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”


  1. Being the stickler for details person that I am, I am going to correct you by saying it is a and c-pawn and I claimed three-fold repetition (though it is probably drawn).

  2. Nigel Short lost in a 2-pawns-down game against Kasparov in the 1993 World Championship (Short blundered in the Queen's Gambit game).. since then it has been extensively studied.. but I forgot the details!

  3. If memory serves me right, I read in some book (I think the Book is Chess for Tigers by Simon Webb), saying its a theoretical draw. So, when I saw the position, I thought most likely it will be drawn.

  4. the side 2-pawns down must play very accurately to draw..

  5. Certain R&2p v R positions with f&h pawns (or the mirror a&c pawns) is a theoretical draw. It was in Levenfish's Rook Endings from the 60s who made reference to an even earlier book by Maizelis. The qualifier, as always, is the weaker side must know what to do as Jimmy obviously did.

  6. Dear all,
    Again on Jimmy's ending. Someone told me, when Ismail Ahamd saw the position, he knew it is going to be draw since he once saw Jimmy defending similar position against Woo Beng Keong.

    Again, it is never easy to defend it, almost equivalent to defending R vs B&R. Draw but difficult.

    Thanks for all the comments and additional info with regards to this ending.

  7. This is good! Susan Polgar's TOP 5 WEIRDEST CHESS MASTERS =

  8. Hi abdooss,
    interesting article there. Thanks! some Malaysian chess personalities able to make that list! :)