Yee Soon Wei (L) receiving his
cash prize from Hj Zainal Hj
Mohd Ali, the president of the
Brunei Darussalam Chess
Federation (BCF) for winning
the Rapid Chess Championship
held in conjunction with His
Majesty's 67th Birthday
Celebrations at the Brunei
Chess Centre in Berakas
yesterday. Picture: BT/Yee
FIDE Master Yee Soon Wei further cemented his status as the country's best chess player after winning the Rapid Chess Championship held in conjunction with His Majesty's 67th Birthday Celebrations yesterday.
The national player accumulated six points to be crowned the overall champion just to win by a half point over the duo of Indonesia's Handoko Eko and Md Aliuddin Hj Azahari at the Brunei Chess Centre at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Though others were expecting to, Yee said he didn't expect to finish at the top of the podium after seven rounds of matches and felt that it could have gone either way.
"I never expected to win the tournament as I haven't been training because I just started working," said Yee in an interview with The Brunei Times after the triumph.
"Despite the lack of playing time, objectively I'm expected to win but there were a few others that could have won.
"We all had equal chances.
"It was close as it was down to the last round and I needed at least half a point to secure the title," continued the 24-year-old, who won a cash prize of $200.
When asked on which match was the toughest for him, Yee replied: "With the number of rounds played, we couldn't afford to lose any match."
"It is really difficult to catch up so every half or full point is important.
"The matchup against (Siti Nur) Fatimah (Hj Azahari) was the difficult one.
"We were both tied at four points then. It was a risky game and I couldn't afford to lose it," added Yee, who represented the Sultanate at the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in July.
"I thought I was a bit lucky in winning that game. Maybe my opponent panicked a bit and made some mistakes allowing me to get the win," he concluded.
Syasya Badrina Badarudin won the Under-12 category followed by Alif Syammary Akmal Samsul and Kamarularriffin Hj Kipli respectively.
Over in the Under-16 category, Muhd Iqbal Abqari Mohd Khair took top honours.
Muhd Syahmi Badarudin was second best while Mohd Afif Hakimin Abdullah was third.
Last but not least, Hj Kipli Hj Mahrup finished at the top of the podium for the Over-50 category.
He was followed by Pg Abd Rahman PLW Pg Yussof (second) and Pg Hj Mohd Limbang Pg L Wijaya (third). The champion of each age group received $50. The runner-up each received $40 while the third-place finisher was awarded $30.
Hj Zainal Hj Mohd Ali, the president of the Brunei Darussalam Chess Federation (BCF), presented the prizes to the winners.