Dr.NM Ng Ee Vern (Pahang) playing in MAKSAK for the first time and win 1st board price by winning (pukul!) against all his 1st board opponent!
Ok guys, first i would like to admit that the headline is rather inaccurate to describe the final outcome of this year MAKSAK 2008. This is because Terengganu - the defending Champion won this events with 5.5 points different from the runners up - Kuala Lumpur. They actually secured the tittle with a round to spare, however it will be a dull reporting if i use the "correct" headline such as Terengganu retain title , Terengganu won...etc.etc and even worse..... i nearly intend to copy last year report! with few changes (years, venue, etc.).
Anyway before i go to the dramatic part, let starts with the normal introduction of the tournament.
The Majlis Kebajikan dan Sukan Anggota-Anggota Kerajaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu (MAKSAK) Chess, Dart and Carom tournaments finished after three days of battle at the Bilik Tanjung, Dewan Sri Pinang, Lebuh Light, Pulau Pinang from 1st -3rd August 2008.
This year, the annual event is host by Pulau Pinang . The format has been changed where the tournament are held with two phase - the qualifying phase and the pools ( Winners and Losers) . The time controls is 45 minutes to finish the game. 15 state and three government agencies compete in this annual event .
Several top Malaysian players played at the events such as NM Dr. Ng Ee Vern ( FIDE 2224 inactive) from Pahang , NM Kamal Ariffin (FIDE 2110) and Ahmad Maliki ( FIDE 2254 inactive) Rizal Ahmad Kamal (FIDE 2022) from KL, Ismail Ahmad ( FIDE 2111) and seasoned and experienced players such as Hashim Jusoh and NorAzmi (Terengganu) , Abang Mohd Reduan (FIDE 2083), Lim Kian Hwa (FIDE 1990) and Morshin Ahmad ( FIDE1941 ) , Japeri Reduan (FIDE 1854) from Sarawak, Azizul Mat Daud (FIDE 2065) from Kelantan, Noorulah Omar (FIDE 2002) from Johor, Khor Ben Hwa (FIDE 1946) from Penang, Zulkafli Mat Daud (FIDE 1883) from Selangor and others to name a few. I played as the reserve in the KL team with NM Kamal Arifin , Ahmad Maliki, Rizal Ahmad Kamal, Mohd Zambri, Azman Hisham (reserve) .
This year edition features strong challenges from team like Pahang, Selangor and even Kelantan. The teams show signs of challenging the "status quo" by giving hard times to the former champs teams such as Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak and the defending and eventual champion - Terengganu.
Below are the results of the winners pools.
Champion : Terengganu : 21 points
Runners-up : Kuala Lumpur : 15.5 points
3rd : Pahang : 15 points
4th : Selangor : 14.5 points
5th : Sarawak : 13 points
6th : Kelantan: 12.5 points
7th : Johor : 12.5 points
8th : Pulau Pinang : 8 points
correction: Kelantan is in 6th place because they beat johor 3-3
p/s : Sorry, i didnt have the results for the looser pools ( Perlis, Perak,Negeri Sembilan, PDRM, ATM, Labuan, Penjara) but will try update it later.
As i mentioned earlier, the drama happen in the final round, but first look at the team standings before the final round start.
Standing after round 6 (Winners pool)
1. Terengganu 19 points
2. Selangor 13.5 points
3. Sarawak 12 points
4. Pahang 12 points
5. Kuala Lumpur 11.5 points
6. Johor 10.5 points
7.Kelantan 9.5 points
8. Pulau Pinang 8 points
If you noticed , except for Terengganu who already secured the title, the standings for the 2nd-5th place in the 6th round is almost the opposite of the final standings after round 7. However, the final round pairings ( see below) happen to be in favour of Kuala Lumpur because they meet the tail ender- Pulau Pinang.
Final Round (Round 7) pairing ( Winners Pool) and results
Pahang vs Selangor : 3-1
Sarawak vs Kelantan : 1-3
Kuala Lumpur vs Pulau Pinang : 4-0
In the end, Kuala Lumpur which is in 5th place before the final round dramaticly finnish in the 2nd place in the final standings after beating Pulau Pinang 4-0 where as Pahang "helps" by beating Selangor3-1 and to complete the story, Kelantan unexpectedly beat Sarawak 3-1!
The Tournament Hall in Bilik Tanjung,Dewan Sri Pinang
Kuala Lumpur (left) against Sarawak (right)
Before i end my part 1 report, below are an interesting position arise in my team mate - Azman ( father of Nabila and Nabil!) game against Johorean - Goh Jit Siang in round 1 qualifying round.
Azman is clearly winning as position below. His last move is 25...Nxe3 which obviously looks like a normal attack against the rook on d1.
Goh Jit Siang (Johor) vs Azman Hisham Che Dol (KL)
Round 1, 1.08.2008, MAKSAK 2008, Penang
An interesting final position that deserve a diagram! - as what i promise to Azman !
Interesting games ( NM Ng Ee Vern, Hafishelmi, Abang Reduan, Rizal Ahmad Kamal) and others will follow in next part, stay tuned!