4th Dato’ Arthur Tan Open: the “Empire” Strikes Back!

by ChessBase
9/1/2007 – It happened again! Just like in the year 2005, the 4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open again saw the triumph of an untitled player, Li Chao, against a sea of GMs, IMs and WGMs – 87 players from 15 countries. Also, as was the case two years’ back, this untitled player again turned out to have originated from China… Big pictorial report by Edwin Lam Choong Wai.

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The “Empire” Strikes Back!
4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open

By Edwin Lam Choong Wai

Out of the 87 players from 15 countries who battled it out in the 4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship, the 18-year old Li Chao emerged Champion on the 26th of August 2007. With a total of 9 points from 11 rounds (7 wins and 4 draws), Li Chao’s win is no less impressive to typhoon Wang Hao’s in 2005. Wan Yunguo, also of China, made it a 1-2 finish behind Li Chao at 0.5 points behind the Champion. GM Ziaur Rahman equaled his achievement last year with a third place finish.

Li Chao, Champion of the 4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open, receiving his challenge trophy from the Organizing Chairman, Dato’ Tan Chin Nam

Held from the 20th of August to the 26th of August 2007, this 7 day event saw the presence of players from Asia-Pacific (China, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Japan, United States of America and Hong Kong), South Asian (Bangladesh and India) and European countries (England, Scotland and Russia).

With 6 GMs, 13 IMs, 7 FMs, 2 WGMs, 1 WIM and 1 WFM in the fray, it proved to be a very competitive tournament with quite a number of GM upsets: ten non-GMs in total succeeded in defeating 5 out of the six GMs (except for GM Ziaur Rahman who was undefeated in this competition) throughout various rounds of the competition.

1 Li Chao CHN 9.0    9 IM Julio Catalino Sadorra   PHI 7.5
2 Wan Yunguo CHN 8.5   10 WGM Li Ruofan SIN 7.0
3 GM Ziaur Rahman BAN 8.0   11 GM Zhang Zhong SIN 7.0
4 IM Wang Rui CHN 8.0   12 IM Irwanto Sadikin INA 7.0
5 GM Nguyen Anh Dung   VIE 8.0   13 IM Ronald Bancod PHI 7.0
6 IM Barlo A Nadera PHI 7.5   14 IM P.D.S. Girinath IND 7.0
7 GM Dao Thien Hai VIE 7.5   15 IM Oliver Dimakilling PHI 7.0
8 IM Mas Hafizulhilmi MAS 7.5   16 Wang Li CHN 7.0

With Li Chao’s triumph, the Chinese have struck back and regained its superiority in the tournament. The Chinese have triumphed in all the past editions of the event, except for the 2006 one, which was won by GM Dao of Vietnam.

The “Empire” Struck Back!

China, the global chess powerhouse, had a total of 8 players in the 4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open. Although all of them are young, they are very strong. They even have nicknames such as “Dragons”, “Tiger” and “Musketeers” back in China. This strong line-up clearly indicates the Chinese’s aim to regain the top prize here. What better way to describe this Chinese project, if not by naming it after George Lucas’ Star Wars’ saga: The “Empire” strikes back!

But, clearly, at the end of the tournament, the “Empire” had clearly struck back! If China only had one player (GM Yu Shaoteng on 13th spot) amongst the top 15 finishers in the 2006 3rd IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open, this year there were 3 of them amongst the top 4 finishers of the 2007 edition! The Chinese are certainly back with a vengeance this year!

Li Chao: the lead “Actor”…

Unlike George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, this 4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open did not have Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia nor Darth Vader. Instead, this event featured the heroic feats of Li Chao as the lead man, Wan Yunguo, GM Ziaur Rahman, IM Wang Rui, GM Nguyen Anh Dung and many more.

