Monday, May 26, 2008

Kejohanan Catur Kebangsaan 2008 - 31Mei hingga 4Jun 2008 di The Chess Network, Kompleks Wilayah, K. Lumpur

Agak sukar bagi Persatuan Catur Selangor ( 'PCS') membuat pemilihan kerana ramai diantara pemain-pemain catur Persatuan Catur Selangor layak memasuki Kejohanan ini secara jemputan atau atas beberapa sebab lebih selesa berurus terus dengan pihak penganjur. Juga tidak seorang pun pemain wanita yang tampil untuk mewakili PCS kali ini. Walau bagaimanapun setelah membuat pertimbangan sewajarnya PCS menghantar tiga orang pemain berwibawa iaitu Ismail Ahmad, Justin Ong dan Zaidan Zulkipli untuk menyambut cabaran Kejohanan ini:-

  • Ismail Ahmad, anggota PDRM dan pemain kebangsaan yang tidak asing lagi di kalangan peminat catur tanah air. Beliau telah beberapa kali mengetuai pasukan catur PCS dengan rekod cemerlang sekali.
  • Justin Ong (gambar sebelah kanan) juga adalah satu-satunya pemain muda yang kini telah menempah nama di kalangan pemain remaja. Di Pertandingan Terbuka Catur Antarabangsa Royal Selangor 2008 baru-baru ini beliau berjaya menduduki Tempat Ketujuh mengatasi ramai pemain-pemain yang lebih berpengalaman.
  • Zaidan Zulkipli jarang kelihatan di sirkit catur tanah air kerana masih menuntut di luar negara tetapi turut membuat kejutan merangkul gelaran Naib Johan di Kejohanan KeSepuluh Catur Allegro Suku Tahun Kedua PCS 2008 tempoh hari.

Friday, May 23, 2008

13th Royal Selangor Juniors International Open Chess Tournament 2008 - Change of Date

In view of the clash of date with a regional tournament the above 13th Royal Selangor Juniors is rescheduled to November this year. The Tournament is proposed to be held at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre in Setapak Jaya. Full details will be announced in due course.

CAS and sponsor Royal Selangor remain committed to better prepare juniors in competitive chess such as through organizing this longer time control tournament in the country. It will however need support of the players, and parents as principal backers to ensure success.

The photographs below were taken from the Royal Selangor age-group events (Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16) held at Sunway University College last February/March.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

National Closed Championship 2008

The Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament 2008 had a good coverage in both the Star newspaper chess column and the local 'Gilachess' chess blog. A big Thank You to both. This should spur CAS and other chess organizers to bring forth quality chess tournaments in the country.On another note the bond between affiliates and parent body should be beyond reproach and envy to enable a viable and meaningful structure.

CAS stopped organizing a selection tournament given the past poor numbers and quality of participations. Moreover selection based on a rapid event would not reflect the players' strength viz-a-viz standard time National Closed. Moreover the stronger players have already been given direct entry while others need to only pay nominal fee. However Members who wish to participate through CAS can e-mail name/particulars and follow-up before the closing date for consideration.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament 2008 - The Day After

The Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament remained as one of the more successful Tournaments organized by The Chess Association of Selangor or CAS. Success is measured by the participations of current top and active players in the country although the fees seemed to be prohibitive to many, time is not right and the logistics never ideal. Nonetheless these participants were able to overcome such obstacles to show their support and mettle. The journey for Malaysian chess however has still quite a distance to go requiring the self-reliant and independent spirit of these, and other players and supporters who want to see breakthrough results in chess in the country along with sustained and selfless efforts of forward thinking organizers and promoters.

The objective of Selangor Open Tournament from the player's standpoint is not just about winning or outplaying one's opponent. With the long list of strong local and foreign players with equally impressive credentials vying for the top spots the probability of winning cannot possibly be the sole reason. The recently concluded Tournament saw a number of changes at both Fide and MCF Rating List. These rating systems on the other hand serves as a yardstick of one's performance or 'strength' and is widely followed of late.

But whichever way we look at it we need not be too obsessed with the figures to the extent of say, not wanting to play out of fear of rating loss or to go to the other extreme of chest thumping.

