Saturday, 26 November 2011

DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open 2012

Congratulations to the Malaysian Chess Federation on having a brand new event - the Melaka International International Chess Festival in April 2012 - as that is more good news for the chess fraternity!

Subject to final confirmation of the availability of dates in an increasingly crowded chess calendar, the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open with a total prize fund of RM 45,000 - thanks to generous sponsorship from the Masterskill Education Group - is now proposed be held in Kuala Lumpur at the Olympic Sports Hotel from 17-23 September 2012.

A FIDE titled and rated event, it will be played over 9 rounds using the Swiss System and the time control will be the standard FIDE 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes plus a 30 second time increment per move for the rest of the game.


17 September
1500- Arrival
1800-2000 Registration & Players Meeting

18 September
0900-1300 Round 1
1500-1900 Round 2

19 September
0900-1300 Round 3
1500-1900 Round 4

20 September
0900-1300 Round 5
1500-1900 Round 6

21 September
Free Day

22 September
0900-1300 Round 7
1500-1900 Round 8

23 September
0900-1300 Round 9
1400-1600 Blitz Tournament
1600-1700 Closing Ceremony

24 September
-1200 Departure

The Entry Fee for the Open is USD 100 for foreign participants and RM 150 for Malaysians irrespective of rating but the organisers reserve the right to limit the number of players unrated or rated under 1800 and also to charge a premium.

Foreign titled players may apply for conditions which will be awarded on a case by case basis.

Enquiries can be referred to the Organising Secretary/Tournament Director at

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Published On Susan Polgar Chess Daily News & Information

Closing Ceremony Confirms Two Grandmasters, Two International Masters, One Grandmaster Norm and One International Woman Master Norm!

Oliver Barbosa receiving his prize from DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah for winning the Masters with Dato' Sri Edmund Santhara, KLCA President & MEGB Group Chief Executive looking on.

The Roll of Honour:


Champion: International Master Oliver Barbosa (Philippines)

Grandmaster Title: International Masters Oliver Barbosa and Richard Bitoon (Philippines).
Grandmaster Norm: Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzbekistan).
International Master Title: Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzbekistan).


Champion: International Master Nguyen Duc Hoa (Vietnam).
Best Women: International Woman Master Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (Vietnam), Woman Grandmaster Sukandar Irine Kharisma (Indonesia), International Woman Master Muminova Nafisa (Uzbekistan) and Woman Grandmaster Pham Le Thao Nguyen (Vietnam).
Best U-16 & Best U-12: Tin Jingyao (Singapore).

International Master Title: Olya Edgar Reggie (Philippines).
Woman International Master Norm: Zhou Guijue (China).   

Closing Ceremony Video

Final Round VIdeo

R9: Bitoon Wins in Dramatic Last Round, joins Barbosa as the Philippines Latest Grandmaster Title Holder

The DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters proved a huge success with three grandmaster norms producing two new Grandmasters in Oliver Barbosa and Richard Bitoon from the Philippines and confirming one International Master in Uzbekistan's Jahongir Vakhidov.

In a tense last round encounter where only a win would do, Bitoon, despite having the Black pieces, threw everything including the kitchen sink at his until then ultra solid and unbeaten opponent, Grandmaster Tahir Vakhidov to take the victory that won him the long overdue and well deserved Grandmaster title.

Earlier Johangir Vakhidov achieved his first ever Grandmaster norm to go along with the International Master title when he drew quickly with Singapore Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong.

Final standings:
1. Babosa 7/9; 2-3. Bitoon, J. Vakhidov 6.5; 4. Das 5.5; 5. Vadhikov 4.5; 6. Goh 4: 7. Nguyen ?:: 3.5; 8. Nguyen AD 3; 9. Mas 2.5; 10. Wong 2.

Masters Round 9 games

Friday, 9 September 2011

Videos of Round 7 & 8


R7 & R8: Oliver Barbosa is now a Grandmaster!