Wan Yunguo, another untitled player who surprised his older and more experienced opponents in this tournament

Li Chao certainly led the way of the Chinese and perhaps, the most critical game for him was his top board encounter against GM Zhang Zhong in Round 10. Li Chao won this game and confirmed his victory in this competition. Let’s take a look at this game (analysis by Junior 10):

Li Chao (2529) - GM Zhang Zhong (2634)
Round 10, Table 1 Kuala Lumpur MAS, 25.08.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3 h6 9.Ne4 Nd5 10.Ba4 Be7 11.0-0 0-0 12.d3 Qc7 13.Bd2 Be6 14.c4 f5 15.Ng3 Nf4 16.b4 Nb7 17.Bxf4 exf4 18.Ne2 Nd8 19.a3 g5 20.Nd2 Rc8 21.d4 Bf7 22.Qd3 Bh5 23.Nc3 Bf6 24.Rae1 a5 25.b5 Qd7 26.Nb3 f3 27.bxc6 Nxc6 28.d5 fxg2 29.Kxg2 Qd8 30.Bxc6 Rxc6 31.Nd4 Bxd4 32.dxc6 Qd6 33.Nd5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Besides GM Zhang Zhong, the other players who failed to stop Li Chao’s wrath included Malaysian IM Mas Hafizulhilmi, Pinoy Hamed Nouri and fellow Chinese compatriots IM Wang Rui and Zhou Weiqi. Only Australia’s talented junior Max Illingworth, Filipino Emmanuel Senador, WGM Li Ruofan and Bangladeshi GM Ziaur Rahman managed draws against Li Chao. Have a look at the game below on the Round 1 draw between Max and Li Chao (analysis by Junior 10):

Illingworth,Max (2137) - Li Chao (2529) [A00]
Round 1, Table 6 (1), 20.08.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.cxd5 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Qxd5 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.e3 c5 9.Qb3 Qxb3 10.axb3 Be6 11.Nd2 Nc6 12.Be2 0-0 13.Bf3 cxd4 14.cxd4 f6 15.Bh4 g5 16.Bg3 f5 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Be5 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Rfb8 20.Ke2 Bxb3 21.Rhb1 Bd5 22.Rxb8+ Rxb8 23.Rxa7 Kf7 24.f3 Rb6 25.Kd3 g4 26.Ra4 h5 27.h3 g3 28.e4 fxe4+ 29.fxe4 Be6 30.Ra3 Bc8 31.Kc2 h4 32.Nf3 Rb4 33.Re3 c5 34.Nxh4 Bb7 35.Rxg3 Bxe4+ 36.Kc3 Bd5 37.Nf3 Rb3+ 38.Kc2 c4 39.Ng5+ Kg6 40.Ne4+ Rxg3 41.Nxg3 Kg5 42.Kc3 Kf4 43.Nf1 Bxg2 44.Nd2 Bxh3 45.Kxc4 Kxe5 46.Kd3 Kf4 47.Ke2 Bd7 48.Ke1 Bb5 49.Nb3 Ke3 50.Nc5 Bc4 51.Na4 Kd4 52.Kd2 e5 53.Nc3 Bb3 54.Ne2+ Ke4 55.Nc3+ Kf4 56.Ne2+ Kf3 57.Nc3 Bc4 58.Nd1 ½-½. [Click to replay]

What does Max Illingworth eat that makes him such a strong junior chess player?

Besides the lead role played by Li Chao, the other casts of this “4th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open: The Empire Strikes Back” included the returning alumnus, the chess tourists, the beauties and the beasts, the guardians, the “Chu-Kuoliangs” and the GMs. But, the big question mark here is: where are the GMs mid-way through the event?

The chess tourists and returning alumnus

The Kiwis (Hilton Bennett and Paul Spiller) and Australian FM Brian Jones are examples of returning players to Mid Valley City. When asked if he has done any tourist stuffs in Malaysia, Paul Spiller (the Vice-President of the New Zealand Chess Federation) replied, “Last year, we did find the time to take the bus to Batu Caves. We climbed up the stairs and it was quite a lot of fun. And, the cave’s huge and obviously, the statue of Lord Krishna at the entrance of Batu Caves…it is quite spectacular!”

