|Kelantan 2016 MAKSAK Team|
This year MAKSAK was held at the Bluewave Hotel in Shah Alam, starting from 11 to 13 March. This time, Kelantan could not field its usual team as Nik Mohd Nazri was waiting for his newborn. Thus, we searched for one of our previous member, Nik Mazlan Nik Soh to complete the team:
- Baharuddin Hamzah
- Muhammad Ariez Azman
- Md Anis Rahimi
- Yours Truly
- Nik Mazlan Nik Soh
- Mohd Saufi Deraman
Our van, which also brought along a member of MAKSAK Johor team, Dr. Nasrul Humaimi, the Vice President of PCNK, took the usual Kelantan - Pahang - KL - Shah Alam route. We stopped at Lipis for lunch at the home of another Vice President of PCNK, Mr. Rhozisham.
|Mr. Rhozisham prepared us a very delicious lunch|
We finally arrived at Intekma Resort, a resort under UiTM Shah Alam management, at approximately 5.30 p.m. We checked in after our chief de mission, Tg Petra, confirmed our room numbers. I was with Baharuddin and Ariez at fourth floor while Anis, Nik Mazlan and Mohd Saufi, all of whom were smokers, were in the other room at second floor. The room was okay and the service was excellent, in my humble opinion at least. We even got to know the room service worker, thanks to our talkative Ariez. However, it was not until I wrote this post that I stumbled upon information that the resort was haunted as we did not encounter any happenings during our stay there.
|The official resort for Kelantan MAKSAK team|
The playing ground, the five-star rated Bluewave Hotel, was situated in the middle of the city. The playing hall for chess, however, was quite cramped compared to the playing halls for dart and carom. Therefore, nobody except the officials and the players were allowed inside the hall during the games. There was also a podium where the first pairing locked their horns using digital boards, which broadcasted the games live. The Kelantan team only managed to play on it once, that was in the final game against the eventual champions, Kuala Lumpur.
|Yours Truly waiting for the opponent|
Imagine our surprise when we saw that the Deputy President of PCNK, Mr. Nik Ahmad Farouqi, was the coach for the Selangor MAKSAK team. Our teams were paired in the second last round, and we eventually drew. I was the last one to draw my game against Syed Abdul Rahman and I regretted it as I was in the winning position which, if won, would surely guaranteed at least a prize.
|Kelantan vs Nik Farouqi's Selangor|
Kelantan team was dubbed as 'the master of draws' for drawing too many times, including games where we should have won. We drew against PDRM in our first game, Pahang in our third game, Selangor in our sixth game and Kuala Lumpur in our last game.
|Kelantan vs Pahang, one of the games which were drawn|
Were were seeded sixth because of our last performance in Kedah, and were paired against PDRM for the first round. We finally ended seventh after drawing 4 times, winning twice and lost once to Terengganu, which was EXACTLY the same results in Kedah! (We drew 4 times, won twice and lost once to Terengganu also). What a coincidence.
|Kelantan vs PDRM, our first game|
Our ex-Vice President, Mr. Abdul Haq, who is currently living in Shah Alam, stopped by to see the team. He brought the team for lunch at D-Wok, a branch of Kak Wok rice, in Section 13. We were quite astonished when he informed that there were 5 similar restaurants in Shah Alam area alone.
|The team having late lunch at D-Wok, Section 13|
The team performance can be summed up below (taken from chessresults):
The final standing:
This MAKSAK was special to me as I had the opportunity to face one of my respected coach, Mr. Rizal Ahmad Kamal from Kuala Lumpur MAKSAK team. He was the one who shaped my chess repertoire during my IIUM days and I am forever thankful to him for that. Although I initially surprised him by playing one of Kuala Lumpur's pet line in our game, he, who has vast knowledge in chess openings, quickly had good positions. Nevertheless, with Kuala Lumpur needing only a draw, and indeed, all the three boards had already drawn their games, he gladly offered me a draw. (You may click on the picture below to see our game).
|Facing my mentor, Mr. Rizal Ahmad Kamal|