as GM Adam Horvath extended his handshake with Yeoh Li Tian. It was an impressive showing by the 13 year old Malaysian who managed to out play his much experience title holder GM Adam Horvath of Hungary. It was 2 consecutive wins for the youngster as he managed to out play WGM Kruttika Nadig in the earlier Round 7
From the position above, Tian played Rxf5 which Adam replied with h3. At this point of the game, Tian had less than 3 minutes to play whilst Adam barely has a minute to think.,

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Going into the Final Round

It was an interesting round and all the top boards went for blood.... There were no draws, tame or otherwise, from Table 1 to Table 7. More interestingly, all the 5 pointers - GM Arun Prasad, GM Richard Bitoon and GM Alexander Fominyh who were within striking distance of the top leader GM Czebe lost to their respective opponents - Bitoon lost to IM Karthikeyan, Fominyh lost to GM Laxman and Prasad losing to Czebe, and with that, the inevitable has been set. With 1 1/2 points clear of his nearest rival and with only one final round to go, irregardless of what the outcome would be for his game tomorrow, GM Attila Czebe will be crowned as the outright winner of the inaugural Historical Melaka International Chess Championship 2012. It was definitely worth the trip for the Hungarian who is making his first ever visit to Malaysia.

But of all the games in Round 8, the most captivating one would be the match on Table 6 between young Li Tian against GM Adam Horvath of Hungary. It was the last game to finish and in trying to squeeze for a win, Adam sacked his rook for Tian's Bishop and pawn which later resulted in a catastrophic lost for the Hungarian. With 2 passed pawns on the Kingside and with Adam's King unable to retreat after being blocked by Li Tian's Rook on e2, the latter admitted defeat. A sterling performance by Li Tian who now has 5 points and will play FM Hamdani Rudin of Indonesia in the final round on Table 5. A win by Tian would catapult him within the top 5 finishers - definitely a result that many Malaysians would cherish.

For Round 9, GM Czebe will be playing the black pieces against GM Deepan of India whilst on Table 2, GM Laxman playing white will go against countryman IM Karthikeyan - both having 5 1/2 points. On Table 3, GM Bitoon with 5 points will meet GM Alfonso who is half a point in front of him. On Table 5, two 5 pointers - GM Prasad and GM Fominyh will battle it out and similarly, another pair of 5 pointers - Hamdani and Malaysian youngster Li Tian will meet on Table 6.

Pairing for the final Round 9:

Pairing and report for the Challenger section will follow soon.

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Going into the Penultimate Round

 After having the day off yesterday, it is business as usual with the resumption of the Melaka Chess Festival - Round 8 starting at 3:00pm. Most players were already in the playing hall early today as they eagerly wait to continue the event and trying to steal valuable points as the event reached its penultimate round.

For Round 8, the venue returns to the main ballroom on the 2nd floor as the Organizer prepare for the last round, Round 9 starting at 9:00am tomorrow, followed by the closing ceremony at 2:00pm.
The backdrop in the Ballroom
Back on the 2nd floor - the playing hall
 For the International section, GM Arun Prasad of India looks to stop GM Attila Czebe of Hungary on Table 1 from running away with the inaugural Melaka Champion title. On the hand, a win for GM Czebe who is currently 1 point clear of the pack, may seal the deal for him to earn a huge paycheck from Melaka. Aside from GM Prasad, 2 other players who are within striking distance should Czebe is unable to hold Prasad, are GM Fominyh of Russia (who is facing GM Laxman of India on Table 2) and GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines (playing against IM Karthikeyan of India). On Table 4, GM Romer Holmes is playing against IM Dimakiling and on the next Table 5, IM Rathnakaran is up against compatriot GM Deepan Chakkravathy.

GM Deepan Chakkravathy of India - 4 1/2 points
GM Arun Prasad of India - Currently tied for 2nd place with 5 1/2 points
After his sensational win against WGM Kruttika Nadig of India, Malaysian hope Yeoh Li Tian is facing an uphill task against GM Adam Horvath of Hungary. A win for Tian could help him to ease into the top 10 players and earn valuable rating points to add on to his impressive performance in Brunei.
WGM Kruttika Nadig - pondering her move
Young Tian will have a tough time against GM Adam Horvath
 For the Challenger section, the top 5 players are dominated by foreigners with Gatot Suyono leading the pack with 6 1/2 points, half a point more than his compatriot Endang Andrian who is the only person trailing him at second position. The next 3 placing are Suci Rohaya and Yuranda Irawan of Indonesia and Ugandan pride, Wakoko Enos - all with 5 1/2 points.

