Monday, March 26, 2012


After more than 100 days sober and free from the grip of tournament chess, i couldn't resist it anymore, last weekend i went alone to DATCC...the sound of chess pieces being captured...and the smell of plastic pieces...the laughter of my fellow chess buddy...ahh, damn it, the temptation too strong...i got dizzy and weak and silently...enter chess tournament again, Insofar Chess Tournament.

Insofar tournament is arguably the third most difficult thing to understand (the first is young lady, close second is old lady). Starts with entrance fee (you can chose to pay RM20 or RM50), the prize structure (the scholarship things, 60 months continuos payment reward, the vouchers), the reward for serial entree (my understanding is if you enter 3 times in a row then you are guaranteed of certain amount of prize, every month for 60 months),and there is this equation 1 RM= 1 unit...i got confuse.

But all in all it is a generous tournament, well run and well, bit misunderstood...for clarification you can always check this out with Encik Mat Zaki. He shall be glad to assist.

Ah, never mind about prizes, after all i am here for jolly good hour of chess. So i proceed to make a, via cash or voucher? come back the question, i got even confuse. Voucher?

Cash!, i replied...ok, you play first, make payment AFTER round one, i was told. I smiled, ah, evil you! just like a bank's credit card tactic, used first, pay later...Result of this novelty play first, pay later concept?... Also like a bank, customer needs to be reminded again and again to make payment, round after round,....not sure whether at the end of round 7, if any player manage to avoid from making payment.

Enough about it, let's proceed with proper tournament report. A very good turnout (100 plus), seeded number one is Yeoh Li Tian, seeded number double one (or eleven) is yours truly, elsewhere there are AM Fadzil Nayan, IM Giam, NM Kamal Ariffin, Kamaluddin, Syazwan, Zaidan, Sumant, Aqie, Zambri, Ng6 (with son!) etc.

On and off, IM Mok can be seen here, So are CM Fadli and CK Saprin (Cari Komputer). IA Hamid Majid also around and many others...just too many to mention.

I finished at 5 points out of 7 and left early (partly to avoid KL's famous afternoon shower, mostly because i am sure i am not winning any prizes...bad habit, don't follow) not sure who is the winner but i think its Li Tian.

Below is my round 6 game.
Bro, since this is allegro...I want to be hero and play like Moro...Result? Zero. I have never play this bad...

W: Mohd Tayah
B: Ilham

With game like is time for me to enter chess rehab.

Me :Hello, my name is Ilham...
Other:Hello, Ilham.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I play chess because 29 years ago, trapped inside my auntie typical Terengganu’s wooden house at Kampung Ladang due to heavy monsoon rain, I learned to play a war game that soon become an obsession, an addiction and took a life of its own that I now can barely able to control.

I play chess because when i was young (read:stupid) i thought this is the cool way to impress my pretty success, some even until now don't know i am exist.

I play chess because chess game allowed me to unleash that primitive primordial urge in me, Homo Sapien, to strangle my fellow human rival (although most of the time, i am the one who at the receiving end), albeit only in a game.

I play chess because chess is the only world where the more queens you have, the less headache is your situation! Unlike the real world where more queens equate to more profit to Panadol company. The best part is in chess it is not wrong to have more than 4 queens legally!

I play chess because chess teach patience...we need to wait our opponent to make his/her move before we can make our move...we need to wait for tournament (1st round) to start, normally half an hour late, the earliest, from schedule...of course, as at now, we have been waiting 57 years, and counting, for Malaysia to have our own GM.

I play chess because as an adult (read: wiser…hopefully) chess teach me valuable skills such as detecting traps from miles away, innocently creating traps to my unsuspected victim, maximising limited resources etc... skills I found useful now to survive in a jungle called adulthood.

I play chess because it is the game i can play theoretically forever. Chess is the only game that 50 years from now…if I am still alive and hopefully still passionately and intimately in love with chess…I, then an 88 years old payer, can play/fight as an equal against 20 years old kid… Cannot say the same for say …88 years old rugby player.

I play chess because chess make it possible (thanks Mr Internet) for me to play chess against my fellow citizen of the world that locate at Jeddah or Jerusalem , or to play against freely floating astronaut at Space Station to prisoner at some maximum security prison… The force of chess and internet already tore down invisible, divisive wall of race and religion. …exactly what politician wished they could do it but failed miserably.

I play chess because chess is democracy at its purest. Each side got its own equal firepower, equal move, equal time, equal set of laws. Player with best campaign or preparation wins. No veto, no politic. Simple.

I play chess because 29 years ago, I used to think with chess, it is possible to make some good money (good money, not coins, ok)…now I know good money in chess belongs only to World top 20 players…definitely fortune is not smiling to one obscure world number 68,509 (read:me!)

I play chess because it teach me that making a first move is advantage, profitable...but me being me, only ever willing to make the first move in chess...and prefer to 'play it safe' by allowing others to make their first move outside chess...and which later i regret it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Let me add a bit what IM Jimmy has wrote here about GM Anand's now famous quote

"Nowadays, when you are not a GM at 14 you can forget about it"

In life there are 2 major lines of thinking. The first is the one who followed everything to the letter, "you drove above speed limit, here! RM300 fine because law said so, your IC and driving license...." and the second one, those who used judgment, see the bigger picture, used discretion to evaluate things before deciding on the next course of action "you drove above speed limit to send your about-to-deliver wife to hospital...ok, no fine, quick! i will escort and clear the road for you..."

Ok maybe there is 3rd line of thinking...never mind, maybe next time...

My point is we should not take Anand's quoatation word by word, should be seen together with the reasons why Anand say that, which unfortunately we did not know. However, I believe it is Anand's response to question like "At what age we can determine whether a chess player is World Champ's material?" or something like that...definitely i think the question is not "Mr Anand, what is your advice to Malaysian chess junior?"

We should not be the extremist and takes this quotation verbatim. After all many other GMs said "worst" such as Nigel Short who has once said "Chess is ruthless: you've got to be prepared to kill people". Is it fair it we bandied around Short's short (sorry, could not resist that!) quote above by saying only killer makes a good chess player because Short said so? We understand what Short mean with his quotation the way we should understand Anand's quotation is not meant to discourage young chess player.

Anand's quoatation is more to reflect the changes in time (Super GM are getting younger and younger...), the more competitive nature of chess now and his realistic view of quest for a World Champ's title etc.

It is sad when GM Anand's (arguably the most well mannered sportsman in chess) quotation is towed around to show as an example of how Malaysian chess society tried to dampen the spirit of its youngsters.

It is totally not the case.