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Monday, February 17, 2014

Join Us - Weekly Chess Meet at Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas

Interested to meet up and play chess?

A weekly chess session organized by Najib Wahab will be held every Wednesday evening from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at Knowledge Mine Tuition Center located in Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas. The first weekly session will start tomorrow, 19th February 2014, and will continue weekly and if required, more additional weekly sessions including weekly events will be held at the center. Knowledge Mine address is Blok L, Unit 1.9/2.9 Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas.

Plaza Damas is rather easy to access - via Jalan Duta, Penchala Link or Kerinchi Link.
This is a free and open session (no fees shall be imposed) for everyone to participate, a place where chess players can meet up and chat, play a game of chess with fellow chess players, or enjoy reading a collection of chess books available in the mini library.

As this is a voluntary site provided by the management of Knowledge Mine, visitors are encouraged to bring their own sets and clocks although a limited number of sets and clocks will be made available.

Other events planned at the same location will include a monthly chess event, team event, blitz event, weekly team/individual league and many more activities for players from all playing levels and age groups.

Currently, there is a beginners chess class being organized every Saturday from 5:00pm to 7:00pm with more classes to be added soon.

If you are into Sabutteo - the table football game, the Knowledge Mine is also the place to be

For parents and non playing partners, there are plenty of eateries and entertainment within the complex including Starbucks (directly below the Tuition Center), TGIF, a Supermarket, convenient stores (7-11), Karaoke and many more. From my personal experience, the Mee Rebus and Mee Bandong served at the Warong nearby is definitely something not to miss.

For those driving to the center, there are ample parking spots within the complex basement with rates as cheap as RM1 per hour - as a reminder, do avoid the open car park above as it can be costly.  

For more information, please contact Najib Wahab at +6016.338.2542 or email najib.wahab [at] chess-malaysia.com

My wife and I enjoying the Warong Mee Rebus and Mee Bandung....
Small but ample facilities - and the stack of books for the mini library
Some of the books in our collection - notice anything interesting?
One of the weekend class sessions
Training session
Ample space - there are at least 2 more rooms albeit smaller in size

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A New Champion Crowned

With one of South East Asia's most famous GM in Megaranto Susanto and a leading Indonesia IM in Farid Firman Syah, it was not surprising that Indonesia was the hot favorite to lift the 2014 GACC Championship... And win they did.

GACC has the tendency to attract high class players for the event and for this year's edition, it was GM Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia as the sole GM taking part in the event. And looking at the field of players taking part in this year's edition, the only question playing in everyone's mind was - who will take the second spot?

In recent years, even when the Russian Team fielded a GM, scoring a perfect score of 9 points was not an easy feat to achieve. But GM Megaranto did it with ease, finishing most of his games rather early except during his match against MG Gahan of India.

It was a tight race for second and it boils down to the last round between IM Farid Firman Syah of Indonesia and Antonio Vianni D'Cunha of India - the winner to secure the second placing. It was an interesting game lasting almost 5 and a half hours with Antonia as black, having a Queen and a single pawn against Firman's White Rook and Bishop with 2 connected pawns. Going into the 5th hour, it was clear that Firman was not able to improve his position with Antonio keeping his Queen active and holding his pawn in an unassailable position. Firman on the other hand, knew that he was not able to push his pawn forward without opening his King to endless check from the black Queen. In the end, Firman resorted to the fact that a draw was inevitable, made the offer which was accepted by Antonio without hesitation - securing his second position.

Although India won the 2nd and 3rd placement in the Open individual section, the Indonesian Team was too strong and was crowned as the 2014 GACC Team Championship. India took second place and Singapore, came from behind to beat Sri Lanka for the 3rd place. Host University Malaya took the consolation prize of becoming the best local team edging favorite UIA.

Other notable winners were Nurnaida Ajeng of Indonesia, an unrated lass who took the best Women Champion, ahead of local WFM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri of University Malaya in 2nd place. Vanessa D'Souza of India in 3rd followed by Singapore's WFM Melissa Lo in 4th and another local player, Ruby Kwan of UPSI in 5th.

Pictorial photos for the closing ceremony can be found at our FACEBOOK page at https://www.facebook.com/ChessMalaysia     

Final cross table for event can be found at Chess-Results website at  http://chess-results.com/tnr122460.aspx?lan=1  

VIP at the official Closing Ceremony
Open Champion - GM Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia

Something to cheer about for host University Malaya
- winning the best Malaysian Team
A new champion is crowned - Indonesia Team led by
GM Megaranto Susanto and IM Farid Firman Syah

Friday, January 24, 2014

Round 4 - WFM Alia Anin Azwa sharing the lead

At the conclusion of the 3rd round, WFM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri is currently in the leading pool of perfect scorers along side GM Megaranto Susanto, IM Firman Syah Farid - both if Indonesia, India M.G. Gahan and Antonio Vianni D'Cunha and Libyan FM Elmejbri Ali A. In Round 4, WFM Alia has been paired to play the black pieces against Antonio of India on board 3

On board 1, GM Susanto is playing white against Gahan of India whilst Libya's representative, FM Elmejbri is facing IM Firman Syah on the next table. One surprising performance for Malaysians is in the form of Suniil Kalaivanan who is currently having a good run with 2.5 points and he has been paired to play against Philip Goh of Singapore in board 5.

Other interesting pairings for Round 4 are Fadzil Nayan against WIM Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka on board 7, Isuru Alahakoon against Lew Ke Yew on board 9, and Faeznor against Olivia Madhavan on board 14.

A win by Alia in round 4 may catapult her to pay on board 1 against GM Susanto in round 5 (provided there is no upset against the Indonesian GM) of which the opportunity will create a very interesting and worthwhile match to watch out for.

