Thursday, March 3, 2011


The Question
Who is Malaysia first chess blogger/columnist/author?

Hairulov? Nope
Gilachess? No
Late Lim Chong?Not quite
Quah Seng Sang? Wrong
Jimmy Liew? Wrong again though Jimmy did write a book titled Chess in Malaysia in early 80s'

Ladies and gentleman. The answer is…drum roll, please…Tun Sri Lanang!

I could hear ‘Hey, never heard that Tun Sri Lanang wrote a blog!’ Ok, I am not referring to our Tun Seri Lanang, chess player but rather to Tun Seri Lanang, Bendahara of Johore and author of Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals)...see below.

Tun Seri Lanang (TSL)
He was born in 1565 in Seluyut, Johor.

In 1612 at the request of Sultan Abdullah (later to become Sultan Abdullah Mu,ayat Shah) TSL is instructed to write Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) . He finished this great book in Acheh prison few years later.

In 2001, The Malay Annals was listed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme International Register.

Below is what TSL wrote about chess in Malacca, in one of the chapter of Sejarah Melayu.

Sekali persetua ada seorang, Tun Bahara namanya, orang Pasai, ia datang ke Melaka, Maka Tun Bahara itu pandai terlalu ia bermain catur, tiada siapa menyamai dia pada zaman itu. Maka bercaturlah Tun Bahara itu dengan orang Melaka. Lawannya itu berfikir, ia tiada fikir, pandang kiri, pandang kanan, sambil ia bersyair, dan berbait, dan bergurindam, dan serseloka. Serta sudah ia berperang, berjalan tiada dengan berfikir lagi, terlalu bangat. Maka segala orang yang tahu-tahu bercatur, semuanya alah olehnya, seorang tiada dapat melawan dia, melainkan Tun Pikrama, anak Bendahara Paduka Raja; ia juga yang dapat sedikit melawan Tun Bahara itu , tetapi jikalau lalai Tun Pikrama, digelarkan oleh Tun Bahara itu 'sayur keladi', dan jika Tun Bahara membuang sebiji bidak ujung jua pun, alah pula Tun Bahara oleh Tun Pikrama, itulah yang tahu bercatur,

Tun Bahara, a Pasaian, came to Malacca and beat everybody there by just blitzing his moves and without a need to concentrate on his game.

The only Malaccan that able to give decent fight to him is Tun Pikrama in which Tun Bahara could not dare playing by giving pawn odd because Tun Bahara will lose

My thoughts
How I wished is TSL could record one of the Tun Bahara’s or Tun Pikrama’s game! Are they e4 or d4 player? Maybe whetever defense/opening they played, we can claim as our own discovery…Melaka Defense?

So we have chess history that span over 400 hundreds year old…wow!

400 years!
Thousands and thousands of players…wow!
Million of games!
Billion of moves! GM...sob, sob!

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