Thursday, March 18, 2010


If Malaysia has such award such as Year Best Chess Game a'la Sahovski Informator, then the best chess game in year 2006 will surely went to Mas vs Korchnoi game.

Below is that historic game with some light annotation.

The Game
The game was played in round 9 of 2006 Turin Olympiad. Facing Mas is the legendary Victor Korchnoi, a man who was one game away from beating Karpov to be World Champion in 1978. In 80's he is one of the 3K (Kasparov, Karpov, Korchnoi) that terrorized the chess world before the arrival of fourth K in 90's (Kramnik)

Statistic wise, Korchnoi is 200 elo points above Mas and have some 50 years more experience than Mas! Odds are heavily against Mas.

White:Mas Hafizulhelmi

Black:Victor Korchnoi

1.e4 e5

2 years before, also in Olympiad, Korchnoi played a French defense against Mok Tze Meng. Unfortunately Mok lost that game.

2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 a6

Ruy Lopez Exchange is Mas pets opening .

4.... dc6
5.0-0 Bg4
6.h3 Bf3

6... h5 has been extensively analysed which (after some complications) should favour white.

7.Qf3 Ne7

A surprise. Korchnoi played 7... Qd7 against Vlastimil Hort in 1981 (probably when Mas is still in his mother's womb!). Game draw. In 1985 Korchnoi also played 7...Qd7 against John Nunn. Korchnoi lost.

8.Nc3 Ng6
9.d3 Bd6

This bishop turn out to be nothing more than a pawn that can move only backward.

10.Ne2 c5
11.Ng3 0-0
12.Qg4 Kh8
13.Nf5 Rg8

Preparing a desperate counter attack that back fired.

14.h4 Ne7
15.g3 Qc8
16.Qf3 Qe6
17.h5 Rae8
18.h6 g5
19.Ng7 Qh6
20.Ne8 Re8

Korchnoi has had enough and throw in his towel.

Mas will surely framed the scoresheet! :-)

Mas somehow make it looks simple. Positionally, he optimized the placement of his pieces making his opponent looks like a patzer and finishing the game in less than 25 moves.

Local chess scene was esctatic.

"What a performance when he actually beaten GM Pascal (Canada) in round 6 and GM Korchnoi (from Switzerland..." - Kelab Catur Setia Kuantan

"In this match, Mas Hafizul delivered a masterly knock-out blow to veteran super-grandmaster, Victor Korchnoi, in a 21 move game..." - Quah Seng Sun.

"That's the way ahak!ahak! I like it ahak!ahak!" - Hairulov Chessmaniac (old blog)

So, Ilham, do you think that this is Mas best game?

Nope, i personally like his wins against Ulibin in Biel 2008 better (but that is a story for another day)



    Salam, kalau ada reviewer game lagi best..mungkin link di atas boleh membantu
    --Mohd Hafez Hilmi

  2. Bro Ilham, i like your articles very much. Always interesting and original. I have a suggestion - hope you can change to a more lighter blog templates because it`s easier to read.

  3. Hi Hafez
    Dah try tapi tak berjaya, especially part pgn tu, tapi insyaAllah slowly slowly belajar.

    Hi Hairulov,
    I shall gave that a consideration. See you this 24th March at DATCC!