Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2012

National Junior: New Champions

The 5th National Junior concluded this morning with new champions crowed in the boys and girls events.

Perakian Fong Yit San won the boys while Tan Li Ting took the girls champion title. While Li Ting win was not in doubt, Yit San could have to go into a play-off with Tan Jun Feng if the latter won his last game. However Jun Feng choose to offer a draw in a R+B vs R+B ending where he had twenty-five minutes to Lim Chuin Kai's ten minutes.

Thus the winners are 1st Fong Yit San, 2nd Tan Jun Feng and  Lim Chuin Kai tied for third with Aron Teh and Subramaniam Shreyas.The ratings are quite accurate as two of the three top seeds finished in their ranking spot. The dark horse is Tan Jun Feng who took second from a starting rank of sixth.

In the girls' event, Tan Li Ting came first followed by Nur Najiha and Nithyalakshmi third. Final rankings -

Boys Event - Up to 5.5 pointers only

Girls Event

View of top boards. In the foreground Low Jun Jian - Aron Teh

Yit San's winning position with pawn to d6

Lim Chuin Kai - Tan Jun Feng , draw

Low Jun Jian thinking hard. Accepted a draw in a winning position

Mark Siew analysing Aron's game

Ho Chen Ee (left) lost to Nithyalakshmi (right)

Two participants still battling after most of the games finished.

Friday, December 21, 2012

National Juniors: Last round decider

Just when we thought the boys event was going to go to Fong Yit San, the unexpected happened. A loss to Aron Teh in the eight round throws the championship wide open.

By my reckoning, no less than five players have chances to take the title. They are Yit San and Tan Jun Feng both with 6.5 points. The others are Aron Teh ,Lim Chuin Kai and Rosli Ahmad Afiq Afyfy with six points.

Aron Teh beat Yit San and Jun Feng won against Lim Kim Siong. Rosli Ahmad Afiq Afyfy shocked the more fancied Mark Siew.  I guess the latter have to go for more sharpening.

The pairings for the last round - the title will be decided on the first three boards.

All the five contenders have to go for win. If both Yit San and Jun Feng draws while Aron wins, then there is likely to be a play-off. If Aron wins and Yit San draws and Jun Feng loses, Aron takes the title (having defeated Yit San). If Chuin Kai beats Jun Feng and Yit San loses, than Chuin Kai and Rosli will tie for first. Many possibilities. Exciting round tomorrow, I think I'll drop by.

Over at the girls event, there is zero excitement. The championship has been decided and Tan Li Ting is the winner. Mathematically, Najiha can still catch her, but the personal encounter was won by Li Ting so even if she loses, she should end up the champion.

National Junior: Clear leaders

Fong Yit San has taken a clear lead after beating Amier Hamzah in the six round. He now has a one point lead. No less than nine players have 4.5 pointers amongst them Duncan Lucas Matthew, Mark Siew, Aron Teh, Amier Hamzah, Rosli Ahmad, Mohd Noor and Liew Ken Yew, Tan Jun Feng and Lim Kim Siong. All of them will be fighting for the second placing in the rounds to follow.

Duncan Lucas Matthew will face Yit San tomorrow morning. Can he defeat Yit San to catch up with him?

In the girls section, the lead is similar. Li Ting beat her co-leader, Nithya to take her tally to 5.5 points, one point ahead of Nur Najiha who has 4.5 points. She next meets Kelly Lim who only have 4 points. Unless Li Ting loses this game, she is almost certain of becoming the champion. Najiha meets her sister and have to win to maintain chances of catching Li Ting.

Girls Standings after Round 6

Boys Standings after Round 6

Thursday, December 20, 2012

National Juniors: New leaders emerge

The fifth round of the on-going National Juniors at DAT Chess Connections produced new leaders. Fong Yit San beat Mark Siew to take over the lead. Amier Hamzah joined him with a win over Tan Jun Feng.

Yit San and Amier Hamzah will play each other in the sixth round and this could be a decider if Yit San wins as he will have met most of contenders.

In the girls section, Tan Li Ting beat Nur Najiha in the fifth round. This means that Li Ting have beaten both sisters who have been very successful at the top in women's chess for the past year. I'm quite curious whether Li Ting have made a quantum leap in strength or Najiha and Nabila have reached a plateau in their chess. This does happen and it takes a shift in their chess training or mind-set to continue their progress beyond this.

I'm quite happy to see Nithyalakshmi  Sivanesan share the lead with a win over Kelly Lim. She has been around for some time now. It's just that the quartet of Li Ting, Najiha, Nabila and Camilia have been dominating the women's chess scene. It is good to see other girls challenging them and take them out of their comfort zone.

Nithyalakshmi  will play Li Ting in the sixth round. Both have already played Nabila and Najiha so this could be a decider for the title. I prefer to see a Nithyalakshmi  win to generate more interest in the womens chess scene as she is not considered a favourite for the title. Will there be upsets on the top boards for the sixth round? Let's wait a while to see :)

World Mind Games Blindfold results

 The men's event was won by Levon Aronian. American GM Nakamura took the silver and Mamedyarov the bronze. Nakamura won three silvers in rapid, blitz and blindfold.

