by CM Junior Tay
The 3rd Fight Night Tuesday was shorn of quite a few of the regular blitz monsters, though 55 is a good crowd to contest for the title of the Chess 960 king. However, there was still considerable punching power in this horde with elo 2000+ types like CM Benjamin Foo, Sean Christian Goh, Ethan Poh, Ng Sheng Feng and Royce Ho lurking around.
Brendan Kong seized the lead after a quick draw and an even quicker win to top the table. Another youngster Cai Mingzhe overtook him but then, a certain Limcf started berserking his way up the top and after ½ an hour, he overtook everyone with 5 straight wins. He was not only playing extremely fast, but very precisely as he took out strongies using less than 1.5 minutes in total. I was wondering if we were dealing with a chess bot at this point . Also I was getting myriad calls about this person’s identity.
So this dude was having an exhibition of his own, leaving the rest to contest for 2nd place. Jonathan Goh, Sheng Feng, Sean and Mingzhe were having their own Mexican standoff after they reached top board to play and inevitably lose to Limcf. This was when Ben Foo started to get his mojo and went on an 8-game winning spree.
With 30 minutes remaining, Ng Sheng Feng took his A-game to limcf and had him on the ropes. The latter was in serious time trouble with a pawn short but kept finding ways with creative defending/counterattacking to confuse Sheng Feng and when the smoke cleared, all the pawns had disappeared. Limcf’s perfect score was dented with Sheng Feng getting a well-deserved draw.
And that was all anyone could do to slow down the Limcf freight train and he mowed down his next 5 opponents to finish 10 points clear of Jonathan Goh. The latter was quite fortunate to snatch 2nd place from Benjamin when the latter, in a highly advantageous position gave a free rook and got mated at the same time. Ben was also overtaken by Sheng Feng and had to settle for 4th position, with Sean finishing 5th.
After computer correlation checks for possible engine usage was completed, it transpired that the results showed Limcf to be more likely a strong human player with a very high degree of accuracy in his play but yet, not shelling out computer-like/level moves. My apologies to the chap, for indicating that ‘his moves seemed too good to be true’ in the group chat.
And so. it transpired that our champion this week turned out to be a Grandmaster who still wanted to remain anonymous. All I can say is, when he came over to my place a few years back with a bunch of masters for sort of our own version of the Olympics (tennis+badminton+bowling+table soccer+swimming+chess), he crushed two masters at blitz chess with the ping pong like score of 8.5-0.5 and the like. At least we took him out in badminton though…
1st: GM limcf
2nd: Jonathan Goh
3rd: Ng Sheng Feng
4th: CM Benjamin Foo
5th: Sean Goh
6th: Cai Mingzhe
7th: Jiang Youhan
10th: Adharsh Venkatakrishnan
Final scores and games can be found at https://lichess.org/tournament/9j7fR0o9