But chess tournament is not just about winners, beating your opponents or gaining rating points. In this Tournament we witnessed the Wahiduddin siblings KamalArifin and Khairunnisa' taking part, both established players in their own rights as National Champions. Chess brings out the common interest in them.

They are not as active as before but chess seems to be in their blood. In this Tournament the brother Kamalarifin could still show a thing or two as to draw over Ronnie in the last round despite a pawn down in the end game. In a rapid game one can easily fall into a blunder but definitely not easily so in a Fischer time control.

Another common scene is to see a generational kinship in this Tournament. The current NWM and WCM Shazwani was seen playing in the Tournament alongside his father Cikgu Zulkafli. NM Yeoh Chin Seng introduced his son Yeoh Li Tian to chess only recently and the kid is now making waves in the local junior circuit. Also in the Tournament is a new family from Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam starting to make their presence felt. The Saleh family is only starting out but looks like the son is already making an impact in this Tournament to secure a place in the Under-12 Category.

Father and daughter - The father giving comfort to his dear daughter Wani

The Yeohs - Can he provide the unwavering support to his son to achieve excellence in chess?

Side by side in the Tournament - a new family in the chess scene from Shah Alam

This is a strong Tournament and it can be an expensive affair if the only reason is to win. On the other hand this is about the handful game where a family can take part in a competitive environment, on equal terms.

On a final note, chess in Malaysia has still a long way to achieve the due recognition it deserves. Chess needs the all-encompassing commitments of the players and chess enthusiasts to support themselves and to demonstrate their worthiness, or be outplayed by little fortune-hunters and glamour seekers along the way.

Views of

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament 2008 - The Final Day 5

The Final Ranking

The Battle was fought right to the end with no let up by any of the players. There was no walk out by any of the participants which is a record in the local scene.

The eventual winner FM Lim Yee Weng had earlier in the 6th Round obtained a Bye but continued on to win all his games thereafter, the last two rounds brushing aside the challenge from Ian Udani, one of the pre-tournament favourite and up-and-coming junior Justin Ong. Yee Weng had 10 years earlier won this Tournament and the 4th person to ever capture the Trophy more than once, while doing his SPM revision in between the Rounds then. He had since completed his law degree but saw his personal commitment requiring him to miss the 6th Round (a working day Friday) which again did not hamper this young man's drive for chess excellence.

Ronnie on the other hand was neck to neck with Yee Weng but was stopped in the final round by Kamalarifin to finish with a Draw. The extra pawn was not sufficient to break Kamalarifin's tight manoeuvres. If he were to win the top spot would have to be determined by a very interesting tie-break decision taking cognizance Yee Weng's earlier Bye.

Another record of sort was Alia's unbeaten record in the Tournament where she accomplished 2 wins in Rounds 2 and 5 while the rest of the Rounds ended in Draws, to emerge overall 12th in ranking with 5 1/2 points. (Yee Weng too was unbeaten with only a draw but with an 'Unplayed' match in Round 6). Alia went on to take the Best Woman title, a commendable feat given a strong field of titled and higher rated women players in this Tournament line-up.

Two other juniors that deserve mention are Justin Ong and Yeoh Li Tian. Justin Ong put up a gallant show in the top boards of this Tournament to finish with 6 points while 9-year old Li Tian had a fine finish when he stopped NWM Roslina Marmono to end with 5 points. They feature regularly in the Selangor-based CAS organised chess activities which contributed to their finesse in chess skill.

Those interested to gauge how they fare in this Tournament can refer to these statistics:
FIDE Rating statistics
MCF Rating statistic

The People behind the Scene

There would be many to mention but as in any organisation there would be a core team. It is a daunting task to keep up with a tradition, and a long and illustrious one at that. The CAS President would like to especially thank IA Lim Tse Pin and CAS Hon Secretary who had to come up with a viable plan and executing it ( bearing in mind he had other matters to attend to at the same time) and Life Member Norhana Othman for handling the tedious paperwork and the many tiny details. At the Tournament proper we had IA Hamid Majid and his assistant CAS Vice President Kamarul Zaman Khalid aka KZ to ensure efficient conduct and compliance with internationally accepted competition rules. At Royal Selangor we had personnel on stand-by to ensure the venue in good order. Last but not least we had good support from none other than Andrew 'Gilachess' Ooi who provided pre-Tournament and up-to-the-minute on-line news coverage of the event, as well as the Star newspaper columnist Mr SS Quah to reach out to both the chess and non-chess public.