Kiwi, Paul Spiller

Viacheslav Dotsenko from Vladivostok, Russia is also a returning “alumni” of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open and this year, 2007, is his third time back to Mid Valley City. Having given up chess after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Dotsenko saw the Chessbase report with the picture of the Petronas Twin Towers and so, decided to come to Mid Valley City.

Viacheslav Dotsenko from Russia

Christopher Masters from Hong Kong made his maiden trip to Mid Valley City in 2006. According to his father, Stephen Masters, “There are now more competitors coming from Hong Kong. This is a very well-organized tournament and it is very accessible. Malaysia is also a nice holiday destination and it is a friendly and safe place compared to other South East Asian countries. My son is already the Hong Kong Under-13 champion and he wanted something more challenging and that’s why we came to Malaysia.”

When asked on what motivates him to compete in chess, Dotsenko said, “Chess gives me the adrenalin rush. For some, skiing or diving gives them the adrenalin rush…but, for me, it is chess.” Perhaps, for someone like Dotsenko, competing in chess tournaments is his own version of “chicken soup for the soul”! A visit to Malaysia is never complete without trying the local delights. “I like mee goreng and nasi lemak. I like local food in Malaysia. I like the prawns here as they are always fresh,” chirped Dotsenko.

The Beauties and the Beast

Here, a picture paints a thousand words-la. So, no comments from me at all… just enjoy the pictures.

WGM Li Ruofan having a BIG THINK over the board

WGM Zhang Jilin of China – this is the third time she is competing in Mid Valley City

“You’re way too beautiful girl…That’s why it’ll never work…You’ll have me suicidal, suicidal…when you say it’s over”…oops, sorry guys, I was just humming the song by Sean Kingston!

Oh, I forgot to mention that her name is Zhang Jing and she hailed from China. This Chinese beauty gave a killer stare at GM Chandler, who was her opponent in this game. GM Chandler survived the stare and won the game.

Pinoy IM Barlo Nadera… a gentle giant who succeeded in bringing down GM Anh Dung in this tournament

“I can’t wait to start!” – Pinoy IM Julio Catalino Sadorra

“I pray with my heart, for my opponent Carl Haesslar, to turn up late for this game.” Japanese player, Sho Inoue right before his Round 10 game.

IM Girinath of India

GM Utut Adianto in a fighting mood

The Guardians…

It is quite a common sight at the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open to see loving parents spend hours simply waiting outside the playing hall. Ramnath Buvanesh’s and Max Illingworth’s parents, Madam Lee from Hong Kong, Stephen Masters from Hong Kong and Justin Tan’s father from Penang are such examples. They took time off from work to make the trip here to accompany their children who competed in the tournament.

Ramnath Buvanesh from India

These guardians come to tournament as caretakers. They take care of their children’s every need, look after them if they fall sick and also to make sure that they sleep and wake up in time for the tournament. Such wonderful parents were sometimes even seen sitting on a chair to catch a nap during the tournament rounds. Indeed, nothing in this world beats parental love and sacrifice!

Madam Lee accompanied Bryan T.H. Lee to Mid Valley City – the second time this family from Hong Kong came here. Bryan is 12 years old and picked up the game about 3 to 4 years’ back. Ever so supportive of her child’s interests, she called chess a “…healthy game…” Madam Lee wouldn’t even mind sending Bryan to tournaments abroad if it would help him improve. In fact, she had recently sent him to compete in Moscow.

The Chu-kuoliangs: IM Tibor and GM Zhang Zhong

Talking about Malaysian food, I can’t help but note one thing: IM Tibor Karolyi’s love and craving for fish curry. I saw with my own eyes how his plate of rice was filled with the red-colored fish curry during the welcoming dinner of the tournament. I sat next to him and watched in delight! Perhaps, his many years of living and coaching in Asia have helped him develop a taste for spicy Asian food!

