Thursday, June 4, 2009

National Close 2009

Putri Nurfariza on the board

Nur Munirah

Lawrence Teoh

Mat Zaki Yeop

Mark Siew

Fadzil Nayan

The Perak Team

We are back and this is the result.

Men's section
:
Fadzil Nayan - 10th placing
Mark Siew - 26th placing
Mat Zaki - 28th placing
Lawrence - 34th placing
[ Out of a field of 55 ]

Women's results:
Putri - 16th placing
Munirah - 18th placing
[ Out of a field of 22 ]

Post mortem:

Fadzil was a child prodigy of Perak and last year's Perak Close champion, this is his second National Close (the last being in 2005). Lawrence was our under-18 champion and it's his first National Close. Mark Siew is the current under-18 champion, former under-12 champion and has played for the state for 5 years continuously making him the most senior Perak player, and this is his first National Close. Mat Zaki has played in the National Close almost yearly and this is the first time he has been sponsored by the state association.

Munirah is our current under-18 MSSM (national) champion and this is her first National Close. Putri plays for Perak and this is her first National Close.

Background:

When I sent Mark to the National Age Group this year, he and Azam (another state player) were the only Perak representatives. At the National Junior (Dec last year), Mark was the only player from Perak. At the KL Open there was only Mark and Mat Zaki to carry the Perak flag. And they were all self-sponsored. I was asked a lot of questions. What is happening in Perak? Penang is arriving by the bus loads etc etc. We were conspicous by our absence.

At FIDE rated tournaments, I see only Mat Zaki and Mark. And recently, Fadzil has been coming. At the Selangor Open he told me he wants to get his FIDE rating. And this boy has been our star from standard 3. What a waste. So the education and training committee decided that we will try our best to support any Perak player that actively pursues the FIDE route for that shows a commitment to continuous improvement and FIDE events are expensive.

Perak needs more than 3 players to carry the flag. But this is a start.

This year, the new committee sent 6 players to the National Close (a FIDE event). We hope they will benefit from the exposure and come back to share with their Juniors.

I am proud of our team's achievements. Although they started late in the day, and badly outgunned, they fought like lions and lionesses. With that spirit we can achieve anything we set ourselves. So come on the rest of you senior players, go out there and compete. Next year's National Close will carry a prize of RM4,000. But money isnt everything. I would like to see a Perakian National Master again in the near future. That honour is worth something too.

Raymond
Education and Training