Thursday, April 18, 2013



Happened during Asian Amateur last two years, I was playing white against one Bruneian player. The opening is a sharp Giucco Piano (which I know with correct play from both side, it will be just a draw) and in which in that complex position, my opponent started to think longer and deeper.I was hoping that he did not know the theory and will make a blunder in a complex, messy Giucco Piano position.

...still he played all the correct moves and after I have sacrificing few pieces, game ended in a draw by perpetual check.

“Damn it. He just got lucky and managed to find all the correct moves. Damn!" I silently cursed myself after the game.

After the tournament ended I re-visit the game, consulted engines and chessbase etc...I found one game that exactly followed my game against this Bruneian player and to my surprised, player in that chessbase game is my opponent at Asian Amateur!

Actually few years before that he played white against another opponent and his long thinking is not so much to encounter my move..but more of thinking what is i am up to?...what is improvement that i have prepared? None, actually.

Gee...terrible me! How could I have doubted whether my opponent know about Giucco Piano’s theory when he IS THE THEORY!  

Sit in front of me at one of the weekend rapid chess tournament is a boy, must be below 12, all smile and very polite looking...I mean he stand up when shaking my hand as I approached the board and also correctly spelled my name, complete with my father’s name, on his chess notation book (Most players his age will asked me to write down my name on their chess book...).

So after the game, he (still) smiled at me and said “You write that Odyssey blog, right?” I said yes. And then with that ‘awe struck’ look on his face, he smiled and said “I always read your blog” “Oh, Thank you!” I replied.

Nice to know I have a young fan :)...but most important...that haunted smiley face always reminded me...Ilham, be careful with what you write since children are also reading your blog.


My opponent, an Indian citizen, is having a habit of shaking his head, unconsciously, whenever he is not feeling comfortable with his position. So as the game progress (and my attack is getting stronger), his shaking of his head is also getting stronger.

Suddenly i feel like playing against my Fritz...i mean whenever playing against the engine, i always after making a move, will look at the evaluation point to see whether my move is good or not. And against this opponent, after making a move i will look at the movement of his head to know whether my move is any good or not.

Game ended when he smiled, extended his hand and of course, gave me that head shaking.

After the game, i cannot help thinking that good he chose chess...i cannot imagine how disadvantage he will be should he chose...say, poker?


  1. Wow! Nice stories!

    1) I hate when my opponents play very fast in the opening like he knows theories and beat me at the opening stage.
    2) Ah! I feel like writing blog again! At least to make my opponent know me and afraid a bit when sitting in front of me! lol.
    3) Do you really play against Fritz? Wah!

  2. Ilham,

    Giucco Piano? I hope you played Evan's Gambit too! Maybe you'll get more than draws.. :)