Monday, August 13, 2018

Reply (sort of) from the appointed captain of Men's Team


Apa khabar IM Jimmy yang dihormati,

Berdasarkan open letter dari IM Jimmy Liew, saya nak ucapkan terima kasih kepada MCF kerana beri peluang kepada saya sebagai kapten Malaysia ke Olympiad kali ini. 

Perlantikan sebagai kapten sebenarnya mengejutkan kerana saya sendiri tidak menawarkan diri tetapi apabila ditawarkan, saya menerima dengan penuh tanggungjawab dan berjanji akan memberikan yang terbaik. 

Secara peribadi, saya berpengalaman ke Olympiad di Norway sebagai kapten negara dan pada edisi tersebut Malaysia mendapat kedudukan yang agak baik berbanding starting ranking. Untuk pemilihan pemain kali ini juga kita mempunyai line up yang stabil dan juga mengambilkira jangka masa panjang untuk pendedahan kepada pemain2 muda catur negara. Saya percaya pasukan negara akan dapat menunjukkan prestasi yang membanggakan di Kejohanan Olympiad akan datang kerana akan memberikan komitmen terhadap persediaan sebelum kejohanan ini.

Saya tidak ingin mengulas mengenai keputusan pasukan negara pada edisi lalu dan bagaimana pemain2 tersebut terpilih mewakili negara walaupun ada yang tidak menyertai kejohanan kebangsaan pada tahun tersebut. Apa yang saya harapkan adalah sokongan peminat2 catur di negara Malaysia supaya kami dapat memberi aksi terbaik. 

Janganlah tanam sifat bermusuhan memandangkan komuniti catur kita ini kecil sahaja.. bukan kita tidak beri peluang pada pemain2 yang kuat di masa lalu tetapi result agak mengecewakan. Jadi kalau peminat memandang pasukan kali ini sebagai tidak hebat, mungkin ianya lebih baik kerana dengan kurang tekanan, kami mungkin beraksi dengan lebih baik!

Pesanan dan harapan saya kepada peminat catur Malaysia, kalau tiada apa yang baik untuk diperkatakan, lebih baik diam kerana takut mengganggu persediaan pemain. Nama pemain telah didaftar dan kami fokus dan memerlukan sokongan semua. Saya harap pemain2 saya tidak diganggu dengan isu2 sebegini lagi.

Sekian , terima kasih!
“Maju Sukan Untuk Negara”

Nik Farouqi
Sent from my iPhone

For the benefit of foreign readers, I translate as best I can.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim ..


Based on open letter from IM Jimmy Liew, I would like to thank MCF for giving me the opportunity to be Malaysian captain to this Olympiad.

I was surprised to be appointed as captain  because I did not offer myself but when offered, I accept with full responsibility and promise to give the best.

Personally, I have experience in the Olympiad in Norway as a captain and in that edition Malaysia got a pretty good position compared to starting ranking. For the selection of players this time we also have a stable line-up and also takes a long time to expose the players of the young chess country. I believe the national team will be able to perform well in the upcoming Olympiad Championship as it will give commitment to preparations before the tournament.

I did not want to comment on the decision of the national team in the last edition and how the players were selected to represent the country despite some who did not participate in the national championship that year. What I'm hoping is the support of chess fans in Malaysia so we can do the best.

Do not plant hostility as our chess community is small .. it is not we did not give a chance to past strong players but the results are a bit disappointing. So if fans look at the team this time as not great, maybe it's better because with less pressure, we might even do better!

My message and hopes to Malaysian chess fans, if there is nothing good to say, it's better to be silent for fear of disturbing players' preparation. The player's name have been registered and we are focused and need all support. I hope my players are not bothered with these issues anymore.

My reply below.


Your reply is misleading and does not address the real issue. 

1. The question was how the choice of Zaidan and Mukhriez was made. I presume the President did not pick their names out of a hat and he has his valid reasons. It should not be too difficult to state them.

