Sunday, July 31, 2011


These are actually last week’s games Nf6 Master Event. Should post it a week earlier but blame the delay due to Najib’s recent great posting ( A Malaysian chess record for number of comments in one single posting. Marathon 42 comments!) on and off I check the development there and at other websites. Just cannot updating my own blog!…well, actually the results of the game are also the contributing factors!

Game vs Aziz
Enough about it now and lets talk about the game. This is what I called it as a Battle of Hong Leong Bank. Both me and Aziz are ex EON Banker and now we are a staff of Hong Leong Bank. (Hong Leong Bank had acquired EON Bank) Previously my record against Aziz is one draw and one lost. Both of us are extra determined to win this game to avoid from being the ‘first from behind’.

Albin Counter Gambit. A wild game in which I start attacking (unsound ofcourse) from beginning. I reached below position and thought I am going to win soon, very soon.

I am threatening Nd3 mate. White can't take the knight because of Bb4, Bb4, Qb4 and Qd1 mating! Both white's knight are on the rim...yet i am still lost the game.

Aziz somehow survive the attack and now controlling the center. Even offered to sacrifice an exchange.

Aziz, with much more superior forces, consolidate his position to score a win.
For a complete game. Here

Game vs Yeoh Li Tian

Before the game I showed my game against Aziz to Greg Lau. He did not seems impressed with my bombastic opening yet bombard me with something like I could not go far if I continue to play chess ‘randomly’ like the one against Aziz. Quietly I determine in my game against YLT I will play more ‘sober’ type of no avail. :)

Caro Kann. Yet once again very early in the opening I sacrifice (sorry, Greg!) a pawn to transpose the game into Blackmar Diemer Gambit. Just cannot help it! :) YLT look at me suspiciously and think for a few minutes before declining the sacrifice.

YLT is always the one who got the advantage and keeps on improving his position.

Somehow I was two pawns up in the knight – rook ending and started thinking of well, this could be my lucky day!

Yet YLT remains calm and started to play aggressively. I started losing pawns, one pawn…two pawn and now the material is equal. I tried my luck and offered him a draw in which he accepted! Phew, lucky me. Cannot imagine how an ending in which I am two pawns up and lost?!

For a complete game. Here

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Glad to see a few Malaysian gather among themselves at, formed a team and competing with another countries and so far they are doing remarkably well!

Malaysian team that consist of herotojan, fxqie, fadzilnayan and norula (Well, i think i know few of them...) so far has drew with USA (!) and Greece and now in semi final and this weekend will face a strong Indian team. Not everyday Malaysian chess team can draw with US chess team!

Should you need more details, you can just go to chesscube (Well, you need to register first), clicked room, scrolled down and entered room Malaysia (normally there are about 20 to 30 people here at any time) and if you notice the lovely Intandayana is around, just asked her any questions related to Malaysian chess team, she will be more than willing to answer it. Asked her out for date and she will quickly ignore your present! No, i have never done that but just observing others who have tried pushing their no avail ofcourse :)

To me, this Malaysian chesscube team, they are proved, even without MCF assistance, without big name sponsors and without publicity, but driven purely out of love of the game, they can still performed well. Very well indeed!

To all the unsung hero of chesscube Malaysia team, all the best in your match against India this weekend!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


This book I bought from Rizal (Rizal Chess Trading) at maybe RM60 (not sure) during this year National Closed. Malaysia chess book market is just blessed with many layers, depth, of chess market. For primary market there is book shop like MPH, Kinokuniya or maybe direct order from publisher. For secondary OTC (good books with affordable price) market there is the like of Rizal, Arshad, Mok Tze Meng, Naserov and others. For third market (photocopy), you know who the players are in this market!

The book is not the latest, hot from press book. It was published in 1997 but still in good condition and I think for sixty buck it just worth every ringgit...and for ELO 2000 player who love a good chess story, a good chess game, book that he can read in toilet or while waiting for his fried rice ready or his car wash is just Godsend from Heaven!

What drawn me to the book is the honesty that Speelman’s put into this book. If he don’t know he said he don’t know and if he used Fritz, he said so and in below position (Levitt vs Speelman 1982) which he thought he is ok, if not winning, he made a ‘…the psychological, if not technical mistake of turning on Fritz. It turn out White can inflict grievous damage with 28. f4!...’

Not many players will admit that they are actually , all this while, is in fool's paradise!

When annotating his game (against opponent who always made a draw offers), Speelman mentioned an incident in a game between ELO 1700 and a GM (not him, at that time still an IM). Poor 1700 player opened the game with 1. f4 and said ‘ would you like a draw?’. The reply? 1. …e5 ‘F*** off!’

…and a story about player, a fine player who sealed ‘Resign’ inside the adjournment’s envelope.

…and a story about a player, a couple of queens down and facing a mate in two, reached the adjournment and adjourn his next move. Next day, in a cold Icelandic morning, the adjournment sessions duly started, minus the player who adjourn the game, who sealed ‘Good morning, asshole.’

And many other interesting stories scattered across the book.

Since Speelman is a player who has wrote many books on chess endgames like Endgame Preparation, Analysing the Endgame and Batsfords Chess Ending, you can expect a great emphasis on the endgames in this book. An example is from below position between Speelman and Sosonko.

