Wednesday, August 29, 2012

40th Istanbul Women Chess Olympiad - MAS vs JPN in Round 2

The first round of the 40th Istanbul Chess Olympiad is over. Most higher-rated teams have no problem thrashing their respective lower-rated teams. But there a number of upsets when few lower-rated players either win or draw against their respective higher-rated opponents. It does not happen to the Malaysian women's team but gladly it happens to the Malaysian men's team who was playing in the top 10 boards.

Syabas and tahniah to both IM Mok and NM Zhuo-Ren for their achievement in the first round. Mok who is seeded 363rd and rated at 2354 managed to win against the 41st seed, super GM Van Wely of Netherlands who has International Ratings of 2691. Meanwhile Zhuo Ren who is the 555th seed with ratings of 2120 managed to draw with his 84th seed opponent, GM Stellwagen, who is in the 2600-ratings club.  It means Zhuo Ren's opponent has more than 500 rating points than him. Hopefully, all the Malaysian players can have more excellent results like this.

The Malaysian lady's team only managed to grab 1/2 points from its opponent, Slovakia. Li Ting who is seeded 406th among the total of 600 plus women players and with ratings of 1834 drew with Slovakian WIM Alena Mrmova at the fourth board. WIM Mrmova is ranked 137th. Surely,  a draw against 400-rating- points opponent is a good news for the Malaysian chess community.
So, which team will be the next opponent for the Malaysian young ladies in Round 2 tonight?  The answer is JAPAN. Malaysia and Japan will have the battle at table #43. Japan is seeded 104th with rating average of 1569. Even though Malaysia is seeded higher than Japan, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE AND UNDERRATE the opponent. Anything can happen because every player has syrely been making preparation to play in the Chess Olympiad. 

Let's get to know with the Japanese team members. 

What GiLoCatur found about the Japanese women players in the 40th edition of Chess Olympiad from Mr Google are as the following.

The Japanese women's chess team consists young and veteran players. The team's veteran and experienced player is its second board player, WCM Emiko Nakagawa. She is making her 13th appearance in the Chess Olympiad. She may be the oldest participant too since she is 70 plus years old. She was born before the Japanese occupation in Malaya. In chess, age is not a factor. This can be a motivation to the Malaysian chess community especially to Ilham who dreams to become a GM by 58 years old. Emiko had won the Japanese national women championship six times. Emiko once had the International Ratings above 2000. So, she shall not be underestimated even though her current rating is 1798.

Najiha's most probable opponent is Mirai Ishizuka. GiLoCatur believes she is a bit well known to some of the Malaysian chess players especially BadBishop and Ilham. Both had played against her in 2008 AmBank Chess Challenge as narrated in their respective blogs here and here.

As per GiLoCatur's research, there are two young players in the Japanese chess women squad. They are Karen Hoshino and Arisa Kikuchi. The former is just 11 years old while the latter is the same age as Anis Fariha, GiLoCatur's daughter which is 14 years old. Arisa made her maiden appearance in the Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk two years ago like Nabila and Mi Yen.

The last member of the Japanese women's chess team is Emi Hasegawa. Not much info about her except she was born in 1979. 

Arisa Kikuchi
photo from fide website
Click here to view Arisa's games in the 39th Chess Olympiad. 

WCM Emiko Nakagawa (yr 2006)
photo from
Lots of Emiko's games can be found in and websites. 

Mirai Ishizuka (yr 2006)
photo from

If you are interested to see Mirai's games in 2006  37th Turin Chess Olympiad, go to this link.

So, to all the Malaysian chess enthusiasts especially the juniors, if you have nothing to do tonight you may follow the battle between Malaysian and Japanese women chess players online. Don't just waste your precious time facebooking and playing online games

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