Thursday, May 27, 2010


It was a great night at DATCC on 26th May 2010. It was also a last round of 3rd DATCC Team Event. There are several things happen that night that worth mentioning here.

Whole UKM Team did not turn up.
First time in the history of DATCC Team Event, one whole team did not turn up! Normally it is during first round that a whole team did not turn up (maybe because of some transportation or registration problems), never during the last round. I noticed that no turn up of players are quite rampant in this edition. On 1st Edition, no turn up is rare. Most noticeable is when Haq did not turn up when his team met Nusa Mahkota. However, on this 3rd Edition, it was quite often to see Haq's turn up to play but not the rest of his UKM teammates!

My personal view this is not a good trend (walkover in the Fide rated tournament)

Yeoh Chin Seng 'lost' to 4 years old kid!
During disco time at DATCC (after 11 pm), i saw Yeoh Chin Seng was duly 'beaten' by 4 years old boy (Ziaur Rahman's son).YCS left with a bare king whereas his opponent got king and queen. YCS tried all the tricks (making illegal moves, not writting down his moves - his 4 years old remind him he need to write down moves!) as if this was not enough, IM Mok also assist YCS but finally YCS's king was being checkmated. Am i watching a play of future world champion? maybe...

(To be fair to YCS he started the game with only king while his opponent started with king and queen.) :)

Peter Long is playing!
Great to see that Peter Long is playing again in Malaysia. He drew his game, specifically contributing a vital half point to his team, generally contributing a 'shock and awe' of surprises to the whole Malaysian chess community.

Below is an example of his game played some 26 years ago (1984 Thessaloniki Olympiad) where in open field, with a swift knight move, he trapped his opponent queen!

Welcome back, Peter!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Dubai, a global city and business hubs second largest city in UAE after Abu Dhabi is the host for 1986 Chess Olympiads.

Malaysia sent a man team and also a woman team.

Malaysian Team
Malaysia was represented, according to the board order:
1. IM Jimmy Liew
2. FM Christie Hon
3. Peter Long
4. Franchis Chin
5. Ahmad Muzaffar Mustapha
6. Ng Ek Teong

As usual below are top 5 teams and neighbours placing.
1.Soviet Union (Kasparov, Karpov, Sokolov,Yusupov, Vaganian, Tseshkovsky)
2.England (Miles, Nunn, Short, Chandler, Speelman, Flear)
3.United States ( Seirawan, Christiansen, Kavalek, Federowicz, Firmian, Dlugy)
4.Hungary (Portisch, Ribli, Sax, Pinter, Adorjan, Csom)
5.Iceland (Olafsson, Hjartarson, Arnason ,Petursson, Sigurjonsson, Porsteins)

19. Indonesia (Ardiansyah, Adianto, Handoko, Sitanggang, Genting, Poha)
28.The Philippine (Torre, Rodriguez, Mirabeau, Cartagena, Roca, Toledo)
33. Singapore (Teo KS, Wong MK, Alphonsus, Chan PK, Giam CK, Ignatiaus)
42. Malaysia
59. Thailand(Sinprayoon, Sungthornpongsathon, Nainapalert, Fufuengmongkolkij, Onprom)
97: Brunei (Ja’afar, Mohd Dato, Ibrahim Ali, Hj Abu Nipah, Metussin, Ali MZ)

This is also the best placing for Malaysian ever. See below for our previous finisher.
Year 1972 59
Year 1974 59
Year 1978 57
Year 1980 49
Year 1982 57
Year 1984 50
Year 1986 42

We could finished better should Peter Long able to beat Richard Meulders (Belgium) in final round. Peter had two pawns advantage but unfortunaly he lost that game.

