Sunday, June 30, 2013


Above is a title for satirical best selling book written by Michael Moore about 10 years ago that really 'hantam kaw-kaw' President Bush and US Policy.

A good book (if you are not President Bush) with many LOL moments and need to read with open mind so they said.( I am yet to read the book) 

Chess Rating
That titled aptly described my amusement today when i went to FIDE's website to see the latest rating of Malaysian players.

There is no Malaysia there on latest FIDE Rating (Country Section).

Dissappear!...hilang ghaib!... Xiāoshī!...marai!....e'lek!

Dude, where's my country?

Wonder why?

Is it because someone did not pay up the fee because MCF do not have money? Hmm, cannot be since inside MCF (and outside MCF too...) is just full of rich and respected people that surely can give temporary clean loan should there is ever a cash flow problem....

Maybe it is there (Malaysia in the list) but because of haze i cannot see it clearly...but haze API is now below 100... 

Wait! Aha!...Maybe it is done on purpose! So that when someone condemned that we are number 80+ on the list..we can proudly say "No, not true. Show me latest evidence that Malaysia is number 80+". Poor person that condemned Malaysia is of course unable to 'prove' his claim!....hmm, devil you! :)

Whatever the reasons, jokes aside, this 'BLACKOUT 107' is really bad for Malaysian chess.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Yesterday i went to Malaysian Master again...feeling adventurous, i tried different road and parked my bike at one of the back lane there.

Queens (or rather Kings that camouflage as Queens) greeted me, offered to sacrifice themselves for few pawns...Thanks, but no thanks...this world's oldest sacrifice is one sacrifice I don't accept. (or so i would like to believe... smiley wink!)

On my way to Swiss Inn, i passed through rows of restaurants, stalls, bookshops and pet shop.

Pet shop !? ...but how come there are so many tables and chairs in this pet shop? Ahh, then i realised...pets that are keep in aquariums and cages here is not meant to be keep...but is meant to be sacrifice!

it is not pet shop but a restaurant!

...Colourful and vibrant Petaling Street!  Not for faint hearted!

Reached the tournament hall at about 6.30pm. Only two games that are still in progress...Yit San is attacking Roshan's King and Chuin Hong is trying to break Aaron Teh's solid defence.

Not so long Roshan's resigned and that left only Aaron vs Ronnie...i could see that Aaron's is offering a draw by crossing his fingers after making a move but Ronnie did not gave any response.

After a long thought Ronnie suddenly making a move (hence voiding the peace offer), pressed the clock and circled the table like a cage panther sizing his victim...on and off i saw Aaron's do the same though not as frequent as Ronnie's.

Dr Ronnie is in take a risk and sacrifice a piece for breakthrough or just to play it safely...squeezing and squeezing and hopefully he can penetrate without the sacrifice.No luck.

Dr Ronnie did not do the sacrifice

The game finally ended in the draw.

To view this game (and game in which Mas' lost to Aaron in 20 moves) you can view it at this excellent posting by Junior Tay here.   

Ronnie can be heard congratulating his young opponent and mentioned that he dare not go all out (take risk by sacrificing)...not under his current chess performance.
1. Not many people here and place is kind of deserted...There is Peter Long, Yit Ho, Eddy Fong, Sumant etc....all male :(

2. Peter Long when he saw me, smiled and commented something on my previous posting. Ok, i would rather prefer Peter Long to comment my posting than Mas! :)

3. Mas, though his game has ended earlier, is still here and so all other players (Jimmy, Tze Han, LZR etc) On and off players checked on Aaron vs Ronnie's game. Mas can be seen with his sleek Asus Touch Screen laptop.Kinda cool... Maybe i should get one for myself...Let see how Airasia X's IPO performed next month!

4. On the white board there listed many future big tournaments with comments. Pre SEA Games, SEA Games, IGB Open, World Youth, Indonesian Open and etc. Notice Sabah Open is there too (dated 15 and 16 September 2013). Hmmm....Sabah Open...Arshad!, Gambit!...How?

5. Peter Long, Mas and Yee Weng can be seen engaging in serious chess discussion. Slowly i joined the discussion and Peter informed me that he is planning to organize a round robin event (Grouping based on rating) in which local players can cross sword with other Asean players. Good idea...Err, can i take part?

