Sunday, March 31, 2013


Caissa is one cruel mistress...

Last week i mentioned that DAT was a ‘sauna’ (Sorry Jib!) and Speedy Gonzales, 20 players took part and in a first round, due to my 5th seeding, i was seated exactly under that big, gigantic, fully blast, ceiling air cond...brrrrrr! (Served me right!)

Lucky it was a blitz event so i do a lot of active movement with my hand (though sadly cannot say the same with my brain...), i can only imagine if it is a classical time control...I risked to be  in hypothermia state...(here we go, Ilham the complaint blogger! ;) )

Tournament Proper
Top 5 seeded
1. Kamaluddin Yusof
2. Sumant
3. Syazwan
4. Abdul Shukor
5. Ilham

Top 5 finisher
1. Sumant
2. Abdul Shukor
3. Kamaluddin
4. Chan Sheng Yip
5. Shreyes

I finished 8...a bit disappointed (though i still won RM20)...especially with the quality of my play.

1. Najib informed that after 3rd moves, even though there is misplaced of pieces etc, no matter what play should go on. Mustafa Said cheekily asked “How about if after 3rd moves, players discovered that one side got two Kings?”  Wow! That is one tough question that did not even cross my mind...blame it on my mind that is always thinking of having more than one ‘queen’ instead of more than one king!

2. Still on Mustaffa Said, in his first round game against Syazwan, he was down a queen, rook, pawns ...don’t know what else ...but still managed to stalemate himself. Draw!

3. In between rounds Najib could be heard mentioning he plans to organize an event (future event) in which spectators are allowed to suggest moves, give hints to players...Najib’s wish become reality when immediately after that one poor spectator suggest a move or maybe a hint on a game that is still on going...much to the chagrin of the player!  Well, Be careful with what you wish...

4. Shreyes vs Sumant...Shreyes is winning (!) and nearly checkmated his older brother. Result? Draw! Both players ‘lost’ on time...ahh, sibling rivalry!

5. A dispute on touch and move resulting in one lady could be heard sobbing...DATCC become eerily silent when heaven burst and angel cries...

Caissa is one cruel teacher...

Monday, March 25, 2013


8.30am (Sunday, 24 March 2013)
Arrived at DATCC and noticed there are lots of people, unusually lots of people, gather outside DATCC.

This could be two things, i think, either an overwhelming good response to CAS Rapid or a disaster, a crime scene,and we Malaysian are famously like to stick glued at any disaster scene. Which scenario is the correct one i wondered...

Actually, both scenarios are correct...overwhelming response to CAS Rapid and a disaster, a crime scene...(someone with key has obviously wake up late hence DATCC is still closed as at 8.30 am!) Ah, cannot blame DATCC, weekend chess is always played in early morning after Saturday Night Fever...Ah, ha, ha, ha stayin' alive, stayin' alive, ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' aliveeeeee, ha ha....

At the door Tse Pin can be seen standing and collecting entrance fee money...ticking name on a sheet of paper etc. The scene reminds me of that movie scene in which bookie collecting money before the big fight...sorry Tse Pin...could not help it! :)

I quickly approach the sweating Tse Pin and paid him RM30, placing a bet on Nor Ilhamuddin aka myself! my odd to win is 6 out of 32...

Tournament Proper
Top 5 seeding
1. Kamaluddin Yusof
2. Jianwen
3. Syazwan
4. Ismail Ahmad
5. Nabil

Top 5 finishing
1. Jianwen
2. Syazwan
3. Fariz
4. Mohd Diya
5. Kamaluddin Yusof

I finished 8..oklah i guess

1.Cameo appearance...Hairulov, Saprin, Farouqi, Jax Tham and few others...i think i saw Khairunisha and Nurul Huda at carpark after the prize giving ceremony.

2.Poor his last round game against Mohd Diya, he is just completely winning...a rook up, an exchange up, maybe few pawns up also (who cares about pawns in such a winning position)...but somehow overlook a knight fork...he lost. Of no surprise when his name is being called as number 10 winner, he is nowhere to be seen...cabut already (and must surely thought he did not win anything).