On Table 1, both Suci Rohaya and Endang of Indonesia are slugging it out for the bragging rights to be the best in the Challenger section. A win by Gatot would definitely secure his title and the RM 1,500 pay out for the eventual champion but a loss will allow other players to overtake his throne in the final round. On Table 2, another Indonesian pair, Endang Andrian and Yuranda Irawan are also fighting it out to have a better chance of catching up with the leader Gatot. On Table 3, Malaysian Fairul Yusoff is paired against another newcomer to the Melaka chess scene, Ugandan Wakoko Enos and a win by any of the two would put them within the top 5 winners bracket of the challenger section. With the withdrawal of Abdul Rahim Ramli due his mother's passing, the task now falls onto Fairul to keep the hopes alive for a Malaysian to finish in the top 5 or higher for the Challenger event. 

Malaysian Fairul Yusoff - looking to stop Wakoko Enos of Uganda on Table 3
Suci Rohaya going against Gatot Suyono on Table 1
 Melaka's top performer, Masros Tukiran is currently playing on Table 6 against Latifah Syamimi and on Table 5, Muhd Asyraf Razman who played well to split the point with Suci Rohaya in Round 7, is playing against Syamimi sister Latifah Kaiyisah. On Table 4, early favorites Eddy Fong is paired against Lum Zhun Hoong

Friday, April 27, 2012

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Round 8 and Looking Forward for the Off Day

After all the games have ended, GM Czebe cemented and continue his lead in the International section after a hard fought draw again GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines. Following the loss of GM Alfonso Romero Holmes to Indian GM Arun Prasad on Table 2, GM Czebe now maintained his one point lead at the top of the pack with GM Richard Bitoon, GM Alexander Fominyh and GM Arun Prasad hot on his trail with a single point behind. 

On Table 3, GM Adam Horvath was not able to narrow the gap with that of his countryman Czebe after losing to GM Fominyh in a game that lasted 32 moves.

Notable Malaysians in the event still within reach of the top 10 spots are Ismail Ahmad and Yeoh Li Tian, both with 4 points - Ismail Ahmad after drawing his game against Repelita and Yeoh Li Tian, after his sensational win against WGM Kruttika Nadig. Li Tian's game was very interesting and worth noting as he sacked his knight for Nadig's "e" and "f" pawns to gain initiative by keeping the Black King in the center of the board and with disconnected Rooks.

For the Malaysian ladies trio, Alia is currently leading the pack with 3 points followed by Camilia at 2 1/2 points and Tan Li Ting with a single point. 

Round 8, which will continue on Sunday at 3:00pm following the break day tomorrow, will see some interesting match up as players scrambling towards the final stretch to win the top prize of RM10,000. Table 1 will see current leader GM Attila Czebe facing top seed GM Arun Prasad of India who had made his way back to the top of the championship table after his convincing win against GM Alfonso Romero Holmes in Round 7. On Table 2, GM Alexander Fominyh playing against GM Laxman and on Table 3, IM Karthikeyan will face off with GM Richard Bitoon. 

On Table 6, Malaysian youngster Yeoh Li Tian will go head to head against GM Adam Horvath and on the next Table 7, Ismail Ahmad will play against FM Hamdani Rudin

Another interesting match up happens on Table 11 between Ahmad Fadzil Nayan and Zaidan Zulkipli

In the Challenger section, Wakoko Enos managed to steal half point from leader Gatot Suyono in Round 7 and the sudden withdrawal of Abdul Rahim Ramli has catapulted Endang Adrian within half point from Challenger leader Gatot Suyono. Wakoko Enos aspiring draw with leader Gatot Suyono has put him within a point of the lead and any upset results on the top boards may favor him to a better position. For Round 8, the top 2 tables are dominated by Indonesians with Suci Rohaya playing against Gatot Suyono on Table 1 and youngster Yuranda Irawan against Endang Andrian on Table 2. 

