Brunei Campomanes Grandmaster Open 2012 Print
Monday, 09 April 2012 07:04
With 40 players from 8 countries including 7 Grandmasters, 5 International Masters and 3 FIDE Masters, the Brunei Campomanes Grandmaster Open 2012 got underway on Sunday.

Organised by the Brunei Chess Federation from 7-12 April under the leadership of its President Hj Zainal Ali with Vice President Pg Abdul Rahman Yussof the Tournament Director, the latest edition of the Campomanes Memorial was made possible through a prize fund of USD 10,000 provided by Rosneft.

Top seeded is Oliver Barbosa from the Philippines who is back for his third successive annual pilgrimage to Brunei and he is expected to have serious competition from Vietnam's Dao Thien Hai and Uzbekistan's Dzhumaev Marat and Vakhidov as well as from experienced competitors Richard Bitoon, Nguyen Anh Dung and Oliver Dimakiling.
Round by round parings and results for the 9 round Swiss Tournament will be available at

Group photo

The Brunei Campomanes Grandmaster Open 2012 will be followed by a 10 player Round Robin FIDE title norm tournament held from 13-17 April 2012 and more chess is of course available soon after at the 750 Years Melaka International Chess Festival in Malaysia from 20 April to 1 May 2012.

The first round started seemingly routine for the top seeds but after an hour of play it became obvious that getting the full point wasn't going to be so simple for some. But as is usually the case, the more experienced professionals were able to break through in the third hour of play.

Of the favourites, GMs Barbosa, Dao, Marat, Vakdhidov, and Nguyen had no problems. But the challengers found it a bit more difficult with many young Malaysians putting up a fight.

For example 11 year old Benjamin Lee was stubbornly holding on against former Filipino junior champion Mari Joseph Turqueza and after finally reaching a drawn position to record the first surprise of the day, he then decided to actually try and win and in a few moves was completely lost. Still it would have been a wonderful learning experience!


Although rated over 450 points less, teenager Fong Yit Ho did deliver the big upset the round had promised for so long with no less than a Grandmaster scalp when he outplayed Richard Bitoon in a blitz finish but by then he was already winning as the Filipino had gambled in a position where he was not better and perhaps even a little bit worst after he misjudged and misplayed his attack.

It was a great achievement indeed for a young member of one of the most dedicated chess playing families!

With a field of just 40 players, tough match ups came early and so there were many harder fights in round two that would be normally expected but none of the pretenders seriously tried to take on the favourites.

But of course to win a tournament you need a great will to win and three of the most uncompromising players in any tournament they play in would have to be Dzhumaev Marat, Oliver Dimakiling and Yap Kim Steven and so far all are showing excellent form to go with their self belief.

And joining them in the lead with 2/2 in their own determined way are Siriam Jha, Nguyen Anh Dung and both Tahir and Jakhongir Vakhidov as well as Sharma Dinesh K who took down an overly ambitious top seeded Oliver Barbosa.

Ceremonial Opening Moves

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