Individual Performance
1. Jimmy Liew (8/13) P=2445
2. Christie Hon (5/11) P=2294
3. Peter Long (3.5/11) P=2162
4. Franchis Chin (5.5/11) P=2291
5. Ahmad Muzaffar (1.5/3) P=2200
6. Ng Ek Teong (6/7) = P-2510

1. Malaysia sent its most experience team, 4 veterans 2 first timers and no 'tourist'.
2. Malaysia as a team continued to improve. We are now playing at 2320 level, bettered our previous best (Thessaloniki 1984:2257 performance) by a massive 63 Elo points. Below is how we performed over the last 16 years. Always improving!
Year 1972 2098
Year 1974 2126
Year 1978 2108
Year 1980 2082
Year 1982 2253
Year 1984 2257
Year 1986 2320

3. Jimmy Liew's bettered his Thessaloniki’s performance by 17 points to 2445 but he is not the best Malaysian’s at Olympiads. That honour went to Ng Ek Teong who scored 6 out of 7 (2510 performance). Ng Ek Teong was also 2nd board Gold winner.
4. In this Olympiad, Jimmy’s played what I considered as one of his best game. I have posted about that game earlier but now I am going to represent that game again by using chess player! Thanks to Andrew Ooi who patiently (and twice!) teach me on how to operate the chess player. This game has been considered one of the memorable games from Olympiad under heading " Quick debacles in Budapest Gambit are not very uncommon"

Next stop
1986 Dubai (Woman)

Monday, May 17, 2010


Yesterday on the last round of DATCC Sizling Rapid, I was paired against Syakir Syazmeer Azhar, Malaysia's up and coming player. In the game, Syakir has the advantage but somehow later in the endgame i managed to get the upper hand. Down with a few second i offered him a draw but he decline. OK That's good, agressive and strong will to win. Furthermore who insanely enough want to draw hen opponent got like 4 seconds left? Death is imminent. Later both of us had the arguments. Arbiter (Mr Najib) was called and he awarded the game to my young opponent on the fact that my time is 0.00 :-). I accept the decision, shake his hand and smile to his father.

Somehow above incident triggered back the memory on similar incident that happen some 19 years ago. It was at Terengganu Open 1991 and my opponent is Mr Fahor Jahudi, one of the chess columnist way back in the 80's. I even cut and paste his articles to my chess notebooks. So off we played and later Mr Fahor got the advantage (almost winning) but somehow when at one time when he want to execute the winning move, he accidentally toppled his king. I cruelly and immediately asked him to move his king. He refused. Arbiter was called and seems unsure on what to do. Later arbiter decided that the game is drawn. I was happy but Mr Fahor was upset, very upset.

Now, looking back i feel bad about it. I should just accept the defeat, resigned and smiled. That day in 1991 i acted very unsportmanship and now regret it.

To Mr Fahor, should you read this article I just want to say i am deeply sorry for what happen some 19 years ago.

To Mr Syakir, bright future for you in chess. Don't hesitate during the game. Go for the quick kill! (as also point out by your dad)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Below are some of the chess records that Malaysian chess players have created (or in some cases, have been achieved in Malaysia). Records below are not meant to be comprehensive and feel free to let me know if any of it is incorrect.

The First
FIDE Master (FM) - 26 years old Jimmy Liew achieved this in January 1984
International Master (IM) – One year after achieving his FM title, Jimmy Liew became the country first IM in January 1985.

The Most
Opponents in Simultaneous – on 26th March 2009, Ismail Ahmad played simultaneous chess against 120 opponents with final result 90 wins, 21 draws, 9 lost at Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. This feat has been certified by Malaysian Book of Records.
The most consecutive chess games played – on 21st December 2008, Collin Madhavan played 101 consecutive games with final result 69 wins, 29 draws and 3 lost at Penang. This feat has been certified by Malaysian Book of Records. To be frank I am not really sure what it mean with ‘ most consecutive chess games’. To me it looks like simultaneous, sound like simultaneous, play like simultaneous but at the end of the day not really simultaneous- consecutive instead. Question: Can Ismail Ahmad claimed in Malaysian Book of Record he played the most consecutive games (120 games)?
Most moves in a game – Mas Hafizulhelmi vs Kampen,Robin Oscar Haarlem BDO A 2009-131 moves. Mas pressured his opponent for most of the game. Later in a bishop, rook against rook ending, Kampen defends accurately. Game draw.
Most FIDE rated games played in a year -Mas Hafizulhelmi, 150 FIDE rated games in year 2008 alone. On average 3 games in a week for 52 weeks! Week!? This bring us to a next ‘the most’ category. My favorite…
Most FIDE tournaments in a week – Razali Hamzah a.k.a The Notorious Ng6!. 3 FIDE Rated tournaments in one week in April 2010. (Nf6 Invitation, 3rd DATCC Team and KLCA Open). I am not sure how he did that but I do sure hope that when he went home, he can still sleep inside ;-) Just kidding, Razali…you are the man!

