Tuesday, January 14, 2014


THE QUIET PART and my wife when went our separate ways in end 2012. As such in 2013... every afternoon, going back to my empty home with no Astro, no TV, half broken laptop (heck, i do not have even a proper radio!) and no kids laughter to greet me...not an easy period, i have to admit... but i guess rather than thinking about it....i guess i better use this quiet period by studying chess.

...during this time i managed to finish about ten chess books from cover to cover ( Capablanca’s Chess Fundamentals, Euwe’s Judgement and Planning in Chess, Chernev’s Most Instructive Chess Games, Franco’s Chess Self Improvement etc)

...i also managed to half finished a dozen of chess books ( My System, Study Chess with Tal etc)...fully intent to finish these books this year. Amin!

...most of it is a classic books...with the idea of building up my basic chess foundations (at young age of 39!)

...its really a quiet period of my life...suddenly i found that i study chess not only to remember the theory but also to forget all the memory...the painful memory. 

...just when i planned to have a faithful relationship and undivided devotion to Chernev’s, Nunn’s, Nimzovitch’s etc, suddenly i found myself being seduce by Ayn Rand’s, Twan Eng’s and my usual mid night partners (Grisham’s, Crichton’s, Archer’s, Puzo’s etc)

...and also all of sudden i found my interest zip zap everywhere...from Theology to Teohlogy...from Mexican’s marathon runners to Blackjack strategy...from Quantitative Trader to Quantum Physic....its just everywhere (pss...i also read Richard Dawkins' book!..just curious to know about the arguments from ‘the other side’)

...and yes, i bought 42 inches TV two months ago at RM1500 ( Finally!...after  surviving a year without TV and after bargaining for half an hour from original price of RM1800)...feel damn good about it (Ha ha...big TV at RM1500...) but later discovered same TV set is priced at RM1200 at Jusco...Grrrr

With this TV suddenly i found my interest change my aim is to watch all the movies under Top 100 Movies of All Time (so far manage to achieve 20 % success...ET, Godfather, Casablanca, Gone with the winds, Star Wars, 2001:Space Odyssey etc)...still have like 80 films to go...sigh!

...Well, all these (and the friendly calls, SMSes, comments on this blog, know who i am referring to here and for that TQVM) help me went through this lonely chapter...

...and all above (Books, Films) i guess is good to make me a more ‘rounded’ person but it comes at the cost of my chess

Chess wise...I consider 2013 as a successful year for me...i manage to increase my ELO Rating from 1994 to 2023 (highest at 2034...before Malaysian Open...before Nafisa Muminova), a gain of 29 points in one calendar year.

Well, progressing at a cruising speed of 29 points a year, i should be an IM in 10 years time and a GM in 20 years time...just in time for that GM BY 58! (...or maybe not, in future good chances that IM and GM ‘marks’ will be move forward to reflect the inflation) 

...In 2013, in most of the tournaments i manage to perform better than my seeding (my usual bench mark) and as a result i manage to gain positive return on my entrance fee investment...sometimes double or triple it (though occassionally zero or negative returns).

My biggest ‘win’ is RM500 cash...not due to top finishing but via winning lucky draw for eligible contestant at one of the INSOFAR events!

Ha! ha! I love Insofar events! Full of surprises! :)



  1. Sorry to hear about your separation. Hope 2014 will be a good year for you.

  2. At last, news about you!
    Good luck about that GM at 58, bro! ... and look at the bright side - now you have more chances with Nafisa Muminova.

  3. Thanks Raymond for the support and well wishes.

  4. Thanks abdooss..guess my chances now increase by 0.001% :)

  5. Dear Ilham, this is Prabha Rajendra. I just spoke to Collin Madhavan who said you gave him a call last night after I emailed you. I would like to call you today if you are free. Could you give me your mobile or home telephone number ? My mobile is 0192350309 and my home email address is

    Hope to hear from you soon and all the best for your chess !

    Prabha Rajendra

  6. Hi Prabha,
    Thanks for e-mail you send last night and thanks for calling me this morning...i really enjoyed the conversation and aren't we like 4 times need to say i got to go...before new topics arise and there goes 'i got to go' :)

    Lets continue to be in touch and all the best for your chess too!