Friday, July 10, 1998
Malaysia tops Singapore
By Quah Seng Sun
ONE popular fixture in the local chess calendar is certainly the annual match between Malaysia and Singapore. This social gathering of chess players from the two countries dated back to 1985 when the first match was hosted in Kuala Lumpur by the Malaysian Chess Federation.
At that time, the match was played over only 20 boards. The victor was the Singaporean team which notched a 21 1/2-18 1/2 win over their Malaysian counterpart. In the second match two years later in Singapore, it was the Malaysian team's win with a 9 1/2-6 1/2 score over the Singaporeans.
In 1990, the third match was again played in Singapore, this time over 26 boards and four rounds, and the score was a flattering 62 1/2-41 1/2 in the Singaporeans' favour.
While the early matches were conducted on a biennial or triennial basis, it was then decided by the MCF and the Singapore Chess Federation that beginning with the 1993 match, it should be contested annually to cement the close ties between the two countries.
The 1993 annual match was played in Kuala Lumpur and the homesters chalked an impressive 33-19 win over the visitors. This marked the first of three consecutive wins by the Malaysians as they also won the 1994 and 1995 matches. In 1994, the Malaysians won by 71-33 in Singapore and in 1995, while playing on home turf, the score was 36-24.
The popularity of this match was such that in 1995, there were even two matches played. The second such match in 1995 was played in Singapore and it was won by the Singaporeans with a very close 30 1/2-29 1/2 result. This herculean effort by the Singaporeans, however, marked the last time that they would win the annual match.
In 1996, the match went Malaysia's way by a 40-20 result. The next year, Malaysia won the match with a 74-46 drubbing of their southern neighbours.
This brings us to the present where the 1998 annual match was played two weeks ago at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. The match was contested over 34 boards and it covered a wide spectrum of players of all ages.
The Malaysians scored a 20-14 win in the first round with crucial ties like Foong Chee Leng against Chan Tat Wong (veterans), Ismail Ahmad against Chia Chee Seng, Ng Ee Vern against Mark Chan, and Ng Tse Han against Tan Chor Chuan (men's), Dion Moh against Ang Jia Jun (boy's under-16), Wong Tze Chuang against Luke Leong, and Jonathan Chuah against Jerald Tan (boy's under-12), Ooi Ching Chung against Bryan Hooi and Eric Ng against Amos Chan (boy's under-10) all going Malaysia's way.
In the women's section, valuable points were contributed by Eliza Hanum against Charlotte Ng, and Chai Hwei Meen against Zerlinda Tan (women's), Ng Ee Laine against Ng Yuk Ching (girl's under-20), Marina Soh against Sangeeta Vadev (girl's under-16), Effalini Farid against Janice Ong (girl's under-14), Hazuin Husin against Dawn Hui (girl's under-12), and Effaliana Farid against Lin Ailin (girl's under-10).
In the second round, the Malaysians' won with a wide 24 1/2-9 1/2 result. Jimmy Liew won against Malcolm Tan, Ismail Ahmad against Chia Chee Seng again, and Julian Navaratnam against Ignatius Leong (men's), Ng Ee Vern against Lau Keng Boon, and Lim Cheng Teik against Chua Han Wei (boy's under-20), Ng Tze Han against Goh Wei Ming, and Wong Zi Jing against Navin Sawalani (boy's under-18), Law Tze Kang against Mark Kay, and Aaron Yee against Clement Chia (boy's under-16), Hasrul Hussain against Desmond Oh, and Gerald Soh against B. Sriram (boy's under-14), Jonathan Chuah against Jerald Tan (boy's under-12), and Eric Ng against Bryan Hooi (boy's under-10).
The women players also fared well. Nurul Huda shrugged off a loss in the first round to beat Charlottee Ng, Nor Fatitah won against Ng Yuk Ching, and Haslinda beat Tan Ming Ju (women's). Other wins included Chai Hwei Meen against Zerlinda Tan (girl's under-20), Mardiana against Sangeetha Vadev (girl's under-16), Hsyamira Ismail against Felicia Tan (girl's under-14), Hazuin Hussain against Janice Ong, and Effaliani Farid against Lin Ailin (firl's under-12), and Effaliana Farid against Liu Yang (girl's under-10).
In the fourth round of the eighth Bayview Chess League last Sunday, Penang Free School 'A' extended their lead in the Premier Division after beating Chung Ling High School 'A' 3 1/2-1/2.
Of their nearest rivals, the Old Frees Association 'A' beat Chung Ling High School 'B' 3-1 while the Chung Ling Old Boys Association drew 2-2 with Pessca. In other matches, Methodist Boys School 'A' beat the MSSPP Juniors 4-0, and Universiti Sains Malaysia drew 2-2 with the Old Frees Association 'B'.
The Division One results saw Penang Free School 'B' beating Union High School 3-1 to retain their overall lead. Chung Ling High School 'C' beat St Xavier's Institution 'A' 2 1/2-1 1/2, Penang Development Corporation were inspired in their 4-0 win over Penang Free School 'C', Chung Ling High School 'D' beat the Penang Chess Association Novices 2 1/2-1 1/2, and Chung Hwa Confucian 'A' went down 0-4 to Hewlett-Packard.
In Division Two, the MSSPP Girls lead has been whittled down following a 1-3 loss to Penang Free School 'D'. Chung Hwa Confucian School 'B' scored a 3 1/2-1/2 win over Penang Chinese Girls High School. The Police suffered their first loss of the tournament to St Xavier's Institution 'B' with a 1 1/2-2 1/2 result, while Chung Ling High School 'E' narrowly beat Dynacraft 2 1/2-1 1/2. Westlands Secondary School suffered their third 0-4 loss to Methodist Boys School 'B'.
The final standings are:
Premier Division: PFS A (14 points); OFA A (12); CLOBA (10 1/2); CLHS A (10); MBS A (8 1/2); Pessca (6 1/2); MSSPP Juniors (5 1/2); OFA B (5); USM (4 1/2); CLHS B (3 1/2).
Division One: PFS B (14 1/2); CLHS C (12); SXI A (11 1/2); PDC (11); CLHS D (7 1/2); Hewlett-Packard (7 1/2); PCA Novices (6); PFS C (4); Chung Hwa A (3); Union (3).
Division Two: MSSPP Girls (12); Chung Hwa B (11); Police (10 1/2); PFS D (10 1/2); SXI B (10); MBS B (9); CLHS E (8 1/2); Dynacraft (4 1/2); PCGHS (2 1/2); Westlands (1 1/2).
The fifth round of the chess league will be played this Sunday beginning 10am at The City Bayview Hotel's revolving restaurant. The hotel is sponsoring the use of their premises for the weekly games.