The Best
FIDE Rating – Mas Hafizulhelmi, 2456 in January 2001
World ranking- Jimmy Liew, ranked 476 in the world in July 1986 with his 2415 rating. . Now, in 2010 one need to have a rating of about 2547 to be in world’s 476 (famous name now at world’s 476 something is GM Nick de Firmian)
Upset – Malaysian team beat Canada in 2006 Olympiad with the score of 3.5 – 0.5. This achievement was also officially considered, since Olympiad was first played in London 1927, as the third most upset Chess Olympiad result ever.

MAS Malaysia 2330 3½ : ½ 2468 Canada CAN

IM Hafizulhelmi 2412 1 - 0 2510 GM Charbonneau
FM Mok Tze Meng 2361 ½ - ½ 2531 GM Bluvshtein
FM Lim Yee Weng 2330 1 - 0 2466 IM Zugic
Chuah Jin Hai 2216 1 - 0 2364 IM Livshits

Olympian – Ng Ek Leong, 6 points out of 7 games in 1986 Dubai Olympiad. Undefeated. 2510 performance. Ofcourse for this achievement he has been crowned as 2nd reserve gold medal winner.

The Miscellaneous
Largest chess tournament in Malaysia - 2nd MBSSKL Open Chess Tournament 21April 2007 Mid Valley Exhibition Hall. How many participants? There are many versions, some 1250, some 1370 and some give the figure at 1400. Based on the feedbacks from participants after the event, I think nobody can be pretty sure what the exact figure is.
Longest running chess tournament – Selangor Open, 37 years, 37 tournaments and counting! But now in serious possibility of not making it to 38 :-(
Strongest tournament/match- Karpov vs Timman Candidate Final 1990 (average rating 2700). Not sure whether they qualified to be in Malaysian’s chess records since they are not Malaysian and they also no need to suffer the ‘Malaysian syndrome’ of compulsory one hour late in the first round (their match begin exactly as per schedule) but since the match was played in Malaysia and they also occasionally come late due to KL traffic jam (just like the rest of us), guess they qualified to be in Malaysian chess records.

The Vacancy
First GM – No, I am not referring to Raymond Siew’s motivational website. I am referring to current vacant position of Malaysia first Grand Master seat. Candidates are many, Mas, Ilhamuddin, Mok, Nicholas, Jimmy, Yee Weng etc. but I personally feel that Yeoh Li Tian will be The Chosen One in year 2016 (provide that the world is not ended in year 2012)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Other than my game against Norazmi in 1997 which all of the moves are theory, i have another 'feel cheated' game. This time my victim is Mirai Ishizuka, a former Japanese chess Olympiad member (Turin 2006)

This game was played in Ambank 2008.

W:Mirai Ishizuka
B:Nor Ilhamuddin
1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 a6
4.Ba4 Nf6
5.0-0 Be7
6.Re1 b5
7.Bb3 0-0
8.c3 d5

Marshall Attack

9.ed5 Nd5
10.Ne5 Ne5
11.Re5 Nf6

Original Marshall. This is what Frank Marshall played when he first introduce Marshall Attack against Capablanca in October 1918. Nowadays theory preferred 11. ...c6

12. d4 Bd6
13.Re1 Ng4
14. g3

A mistake. Capablanca played the correct 14. h3 . Game may continue 14. ...Qh4 15. Qf3 Nf2.

