Monday, January 31, 2011


1.Arrived at tournament at about 9.15am. Almost went back since I thought that i went wrongly to some underage tourney. Everybody seems so young with face that never been shaved before ( Sumant is the exception) but i stay on and later saw NM Kamal Ariffin and Mat Zaki Yeop...ok, i’m in the the right tournament.

2.Glad to see Ezmi ‘Agdestein’ Mahmood make a comeback. For those at the tournament hall, he is the big guy with long gold coloured hair and wearing that smiley T shirt. He used to play football representing Kelantan and nearly make it to represent Malaysia. He won the best unrated in this tournament. Ezmi is now eyeing to take part in next month Kelantan’s out Farouqi! And Abdullah Che Hassan too!

3. I was seeded no.11 out of nearly 100 players and finished 6th. I am satisfied with my games (especially against Taufiq), satisfied with the placing, satisfied with my time management and also satisfied with my concentration (lucky no Tania around)...All in all, not a bad outing for me.

4. This tournament is well run by Mr Najib and his lovely wife,...err...Mrs Najib. Worth mentioning is Najib did really limiting number of participants for this tournament. Not many organizers are willing to do that. Someone (me!) asked what is the tie break for this tournament, Najib laughed before explaining it in his perfect English...or is it in perfect German? Bulchoz fuehrer BMW autobahn bla, bla, bla...I am not sure.
Also worth mentioning is for the first time the organisers will introduce/pay "appearance fee" for top Malaysian chess player (Mas, Mok, Nicholas) to play in weekend tourney. Good as it is a recognization to country top players, not good if you happen to be no 4th in the country and did not make the cut :)

5. Jianwen is the deserving winner of this tournament. His cute boyish face hiding his merciless killer instinct. A Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde! Chinese New Year’s angpow come early for him...Expect to see more future success by Jianwen. Also expect to see Internal Revenue Board (Income Tax) to start opening one file on Jianwen.

6. Mr Raymond Siew did introduce me to a parent who was at Asean. This parent is so full of positive took me by surprise! I half expected that it will be full of complaints to 3 usual suspects/punching bags (1.MCF 2.MCF and 3. MCF) but it did not turn out that way.
Asean? Good outing and good opportunity to know other parents.
Expenses occurred? Supported by PIBG, understand MCF’s constraint.
Lack of training/coaching? Hired personal coach. It is parent’s responsibility.

I hope this is the ‘truth’ that Raymond eagerly wants to show it to me. A satisfied parent that is so full of positive thinking and always see kindness in others. Parent that always see glass half full...


1.Raymond Siew posted above posting on 26 January 2011 as a reply to my article dated 25th January 2011 under titled ‘THE SILENCE OF THE...RATIONALITY’. His first 2 sentences mentioning that it looks like Jimmy’s ploy has worked to some degree and i have fallen to it. (I shall not comment on the rest of the sentences of this posting as i do not have enough time to scrutinize it all, enough energy to reply it and enough grasp of English to properly convey what i want to mentioned. Most important i do not want to get 'stalemate' over this issue and i have a respect to Mr Raymond Siew)

2.I selfishly replied by putting a comment on his blog as well as mine, stating that i have read his posting, thanking him for his praise to me and that’s all. I did not comment on his first 2 sentences.

3.I am being unfair to Jimmy and would like to stated here that:
a)I wrote about Rationality. Not about Jimmy, not about parents to junior chess player, not about Asean and not about Mal/Sing.
b)Yes, as a chess player, I was influence by Jimmy. I read and re-read his book, articles, games, blog etc. I read with sadness his decision to retire from International chess in 90’s, fully believe if he continued playing at that time he will be our FGM. Studied French hoping one fine day i will be able to give him a good fight should we ever met. Never. Happy when he became active again lately.
c)But NO, when it come to my posting, I write what i want to write.I did not follow orders from anyone and i don’t think i have fallen to anyone’s ploy. I know this for sure cause i have been with myself over the last 37 years.
d)I am the master of my article, I am the captain of my blog.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


A few chess bloggers met at Mamak Restaurant discussing about Jasmine Revolution that currently sweeping Middle east.

