Wednesday, August 21, 2013


1. It is simple. After few phone calls and SMSes and we already manage to assemble a team for a dangerous win Best State Team in Merdeka Rapid!
·         First Board        Mohd Arshad
·         Second Board    Nor Ilhamuddin
·         Third Board       Rahim Ramli
·         Fourth Board     Fairul Yusoff   

2. Based on our average chess rating, we are seeded number 32 out of 104 teams. Not bad but I guess we could be seeded higher if seeding is based on age average…and definitely will be in top ten should it is based from waistline average!

3. We know the odds stacked heavily against us. After all we are like those bunch of retired killers/soldiers in The Expendables film, stood against active, fit, lean mean professionals. At 39 years old, I am the youngest, the baby boy of the team. We know it will be difficult but we also damn sure we are going to have a lot of fun here.

4. Other than chess skills, each player got their own unique skills and duties for the mission to win best State Team:

  • Mohd Arshad a cameraman and finder of best place to eat." To enjoy good food, just follow me" For record his favourite restaurants are  Nando's or Chicken Rice Shop.

  • Rahim the mathematic professor, he contribute by giving his mathematical analysis/targets on the team’s performance. "We should got at least 12 points from first day to be among the contenders" etc. For Record we scored 11.5 from first day but manage to recover the lost ground on second day by beating two teams 4-0, drawing one and lost one to Coup de Grace.

  • Fairul the motivator, contributed by always giving the optimistic view of the situation when everything seems bleak. " Don't worry. I will contribute 9 points and we should be State Champ" etc. For record he really scored 9 points...but 9 terbaliklah (6 points)! :)

I am in charge to buy morning breakfast and by virtue of being the only player with a pen, I am unofficially the team captain with duty to write down the player's name and signed the result. After few rounds I ‘delegate’ the duty to Mohd Arshad since being on Board 1, he stood the nearest to the Result Sheet.

Still if you asked me who is the captain? I will say he is Rahim...the most respectable player/ person in the team.

5. Our first round opponent is a Collin Madhavan’s junior team. Before the start of game, Collin said please be gentle with his boys. I replied ‘No, the boys should be gentle when playing against old uncle like us” Anyway, for record we managed to beat them 4-0.

6. In second round we face Philippine Team and we lost 0-4. Hmm, our performance is just like Malaysian Team at Olympiad, beat weak team 4-0 before being whitewashed by stronger team 4-0.

7. But still, to my curious (and delight), for most the rounds when we played we always facing All Ladies Team…whether they are in front of our table…or next to our table…always FACING them! Pairings done in Heaven...Hmm, God works in mysterious way!

8. After the end of the round 8, we have surprised even ourselves when we got 11 points and we ARE the best state team at that time. Mission almost accomplished and how we wished Merdeka Rapid is played over just 8 rounds. 

Even mighty Penang stood at 10 points. At the Hotel Lobby I asked Chuin Hong how is his team (Penang) doing? Chuin Hong then replied ‘We are now 10 points, just like you guys (Terengganu).

I then smiled and replied “I am sorry but we are not 10 points, we are 11!”

Ha! Ha!

9. Still at the end of the day, Penang (and Penang CLOBA) beat his last round opponent while we lost to Mok’s Coup de Grace. Penang entitled for one of those Best Malaysian prize while Penang CLOBA snatched the Best State Team.

Looks like Penang, sorry…Penangs, are the ones who have the last laugh…Grrrrr! :(

10. All things considered, it is a good outing for us. Each players contributed between 5 and 6 points out of 9 rounds…there is no star and no failure in the team and we have performed better than expectation.

Each players got their very own moment in the sun…Arshad, when he manage to beat Max…Rahim, when he manage to draw with Jamals Henry from Jakarta and drew with Kamaluddin Yusof …Fairul Yusof, when he beat NM Kamal Ariffin and drew with WIM Upi Tamin. Me? I guess, my moment in the sun is when I beat RED FM* Ooi Chern Eei (with indirect help from one angel...)

Yeah, we have our moment of failure too but I guess it is too few to mentions.

11. Terengganu will send a team to Sabah next month but I will not be in the team (and Rahim too)…I am not sure who will be playing but looks like the line up will be Syazwan, Arshad, Fairul and Suhaidi.

