ICT Penang Open 2009

ICT Penang Open 2009 was held at the City Bayview Georgetown  Hotel from 19th -21st June 2009. The main sponsor for this annual event is Island College of Technology, Balik Pulau.


In spite of the H1N1 threat and the global financial crisis, the number of participants from overseas did not decrease significantly compared to last year. A total of 48 participants from 8 countries took part in the Masters section. For the first time in the history of the tournament, the first prize money was doubled, raising it to USD 2000.00.


The Opening Ceremony on the first night was officiated by YB Danny Law Heng Kiang, Penang State Executive Councillor, Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and Heritage. This was followed by a sumptuous buffet dinner hosted by the Penang Tourism Board.


After 3 days of 20 gruelling games (games were played till 10.30pm on the 2nd day), Nigel Richards emerged the champion with 15 wins and a superior spread to Ong Suanne’s 15 wins. Players were kept guessing as to who would triumph to the very last round, with Nigel Richards, Ong Suanne, Helen Gipson and Alex Tan all looking likely to win at various instances. Marlon Prudencio of the Philippines should be lauded as he kept things exciting by beating Nigel Richards and Alex Tan en route to his 4th placing. 5 Malaysians made it into the top 10, which bodes well for the Malaysia’s WSC prospects.


The number of participants in the Novices section increased to 36 this year. Many of the participants were new players who were introduced to Scrabble through the CIMB Bank Scrabble to School Programme launched in February 2009. Notable amongst the newcomers is new kid on the block Cheong Yi Wei who triumphed over many more seasoned players to emerge 1st Runners up in the Novices Section. The champion in the Novices section was Amery Seow Su Yin.