On Table 3, local Fairul Yusoff will be playing against Ugandan Wakoko Enos and on the next Table 4, Eddy Fong will play the white pieces against Lum Zhun Hoong.

Youngster Muhd Asyraf from Pekan, Pahang who played well in the earlier rounds to draw with Suci Rohaya, will be facing Latifah Kaiyisah on Table 5. 

More news and photos can be found at:
http://thechessconnections.blogspot.com and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chess-Malaysia/168231673260531

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Day 5 Round 7

With no early rounds and only one round to play for the day, most players decided to stay in and just take the rest day at the hotel. With no games to be played at all tomorrow, many players are looking forward to spend some time touring the Historical City of Melaka and perhaps, do a bit of shopping and enjoy the city's hospitality. There are also one or two foreign players who are contemplating to travel out of the city to visit Kuala Lumpur and other interesting township to learn more about Malaysia. But until tomorrow, there is Round 7 that the players have to deal with first...
Using White screen and projector to show pairing and images of players playing in the current rounds

On Table 1, sole leader and 1 point ahead of the rest of the pack, GM Attila Czebe of Hungary is facing GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines. In the earlier Campomanes Rapid event, the same match up with similar point difference between the two players happened towards the end of the event and Bitoon played well to overcome a tough challenge from Czebe, stopping the runaway win and he himself was later crowned as the Rapid champion. A win by Czebe should put a nail to the coffin for him to secure the first ever champion of the Historical Melaka International Chess Championship but a loss, may open the field wide open for everyone else to grab the top podium.

On Table 2, Spaniard GM Alfonso Romero Holmes faced GM Arun Prasad of India and a win by either player may put them closer within striking distance of the eventual leader of the event. Another interesting encounter happens on Table 3 between GM Adam Horvath of Hungary and Russian GM Alexander Fominyh, both with 4 points and within 1 1/2 points away from Czebe.

Other interesting encounter would be on Table 7 between GM Laxman and IM Mas Hafizul and Table 11 between Yeoh Li Tian and WGM Kruttika Nadig.

In the Challenger section, it is an interesting encounter on Table 1 between Ugandan Wakoko Enos, a first time entry to a local chess event, playing against Gatot Suyono of Indonesia - the sole leader in the event with a perfect 6 points out of 6 rounds. Gatot will definitely like to maintain his 100% score whilst Wakoko looking forward to stop the Indonesian from running away with the title. 

It was a different story on Table 2 as Endang Andrian won by walkover due to the absence of Abdul Rahim who had to leave the event late yesterday evening. The organizing committee and the officials of the 750 Years Melaka International Chess Festival would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Abdul Rahim and his family on the passing of his mother yesterday.

On Table 3, Indonesian lass Suci Rohaya is paired against Pahang youngster, Muhd Aysraf Razman whilst on Table 4, Mohd Ezmi Mahmood storming back to the top of the pack but will have a strong challenge from his younger but formidable opponent, Yuranda Irawan of Indonesia. Top seed Eddy Fong is on Table 5 facing another Malaysian Henry Machin whilst Fairul Yusof going against Muhd Zuhairi Zainal on Table 6.
The Young and the Beautiful - It was not surprising to see enthusiast crowding around Table 11 to observe the game between young Malaysian Yeoh Li Tian up against WGM Kruttika Nadig

Round 8 of the Historical Melaka International and Challenger Chess Championship will resume on Sunday at 3:00pm with the final Round 9 to be played on Monday at 9:00am followed by the Closing Ceremony at 2:00pm on the same day.