Sosonko played 31. …Ra2 ?? and Speelman spend five pages analysing 31. …a4! and some variations run deep into move 64!

This book is definitely a treat for someone who wants to improve his/her endgame.

New words

I discovered many new English words such as prelate, ‘reginicide’, precipice etc, and even a new Latin word ‘reductio ad absurdum’.

First hand story.

Almost all games are from his owned experience and Speelman generously shared with readers what happen during the game. Eg. Kasparov vs Speelman Linares 1992 From below position.

“…Behind on the clock and with White starting to get organised, I started to feel very nervous, particularly given my atrocious tournament position as outlined in the introduction. Then I suddenly spotted a move to change the course of the game. I made no claim for its soundness, but just after eight minutes, before I could talk myself out of it, I bashed out:

21 … Be3 !?!

Kasparov returned to the board. If 8 … a5 and 10 … a3 had caused something of a reaction, this was altogether in a different league. His eyebrows arched and he sank into deep thought.”

38 minutes to be exact! For the record the game was eventually draw.

Next book.

Next book I hope to read and give a review here is 2010 Chess Book of the Year. Seirawan’s Chess Duels. My games with the World Champion. This book is just full of great games (all Seirawan’s games against world champion), great stories and great behind the scene stories

Can’t wait to get myself this book. Anyone know where I can buy this book?

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Before the game
Normally I do not care much about my weekend appearance (and maybe my weekdays appearance too) Today is the exception. I am extra careful about my appearance or rather what I wear for today’s game against Kamaludin Yusof. This red shirt?…cannot, Patriot. Yellow shirt?…definitely a no. Bersih. After all it is only 17 hours after the demonstration. Play it safe I grab my white T Shirt…

Traffic at KL is eerily calm. Very few cars on the road and here and there I can see the presence of policemen/ police cars. Surprise! There is just no trace of the demonstration held yesterday. Alam Flora staff must be working overtime last night.

The Game
A lot of ‘shadow boxing’. Both me and Kamaludin played very carefully and took considerable amount of time tried to steer the game into our favourite line (and not to fall to opponent's favourite). Once we have reached a standard Svesnikov tabiya, we just blitzed our moves.

I advance my b pawn to b5 with the idea of fixing my opponent pawns at b6 and d6. Not sure whether this is a good idea (normally white's strategy is queenside pawn push). Shortly after that I sacrificed an exchange for some initiative and hopefully some dark squared play…a big mistake from me, Kamaludin played all the Rybka recommendation moves and soon he is the one with initiative and superior forces.

Never really reach the endgame. I resigned when I count the pieces and realised that I am 3 pawns down and also an exchange down... realised the probability of me swindling my opponent is equal to me correctly predicting the 6/58 jackpot…one in 29 billion...Congratulation to Kamaludin for the victory.

B:Kamaludin Yusof

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Below are some the early chess lessons that I gathered during my salad day. As I am getting older (and hopefully…wiser) I know I am better off without getting this free chess ‘lessons’.

Check needs to be announced.
It is illegal to check opponent’s king without mentioning ‘check’ . Opponent can ignore your soundless check and you cannot capture his/her king.

Castling needs to be announced.
Same as above. If you did not mentioned ‘castling’, then you cannot castle. Simple.

When your opponent has only king, you need to checkmate him/her within 20 moves.
If you are unable to do it in 20 moves, game draw. Explain why I never bother to learn how to checkmate by using knight and bishop, very good chances it is going to be draw.

You can only promote your pawn with pieces that is off the board.
In simple word, if your queen is still on the board, you cannot promote your pawn to a queen. ‘Kahwin dua’ or having two queens is not allowed.

En passant’s pawn must be captured
Happen to me during my first tournament, 1986 Malay Open (Novice). I play this kid (about 14 or 15 years old) and in the middle game he advance his pawn two square, I played maybe some bishop or knight move when he suddenly said…
Him: en pass see yon! (with heavy French accent, still remember that!)
Me: What’s that?
Him: en pass see yon…you need to capture my pawn…like this (he shows me a capture as if his pawn only move one square)
Me: Are you sure?
Him:If you don’t believe me, you can ask my dad (as if on cue, there appeared his father and explain to me about the en passant rule and I HAVE to capture the pawn!)

Me, still not satisfied…called up the arbiter. Arbiter came and before I could say anything, both father and son busy explaining to the arbiter that I don’t know about En passant’s move.

Arbiter: Adik, this move is called en passant. It exist…
Me: …ok

So that is it. I captured the pawn, compromise my position and resigned a few moves later. The ‘knowledge’ about en passant and it needs to be captured stuck with me for a few years.

If only i asked that arbiter whether is it compulsory to capture an en passant pawn....

Study your opponent’s game…if he likes to play his knight, immediately captured his knight with your bishop!
Wonder how you can determine your opponent's liking of chess pieces!

If you want to know what your opponent think…look at his/her eyes!
Well, maybe I should practice/test this tip when i meet GM Tania…maybe there is some truth in it!..but when ah....?

Castle if you must…if not then don’t castle, you risked putting your king trapped at the corner with fewer square to moves/ escapes.King is safer at center.
Maybe this tips still somehow stuck at my subconscious mind...

With all these rules and tips that I gathered during my critical foundation years…no wonder why I am stuck at where I am today.