Sunday, September 30, 2012


How could i no say to a tournament in which once i entered. regardless of result, i am ensure of RM500 in 'scholarship' form?

So that is why yesterday, i took part in Insofar September Edition (My 3rd Insofars in a row) and in doing that securing RM500 (RM5 for next 100 months).

All in all, 28 players took part...a low turnout for weekend event...not sure why but i think must be due to lack of publicity (there is some but a bit last minute, i guess) ... a blessing actually for chess players :) since there will be no que at the toilet and a higher chances of winning something but on the other side, this tournament has been shorten to 6 rounds instead of previously planned 7.

Najib is the arbiter.

First seeded is Sumant and second seeded is Zaidan. Among regular players are Syazwan, Jax Tham and Chek Kin Keuw.

I am seeded under 6 and as usual hope that i could finished better than number 6. At the end of the tournament, achieved my aim (finished 5th) winning 4 games and lost 2 ( to Sumant and Mok)...wait, Mok is playing?...No, not that IM Mok but his 12 years old daughter, Mok Shu Zing.

Poor Mok Shu Zing when everybody like asked her twice about this result...Are you sure you won? Are you sure you beat Ilham? Her reply is ...Why everybody don't believe that i won?

Oppss! :)

Congratulation Mok Shu Zing!

For record top 3 finishers are ZZ, SS and KK (Zaidan Zulkifli, Sumant Subramaniam and Kin Keuw)

  • Thanks to Sumant who after our game he shared some of his opening knowledge. I shall remember that but ofcourse, need to verify that first!
  • Thanks to IM Mok who shared few stories about Turkey Olympiad.
  • Thanks to ZZ for the Nescaffe Ice!
  • Thanks to Insofar, which i believe in next 60 months, will consistently and punctually credited my Maybank account with RM 10 (RM5 plus previous RM5 that i won in July Edition..Jangan lupa ya!) 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


The latest chess 'Grand Slam'
In golf there are 4 tournaments that are considered as Majors ( US Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championship)

In tennis, there are also 4 tournaments that are considered as Grand Slam (US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australia Open)

In Malaysia chess, to me, there are also 4 tournaments that could be considered as The Major or The Grand Slam... Not in particular order, Selangor Open, National Closed, Penang Open, DATCC Datuk Arthur Tan Malaysia Open and KL Open (or now known as DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open)

Correction:Agreed with Najib (See comment below) that National Closed is best to be replace with Penang Open.

DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open
While his three peers (maybe with exception of Penang Open) are...for lack of better word.... 'struggling' ( Financial/ Sponsorship problems...lack of strong players took part...change to unrated rapid etc), Raja Nazrin Shah Open is just getting stronger and stronger. For this year edition, they managed to rope in GM Sergey Tiviakov...a world class player and once a member of Russian Olympiad Team and former European Champion.

Of interest to me about this tournament are:
Lim Zhuo Ren
Seeded 33 and finished at respectable 34, he is a fighter with no draws. Resultwise, a bit of dissapointment here (especially after such a great Olympiad outing) because he did not manage to get the  IM norm and maybe lost some rating points here.

Lim Chuin Hong.
Malaysia flag bearer, seeded 24 and finished at 29. What an outing for him, after a steady win,draw, win, draw, win, draw...that put him among the leader...unfortunately, he lost his last two rounds game...sayang betul! a good doctor he is, he will surely find medicine to this and we can expect him to come back stronger in his next international outing.

Ng Tze Han
Former National Champion, he makes a comeback via this tournament, seeded 25 and finished 20, he is the best Malaysian in this event and shows that  he still did not lose any of his Caissa touch.

For record GM Tiviakov is the champ with 7 points out of 9, same point (but better tie beak) with GM Barbosa

Initially plan to take part in this event but due to unfortunate cruel twist of last minute events resulting in me need to give this event a pass...sigh! :(

Last but not least
Congratulation to Peter Long who manage to again organising this event successfully...with string of elite players and sponsors... and a steady covering at international websites and Bernama too!  

Najib's report on this event here shows that almost who's who of Malaysian chess is there at the tournament...I'll surely missed this event.

Once again, congratulation Peter Long! 



Saturday, September 15, 2012


Last week I went to a place that is dangerous to my cash (or credit card, depend), a book shop at one of Malaysia’s shopping heaven.

