ZONAL 3.3 kicked off with 13 aspiring MalaysiansMCF Secretariat 02/05/2021 0 COMMENTS
In 2017, it was elation for the chess community when the then-FM Yeoh Li Tian surprised everyone by taking the top spot in the Zonal Championship and qualified as the first Malaysian ever to enter the World Championship Cycle Match. Although beaten in the first round to non other than former World Champion Vishy Anand, Tian did Malaysia proud for he has carved a new benchmark for many Malaysian youngsters to follow. 4 years down the line, 13 Malaysian hopefuls will now try to emulate Tian’s success to become the next Malaysian(s) to qualify for the Championship Cycle scheduled to be held in Sochi, Russia later in the year.
For the Malaysians, two (2) Hybrid centers were set up in KL and Penang with 7 players playing from Chess Hacks in Bukit Jelutong, and the balance 6 players from Marcus Chess Academy in Bayan Lepas, Penang. For the Malaysians, FM Lye Lik Zang is the highest seeded Malaysian at 9th seed, followed by FM Lim Zhuo Ren in 15th seed and CM Tan Jun Ying in 24th seed. The youngest Malaysian to play in the Zonal is Anderson Ang at 11 years old (38th seed) and Divyadarshini Loganathan (50th seed) as the sole female representative.
Although the Vietnamese have decided to give the Zonal a miss, and many top Philippines players are also absence from the list – including a bunch of Mongolian players who registered earlier but pulled out, the event still manage to attract 52 regional players with host Philippines fielding 24 players for the tournament. Malaysia is the second biggest contingent with 13 players followed by Indonesia with 10 players. GM Susanto Megaranto is the highest seeded player in the tournament followed by GM Novendra Priasmoro in 2nd seed and IM Tin Jingyao from Singapore as the 3rd seed.
After 2 days of event – round 1 started yesterday on 1st May 2021, 6 players – Indonesia’s IM Yoseph Theolifus Taher, FM Pitra Andyka and IM Mohamad Ervan, and Phillipines IM Michael Jr Concio, IM Daniel Quizon and Michael Gotel, are leading the pack with 2 points each. GM Megaranto Susanto suffered a shocking first round defeat to Thai CM Prin Laohawirapap and situation did not improve for him as he drew with Philippines Christian Mark Daluz in the 2nd round.
For the Malaysian players, FM Lye Lik Zang and CM Tan Jun Ying are leading the local pack with 1.5 points each, followed by FM Lim Zhuo Ren, Poh Yu Tian, Teh Wee Zhun and Anderson Ang Ern Jie with 1 point each. FM Rohan Shan Tze Navaratnam who was sensational in his opening round by drawing GM Laylo Darwin, did not manage to continue his good streak after losing to compatriot FM Lye Lik Zang in their 2nd round encounter. Although played via Hybrid mode, Lik Zang and Rohan decided to have their games being played over the board instead of the usual Online mode as both players are playing from Chess Hacks in Bukit Jelutong. For those who wants to view Rohan’s sensational draw with GM Laylo Darwin, please click on the following link with commentaries provided by local chess blogger Hairul Hamid aka Hairulov at https://youtu.be/gMMLVRxXdOA Another review by Hairulov can also be seen at https://youtu.be/KsNaPAH56FY featuring FM Lim Zhuo Ren’s second round encounter with IM Yoseph Theolifus Taher
At the start of the 1st round yesterday, MCF President – Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, decided to pop for a surprise visit at Chess Hacks Bukit Jelutong to encourage our players who are taking in the historical event. Historical as this is a major event done via Hybrid and secondly, the biggest Malaysia contingent to the Zonal – thanks to the availability of Hybrid.
Round 3 will start at 2:00pm tomorrow (same start time for all the rounds) and the event will continue on a daily basis with the final round 9 to be played on Sunday, 9th May 2021. Top 2 players from the Zonal will automatically qualify for the World Championship cycle. Although the event does not offer any norms for the players, it would be interesting to see if FM Lim Zhuo Ren can hit the ELO 2400 rating points during this event to confirm his IM title – the 9th Malaysian player to achieve such a feat.
All pairings and results for the tournament can be found at http://chess-results.com/tnr557784.aspx?lan=1&art=4&turdet=YES or via Tornela website at www.tornelo.com
MCF wishes all the players all the best and successes – may chess continue to develop and improve, and become the sports of choice for many.
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