As the organizer requires everyone to login by 10:30am local Malaysian time, most players (including officials and “kay poh chee” onlookers like me) were already logged into the zoom meeting application by 10:20am. It was good to see some familiar faces on the screen i.e. Mr Casto Abundo, Mr Mahdi Abdulrahim and Mr KK Chan overseeing the tournaments. As the championship were divided between boys and girls, the most logical thing to do was to logged in using 2 laptops – one for each category, in order to be able to see all the players in the event, and it was indeed an interesting experience.
The event was a bit chaotic when it started at 11:00am as many finds themselves in unfamiliar territory. According to ACF Director Mr Casto Abundo, Zone 3.3 is the biggest zone – with the most players, as such it was a quite a challenge to get everyone organized from the very start. But eventually, even like in real tournaments, things gradually settled down and by Round 3, players and officials began to familiarize themselves with the “new norm” of playing chess online. But still, once in a while, as players are required to switch on their audio/microphone and video feed throughout the duration of the tournament, unwanted noise like the screeching sounds of feedback caused by the microphones and the usual daily noises emanating from players’ houses, can be heard rather clearly every now and then. But despite the unwanted noise that occur throughout, most players are also able to hear the instructions given by the arbiters, and likewise, the arbiters are also able to hear requests made by players hence, the situation seems to be very manageable and tolerable.
An interesting feature of the tournament is that although the 7 round swiss tournament is played via www.chess.com – where the pairings are usually done by www.chess.com system, the pairings for this tournament is still done manually “outside of the system” via Swiss Manager pairing application that is skillfully managed by KK – for the boys, and Mahdi – for the girls. Once the pairing is done and uploaded onto www.chess-results.com, the same pairing will also be uploaded onto www.chess.com for the players to be automatically paired in order to avoid pairing errors against the method where the player themselves were to challenge their own opponent. But still, there were a few occasion where the players still have to perform a manual challenge to their opponents as the pairing system does not seem to work all the time.
With a faster time control, the event was expected to be completed rather quickly but this was not the case. Although the time control was 10 minutes plus 2 seconds increment per move, it took the organizer almost 2 1/2 hours to complete the first 4 rounds of the event. The games then continued at 2:15pm and by 4:00pm, all the seven (7) rounds were completed successfully. And just like any normal real over-the-board tournament, there were also hiccups here and there with regards to score submission and pairing, and with other added incidences that are unique to online tournaments such as a player experiencing power outage at her house, laptop crashing and require rebooting, and accidental log out from zoom and website pages. But, all in all, the issues were resolved and the event continued and completed as scheduled.
For our Malaysian squad, it was a mix result from both the Boys and Girls players
For the Boys, FM Rohan Navaratnam was our best performer with 5 points – finishing in 6th placed overall. Youngster Anderson Ang was placed 11th with 4 points and Amir Ghaazi at 27th placing with 2.5 points. 4 players tied for the top spot with 5.5 points each but after the tie break, Philippines IM Quizon Daniel was declared the winner followed by Mongolia’s IM Batsuren Dambasuren and another Philippines Reyes Chester Neil. Missing the cut was Vietnam’s FM Le Minh Hoang due to his lower tie break althought earning the same number of points. Full listing for the final standing can be found at http://chess-results.com/tnr527925.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=7&flag=30
For the Girls, WCM Sim Jia Ru was our best performer with 5 points and placed 4th overall. WCM Goh Jie YIe was in 18th placing with 3 points and Nurul Akma Quzaina in 26th placing with 2 points. The top finisher for the Girls section was Mongolia’s WIM Munkhzul Turmunkh with a perfect score 7 points out of 7 rounds, followed by her compatriot WFM Altantuya Boldbaatar who was a point behind and Indonesia’s WFM Singgih Diajeng Theresa who also had 6 points. The full winner’s list can be found at http://chess-results.com/tnr527924.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=7&flag=30
At the end of the event, there was also a short discussion between MCF and ACF Director on how the Online Chess experience can be further improved especially in organizing standard games with longer time control while at the same time, mitigating scheduling and cheating issues. There is also a similar proposal by Australia to organize an Online Chess Tournaments between countries where players are gathered inside a single venue for easier monitoring and improved efficiency in tournament handling.
In any event, the Malaysian Chess Federation would like to CONGRATULATE all our players for a good showing at the championship – regardless what the final position or the final score was. It was a great experience for everyone – players and officials alike, and we look forward to the next outing for our National contingent.
Thank you for making this outing a success.
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