Saturday, May 28, 2011


Few months ago, Syazrin asked me whether I am interested to enter one round robin tournament (10 players, FIDE rated, played over 2 or 3 months duration with average player ratings of 2100). Immediately I said yes. I have never in my life played a round robin tournament (those 3 minutes 5 rounds at Chesscube with entrance fee of 50 cubics doesn’t count) so…yeah, why not!

Then, many things happen. More responsibility at office, merger between EON Bank and Hong Leong Bank as well as classes and exams, I almost feel like withdrawing but since I have agreed earlier (and I know it is difficult to find last minute replacement) I soldiered on. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be…

My game against NM Yeoh Chin Seng
The ‘battle’ begin a few weeks ago, a psychological battle that is, when we (YCS, Najib and me) exchanging few e-mails on adjourning the game to 28th May 2011.

For this game, before the game, I followed Kasparov’s footstep in his match against Karpov. Come 5 minutes late! Though due to different reasons (Kasparov must be on last minute preparation while for me… never mind I keep it to myself) and my similarity with Kasparov’s ends there.

As soon as I entered DATCC, I saw Najib and YCS busy playing blitz in which Najib is controlling the game! Good sign or is it another trick from NM YCS to inflate my confident…

So the game started at about 9.45 am after we had a gentleman agreement that it is ok to on our handphone. Facing YCS, I realised he meant business, wearing that tiger yellow National jersey with 2 bottles (yes, two!) of mineral water ready at his back and I know, I am in for a tough time.

The Game
I opened with 1.e4 and he countered with Nc6 (Tony Miles speciality) 2.d4 d5. I think for quite sometimes here . Should I played a space grabbing 3.e5? which I believed my opponent has prepared beforehand and in which I know nothing about, or should I go for my favourite Blackmar Diemer Gambit by transposition 3.Be3 de4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5. f3 !?

I chose the third option. Albin Counter Gambit reverse. If its good with black it should be better with white or so I thought. I sacrifice a pawn for initiative but later realised the subtle different of black’s c pawn at c7 instead of c5 make a lot of different. Here is the continuation 3.ed5 Qd5 4. Nc3 ?! Qd4 5.Be3 Qd1 6.Rd1 Bd7. Black’s hang on to that extra pawn till the end of game.

Below is the game in full.

The Great Defender.
Somehow during the game and seeing how YCS manoeuvre back and forth on the last rank a’la Petrosian, on my mind I keep on hearing The Platter’s The Great Pretender…but ofcourse I hear it as defender and not pretender.

Oh-oh, yes I'm the great defender
defending my one pawn up
My need is such I defend too much...

Many thanks for Najib and YCS for willingness to come on Saturday morning to make this game possible.


  1. The Great Defender! LOL...I gotta buy that cd when it comes out.

  2. Dear Ilham

    1. Nice write up.
    2. Especially you touched on the pregame "strategy" and your observation.
    3. Didn't know that the T-shirt & two bottles of water will make you scare. I guess the other 8 chess frens will do the same on you. :D
    4. FYI, all players agreed that:
    a. handphone can be on (we trust each other well)
    b. waiting time for arbiter is 5 mins
    5. Yes, we shall thank Najib for willing to spend his time.