At the restaurant
Gilachess: Heard that it began in Tunisia due to the destruction of one food stall there. The stall owner later burned himself. See,the power of the food!
FGM: You look but you don’t see. Don’t look at the surface only. Look deeper. Here. Read this. This is actually a battle between a united youngsters against the establishment. Give youngsters a few more weeks, they can topple the establishment!
Chess Ninja: Define ‘youngsters’, define ‘establishment’ . Categorising citizens like this can be extremely divisive...
Jimmy: Let’s vote. Loser needs to shut up!
John Wong: No need that, to clearly understand the problems in Middle East, do read the classic such as Bernard Lewis’ What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response or Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem.You need to study these classics to understand Arab’s world. It is not easy to fathom what’s going on if you read only newspaper.
Anonymous: Agreed with John Wong. Those books are great!
FGM: Don’t just give books title. It doesn’t mean you understand anything...and you anon, I am sorry, you need to introduce yourself first before joining the discussion.
Rizal Ahmad Kamal: Ok, ok just to let you know. I have just finished compiling the analysis of what’s going on in the Middle East. You can buy it from me at RM20 each. With nice pictures, it will help you to understand Arab’s world better.
Chess Odyssey: ... or you could also watch arab’s belly dance to understand its culture or listening Arabian song’s like say...Rivers of Babylon from Boney M...
FGM: Watch Arab’s belly dance and listening to Boney M’s Rivers of Babylon to understand Arab !?...who tricked you, chess odyssey?
Gilachess:ok guys got to go now. Need to continue my work. Bye

All bloggers: Bye

Above is purely a work of fiction,a parody, a satire and it doesn’t mean to hurt or degrade anyone, anyplace, dead or alive. My intention is only for fun. Don’t sue me...i am yet to win that RM28 Million Jackpot!

Friday, January 28, 2011


With best play, what will be the result of the game?

Some say the game is draw, like a tic tac toe game. Some say there is a win, a force win. I said who cares...don't ever let the truth get in the way of beautiful, artistic game.

Who is the strongest player ever?
Minus God and computers and aliens, Kasparov and Fischer are two heavy favourites and off course there are the like of Capablanca, Alekhine, Steinitz etc.However, I personally feel that Morphy is the strongest player ever. Ahead of his time, he almost could find no worthy opponent to beat!

What is the best format for World Chess Championship?
Challenger challenge the champion (by putting on the table loads of cash), via strong tournament, via unlimited games (as long as 5 wins), via 24 games, 12 games, 8 games, knockout just keep changing year in year out.
For me, I personally feel the best format is the 80’s candidate/zonal with 24 games final, with no adjournment ofcourse.

When will Malaysia produce its first GM?
Grandmaster trainers (Gufeld, Ziaur Rahman) come and go, local talents come and go but Malaysia still yet able to produce its own chess GM.

Maybe, just maybe I should take this matter into my own hand and tried to get the title myself. Sshhh, here is the plan.

1. Winning that RM28M Jackpot.
2. Go and study chess in Russia, preferably with Kosteniuk or with Tania at India. I promise I will become a very good and obedient student!
3. Actively compete in some obscure GM circuit at some obscure places.
4. Once I got the ultimate title, quickly claimed the hadiah from Datuk Tan and then do a Fischer! Stop playing, get tanah from state government, enjoy the limelight...
5. Maybe after that i should started eyeing myself for that Datukship title.
6. Datuk Grandmaster Nor Ilhamuddin...hmm not bad!

Dream on Ilham you’ll never won that Jackpot to begin with.

OK, Let me tell you this little secret. I have won a lottery myself some 37 years ago. Warren Buffett called it ‘Ovary Lottery’. I manage to beat billions and billions of my fellow sperm for the right to be human. If i could do it then, i could do anything now!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


1. Like Dr Hannibal Lecter in thriller film, The Silence of the Lamb, people have many opinions about Rationality, some believe he* is genius and frank/analytical with his opinions...some of course believe Rationality is crazy blogger that is dangerous to society and should be keep under lock forever.

2. Who is Rationality? A fellow blogger believe he is Najib Wahab, a good friend of mine believe he is Kamal Abdullah, another blogger ( future Stanley Druckenmiller no less) believe he is Jimmy Liew, one generous soul suspects he is residing in Australia... For myself, i am pretty sure Rationality is not Nor Ilhamuddin and very good chances he is not Raymond Siew...ok, a good start there but still that left like 6.5 billion suspects minus 2.

