Wednesday, March 12, 2008

National Age Group Chess Championship 2008 Ends

1. Under-8 Girls >>> Puteri Rifqah Fahada of Selangor has lived up to expectation as reported after 2 days of competition to win her last 2 games on Day 3 with a total of 7.5 points to deliver a gold medal for Selangor. Maisarrah Noor Akbar of Kuala Lumpur had to settle for a silver medal even though she won her last 2 rounds to finish with 7 points. Puteri Munajjah, younger sister of the champion, has grabbed the Bronze for Selangor when she won on tie-break score over Nithyalakshmi Sivanesan of Negeri Sembilan who also scores 5.5 points.

2. Under-8 Boys >>> Kuala Lumpur players Tan Yong Zhao and Danish Hamzah Al-Hadi Noor Akbar had won all the games on Day 3 to finish the event with 7.5 points. However, the former extended the tie-break points from 1.5 points after 6 rounds of competition to 2.5 points at the end of the competition. Edwin Tan of Selangor has to settle for Bronze after collecting 6 wins and two losses against both players.

3. Under-10 Girls >>> Nur Najiha of Selangor has lived up to expectation as reported after 2 days of competition to win her last 2 games on Day 3 with a total of 7.5 points to deliver a gold medal for Selangor. Wendy Tan of Kuala Lumpur won her last two games to grab the Silver. While, Ee Sun-Xin of Selangor could not recover in time from her overnight Championship game lost to Najiha when she lost to Tan Jia Yun of Penang in Round 7. However, she bounces back by crafting out a victory against second seed Nurul Aina of Kuala Lumpur in the last round. She won the Bronze for Selangor on tie-break count over Tan Jia Yun and Camilia Johari.

4. Under-10 Boys >>> Yeoh Li Tian of Selangor too has lived up to expectation as reported after 2 days of competition to win his last 2 games on Day 3 with a total of 7.5 points to deliver a gold medal for Selangor. The surprise silver medalist Aron Teh of Perak (who lives in Taiwan now together with his parents) defeated Kuala Lumpur hopeful Muhd Aziz Farhan Noor Akbar and Shreyes of Pahang in Day 3 to finish with 7 points. His only lost is to Yeoh in Round 4. His victory against other established players in his category may be seen as a surprise to many in our chess community but personally I’m aware of his ability and talent since last year when he join one of the CAS events during his holiday in Malaysia and has corresponded with his parents via emails to see if the boy can come back to Malaysia to compete in the Championship. Muhd Aziz took the Bronze.

5. Under-12 Girls >>> Nur Nabila Azman Hisham has delivered the gold medal for Selangor by winning all 8 games in the competition. She is the only player in this year edition to obtain a perfect score. Fairuz Hamizah of Kedah has maintained her 2nd position as reported at the end of Day 2 by defeating Hoh Tjin Hui of Penang in the last round. Her only lost is to Nabila. While, Hoh won the bronze for Penang on tie-break count over Najihah of Kelantan and Yap Ern Yee of Kuala Lumpur.

6. Under-12 Boys >>> Tan Wei Hao has won a gold medal for Kuala Lumpur when he won his last 2 games encounter against Roshan Singh of Selangor and Jeff Tan of Kuala Lumpur. His Championship looks like over when Jeff lost to Elgin Lee of Penang in Round 7 to maintain a half point lead over him although he has a superior lead on tie-break count. The last round encounter had pitted Elgin against Albert Ang of Kuala Lumpur who is also trailing Elgin with half point and has an inferior tie-break count on Board 1. While, Board 2 saw Tan against Jeff who is already out of contention after his lost to Elgin. Tan clinched his victory over Jeff and has to wait anxiously for 1 hour to see the outcome on Board 1 that played till the end of 3 hours. Tan will be crowned as champion if Elgin cannot win against Albert. Finally, Albert, a fellow Academy student like Tan, has managed to hold his game against Elgin and thus make Tan the new Champion. Tan was the U-10 National Champion last year. His achievement has emulated his senior, Fong Yip Siang, who won the National U-10 title in 2003 and National U-12 title in 2004 under the guidance of Malaysian Chess Academy.

7. Under-14 Girls >>> Alia Anin Azwa Bakri of Malacca had unexpectedly managed to pip Latifah Kaisyah of Kuala Lumpur on tie-break count when the latter cannot win her last game against Hoh Tjin Li of Penang where she only manage to draw. With the unexpected turn of event, this put both players at 6 points from 7 games. Selangor Winnie Hong won her last two games against Pahang top rank player Sarika Subramaniam followed by defeating Selangor top rank Amira Syahmina to finish with 5 points.

8. Under-14 Boys >>> This category has a major upset. As reported at the end of Day 2, this category is likely to belong to Penang since they have 3 out of 6 players in contention for the title. In Round 7, Evan Timothy of Penang on Board 1 with half-point lead over the field drew with Defending Champion Muhd Syakir of Selangor, and Keok Kai En of Penang too drew with his opponent on Board 2. While, Low Jun Jian of Selangor and Patrick Lim of Penang won on Board 3 and 4 respectively to join Evan and Keok as the joint leaders entering into the last round. The last round had pitted Patrick against Keok on top of the table clash. Both Penangites had an early draw which proven to be their biggest blunder! Syakir and Nabil on Board 2 & 3 who is the tournament 1st and 2nd seeded players eventually defeat their respective higher score opponents to create a situation where 5 players tied with 6 points from 8 games. On tie-break count, it is surprising that Muhd Syakir emerge as Champion, followed by Keok and Patrick.

9. Under-16 girls >>> Renitha of Johor had to wait anxiously when she could only drew both her games on Day 3 and ended up with 6 points to tie with Ong Choon Yong of Penang when the latter won both her games. Renitha looks joyful when she learnt that she had beaten Ong on tie-break count by a mere 1 point. Nurul Akila Rohizan of Kuala Lumpur ended the event with a Bronze.

10. Under-16 Boys >>> The situation in this category is similar to the Girls U-16, where overnight leader Edward Lee of Selangor drew both his games on Day 3 against the City boys Izz and Lim Zhuo Ren. Another city boy,Tan Ken Wei, took full advantage of the situation to close the gap by winning the last 2 rounds and ended up having the same score as Lee. Lee is so lucky to have won the title on tie-break count to give Selangor its 6th gold medal and make Selangor the most successful state in Malaysia for this year National Age-Group. Both Tan and Izz finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.