Friday, January 17, 2014


The rise and rise of young guns...
Yeoh Li Tian
Li Tian’s chess rating can be describe like a marathon runner....steadily moving at cruising speed of 30 or 40 ELOs a year (he seems to be not in hurry) and now he has breaching 2300 for first time in year 2013...What to watch in 2014 is will he ready for 2350 assault and starts collecting norms in the process.

Aron Teh
Aron Teh’s chess rating can be describe like a sprinter...zooom!! (boy o boy, he seems to be man in a hurry) Where is he, ah?...cannot see already. So fast...He gained about 300 points in single year and what to watch in 2014 is whether he still got that inhuman energy to repeat this performance and breach 2300...or maybe 2400 who knows?

Fong Yit San
Yit San’s chess rating can be describe like a middle distance runner....for a few years running at a steady cruising speed but last year saw he is increasing his speed (gaining more than 100 points in single year, suddenly... he seems to be man in a hurry). What to watch in 2014 is whether he will continue progressing at this rate and breach 2250...

The rise and rise of Cerdik Catur Enterprise...
Cerdik Catur Enterprise, lead by Mr Fadli, is no doubt the most active chess organiser around. His tournaments is everywhere...from city center to forest reserve...and easily attracts 200 or 300 contestants per tournament.

What to watch in 2014 is whether he will be progressing outside KL/ Selangor...and also on his political ambition...

His other initiative, CCR Rating, is also fast gaining popularity and now being use by even non Cerdik Catur organizer.

National Rating vs CCR reminds me of MS Office vs OpenOffice...for a long time local rating is being monopolized by MCF’s National MS Office, it is not free and of Premium Quality. Suddenly last year, Fadli produce CCR...its free (i think so) and works just as fine and now fast challenging National Rating as rating of choice for local events.

What to watch in 2014 is whether CCR will continue progressing and being adopted into more local tournaments..

The fall and fall of chess centers...
Heard that DATCC has closed its operation on 1st January 2014 and Khairun Nisha is seriously toying with the idea of closing her chess center is a sad period to chess centers operators.

To me, chess centers to chess community is like ports to trading must exist in order to prosper!...and i hope magical economic law of supply and demand will work and produce new centers...(demand in chess centers will result in the creation of chess centers (supply))

What to watch in 2014 is whether there will rise a new and better chess center after this sad chapter...a new center that rise like a phoenix rise from ashes...

MCF’s official website...
Shortly after MCF’s AGM, a demo or prototype of MCF website is being shown...from what i read and heard about this website, i am impressed but after that silent....

What to watch in 2014 is whether this much awaited MCF’s website will finally be on line and running...

First GM...
There is saying that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. First GM, arguably the most vocal blogger in 2013, championing (among others) for correct chess training while at the same time criticizing other chess players/ coaches methods. 

As such naturally (and unfortunately too) the spotlight will be on First GM’s student, Mark Siew who so far performed within close band of 2000 elo (plus minus 10 points)...not bad but not impressive either...

What to watch in 2014 is the effectiveness of FGM’s training method via Mark Siew’s performance...and whether he can breach 2050 to be in Malaysia’s Top 25.

Players for Tromso Olympiad...
In about 200 days from now, 2014 Chess Olympiad will be held at Tromso. Tromso Organizer is now busy recruiting volunteer for this event and naturally MCF should also by now be busy in determining the criteria to represent Malaysia.

What to watch in 2014 is how the players will be chosen and who will be it MAS (Mana Ada System) style? or is it MCF (My Chess Friends) style?... I don’t know and i hope not...what i hope is MCF’s Committee for National Player Selection (headed by Mr Ghalam Sani) will come up with guidelines on the criteria to represent Malaysia in Olympiad 2014. Amin.   

(Well, actually I have a list of players for My Dream Team but that is story for another day....)

The fate of Malaysian Open...
Just like previous year...and years before it...there is always rumours that there will be no Malaysian Open but somehow...abracadabra!...Malaysia Open is magically being held promoting players such as Irene Karisma and Nafisa Muminova to come and play here. I thank God for it!

This year again i heard a scary rumors that maybe there will be no Malaysia Open, and with closure of DATCC ,this rumors might be frighteningly true...

What to watch in 2014 is whether there will be 2014 Malaysian Open this year ( i hope yes, it must be held in 2014 Visit Malaysia years and that rumor will be just unfounded come we deny pretty, young players from especially Indonesia or Uzbekistan not to come and play here especially during Visit Malaysia Year? )


  1. I laughed when I read MCF is My Chess Friends. You always come up with stuff like this :)

  2. Fair comments about FGM on the whole about results. However allow me to make a small correction. My criticism is about how some trainers use banning to attack other players. My criticism is about how some "trainers/players" attack the Juniors who train for selection for senior squad. If that can be stopped then we can see more clearly which methods work and which don't in healthy and clean competition.

    The other points you have covered. MCF should not be open to back doors and side deals. That is not fair. Eng Chiam and Syazwan should have been given the chance to go to the Olympiads. Nicholas Chan should have been called to play in the Masters. Not just MCF's, "My Chess Friends".

    1. Hi Raymond,
      I disagree... however thanks for the comment.

  3. Another point I would like to raise is about ranking based on Fide or other ranking tools like NR or CCR. I think it is quite obvious if we say that a player who does well in CCR would not be reflected in NR rankings. I think there should be no dispute there. If we use that analogy as a basis then we can also see that Fide is also not accurate in measuring fighting strength. Aron got a huge jump from being a winner at world amateur for instance. Some players try to play to win instead of playing for fide points for another. See this article.

    Etc etc. So the only real basis is winning selection tournaments. That is the best gauge we have.

  4. Thank You, Ilham for another splendid article.
    Though, if I may add, your liberal stand may sometimes be abused by some people for their own advantages (i.e. platforms).
    Therefore, if I may add another one, I admire your patience despite of all that.
    Happy New Year, bro!

    1. Thanks abdooss :)

      Happy New Year to you too! (both Gregorian and Lunar Calendar)

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