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?)