Sunday, 21 August 2011

Malaysian Open 2011 - Days 1-3

"...Eating fish!"
One of the blog contributors sleeptalking in Chennai

"...Are you sure its 50!?"
Another blog contributor sleeptalking in Kuala Lumpur

by Junta

Another city, another tournament...Fedja and I are now in Kuala Lumpur.  

View from our room window

Thoroughly exhausted after the World Juniors, we somehow got ourselves from Chennai to KL Airport where we bid Moulthun goodbye.

"So much uni work to catch up on..."
We arrived to check-in at the Cititel Hotel in Midvalley, the venue, early in the morning of the 17th. Although the need to sleep was great (not getting enough on the flight), we could not resist checking out the hotel breakfast buffet after the last two weeks of not-so-great food. The breakfast surpassed my high expectations, and I ate so much (days' worth of World Juniors consumption) that I only stopped when I started feeling sick. Thanks to the good meals since arriving here, my stomach pains are finally gone.

Another positive is that a corridor from the hotel lobby leads to the Midvalley Mega Mall - lots of stores, lots of food. We signed up at the gym on the first day (a good deal of $25 for 2 weeks), getting back a bit of exercise we've missed overseas.
A shot of the playing hall before the game
The Malaysian Open is already past the halfway mark, as there have been two double-round days (a rest day tomorrow on the 21st). The field consists of 98 players, with 10 GMs and 14 IMs. Chinese GM Li Shilong leads on 5/5, with IM Oliver Dimakiling from the Phillipines on 4.5 and 9 players (all rated over 2400) on 4. Gary Lane on 3.5 leads out of the 10 Australian players.

The four overseas tournaments over the last two months has been taking its toll on me, but at the same time it is strange to think that before this trip, I had never played on such an intense schedule. Waking up in the hotel room, eating at a buffet with other players, going over the preparation on ChessBase, putting the room key and a pen in my pocket, getting on a lift to the floor of the playing hall - I have grown so accustomed to the routine.

Tomorrow we will go sightseeing around Kuala Lumpur.

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