3.3 most popular topics that are being discussed are Magnus Carlsen's lucky escape against Radja (Hairulov can be seen recalling this game from memory!) and about National Closed (as a tickets to Malaysian Master) and about Li Tian's performance at Vietnam.

4. There are more than 100 players at DATCC (plus parents, CAS officials and spectators) temperature inside DATCC is warm. Good! Paid RM30 and you got 7 rounds of chess and free sauna session...

5. Player that received loudest, very loudest in fact, clapping when receiving prize is Janet Chan Choi Po...

6. Everybody is talking about new MCF..Tse Pin, in between rounds and Encik Safruddin during prize giving ceremony...could sense their optimist view! 

Of New Ruling...
1. Each player will be registered with only one state/ association (and cannot be change at will). Quickly i registered myself as Terengganu player!

2. CAS can be seen collecting IC number from players for rating purposes.

3. No walk in for National Closed. Each states can only send 4 players (There is also a minumum rating that could play at National Closed).

4....and most surprising, according to CAS, under new COS ruling, state association should not have individual member. Example for Selangor Chess Association, they could have a member such as Klang Chess Association or Shah Aalam Chess Association but they could not have say Ali bin Abu as a member. Ali bin Abu however can become member at Klang Chess,make sense but i still puzzled...only a month ago i registered myself as a member for Terengganu Chess Association...

For Selangor Open, players that registered themselves as Selangor players are entitled for discount.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Hats off to a new MCF that within less than two weeks times (…and in between getting to know each other, electing person at new post and cracking head to answer some ‘urgent’ letter…) has managed to pull out many pleasant surprises out of the hat. In less than ten days time!!... that’s pretty impressive! Bravo!! Hope MCF could continue to maintain this energy...

Two pleasant surprises that attract my attention are:

New Website
As mentioned in my old posting here, MCF is in need of more professional website. In my day duty whenever there is a respectable organization that is using blogspot as their website (or yahoo or gmail as their official e-mail), I am not feeling comfortable and smell a rat. Having a professional website is surely a help to boast image.

Ofcourse beside having good looking website, updating the info regularly and answering letters and e-mails within stipulated standard time is important to further boast the image and compliment that professional looking website.

Malaysian Master
Congratulations and many thanks to MCF's new Deputy President,  Dato’ Seri Edmund Santhara, who has agreed to cough up some  serious  money in the form of organizing Malaysian Master in June this year. More info Here.

Round robin event...highly expected to have a generous prizes... allowance for players (appearance fee?!), this is a good move, a bit devilish I would say, by letting our players to feel how is it like to play in really good event by invitation to fire up their quest to success in chess. Ah, just like many current millionaires, who let themselves to have a moment of luxury, when they are yet a millionaire, to inspire them to work harder to achieve their goal. 

All in all, good move, MCF!

Ofcourse other good spillover effect from Malaysian Master is by indirectly bring a shine to National Closed (as an event to obtain that 3 'wildcard' Master tickets).

So what is the requirement to play in this Malaysian Master? Am i qualified to play?
Top 6 in Fide Rating
Quickly I checked at FIDE’s website whether I am in Malaysia’s top 6. Damn! I am not in top 6, in fact I am not even in top 36 (6 x 6) in Malaysia…I am just an obscure, mediocre number 37.

MCF choice
Err…I don’t think MCF will chose me….:)

Top 3 in National Closed
Aha! This lie my chance! :)

Rumour has it that National Closed this year will be held at Terengganu. Good! Any place that is far away from Kuala Lumpur or Penang is a good location!

I think i need to suggest the followings to Terengganu Chess Association and stating below reasons, mentioned it politely many times in good language until they become boring to argue with me, and maybe i should claims that i got supports from other member and all chess players, ofcourse those that did not support me is a bad guy and i have to mentioned that this suggestions will not benefits me etc.  (actually, all below reasons are to benefits me, hehehe) 

1.Organized it not during school holidays or weekend (for the comfort and safety of contestant, road is less jam and shopping place is less crowded) 
2. Organized it at some remote islands or at Taman Negara (So contestant able to discover authentic Terengganu)
·         3.To have many rest days in between rounds.1 round followed by 1 rest day. (Chess is taxing game. So players can relax in between rounds)
·         4.Contestant must produce IC and Birth Certificate (To ensure they are really Malaysian citizen, IC alone is not enough. Must  bring IC with Birth Certificate)
·         5.Deposit of RM500 per player (will be forfeit if players went AWOL halfway. Don’t worry it will be return two months after satisfied that contestant did not breaking any law)
·         6.Contestant must show their bank account (To show that contestant got money to go home if they did not win any prize)
(Ah if this really come true, good chances I will finished top 3!) shhh, don’t tell anybody about my plan above. Lets keep it secret between us, okay?

