After weeks of sometimes frustrating planning, my team-mates and I were finally at the Cititel in the Midvalley Mall for the 15th edition of the Malaysia Chess Festival. The Old Frees' Association team would be taking part in the Merdeka rapid team open tournament for only the second time. Our hopes of winning anything from this event were not high; in fact, we were more interested in just taking part and playing chess. Playing well would be another matter.
In the end, we finished in exactly the middle of the table. In the 53rd position out of 104 teams. Out of the nine opponents we played with, our team won four matches, drew a match but also lost four matches along the way. Not to say that we didn't put in the extra effort but there were no easy opponents. Not even in the first round.
|First day of the competition, on 17 Aug 2018|
|Brimming with confidence before the start of the second round|
|Third round, still on the first day of competition|
|Second day of competition. Finally, we get to wear our, erm, colourful T-shirt|
|That's me with Zhu Chen, former world women's chess champion from 2001 to 2004. She now represents Qatar, having married Qatari grandmaster Mohamad Al-Modiahki|