14. ... Nh2

Though looks crushing, this is not the best move. 14. ...Qf6 is better. Jimmy Liew in his book 'Chess in Malaysia' devoted a chapter on this Marshall attack and ofcourse he recommend 14. ... Qf6. I know about all this but always 'gatal tangan' to play the spectacular (though incorrect) Nh2 ?!

15. Kh2

Mistake. 15. Qh5 is better. Mark Siew played another interesting move 15. Re4 against me in DATCC Individual early this year. He won that game.

15. ... Qh4
16.Kg1 Bg3

Another piece sacrifice which should be decline with 17. Qf3 as what 10 year old S.Nithyalakshmi played against me in Dazzle Allegro early this year. I was lucky to win that game.

17.fg3 Qg3
18.Kh1 Bg4
19.Qg4 Qg4
20.Bd2 Rae8
21.Na3 Re2
22.Re2 Qe2
23.Rd1 h5

White resigned.

This is the only game in which i start with 1.30 on my clock, end up the game with 1.32 ! Norazman do this all the time but not Nor Ilhamuddin.

But i need to mention that Mirai is not in her best condition during the game. She is having a flu and wear mask most of the time.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Thessaloniki 1984.

For the first time Malaysia send their woman team.

Malaysian woman team, according to board order is as below:

  1. Audrey Wong
  2. Seto Wai Ling
  3. Vimalavathy
  4. Ong Y.M.

All unrated, all Olympiad first timer, all eager to show MCF decision to send woman team is not a mistake. So how did they performed?

The Performance

Top 5 finishers and Asean finisher is as below:

1.Soviet Union (Chiburdanidze, Levitina, Gaprindashvili, Semenova)

2.Bulgaria (Voiska, Gocheva, Chilingirova, Savova)

3.Romania (Muresan, Polihroniade, Nutu, Olarasu)

4.West Germany (Hund, Fischdick, Voklarova, Feustel)

5.China (Shilan, Mingqian, Yangfeng, Zhao Lan)


33.Indonesia (Wijayanti, Tamin, Wijaya, Nurjanah)

Overall Malaysia finished at 32 out of 51 teams. Collectively they played at 1850. Not bad, not bad at all....

Individually they have performed as below:

  1. Audrey Wong (7.5/14) P=1906
  2. Seto Wai Ling (5/12) P=1783
  3. Vimalavathy (7.5/13) P=1879
  4. Ong Y.M (1/3) P=1757

They have proved that MCF decision in sending woman team is not a mistake.


  1. Though officially finished at number 31, unofficially we finished sharing 27th place together with Greece A, Iceland, Italy, Austria and Finland.
  2. Elo Performance wise Audrey is the best in team but percentage wise Vimalavathy is better. They both contributed 72% of Malaysian's points.

Below is nice attacking win from Audrey against Haahr (Denmark). Diagram below is after white played Qb2 to e2. Audrey played black.

28. ... Nd4

Audrey sacrificed a piece for two pawns!

29. ed4 Bd4
30. Kd2 Bc3
31. Rc3 Rc3

32. Kc3

32. ... Qe5
33. Kb4 Qd4
34.Ka3 Rf6
35. Be8 Ra6

36. ... Ra4
37. ba4 Qc3 mate

A nice win!

Next stop.

Dubai 1986 (Malaysian chess finest hour)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city is the host for 1984 Chess Olympiads.

Malaysia sent a man team and for a first time, we also sent a woman team.

Malaysian Team
Malaysia was represented, according to the board order:
1. FM Jimmy Liew
2. FM Christie Hon
3. Peter Long
4. Ignatius Si
5. Gregory Vijayendran
6. Chew Soon Keong

Probably the strongest line up so far with two Fide Masters and 3 rated players (Jimmy 2375, Christie Hon 2340 and Ignatius 2225). Top two boards are veteran and the rest are all first timer.

Malaysia almost followed the tradition of 6th board not playing. Only in the last round we fielded Chew when Malaysia met Honduras. He lost while we manage to win on the other 3 boards.

