Wednesday, October 8, 2014


'Emjee' is a moniker or nick name to Terengganu chess player, Fairul Yusof.

Though probably not the strongest (sorry, Emjee...) among Terengganu chess players, Fairul Yusof is definitely the most popular among us with his ready positive opinions/ probabilities even when odds are heavily against him... his lyrical, poetry and detailed description or analysis of situation... his flamboyant style when he is winning or find brilliant moves in friendly games...

All above and more makes we (Terengganu  chess players) all loved him!

'Emjee' as a friend (in need)
I first met him some 25 years ago at now the legendary Kedai Aziz. He is then working at RHB Bank. Though relatively latecomer to the game, he quickly grasp the idea of the game and in no time become one of the Terengganu's top player. This is of no surprise since he is blessed with brilliant mind and naturally he is very excellent academically (especially in advance mathematics) and was shortlisted to further his study in US before some nasty twist in kaleidoscope shattered it to pieces.

But Emjee is a fighter...

Above is not the only life test he faced. I have witnessed many occasions in which world seems totally against him but slowly and surely he rises again like phoenix rise from ashes.

For record he is now a (very) successful Terengganu's 'keropok keping' producer. Good chances if you are eating Terengganu's genuine 'keropok keping', it is probably produce by his company!

One thing i could not forget is how before i started working, some 17 years ago, i realized i probably do not have enough cash to live at KL before i got my first salary. I asked him whether he could help me, quickly he lend me RM300 and a month later, i gladly, upon received my first salary, first things i do on lunch time is went to nearest RHB bank and deposited back RM300 to his RHB's account.

Thanks Emjee!

'Emjee' as a chess player   
But let's talk about him as chess player.

As a player, he is aggressive player with plans always involved some hacking, more hacking and never shy to murder his pieces if that could bring him closer to opponent's king. If there is a combination in a position, somehow he could sense and detect it like any phone could sense and detect a WI-FI signal...

His opening is well...a bit suspect since he always played same openings year in, year out. But then again this could be the thing of a past since what i heard he just installed Chessbase on his smart phone and religiously devoted about 4 hours a day improving his opening. (Whoops! i better be careful now!)

Though he is aggressive as player, outside the game (and maybe to stranger) he is a shy person. Once, few hours after drawing his game against IM Jimmy Liew no less, i saw that IM Jimmy and IM Mok is analyzing this game's ending. I quickly waived at Fairul and asked him to join in the analysis but he refused. Perhaps in this area i wished him to be more extrovert...

The origin of 'Emjee's name
Some times ago, when Ghalam still playing active chess, most of Terengganu players dream of becoming a GM (who don't? ) and foolishly started to put 'GM' in front of our name. For variety some put G-OM and Fairul chose 'MG', under reasons best known by him. After some times all these GM-pretend-names disappeared but 'MG', now spelling evolve to 'Emjee', stays!  

Chess Odyssey take this opportunity to wish Emjee a successful quest to become Terengganu's first titled player... and speedy recovery from high fever!             


  1. Nice to read these kind of stories about our local players. Thanks!

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  3. I think gm Ilham must reevaluate his statement...." not the strongest among Terengganu ".... Gambit Aka Emjee Aka Gm Fairul is the BEST TERENGGANU PLAYER at Pencarian Jaguh Terengganu !