The Malaysian women's team has made the nation proud by emerging as winners at the World Chess Olympiad 2016 held in Baku, Azerbaijan
The 42nd instalment of the prestigious competition which was held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 1 till 14 September, saw the girls emerging as winners of Group C in the Women's Category.
The team consisted of players Tan Li Ting, Alia Anin Azwa Bakri, Nur Nabila Azman Hisham, Puteri Rifqah Fahada Azhar dan Nur Najiha Azman Hisham, and team captain Gregory Lau.
It was definitely a sweet victory as they beat favourites such as China, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, India, USA and Hungary, teams that have the highest average rating in chess, to become the ultimate winners of the group.
On top of emerging as winners for Group C, it is also encouraging to know that they made a significant improvement in terms of their ranking
Out of a total of 11 rounds played, the girls won six matches.
At the 10th round, Malaysia chalked up an impressive win against Peru to put themselves at the 13th spot out of 140 countries. However, it was during the final round against Azerbaijan, that the Malaysian team lost in a nail-biting match that lasted for nearly five hours, pulling their rank down to the 25th spot.
Although they lost in the final round, they were still crowned as the winners of the group as they had performed well enough throughout the tournament, collecting enough points to emerge as champions. The girls can definitely hold their heads up high as they started off at the 66th spot and ended the competition at 25th, 41 spots better.
Adding to the list of good news, current national champion Nur Nabila Azman Hisham was also awarded the Woman FIDE Master (WFM) title!
She attained prestigious WFM title after she brought home 6.5 points out of 10 games from the competition.
According to the World Chess Federation (FIDE) handbook, titles may be awarded for specific results in specific Championship events, or are awarded on achieving a rating as laid down in these regulations. Such titles are confirmed by the Qualification Commission (QC) Chairman on advice from the FIDE Office. They are then awarded by FIDE.
Additionally, titles may also be awarded based on applications with norms with a sufficient number of games.
The ladies' amazing feat at the world arena is yet another milestone that demonstrates what this young team is capable of
The Chess Olympiad is held every two years since 1950, and it is considered to be one of the major events in the world of sports, attracting more than 150 countries and around 3,000 athletes and officials.
Th five-member Malaysian team's victory at the international arena may come off as a pleasant surprise, but it goes to show that the nation has talented people representing the nation, who are capable of making a name for themselves and the country, in a game where 500 million people play.
If they continue to up their own game, they can definitely dream big and aim to win many other prestigious titles in the near future.
Our heartiest congratulations to the amazing team! <3