For pairings and results, please visit http://chess-results.com/tnr122460.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=4&wi=821

WFM Alia on Board 3 - with IM Firman Syah looking over her game

Fadzil Nayan against WIM Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka on Board 7

Charles Lucas at work - updating the score on Swiss Manager

Scene at the start of Round 4

Thursday, January 23, 2014

GACC - Going Into Round 4

Round 3 presented some interesting match ups but the top seeds were still in cruise control with convincing wins against their opponents. GM Megaranto Susanto took 20 moves to brush off Justin Ong Way but compatriot IM Firman Syah Farid had to take up 69 moves to over power a strong resistance from Sri Lanka Isuru Alahakoon.

On Table 3, India Antonio Vianni D'Cunha played well to score another point against Sri Lanka Niranga Kandearachchi whilst MG Gahan, also of India, managed to score his 3rd point by beating Indonesia's Yemi Jelsen.

Our very own WFM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri created a minor upset when she won against 5th seed CM Teo Wei Xing of Singapore but turning the tables around, local Ahmad Fadzil Nayan of UIA who is seeded 6th lost his game against Libyan FM Elmejbri Ali A who is seeded 13th.

Other notable results were Suniil Kalivanan drawing his game against Wee Zhen Chian on table 8, Olivia Madhavane winning against Libyan Elmejbri Abdullah A, and Amir Hamzah KZ drawing with Unrated Indonesian Nurmaida Ajeng on table 25.

Full results and table can be found at http://chess-results.com/tnr122460.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=4&wi=821

Table 24 to Table 27
Top boards in Round 3
Arbiter Apprentice Charles Lucas executing his duties
Scene at the start if Round 3


GACC Round 2 on the way

At the end of Round 1, most of the top seeded players breezed through their first round opponents rather easily. Indonesian GM Megaranto Susanto who was paired with Nurul Najmi Bakar of UIA was one of the few early finishers for round 1, cementing his position as the top contender for this year's title.

15th seed Amir Hamzah KZ of UIA almost became the highest casualty for the day but managed to squeeze for a draw against APU's Wong Yong Ken who is seeded 49th. The highest seeded casualty for the day belongs to WIM SD Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka when she lost to Singaporean Philip Goh on table 21.

Another minor upset happened on the next table 22 when 22nd seeded Vanessa D'Souza of India drew with unrated Ali A Rahman Hameedaldeen of APU.

At press time, there are still 16 more boards playing with the top 3 boards still slugging it out to out smart their opponents. On table 1, GM Megaranto Susanto is playing white against WFM Melissa Lo of Singapore and on table 2, Susanto's compatriot IM Firman Syah is up against Lim Kim Siong of University Malaya and on the third table, HELP Lew Ken Yew faces India's Antonio Viani D'Cunha with the former handling the white pieces.

Round 2 started at 4:00pm earlier today, a slight deviation from the usual schedule to accommodate for the Opening Ceremony and Round 3 is expected to start at 9:00am tomorrow.

For more pictorial news on the event, please visit our FACEBOOK page at the following URL https://www.facebook.com/ChessMalaysia
Olivia Madhavan - Sole representative from ATC, Malaysia
Playing on home ground - UM Lum Zhun Hoong
University Malaya WFM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri - Relax playing on her own turf
At press time, the top 3 boards are still going at it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Its That Time Of The Year.... GACC 2014

One of the year's most awaited event... at least for me, is the GACC Rakan Muda Inter Varsity International Chess Championship. And again for the 4th consecutive year, I have been invited to be the Chief Arbiter for the annual event - a position which I look forward to doing. Perhaps not so much of the glamor or the level of the event - it being an international and FIDE rated event, but the chance to work with brilliant hardworking young minds who, year after year, maintain the continuity of organizing an international level event all on their own. My salute to the students of the UM Second College...

This year's event attracted 69 players from 6 different countries: Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Libya, Singapore and locals Malaysians. Whilst the number of players and teams may have reduced from last year's event, the competition remain intense.

Indonesia is set to wrestle this year's title led by GM Megaranto Susanto and IM Farid Firman Syah - the 2 highest rated player in the event. India's team is a distant second led by Gahan MG and Antonio D'Cunha who are both rated at 2200+. Sri Lanka is led by Isuru Alahakoon, one of the prize winners for last year's event and this year's, with the help of WIM SD Ranasinghe in the Women category. There are 2 newcomers from Libya led by FM F. Elmejbri Ali Abdoullah who is rated 1988.

Malaysia is represented by 9 Universities but only 6 are vying for the team championship. IMU, HELP and ATC are represented by individual players as it lacks the requirement to form a full team of 4 players with at least one lady player. Host UM sent one team led by WFM Alia Anin Azwa Binti Bakri and Lum Zhun Hoong whilst rookie team APU is led by Justin Ong Way. UPSI with a single team is led by Ruby Kwan and UIA CFS, another usual suspects for the event is led by Nurul Asry Mokhtar.

International Islamic University Gombak, best Malaysian Team for last year, has sent two teams for the event led by Ahmad Fadzil Nayan whilst another leading chess university team, University Technology PETRONAS (UTP) has also risen to the challenge by sending two teams led by Suniil Kali Vanan and Ramone Mikgail Kok who will be participating in the individual category.  

Round 1 for today has started at 9:00am and Round 2 shall start at the conclusion of the Opening Ceremony scheduled at 2:00pm.

The general public are welcome to view the tournament which is held on the 1st floor, Mercu Alam Bina, University Malaya starting from today until Tuesday, 29th January 2014. Sunday will be a day off for the players to enjoy KL sightseeing and experience the Malaysian hospitality.

For more information on the results and pairings for the event, please visit

GM Susanto Megaranto

IM Firman Syah Farid
Ahmad Fadzil Nayan (UIA)