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Friday , August 14,1998

Top Malaysian players

By Quah Seng Sun

MAS Hafizulhelmi continues to be ranked as the top Malaysian player in the July 1998 international rating list released recently by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). His rating has increased 25 points over a six-month period and it now stands at 2,400.

Ooi Chern Ee, now pursuing further studies in the United States, is still our No 2 player, rated at 2,340 despite not having played any rateable games for the past year. Jimmy Liew, who is also inactive internationally, is still third at 2,330.

Mas Hafizulhelmi (centre) maintains his position as Malaysia's No 1 chess player.
The other Malaysians in the latest FIDE list are Mok Tze Meng at 2,270 (an increase of 10 rating points), Fadli Zakaria at 2,250, Ng Ee Vern at 2,240 (an increase of 30 points), Lim Chuin Hoong at 2,225 (a decrease of 50 points), Mohd Irman Ibrahim at 2,220, Mohd Saprin Sabri at 2,210, Mohd Kamal Abdullah at 2,205, Hussein Jamil at 2,190, Mohd Fairin Zakaria at 2,185, Goh Yoon Wah at 2,180, Tan Hong Ghee at 2,150, Lim Yee-Weng at 2,140 (an increase of 10 points), Azahari Md Nor at 2,140 (an increase of 25 points), Julian Navaratnam at 2,125 (an increase of five points) and Wong Zi Jing, 2,120 (an increase of 30 points).

Lim Chin Lee and Lim Kian Hwa are both rated at 2,110, Tan Wei Sin at 2,090 (an increase of 20 points), Lim Tse-Pin at 2,070, Pang Siew Chong at 2,065, Ismail Ahmad at 2,040 (a decrease of 15 points), Roslina Marmono at 2,035 (a decrease of 30 points), Mohan Raj and Soh Zee Wee at 2,025 each, Huda Nurul Wahiduddin at 2,020 (a decrease of 20 points), Ibrahim Eliza Hanim and Ibrahim Eliza Hanum at 2,015 each, and Khairunnisa Wahiduddin, 2,005. Yeoh Chin Seng and Thomas Lam have been dropped from the FIDE list due to inactivity.

When the list first came out in July, I noticed that Ahmad Maliki and Ng Tze Han were two names missing from it. According to the results of the last Asian cities team championship at Genting Highlands in April, both Ahmad Maliki and Ng were among the players who had qualified for an initial rating from the World Chess Federation by virtue of their results in the team competition.

This anomaly was brought to the attention of the Malaysian Chess Federation secretary, Abdul Hamid Majid, who said he had already sent an enquiry to FIDE regarding the omission. He hoped that a reply could be received from the world body soon to clarify the matter.

An unprecedented success Last Sunday's Endah Parade open chess tournament at the Endah Parade Bandar Baru Sri Petaling in Kuala Lumpur was an unprecedented success for the players, organisers and sponsors of the two-weekend Endah Parade Chess challenge.

Some 102 participants turned out for this tournament, shrugging off rumours of disturbances in Kuala Lumpur which had been circulating during the weekend.

Lim Chin Lee, unbeaten in this six-round event, took the top prize of RM250. His most memorable scalp was that of Jimmy Liew whom he beat in the sixth round.

The size of the field, coupled with the fact that there were only six rounds, meant that the top seeds managed to avoid each other until the tournament was almost over. Agus Salim, for example, played with Mohd Saprin Sabri whom he beat in the fifth round, but lost to Wong Zi Jing in the sixth round. It was a costly loss for Agus for had he won, he would have tied for the first prize with Lim.

Instead, Agus found himself in an eight-way tie on five points for the second to ninth prizes. But he was in good company, for among those with the same points as him were Mohd Saprin, Wong Ji Zing, Ismail Ahmad, Liew and Ng Ek Teong. Rizal Ahmad Kamal and Effahrin Farid completed this octet.

A day earlier, the Endah Parade computer chess competition was held. This event proved to be a winner for the humans who pushed aside the chess programmes Chessmaster and Fritz with comparative ease.

The winner was Fikrul Saifuddin who scored 5 1/2 points from six games, followed by Abdul Salam with five points, and Ahmad Maliki and Wong Ji Zing who each had 4 1/2 points.