2. How strong or weak the previous team was and their results are totally irrelevant to this issue.

3. It is not my intention to do any damage to the team. I do wish any Malaysian team the best in the competition.

4. FYI, I have received many praises, publicly and privately, for having the courage to bring up this matter, which nobody dared to do for fear of repercussions.

IM Jimmy Liew

Readers can draw their own conclusions. On the point of not lobbying, I believe the posts of captain, head of delegation and FIDE Delegate have always being lobbied. But when they start inserting themselves into the players area, the line is crossed.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Open letter to President of Malaysian Chess Federation

Open letter to the President of Malaysian Chess Federation

Dear YB Dato’ Zahidi Bin Zainul Abidin,

I am writing this letter on the selection of the Malaysian team to the 43rd Batumi Open Chess Olympiad, the premier team event, due to take place in September 2018.

The team composition are:


Fong Yit San
Lim Zhuo Ren
Lye Lik Zang
Mahmood Shah Mukhriez Shah
Zulkipli Zaidan


The first three are the qualifiers from the Malaysian Championship. I presume the next two players are your choice, probably with input from others. The selection of Mukhriez Shah and Zulkipli Zaidan raises questions.

I think Zaidan is a competent player as reflected in his FIDE rating of 2203 even though he is not very active over the chess board. However, your choice of your Vice-President of the MCF into the team needs to be based on very strong credentials over the chess board.

The signal that is sent is that MCF committee have good chances of being sent abroad as team officials as a reward for their “hard work”. This will encourage the wrong people to start vying for positions in the chess federation. I note that MCF Treasurer, Haslindah Ruslan is the women’ team captain and Nik Ahmad Farouqi, a committee member, is the men’s captain which seem to prove my point.

The choice of Mukhriez Shah is even more questionable. He finished in 18th place in the Malaysian Championship. His current FIDE rating is 1821 which puts him outside the top 100 Malaysian rated players. A player who is not even ranked in the top 100 is representing us at the most prestigious team event in the world! I hope to get your reply on how this is remotely possible. Were there no other suitable candidates?

I look forward to your reply. I can be contacted below.

Note: This letter has been emailed to all the MCF members as listed in the website of the Malaysian Chess Federation.


IM Jimmy Liew Chee Meng

Mobile: 019-6571628



YM. Mej (K) Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah Bin Raja Hussin,Deputy President MCF

CM Dr. Zaidan Bin Zulkipli,Vice-President

IA Lim Tse Pin, Vice-President

FI Muammar Julkarnain, Vice-President

FA,FI Sophian Bin A.Yusuf, General Secretary

FI Haslindah Binti Ruslan, Treasurer

Zuraihah Binti Wazir, Committee Member

FI Muhammad Firdaus Bin Ismail, Committee Member

AGM,FI Nik Ahmad Farouqi Bin Nik Abdul Aziz, Committee Member

FA,FI Yeap Joo Hock, Committee Member

IA Steven Cheong, Committee Member

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Simul with IM Yeoh Li Tian

Play simultaneous chess against IM Li Tian Yeoh ! Malaysia's highest rated player and international master Yeoh Li Tian will be at Summit USJ this Saturday 14th July 2018.

Where: Summit at USJ, Concourse area
Time: 2:00 PM
Date: 14th July 2018 (Saturday)
Participants: Free to all registered players for the 7th Summit Junior. For others, a nominal fee will be charged.

Register with IM Jimmy Liew at 019-6571628 or email to to book a place!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Skyworld International Chess Competition 2018

Skyworld International Chess Competition 2018

Date : 23rd June 2018
Time : 9am to 6pm
Entry fees : RM 30, lunch provided
Category : U7/U8/U9/U10/U11/U12/U15

Registration form

Venue: Skyworld Gallery @ Sentul, Jalan 1/48A, Bandar Baru Sentul, 51000 KL.