The work seems to have been done for the leaders going into the rest day as on the fourth day of play, Round 7 only saw one decisive result when top seeded Filipino International Master Oliver Barbosa again took sole lead with a win over Vietnam's International Master Nguyen Van Huy. That left him on 6 points and just one more draw needed to complete the Grandmaster title requirements which he duly accomplished with a short draw in Rund 8 against Malaysian International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi.

With successive draws in Rounds 7 and 8, Uzbekistan's Jahongir Vakhidov who has completed the International Master title requirements now only needs a draw in the final round to achieve his first Grandmaster norm.

The most watched encounter of the day came in Round 8 when International Masters Richard Bitoon and Arghyadip Das played each other needing a win to keep their hopes of the Grandmaster title alive and while the Filipino will have one last chance tomorrow if he wins, their draw has mathematically ended the talented Indian's slim hopes.

1.Barbosa 6/5/8; 2. J. Vakhidov 6; 3. Bitoon 5.5; 4. Das 5; T. Vakhidov 4.5; 6. Goh 3.5; 7. Nguyen VH 3; 8. Nguyen AD 2.5; 9. Mas 2; 10. Wong 1.5.

Masters Round 8 games

Masters Round 7 games

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Rest Day!

The Indonesian National Team and one Malaysian guide about to take on the Batu Caves Challenge!

Today was the rest day and most of the players took the opportunity to take in some of the sights of KL.

While some literally just crossed over for the joys of shopping in Jalan Bukit Bintang and it numerous shopping malls (with dedicated the IT Mall Plaza Low Yat being a particular favourite), others ventured over to hangout at KLCC with its iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

The Indonesian and Vietnamese delegations however had other ideas of fun and with our sponsors Masterskill again stepping forward, a trip to the Batu Caves followed by lunch at KLCC materialised.

Many other participants including quite a few Indians, Filipinos and Malaysians also joined in the fun.

For getting the 272 steps up to the temple at the top right, the organisers provided the choice of a cold coconut or ice cream! (Everyone proved to be a winner).

Chessdom Report - 7 September 2011

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

R6: Oliver Barbosa and Jahongir Vadhikov are on Track for Grandmaster Norms

Goh Wei Ming is clearly suffering the effects of a three month lay-off

Jahongir Vakhidov took advantage of a draw between the two Filipino bets, International Masters Oliver Barbosa and Richard Bitoon to capture a share of the lead with a win over Singapore International Master Goh Wei Ming.

Uzbekistan's Vakhidov and Barbosa are now on 5/6 with Bitoon on 4.5/6.

India's International Master Arghyadip Das kept his hopes alive with a determined effort over Singapore Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong and is on 4 points.

Still unbeaten is Grandmaster Tahir Vakhidov with 3.5 points after a draw with Vietnam Grandmaster Nguyen Anh Dung who now has 1.5 points.

His colleague International Master Nguyen Van Huy is on 2/5 points after being held by Malaysia's International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi.

Videos of Round 5 and 6

Masters Round 6 games

R5: Top Seeded Barbosa Takes the Lead

This round saw an eagerly awaited match up between early leader Jahongir Vakhidov and top seeded International Master Oliver Barbosa and when it ended, the lead had changed hands.

With this endgame win after a less than convincing opening, the Filipino Barbosa is now on plus four and so on track to achieve the Grandmaster norm he needs to compliment his consistently high rating while the young Uzbekistan player who is still very much in contention drops down by half point to second place in the standings with four points.

Equally important is the move up for a share of second place by veteran Filipino International Master Richard Bitoon who as always played uncompromising chess and rode his luck to best the improving but woefully short of confidence local hope, Malaysian International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi.

Indian International Master Arghyadip Das had earlier took a short draw with Grandmaster Tahir Vakhidov and both are now on 3 points.

The all Singapore match up saw International Master Goh Wei Ming outplay his colleague, Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong to remain with an outside chance on 2.5 points while the all Vietnamese encounter between International Master Nguyen Van Huy and Grandmaster Nguyen Anh Dung was a tame draw and so clearly an exercise in damage limitation.