The women's event was won by China's Hou Yifan.

5th National Junior fifth round starts

The fifth round will have just started this morning. In the boys event, Mark Siew is leading with perfect 4/4. He beat Liew Ken Yew yesterday afternoon. Fong Yit San could only manage to draw with Tan Jun Feng.

The fifth round pairing is crucial for the championship. Mark will play Yit Sand and a win for the former virtually seals the championship for him.

There was a big shock in the girls section. Nur Nabila lost two games in a row, first to Nithyalakshmi  Sivanesan and later to team-mate Tan Li Ting. Three players lead going into the fifth round. Nithyalakshmi  Sivanesan, Nur Najiha and Tan Li Ting.

Najiha plays Li Ting and this will be another crucial battle for the first place. Read more at Najib's blog here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5th National Junior begins

The 5th National Junior is now in progress at the DAT Chess Centre in Jalan Munshi Abdullah. This is a nine round Swiss for both boys and girls. Two rounds are scheduled daily from Tuesday to Friday except the last round which will be played on Saturday morning (22nd December).

This year is one of the weakest. The top three seeds are Fong Yit San, Mark Siew and Aron Teh. The previous year's champion, Mohd Nabil, current National Champion Roshan and Malaysia's best hope for GM, Yeoh Li Tian, as well as Wong Jianwen are not taking part. Lim Zhuo Ren  is studying in England as is Sumant Subramaniam who is studying locally. The fight will be between these three top seeds though I do not discount a possibility of a dark horse emerging to challenge them.

Read some of my writings on juniors here

The top two seeds in the girls event are sisters WCM Nur Nabila  and WFM  Nur Najiha. They will face tough opposition from Olympiad team-mate Tan Li Ting. However newly titled WFM Camilia Johari is not taking part.  In my opinion, the tussle for the title of National Junior Master will be amongst these three.

World Mind Games Blindfold

The World Mind Games continued with the final event, blindfold. Four rounds were played yesterday with the remaining three rounds to be finished off today.

Blindfold is a tough discipline and there will be bound to be blunders and all sorts of errors happening. The most colorful was the game between Karjakin and Chinese GM Ding Liren.

Karjakin - Ding
The Chinese GM played very speculatively and sacrificing pawns to open lines against the white king. He had even sacrificed an exchange to reach the position above where he had just played 31...Nef5. This is a gamble since black should be mated after 32. Rxa6+  Kb8 33. Nd7+  Kc7 34. Nb6+ and mate on a8 with the rook.

Karjakin did not see this and played 32. Qxb5?? and was mated after 32... Rg2+ 33. Kh1 Ng3#  

Mamedyarov was one of the leaders at the start of the round. He spoiled this position with a free piece.

Mamedyarov-Aronian, after 20...Rf4
After 21. Kg1 Rxh4 22. Nf7+ Kg7 23. Nxh6 Kxh6 24. Re1 he has good winning chances due to his more active pieces and potential queen-side passed pawn. Instead

21. Rc4?? Rxc4 0-1

With this win Aronian is the sole leader after four rounds with 3.5 points.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

World Mind Games Blitz results

The World Mind Games in Beijing, China continued with the blitz event which was won by  Sergey Karjakin. Alexandra Kosteniuk won on tie-break from  Anna Muzychuk who was leading till the final round. Anna took a safe draw.  Kosteniuk was gifted a whole rook by her opponent and therefore tied with Anna. The tie-breaks were in the Russian's favor. The next event is the blindfold which will be played today and tomorrow.

How Yifan lost her World Champion title

If you have been following this blog, you will know that the new Women's World Champion is Anna Ushenina of Ukraine. But was it not that long ago that China's Hou YiFan won the world title and successfully defended it against Koneru Humpy? How on earth did YiFan lose her world title? The surprising answer is that she lost it in two rapid games.

The Women's World Championship held in November 2012 was played through a knock-out system. In the early rounds, it was played through a two standard games. If the games were tied then a rapid match followed by blitz and armageddon if necessary.

Hou Yifan who won her world title through a long match was one of the 64 starting participants. In other words, she received no privileges as the reigning World Champion. Sadly she did not advance through round two. Her standard games against Monika Socko were tied with one win each. In the rapid games she lost both and was eliminated. Her only consolation is that she may regain the title - which was taken from her - as she has a challenge match against the winner, Anna Ushenina, next year.

Rules are rules. I am not saying Anna Ushenina is not deserving of the title. On the contrary I think she fought and won fairly the World Championship title according to the system that FIDE set out. What riles me is that FIDE sets one system for women and another for men!

Yes, World Champion Anand does not have to suffer the same humiliation as Yifan. He does not have to go through the 64 player knock-out system. He will just have to defend his title in a match against the winner of the Candidates Tournament due to start in March 2013. Why the discrimination against women, FIDE?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

World Mind Games Rapid Results

The rapid was won by French GM Laurent Fressinet. Last year's winner Chinese GM Wang Hao could only finish tenth. There still remains the blitz to be contested today.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Two share first place in Penang Open

Both Vietnamese masters were at the top of the table at the just concluded Penang Open.  IMs Nguyen Duc Hoa and Nguyen Van Huy, won their last  round to finish in 1-2 spot. Yeoh Li Tian lost his game and had to be satisfied with a fifth placing with 6.5 points. The best Malaysian is Ronnie Lim who won his last round to finish joint 3-4th with 7 points.

