Friday, September 18, 2009

Malaysian Masters Semi-Finals Comments

Now that the quarter-finals are over, we can look forward to the semi-finals. While the quarter-finals were rather one-sided, the semis will pitch the most experienced and strongest players currently in the local scene.

The first match will be FM Nicholas Chan versus IM Lim Yee Weng, or what I call the "amateurs" match. As both of them are currently working, so they can be considered as amateurs. This is their big disadvantage as history have proven that working outside of chess has a negative effect on your chess :)

Yee Weng will be a hard man to beat. His performance in DATMO 2008 is probably his best ever. He had a reasonable result in the Dresden Olympiad with two wins, six draws and three loses on board two. Since then his form has taken a dip with mediocre results in the DATCC Chess League, DATMO 2009 and Merdeka Team Rapid.

From personal observation on their recent play, I think Nicholas did not drop as much in form. My bet is that he will beat Yee Weng.

The second match sees IM Mashafizul against FM Mok Tze Meng. This is the battle of the "pros" as both can be considered chess professionals at this point in time. Mas is attached to Petronas but has been playing chess non-stop for some time. Mok does chess coaching as part of his source of income so undeniably he is a chess pro.

Mas has been playing non-stop for the past two (?) years mostly against strong players in international competitions. Currently he is chasing his first grandmaster norm in Europe. We can expect him to be at the top of his game.

However, Mok cannot be discounted. He has a good run winning the Penang Open ahead of Mas, great performance in DATCC Chess League, had the best performance amongst all the Malaysians at DATMO 2009 and capped off with an outstanding turnout at the Merdeka Team where he beat GM Rogelio Antonio (Philippines) in the last round.

This will be a hard match to predict. But based on rating and recent performances, I am willing to bet that the winner of this match will win the finals as well.


Post a Comment