Monday, August 22, 2016

Chess Camp by Baku Olympians

The Malaysian Chess Federation announces the Malaysia Olympiad Chess Camp open to all. The dates are 26-28 August 2016 (Friday to Sunday).

Venue is at :

Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Hartamas,  
Taman Sri Hartamas,  
50480, Kuala Lumpur

The 3 days Camp is designed for chess players of all strengths and levels of experience, who want to improve their game and be trained by the Olympians. We will divide our campers into groups according to level and ability.

There are three levels and the costs are as follows:

CAMP I  is for Intermediate   (Prepare for Competition)         RM 240.00
CAMP II is  Developmental  (Excelling)           RM 240.00
CAMP III  is  SUPERCAMP     (Advanced Level)           RM 300.00  

For more information and registration download the form at

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Malaysia's team to the Baku Chess Olympiad

The above is the list of the official team members (not in board order) of our Open and Women's Olympiad Team Championship which will be held in Baku, Azerbaizan.

From the men's team IM Jimmy Liew, FM Ng Tze Han and Sumant Subramaniam qualified from the Malaysian Masters (Men). IM Mok Tze Meng was the Presidential pick while Kamal Abdullah substituted for IM Mas who declined his place.

For the women's team , Alia, Li Ting, Najiha and Rifqah were the qualifiers while Nabila was the Presidential choice.

The team are now under-going training on weekends. More info are available here if you wish to join in the training.

Friday, May 27, 2016

2016 Malaysian Chess Festival is on

There were some signs that this year the Malaysian Chess Festival could be called off. Luckily for chess players and lovers, DAT Chess Centre has announced this festival will continue for 2016. The bad news is that the festival dates clash with the 2016 Baku Chess Olympiad in Azerbaizan making it impossible for those going to the biggest event in chess to take part in the Chess Festival.

The Festival starts on the 9th September till 19th September with events catering to the young and old. They are the Malaysian Open,  Astro Merdeka Team, IGB Seniors ,Malaysia Chess Challenge, Svensen Age Group and Malaysia Day Individual Rapid. This year a new event joins the line-up, the Datin Yee Wai Fong Rapid Team Championship. This new event is a rapid team tournament for Under-12 players only.

Entry forms are now available for download at the DAT Chess Centre web site

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Analyzing Masters games

"Better to light a candle than curse the darkness"

After each tournament it is important to go through all your games. I cultivated this habit from very early in my career. You should not only analyze the variations but draw some conclusions:

- How did the opening go for you? Do you need to play another line or even switch to a different opening?
- Does your opening against a particular opponent work (not the result)? Do you need to prepare a different opening/variation for him/her?
- What errors were made? Why did you make such an error? You need to be honest with yourself to avoid succumbing to the same mistakes in future.
- What did you miss during the game? It is easy after the game to analyze with an engine at your side. The engine sees everything especially the tactics and you might be convinced that you saw the same lines as the engine during the game. Do not fool youself. It is very difficult to admit that you missed stuff. Better to understand why.

Some of my games from the recent 2016 Malaysian Masters -

Jimmy Liew-Andin Faizal
Black has just played 32...g5. I was thinking why he did not just resign since I am winning the bishop on d8.  Without thought I played

33. Rdxd8?? Qf6+

Black saves his piece! Instead of being a rook up, I ended in a queen ending  (which I still won since I was two pawns up).  I did not learn my lesson as can be seen in the next game.

Mas Hafizul-Jimmy Liew

Black has a crushing attack just by transferring the rook to the g-file. By this time I was short of time and calculated badly. My original intention was 28...Re5 29. Re2 Rg5+ 30. Rg2 Rxg2 31. Qxg2 Qxe3+ with three pawns for the piece. Won, but needs a lot of technique. An indication of how badly I calculated in time trouble was the line after 30 Rg2 black wins easily with 30...Qh2+

28....Bf4 29. Nc2 Bg3 30. Rf1 Re5 31. Qg2 

I was under the impression that 31...Bh2+ was won after 32 Qxh2 Rg5+ 33 Kh1 Qxf1+ but now I saw 32 Kh1 which I was not expecting. I rejected this line which was a mistake because after 32....Qh4 33 Qxh2 Qe4+ 34 Qg2 (34 Kg1 Rg5+) Rh5+ 35 Kg1 Rg5 36 Qxg5 fxg5 37 Nbd4 it is still not clear white is winning.

