Monday, 12 September 2011
Saturday, 10 September 2011
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
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.
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.
Friday, 9 September 2011
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.
Thursday, 8 September 2011
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).
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
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.
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.
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
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.
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.
Monday, 5 September 2011
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.
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.
Sunday, 4 September 2011
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.