Saturday, February 23, 2013


Open House
This is not a chess tournament. This is an open house (house warming party or maybe also a CNY Open House) that camouflage as a blitz chess tournament.

Hands shaken, smiling face, how do you do?, laughter, kids running around, adults exchanging stories and jokes... can be heard and seen at newly redecorated DATCC...and the food spread too (mee hoon, variety of kuehs, variety of drinks...)

Najib as the tuan rumah, with his new DATCC shirt, can be seen busy welcoming everybody, allowing everybody to go and check every rooms at restriction and under the spirit of open house, even allowed guest to take whatever cans drink found inside refrigerator free of charge (Bad mistake...before the blitz ended we manage to wipe clean all the drinks inside refrigerator :) ...)

Still under the spirit of open house, SM Fadli who arrived at 11.15 am still allowed to play...a table is quickly being set up and Kaber who is supposedly to be the assistant arbiter is being roped in to make the number of players even.

Proper Blitz Report
34 players took part with top 5 seeding players are Li Tian, Fadzil Nayan, Kamaluddin Yusof, Jianwen and Sumant (truly Muhibbah and 1Malaysia!)

I was seeded number 11 and hope to finished better than 11 and scored at least 10 points

Li Tian Express
While most players are equivalent to steam train that move at 50 miles an hour (Ok, some maybe electric train that move 70 miles an hour)...this Li Tian’s Express is a high tech, magnetic bullet train that silently move 200 miles an hour...zoommmmm...leave every other trains choo choo behind...way, way behind.

Li Tian scored 14.5 out of 15 draw only with Zaidan.
Top 8 ‘Ang Pow’ receivers.
1 Li Tian
2 Zaidan
3 Jianwen
4 Sumant
5 Fadzil Nayan
6 Ilham
7 Kamaluddin Yusof
8 Syazwan

As can be seen all are bachelors or single again hence qualified to received DATCC’s ang pow. Exception is Zaidan who is married but then again I know many girls out there wished he is bachelor! :) No offense Mrs Zaidan.

Friday, February 22, 2013



Most of the chess players I know have, at least once, dream of setting up a chess center. Some wants to do it as a way to give back to society (rare), some wants to do it as a profit oriented center (many), some wants to do it as a place to unearth talent, to produce that elusive particle in chess cosmic, a GM particle (many) and etcetera.

I also dream of setting up a chess center but due to slightly different reason…I just want it to be like that pub in Cheers (80’s TV show) where everybody could just drop by, meet friends etc. a place where everybody know everybody, a sanctuary full of smiling faces and laughters…yeah, very much like my old, charming ‘Kedai Aziz’.

 You don't have to be a star, baby
To be in my club
Oh, honey
You don't have to be a star, baby
To be in myclub

Some have walk the talk and set up the center (Dato Tan, Joseph Toh, Jax Tham, Khairunnisha, Jimmy, Peter and few others) but most, mine include, still remain the uncross item under the long, chess, bucket wish…still remain NATO...:(

Latest to set up (or upgraded) a chess center is Mr Najib. After he took over DATCC (again) last few months, he has poured a serious, large amount of money to redecorate the place (with large screen TV, Astro, Wi Fi etc…no, Karaoke set is not there ) and has come up with membership program …in other word looks like he is bringing  chess center to a new level…maybe the correct name is a chess lounge instead of chess center.

Will this move by Najib turn up to be a winning move?...a beginning of long, successful journey that one day turn DATCC to a regional chess academy with branches all over countries? ... as at now nobody knows....not even Najib.

Some times ago when Najib presented this idea to few professional juries on NTV7 Reality show...these professionals turn him down..doubt over Najib's idea and capability...gave Najib a lemon...I have  a feeling Najib is about to make a nice lemonade out of this lemon.

Ahh 'professionals'...aren't professionals once used to condemned one young music executive that do the crazy thing by buying a debt laden airline with a vision of low cost air transportation... what did music executive knows about running an airline? (We now know who this guy is)

Once a young guy was fired by a professionals newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, he started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failures. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked (By the way this young guy name is Walt Disney)

Maybe with this new DATCC, Najib has found a recipe for success that worked ?

Chess Odyssey would like to wish Najib all the best and I could almost hear Najib is singing in his bathroom… “We’ve just begun…” :) 


We've only just begun to live
White lace and promises
A kiss for luck and we're on our way
(We've only begun)

Before the risin' sun, we fly
So many roads to choose
We'll start out walkin' and learn to run
And yes, we've just begun

Sharing horizons that are new to us
Watching the signs along the way
Talkin' it over, just the two of us
Workin' together day to day

And when the evening comes, we smile
So much of life ahead
We'll find a place where there's room to grow
And yes, we've just begun

Sharing horizons that are new to us
Watching the signs along the way
Talkin' it over, just the two of us
Workin' together day to day

And when the evening comes, we smile
So much of life ahead
We'll find a place where there's room to grow
And yes, we've just begun

Come this Saturday, a new DATCC will open its door….a blitz event (with refreshment) is being organized to commemorate the new DATCC…See you there! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Saturday,16 February, 12.30 am, Setiawangsa, just read the first 300 pages of The Fountainhead (and it is just getting exciting and exciting!) a few hours time...and almost 500 kilometres away... Terengganu will organize a rapid chess tournament at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu...should i go or should i just stay at KL?

...but to chose between playing chess among friends next to blue South China Sea or alone reading a novel (even a great novel that i am reading now) under grey landscape of KL is a no brainer decision for me.

Quickly I grabbed my car key, SMSed those who should know that i am making this trip (just in case) and hit the East Coast Highway in no time...