IM Tibor’s here on a mission: to help Australian FM Brett Tindall’s preparation for this tournament. Playing the role of “Chu-kuoliang” (this was the name of the mastermind general in the Chinese epic, Romance of the Three Kingdoms), IM Tibor comes down to the tournament hall to watch FM Brett’s game and check on the next round’s pairing. Then, he goes up to the room probably to help FM Brett’s chess preparation. Despite his busy schedule, I still managed to catch IM Tibor for an exclusive interview, which will be covered in another article on Chessbase.

GM Zhang Zhong

Less elusive was WGM Li Ruofan’s “Chu-kuoliang”: who is none other than her husband, GM Zhang Zhong. “Zhang Zhong is my coach,” lauded WGM Li. As a show of love and moral support, GM Zhang Zhong was always seen hovering anxiously around his wife’s chess match if her game went longer than his throughout the tournament.

GMs: Where art thou?

This was not an easy tournament… not even for the GMs! I am sure that GM Zhang Zhong will agree with this assessment. In fact, GM Adianto was complaining of how much he “sakit sini, sakit sana” (translated as how tired he had felt) throughout the duration of the tournament. Even GM Chandler found the going to be rather tough… And, such feelings were clearly reflected by looking at the tournament table at the mid-way point (after Round 6).

Only 4 players had 5 points and they are GM Zhang Zhong, WGM Li Ruofan, Zhou Weiqi and Li Chao. Where are the other 5 GMs? Where art thou? Seems like many of the GMs had dropped points along the way… Let’s take a look at the many triumphs of Davids against Goliaths in the competition.

GM Dao Thien Hai (2537) - IM Mas Hafizulhelmi (2372) [A21]
Round 2, Table 4, 20.08.2007
1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nf3 e4 4.Ng5 f5 5.g3 Be7 6.Nh3 Nf6 7.Nc3 c6 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 Na6 10.f3 Be6 11.d5 Qb6+ 12.Kh1 exf3 13.exf3 Bd7 14.Nf4 Rfe8 15.b3 Nc5 16.Be3 Qc7 17.Qd2 a5 18.Rad1 Na6 19.h4 g6 20.dxc6 bxc6 21.Bd4 Rf8 22.Rfe1 Qd8 23.Kh2 Rf7 24.Na4 c5 25.Bxf6 Bxf6 26.Qxd6 Bxa4 27.bxa4 Qxd6 28.Rxd6 Nb4 29.Ne6 Ra6 30.Rxa6 Nxa6 31.Rb1 f4 32.Rb6 fxg3+ 33.Kxg3 Ra7 34.f4 Kf7 35.Bd5 Ke7 36.a3 Bc3 37.Kg4 Nc7 38.Nxc5 Bd4 39.Rc6 Bb2 40.Bg8 Ne8 41.Kf3 Kf8 42.Bd5 Bxa3 43.Ne6+ Ke7 44.Ng5 Kd8 45.Rb6 Nd6 46.Rb8+ Kc7 47.Rh8 Kb6 48.Ne6 Re7 49.Rd8 Nf5 50.Rc8 Rxe6 51.c5+ Bxc5 52.Bxe6 Nd4+ 53.Ke4 Nxe6 54.Kd5 Nxf4+ 55.Ke5 Nd3+ 56.Kd5 Nb4+ 57.Kc4 Nc6 58.Rh8 h5 59.Re8 Ne7 60.Rf8 Bb4 0-1. [Click to replay]

