Sunday, August 31, 2008

Malaysian Chess Festival - 28th Astro Merdeka Open Team Chess Championship 2008 - A sweet triumph for SelangorChess Teams

SelangorChess assembled a contingent of 15 players to make up the three teams. It was an astounding success recorded in recent years, capturing both Best State Medals that are on offer. In addition the two Juniors took the overall 1 st and 4 th positions while the Senior was the top Malaysian team, taking overall Second place with the Silver Medal and RM2,000 prize money. The success can only be attributed to the strong determination and team spirit of the players. Grossly missing in the picture however is CAS Hon Secretary IA Lim Tse Pin

The Open Category

(Two medals for Selangor senior team - Selangor emerged with equal points with the tournament Champion but settled with a Silver Medal in a tie-break, and won the Best State Medal as de-facto top State team in the country)

Day 2 started off with Selangor in the lead but the other teams are never far behind. Round 5 was against top ranked and star-studded ASTRO Malaysia but Selangor brushed aside the big name with a 3 - 1 win. In Round 6 was another strong 2 1/2 - 1 1/2 win against giant-killer Vandetta.

The final Round 7 was a nail-biting battle with the only foreign team Apocalypse-Manila who was by then narrowing the gap by only a point behind. Ian Udani had an early draw with IM Ronald Bancod, while Abdullah Che Hassan later lost his game. (Ian Udani who plays on Board 1 conceded only one other draw was later adjudged as joint top board winner with FM Nicholas Chan)

Fariz Shafruddin's deep attack on the opponent's king on the right flank on Board 4 forced the Filipino Albert Rivera to resign. So Selangor was 1 1/2 points up

The last battle on Board 3 saw NM Zarul Shazwan battling it out for at least a draw, but it was not to be. Both teams shared equal points of 20 1/2 and the decider tie-break favoured the Filipinos.

The Junior Category

(Selangor Generasi 8 in top position took the Challenge Trophy pictured with CAS President Shafruddin(far left), MCF President Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib (centre) and MCF Deputy President Hj Ibrahim Bakar (far right)). In addition to the Champion Gold Medal they were also awarded the Best State Medals)

In the Junior (Under - 16) Category, Selangor Generasi 8 nominated to represent the Selangor State had an insurmountable lead as the team was virtually unbeaten throughout the Tournament, amassing 24 1/2 points out of a maximum 28

In the last round the Team was so far ahead that no other team can actually surpass Selangor. But they sportingly played on collecting a further 3 points out of the maximum 4 from Perak Juniors, thereby helping Selangor Generasi 9 to a better overall position along the way

(Selangor Generasi 9 won 4th Placing pictured here with CAS President Shafruddin and MCF Deputy President Hj Ibrahim Bakar)

The younger Selangor Generasi 9 team was not to be out done either. They beat Chung Ling B of Penang 3 -1 in the final round and collected a total of 17 points to pip State teams Sarawak and Perak by a mere 1/2 point to the finishing line.

The Juniors also collected 3 out of 5 Board Prizes through:

Yeoh Li Tian on Board 2

Muhd Izz Saifuddin on Board 4

.... and Muhd Shakir Shazmeer Azhar on Board 5

Syabas Selangor!!