Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Strongest Open Swiss event ever in Singapore by Junior Tay

From June 16th to 17th 1990, SCF and Queenstown CC combined forces to form the Singapore Open cum Queenstown Open Championships to take advantage of the World Championships U16 and U18 event held from June 1st to 15th 1990. It was by far the strongest Open event ever held in Singapore with 2 future World Champions (Topalov and Kramnik), 1 future European Champion (Tiviakov), 1 future Russian Champion (Sakaev) and 1 Soviet Champion (Tseshkovsky).

The tournament was so strong that future GM Dimitri Reindermann withdrew after 4 rounds, after losing consecutive games to Jan Votava (now GM), Kramnik and a certain Mok Tze Meng. Already, my first 3 rounds' opposition looked like an outing at Reykjavik or Cappelle La Grande, I had Round 1 – FM Mohd Al Modaihki (now GM) – walkover, Round 2 – IM Peter Wells (now GM) – draw, and Round 3 – IM Rene Stern (now GM) – draw. Really got my dollars' worth by just paying for the entry fee of a CC event.

The Singaporeans who did best were IM Wong Meng Kong and FM Teo Kok Siong, who both scored 5/7 for a tie from 7th to 13th, half point away from the eventual winners. Meng Kong remained unbeaten throughout the event and even beat GM Vitalk Tseshkovsky in Round 4. Kok Siong, on the other hand, was on 50 percent after Round 4, but put in an incredibly strong finish to win the next 3 rounds. Of note is that another 5 pointer in this event is none other than Vladimir Kramnik who was bogged down by a loss to  another 5 pointer (in Round 5), IM Rogelio Barcenilla (now GM)!  The top performing Malaysian was Mok Tze Meng, who made 4.5 points for a tie from 14th to 20th.

Anyway, all the top players showed their professional side when in the final round, almost all the players (except 2385 rated Russian Alexander Malevinsky who had to beat Peter Wells to join them) who topped the table drew their final round games!

On tie break IM Andrei Luikin won the event from Topalov, Sakaev, Tiviakov, Votava and Malevinsky. Lukin was then coaching Sakaev who had won the World U16 event the day before. Lukin had since been credited by GM Peter Svidler as his greatest chess influence in his career.

In the Challengers section, Tea Lachava (who had won the World Under 16 girls event) finished 1.5 points clear of Kataryna Lewandowska, Yulia Levitan and Chin Chee Shun.

Top results: 5th Singapore Open cum 19th Queenstown Open 1990. (Directed by Lim Chye Lye)

1st to 6th position: IM Andrey Lukin, IM Vesselin Topalov (now GM) , Konstantin Sakaev (now GM), FM Sergei Tiviakov (now GM) , Jan Votava (now GM) , Alexander Malevinsky – 5.5/7

7th to 13th position: IM Rogelio Barcenilla (now GM), Vladimir Kramnik, IM Wong Meng Kong (now GM), FM Craig Laird , Janusi Zyla, FM Teo Kok Siong, Gocha Ikebughava – 5/7

14th to 20th position: FM Alphonsus Chia, GM Vitaly Tseshkovsky , IM Peter Wells (now GM) , Wojciech Gryciuk, Rene Stern (now GM) , IM V Ravikumar, Mok Tze Meng (now IM) -4.5/7

21st to 32th position: Jonathan Parker (now GM) , Hsu Li Yang (now IM) , Bozidar Krsnik, Andrew Webster (now IM) , Dimitar Pantaleev, Wong Meng Leong, Ang Choon Yong, Henris Luc, Henry Jamals, Tomasz Markovski (now GM) , Mark Tan Keng Yew, Tan Shan Ho  -4/7

33rd to 39th position: FM Chia Chee Seng, Petko Atanasov (now IM) , Mark Lim, Jens Uwe Maiwald (now GM) , Lee Wang Sheng, Wong Foong Wee and J Nithianathan  -3.5/7.

How's this field for a local chess event?

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