For more photos and news, visit our the Chess Malaysia Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chess-Malaysia/168231673260531
Local Melaka and National Woman Player, WFM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri
A rising star - Camilia Johari
Young Yeoh Li Tian playin against WGM Kruttika Nadig of India
The battle on Table 1 between Ugandan Wakoko Enos and Gatot Suyono of Indonesia
Mohd Ezmi Mahmood facing the young but formidable Yuranda Irawan
Suci Rohaya of Indonesia
Ladies battling it out on the Challenger section - Devi Oktania of Indonesia against Latifah Kaiyisah of Malaysia
Four players, four countries - from left, Anasrullah of Indonesia, Praveen Kumar of India, Ahmad Fadzil Nayan of Malaysia and Rolando Nolte of Philippines
IM Oliver Dimakling of Philippines going against FM Djuraev Sokhib of Takjikistan
Officials Haslindah, Zuraihah and Greg (all in orange except for Nik - in bright RED!), having a light discussion at the Arbiter's table
FA KK Chan walking about to make sure that everything is in order
Arbiter Li JingFeng of China overlooking the Challenger section
Support for their countryman - Wakoko Enos of Uganda under the watchful eyes of his compatriots who were at the hall to show moral support.
GM Alexander Fominyh, pondering over his move whilst GM Arun Prasad of India and GM Alfonso Romero Holmes of Spain battling it out on Table 2
There was a bit more crowd today roaming around the tournament hall as they witness some of the best chess players around the region displaying their chess prowess
Onlookers taking interest on the Challenger section game between Suci Rohaya of Indonesia and local Muhd Asyraf Razman

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Going Into Round 7

With his win in the last round, Hungarian GM Attila Czebe steers clear of the pack, 1 point clear of his nearest rivals, countryman GM Adam Horvath and GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines. The mouth watering encounter on Table 1 in Round 7 between GM Czebe and GM Bitoon will be a repeat of their earlier encounter in the Rapid event when the latter beat the former and later, ended as the Rapid Champion. Will history repeat itself or will we see blood on the board?

GM Alfonso Romero Holmes - 1 point behind leader
Current sole leader with 5 1/2 points - GM Attila Czebe
 In Table 2, GM Arun Prasad will face Spaniard GM Romero Holmes and the following Table 3, GM Adam Horvath playing against GM Alexander Fominyh. It has been a roller coaster ride for GM Arun Prasad since the start of the event and for GM Holmes, it was sheer determination to slowly creep back into the top of the group.

Other notable encounters would be on Table 7 between GM Laxman and local IM Mas Hafizulhelmi and on Table 11, young Yeoh Li Tian up against WGM Kruttika Nadig.

In the Challenger section, Indonesian Gatot Suyono who has amassed a perfect 6 points will face off against Ugandan Wakoko Enos, who managed to climb back into the ranks with the latest scalping of Eddy Fong in Round 6. Abdul Rahim Ramli dropped to Table 2 and will face another Indonesian in Endang Andrian.  Indonesian lass Suci Rohaya will be playing on Table 3 against Muhd Asyraf Razman and compatriot Yuranda Irawan will be playing against early favorite Mohd Ezmi Mahmood on Table 4.

The full pairing for the Challenger section as follows:
More news tomorrow

Of Melaka Chess Festival - Day 4 Round 6 Ending

It was a tame draw on Table 3 for GM Alexander Fominyh and his opponent Deepan Chakkravathy with both players now having 4 points each. With only 1 round per day to be played from here on until round 9, both players are opting for the longer rest hours to prepare for the final three rounds starting with tomorrow afternoon Round 7 at 3:00pm.

It was also a sensational outcome for Ismail Ahmad who managed to hold GM Laxman to a draw at move 48 after both players realized the inevitable with each having opposite colored Bishops left to play.

IM Mas Hafizul also shared point with FM Hamdani Rudin on Table 8 but another Malaysian Zaidan Zulkipli lost to the more experienced Tajikistan player FM Djuraev Sokhib.

On Table 5, Yeoh Li Tian was not able to hold the much stronger Indian GM Arun Prasad and surrendered after a hard fought 46 mover game.

At print time, Table 1, Table 2 and Table 4 are still bashing it out to earn the right to become the leader of the pack.

In the Challenger section, Gatot Suyono outplayed Abdul Rahim Ramli to become the sole leader for the Challenger section with a perfect 5 out of 5 games. On Table 2, Ugandan player Wakoko Enos also came on top, outplaying local Eddy Fong to stay 1 point behind Suyono.

Local Melaka participant - Masros Tukiran
All the way from Sarawak - Henry Machin Kongkong
Participants looking at the Table 3 match between Endang Andrian and Henry Machin in the Challenger section
IM Mas having a whisper with Cikgu Yus of Pahang with Rathnakaran and Czebe playing at the background
Another game of interest - Philippines GM Bitoon against IM Dimakiling
Onlookers taking interest in the game between India's WGM Kruttika Nadig and Igor Kharito
More news later on as more games concludes