Sunday, April 24, 2011


I arrived at Dataran Merdeka today at about 5pm, park my car in front of KL Children library to (hopefully) witness the fifth round of Sea Games Selection. On the way to Restoran Warisan, I walk past an old building between KL Library and Restoran Warisan. Ah, this building sure looks familiar, this is where it all begin to me...25 years ago, i took part in my very first chess tournament here (Malay Open). Still remember how i watched in awe at then chess prodigies (Rosazman Rosley, Yus Jefrey and Azita Man making their chess moves....Wonder where are they now?).... Guess that is story for another day.

So I finally arrived at the tournament hall... No luck, the last game has ended few minutes ago. So i spent few minutes, together with Greg, inspecting the building. It is an old Colonial building with a wood flooring, multiple halls, Moorish themes everywhere...”This building got soul. I could feel it... I love this place” Greg said. Well for me... wandering through that empty halls, i half expected to see Gurkha soldier with bayonet rifle to emerge and asked us not to venture too far away...lucky none appear.

Above is the building of Restoran Warisan taken from Kementerian Penerangan website. I was thinking of capturing the image from my handphone's camera but since the megapixel of my hp is two, or is it one? and will not do justice for this work of art building, i abandon the plan.

So...after 2 plates of Mihun (yes, there is refreshment served here for chess players and i assumed, for a chess blogger too :)), tea without milk (thanks Greg), we (Greg, Haslinda, Zuraihah Wazir and me) sat down at the corridor and exchanging old chess stories...Agus Salim, Fikrul, some love stories among chess players in 90s etc...reminiscence of good old days

Halfway, Jimmy and Mas are leading the tournament. Upset is Mok lost to Fong Yit San and among interesting position is Kamal Ariffin vs Jimmy Liew. In a rook ending Kamal Ariffin is two pawns up (f and h) but Jimmy defends correctly to secure the draw. (Jimmy informed the actual position is a and c pawns. See comments below)

So far from what i heard, Jimmy is the player with the most fighting spirit (thanks that he do not have any brother or student taking part). My personal feeling is 4 IMs are going to make it but i do hope that they do not become ‘Russian in 60s’. Draw with each other and all out against the rest.

So how tough is this tournament? Mas sum it up by saying “...tournament in which anybody can beat anybody”

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Yesterday afternoon, on my way to gym (in which is my first session with my personal trainer, vomit half way but continue and still manage to finish the torturous drilling...Yes!) I was informed about a recent game incident at Unisza Open between Nabila and Ahmad Rizal Othman.

What happened?
I did not witness what really happen. This is my understanding of what happen. Ahmad Rizal Othman checkmated (Take note. checkmated, not about to checkmate) Nabila but he has overstepped his time limit. Arbiter award the game to Nabila because Rizal has overstepped the time limit.

OK, I will do a little research on this since this is quite interesting. Both side got valid points.

The Research
Lets begin the research by consulting FIDE Law of Chess.

Article 5: The completion of the game

5.1 a.The game is won by the player who has checkmated his opponent’s king. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing the checkmate position was a legal move.

b.The game is won by the player whose opponent declares he resigns. This immediately ends the game.

Meaning, the game is complete (over) when player has checkmated his opponent king or one player has resigned, silent on overstep the time limit.

Of course we need to consult same clause at article 6 (Clock) as well to get clearer picture.

6.9 Except where one of the Articles: 5.1.a, 5.1.b, 5.2.a, 5.2.b, 5.2.c applies, if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.

My understanding of this article is if player did not checkmate his opponent, or opponent did not resign or both player did not agree to a draw only then the game will be decide by the clock.

The Verdict
Based on above, i think arbiter has make a mistake. Ahmad Rizal should be declared as a winner of that game and not Nabila.

Similar Posting
Few years ago Hairulov posted a similar article

Based from his game against Julian Navaratnam, Hairul is one move from checkmating his opponent, overstepped his time limit but still arbiter award the point to Hairulov even though he practically has 'lost' on time. (Though i have different view on Hairul's case -he about to checkmate, not yet checkmated so basically i think Julian should be the winner when hairul overstepped...sorry Rul :) )

"Checkmate ends the game , so subsequent flag claim is irrelevant" Chee Meng...(Jimmy Liew?)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The 80s
I love 80s. The movies (ET, Empire Strikes Back, The Untouchables, Poltergeist etc), the TV shows (Mac Gyver, V, A Team, Airwolf, Knight Rider etc) and so this night i naturally immersed myself with 80s songs, Belinda Carlisle, Peabo Bryson, WHAM, Duran Duran, Madonna etc. Then suddenly i remembered about this funny song titled 'One Night in Bangkok' by Murray Head.

I typed the titled, clicked to play it and was pleasantly surprise when i heard and saw the video just full of chess!

Wow! Since i first and last time heard this song was light years ago before i know how to play chess, never thought there exist in this world a song in which in lyric as well as in the video clip...contain chess theme, and not just that, this song also topped the charts in many countries!

The Song

The Lyric
Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don't know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner

Time flies -- doesn't seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change -- don't you know that when you
Play at this level there's no ordinary venue

It's Iceland -- or the Philippines -- or Hastings -- or --
or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you're lucky then the god's a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One town's very like another
When your head's down over your pieces, brother

It's a drag, it's a bore, it's really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city

Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town --

Tea, girls, warm, sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite

Get Thai'd! You're talking to a tourist
Whose every move's among the purest
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Siam's gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddy old river or reclining Buddha

And thank God I'm only watching the game -- controlling it --

I don't see you guys rating
The kind of mate I'm contemplating
I'd let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you

So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage
parlours --

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

The Best Part
I especially likes the lyric "One town's very like another When your head's down over your pieces, brother"

Remind me about my past posting of National Closed "... After all once the game started, you no longer care about your surrounding"

4 Steps Checkmate
Watch the video clips from 2.22 till 2.37, white player used the primitive 4 steps checkmate...and black player fell to it!... :)

After that scene, singer sang "Siam's gonna be the witness to the ultimate test of cerebral fitness"

Well, you don't used 4 steps checkmate as a " ultimate test of cerebral fitness" :)

The Puzzle
Frankly, even after hearing this song for so many times tonight, still did not really understand it...Why chess in Bangkok? Why "The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner"? I just don't get it...(though i suspect this song is just laden with double meanings word). I don't know...

Ahh but I guess work of art, like this song, like classic painting, like Ferrari is meant to be enjoyed...not meant to be understand.

Laaeo phohp gan mai (Thai words for See You Later)

Monday, April 4, 2011


Below game was e-mailed to me by Mohd Arshad

W:Roslina Marmono
B:Abdul Haq
Malay Masters...long, long time ago.

Well, the ending of the game and perhaps the beginning of a relationship. :)

Haq lost the game but won the queen! wonder they called this opening Queen's Gambit!

May both players lived happily ever after.

Friday, April 1, 2011


This short game is from recently concluded National Closed 2011. A bizarre draw because we need to repeat the position nine (or is it ten?) times. This is due to tournament regulation that disallow draw below 20 moves.

The game followed a well known Sax-Seirawan 1988 game but of course their game ended on move 12.

Below is the game.

Well, not really a game that we proud of.

Half a point for a draw.

Zero point for lack of fighting spirit or perhaps I should use the word of the month...ducking.