Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Top seeded Sergei Tiviakov took the lead today at the DYTM Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Invitational with his fourth successive victory to reach 4.5/5 after six rounds of play.
In second and third places are Thomas Luther and Rolando Nolte with 4/5 and Niaz Murshed fourth on 3.5/6. Sharing fifth to seventh places are Goh Wei Ming, Padmini Rout and Mas Hafizulhelmi with 3/6 and in eighth is Ramnath Bhuvanesh with 2/5.
Alone in ninth place is Oliver Dimakiling on 1.5/5, in tenth is Alex Wohl with 1.5/6 while eleventh and last place is held by Wong Meng Kong on 0/5.
The main excitement was however in the previous round when Goh Wei Ming saw his GM norm hopes fall apart when he blew a win against fellow GM hopeful Rolando Nolte who now has the only realistic chance of becoming a grandmaster at this event.
Malaysia's flag is flying high with Mas Hafizulhelmi holding his own on 50% with a win and a loss going with four draws but it is indeed a horror story for Wong Meng Kong who shows his lack of practice.
11 players are playing 10 games with a bye each over 11 rounds at the Swiss Inn from 4 p.m.daily with the last round at 11 a.m. on 22 June at the Palace of the Golden Horses.
Sunday, 16 June 2013
Both Wong Jianwen and Nithyalakshmi Sivanesan largely dominated their rivals to win the final two qualifying places in the Malaysian Masters which will be from 22-26 June (Men) and 22-25 June (Women) respectively.
The first round of will be held at the Palace of the Golden Horses beginning at 11 a.m. on 22 June but subsequent games will be played 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. daily at Swiss Inn.
So that the players have a chance to prepare, the lots been drawn and the pairings have been posted at http://chess-results.com/tnr104193.aspx?lan=1 (men) and http://chess-results.com/tnr104173.aspx?lan=1 (women).
Its all happening at Swiss Inn in KL's Chinatown.
While the men (boys) play a two games match, the three women (girls) are playing a round robin and the parings and results are at: http://chess-results.com/tnr104140.aspx?lan=1
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Today Thomas Luther had a bye so after the round started he invited me for a coffee. And he handed me a gift from a mutual friend Heinz Brunthaler.
A couple of years ago I was supposed to collaborate with Heinz on some chess books but it never happened because I simply could never find the time and now it seems that Thomas will try to do what I so miserably failed at.
No, Heinz did not give me his book with Quality Chess but that and the something else he did give me got me thinking again of parents in chess and especially now that I am in the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) as both FIDE Delegate and Chairman of the Technical Committee (I am lucky as our Secretary here, Lim Tse Pin, actually does all the heavy lifting) especially of those who are parents, whether successful or not at seeking office, of young chessplayers with really quite varying abilities.
If you are in chess, especially now with numerous national and international youth events together with a supporting ecosystem in place, you can't avoid them as every young chessplayer must have a parent (or at least a guardian)!
But there are two categories of chess parents whom I find a little alarming sometimes but who can blame anyone over their little darlings?
1. Failed or incomplete chessplayers
2. Those non chessplayers seeking office/position to influence or advance their child's prospects
Of course they don't know (or at least can't allow themselves to know) but I have in the last two years witnessed at first hand some simply unimaginable behaviour and I think for me the line is drawn when the actions are at the detriment of others, be it a rival, a team mate, or even as they call it, resulting in collateral damage.
The Malaysian chess community is small and often bad behaviour is rewarded by default as it is tough for those who are in fact chessplayers and holding office/position in MCF or even a state affiliate to act because they are also often doing some form of chess for a living (having invested in this as a career or in for the long haul) and so don't really want to make an enemy of this transient but possibly vindictive someone (especially if rich or a fellow office bearer).
So let me quickly end this dangerously developing train of thought with the need to do right by the child because at the end of the day all parties, parent from hell included, will claim they have his or her interests at heart and I will quote the exact but sad words of a respected trainer: "Parents are our greatest help, and our greatest hindrance (as a famous American swimming coach once said)".
But I should still add the uniquely Malaysian twist to that by saying that here it is all too obvious that: "Everyone is an expert". Because it seems that we really really really like ourselves.