Masters Round 5 games

Videos of Round 3 and 4

Chessdom Report - 6 September 2011

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

R4: Young Vakhidov is still Perfect!

A tense battle with Malaysia's hope, International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi where for a long time he was starring at his first loss still ultimately ended with Jahongir Vakhidov emerging the winner in a time scramble winner and stay perfect after four rounds of play.

The young Uzbekistan player remains the tournament leader but top seeded Filipino International Master Oliver Barbosa is just half a point behind with 3.5 points after beating Singaporean Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong who remains on 0.5/4.

Another half a point behind on three points is another Filipino, International Master Richard Bitoon after he had a determined win over Vietnamese International Master Nguyen Van Huy who with just 1.5 points will now have to do something special to get himself back into contention.

Following him is the only other unbeaten player, Grandmaster Tahir Vakhidov who has won one and drawn three of his four games including his encounter with Singaporean International Master Goh Wei Ming who has 1.5 points and a mountain to climb, and the Indian International Master Arghyadip Das, who joins him on 2.5/4.

Das who is still very much in contention for the Grandmaster norm had a short draw with out of form but steadily improving veteran Vietnamese Grandmaster Nguyen Anh Dung who had earlier suffered three successive losses.

Masters Round 4 games

R3: Jahongir is the Sole Leader!

With his third successive win, Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan, despite being the least fancied player at the start is now the sole leader. In a long game, despite some inaccuracies, the young yet to be confirmed International Master took advantage of some sloppy judgement by the solid Vietnamese International Master Nguyen Van Huy to bring home the full point.

Following his scoring plan to achieve the Grandmaster norm, his co-leader and pre-tournament favourite International Master Oliver Barbosa had earlier settled for a quick draw against the elder Vadhidov, Grandmaster Tahir Vadhidov.

International Master Arghyadip Das from India showed great character to put aside his shocking setback in the second round by besting a very aggressive Singapore International Master Goh Wei Ming while Filipino International Master Richard Bitoon ensured Vietnamese Grandmaster Nguyen Anh Dung's run of poor form continued.

It was probably a matter of relief for both Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong from Singapore and International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi from Malaysia when their fighting game ended in a draw as they were able to post their first scores and get off the mark.

Masters Round 3 games

Coverage by Star Metro


Read it online by clicking here.

Videos of Round 1 and 2

Chessdom Report - 5 September 2011

Monday, 5 September 2011

R2: Barbosa and Jahongir Vakhidov take the Early Lead

Das - Barbosa

In every tournament one needs a bit of luck and International Master Oliver Barbosa and Jahongir Vakhidov probably got more than their fair slice of luck to record back to back wins against International Masters Arghyadip Das and Richard Bitoon respectively.

Until then, all four players had won their opening games for a perfect start and were looking to build on their early advantage.

But it is still 7 rounds more and all to play for as International Master Goh Wei Ming proved by beating a woefully out of form Grandmaster Nguyen Anh Dung who together with Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong and International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi have yet to enter a score.

Masters Round 2 games

R1: Good Start!, Bad Start?

Richard Bitoon (Philippines)

It was a good, maybe even great day in the office in the first round for the top two rated bets from the Philippines, and clearly the exact opposite for their colleagues from Singapore. With relentless play International Masters Oliver Barbosa and Richard Bitoon slowly ground down their opponents, fellow Grandmaster hopeful International Master Goh Wei Ming and Grandmaster Wong Meng Kong respectively to take home the full point.

Also with perfect scores are Uzbekistan's young upset conscious Jahongir Vakhidov and India's International Master Arghyadip Das who were also happy bunnies with their first round wins over Vietnamese Grandmaster Nguyen Anh Dung and Malaysia's Mas Hafizulhelmi.

Masters Round 1 games

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Lull before the Storm

After the formalities of checking into a hotel near full capacity, the DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters & International Open officially started today with the Technical Meeting at 6 p.m. where Grandmaster Jospeh Sanchez kindly agreed to step down to play in the Open to allow young International Master Argyadip Das the opportunity to play in the Masters and to complete the requirements for the Grandmaster title.

