By Chan Boon Siang. Contributed by Jovan Petronic

Stansfield Residence, Singapore, January 1, 2011 — Team Singapore lost to Malaysia by a three-point margin, 74.5-77.5, at the 7th Singapore International Chess Festival.

New ‘Singaporean’ GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili took the inaugural ASEAN Championship on a tie-break after being tied on points with IM Barbosa Oliver from the Philippines. Indonesian GM Megaranto Susanto was half a point to capture the bronze medal.

The very strong Vietnamese women’s team steamrolled their way to the top three medals on offer. WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An, WGM Hoang Thi Bao Tram and WGM Le Thanh Tu finished in that order respectively.

In the Singapore Open Tournament, GM Wen Yang from China also confirmed his superiority by winning the top prize, with Filipino GM Villamayor Buenaventura the silver and unheralded and untitled Nebato Sheider the bronze medal. Sheider also won an IM norm. Vietnamese FM Nguyen Van Huy also successful in winning an IM norm.

In the inaugural International Youth Championships, Vietnam took away three titles through WFM Le Tran Phuong Yuen (Girls’ Under-8), FM Le Tuan Minh (Open Under-14) and FM Nguyen Van Hai (Open Under-17).

The Malaysians finished creditably behind Vietnam with Wong Yinn Long (Open Under-8) and WCM Nur Nabila Azman Hisham (Girls’ Under-14).

Singapore’s FM Tin Jingyao was the best in the Open Under-11 Championship and Asia’s powerhouse, India, had Tejaswini Sagar capturing the gold medal in the Girls’ Under 11 tournament to salvage some lost pride. However, India recorded having the youngest player in Sagar Siya just 3 years 10 months in the Open Under-8 section.

In all, 600 participants and their supporters attended the chess festival.