Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Penang wins 2016 Inter-state Championship

The 2016 Inter-State Chess Championship was held at M.S. Garden Hotel in Kuantan, Pahang from 25th-28th November. The Open tournament had 14 teams and played a six round Swiss while the Womens had only six teams and a round-robin replaced the Swiss.

This tournament has always been hotly contested between Selangor  (FM Nicholas Chan, FM Lim Zhuo Ren, IM Jimmy Liew, Marcus Chan and NM Kamal Abduallah) and Penang (Looi Xin Hao, FM Wong Yinn Loong, IM Ooi Zhi Yang, Tan Khai Boon and NM Ng Tze Han). This time, the Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (Lye Lik Zang, IM Mas Hafizul, Zaidan  Zulkipli, CM Ng Jen Sheng and, WFM Tan Li Ting) secured the services of IM Mas Hafizul and they were seen as possible contenders. In a bizarre move, they put youngster Lye Lik Zang on board one instead of IM Mas and I believe this to be a mistake which eventually put them out of contention. If Lye Lik Zang was on third or fourth board, K.L. would have a fighting chance for the championship.

In round 3 , Kuala Lumpur lost narrowly to Selangor.

The match between Penang and Selangor was in round 4 and this was clearly going to decide the championship. Nicholas Chan lost a winning game to Looi Xin Hao while I was caught in the opening by new IM Ooi Zhi Yang. The other two boards were losing for Selangor as well but the Penang players surprised by offering draws to secure the match.

Kuala Lumpur was paired with Penang in the fifth round and they had to win to get back into contention for the championship. In order to move IM Mas to first board they had to rest Lye Lik Zang. IM Mas was held to a draw and they had to be satisfied with a 2-2 result.

In the womens event, it was also clear that Selangor and Penang will be competing for the championship. The two met in round four and the former beat the latter narrowly to decide the first place.

The final crosstable -


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