Sanchez will now headline an Open field that saw numerous changes over the course of the night due to international travel challenges and some last minute entries which means the event is now at 66 participants, 4 down from the original 70.

He will however be challenged by a deep field heavily represented by players from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines and which includes 4 other Grandmasters, 12 International Masters, and 6 FIDE Masters.   

KL Open to be Featured on Indian TV!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters & International Open Final Entry List

Today we reached the magic number of 80 for the Raja Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters & International Open which is optimal for the tournament hall and so entries are now officially closed!

In the International Open, top seeded is no less than a World Cup qualifier, Indonesian Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto who heads a field of 30 internationally titled players and 60 internationally rated players from the 70 participants!

And with the entry of Nur Nabila Azman Hisham, we now have both the Malaysian Champions, for men and for women playing.

The full list of participants will be published with the coming September FIDE rating list update.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Coverage at Susan Polgar Daily News & Information

International Press Release via Our Great Friends at Chessdom!


It will be a match-up of legends versus talents at the Raja Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters and International Open Chess Championships to be held at the Swiss Garden Hotel & Residences, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 4-10 September 2011.

Organised by the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association with sponsorship from the Masterskill Education Group Berhad under its Educating Malaysia Corporate Social Responsibility program, the former Kuala Lumpur International Open (KL Open) has seen many great champions including last year's winner, then 16 year old Woman World Chess Champion Hou Yifan from China.

It is a shared love for the game while recognising the benefits of chess and attributing its contribution to their respective success in life that convinced Raja Nazrin Shah to lend his name to the event and for KLCA President and Masterskill Education Group Berhad GCEO Dato'Sri Edmund Santhara to provide the necessary leadership and find the sponsorship to make it happen!

This year the Raja Nazrin Shah Chess Championships will showcase an Invitational Masters GM round robin tournament where four veteran grandmasters with stories to tell from Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines and Uzbekistan will vie for honours in competition with six young players including Malaysia's great hope, 28 year old International Master Mas Hafizulhelmi.

In taking on Grandmasters Joseph Sanchez, Nguyen Anh Dung, Tahir Vakhidov and Dr. Wong Meng Kong, Mas will be joined by other top ASEAN GM prospects in International Masters Oliver Barbosa, Richard Bitoon,Nguyen Van Huy, Goh Wei Ming (all with recent GM norms) and Jahongir Vakhidov who made his first IM norm at the KL Open last year!

As in previous years there will also be an International Open, and this year we boast the deepest and most competitive field ever seen locally with half the entries being internationally titled players.

Malaysia will again depend on youth to fly its flag with 18 year old National Champion Lim Zhou Ren heading the local challenge which will also include its very best young talent, U-14 Boys Champion Roshan Ajeet Singh and U-14 Girls Champion Tan Li Ting as well as the Penang based brother and sister duo of U-10 Boys Champion Teh De Juan and U-10 Girls Champion Teh De Zen.

The veterans too will also be represented too with Dato' Tan Chin Nam, father of Malaysian chess and a former FIDE Deputy President, all of 85 years young having also entered!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Playing Schedule!

The Masters & Open will be demanding physically and so I would strongly recommend that all participants get fit! And unless there is a good reason, don't forget you won't get your prize if you skip the Closing Ceremony... we should all respect the sponsor!

04 September: Arrival, 1800 Final Registration & Player's Meeting
05 September: 0900 Round 1, 1500 Round 2
06 September: 0900 Round 3, 1500 Round 4
07 September: 0900 Round 5, 1500 Round 6
08 September: Rest Day/Sightseeing
09 September: 0900 Round 7, 1500 Round 8
10 September: 0900 Round 9, 1400 Blitz, 1600 Prize Giving & Closing Ceremony

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Masters Event Takes Shape!

The line-up for the Raja Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters Championship has been finalised subject to the average player ratings qualifying the tournament for Grandmaster title norms of 6.5/9 (or +4).

