Sunday, February 8, 2015

Merdeka Team 2002

Recently I found amongst my old scoresheets, games from the 2002 Merdeka Team Championship. I have already forgotten how many times I have competed in this event. I thought there were years when I had stopped playing completely but evidence shows that I played in 2002 as well as 2003.

The 2002 Championship was quite special as it was held after the World Youth Under-16 Olympiad in Malaysia. Some of the teams stayed back for this tournament. This meant a stronger than normal event. I played for the Chess Network though I do not remember who my team-mates were, apparently we were quite strong because my score-sheets showed that we were on the top table for most of the rounds. Only in the final round we were relegated to the second table.

Among my opponents were two not familiar names to me at the time. Of course now they are quite famous, Vietnamese Le Quang Liem and Chinese Wang Yue were some of my opponents and I was only playing on board three! Wang Yue was only an FM then but already sporting a 2400+ rating while Quang Liem was below 2200. Today both of them are 2700+ grandmasters.

As this was a rapid event, my scoring stopped in the early middle-game so there are no complete games to show. Worse was that I did not even record the results of most of my games, which was quite unlike me at all. I guess at that time I was already dis-illusioned with chess and playing only as  a favor to a friend.  I only have two recorded results and one of them was against Wang Yue which I drew. I was rated around 2333 then so I guess my chess was still not too much of an embarrassment.


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