6. Mas, ever a gentleman, said that he is proud to lose to young talent...and when on to mentioned he lost two games against Li Tian last year and this year he lost to Aaron Teh. Whoo aaa My respect to Mas grows by few hundred rating points after hearing such a words...Hats off! 

7.Talked about young talent, previously we have Mas Chern Eei looks like we have Li Tian Aaron Teh (LTAT). In finance (stock market) LTAT refers to Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, a fund manager that able to move and shake market.

In chess now we have our own LTAT that is able to move and shake local chess scene. Not to mentioned, able to shake and rattle the heart of their future opponent.  

8. Last but not least, congratulations to all winners (for games well played) and organizer (for job well done)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Yesterday I went to Petaling Street to watch Malaysian Master. Braving KL's traffic jam, hazardous haze ( in which newspaper say only below it?) and Petaling Street Taikor, I arrived at Swiss Inn at about 6.30pm and somehow Mohamad Rafi's 1967 hit Hindustani song...An evening in Paris...keep on playing in my head. Hence, title above.

Well, many Hindustani faces manning the stalls ofcourse further added to the beauty of the song!

Saw many familiar faces, apart from player's Mama and Papa, there Sumant in his aviation shirt...Greg can be seen busy writing something at the corner....Zuraihah busy typing something in her laptop...Haslindah is also here and few others

3 games have finished when i entered the hall. Bumped into Chuin Hong in which he smiled and shaking his head..."I played badly in this tournament" he said.

Of interest is in top two players, Aaron vs Mas, Aaron won in 20 moves, it is a beautiful game in which Aaron sacrifice his queen to force a massive winning of materials...beautiful!

Someone can be seen replaying this game from his memory...zap! zap! zap!...and only pause (Diagram moment) before asking many spectators what is white next move (a queen sacrifice...queen take rook!).

More spectators gather to see the massacre (aren't we all vampires love blood!). Someone asked for the replay of the game in which he again obligingly show it all zap! zap! zap! and again pause at Diagram Moment...more smiles and shaking of heads from spectators when the Queen Sacrifice Act is being played.

Ofcourse above happened when Mas is not aroundlah...if he is around i guess we are too polite to publicly show his game in which he lost beyond recognized...Can you recall games in which solid, positional and Capablanca-like Mas lost in 20 moves?...i can't

Other decisive result of the round is between bottom two players, Chuin Hong vs Jimmy in which Chuin Hong won decisively (and uniquely too) final position both Jimmy's rook and bishop still glued in its original square!

1. Mas is kind enough to show his two games from KL Masters to Chuin Hong (and in which i also tumpang sekaki to watch it)  in which he made a blunder in winning position against GM Tiviakov (game draw) and GM Luther (Mas lost). According to Mas GM Luther profusely apologized to Mas after the game for winning in a game in which its all Mas. 

Watching Mas replaying his games...accurate with analysis and flowery comments (Chess is beautiful! etc)...i have the feeling Mas have spend many hours studying the games...far cry from when amateur (read:me!) replaying the game, full of errors and uncertainty.

2. Aaron's performance (Ok, maybe still too early to say this) reminds me of young Kasparov at Banja Luka 1978...almost unknown, the youngest, yet he emerged as most impressive player.

3. 3 players coming all the way from faraway land...Yee Weng (Singapore), Aaron Teh (China) and Lim Zhuo Ren (UK)

4. Jimmy has a tournament he rather forget...but still at least as at now he already obtained a point (and will not do the Wong Meng Kong!)

5. Who will win this tournament? too close to call but i have a feeling it will be Mas (again).

I left the tournament hall at about 7.30pm.

Outside, again, many Hindustani faces greeted me.

Deko...Deko...Deko...Deko...Deko....An Evening in Petaling Street.....

Thursday, June 13, 2013


1. In 70’s, when chess programmer manage to come up with 4 pieces tablebase, it shed a new light on how chess players looks at endgame.

Example is on Queen vs Rook ending in which previously thought as easy win for superior side. Not true, win, yes…easy win, no as what GM Walter Browne discovered when he failed to win in Q vs R against computer’s perfect defense in 70’s.

Makes me wonder, should I spend hours and hours studying Q vs R ending with good chances of drawing the inferior side since GM Walter Browne is having difficulty winning…good chances Malaysian player is having difficulty winning it too.

