Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The 40th Istanbul Chess Olympiad

Salam Eidul Fitri. Selamat Menyambut Hari Lebaran.

It is the tenth day of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebration. GiLoCatur came back from the festival holiday three days ago. Even though GiLoCatur and the kids did not participate in the Malaysian Chess Festival, GiLoCatur followed the chess event whenever possible. In fact, GiLoCatur also checked the results of three Malaysian players who took part in the just concluded World University Chess Championship held in Portugal.

And for sure, GiLoCatur as well as most Malaysian chess enthusiasts will follow the World Chess Olympiad which opening ceremony in Istanbul is taking stage at this moment. Fortunately, the games will not be played in the wee hours like the opening ceremony. All the round matches except the final one will kick of at 3 o'clock local time which is five hours later than the time in Malaysia. It will be 8 o'clock Malaysian time.

Who are playing for Malaysia in both the Women and Men teams? What is the starting rank? 

In the women section, Malaysia is represented by the Azman Hisham sisters - WFM Nur Najiha and WCM Nur Nabila, WCM Fong Mi Yen, NM Tan Li Ting and Camilia Johari. Three of them will be playing  their maiden Chess Olympiad while the other two are making their second appearance. The Malaysian women team is ranked 84th from the total of 129 teams with 1878 rating average. Two years ago in Russia, Malaysia is placed 64th out of 115 teams. 

China which is led by GM Hou Yi Fan is the top seed in the 40th olympiad women tournament. Among the ASEAN countries, Vietnam is ranked the highest at 27th spot. Indonesia and Philippines are ranked 46th and 56th respectively. GiLoCatur hopes that Malaysia will at least face one of the three ASEAN nations to see where Malaysia stand among the four ASEAN countries. It is a puzzle for GiLoCatur that WGM Irene Iskandar is not taking part in this edition of chess olympiad.

[Note: The starting rank for the ASEAN countries as per on 28th August 2012, 12.00pm Malaysian time has changed slightly. Vietnam (28th), Indonesia (54th), Philippines (57th) and Malaysia (83rd).]

Malaysian previous three chess olympiads 1st board player, IM Mas Hafizulhelmi, is skipping the 40th Chess Olympiad. In this 40th Istanbul Chess Olympiad, the Malaysian men's team is captained by IM Jimmy Liew who is making his 8th appearance. The other four team members are IM Mok Tze-Meng, IM Lim Yee Weng, Yeoh Li Tian and NM Lim Zhuo Ren. Both Li Tian and Zhuo Ren are playing for the first time in the Chess Olympiad. The Malaysian men's team is ranked 86th from the total of 158 teams.

The top seed is Russia who is led by GM Vladimir Kramnik. If not mistaken, it is the only team which all team members are in the 2700 ratings club. Like in the women section, Vietnam is the highest seed among the ASEAN countries. Its starting rank is 27th. Philippines who is led by its top player, GM Wesley So, is at 36th rank followed by Singapore at 55th. GM Susanto Megaranto lead the Indonesian team which is ranked at 68th. [Note: The starting rank for the Philippines has changed slightly from 36th to 35th while the other three ASEAN countries - Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, as per on 28th August 2012, 12.00pm Malaysian time remain the same. ]

taken from 40th Chess Olympiad official website

The chess enthusiasts all over the world will have eleven days of chess excitement starting today at 8 o'clock Malaysian time watching the world best chess players fighting over chess boards. 

GiLoCatur would like to say SELAMAT BERJUANG to all the Malaysian chess players. MALAYSIA BOLEH! 

The update and results on the 2012 Istanbul Chess Olympiad can be viewed here.

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