I had this conversation with a pretty shop assistant , who seems very much eager to help, wide smile, straight teeth, standing tall, active eye contact, a sweet smell of perfume etc (sorry, cannot go much detail here... to avoid domestic World War 3)

The Conversation
Me: Hi
Her: Hi
Me: Where is chess book?
Her: Oh, jazz book…music is on that section sir.
Me: No, not jazz, chess!chess book! Book on chess opening!
This time moving my hand to indicate making a chess move and stressing the word ‘Chess’…sorry girl, if this has cause afternoon shower to you. Anyway she looked confused before replying.

Her: Chest opening !? Err, Let me check…not sure whether we have advanced medical book here.
Me:No, not chest opening. Chess! Chess!... Never mind, where can I found book on poker?
Her: There, sir. That section
Me:Thank you

…since normally we can find chess books, side by side with poker books. No wonder why many chess players played poker.

But then again, to avoid all this we can always buy books from our fellow chess players…Mok, Jax Tham, Mat Arshad, Fadli Zakaria etc…not only cheaper, we can get free advice on what is good for us too! Lucky for us, As at now, they yet to charge on advice what book is good for their potential buyer

...and no, i don't get any commission from them on this posting (though i welcome if they want to give me some).

This posting is about the conversation that we have had and will have again in future in our quest to improve doing what we love chess!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The E-mail
Few days before Raya i received an e-mail from CAS. I was kind of surprise because CAS has been quite inactive (save for once a year Selangor Open), there and then i replied to the e-mail informing Tse Pin...register me in! Only then i look at my calendar and luckily i have no agenda on 9th September 2012! Invest first, investigate later...don't follow!

So there i am on 9th DATCC...taking part in CAS 3rd Quarter Allegro.

The Fee
Entrance fee is a bit high (RM40) but since i take it that this will be use to activate CAS activities again, i don't mind paying.

The Tournament
In 1st category, there are 24 players taking part and among the notable one is Chuin Hong, Kamaluddin Yusof, Jax Tham, Syazwan etc. I am seeded number 6 and as usual, i hope i could finished better than number 6.

In 2nd category, there are about 80 plus players, mostly kids, but there is also a few grandfathers also took part!

Jange Maroh, kawe gura' jah :) 

On category 1, at the end of the race, a pinoy player, Nelson Villanueva emerged champ with 5 points out of 6. Dr Ronnie is 2nd, also 5 points and myself third, with 4.5 points
 Of interest 
The winner, Nelson is actually seeded last (he did not declared his rating to CAS)

In a crucial round 5, top of the table clash, Dr Ronnie lost to Nelson when he overpressed his position...who wouldn't..Ronnie's position is simply overwhelming during mid game.

Tse Pin, with his booming voice, could be heard advising players, Section 2 mostly-
"Don't take chess pieces"
"After finished doing your 'business' at the toilet, please flush!"
...and my favourite Tse Pin's quotes " Don't play too fast!"...well, aren't this what we, Mr Hubby always being told to do! :)

Several personality makes cameo appearance...CM Fadli, Raymond Siew, Yeoh Chin Seng, Ezmi etc.

It is the only tournament that i played in this 21st century that did not mentioned about handphone's ruling!

 Player that attract most attention is young Gabriel Bick.(USCF Rating 1966)-i estimate his age to be about 12 years old... displaying such confident and drawing his game against Jax Tham and Kamaluddin Yusof and beating Syazwan and Fariz among others! Unfortunately he did not finished among prize winner, lost to yours truly and Lim Kian Hwa in his last 2 rounds.

Good outing for me. Won 4 games, lost one (to Dr Chuin Hong) and draw one (with winner, Nelson V).

Achieved my aim of finishing better than number 6. 

Monday, September 10, 2012


In General
Malaysian Men Team performed better than expectation. We are seeded at number 86 and finished at number 64, a beautiful number to a chess players...a beautiful ranking to be for Malaysian team.

Record Breaking
Several records have been broken...

Most Olympiad Outings
IM Mok increased his Olympiad outing records from 8 to 9.

Most Olympiad games played
IM Mok increased his Olympiad games records from 85 to 95. One more Olympiad and IM Mok will hit a century.

Most decisive personal encounter.
IM Mok's win against GM Loek van Wely (Elo 2691). Previously it was Mas' won against GM Korchnoi (Elo 2611)

Most Elo gains
Lim Zhuo Ren...61.

Best Olympiad performance?
With performance of 2503, is IM Mok performance at Turkey 2012 is the best ever?...Sorry Mok, it is not. Ng Ek Leong/Teong performance at Dubai 1986 is 2510. 

For record, Zhuo Ren's performance is 2500.

