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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Of Selangor Open - Another Day, Another Event

It feels as though I am a very busy and active chess official when in reality, I am not that busy. After finishing my stint at DATCC last year (now the place is called ATCC - drop the "D"), chess has become a second fiddle to my daytime "contract" work. But 4 months contract has ended - I timed it nicely so I can focus on Melaka Chess Festival and the Selangor Open, I hope the company will continue to find new projects for me to manage else, I will be jobless for god knows when. At that time, I leave it to Allah's good grace to help me with my predicament but, I also believe when there is a will, there will be a way. If there is effort, there will be light!

But that is all a different story....

After wrapping up the 750 Years Melaka International Chess Festival, I rushed back home and prepared myself for the next event in my "busy" schedule - the Selangor Open 2012. Upon arriving at ATCC at 1:00pm, Supervising Arbiter IA Lim Tse Pin has already keyed in all the names of the players and I continued my task with setting up the clocks for Round 1 - schedule to start at 2:00pm. 

There were a few familiar faces from the Melaka event notably IM Rolando Nolte of Philippines who is seeded 1 for the event. Other spillovers from the Melaka event included Eddy Fong and his two sons, Zaidan Zulkipli, Syazrin Abdul Rahman, Lim Kian Hwa and another Philippines Manaog Stewart who seem to be enjoying endless chess festivities. 

Missing from the 39th Selangor Open edition are the local IMs such as Jimmy Liew and Mok Tze Meng probably due to other commitments, and Mas Hafizul who is probably taking some time off to recuperate after playing in 3 strenuous events (Brunei, Rapid and Melaka). Also missing is young Li Tian who had good outings in Brunei and Melaka and perhaps similar to Mas, is taking some time off to rest and to focus on the other important thing in life - school!

The 39th edition attracted 63 players, slightly way off the mark from the usual Selangor Open crowd. Nonetheless, the slightly relaxed schedule where games are only played at night provide opportunities for players with full time employment and students to play in the event. This can be seen with the presence of Kamaluddin Yusoff, former National Champion Kamalariffin Wahiduddin, WCM Nur Nabila and National Junior player Roshan Singh. Not to forget, Malaysia's adopted chess citizen Ian Udani of the Philippines.
CAS Committee Member Yeoh Chin Seng talking to Yeap Joo Hock (right) and Lim Kian Hwa (left) before the start of the event
GM in the house - GM Richard Bitoon of Philippines providing moral support to fellow countrymen Stewart Manaog and IM Rolando Nolte
At the end of Round 1, one surprising results happened on Table 5 with Jax Tham going down against Syazrin Abdul Rahman who is more than 500 points below him. Another unexpected result occurred on Table 13 when Eddy Fong lost to BSN player Nor Zaiasron Yahaya in the last match to end for Round 1. Another notable lost was on Table 18 when veteran Lim Kian Hwa of Sarawak lost to PETRONAS player Aid Farhan Maarof.

Round 2 started at 7:00pm whilst Round 3 will be played tomorrow evening also starting at 7:00pm. Fans, interested parties and players can view the pairing for the event at www.chess-results.com

GM Richard Bitoon playing a skittle game with Dato Tan Chin Nam
IM Rolando Notle of Philippines - First seeded
After long hard work at Melaka, MCF VP Haslindah turned to playing in the Selangor Open
Long time chess player - now coach and trainer to his three sons, Mohd Saprin Sabri - Seeded fourth
Second seed Ian Udani
Pairing and Result for Round 1


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