Sunday, December 07, 2008

No Malaysian Players in the Singapore Masters 2008 ?

I checked with the official site for the 5th SINGAPORE CHESS FEST 2008 - Singapore Masters & Challengers International Open Tournaments which will be held from 9th December -15th December 2008 at the Teck Ghee Community Club, Singapore and sadly... there will be no Malaysian players playing in the Masters section. As my previous post, both Malaysian top players - IM Mashafizul and IM elect Lim Yee Weng couldn't play. In Mas case, his father poor health condition couldn't permit him to be in Singapore while FM Lim Yee Weng has no annual leave left . In fact Yee Weng has take a few advance leave !

I expect there will be a few Malaysian top 20 will play but after checking with the official site, there's no single Malaysian player play in the Masters section. Even our last year Challenger Champion - Justin Ong who should be "promoted" this year to play in the Master section is not in the starting list.

I think this would be a sad missed considering Singapore is quite near and there's many international strong and title players have confirmed to play. The will be 13 GMs, 14 IMs, and 6 FMs. The top players confirmed to play is GM Kuriy Kuzubov ( 2622), GM Zhaou Jun (2568), GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (2567), GM Fillipov Antov ( 2543) and several others. This should give good opportunity for GM/IM norms!

However in the Challenger section, 13 Malaysian players have registered and the leading Malaysian players in this section is Tan Kai Boon (FIDE 2129) the second seed. The first seed is Singaporean - Jarred Neubronner (FIDE 2170).

Malaysia is the "defending champion" in the challenger section after Justin Ong victory last year!

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