It was not surprising to see "Too Less Ordinary" seated their top 4 boards - Ian, Zaidan, Fadli and Fadzil, and upon seeing IM Mok and Sumant at yesterday's SEA Games squad meeting, everyone was expecting a titanic showdown - that the Rojak Team will also field its strongest line up. It was going to be a mouth watering showdown between the top 2 teams but alas.... IM Mok was not fielded and yet, Rojak Team line up was still formidable in Sumant, Li Tian, Cheok Fung and Wai Cheng.
As the game progresses, it was rather edgy for Sumant as Ian managed to gain an advantage until the middle game when Sumant managed to produce a counter attack. The game got very tactical but in the end, it was inevitable that the game would end up in a draw.
On Board 2, Zaidan held up well playing the black pieces but Li Tian, fresh from his outing at the World U16 Team event managed to squeeze an advantage and then on, the game.
On Board 3, it was all the way for Cheah Cheok Fung and when Fadli had only 4 minutes left on his clock (compared to Cheok Fung's 20 minutes), the writing on the wall was clear. What more, the locked position with Fadli's white square bishop trapped behind his own pawns, it was easier for Cheak Fung to maneuver his Knight around the holes on the board and then on, the second full point for Rojak Team.
On Board 4, the game was a real roller coaster ride. At one point, Wai Cheng was playing well to secure a 2 pawns advantage and a strong active attacking game until he seem to have lost his piece. Then a stroke of brilliance with Fadzil having no choice but to return the piece to stop a mate in one. Similar to board 1, both players ended with Queen and Pawn ending and it was clear that it will be the second drawn game for Table 1 albeit Wai Cheng had the better time than Fadzil.
In the end, Too Less Ordinary was just ordinary and Rojak Team scoring a convincing 3-1 win over the leader. With 4 rounds ended, Rojak Team is now at the top of the table at 11.5 points - the same with Too Less Ordinary, but on a better tie break.
On Table 2, long time friend Azahari Mohd Nor played for Kelantan on Board 3 and his presence helped Kelantan to triumphed over SEAHORSE of PETRONAS with a convincing 3-1 victory.
The showdown on Table 3 was between 2 budding teams - 17 Chess Club and Nusa Mahkota Chess Club. 17 Chess Club recently added Mohd Fairin Zakaria on Board 1 and it was rather surprising that Nor Ilhamuddin was not listed as one of the players. In the end, it was 3.5 to 0.5 in favor of Nusa Mahsuri who will now meet top leader Rojak Team in Round 5
Carikomputer Dot Com scored 2 points against PJMIM with a surprising win by Saprin's eldest son on Board 2 who managed to win against the much higher rated Varien Thien. It will be a good boost for Amir Qayyim who will be participating in the ASIAN AMATEUR event later at the end of the month.
On Table 5, Dato' Tan made his inaugural appearance for this year's team event and played against Mohd Razief of SWORDFISH PETRONAS. Even though he did not secure a point for the team, DATCC Seniors Team led by Jax Tham managed to hold to a 2-2 draw against the National oilers.
On the last Table, Jianwen return from the World Youth Team event helped his team to a crushing 4-0 win over BERNAMA Chess Team. Words have it that Jianwen Youth teammate, bronze medalist Roshan Singh, will be joining the team next week, providing the Renegade Team the much needed back up in their quest to climb to the top of the chart.
With 2 teams at 11.5 points - Rojak and Ordinary, and Kelantan just half a point behind, this will be foot race to the finish between the 3 teams. But with Renegade growing from strength to strength and certain players missing from the line up to play in the SEA Games, the event is still wide open. Rojak Team will be the team that is worst hit with IM Mok, Sumant and Gregory going for the SEA Games - but the ones left behind are still a team to be reckon with led by Li Tian, Cheah Cheok Fung, Izz Saifuddin, Chin Seng and Wai Cheong who proved last night that he is "not just any other player".
Results for Round 4, Ranking and Pairing for next week's Round 5 are listed below
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