2. The progress in this field grow steadily…in 80’s we have 5 pieces tablebase, in 90’s we have 6 pieces tablebase and recently we have 7 pieces tablebase.

Makes me wonder, when will programmer could come up with 32 pieces tablebase? Which also mean solving chess…

3. The effect in this ever increasing power of tablebase is both amazing and scary. When 6 pieces tablebase first went out, some position that is thought to be draw…ET informed that actually there is a win in 150 moves!

and when 7 pieces tablebase went out recently, it has been discovered that certain position in which believed to be draw, there is a hidden win in 540 moves!

Makes me wonder, will computer (via say 8 or pieces tablebase), find a win in 1000 moves?

Makes me wonder too, say in tournament with time control of 2 hours and 30 seconds increment, a 540 moves game that started at 9 o’clock in the morning will finished at about 10 o’clock at night!

There goes the next round schedule at 3 pm!

4. Question: There is CD for millions of chess games (Chessbase)…there is CD for chess programs with playing strength of 3000 ELO…How come I never saw any players or shop having this tablebase CD?

Answer:Are you crazy to have all this crammed into CD?
5 pieces TB required about 7GBs of memory,
6 pieces TB required 1 terabyte (1000 GBs of memory)
7 pieces TB required about 50 to 200 Terabyte of memory (or about 200,000 GBs of memory) that's huge!

Makes me wonder, The memory of 8 pieces tablebase once it is completed…is it like 50,000,000,000  GBs ?

how about the memory for 32 pieces tablebase then?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


On my previous posting dated 5th June 2013 under titled "National Closed...The Stories", clause number 8, i mentioned about the Tournament Director that never shows up during National Closed.

I have been earlier informed that one person (Lets not name name) is the Tournament Director (Not Dr Fouzi). After above mentioned posting someone mentioned that Dr Fouzi is the Tournament Director and not the person i assume him to be.

Dr Fouzi is ofcourse always there before, during and after the tournament and he has contribute a lot to ensure the success of it (Both time, monetary and ideas)

Take this opportunity to express my sincerest apology to Dr Fouzi for the unintentional error in the posting and wish him continued success in organizing future tournaments by Persatuan Catur Negeri Terengganu, in which he is a President.



1. 2013 National Closed has concluded about 4 days ago. Champ is the young Aron Teh, scoring a “modest” 7.5 out of possible 9, I used the word “modest” because this year, unlike last year when NM Roshan scored out-of-this world 8.5… still, this year Aron Teh scored more points compared with his more illustrious rivals such as Li Tian, Jiangwen, Sumant etc hence we have a worthy young king now. 

Hail! King Aron!

Unlike what I have predicted (…and I think most others predicted it too) that this year it will be Li Tian’s year  after his last year’s disaster…nope, Caissa got other plans which always independent from mine.

With the arrival of Aron Teh in chess scene reminds me of scene in early 90’s when Mas Hafizul, who at the time is the poster boy for Malaysian Prodigy…suddenly there emerged Ooi Chern Eei. Now the poster boy for prodigy is Li Tian...suddenly there emerged Aron Teh!

2. I bet not many know this. A few days before the start of this tournament, there is very real possibilities that the tournament might be cancel due to funding complication. Thanks to the likes of Dr Pouzi, Arshad and Fairul Yusof who steps in and put their own personal, hard earned money (God knows how much…) and the show went on succefully…another tournament is save!...though not sure whether this superheroes that save the tournament managed to save themselves from the thunderous words of their respective ‘Home Minister’. :)

By the way heard now the issue is settled already and now all heroes are amply reimbursed!

3. The aggressive Masrin Erowan…early leader with 4 wins when suddenly he meltdown and followed up with 4 straight losses. Heard that out of frustration, he tear off his score sheet after his 3rd lost (against Fairul Yusof). Such a temperament that mirror his playing style!...but still... I like that quality in player…reminiscence of Gary Kasparov.

However good news (or in my case, bad news) when Masrin has recovered from bad form when he finished second at DATCC Speedy Gonzales Blitz event last Sunday (Yeap, a day after National Closed)….beating yours truly in process.

4. Mouth watering encounter between Li Tian and Mark Siew (Too bad interest are sometimes more to this type of encounter... in football equivalent to encounter between North Korea vs South Korea or Israel vs Iran rather than Brazil against Spain). 

