Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015 Malaysian Chess Festival

The 12th edition of this Festival ended Sunday. As in past years, the players were treated to a sumptuous dinner followed by the prize ceremony.

I partipated in the KLK Seniors section as in past years. I have always come second but this year was a stronger field with two grandmasters and a strong IM from Indonesia. My final placing was 5th good for the Best Malaysian prize.

The winner was Dimitry Kayumov, also a previous champion. This year there was stiff challenge from Russian GM Fominyh and IM Ronny Gunawan from Indonesia. In the end Kayumov drew with both and won the rest of his games for a 8/9 score. Fominyh came in second as he was held to a draw from Filipino Bagamasbad Efren. Ronny Gunawan took the third placing with solid play despite being away from serious competition for over twenty years.

In round six I bungled this won ending.

Jimmy Liew - Dang Tat Thang

I was down to increments and continued poorly. The simple win is to defend the f-pawn and advance with the king, 39. Rh4 Ke7 40. Kc3 Ke6 41. Kd4 Kf5 42.
Rh6 and white will pick up the queen-side pawns. I thought I played a clever move.

 39. e6  Expecting to pick up Black's b-pawn.

39... a6 Totally overlooked by me. The win is more difficult now as pawn exchanges on the king-side is now inevitable. The line is 41. exf7 Kxf7 42. Rh7+! Kg6  (If the king goes to the back rank he is cut off forever and will lose) 43. Ra7 b4 44. Rxa6+ Kf5 45. a4! Maintains a pawn for an easy win.
Black's pawns on c4 and b4 are easily blocked by the white king.

40 f5?? After this the draw is secured for black.

41... fxe6 42. fxe6 b4 43. axb4 (43. a4 Nc5 44. Rc8 Nxa4 45. Rxc4 Kxe6 is an easy draw. )
43... Nxb4+ 44. Kc3 Nd5+ 45. Kxc4 Nf4 46. Ra8 Kxe6 47. Rxa6+ Ke5 48. Ra1 Ke4 and white no longer can win.

The Malaysian Open was won by Jahongir Vakhidov. He has been playing here for a number of years as an untitled player but is now a full fledged GM.  He won the first four rounds but slowed down in the last three with consecutive draws. This allowed a number of players to catch up and he only won on tie-break.

It is clear that Malaysian players are streets behind the rest in the region. This is more glaring in the Challengers section where the top two seeds are locals but they could not challenge the unrated Filipinos and Indonesians. Philippines swept most of the top prizes.

The only bright spot I could see was local lass Ho Chen Ee, rated a lowly 1461 scored 6/9 against mostly higher rated players to finish 18th and gain a whopping 160 ELO points.

Full chess results:

Malaysia Challenge

Malaysia Open

KLK Seniors