Monday, August 1, 2011

How strong is "strong"

"We dont get to meet him". How about entering in the Malaysian Open the last two years? Then you have a chance to meet him as well as the grandmasters and international masters and players rated 2300 and above.

If you can draw against an IM, maybe that was a fluke. The IM underestimated you, he is not feeling well, you were at the top of your game at that time. But if you can repeat this few times, it is something different. I know Li Tian has drawn a couple of IMs and GM. Is there any other current Malaysian junior that managed this? If there is, do let me know in the comments.

Mention is made of pitting Mark Siew v. Lim Zhuo Ren or Mark Siew v. Yeoh Li Tian

I wondored about this suggestions. How strong is Mark Siew? I do not remember seeing him play in any Malaysian Open or if he did, he did not impress.

So is it worthwhile to have such a clash? I decided to do a little research.

In absence of better method, we have no choice but to refer to official ratings . What matters is actually FIDE ratings (not national).  I checked the latest (July 2011) FIDE rating list and took the current juniors out.

 Rank Name  ELO
 10   Lee, Kim Han Edward  2172 
 14   Lim, Zhuo Ren  2155 
 16   Yeap, Eng Chiam  2150 
 17   Yeoh, Li Tian  2121 
 18   Subramaniam, Sumant  2117 
 34   Capel, Evan Timothy  2040 
 35   Azman Hisham, Mohd Nabil  2038 
 38   Tan, Ken Wei  2019 
 39   Saifuddin, Muhd Izz  2016 
 48   Fong, Yit San  2002 
 49   Fong, Yit Ho  2001 
 59   Lee, Kah Meng Elgin  1985 
 60   Amir Hamzah  1984 
 62    Azhar, Muhammad Syakir Shazmeer 1977 
 64   Bakri, Alia Anin Azwa  1975 
 66   Siew, Kit-Tze Mark  1972 
 71   Wong, Jianwen  1960 
 73   Low, Jun Jian  1935 

The highest ranked junior is Edward Lee followed by Lim Zhuo Ren. Yeoh Li Tian is number four just after Yeap Eng Chiam. Mark Siew is a distant 16th. Overall in Malaysia he is only ranked 66th.

Nobody got on to this list by talking about chess. They all got there the hard way by testing themselves against other rated players. And the ELO rating is a tried and tested formula to measure a player's strength.

If somehow MCF were to hold a top ten junior all-play-all, Mark is not even in the top ten.

Now I am not saying he cannot improve. I always believed junior players have the capacity to jump up the rating list. All of the eighteen players have the possibility to replace the top Malaysian players including myself. After all (being juniors) they still have not reached their peak yet. However, at this point in time, this list is the reality.


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