GM Chandler,Murray (2540) - WGM Li Ruofan (2417) [C48]
Round 3, Table 1 Kuala Lumpur MAS (3), 21.08.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.0-0 Nxb5 6.Nxb5 c6 7.Nc3 d6 8.d4 Qc7 9.h3 Be7 10.a4 0-0 11.Re1 Re8 12.a5 h6 13.Be3 Be6 14.Qd3 c5 15.Nb5 Qb8 16.d5 Bd7 17.c4 a6 18.Nc3 b5 19.axb6 a5 20.Ra2 Bd8 21.Rea1 Bxb6 22.Nd2 Re7 23.Nb3 Be8 24.Bc1 Rea7 25.Nd2 Bd8 26.Nf1 Rb7 27.Ne3 Bd7 28.Qe2 Qc8 29.Ra3 Ne8 30.Qh5 Nf6 31.Qf3 Rb4 32.Ne2 Rab8 33.Ng3 Rb3 34.Qd1 Rxa3 35.Rxa3 g6 36.Qf3 Nh7 37.Nd1 Kg7 38.Bd2 a4 39.Bc3 Qa6 40.Qe2 Ba5 41.Kh2 Bb4 42.Ra2 Qb6 43.Nf1 Bxc3 44.Nxc3 Qb3 45.Ne3 Nf6 46.Qd3 Rb4 0-1. [Click to replay]

GM Nguyen Anh Dung (2537) - IM Nadera,Barlo A (2402) [D58]
Round 3, Table 2 Kuala Lumpur MAS (3), 21.08.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 c6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Bd3 h6 8.Bh4 b6 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Qe2 0-0 11.Rac1 c5 12.cxd5 Nxd5 13.Bg3 cxd4 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.Nxd4 Nc5 16.Bb1 Rc8 17.f3 Qd7 18.Rfd1 Qa4 19.b3 Qa3 20.Qc2 g6 21.Nb5 Qa5 22.Nc7 Bb7 23.Rd4 Na6 24.Ra4 Qh5 25.Qe2 Nxc7 26.Rxa7 Nd5 27.Rxc8 Bxc8 28.Bd3 Bc5 29.Bf2 Qe5 0-1. [Click to replay]

IM Bancod,Ronald (2373) - GM Adianto,Utut (2583) [D02]
Round 3, Table 7 Kuala Lumpur MAS (3), 21.08.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.c3 Qb6 6.Qb3 c4 7.Qc2 Bf5 8.Qc1 e6 9.Nbd2 h6 10.Be2 Qa5 11.b4 Qd8 12.0-0 Be7 13.Bd1 0-0 14.Bc2 b5 15.Bxf5 exf5 16.a4 a6 17.Ne5 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Ne4 19.axb5 axb5 20.Nf3 Qd7 21.Nd4 Rxa1 22.Qxa1 Nd2 23.Rd1 Nb3 24.Nxb3 cxb3 25.Qb2 Rc8 26.Qxb3 Rc4 27.Bg3 Qc6 28.h4 Rxc3 29.Qxd5 Bxb4 30.Qxc6 Rxc6 31.Rb1 Rc4 32.h5 Kf8 33.e6 Ke7 34.exf7 Kxf7 35.Be5 g6 36.hxg6+ Kxg6 37.g3 Kf7 38.Kg2 h5 39.Kf3 Ke6 40.Bd4 Bc5 41.Rxb5 Bxd4 42.exd4 Rxd4 43.Rb6+ Ke5 44.Rh6 Rd3+ 45.Kg2 Ra3 46.f4+ Kd4 47.Rd6+ Kc4 48.Kh3 Ra1 49.Rf6 Kd4 50.Rxf5 Ke4 51.Rxh5 Kf3 52.Kh4 Ra8 53.Rb5 Rh8+ 54.Kg5 Rg8+ 55.Kf6 Rxg3 56.f5 Kg4 57.Kg6 Kf4+ 58.Kf7 Rg5 59.Kf6 Kg4 60.Rb4+ Kh5 61.Rb1 Rg2 62.Rh1+ Kg4 63.Rh8 Rf2 64.Rg8+ Kf4 65.Rg1 Ra2 66.Kg6 Ra8 67.Rf1+ Ke5 68.f6 Rg8+ 69.Kh7 1-0. [Click to replay]