I continued to play poorly missing my best chances and Black won easily.

Jimmy Liew-Ng Jen Sheng

28 g5! e6

The only chance for Black. Before going into the variation I had calculated 29. d5 which wins rather easily as Black cannot play 29...f5 30 dxe6 wins a piece. But with the position on the board I thought I spotted an "easier" win.

29. Rd8 Rc7 30 Be2 f5 31. Bb5 

Again I was wondering why Black did not resign since he will be down a piece soon.

31...Kf7 32. Rxd7+ Rxd7 33. Bxd7 Be7 

I had not seen this move which means I was just getting too complacent. The bishop on h6 is trapped but surely a piece is still a piece. And with this in mind I played the worse possible move.

34. f4?? d5!

Now the win is very problematic and I doubt it is even possible. I sacrificed the bishop on h6 for two pawns and even blundered a whole pawn away to reach an opposite color bishop ending which was drawn.

Sumant Subramaniam - Jimmy Liew

I was planning to play 28....Rh7 which "wins" along the open h-file. Good thing I learned a lesson from the previous games and stopped long enough to spot my rook on e8 hanging! I was this close to giving away a whole point.

28....Kg7 29. Qh1?? Rh8 30. Nh2 g4 31. Bd5 Ng5 0-1

The threat of Ng5-h3+ decides.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Malaysian Masters Update

Sumant Subramaniam is the new Malaysia Masters Champion. He scored a massive seven wins and two draws losing only to me. IM Mas had a solid result with no losses to take second. I was third as I had lost to Mas in our individual encounter. Ng Tze Han was a clear fourth placing.

The first four will represent Malaysia in the Men's Olympiad in September in Baku. The fifth member of the team is not known yet as it is up to the MCF President to decide.

In the Women's event, eight rounds have been played.

Tan Li Ting and Alia are already sure of their placing in the top four. Najiha and Puteri Rifqah are a half point behind. But more importantly both Rosamund and Nithyalakshmi have a possibility to catch up even though they are currently one point behind.

The key pairing for the final round is Puteri Rifqah vs Rosamund. If the latter wins, she takes the fourth placing by tie-break.

If Nithyalakshmi beats Alia Bakri  than she will have the same points as the above two players (assuming Rosamund wins). However, Nithya has already lost to Rosamund so it will be immaterial. Either Rosamund or Puteri will be fourth.

The other key pairing is Najiha against Li Ting. I think this is likely to end in a draw as both will qualify to top four.

The final round will start at 9:00 AM tomorrow at DAT Chess Center in Setapak.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

NCC 2016 Playoff Round 5 Games

NCC 2016 Playoff Final Results

NCC 2016 Playoff Round 4 games

NCC 2016 Playoff Round 4

Men Round 4 results
Faizal Andin  drew Lye Lik Zang  
Awang Mohd Syafie lost to Fong Yit San 
Kabir Singh bye

Four players still have the chance to tie for second at the minimum. The only player who is out of contention is Awang Mohd Syafie but he could spoil things for Kabir by beating him in the last round.

Women Round 4 results

Tan Li Ting beat Puteri Rifqah who will have to win the next round to go to tie-breaks. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

NCC 2016 Playoff Round 3

Round 3 results
Lye Lik Zang beat Awang Mohd Syafie
Fong Yit San lost to Kabir Singh
Faizal Andin bye

Lik Zang came back into contention with a win after Awang Mohd Syafie made an incomprehensible error and resigned immediately. At the end, after 23...Nxd5 24 Qxd5+ Kh7 25. h6 will force resignation. He could still save himself after 21... Qe6 22. Qb3 Rd8 23. e4 Nxd4 24.Bxd5 Rxd5 25. Qxd5 Qxd5 26. exd5 Nc2+ 27. Ke2 Nxa1 28. Rxa1 Rxh5
The Women's playoff starts tomorrow between Tan Li Ting and Puteri Rifqah. They are playing for the final spot in the National Squad. The other two that already qualified from the NCC are Nur Nabila and Rosamund Koo.


Both Kabir and Lik Zang have not taken their bye yet so they have only one game left. Theoretically Yit Sand and Faizal Andin can catch up and tie for one or both of the two top spots.