Above suggestions on National Closed are just fiction. Not to be taken seriously. The rest you can take it seriously.

Monday, March 18, 2013


24 hours before the start of the tournament, i am still undecided whether to play or not (last minute guy i always am, finally on Sunday's morning i succumb to the Caissa's sexy seduction.... ), 24 players took part, i am seeded number 8 and finished 3rd (8x3 equal...) and entrance fee is... well, slightly above 24 (RM25)

Tournament Proper
Top 5 seeded:
1. Hermanu Latif
2. Kamaluddin Yusof
3. Wong Jianwen
4. Sumant
5. Fong Yit San

Top 5 Finisher:
1. Sumant
2. Jianwen
3. Ilham
4. Syazwan
5. Fong Yit San

1. The shortest game is between Ezmi and Aqilah in the first round. 1. h4 draw! could be shorter...

2. A day before or on 16 March 2013, Syazwan won first first prize (worth RM600!...kaching!!) at Catur Jelajah Terengganu, on 17 March here he is at DATCC and played well to finish 4th (worth RM80...another kaching!!)
3. Cameo appearance...Christy Hon, Eddy Fong, Jax Tham 
4. I registered my first win against Syazwan (my lifetime score against him is something like 0.5 - 5.5)...finally ! :)

S.P.R.M. (Stone 'Police Report' Master)
Breakfast with Fadli and ofcourse i asked him about his police report lodged against MCF. He explained it is his duty to report since he got the evidence and clarified that his act is not due to MCF's AGM result, whoever won he will still make that Police report as per advice by SPRM official.
 ...not something new, rumors about corruption is like rumors about ghost, it has been around forever! Everybody claims they know someone who has saw ghost though nobody has manage to capture it alive (or maybe in this ghost example, more accurate to say to capture it dead)

Fadli believed he got solid evidence (ghost in a bottle) in this or else he will not lodged that report.

I am split here...though deep in my heart I hope that there is no corruption, only some misunderstanding or some accounting glitches, since if there is one, it is painful to know someone is willing to do such shameless act at the cost of is just too painful!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


9.30 am (10th March 2013), OCM Hotel Lobby
I feel like i am at the middle of the above age 21 category chess tournament...NM Yeoh Chin Seng, Ismail Ahmad, Haq, IM Mok, NM Peter Long...just too many to mentioned! and hold on...that’s guy looks like a reclusive Maliki...gosh, he is Maliki! sum it up, friendly faces everywhere.

The cordial, friendly atmosphere among chess delegates...outsider would never guess that chess is about to have its most ‘exciting’ AGM...

10.00 am (10th March 2013), Mokhtar Dahari Hall, Wisma OCM
Me, Saprin, Syed and Khalim are a bit relieved when we are allowed to be inside (or at least nobody barred us from coming inside) the hall during the meeting, with the exception of during the voting in which we are asked to step outside (but later Greg called us to assist in monitoring the ballot boxes, segregate, do the vote counting , jotting down the result after announcement etc)

AGM is officially began when one cheerful lady emcee requested IM Mas to recite a doa...(now we know that IM also stood for Imam Muda Mas...just joking Mas). Shortly after a beautiful doa from IM Mas, Tan Sri Ramli delivered his opening speech.

Meeting then went relatively peaceful, confirming of previous minute, presentation of accounts etc...on and off delegates can be heard asking questions, request for clarifications or offering suggestions...pretty harmless...(The Queens Gambit Declined type of situation.)