GM Nguyen Anh Dung (2537) - Wan Yunguo (2386) [A48]
Round 5, Table 5 Kuala Lumpur MAS, 22.08.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nbd2 0-0 5.e4 d5 6.Bd3 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 c5 9.c3 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nd7 11.0-0 h6 12.Bh4 Qb6 13.Re1 Nf6 14.Bf3 Qxb2 15.Rxe7 g5 16.Bg3 g4 17.Rb1 Qxc3 18.Nb5 Qa5 19.Bxb7 Bxb7 20.Rxb7 Rad8 21.Qb3 Qd2 22.h3 gxh3 23.Rxa7 Rd3 24.Qb4 Qc2 25.Rc7 Rd1+ 26.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 27.Kh2 Ng4+ 28.Kxh3 h5 29.Bf4 Nxf2+ 30.Kh2 Ng4+ 31.Kh3 Qd3+ 32.Kh4 Bf6+ 33.Bg5 Be5 34.Qb3 Bg3+ 35.Kxh5 Nf6+ 0-1. [Click to replay]

IM Lane,Gary W (2412) - GM Chandler,Murray (2540)
Round 6, Table 7 Kuala Lumpur MAS, 22.08.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Qg4 Nf6 9.Qxg7 Rg8 10.Qh6 Ne5 11.f3 b5 12.Nc3 Bb7 13.Qe3 Qc7 14.a3 Rg6 15.Ne2 Bd6 16.Nf4 Nxd3 17.cxd3 Bxf4 18.Qxf4 Qc2 19.Nd2 Qxd3 20.Rf2 d6 21.Nf1 e5 22.Qh4 Qb3 23.Bg5 Qe6 24.Rc1 Kd7 25.Rfc2 Ne8 26.Ng3 Rc8 27.Rxc8 Bxc8 28.Bd2 Bb7 29.Ba5 Qf6 30.Qxh7 d5 31.Qh3+ Qe6 32.Qh4 Qf6 33.Qxf6 Rxf6 34.exd5 Bxd5 35.Re1 Re6 36.Bc3 f6 37.Nf5 Nd6 38.Nxd6 Rxd6 39.h4 Ke6 40.Kf2 Rd7 41.g4 Bb7 42.Re3 Kf7 43.Kg3 Rd1 44.h5 Rg1+ 45.Kf2 Rd1 46.Kg2 Bc6 47.Kg3 Bb7 48.Kf2 Bc6 49.Ke2 Rh1 50.Kf2 Ra1 51.g5 Rh1 52.gxf6 Rxh5 53.Bxe5 Kg6 54.f4 Bd5 55.Rg3+ Kf5 56.Ke3 a5 57.Kd4 Bc4 58.Rg7 Rh8 59.Rg5+ Ke6 60.f5+ Kf7 61.Rg7+ Kf8 62.Bd6+ Ke8 63.Re7+ Kd8 64.Bc7+ Kc8 65.f7 1-0. [Click to replay]