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
Terengganu, Sea side Mama
Take me home, country roads

That is how i end up playing at TCA Rapid...initially plan for 7 rounds, 20 minutes time control but due to overwhelming response (122 players), organizer decide to change it to 8 rounds, 15 minutes time control...that just fine with me, the more the better...

Top 5 seeded
11.     Syazwan
22.     Ilham
33.    Norazmi
44       Hashim
55      Fairul

Top 5 finishers
11       Fairul
22       Syazwan
33       Ruzenan
44       Rahim
55       Ilham

Norazmi Mohd Noor
Norazmi had a tournament he would rather forget, after 5 wins he just melted down on his last 3 rounds (2 losses and a draw), did not finished even among top 15.

Had a small chit chat with him before a first round...he informed he had just come back from Sabah...representing his University Team in a football tournament! Vintage Norazmi the sportsman!

MasHafizul Helmi
After second round, MasHafizul (together with his family) pay a visit to this tournament. He is on his way back to KL from a long CNY break...can be seen having a long, private, serious discussion with Ruzenan, his old friend way back during Mas’ Petronas day or maybe way back before that...

By the way, wonder what the discussion is all about ? :)

Worthy winner, Fairul Yusof aka Gambit.
The crowd favourite, Fairul Yusof is a worthy winner of this tournament, scoring 7.5 out of 8 (he drew his last round game against Rahim)...dashatt!!

For record, during Association’s AGM, Fairul has been re-elected as Treasurer.

Talk about AGM...TCA’s AGM went through smoothly...a new president is elected, Dr Pouzi (Rahim refuse to defend its post), Ghalam Sani is the new Deputy President, Arshad is the new secretary (replacing the late Cikgu Sabirin who died in last year fatal accident) and etc.

After the meeting i informed Greg, who happened to sit next to me...”I don’t think next month MCF meeting will be as smooth as Terengganu’s”

Greg just smiled...

Greg, Haslindah and Zuraidah (and Ghalam)
Quite a surprise...Trio can be seen at this first impression is! busy campaigning ?

Actually they are here under personal invitation of Ghalam Sani, who seem of late busy reactivating his chess contact and to deliver MCF President’s personal donation to TCA with the purpose of organizing a tahlil to late Cikgu Sabirin and family.

Talk about Ghalam and reactivation of his chess contact...last month I received a dreaded 2 am imagination runs wild thinking of who is making this call at 2 am...and what is the important information caller wants to head dizzy with the possible bad news scenarios...

Actually it is just Ghalam (after god knows how many years of silent)  and he called just to inform that he reads my posting about him and just usual call to chit 2 am!

Thats Ghalam...full of surprises! and glad to see his interest in chess is back again...

After the tournament
Few of us (Ruzenan, Gambit, Hashim and few others) went for ‘makan keropok’ session sponsored by the champion...some who knows that i am about to went back to Kl on the same day advise me not to do it because obviously i am very tired...some asked me to stay at his house and some even offered me to stay at one of his chalets...TQ! TQ!

I said not to worry...but still after the keropok session and after fill up my car boot with keropok lekor, keropok keeping, duku, dokong etc...usual tourist stuff...i quietly rushed back to KL.

1000 kms journey , 8 rounds chess tournament, an AGM... all in 24 hours...

Oopps! I did it again!  

Friday, February 8, 2013


FIDE is toying with the idea of licensing chess players (Ref here and here

Chess is not a dangerous sport.
Dangerous sports such as shooting or Formula 1 understandably required each practitioner to obtain license to ensure only competent players taking part in the tournament.  

But chess?

But maybe i am wrong...maybe chess is a dangerous sport. I mean we have bullet chess, Kalashnikov Opening, blindfold chess and at top level match, players required to pass the metal detector gate, play in special glass, sound proof room and the objective of the game is to kill the king.

 Maybe chess is a dangerous game and required license to play....

This is also totally against FIDE’s Motto “Gens Una Sumus” or “We are all one family”. Family members compete among family members, family members have a special rank among family members, family members do business among family members  and family members quarrel among family members.

But no family members required license to be among family members. 

Never ever! 

FIDE should change its motto if FIDE adopted this say... "PECUNIATE OBEDIUNT OMNIA"

What’s next?
Now we cannot smoke, cannot use handphone, cannot draw, cannot not be there (zero start), cannot not accepting shake hand, heck! we now also cannot play perfect chess (if we do then we are a cheater) and latest edition... cannot play chess if we don’t have license.

What’s next? Required special permit to play patented openings?

Potential  ‘Chess FIDE Spring’?
Arab spring started when one food stall being tore down by the authority.

My biggest concerned is with this ridiculous ruling may lead to many players or organizations forming their own chess association (with more friendly ruling and no more fiendish ruling...), abandoning FIDE with its thousand one rulings, regulations, laws and what not...sort of like a repeat of what Kasparov and Short did in 90’s, forming PCA due to dissatisfied with FIDE’s conduct of their World Chess Championship.

...and chess world shall split into two again....

But of course there are a good side in having chess players licensed.

Chess publishers can start printing new chess note book with column for License Number and can duly declared chess notebook without license column is obsolete! Throw it a new one from us!

Licensed chess players cum coach can impress their potential young student by saying...”I am not just a chess player, i am a licensed chess player...that’s why my fee is higher compare to non licensed player”

...and proceed to give a common, false argument "i asked you, boy...if you have to underwent a heart operation, which doctor will you chose, unknown cheap doctor or a recognized, licensed doctor? "

Show off
Licensed chess players can also post their picture with their chess ID/License on Facebook with narration “ My name is Ilham....Nor Ilham and I have a license to kill”