Friday, January 15, 1999
National allegro Grand Prix returns
By Quah Seng SunAFTER a lapse of several years, the national allegro Grand Prix circuit is back. This 15-leg event, initiated by the Malaysian Chess Federation and sponsored by Bank Pertanian Malaysia, will be launched on Jan 31.
On this date, the MCF will hold the first leg of the Grand Prix at the Bank Pertanian building in Jalan Lebuh Pasar, Kuala Lumpur. The remaining legs will be held in various parts of the country after the Chinese New Year celebrations and will be organised by the respective state chess associations.
In states without a recognised chess body, the MCF will run the legs. The MCF will release the dates for the various legs later.
Each leg consists of six rounds and offer a total cash prize of RM1,500. The bulk of the prize will go to the main winners while RM500 is set aside for other winners such as the best women, under-16 or under-12 players.
The winner of each leg will qualify for the final of the Grand Prix which will be held in Kuala Lumpur in October.
Entry fees are RM15 for adults and RM6 for junior players in each of the legs run directly by the MCF. State chess associations that organise their legs can charge members a lower fee of RM10 and RM5 respectively.
For the initial event at the end of the month, the closing date for entries is Jan 30. However, the MCF will receive last-minute entries provided players pay the late penalty which is an additional RM10.
Entry forms are available in the foyer of Bank Pertanian and also from MCF secretary Abdul Latif Mohamad ( 03-282 6341).
Meanwhile, Persatuan Catur Melayu Malaysia, which had postponed holding the PCMM Malay Open during the Christmas period, will now hold it during the two-day Chinese New Year break.
This event is also sponsored by Bank Pertanian and will likely be held in the Bank Pertanian building. There will only be one main category, but special prizes will go to the best women, under-16 and under-12 players.
Hectic month for Penang
THERE has been a spurt of chess activities in Penang during the past three weekends, and I hear from the Penang Chess Association that one more tournament is scheduled in the state at the end of the month.
The first of the weekend events in Penang was held on Dec 27 at the clubhouse of the Bayan Baru Residents' Association in Bandar Bayan Baru, Penang. Lim Chuin Hoong won this tournament, the third leg of the Penang Grand Prix, scoring 5 1/2 points to emerge top among the 39 players.
Teng Wei Peng and Jonathan Chuah tied for the second place, each scoring five points. Ng Tze Han, Eoh Thean Keat, Ooi Chuen Chieh and Colin Chong, had 4 1/2 points each while Khor Shihong, Lim Jean Nie and Chuah Heng Meng scored four points each.
A week later, Universiti Sains Malaysia's Bridge and Chess Club organised its two-weekend chess festival.
On the first weekend, Jan 2-3, USM ran its individual event. With 112 players taking part, rivalry among the top-seeded players was very intense but they were all overshadowed by UKM student Fikrul Saifuddin who managed to capture the top prize.
Fikrul, together with Chuin Hoong, Jonathan, Khor and Teng, had finished the tournament with six points, but he had just a slightly better tie-break which was sufficient for him to claim the first prize of RM450.
Ng and Heng Meng, both with 5 1/2 points, were the other two prize winners. Lim Yew San and Teng Wei Khoon, who also had 5 1/2 points each, and Lim Ming Teng, with five points, missed out on the main prizes but bagged the consolation prizes as the best under-15 players.
Three prizes were given to the best players from a tertiary institution and these went to Samsul Ariffin, Tang Chi Yan and Lim Cheng Teik. Jean Nie, Oh Hui Ling and Bong Mee Tin won the under-15 girls' prizes while the three under-12 prizes went to Nicholas Chan, Tan Yik Ping and Lee Heng Wei.
A week later, USM held its team tournament. The response was also good with 30 teams playing in the event. The winner was Chung Ling High School "A" which just managed to pip Penang Free School "A" by a mere half point. The Chung Ling boys scored 20 points to the Penang Free School's 19 1/2 points.
As expected, these two teams were way ahead of the other 28 teams. Their closest rivals were the Chung Ling Old Boys Association (CLOBA) and another team which called itself www.losers.com. Both CLOBA and www.losers.com tied with 15 points each.
CLOBA was unfortunate to meet the CLHS "A" in the final round and the former showed their older counterparts no favour at all. Losers.com had a comparatively easier time in disposing of Penang Free School "C" in the final round.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Pessca, USM "A", USM99, Penang Chess Association and St Xavier's Institution "A" finished with 14 1/2 points each but they were all out of the running for a main prize. UTM, however, won the best tertiary institution prize while the MSSPP Girls took the best ladies' prize.
The next tournament in Penang, the fourth and last preliminary leg of the Penang Grand Prix, will be played on Jan 31 at the Berjaya Georgetown Hotel, which is next to the Midland One-Stop Centre in Pulau Tikus. Only Penang Chess Association (PCA) members can take part in this event.
Readers interested in playing in this event should contact Goh Yoon Wah ( 04-644 5687 in the evening) or Ooi Kiem Boo ( 04-657 4596, office hours).
Prizes include RM200 for the winner, RM120 for the runner-up and RM80 for the third-placed. There are five other smaller cash prizes, and also prizes for the best junior and woman players. Entry fee is RM10 per player.
Besides cash prizes, top players from each leg will be awarded GP points. The selection of 10 finalists will depend on the total GP points that the players accumulated from their best three legs.
For details of this circuit, visit the PCA homepage at (http://surf.to/pgchess).
Want to play in Iran?
The Iranian authorities, I was told, are organising an international open tournament in Teheran from Feb 6 to 11. This nine-round event, known as the second Fajar open, offers players a chance to grab US$3,000 (RM11,400) in prizes.
Entry fees are structured according to Fide ratings. Grandmasters, international masters and those with ratings above 2400 get to play free of charge, players whose ratings are between 2300 and 2395 will be charged US$20 (RM76), players rated between 2200 and 2295, US$30 (RM114), and those rated between 2000 and 2195, US$40 (RM152). Unrated players are required to pay US$50 (RM190) as entry fee.
Anyone interested in this tournament should contact MCF secretary Abdul Latif Mohamad ( 03-282 6341) before the end of this month as the closing date for entries is Feb 1. But remember, all expenses will be borne by the players themselves. The MCF's role is just to register the players with the Iranian organisers.
Chess Association of Selangor's first event for the year is the Nanang International juniors (under-12) open tournament which is scheduled for Jan 24. The event will be played at the Nanang International premises at Jalan Datuk Sulaiman in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
This is a six-round event which offers 10 cash prizes for the winners. The champion will receive RM120 and the runner-up, RM70. The top three winners will also receive a volume of Ruicao Ginseng.
Entry fees are RM10 for members of the CAS and RM12 for non-members. Due to space constraint at the tournament venue, CAS will only accept entries on a first-come-first-served basis. For details on the tournament and registration of players, call CAS secretary Jackie Wong at 03-703 8237.