As usual below are top 5 teams and neighbours placing.
1.Soviet Union (Beliavsky,Polugaevsky,Vaganian,Tukmakov,Yusupov,Sokolov) For the first time, Soviet team does not include world champion.
2.England (Miles,Nunn,Speelman,Chandler,Mestel,Short)
3.United States (Dzindzichashvili,Kavalek,Christiansen,Browne,Alburt,De Firmian)
4.Hungary (Portisch,Ribli,Adorjan,Sax,Pinter,Groszpeter)
5.Romania (Suba,Gheorghiu,Ghinda,Stoica,Ghitescu,Barbulescu)

16. The Philippines (Torre,Mascarinas,De Guzman,Andronica,Bernal,Ramos)
29. Indonesia (Ardiansyah,Gunawan,Handoko,Ginting,Sinulingga,Cerdas)
42. Singapore (Leow,Goh CH,Chia CS,Wong MK, Chan PK,Wong ML)
50. Malaysia

For the first time, we are not the last team among ASEAN countries. :-)

Individual Performance
1. Jimmy Liew (8.5/13) P=2428
2. Christie Hon (7/12) P=2372
3. Peter Long (3/9) P=2109
4. Ignatius Si (4.5/11) P=1939
5. Gregory Vijayendran (4.5/10) P=Not Available
6. Chew Soon Keong (0/1) P=NA

1. In the first round we meet the Russian. Eventhough we lost 0-4, we really gave the mighty Russian a tough time. e.g. Beliavsky took 52 moves before finslly defeating Jimmy. It has been reported " The gong of the first round sounded on the 19th November, the day when Capablanca was born. The USSR team had to fight hard against the inexperience youths of Malaysia."
2.Malaysian team went undefeated in the next 5 rounds before we are being stopped by Philipine (1-3)
3. Malaysia as a team continued to improve. We are now playing at 2257 level, bettered our previous best (Lucern 1982:2253 performance) by a mere 4 Elo points.
4. Malaysia almost continued its previous Olympiad Policy of 6th-bord-not-playing. Our 6th board, Chew Soon Keong played only on a last round. Though he lost, from his game he showed that he is capable of playing good chess.
5. Jimmy Liew's performance at 2428 is the best so far for Malaysian at Olympiads, breaking Choong Yit Chuan's record at 1982 Lucerne Olympiad (2339 performance) by 89 points. He contributed a massive 8.5 from 13.

Next stop
1984 Thessaloniki - Woman

Monday, May 3, 2010


67 players who are young and old, man and woman, local and foreign player, half got international rating gather at DATCC to decide who is the King among them in 37th Selangor Open.

After the last pawn has been push, after the last chess clock has stop ticking ( or with the case of digital clock, has stop blinking), after the last scorescheet has been signed, Nicholas Chan emerged (again! hate him!) as a winner for Selangor Open Chess Tournament.

Nicholas Chan, hardened from 2 battles at UKM and KL Open, is first seeded and forever glued at table 1. Opponents come, opponents go at board 1 but Nicholas remained.

He begin his campaigned by beating suave and immaculately dressed Trengganu player, Abdul Rahim Ramli in first round.

In second round, King Nicholas met future king, Li Tian. Battle fought for 2 days (from 29 April till 30th April,12.30 am). After the game ended, Nicholas showered words of praise to a rushing Yeoh Chin Seng (He is rushing to go home to get some rest because in a few hours time the sun will rise again and the battle will continue for Li Tian)

In third round he beat police King, Ismail Ahmad and in the fourth round, he has been given a hard time by Lim Zuo Ren. LZR's hold the better position but failed to convert it into a win. Notice that both Nick and LZR chess style (positional) and speed (very fast) is the same. Even their heights (Skinny tall) are about the same! Case of never easy to play against oneself.

In fifth round be beat former King, Jimmy Liew in a key battle that could decide the winner of the tournament.

Next two rounds he beat Farouqi and Khair. It is a case of Dr Jecykl and Mr Hyde for Nicholas. A doctor who was trained to save life but in chess, he change to a merciless killer!