FM Lim Yee Weng (2336) - GM Adianto,Utut (2583) [B01]
Round 7, Table 12 Kuala Lumpur MAS, 24.08.2007
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Be2 Nxd5 5.d4 Bf5 6.Nf3 e6 7.a3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.c4 Nb6 10.Nc3 Bf6 11.h3 Nc6 12.Be3 Bg6 13.b4 a6 14.Qb3 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 Bxd4 16.Rad1 e5 17.c5 Nd7 18.Nxd4 exd4 19.Rxd4 Qe7 20.Bg4 Nf6 21.Nd5 Qe5 22.Rfd1 Nxd5 23.Rxd5 Qf6 24.Rd7 Rac8 25.Qf3 Qg5 26.Qxb7 Bc2 27.R1d2 h5 28.R7d5 f5 29.Rxc2 hxg4 30.hxg4 Qxg4 31.Rd7 Rce8 32.Qd5+ Kh7 33.Qd1 Qg5 34.Rc3 Re4 35.Rh3+ Rh4 36.Rdd3 Rxh3 37.Rxh3+ Kg8 38.Qd5+ Rf7 39.Re3 Qf6 40.Qe5 Qg5 41.Qe8+ Rf8 42.Qe6+ Rf7 43.Qxa6 f4 44.Qc8+ Kh7 45.Rh3+ Kg6 46.Qe6+ Rf6 47.Qe8+ Rf7 48.Qe4+ Rf5 49.Rf3 Kh7 50.Qe8 Rf6 51.Rh3+ Rh6 52.Qe4+ Kg8 53.Qe8+ Kh7 54.Qe4+ Kg8 55.Rxh6 Qxh6 56.Qc4+ Kh8 57.Qd3 Qf6 58.Qf3 Qe5 59.Kh2 g5 60.g3 Kg7 61.Kg2 fxg3 62.Qxg3 Qe4+ 63.Kh2 Qh7+ 64.Qh3 Qc2 65.Qd7+ Kf6 66.Qc6+ Kf5 67.Kg3 Qc1 68.Qf3+ Kg6 69.Kg2 Qc4 70.Qc6+ Kf5 71.Qxc7 Qe4+ 72.Kh2 Qd4 73.Qg3 g4 74.c6 Qc4 75.c7 Qc6 76.b5 Qh6+ 77.Kg2 Qe6 78.Qd3+ Kf6 79.Qc3+1-0. [Click to replay]

GM Chandler,Murray (2540) - Wang Li (2337) [B42]
Round 7, Table 13 Kuala Lumpur MAS, 24.08.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0-0 Qc7 7.Qe2 d6 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Nf3 0-0 11.Bf4 Nbd7 12.Rfd1 Nh5 13.Be3 b6 14.Qd2 Rd8 15.Be2 Bf8 16.Bg5 Re8 17.h3 Nhf6 18.Qf4 Nh5 19.Qd2 Nhf6 20.Nh2 h5 21.Rac1 Bb7 22.Qf4 Nh7 23.Bh6 Bxh6 24.Qxh6 Rad8 25.Qf4 Ne5 26.b3 Kg7 27.Nf1 Nf6 28.Ng3 Qb8 29.Qg5 Rh8 30.f4 Ned7 31.Bf3 h4 32.Nf1 Qc7 33.b4 Qxc4 34.a3 Rc8 35.Rxd6 Bxe4 36.Nd2 Qc7 37.Ndxe4 Nxe4 38.Nxe4 Qxc1+ 39.Rd1 Qe3+ 40.Kh2 Rc1 41.Rxc1 Qxc1 42.Nd6 Qd2 43.Nc4 Qd4 44.Ne5 Nxe5 45.fxe5 Rc8 46.Bb7 Rc3 47.Bxa6 Rxa3 48.Bb7 Ra1 0-1. [Click to replay]

IM Wang Rui (2482) - GM Chandler,Murray (2540)
Round 11, Table 5 Kuala Lumpur MAS, 26.08.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.b3 0-0 8.Be2 a6 9.0-0 e5 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Bb2 Be6 13.Rac1 Rc8 14.Qb1 Nfg4 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Bxg4 Bxg4 17.Qd3 Be6 18.Na4 Bxb2 19.Nxb2 Qa5 20.Na4 Qb4 21.Qd4 Qa3 22.Qd2 h6 23.h3 Rfd8 24.Nc3 Rc6 25.Ne2 Rdc8 26.Rxc6 bxc6 27.Nc3 c5 28.Nxd5 Bxd5 29.Qxd5 Qxa2 30.Rc1 Qa3 31.Rc2 a5 32.Kh2 Qb4 33.Rc1 g6 34.f4 Qb6 35.f5 gxf5 36.Qxf5 Qe6 37.Qf4 Rc6 38.Rc4 Kh7 39.Qg3 Qg6 40.Rg4 Qf6 41.Rf4 Qg6 42.Qf3 Rc7 43.Rf6 Qg5 44.Rxf7+ Rxf7 45.Qxf7+ Kh8 46.Qe6 h5 47.g4 hxg4 48.hxg4 Kg7 49.Kg2 c4 50.bxc4 a4 51.Qd7+ Kh6 52.Qc6+ Kg7 53.Qxa4 Qxe3 54.Qc2 Qf4 1-0. [Click to replay]

