Brunei Chess Federation vice-president Pg Abd Rahman PLW Yussof (L) making his move against defending champion Yee Soon Wei in round three of the 30th National Day Chess Festival 2014 yesterday. BT/ Syarif Rasani
Defending rapid and blitz champion FIDE (International Chess Federation) Master Yee Soon Wei did not have the best of starts in the 30th National Day Chess Festival 2014 yesterday.
Malaysia's FIDE Master Peter Long, Ronald Alcantra, Azahari Siti Nur Fatimah and Hj Azahari Md Aliuddin ended the day in the lead by accumulating four and a half points from five rounds.
Yee will head into today's round six with three and a half points after picking up three wins, one draw and one loss at the Brunei Chess Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Yee who has been out of the game for five months is still keeping his eyes on the top prize.
"I came here to win but as you can see there are a lot of competitors, I think the main rival will be FIDE Master Peter Long from Malaysia, but there are also others such as Eko Handoko from Indonesia and Brunei's national players," Yee told The Brunei Times yesterday.
Yee was held to a draw by Brunei Chess Federation (BCF) vice-president Pg Abd Rahman PLW Yussof in the third round and his loss came against Long, who defeated him in the fourth round.
"A lot of new faces this year," said Yee.
"We like to see new players join because we want to develop the game (in line with) one of our mottos of 'Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara'.
"We want to promote the game and get more people interested in chess," he said.
"I'm working full time so I don't always have time to play and I actually had to skip the last three tournaments... Everybody is here to celebrate our 30th national day, that's actually our main goal apart from competing," added Yee.
The time-limit for each player in the rapid category is set at 15 minutes, whilst players are only given five minutes to compete in the blitz category.
Pg Abd Rahman, meanwhile, felt that the standard of competition is getting higher.
"Our top player of the tournament is Long and there are more juniors here," said Pg Abd Rahman.
"This is our yearly tournament to celebrate part of the Brunei Chess Federation's contribution to let young people participate and compete in chess.
"It's basically around the same amount of players as last year but we hope to see more participants tomorrow (today)," added Pg Abd Rahman.
The tournament was officially opened by the BCF president Hj Zainal Abidin Ali by making the first move on the board.
The battle of minds will continue today with rounds 6-9 of the rapid category from 9.30-11.45am.
The first of the nine blitz matches will commence at 2pm.
The prize giving ceremony will then follow accordingly once the final has ended.
A total cash prize of $1300 is up for grabs in the rapid and another $1200 for the blitz category.