This category has produced a spectacular end result. Before the start of the final round, many parents, players and experienced arbiters too were expecting Teh De Juan to cruise away the title easily since he had 1 point advantage with 7 points from 7 games into the last round and paired against an opponent who is seeded only 6th and 117 rating points lower than him. Actually, I knew this category was far from over.
Why? Teh and his teammate from Penang were sitting on Table 1 and 2 respectively against Coach L students. If both Coach L students can win their respective game, it will forced a 3-way playoff (at the very least). As the clock ticks away, all players in this category had finished their games except these 2 boards. At that moment, position was equal on Board 1, while Emir was leading a pawn on Board 2. The playoff seem to be a reality after all. Alas, he miscalculated and had to agree with a draw which effectively ends his Championship hope. Moment later, news came that Tan Yong Zhao was leading a pawn in an opposite colour Bishop which Teh didn't know how to defend it. The rest was history.
This may be a lucky venue for Tan as he was up at the stage again to receive the Challenge Trophy for the second time after 4 years lapse.
Meanwhile, top seed and hot favourite Ng Jen Sheng did not really recover from his Round 1 lost to Ngew Wai Kit, a student of Coach L, where he finishes at 11th place with 6 points after conceeding two draws in the process.
For the record, Coach L students won this Category Seven times in the last Nine years.
The complete results as follows:
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