Last two rounds he slowed down. Draw with Udani in round 8.

Just as he begin the first move in this tourney against Terengganu player (Rahim), he made his last move in this tourney also against another Terengganu player (Syazwan). Game draw.

He came, he saw, he conquared.

Hail to King Nicholas! Hail to King Nicholas!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


The Decision
So finally after much consideration, i decided to take part in this year Selangor Open. Braving a famous KL's April shower, i arrived at the 'new' DATCC. Bigger and more cosier. Gone are the 'Toiletgate' days of playing a Fide rated game next to the toilet gate. The free disco music (after 11pm) is now also more louder. So Mr Husband, please do not answer your wife call especially at board 1 after 11pm, with all that boom boom boom sound, she will not believe that you are actually in chess tourney!

Before i managed to mentioned to Lim Tse Pin that i want to take part, he immediately begin his CAS selling pitch to recruit new members (apparently CAS is now in really aggresive mode to get new member) The benefits of joining are great, pay less to take part in CAS event, closed tournament for CAS member only etc. But somehow i am still loyal to now no more exist Persatuan Catur Negeri Terengganu (PCNT). Just feel an act of treason to join chess association other than PCNT but then again everything in this world has a price. If CAS is active with lots of tournaments (btw noticed that CAS quarter allegro is now no longer held) then...CAS, here i come!

The Plead
Lim Tse Pin mentioned in his opening speech that Selangor Open is now the longest organized chess tournament in Malaysia (We know that)

Last year CAS suffered a lost of about RM3,000 organizing last year Selangor Open. This year Tse Pin expect a lost will be around RM5,000 and very strong possibility that this year could be the last Selangor Open (We don't know that)

Hence, he plead to all participant to look out for sponsors to sponsor next year Selangor Open. (We will support that)

As such to my dear
  1. Wealthy reader, maybe you could consider sponsoring next year event.
  2. Well connected reader, maybe you could introduce your wealthy Golf or Mahjong kakis to CAS.
  3. Chess player, support this event!
The Aim
My aim in this tournament is simple
  1. First, not to lose rating points
  2. Second, not to lose money
  3. Third, not to lose face (by losing a terrible game)

Well so far after round 7 (and after 4 wins, 1 draw and 2 lost)

  1. I definitely will lose rating points :-(
  2. Some outside chances i might end up top ten :-)
  3. Touch wood, so far i did not suffer single face losing moment (though a lost to Nabila in a drawn rook ending is a close candidate, everybody see the drawing line except me!)

The Seeding

  1. Nicholas Chan
  2. Jimmy Liew
  3. Ian Udani
  4. Loo Swee Leong
  5. Kamal Arifin
  6. Nik Farouqi
  7. Kamaluddin Yusof
  8. Abdullah Che Hassan
  9. Gerald Soh
  10. Khair Wahiduddin
  11. Jax Tham
  12. Abdul Haq
  13. Lim Zhuo Ren
  14. Nor Ilhamuddin

The Story

Much or less the seeded player performed as expected (with the exception of Kamaluddin and Abdullah Che Hassan who went through a tournament they would rather forget. So far their combined points equal to Nicholas' points)

Worth mentioning is about Li Tian's play. Impressive!. In his game against Gerald Soh, Li Tian's bishop and rook just completely 'lock up' his opponent bishop and rook, long range pieces that suddenly could not move even a single square without being capture!. Instead of winning pawn, Li Tian continue imposing 'day light curfew' on Gerald's pieces forcing Gerald Soh to resign.

Even the blitz specialist, Nicholas Chan took two days (from 7.45pm 29 April 2010 to 12.30 am 30th April 2010) to beat Li Tian. Ofcourse by that time both players already 'drunk' with that irritating 3 decibel free disco beat.

In one of the old photos framed at DATCC, i think there is this picture of a young Yeoh Chin Seng holding an even younger Li Tian under his shoulder while Li Tian's is holding a Malaysian flag.

A future Malaysian chess flag bearer, that what Li Tian is destined to be.