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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

2004 Penang Open Commentary

It's been a long wait since Equatorial Cameron Highlands, but the 5th Penang Open Scrabble Competition was worth every bit of it.

I checked in to room 713 with my roommate, Pui Cheng Wui on Friday after a detour along Jalan Jelutong. We were delighted to find the tournament venue was situated on the 7th floor. Talk about having a tournament right outside your doorstep. We soon met Tan Jin Chor, John Lam, Jocelyn Lor, Irene Lim for dinner of gado-gado and mutton soup along Jalan Penang. Pui liked the soup so much that he order a second helping and promptly wound up with a heavy belly. Jocelyn Lor and I accompanied him to walk off the excess before heading back to the hotel for a friendly spar (which I lose to Pui twice) and retiring for the night.

Starting off the next day with 24 players, I had a good run over Dr. Mohamad Salehudin, Chuah Sim Swee, Ganesh Asirvatham and Yeap Gim Sai to earn 4 wins and a +666 spread. What an ominous sign to have before everyone headed down to Jalan Penang again to dine on Char Kuey Teow, Wanton Noodles and Prawn Noodles for lunch. Back at the hotel, I ding-dong with losses to Jocelyn Lor and John Lam and wins over Pui Cheng Wui and Ong Suanne to finish the day on top.

Later that night, all the participants were treated to a sumptuous dinner at the Executive Lounge. This was followed by wishes for birthday girl, Yeap Gim Sai. In her honour, many players put on an impromptu acapella concert, including Seshi Ramanathan (who has cut four albums), John Lam and Tan Khee Chiang.

We resume battle the next day as I fell Seshi Ramanathan and Tan Jin Chor before stumbling over Tan Khee Chiang. I won a squeaker against Alex Zulkarnain who misplayed the endgame.
After lunch at the same place the previous afternoon, I proceed to lose twice to Pui Cheng Wui in the repeat rounds and barely hanging on to a win over Yeap Gim Sai to finished 5th. Ganesh, Tan Jin Chor, Pui Cheng Wui and Jocelyn finished ahead of me respectively. Rounding up the prize winners were Ong Suanne and Yeap Gim Sai.

Tan Khee Chiang, Seshi Ramanathan and Warren Lau earned the class prizes for those under 1500 while Yang Mohsin and the Yeoh sisters (Sue Jane and Sue Ann) triumphed in the Intermediate Division (14 players)


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