With 2 weeks more to go before the start of 2010 Malaysia Chess Festival, the list of players that are coming to Malaysia, and the list of Malaysian players taking part in the event is beginning to take shape. Although the official closing date to register for the event was 10th August 2010, the organizer is confident that the number of players will continue to increase (at least by 10%-20%) especially from local players who are playing the "waiting game" to decide whether to participate or to sit out for events like the AmBank Chess Challenge, the Team Rapid and the Individual Rapid. For a start, the number of participants to date are definitely more encouraging than the numbers that we had for last year's festival.
For the 7th IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open (DATMO), the total number of players increased from 100 players last year to 111 players for this year's event with 16 GM, 1 WGM, 15 IM, 1 WIM, 9 FM, and 5 WFM - totaling 47 titled players.
For the AmBank Chess Challenge, 26 players have registered for the event so far with 23 players coming in from Malaysia and 1 each from Iran, Indonesia and Singapore. Based on trends from previous festivals, the number should increase once the festival starts as more and more players begin to pick up the "fever" and wanting to play "more chess". Our very own Jax Tham leads the ranking with Setiawan Iwan ranked second and our lady player, Roslina Marmono in the 3rd seeding.
For the Rapid Individual event, 44 players have registered so far and similar to the AmBank entries, the list should increase as the start date draws closer. Some of the players who are playing in the AmBank and DATMO usually use this event as a warm up event before going for the actual cruncher. The bulk of the players are made of local Malaysian players with some players players from Singapore taking part, and a few GMs who are arriving early for the DATMO open including our very own GM Ziaur Rahman.
The Team Event so far has attracted 45 teams with a few teams coming in from Indonesia and Singapore, and other scratch teams that are made up of several countries. Penang has registered the most teams for the event with more than 5 teams including their State Team, Junior Team and Penang Free School Teams.
The listing for the Simul and Age Group will only be known just before the start of the festival and for those who are interested to play in the Blitz Events, can register on the event day itself. There are Blitz events - one after the Team Event concluded on 31st August (Merdeka Blitz starting at 3:00pm), and the other one is on 7th September, after the conclusion of the last DATMO/AMBANK/KLK events.
All in all, it will be a glorious event and with the biggest ever festival since it first started, and look forward to seeing you all there!
Chief Arbiter - once again....
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