The Challenge Trophy - Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament

Also known as the '35th Selangor International Open' initiated way back in 1974 Royal Selangor came into the picture 9 years later to adopt this Tournament and gave us this exquisitely designed Challenge Trophy.

A bouquet for our Sponsor -Datin Paduka MK Chen
Datin Paduka MK Chen, Director of Royal Selangor receiving the bouquet from CAS President En Shafruddin. A big Thank You for your support as well as to your staff for their untiring efforts to ensure this Tournament a success.

Congratulatory message to the Hon Secretary
We took the opportunity to present a wedding gift to our just-elected Hon Secretary IA Lim Tse Pin due in a few day's time. It was a big present and a heavy one too to commensurate with his heavy responsibility now that he has obtained his 'Mastership' and saying goodbye to his 'Bachelor'hood. Congratulations Tse Pin and his bride Isabella!

The gathering of the Winners
The winners of the Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament 2008 with CAS , Royal Selangor, MCF and Tournament officials.

The Prize Giving Ceremony

The Top Ten Winners Main Category
Champion - FM Lim Yee Weng

2nd - Ronnie Lim

3rd - FM Nicholas Chan

4th - Abdullah Che Hassan

5th - Kamalarifin Wahiduddin

6th - FM Tedy Sukirman (Indonesia)

7th - Abdul Aziz Abdul Shukur

8th - Mohd Kamal Abdullah

9th - Hendry Jamal's

10th - Marcus Yeoh

Best CAS Players Category
1st - Justin Ong

2nd - Yeoh Chin Seng

3rd - Ismail Ahmad

Best Women Category
1st - Alia Anin Azwa Bakri

2nd - WIM Lisa Karlina Lumongdong

3rd - Evi Lindiawati

Best Under-12 Category
1st - Yeoh Li Tian

2nd - Fikri Saleh

3rd - Ee Sun-Xin

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Royal Selangor International Open Chess Tournament 2008 - Day 4

Ronnie continued his winning streak beating Ian in the 7th Round while Nicholas Chan took second spot with a win over FM Tedy Sukirman. FM Lim Yee Weng shrug off his morning Bye to score another point over Hendry Jamais to claim the 3rd placing after Round 7.
Junior player Justin Ong performed well so far with 5 points and a 6th placing, with a win over Mohd Saprin and to later draw with WIM Lisa Karlina. Another junior player Alia also did well with two draws against Kamalarifin and Evi to secure a total 5 points so far. Alia is another player to watch and although based in Melaka the Chess Association of Selangor ('CAS') is proud to contribute to the development of her chess prowess.

........................In the Star newspaper yesterday

The playing hall
Royal Selangor

The 5 Selangor Open Champions in the Tournament line-up this year

2007 defending Champion Lim Chuin Hoong looks to be a strong contender notwithstanding the two draws in Rounds 4 and 5. Awaiting his placement as a doctor will determine if he can remain active in chess in the near future. In the meantime he will limit his rounds to just the chess circuit. In addition he has the National Master title to his name
2004 Champion FM Nicholas Chan (Fide 2380) seems to be able to juggle his vocation as a medical student and prolific chess player. So medicine should not be considered a graveyard for chess. He is a product of CAS chess initiative and is also a National Master. Tomorow's Round 8 pitting him against Ronnie will be an interesting encounter.
Mohd Saprin Sabri (Fide 2201) the 2001 Champion, is another strong player but definitely not a Weekend Warrior where he may even miss the top 10 ranking. Currently preoccupied as an IT professional he should be able to reassert himself in the chess scene once his business settles down.
A versatile player in both standard and allegros 1998 Champion Lim Yee Weng (Fide 2349) and lawyer however has to skip Round 6. This may cost him to do a double for the top spot, given his strong position so far. A National Master he is another a beneficiary of the CAS training and activities.
Now that he is grounded 1995 Champion Mohd Kamal Abdullah (Fide 2205) and also a National Master hopes to participate in more tournaments. A person to beat in one of those weekend games where he will struggle over the short time control though.