Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chess Travelogue To Batu Gajah Open

Eventhough GiLoCatur still feel tired because just got home late last night from Langkawi Island, this chess travelogue need to be done. If not it will never get done. Last weekend, GiLoCatur and family went back hometown to check and work on our "kebun kelapa sawit". On Sunday 31st May 2009, GiLocatur, wife and kids managed to travel to Batu Gajah to participate in the Batu Gajah Chess Open held at the hall of Majlis Daerah Kinta Barat (MDKB). 

GiLoCatur thought not many prominent chess players would participate because the National Closed began on the same weekend, but GiLoCatur was wrong. Cikgu Zull and his three children were there as well as Ilhamuddin, the defending champion, Muhammad Arshad, Fariz Shafruddin, Norazman Ismail, Anthony, Subramaniam Demudu and surely Ian Udani.

GiLoCatur could not resist to play in the open category hoping to get better position. Below is the travelogue.

7.15 am
GiLoCatur and family had to wake up early and get shower in the cold Sunday morning at our hometown. GiLoCatur's mrs had to wake up earlier because she needs to make sandwiches for our journey to Batu Gajah from Sungai Besar. Since there were not many cars, we managed to reach at the venue few minutes past 9.00 o'clock. Meaning it took us about two hours drive. Surely, we would pass by few villages and towns like Sabak Bernam, Teluk Intan, Langkap, Ayer Kuning, Kampar and Gopeng.

9.15 am
Managed to reach and pay the tournament fees on time. Had to ask direction to the hall at the Petronas gas station while reaching Batu Gajah.

Around 10.00 am
The first round of the tournament started. There were three categories - Open, Under 15 and Under 12. For both Under 15 and Under 12 categories, there were about 26 and 18 players for each category minus the absentees. Fikri was playing in Under 15 section. With three seeded players registered earlier did not come, Fikri with national rating of 1382 was basically the second seed after Fong Yit San whose current national rating is 1659.

Whereas Anis was seeded sixth with national rating of 1005. She played in Under 12 section along with Fahim who has yet have national rating.   

The final results and the perfomance of GiLoCatur and children are like the following :

After 7 rounds, GiLoCatur scored 3 points. In the first round, GiLoCatur was paired againts Wan Azmi who did not come. So, GiLoCatur won without really playing the game. In the second round, GiLoCatur played black againts Mohd Johan Jamil. Surely, he is much much stronger than GiLoCatur since his rating is 1711. With the score of 4.5 points, he was placed 15th in the tournament. Then GiLoCatur played againts a lady player named Siti Zainab. Playing black, GiLoCatur attacked aggressively. GiLoCatur had two extra major pieces - a rook and a bishop. GiLoCatur checkmated her after making Bd1 move as per below picture.

In round 4, GiLoCatur had to face a strong player, Norazman Ismail with national rating of 1705. GiLoCatur was flattered when he said after the game that he also a bit worried with the attack. But surely GiLoCatur still far behind to see and execute the attacking flair that he mentioned. Norazman managed to get into the winner's list.

1.15 pm
GiLoCatur and family had lunch at a "Medan Selera". We were really hungry maybe because we just had sandwiches in the morning and had a two-hour drive.

Round 5: GiLoCatur played black.

In the first round after the lunch break which was also the fifth round, GiLoCatur played black againts a teenager named Tan Wing. Once again, GiLoCatur lost due to time pressure. In round 6, GiLoCatur played white againts a player named Muhammad Luqman. GiLoCatur won the game. In the last round, playing black once again GiLoCatur was defeated. GiLoCatur was attacked and had to defend most of the time. Overall, GiLoCatur was very happy with the performance because not many silly blunders and had quality and well-fought games.

As for Fikri, he performed well in the tournament in Under 15 section eventhough he lacks training and chess practice due to his school routines. He won all the games except lost to the eventual champion, Fong Yit San, in the fourth round. 

Round 1: Fikri was playing white.

Round 6: Fikri's opponent was Amer Moinuddin who played white.

Round 7: Fikri played black againts Muhd Zikri Bin Mohd Zaki

With 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 lost GiLoCatur's daughter, Anis Fariha, was placed third in Under 12 section.  The lost was in the first round when she had to play her Selangor MSSM team mate, Noor Azam. She drew with the eventual champion, William Lee Kah Howe in the sixth round.

Round 1: Anis (black) vs Noor Azam (white)

Round 6: Anis drew with the Under 12 champion, William Lee Kah Howe

Round 7: Anis won againts Benjamin Lee Kah Teng

Round 1: Fahim won againts Priyatharishini a/p Dharmalingam

GiLoCatur's youngest son, Fahim, was very happy when he checkmated his opponent in the last round, Brian Kok Eu Mun, with 4 step moves. He lost one of his five games with that 4 step moves. Then he tried that move after that.

6.00 pm
On the way home after the prize giving, GiLoCatur and family visited the Kellie's Castle. We took pictures and had fun at the castle.

Going to and participating in the Batu Gajah Chess Open was exciting and fun to GiLoCatur and family due to below resons:

  • The tournament was basically smooth running especially between rounds and waiting for the winners list. One of the main reasons GiLoCatur believes is that for each section there was a notebook and one person in-charge of keying into the system. In other words, the organizer does not use only one notebook for all three categories.
  • The organiser shortens the time control to 20 minute per player since the tournament starts a bit late at around 10.00 am due to players registration process.
  • It is quite rare for chess tournaments to include flowers to the winners. It is a thumb up for the organizers. 
  • The arbiters are very alert and stand near the players especially for Under 12 section.

GiLoCatur hopes the organizer keeps up the good work in other chess tournaments held in Perak to attract chess players around the country to participate. It is also nice to know that chess is back and alive in Perak. To keep updated on chess in Perak, please visit regularly.

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