1. GM Nguyen Anh Dung
2. GM Tahir Vakhidov
3. GM Niaz Murshed
4. GM Dr. Wong Meng Kong
5. IM Oliver Barbosa
6. IM Nguyen Van Huy
7. IM Kevin Goh Wei Ming
8. IM/WGM Tania Sachdev
9. IM Mas Hafizulhelmi
10. IM (Conditional) Jahongir Vakhidov

With the theme of Legends and Challengers, we have successfully put together a nice mix of veteran GMs and hungry promising IMs, a total of 7 countries represented, one medical doctor, one rose among the thorns, and Malaysia's No.1 player.

GM Nguyen from Vietnam and GM Murshed from Bangladesh are still very active players and remain mainstays of their national team and they are joined by GM Dr.Wong from Singapore who now works in Hongkong and GM Vakhidov from Uzbekistan who now serves as the trainer of the Brunei National Team.

The IMs playing for GM title norms are currently the best hopes of their countries, IM Barbosa from the Philippines already having a GM level rating with both IM Nguyen and IM Goh also in good form, having recently made GM norms.

Of course Malaysia's IM Mas and India's IM/WGM Sachdev (photo) are also well capable of making the breakthrough to GM. (And who knows what the young Vakhidov who will be awarded the IM title once his rating passes 2400 is capable of?)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Raja Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters & International Open Chess Championship 2011

After three years of a highly successful KL Open, we have felt it was time for a completely new event and not just a change of name and so this year we will see the first ever Raja Nazrin Shah Masters & International Open Chess Championship held at a premier location - the newly refurbished Swiss Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur.

To be run concurrently, the Masters will be a 10 player GM title round robin tournament - that of Legends and Challengers, while the Open will be revamped to better meet local aspirations by opening up entries to lower rated and even unrated players.

We have adjusted the prize fund in line with other international opens such as that being held in Penang every year now but have also significantly lowering our entry fees as follows:

1st: RM 5,000, 2nd: RM 3,000, 3rd: RM 2,000, 4th-10th: RM 1,000, 11th-20th: RM 500
Special Prizes
Best Women: RM 1,000, Best U-16: RM 500, Best U-12: RM 500

Entry Fees
2400> Free; 2300> RM 100; 2200> RM 200; 2100> RM 300; 200> RM 400;1800> RM 500: Others RM 600.

Subject to title rating requirements, the winner of the Open will receive an all expenses paid invitation to play in next year's Masters!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Swiss Garden Hotel & Residences

The Swiss Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur will be the venue for the Raja Nazrin Shah International (KL Open) Championship 2011.

The Grand Hibiscus will be the playing hall and yes, for those who wish to stay (and you should!) we have worked out an attractive package with the hotel which is RM 300 nett per room per night on twin sharing basis or RM 400 nett per room per night on triple sharing basis.

We will be happy to assist those who wish to get this rate by booking through us but participants are welcome to make their own arrangements with the hotel or elsewhere.  

Friday, 27 May 2011

It is now the Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Chess Championship 2011

We have decided to rename the KL Open after Raja Nazrin Shah who had kindly consented the use of his name on the Challenge Trophy since the event first started, and from now on it will be known as the Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Chess Championship (KL Open) 2011.

Raja Nazrin, for those who may have known him from his undergraduate student days, can tell you that he was also a serious tournament chessplayer!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

4th KL International Open Chess Championship 2011

The Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) is pleased to be able to announce, once  again with sponsorship from the Masterskill Education Group Berhad, the 4th KL International Open Chess Championship for the Raja Nazrin Shah Challenge Trophy from 4th-10th September 2011.

Held under the auspices of the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) at the superior 4 star Swiss Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur located between Chinatown and the city's main Bukit Bintang shopping district, the KL Open will be registered with the World Chess Federation (FIDE) as an international title and rated tournament and so be played over 9 rounds using the FIDE Swiss System with the time control used the FIDE time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

For enquiries, please email the Tournament Director at