According to Arshad, owner of website that displayed the game live, it attracted hundreds of online spectators. I think I know at least 3 of them. I think Jimmy probably watch it, Yeoh Chin Seng definitely watch it and last but not least me also watch it!

5. Question! Who flew the farthest in order to take part in this year National Closed?
Masrin Erowan!(All the way from Sabah)...Nope!
NM Aron Teh! (All the way from China)…err, nope!
The answer is our ol’ Mr Lim Kian Hwa, who flew all the way from Europe (He took part in 5 or 6 tournaments there over 2 and half month time…envy you!) to take part in this year National Closed. Talking to him a day after National Closed at DATCC is like talking to my Geography teacher…Europe, Norway, then London bla, bla, bla…after this Taiwan…bla, bla, bla at Singapore bla, bla !...

For record, Lim Kian Hwa gains about 90 FIDE points plus in process and according to him “now its time to give his rating points back to Malaysian players” :)

6. Syazwan Zulkifly…Terengganu number one player, create a local record of sort by being the only Terengganu player that when entering the last round, stood a chance of becoming a NM…No luck this time but still a good achievement. Congratulations Syazwan!

7. Azman Hisham’s daughters (Nabila and Najiha) dominates the ladies section. Maybe it is time for them to consider taking part in Men category of National Closed a’la Judith Polgar ?

8…the only tournament in which TD (Tournament Director) is nowhere to be seen…before, during and after the event…Maybe the TD there refers to The Disappearance…who knows?


Saturday, June 1, 2013



What a long sleep this blog has. Is it 6 weeks ?

Ghee, I lost count...

Many things happened during this time (There is never a dull moment in Malaysian chess...only dull personality).

So where should i start?

Maybe i should start with Selangor Open

1. Suggestions! Maybe it should be named International Selangor Open instead a mere and humble Selangor Open. It is a truly international event with players from Russia, USA, Hong Kong, Philippine, India, Bangladesh, Fiji etc. 

Sadly missing is player from neighbouring countries that share land border such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei...

2. In Round 2, in a game between Nelson and Najiha, Najiha is completely winning (See below)

Najiha played 1. ...Kd6 and Nelson played 2. a8=Queen!...Ouchh! Setting a stalemate trap. Draw.

3. Bizarre incident happened in round 5 when a player can be heard shouting “What the...Arbiter!, he spit on me ! “...when his neighbour, who standing behind him, incidentally spit (maybe because of cough, i don't know...don't want to know also) a load of water from his mouth to this unfortunate player... Yuck! :)

4. On and off Najib could be seen mopping a floor when we, players,  inconsiderately spilled our coffee drink and Najib could also be seen putting a curtain to shelter us from hot, evening sunlight...Thanks Najib, little things that make a different.

5. My vote for most polite player is my opponent in 8th round, Alberto Muniz Pardino, a Spaniard who is now base in HongKong.  Just imagine...after he finished making his move at the time when i am not sitting at my place, he will look around looking for me and informed me he has making his move and politely show the move he just make...such a nice person (even during analysis), feel like ripping his shirt after the tournament to see whether he got wings on his back!

6. Most impressive player is young Bausch, rated only 1634 (Seeded 42) he finished impressive 7th .

7. Many players hope to see a duel between, Jimmy Liew and Mark Siew, no luck!

8. Top 5 Finishers are
1. GM Fomynch
2. Wong Jianwen
3. Sumant
4. Fadzil Nayan
5. Mark Siew

9. Most of the chess personalities can be seen during the tournament. Dato Tan, Peter Long, Hamid Majid, Saprin, Greg, Yeoh Chin Seng, Raymond Siew, Yeoh Li Tian etc.

10. After the first round I asked Jimmy to sign his book titled Chess in Malaysia and few rounds after that, a fellow good friend of mine, i know he don’t like it should i mentioned his name, asked me to sign a book that i recommend him to read! ...i am touched!

11. Life begin at 40, so they said (and in which i am soon to find out next year. Can't wait!)...wished Selangor Open (this year is its long, unbroken 40th Edition) a great and exciting life ahead. 

12. My performance, oklah...i finished better than my seeding and gains about 12 rating points...

After 6 weeks of deep sleep, allow me now to refresh myself ...and I will be back with more interesting stories. I promise!

Stay tuned...only in Chess Odyssey!