Singapore International Chess Festival 2010 – Closing Ceremony

In a simple prize presentation ceremony, winners were awarded their respective medals and cash prizes from the organizers bringing down the curtains to the successful 7th Singapore International Chess Festival. The last event for the Festival is the annual Singapore – Malaysia Chess Challenge 2011 which will similarly take place at the Stansfield Residence 1 from 31 December 2010 to 1 January 2011.

The traditional match is played on a very cordial and personal basis but the match continues to be keenly contested with each side not prepared to go down without a fight. The winning margin for edition 2010 was a single point separating the two sides with Singapore winning. The ‘tigers’ from Malaysia are hoping to score a convincing victory as a farewell gift for Malaysian Chess Federation retiring Deputy President Haji Ibrahim Bakar.

New ‘Singaporean’ GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili took the inaugural ASEAN Championship tied on points with IM Barbosa Oliver from the Philippines but won on tie-break. Indonesian GM Megaranto Susanto was half a point behind winning the bronze medal. As reported earlier, the very strong Vietnamese women team steamrolled their way on and captured all top three medals on offer. WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An, WGM Hoang Thi Bao Tram and WGM Le Thanh Tu finished in that order respectively.

In the Singapore Open Tournament, GM Wen Yang from China also confirmed his superiority by winning the top prize with Philippines GM Villamayor Buenaventura and unheralded and untitled Nebato Sheider wining the bronze medal and at the same time won a IM norm. Vietnamese FM Nguyen Van Huy also successful in winning a IM Norm.

In the inaugural International Youth Championships, Vietnam took away three titles in WFM Le Tran Phuong Yuen (Girls’ U8), FM Le Tuan Minh (Open Under 14) and FM Nguyen Van Hai (Open Under 17). The Malaysian finished creditably behind Vietnam with Wong Yinn Long (Open Under 8) and WCM Nur Nabila Azman Hisham (Girls’ Under 14). Singapore’s FM Tin Jingyao was best in the Open Under 11 Championship and Asia’s powerhouse, India, had Tejaswini Sagar capturing the gold medal in the Girls’ Under 11 tournament to salvage some minor lost pride. However, India recorded having the youngest player in Sagar Siya just tipping the scale at 3 years 10 months in the Open Under 8 section.

The festival took place at the Stansfield Residence 1 which is a student hostel for international students. For the duration of the Festival, the hostel was packed to the brim and some of the participants had to be turned away. Stansfield Residence Hostel Manager Mr Sharin Said working together with the Singapore Chess Federation’s General Secretary, Mr Osric Mooi also had their hands full tending to the needs of the more than 600 participants and their supporters.

It has been an eventful 2010 for all as foreign participants depart timely to ring in the new year and a more successful and fruitful 2011. Happy New Year.

Report by Tournament Director Chan Boon Siang

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