Take this opportunity to wish you guys all the best!

*Movie buff will know that RED here stands for "Retired, Extremely Dangerous."

Monday, August 19, 2013


  • This could only happened in the magical Malaysian Chess round 8th of Ambank Open, Anand met Alekhine in which Alekhine won after a tough fight.(Thanks Mok for the info)
  • Eid Fitr mood blanketed the hall...There is 'Kuih Raya' at Arbiter's table...Ezmi Mahmood can be seen wearing a black songkok (quite a sight for Kelantanese since most of them prefer to wear white kopiah) and ofcourse Nabil, Azman Hisham, Shakir and few others can be seen in full Baju Melayu gear!
  • In third round i played against WGM Ding Yixin, who is also a current China Champion (Woman Section). Below is the position after white's 4th move Ng5
I played the rare and the confusing 4. ..Nxe4 ?! which cause my opponent to think about half an hour. Not everyday you could make China Champion to think for half an hour on move 4 by playing a sacrifice move!

For record her replied is not the best replied (or perhaps not the one that i scared most) and by move 14 i (think) i already had the advantage and i offered her a draw. She remained stony silence.

Unfortunately in chess peace proposal, silent mean NO! (unlike married proposal in which silent mean YES!!!YES!!!),  ...she later outplayed me in the endgame. :(
  • In Blitz Event Nicholas 'Supersonic'Chan  left with 2 seconds against his GM opponent 13 seconds (some swear GM opponent got something like 17 seconds, depend on who you talk to). Nicholas is a pawn up and offered a draw but his opponent refuse. Both players then continued blitzing for about a dozen moves before his GM opponent lost on time! ...Nicholas clock still left with that 2 fact scarier than The Conjuring. ...Until today no one at Planet Earth know for sure how Nicholas did that...many theories surfaced from broken clock to Nicholas somehow manage to freeze time with his light year speed in making move (Einsten's relativity...time stop when you reach light year speed...and Nicholas's time did stop!) All i can say to you, Nicholas, you do this witch act 200 years ago you risk being burnt to death by a scared public.
  •  Talk about The Conjuring, few National players (ladies) went to see the film (which belongs to above 18 years old category), all passed as 18 years old and managed to enter the GSC cinema with the exception of Tan Li Ting who failed to slip in. :) a words of Cindy Lauper "but girls just want to have fun!"
  •  In Team Event, Khairun Nisha can be seen giving her team mate (Team aptly named 'All Ladies'...and may I add, All pretty) a cup cake. Such a friendship gesture a word of Dione Warwick and Stevie Wonders "That's what friends are for, keep shining, keep smiling, knowing you can always count on me..."
  •  Talk about song, all players song a Happy Birthday song to a birthday boy, Mok Tze Meng, before the starts of penultimate round in Team Event. Mok then generously thanking everyone but not generous with the chess point when he beat my team mate (Arshad) in his usual Mok's grinding technique. " Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you"
  • Talk about event before the starts of penultimate round, Kabir and Khairunisha introduce me to Nafisa from Uzbekistan. Kabir even snapped a picture or two of me and Nafisa... i spend few sweating moments talking to angelic Nafisa and asked few unintelligent questions...damn! i just got weak in presence of beauty! There are thousand questions i want to really asked her but i am afraid i might ruining everything. Beauty and Brain (and soft velvet voice too that could melt steel, let alone my heart)...a very lethal combination that somehow inspired me to do well in my last game against a strong Ooi Chern Ee...and win i did against Ooi, could you believe that? To Nafisa... a song from Three Degrees is for you "Precious moment...when will i see you again?" 
  • Last but not all the memory, to all the friendship, to all the games...its so hard to say goodbye to chess a words of Boyz to Men " How do I say goodbye to what we had?... The good times that made us laugh ... Outweigh the bad."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