Chess columnist and author of the recently published "Improve your chess in 7 days", IM Gary Lane of Australia. Why is he looking so serious, here?

In the end, only GMs Ziaur Rahman, Nguyen Anh Dung and Dao Thien Hai (the defending champion) managed to sneak into the top 10 of the final standings. Interestingly, all three of these GMs are returning players to the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open. So are many other competitors, too. Many of them had pleasant memories of the tournament: good venue, pleasant hotel rooms (kudos to Cititel Hotel Mid Valley and Boulevard Hotel, Mid Valley) and convenient location due to the adjacent Mid Valley Megamall. Add all those factors in to the fact that Malaysia is a pleasant place with interesting tourists’ attractions made it even more so enticing to return here. They simply look forward to coming back, year after year.

Bon voyage… See you in the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open: Episode 5!

The “empire” had struck back and Chinese chess domination of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open series has been reestablished. In another one years’ time, we will convene again at Mid Valley City for the 5th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship. Organizing Chairman, Dato’ Tan Chin Nam, has already confirmed that the total prize fund for next year’s event will go up by another USD 3,000 from this year’s sum – this brings next year’s total to USD 24,000!

Dato’ Tan Chin Nam, Organizing Chairman

Dato' Tan plaing against FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong (in the background FIDE Vice President Geoffrey D. Borg playing WGM Li Ruofan)

Kiwi Paul Spillier, is definitely coming back next year for the 5th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open and is planning a holiday trip to Penang right after the tournament. But, he is definitely not alone in craving a return to Mid Valley City. “I have caught the bug of chess and I am definitely coming back to Mid Valley City for the next edition of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open!” exclaimed Dotsenko. Jumpa lagi tahun depan!

About the author

Working full-time as a Public Affairs Manager at Procter & Gamble (Malaysia), Edwin Lam is highly passionate about the game of chess. Having grown up with an artistic feel of life, he somehow went about doing a degree in Commerce at Monash University’s main Clayton campus in Melbourne. Being the only child in the family, he had to follow his heart, not his head, and chose to return home to Malaysia, upon graduation. Knowing something was amiss in life, he started fiddling with the advertising industry, when he started working. Here, he deepened his love for writing – be it copy-writing, copy strategy development, article writing or even translation work.

As a lifestyle writer, his work has been published in Plan B, KLUE and J-Trend based here in Kuala Lumpur. As a chess columnist, he has written for a host of international publications. Beginning with a regular column in the now defunct Philippine-based Chess Asia, he has branched out and contributed to the Melbourne-based Chess Kids as well as Australian Chess, which is under the editorship of FM Brian Jones. Since the beginning of 2007, he has also been contributing chess articles and chess book reviews to the Arvind Aaron-led Chess Mate magazine (India) as well as Black & White (India). One of his most well known articles is the nice profile he wrote about GM Yasser Seirawan that appeared in the US-based ChessCafe.com. He also contributes regularly to the world’s top chess news site, Chessbase.com. His writings that have graced the web pages of Chessbase.com include:

Besides being a chess columnist, he is also currently coaching the school team of his alma mater, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Secondary School, in Klang. Aside from chess, he enjoys motor racing (Formula 1, Formula Nippon and the Japan GT Championships), besides photography and traveling. Without doubt, he does all the photography of his articles.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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