And now I have to wait to see how many that I never even thought of will think I am talking about them (ego, guilty conscience?). Perhaps the recent National Closed Championship or the ASEAN+ Age Group Championships, possibly even the coming Malaysian Masters will be a sore point with them? Who knows?
Thursday, 13 June 2013
Yes, I am talking about Mas Hafizulhelmi. From 13-21 June he will be playing 10 games in 8 days at the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah Invitational and then without break be defending his title with 9 games in 5 days at the Malaysian Masters (National Championships Final). That's 19 classical FIDE title and rated games in 13 days.
It is serious competition indeed for the University Olympiade coach as can be seen below in facing four GMs, five fellow IMs and an equally rated WGM world champion holding numerous IM norms!
Playing the very best of our locals immediately after such an event won't be easy either with fellow direct qualifiers IM Lim Yee Weng eager to show off the fruits of hard weekend games in Singapore, IM Jimmy Liew still trying to turn back the years, FM Ronnie Liu out to stop being the nearly man in recent times and Ng Tze Han looking to continue to build on his string of good if not spectacular results.
Roshan Singh who missed out on the Olympiad after winning one of the most one sided national championships last year is beginning a slow return to chess while Lim Zhouren will want to prove that he is a worthy replacement for Mok Tze Meng and that his IM norm in Istanbul was no one off result.
Aron Teh, Fong Yit San, and either Wong Jianwen or Mohd Syazwan will also want to show they belong in this company and the enthusiasm of youth can never be discounted!
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
A total of 11 players from 8 countries comprising four grandmasters, six international masters and one woman grandmaster will vie for honours and bragging rights.
Last year's KL Open Champion Sergei Tiviakov is the top seed but is expected to face a challenge from second ranked Thomas Luther and fellow veteran's Niaz Murshed and Dr Wong Meng Kong, while our own Mas Hafizulhelmi leads a large group of grandmaster title and norm candidates including Kevin Goh Wei Ming, Rolando Nolte, Alex Wohl, Oliver Dimakiling and Ramnath Bhuvanesh.
The single female participant is the returning multiple World Youth Champion Padmini Rout whose team recently emerged champions at the chess equivalent of the IPL (India Premier League).
With 11 players, there will be a bye each round.
The final round will be 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on 22 June at the Palace of the Golden Horses to be followed immediately by the closing ceremony to be graced by DYTM Raja Dr Nazrin Shah with Malaysian Chess Federation President Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib expected to also be in attendance.
Once again this event is organised by KLCA and made possible with sponsorship from the Masterskill Education Group Berhad and its affiliates.
Saturday, 1 June 2013
All attention is now shifting to the Malaysian Masters where our top ten men and top eight women players will seek to establish themselves as members of the national team to the coming SEA Games, Asia Nations Cup and World Chess Olympiad.
It has been a good run for the foreign based Aron as he is coming off a joint first place finish at the World Amateur (for players rated under 2000) and he clearly played a smart tournament to take his chance with both hands even as the other perhaps more fancied favourites largely self destructed and several of these young players would be well advised to take a hard look at themselves if these want to progress.
No surprise that Nur Nabila and Nur Najiha took the top two places with some ease and in fact Nabila could afford a surprise last round loss and still emerge the winner. The beneficiary, Puteri Rifquah Fahada Azhar, also qualifies by virture of outright third place, but there will be no less than five girls playing off for the last slot!
Congratulations to all - the quality of the games was very mixed (I think!) but everyone will have to salute the great fighting spirit shown (at least that was the impression I got from the men results) as I was not there first hand to witness.
Monday, 27 May 2013
For the women it was just one place and second seeded Huang Qian took the only qualifying slot on tiebreak ahead of top seeded Chinese compatriot Tan Zongqi.
No doubt he will be telling his reader all about his adventure in his blog in the days to come but the table above would indicate that Jimmy is still too strong for those lower rated than him, that on his day he can hold stronger IMs but those with the GM title are now a little beyond him.
And we must end here by congratulating Jimmy on now also achieving the FIDE Trainer title, joining Mas and Mok who in the last year have also done so, and so that now makes four of us and MCF's job a little easier in introducing a national coaching panel.