Bank Detail:
Public Bank
Mega Chess Academy

15th Malaysian Chess Festival Announcement



We are pleased to inform you that the Dato’ Arthur Tan Chess Centre (DAT Chess Centre) with endorsement from the Malaysian Chess Federation will be organizing the MALAYSIAN CHESS FESTIVAL 2018 at Cititel Midvalley Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Details of the said event are as follows :

8)   MERDEKA BLITZ CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP – (16:45 – Saturday, 18th August 2018)
9)   MALAYSIA FESTIVAL BLITZ CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP (1pm –  Sunday, 26th August 2018)
10) FIDE Arbiter Seminar (FIDE Lecturer -  IA Nikolopoulos Panagiotis) 20th - 24th August

Please refer to website for those event.

Should you have any enquiries, do not hesitate to contact via :

Email : , ,

Tel : +(60)193158098

Or visit website

Monday, March 5, 2018

Eugene Torre FischerRandom Tournament

A Fisher Random tournament will be held tomorrow 6th of March 2018 at ICE, Bandar Puteri in Puchong at 8:00 PM. Entry fee is RM20.

The living legend, GM Eugene Torre will be present, and the winner will receive an autographed book from him. Do not miss the chance to meet the legend in the flesh!

Eugene Torre showed that he is still a top class player when at the Baku Olympiad in 2016 he scored a performance rating of 2836 and at the age of 64!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Middle-game Strategy II

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Middlegame-Strategy II

White Knight Chess Academy in co-operation with Noble Minds Academy are pleased to present our Middlegame Strategy series of chess classes conducted by Malaysia’s first International Master and FIDE Trainer Jimmy Liew.

The structure of the class will be a lecture on typical middle-game structures. In each class, IM Jimmy Liew will present two types of middle-games and show the ideas for each side. Students will learn how to play these middle-games using well researched games. The first session concentrated on two well-known structures , Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) and Hanging Pawns.

The second session continues on to Doubled bishop pawns and the Caro-kann structure The date and time for Middle-game Strategy 2 is now announced to be conducted on 24th September 2017 starting 2-5 pm. Registration is now open. Send an email to or SMS/Whatsapp 019-6571628


F3A-09 Starpac Point, 
Jlnn Tmn Ibu Kota, 
Kuala Lumpur 
Date: 24/09/2017 (Sunday) Time: 2-5 PM

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Penang is 4th in Asian Cities

The Penang team did very well to finish in 4th position in the Asian Cities Team Championship in India just last month.

Their final score of 5 wins 2 draws and 2 losses puts them just behind Dhaka, thus missing a podium finish. The team was in third position after seven rounds. A round eight loss to final third placed Dhaka, denied them the bronze medal.


The team performance is commendable especially as several members of the team won board prizes. They are

Board 1 (Silver) for Looi Xin Hao

Board 2 (Bronze) for Wong Yinn Loong

Board 4 (Bronze) for Tan Jun Ying

Photo from FIDE website

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Middlegame Strategy

I remember starting out in chess a long time ago. I had no opening and I was primarily a tactical player. I had no problem as long as there were some tactical possibilities in the middlegame. I got better and started studying openings and my results improved. Then I noticed something, there were some players that I always had difficulties with. I could never get the type of positions I liked with them.

I knew something was missing from my game. Then I found Ludek Pachman's books called "Modern Chess Strategy" which is a three volume set and I found the gap in my chess understanding. These books took a lot of effort to understand but it helped me to increase my playing strength.

The link between openings and middlegame - the former determines the latter's pawn structure. By studying the games of masters based on this structures, you will come to a better grasp of how to play these type of structures which occur again and again even from different openings.

The basic middlegame structures can be grouped as follows

1. Isolated Queen Pawn aka IQP
2. Hanging Pawns
3. Doubled pawns
4. Caro-kann formation
5. Slav formation
6. Carlsbad center
7. Stonewall center
8. Closed King's Indian
9. Open King's Indian
10. Grunfeld center
11. French center
12. Benoni Center
13. Benko formation
14. Sicilian Centers
15. Miscellaneous others

 So one way of studying the middlegame is to take positions from the above and thoroughly understand how to play them. For this purpose, I am starting a series of classes on Middlegame Strategy. There will be 4-5 sessions cost at RM50 per session. The first session will be on Sunday 20th August 2017.

  More details here
  Registration form here