Singapore vs Malaysia Chess Challenge 2010 Print
Thursday, 18 February 2010 12:38
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) 15-17 February 2010

This year's Chess Challenge between neighboring Malaysia and Singapore marked the 25th anniversary of the Chess Challenges that had started back in 1985.

Organized jointly by the Malaysia Chess Federation and the Singapore Chess Federation, the Challenge for Dato Tan Kim Yeow Trophy featured 38 board matches played over 16 age-group categories, ranging from Girls under 8 up to Veterans 55+, 2x using standard time controls (90 minutes + 30 seconds increment) and 2x with rapid time controls (25 minutes + 10 seconds increment).

16 February 2010 round 1: Malaysia opened their Tiger year with a roaring start by beating Singapore 22–16 in the first round playing white on all 38 boards, as per match regulations. Singapore Team Captain and Head Coach Jovan Petronic noted that the Malaysian Contingent, this year is much stronger than those in previous editions of the series. Nevertheless it was still difficult to predict the final results. He thought the situation will become clearer when Singapore takes on White on 38 boards in round 2 of the match. Despite the fact that it is only a friendly, the individual matches were intense and there were zero quick draws. The Singapore Young Lions hoped to claw back the results in Round 2 playing all as White.

16 February 2010 round 2: A large crowd witnessed the nail-biting finish in the second round of the match. With one board remaining and Malaysia leading 18-19, tension was high as both teams were kept on their toes wondering if Malaysia will score two consecutive victories. Eventually, Singapore IM Enrique Paciencia prevailed with a win over Malaysia's top ranked player IM Mas Hafizulhelmi to score the last point of the round to even out the score at 19 – 19. Team Singapore remained in good spirit and pledged to do their best in the remaining two rounds to be played with rapid time control, which would theoretically favour Team Malaysia.

17 February 2010 round 3: Playing with renewed vigour and determination, Team Singapore rebounded in Round 3 beating Malaysia 20.5 – 17.5 in rapid match play, with 38 black pieces. The good results were fueled by the generous offer by Senior Player Jimmy Ng who offered '3 figure sum' Ang Pow bonus for Singapore Players who score three points and more. Other players also clamoured for more 'ang pows' and kind sponsor Jimmy Ng generously agreed to give all players who win Round 4, an Ang Pow each! With this festive gesture, Team Officials are kept their fingers crossed for a resounding results in Round 4.

17 February 2010 round 4: With three gutsy cheers for Singapore before the start of Round 4, Team Singapore was ready to take on Malaysia and to cut the deficit and turn it into a victory. Largely spurred on by the improved performances over the last two rounds, the team was determined to continue our victorious run in the series. The Singapore-Malaysia match started in 1985 and in the past 25 years, a total of 20 annual matches had been contested, with Singapore leading the series 10 – 9. Going into the fourth and final round, the deficit has been cut down to 3 points with Singapore trailing. In the final few minutes of Round 4, with the score at 20 – 17 in favour of Singapore and one board remaining, Osric Mooi threw in his full weight to beat Malaysia's latest International Master and 2nd ranked player Mok Tze Meng, in a nail biting encounter, thus giving Singapore a slim 1 point margin victory. Osric’s victory practically gave Singapore the match, 76.5 – 75.5.



MAS

SIN

Round 1 (standard)

22

16

Round 2 (standard)

19

19

Round 3 (rapid)

17½

20½

Round 4 (rapid)

17

21

Total

75½

76½



challenge
Singapore Team Captain & Head Coach – IM & FST Jovan Petronic (left) receiving the Dato Tan Kim Yeoh Trophy from Vice President of Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) - Tn. Hj. Ibrahim Abu Bakar.


challenge_1
Osric Mooi (left) is victorious in the last and decisive game of the match


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Christer Aplin (right) uncorking a brilliant winning rook sacrifice (Rh4-h8+!!). Black resigned here


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IM Enrique Paciencia (right) closing the gap vs IM Mas


challenge_4
Melissa Lo’s inspirational queen sacrifice caught on camera (Ne4xpf2!!)


For more details and round-by-round results, please visit www.singaporechess.org.sg
 
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