IM Mok
Mok is doing what Malaysian has not been doing for a long time...a run for GM norm. With a good  start...2.5 points againt 4 GMs...unfortunately a few fighting losses (he must have over pressed himself) during mid rounds have cost him the GM norm dearly.

Still his wins against GM Loek van Wely is a legend stuff that will be discussed and talked for years to come...

On live Malaysian Rating, IM Mok is now Malaysia number one with 2373.

IM Jimmy
Not one of the good outing for Jimmy. He lost a few ratings here. I suspect...being a captain, he surely spent more times preparing his team member's games then preparing his own.

IM Yee Weng
IM Yee Weng performed better than expectation. Scoring 5.5 out 10 of, he gains 13 elo points...and moved his ranking from Malaysian number 5 to number 4.

There are lots of excitement in Yee Weng's games (as to be expected from Dragon's rider) that keep me glued to the chess engine to know what is going bon since without it, i was just totally lost in the sea of complications...

Li Tian
Li Tian's lost some points here but for Olympiad rookie...his performance is not that bad. To be in the tournament in which you played Kramnik's Catalan...only a few metres from Kramnik can simple be awe by the occassion.

Still it is a good learning experience for him and this I believed, will make him stronger.

Lim Zhuo Ren
What can I say to someone who on in his first Olympiad adventure...gained FM title and IM norm in a single journey...gained a massive 61 points elo points....and the best part is, he make it looks oh, so easy...

LZR performance reminds me of Usain Bolt's 100M dash...slow start (2 draws and a lost) before blitzing off with 6 wins!...a bit of show off there, 'sacking' his first few rounds but still achieved the norm :)

But knowing him (ever notice, now everybody claimed to know LZR...myself include :) ), he is a humble young man.

All i can say, Zhuo Ren, twenty...thirty years from now when Malaysian chess citizen already forgot the points, ranking and maybe name of players of Malaysian Team that took part in 2012 Turkey Olympiad (hopefully they will not forgot about bloggers that wrote about it...)...things that they will remember, still remember, about 2012 Olympiad is an Olympiad in which you, NM Zhuo Ren, Olympiad's first timer boy that went to Turkey to fight and come back home two weeks after that, bruised, scars all a warrior.

For all this and more...congratulations FM (Fighting Machine) Lim Zhuo Ren! 

Friday, September 7, 2012


The Start 
Malaysian Olympiad Team...due to its very 'humble and polite' average rating, alway seeded somewhere at the middle of the ranking...or sometimes maybe at top 75% of the team if there is not so many teams.

This normally leads to yo-yo performance during the first few rounds...before stabilizing somewhat during the middle rounds. A good example is during 2006 Turin Olympiad at in which:
First Round: Lost 0-4 to Spain
Second Round: Won 4-0 against Honduras
Third Round: Lost 0-4 to Slovenia
Fourth Round: Won 4-0 against Angola

Forgive me for initially thought that we will continue this pattern...lost, won, lost, won...and with IM Mas not on board this time around... who knows, will it be lost, lost, won, lost !?

...and how i was wrong..and pleasantly surprise...that this year Olympiad is different...we managed to hold our own amateur 'kampung team' against a strong, professional, world class team...and even when we lost...Boy! we damn sure gave them a hard time!

Example is on the very first round...some say we performed well against a not so strong Netherland (maybe based on Netherland's round 2 or 3 result)...I say, after being grilled by Malaysian's Tigers in the first round, they are not able to recover and still in state of shocks, few rounds after!

GM Loek...being maimed by Tiger Mok, only recovered on 4th round.

 A very good starts that makes even the ardent critiquer of Jimmy's suddenly mentioned that he did not hate Jimmy...and suddenly fully supportive of the team....

(Unfortunately after another more rounds in which fortunes swings expected to happen to every teams over a long run, even to Russian Team...suddenly yeah, still supportive... but with a naughty words sprinkled in...Jimmy shoud be replace...Li Tian not yet ready....hmm, i guess not really good ethique to critic players that are still in the field playing for country...huffing, puffing, shaking...bloods, sweats, tears all over... that it is a mistake to have them in a team...well, just my opinion)

The Target 
I don't know about Malaysian target in this Olympiad. usual...remain consistent in maintaining 'elegant silent', as they say in politic or 'China Wall of information' as they say in Finance

So allow me to set the target to Malaysian Team.

OK, since we are seeded at number 86, should we finished top 80 is good, top 70 is excellent and we have very good chances to finish top 70 since our opponent in the last round is Thailand (Team that is seeded number 109) and now we are already inside top 80 bracket!

The Next Posting 
Personal View: Malaysian Players (Men) at the Olympiad