Who will be second?

Although there is one more round to be played in the eighth Penang Bayview Chess League, the championship race in the Premier Division has already been decided. In the eighth round last Sunday, Penang Free School A clinched the Bayview challenge trophy after beating the MSSPP Juniors 4-0.

The PFS team now has an unassailable score of 27 1/2 points which is five points clear of their nearest rival, Chung Ling High School A, which could only manage a narrow 2 1/2-1 1/2 victory over the Chung Ling Old Boys Association. Old Frees Association A is third place in the current standings with a 3-1 win over Universiti Sains Malaysia.

The Old Frees Association B and Methodist Boys School A played to a 2-2 draw, but Chung Ling High School B fell to a 0-4 defeat at the hands of Pessca.

In Division One, Chung Ling High School C has a comfortable lead in the standings despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Union High School. Their closest rival, Penang Free School B, fell to a second shock 1-3 defeat to Hewlett-Packard. The PFS team's defeat enabled both the Penang Development Corporation and St Xavier's Institution to leapfrog it.

SXI crushed Penang Free School C 4-0, while PDC beat Chung Ling High School D 3-1. The final match in this division, between Chung Hwa Confucian A and Penang Chess Association Novices, ended with a 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile, Polis Di Raja Malaysia has joined Penang Free School D at the top of Division Two. Polis carved out a 4-0 win over Chung Ling High School E while PFS D beat the Penang Chinese Girls High School 3-1. The MSSPP Girls kept up the pressure on the two leaders by beating Dynacraft 3-1.

In other matches, St Xavier's Institution B beat Methodist Boys School B 2 1/2-1 1/2, while Chung Hwa Confucian B beat Westlands Secondary School 3-1.

Standings: Premier Division: PFS A 27 1/2 pts; CLHS A 22 1/2 pts; OFA A 22 pts; CLOBA 20 1/2 pts; Pessca 17 1/2 pts; MBS A 13 1/2 pts; USM 13 pts; OFA B 9 1/2 pts; MSSPP Juniors 8 pts; and CLHS B 6 pts.

Division One: CLHS C 25 pts; PDC and SXI A 22 1/2 pts; PFS B 22 pts; Hewlett-Packard 18 1/2 pts; CLHS D 13 1/2 pts; PCA Novices 10 1/2 pts; Union 9 1/2 pts; Chung Hwa Confucian A 9 pts; and PFS C 7 pts.

Division Two: PFS D and Polis 23 pts each; MSSPP Girls 21 1/2 pts; Chung Hwa Confucian B 20 1/2 pts; SXI B 18 1/2 pts; MBS B 14 pts; CLHS E 13 1/2 pts; Dynacraft 12 1/2 pts; PCGHS 9 pts; and Westlands 4 1/2 pts.

The round-by-round results of the Bayview Chess League can be viewed from the Penang Chess Association homepage on the Internet at

The final round of the chess league will be played at 12pm this Sunday at The City Bayview Hotel. The hotel is sponsoring the use of its premises for the weekly games.

Get set for the Johor Baru open The Johor Baru District Chess Club will hold its eighth Johor Baru open chess tournament at the Dewan Menara Komtar, Johor Baru on Aug 30 in conjunction with the National Day celebrations.

This event, which is jointly organised with Johor Land Berhad, will be divided into the open, under-16 and under-12 sections. There will be 10 cash prizes in each section, with prizes of RM300, RM100 and RM80 going to the respective winners.

Entry fees for the open section: RM15. Players entering for the under-16 event are required to pay RM7, while RM5 will be charged for those playing in the under-12 section. The games start at 8.30am on Aug 30, and only the first 250 entries will be accepted.

For more information about the tournament, contact Narayanan Krishnan ( 07-333-8215). Entries will close on Aug 28.

Local rating events FCLChess, a new chess outfit in the Klang Valley, will organise a series of local rating events with the first scheduled this Sunday at the Subang Holiday Villa in Selangor. Entry fee: RM15. There will be four sections -- under-8, under-10, under-12 and under-14.

For more information, contact Foong Chee Leng ( 013-360-2316).

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