Saturday, March 13, 2010
NAG 2010 - Ready For Kick Off
GiLoCatur and family are already in Penang. We arrived and checked in to the hotel at around 6.00pm. We left Shah Alam at around 1.00pm after completing all the routine and mundane task before any trip. We stopped at Sungai Perak R & R for a late lunch after two hours of driving. We met Amier's family there having lunch too. While another family chess friend, Aminuddin, are on the highway near Taiping. All his five children will be participating in NAG 2010 too. While Azhar's family along with five others from Selangor and KL just arrived and checked in to their hotel.
Two hours later, we were on Penang Bridge, the longest one in Asia, driving into the center of Penang Island. Finally, after looking around for a while, we managed to reach the hotel. While resting in the hotel, GiLoCatur got a text message for Mr Tan telling about the massive traffic jam due to road closure around the venue of the tournament i.e. Seri Pinang Hall. The road closure is due to a go cart program on Sunday morning the same time as the NAG 2010 start off. He advised not to go to the venue for a check out.
As per Mr Tan's promise, the first round pairings will be posted in the tournament's official website.
The Boys Sections
Fahim, the youngest son of GiLoCatur, will be playing in Under 8 age group category with 19 participants in total. Joining him is his school mate, Faqih, who is seven years old. This is a debut for Fahim in the National Age Group tourney. In the first round tomorrow, Fahim who is ranked 8th will start with black against Teh De Yong of Penang. Also in his section is Jagathees who hails from Johor Baharu and ranked second.
Fikri will be playing in Under 14 age group. This year edition is the third time that he participates. Joining him in this age group are MSS Selangor players whom he is very familiar with. They are Irfan Haqqim (2nd seed) and Roshan Ajeet Singh (4th seed). They will compete against other state top players like Elgin Lee Kah Meng of Penang, the top seed, Tan Jun Feng of KL (3rd seed), Daniel Iskandar of Johor (previously KL) (5th seed) and Nuriman Yahaya of Kedah (9th seed). His age group is the second highest number of participants with 36 in total.
In GiLoCatur's opinion, Under 18 Boys age group category is one of the toughest. Many of them GiLoCatur are familiar with. Lim Zhou Ren, the top seed from KL, with his MSS KL team mates - Tan Ken Wei and Muhd Izz, Afiq Afyfy of Sarawak, Mark Siew of Perak and the son of Raymond Siew.
The Girls Sections
Two Puteris - Rifqah and Munajjah, from Selangor are playing in Under 10 Girls age group category. They are the daughters of Azhar MS from Selangor. Other strong challengers that GiLoCatur familiar with are Teh De Zen who played in the last WYCC and Nithyalakshmi from Seremban. Surely not forgetting, Nur Faqihah who is Anis's school mate at SK Bukit Jelutong and Maisarrah who had beaten GiLoCatur before.
GiLoCatur's daughter, Anis Fariha, plays in Under 12 category. She is ranked 8th and will play black against Oo Zhi Ling in the first round. There are only 16 participants in her section. Two of them - Najiha (the top seed) and Ee Sun-Xin (5th seed), are her MSS Selangor team mates. While Nurulhana Syuhada (10th seed) is her MSSD Petaling Perdana team mate. Also in this section are MSS KL players - Tan Li Ting (2nd seed) and Camilia Johari (4th seed) and MSS Penang players like Kelly Lim Pei Ying. Anis needs to play very well against her strong opponents that include a WFM (Women FIDE Master) and NWM (National Women Master).
Nur Nabila of Selangor is leading the Under 14 Girls age group category. Among her challengers are Fairuz Hamizah of Kedah and Cikgu Fuad's daughter, Hoh Tjin Hui (GiLoCatur believes she is the sibling of Hoh Tjin Li) and Laila Husna from Kelantan. If not mistaken, Laila Husna now is studying in Johor and the daughter of Cikgu Sahadi.
In Under 16 Girls, the top seed is Hoh Tjin Li from Penang. She participated in the last WYCC in Turkey. She will be challenged by MSS Selangor trio - the Hong sisters and Nur Farihah and MSS KL player - Latifah Kaiyisah. GiLoCatur believes several strong players in this age group do not participate. Amira Syahmina of Selangor and Sarika Subramaniam of Pahang. GiLoCatur also does not see Alia of Melaka, the finalist of the Malaysian Women Master and a NWM.
In Under 18 Girls, Latifah Syamimi of KL, is the top seed. She is one of the 16 women players battled in the recent first Malaysian Women Masters. Another familiar player to GiLoCatur in this age group is Nur Munirah from Perak. If not mistaken, she is the individual champion for the last edition of MSSM of her age group. Both of them surely will be challenged by the others.
GiLoCatur needs to stop here because need to go to bed for tomorrow. GiLoCatur would like to wish all the participants BEST OF LUCK. GiLoCatur also hopes that FIKRI, ANIS and FAHIM will do and play the best in this tourney and be among the winners. Let the best win. Also hope the best for the NAG 2010.