  1. Above stands for IGB Malaysia Open,In My Opinion. Sorry could not help it!
  2. It is a very strong tournament. How strong? Well, all I can say Fischer is not even among Top 100.
  3. As at time of writing, 5 rounds have been played. Best Malaysian so far are Dr Ronnie and Evan Capel, raking 3.5 points so far out of five.
  4. Most impressive Malaysian so far is our little darling, our little hope, Tan Li Ting, raking 34 Elo gains so far from her 3 points out of five.
  5. Best Malaysian we know, most impressive Malaysian we know but guess who is the most profitable Malaysian? Most profitable Malaysian is no doubt Mr Jax Tham, raking few hundreds Ringgit out of 4 days so far from selling chess books outside the hall. I could see some players bought two plastic bags full of books!
  6. "Why are you not playing, Jax?" I asked him. "I am not qualified in Veteran...I am not qualified in Ambank...and the fee for Open is expensive. Might as well I am manning my stall here"...very true Jax, and ofcourse you are not qualified in Swensen!
  7. Talk above (expensive) fee. This year Blitz Fee is RM35 for initial 9 rounds. I have heard some unhappy voices but for me, i will still play and support this event...not everyday you can play blitz against GM (and hopefully, against WGM or WIM! :) )
  8. Many familiar faces around, Greg can be seen talking to Raymond Siew, Kamaluddin is here on third day, I saw Peter Long, Muammar is here, Fadzil Nayan is here everyday giving his undivided support to...we all know who! :) Mok is here too.
  9. Ah...Mok Tze Meng! Mok can be heard engaged in 'passionate' discussion about local chess outside the hall, clearing some misconception on issues that involved him. He also told a story on how to deal with a rude chess player...we all just laughed listening to him! :)
  10. Chied Arbiter, Mr Najib, informed players on dress code during the event, no slippers, no shorts. Well, i agreed with no slippers ruling but i disagree on no shorts ruling!
  11. There are many more to see and what are you waiting for? Quickly go to Cititel Midvalley to watch all the actions live!
  12. ...but make sure you go to level 5 and not Level 3. For at Level 3 I have made to understand ( I have never been there, ok!) there is also a tournament, you pay entrance fee depend on type of event you want to participate, you can also chose your opponent and time control! But believe me, tournament at Level 5 is more exciting!

Monday, August 12, 2013


I currently took part in MCF OPEN (No, not that MCF...after all MCF is not really open, rite), MCF OPEN here stands for Malaysian Chess Festival Open!

Initially seeded number 69 (Hmm, a naughty number according to my best friend Fairul Yusof!), on a tournament day i was seeded number 77, even better i guess, double seventh heaven!

I jokingly said to Raymond Siew before the start of first round, 'Mark should performed well in this tournament'. 'Why?' asked a puzzled Raymond. 'He is blessed with seeded number 88!'

...but this tournament is not really a seventh heaven experience for me, more like baptism of fire.

Example is in my round 5 game against WIM Zhai Mo (Rated 2312). Below is the diagram and i played white.

What else can i say? I am winning no doubt about it, two pawns up in the pawn already at seven rank and my opponent now left with about 5 minutes and mine still have 58 minutes!

I already dream of collecting about ten ELO points...and wonder who will my next round opponent will be...WGM Irene perhaps? :)...or will it be Nafisa Muminova ?

Then i played a stupid blunder Ne4 ????????, she captured it with Ne4 then i realised i cannot captured it my rook (Re4) because of Ng3+

...i resigned a few moves letter, broken hearted.

Chess hurts....

I spend most of last night listening to Nazareth's classic Love Hurts, but ofcourse 'love' can very well be replace with 'Chess'.

..licking my wounded heart all alone in my apartment.

Chess hurts, chess scars
Chess wounds, and marks
Any heart, not tough
Or strong enough
To take a lot of pain
Take a lot of pain
Chess is like a cloud
Holds a lot of rain
Chess hurts
Chess hurts

I'm young, I know
But even so
I know a thing or two
I learned, from you
I really learned a lot
Really learned a lot
Chess is like a flame
It burns you when it's hot
Chess hurts
Chess hurts

Some fools think of happiness
Blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves I guess
They're not foolin' me
I know it isn't true
I know it isn't true
Chess is just a lie
Made to make you blue

Chess hurts
Chess hurts
Chess hurts
I know it isn't true
I know it isn't true
Chess is just a lie
Made to make you blue
Chess hurts
Chess hurts
Chess hurts