Monday, March 10, 2008

National Age Group Chess Championship 2008 Begins

Today marks the beginning of the 3-day chess championship at OCM Indoor Sports Arena, KL which ends on 12th March 2008. Children from all over Malaysia will be taking part in this annual event that will be used as a basis of selection for Malaysia representatives to World Youth Chess Championship, Asian Youth Chess Championship and Asean Age-Group Chess Championship.

This year edition is sponsored by MASTERSKILL College of Nursing and Health. MASTERSKILL was established with the noble mission of becoming the premier college in providing holistic education in Nursing and Allied Health in the national and international health care industry. Mr. Edmund Santhara, CEO of MASTERSKILL, who is the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award for 2007 is a passionate chess player himself.

Initially, MCF (the Organiser of the event) had projected at least 700 children will be taking part in this event when it was first announced back in early January without having the knowledge that it will be immediate after the GE. With many people from Klang Valley had returned back to their respectives states for the GE and coupled with 11th hour pull-out of a sizable group of children from Penang, we see a total of 336 children taking part in 10 categories contested namely U-08 Boys, U-10 Boys, U-12 Boys, U-14 Boys, U-16 Boys, U-08 Girls, U-10 Girls, U-12 Girls, U-14 Girls, U-16 Girls.

This year edition is an upgrade version from last year edition. This year, MCF has decided to conduct the event using the same time control (90 minutes per player) as the MSSM tournament and to be played over 8 rounds. Unlike last year, there will be no Preliminaries in Swiss format followed by Final in round robin format. The event itself for this edition will be considered as Final. The Champion of each category will be crowned as 2008 National Junior Champion for their respective category.

However, the top 4 achievers in each Age-Group are required to play a round-robin on 13th and 14 March at The Chess Network, Wilayah Complex, KL. The Champion will be selected to represent Malaysia in World Youth Chess Championship, 1st runner-up to Asian Youth Chess Championship, and 2nd runner-up to Asean Age-Group Chess Championship. There is no title representation for the Champion in this round-robin event.

As the Chief Arbiter for this event, I wish all players have a nice and pleasant tournament outing..........