( Now we have an Albin Counter Gambit type of situation...)
Fascinating arguments arose on whether the committee could cast their vote together with states delegates...hearing the arguments (interpretation of Constitution etc) and Saprin were like, yeah, he is right!..then we heard counter argument, hey, that makes sense!...then we heard the counter-counter argument...Bingo! Damn correct also! :)

To make it short, finally it is agreed that Committee is allowed to cast their votes together with the states delegates. So there are 40 person that is now qualified to cast their vote.

Ballot is done in secret manner (not via the show of hands) and after the ballot paper have been counted and tallied...its 20 votes for Tan Sri Ramli and 20 votes for Encik Zuhri.

Its  a fighting draw!...but still, aren’t we chess citizen hates the draw result? a tie breaker needs to be determined!

Suddenly the temperature inside the hall could be feel increase by a few degrees Celcius! to me there is picture of Mokhtar Dahari celebrating after scoring goals (we are after all at Mokhtar Dahari Hall!), i wonder who will be scoring ‘victory goals’ in President election...

...Discussion on the tie breaker continued after the conclusion of the VP and Committee member election.

Various tie breakers are being offered, suggested and debated and finally it is agreed on second round casting. By this its already 1pm and some of the delegates already left the hall. Some pressures from OCM Hotel requested delegates that stay at the hotel to empty the room before 1.30 pm.

On second round voting result, Tan Sri Ramli got 21 votes while Encik Zuhri got 16. Tan Sri Ramli emerge victorious!

...and shortly afterwards a new MCF Team could be seen immediately sit down to discuss on various issues.

Chess Odyssey wished to congratulate Tan Sri Ramli for his success in defending his President position.

Above is what i saw during the election, it is not mean to be official or comprehensive and subject to my human error. Should it differs from actual MCF version/ minutes then the MCF version/ minutes shall be treated as the correct representation of the AGM and for that i shall apologized.

Friday, March 8, 2013


"Win or lose, we go shopping after the election." - Imelda Marcos

Ah...election times! ... or to be more exact MCF AGM in which there will be a contest for President post.

Encik Zuhri, a businessman from Kedah, currently MCF Deputy President, is now offering himself for a President post.  

I have the opportunity to listens directly to many personalities and non personalities that involved and not involved in this election/ MCF at locations varied from top of 5 stars hotel to faraway, exotic chess tournament process hearing mostly bad stories about chess society. 

So what did i heard ? Well, lets stop at that and avoid libel, shall we?

So when I met Encik Zuhri for a cup of Kopi Kampung at one of the Nasi Padang Restaurant at Kampung Baru, together with Encik Ghalam Sani, i fully expect to hear again “this people bad, that people devil” kind of talk that i always heard or read at, i was wrong.

For most of the 3 hours conversation, Encik Zuhri talked mostly about his plans for MCF and for local chess development...his strategy to strengthen MCF financially...come up with SOPs...on searching for Malaysia’s first GM etc.

In between I take the opportunity and asked him whether should he be elected as President, will he go and investigate about various claims on corruptions? Immediately he answered “No, what past is past. I will start anew (...and moving forward)” can expect there will be no revenge or witch hunting.

On who he will appointed as a MCF Secretary?, he said he do not have any team (shadow cabinet) but he is ok to have the likes of Najib, Greg or Yap (not under particular order) as MCF Secretary. He clarified that rumours about him will appointed Raymond Siew as MCF Secretary should he won a President post is not true. 

On how he rates his chances? ‘Good!’ come back the confident reply and in which I agreed and may i added that Zuhri’s chances of winning will be higher should the ballot is cast secretly and not via show of hands....and i am of opinion that ballot should be cast secretly so the delegates can really vote according to their true choice...and not to ‘jaga hati’....hello? we are not electing class monitor here ok!

I cannot say i know him well though i started noticing him at chess tournament some few years back but i can say that by observing him from afar, read articles about him as well as via above conversation, i could detect that 'Howard Roark' qualities in him such as sticking to his principle, passion in doing things of his interest, man of few words and many actions, fantastic connections...just my ingredients for a good MCF President!

 In a style of British newspaper that openly support their favourite election candidates...Chess Odyssey would like to do the same by declaring full support for Encik Zuhri for MCF President post in this week MCF’s AGM.

Good luck and all the best Encik Zuhri!

"Win or lose, we go playing chess after the election." - Ilham