3. Anyway who rationality is, is not important. It is his view that counts. I did not agreed with all his views and did not agree with his choice of words but still find his posting interesting, amusing, witty and well researched. I bet Rationality check and recheck all his postings and i bet most local bloggers wished they could write as well as Rationality and also wished they are not on the opposite side of Rationality's wrath!

4. To the best of my knowledge, he is the first local chess blogger that wrote in anonymous mode. In local political blogs, a very high number of them wrote anonymously (for obvious reasons). In local financial blogs also, a very high number wrote anonymously (Spin some analysis of one counter and immediately that counter move! ). Also notice that Rationality is also the first local chess blogger that disable comment on his posting and among rare few that did put any advertisement. His way of showing your opinion does not count and i did not do this for money. A rare breed indeed.

5. I only got two wishes to Rationality. First, continue writing and second (agreed with chess ninja) enable comment!, A mere opening like/dislike option is not enough!

6. His total silence, in a chaos chessic environment in which he normally excel, has been very deafening.

7. Last but not least, please continue writing Rationality.

*Rationality could also be a she also but ever since he posted that Guy Fawkes mask, lets label Rationality as a he.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Money is not good
In order to make a decent living from chess, you need to be extremely good, not only GM, not only Super GM but basically you need to be top 20 in the world.

Local tournament wise, to be the best in Malaysia is definitely not good enough. On average, first prize RM400. Let’s compare with say...memancing! (Golf will be overkill) First prize RM20,000! And in GP Joran they even have this Hadiah Utama, a cool RM84,000 in cash for overall winner. Ofcourse,in memancing tournament they start on time.

Torturous Tournament Format
In other sports, tennis dart etc if you are not good, you will lose in the first round and you can go home, you can still bragging to lose to champion and you will never know whether you are the most unskilled player around.

In chess, they have this torturing device called SWISS System and even if you lost, the tournament director will force to keep on playing and playing and playing with your fellow chess clowns. Worst part is, you cannot hide, this SWISS System will show to the whole world (thank you, Internet) with absolute certainty whether you are the most...what word to use are the most ‘need to improve’ player.

Not a popular sport
Ask any hot actress, who she wanted to go out with, a top chess player or a top footballer? Enough said.

Wait a minute, on a brighter side, ask any hot actress who she wanted her daughter’s IQ to be inherite from, a chess player or a boxer? In this area we might have a chance!

Accused to be a spy/smuggler
This happen to me some 20 years ago. I played correspondent chess with Andrew Ooi, Masros Tukiran and few others. I was at boarding school in which all letters will be open by Puan Rosniyah (she is a big fan of Ludlum’s novels). She accussed me of devising a secret plan to smuggle cigarettes inside the school when she opened one of those letters that mentioned

3. Bb5 if 3. ...a6 then my move is 4. Ba4
If 3. ...Bc5 then my move is 4.c3

But still, whatever reasons are, we all love this beautiful game!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


1. Raymond Siew, a prolific blogger mentioned about idea of a match between Senior team and Junior “for the rights to Olympiad". This idea, according to Raymond, has been put forward by a parent of National Junior durung train ride to S'pore.

2. I am all in the favor for the match between Senior and Junior to take place. It will be a great tournament, full of suspense, predictions, good games etc. I bet it will be even bigger than 2009 Malaysian Master, a tournament in which resulted in 3 local IMs to cover it in their blogs. The publicity will be good for chess, the result will be good in measuring the progress of junior against senior etc.

3. But let’s not put the rights to Olympiad at stakes. If junior wins (which honestly I don’t think it will happen against full strength senior team). Are we going to send a full junior team? Not a good idea…who is going to decide the line up, provide experience/guidance or strategy? This is no MSSM. Not to mention the effect of low ratings to the team, low seeding, low respect from other teams (suddenly every team is extra determine and extra confident to score a win against lowly rated Malaysia).

4. For Olympiad, the best line up in my humble opinion consisted of the mix of Senior and Junior. Ideally 4-2 (4 seniors, 2 juniors) or 3-3 (3 seniors, 3 juniors) though Malaysia is very much capable and always producing 3-2-1 line up (3 seniors, 2 juniors and 1 tourist)

5. While I love to see the match between Junior and Senior to take place, I doubt it will ever happen (unless someone willing to put up some serious money in this match) since there is so much for senior to lose and so little for them (senior) to gain. Say Senior won with the margin of 11-9 (Senior got lucky, junior not feeling well…), or maybe a decisive 16-4 result (Senior only strong against Junior, how come they cannot score the same result against Indonesian Team?) Senior can never win but very real chances of losing. Remind me of a joke about negotiation between America and Russia…when Russian said”what mine is mine, what yours is negotiable”. “what juniors have is juniors to keep, what seniors have is at stake and to be decided”

6. Also the way/scenario this ‘challenge’ is presented.
a. Junior just scored/contributed a lion share in Malaysia’s victory against Singapore.
b. Raymond mentioned via various postings that “the Seniors are no longer fighting”, “senior lost the fire”, “throwing game”etc
c. Hence, the challenge between senior and junior to represent Malaysia at Olympiad.

This type of challenge is not sounds like chess at all. This type of challenge is more suitable to boxing (to demoralize opponent etc) and we all know what happen to boxers after the match…

7. Raymond’s idea of junior chess training is also not realistic. Put top juniors for 3 or 5 days, no trainer required, junior’s combined knowledge will be enough. This idea works for team sport such as football, volleyball etc but for chess ?!...Chess is very much an individual and intellectual game. Knowledge you have is yours alone and not to be shared. Say if junior a discovered a flaw in Mas’ najdorf, or Mok’s modern…I don’t think he will share it with others. The knowledge is his alone. To me chess training among team mate is more to create camaraderie or team spirit, not to share secret or show weaknesses (your team mate today might exploit it tomorrow).

If I am not mistaken Kasparov once required all member of his team to sign an agreement not to reveal the novelties discovered during the training etc. All knowledge is for Kasparov alone. My point is chess training, without trainer will not work. To expect junior players to pool all their knowledge and chess secrets for the benefit of all team members is, realistically, not going to happen.

8. To sum it up. I support this type of match to take place (with no Olympiad place at stake, too hasty to be determined from one match/tourney) but disagree in the way these challenge is being presented.

Monday, January 10, 2011


2 days ago I took part in weekend tournament, 17chess club Open 2011 tournament which was organised by Syazrin ( Pengurusan Catur Ar Rahman ) and Max (17 chess club). Arbiter was Najib Wahab.

All in all for me this was a text book example of how a good chess tournament should be...though in my case, result wise, still a disaster tournament. 3rd disaster tournaments as pointed by Saprin...ok now at least i know Saprin do read my blog :)...

Why this tournament is a good tournament?

Lots of prizes
In main category the cash prizes is until 10th position and there are also prizes for best IPTA, best female, best junior and so on. As if this is not enough, they also have lucky draw (thanks to Stonemaster who generously sponsoring the lucky draw prizes) to ensure the contestant glued to witness the prize giving ceremony.

Few years back i entered these one tournament, let it remain anonymous. Entrance fee is RM30, Prizes? 1st RM150, 2nd RM75, 3rd chess book. I did asked the arbiter why so few ( and so kedekut...though this one i did not asked openly) prizes? Arbiter smoothly informed “oh, we want to teach chess player to enter the tournament not because of prize money but more for LOVE of the game” in front of him i silence but come on...who are you kidding? for love of the game my cxxk! Maybe you, organiser should first walk the talk and organise tourney with RM5 entrance fee...for love of the game...

Cheap entrance fee
Entrance fee is RM19 only. KL rate wise...very cheap though Terengganu’s even cheaper... RM10. Don’t know why the odd number of RM19, maybe even better is RM17 to reflect 17chess club...

Freebies to contestant
All contestant received a bottle of mineral water and a pack of tit bits (chocolate, candy etc)

The tournament was punctually conducted. An exception to guaranteed at least half an hour late Malaysian weekend tournament syndrome.

Nice number of contestant.
54 players took part. 2 weeks before i took part in one tournament in which there are more than 100 contestants took part. No doubt a victory to organiser but actually a disaster to the contestants. First a warm tournament hall (arbiter needs to request player who has finished their game to emptied the hall, sorry but we paid to see the chess player in chess action...not to see chess player in smoking action outside) second, a packed toilets, third squeeze-in-time to see pairing and in my case... fourth, a disastrous result.

When Udani was defeated by Saprin, a race for first prize is wide open between Saprin, Fadzil Nayan and Udani...suddenly out of nowhere Abdullah undertook them all to finish first!

Friendly arbiter
With Najib as arbiter you can expect a smooth, punctual and friendly atmosphere of tournament. Unlike some arbiter who like to scream to contestant as if we are a bunch of kindie kids “SIT DOWN!! ALL PLAYER SIT DOWNNN!!...ALL PLAYER REPORT THE RESULT NOWWW!!!! NOWWW!!!”

After event event
Shortly after the tournament ended there is a blitz tournament being organized. Enough to get even the most chess-tolerance-player chess drunk!

Result upload to chess server.
Don’t we all loved it if the results are upload to chess server...we can see list of opponents one face, rating performance, initial seeding and so on.

Congratulations to all behind this for the tournament well organised.

Friday, January 7, 2011


When asked what is the benefits in playing chess, questions that we, chess players, face from time time, i will normally reply as below:

Teach Planning Ahead
Chess teach mind to look ahead, plan ahead, maximise resources, set traps, avoid traps...a type of thinking needed to survive and succeed in work place. Chess also teach you to how to devise a plan to kill your opponent...very, very needed skill to excel in work place.

Teach Responsibility
Chess teach responsibility. You cannot blame others if you lose. You cannot blame the physical of opponent is bigger or stronger as a reasons you lose. (though some blame it on the ’attractiveness of opponent’ as a distraction. This one i don’t know), cannot blame it on unfair referee, cannot also blame it roaring cheer from home supporters...none in chess. You alone are responsible for the result of your own game. Simple.

With only 10 bucks you can buy a decent chess set and start playing right away. You cannot do this if your sports are bicycle or go-kart or squash. In fact if you are very, very good in chess, you can play it even without chess pieces...blindfold chess! Nature way of awarding chess master. Nothing is cheaper than blindfold chess.

Age is not a barrier
Chess can be played by anyone from age 3 and infinity. Normal to see 7 years old girl fight as equal with 24 years man. You cannot see this in say...boxing. Which also mean that you can play chess forever.

Can make money
If you are good in chess you can make some money by competing in various tournaments. Not much but still good enough to cover for few rounds of McDs.

Teach time management
Chess teach you to plan and execute your plan within certain time frame. Varied between few hours to 1 minute each. Useful skills to face exam or project. As if that is not enough, in chess game there is also time management elements such as tempo, stalemate, zugzwang etc. Zugzwang !? what the hell is that...bring us to next reasons

Teach foreign language
From chess we know en passant (French) which mean special capturing of a pawn as if the pawn is moving only one square. Zugzwang (German) which mean all legal moves will lead into troubles. Allegro (Italy) which mean fast and so on.

Teach numbers.
From simple... Results ? 1-0, to medium... time controls? 3 plus 2 or strength ? FIDE 2205, to hard...Evaluation? Fritz 2.14 but Rybka 3.22. Sorry but if you are not chess player you don’t know how to decipher above answers. Chess game is now all about numbers . Of course the favourite Q & A in chess that involve number is Prize ? First RM300 only...this one everybody know and chess players learn to accept.

Reasons NOT to play chess

Saturday, January 1, 2011


”Experience is the name we gave to our mistake” Oscar Wilde

If that is the case i guess i have many ”experience” in chess, especially when it come to my chess training regime.

Kasparov, the one who simply know everything that needs to know in chess, still trained for at least 6 hours during his chess camp.It is normal for other GM to train for 8 hours a day that i suspect consist of finding novelties, preparing for specific opponents, polishing tactics/endgames etc

Well, i also trained for 6 hours a day. My training diet consist of one hour at chesscube (chess 960), one hour reading blogs, another one hour at yahoo (blitz), another one hour pondering what to post on my blog next thinking who should i flame on the shoutbox bla, bla, bla, 6 hours already...

Jahangir Khan, squash legend that went undefeated for 6 years, fitness drilling consist of running half marathon on daily basis, 5 days a week.

For me, i have successfully jogging like once a month...

Yasser Seirawan once mentioned in his book Winning Chess Brilliancies that there is this Go school in Japan that required all the junior students to memorize 100 classic Go games before studying other aspects of the game...Go junior students...memorized 100 classic games...

In chess I remembered only that Morphy’s Opera House game...

But i know, i cannot be them just as they cannot be me...

”Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken” Oscar Wilde