The final rankings -

Penang Open Final Round starts

The 9 round 2012 Penang Open started on Tuesday 11th December. The final round of the Swiss has just begun this morning.

Leading the pack are two Vietnamese IMs, Nguyen Duc Hoa and Nguyen Van Huy, Singaporean WIM Gong Qianyun and our own Yeoh Li Tian with six and half points each. Anyone of them can win the Open if the others falter in today's round.

Li Tian's performance so far may (or maybe not ) be a surprise to some. He has beaten two 2300's rated players in this tournament. One of them is IM Mas (who he also beat in the Campomanes Memorial in Melaka earlier this year) and the other is Filipino FM De Ramos Julius. He will meet another 2300 from China, Ma Zhonghan, in the final round.

The next best Malaysians are Ronnie Liu and Ng Tze Han with six points. The latter has been impressing lately. Tze Han's last tournament was the DYMM Dr. Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Championship in September 2012 where he scored as the best Malaysian player. As he has been inactive for a number of years, Tze Han may not be recognized by most current players. He was formerly a top junior and National Master by virtue of winning one of the editions of the National Championships. I have a few memorable games against him when he was actively playing.

Here are the top pairings for round 9.

Friday, December 14, 2012

World MindSport Games 2012

The 2012 World Mindsport Games has begun in Beijing, China.  Chess is just one of the disciplines that are been contested. The others are bridge, draughts (checkers), Go, and Chinese chess.

Chess has three categories, rapid, blitz and blindfold. The rapid is currently in progress and third round is already in progress as of writing.

The men's section participants (all grandmasters) -
Karjakin Sergey
Leko Peter
Morozevich Alexander
Aronian Levon
Grischuk Alexander
Giri Anish
Jobava Baadur
Kamsky Gata
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Fressinet Laurent
Bologan Viktor
Nakamura Hikaru
Radjabov Teimour
Wang Hao
Ding Liren
Ivanchuk Vassily

The women participants -
GM     Koneru Humpy
GM     Zhao Xue
IM     Zatonskih Anna
GM     Yifan Hou
GM     Lahno Kateryna
GM     Zhu Chen
IM     Paehtz Elisabeth
GM     Stefanova Antoaneta
GM     Muzychuk Anna
GM     Cmilyte Viktorija
GM     Danielian Elina
GM     Kosteniuk Alexandra
GM     Cramling Pia
GM     Socko Monika
IM     Khotenashvili Bela
GM     Harika Dronavalli

Giri played an attractive sacrificial game against Alexander Morozevich in round 2.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Magnus Carlsen: Beating Kasparov's record

I believe we can learn a lot from Carlsen's comments in this video.

A few choice comments that I picked out:

At 3:04

"My games haven't been brilliant, they haven't been bad but they haven't been brilliant either. In the end, I believe you always get what you deserve"

On why he is way ahead of the others on ratings, at 5:05
"I think the difference is that I never really have any bad tournaments"

At 5:35
"I think I can improve, I can learn a lot still. I think the difficult thing is to use that to my advantage in games"

At 5:46
"A lot of people know a lot about chess, they learn but they cannot really improve"

This part is scary, at 5:56
"Again I have a lot to learn"

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

London Chess Classic final results

Normally you would expect a plus four result in an elite tournament like the London Chess Classic to bring you a first placing. This was what Kramnik had but it was not enough. The Carlsen juggernaut started with 5.5/6 and finished with plus five to take clear first. This is unfortunate for Kramnik because if you have been following his games, he was playing fantastic. He has reached No.2  on the Live Rating overtaking Aronian who was clearly not having his best tournament, losing 12 rating points. Carlsen remains on top as well as beating Garry Kasparov's rating record of 2851.

World Champion Anand finished in the middle with 50%. It looks like the World Champion is in a crisis period with an inability to win games. There is a running joke amongst the chess public that this is because he is "hiding preparations". This is reference to a strategy of days long gone, where players did not want to play their best opening lines, keeping this for more important games (like World Championships). Of course it is a joke because nobody believes this anymore - in this age of chess engines it is likely someone will have found your preparation and use it first in their own games. So the concept of "hiding preparation" is just that - a joke.

The London Chess Classic is using the so called "football" system where a win counts for three points and a draw for one. Carlsen won convincingly in both systems.

The next super tournament will be Tata Steel which beings January 2013 where we can see Carlsen in action again.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Found this great pic of Kamsky on Susan Polgar's blog. It's just screaming for a funny caption :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

DAT Chess Connections is hiring

Love chess? Need a job? Then head over to DAT Chess Connections . They are hiring I hear.

I know Raymond Siew need a job but he need not apply as he neither love nor play chess ;)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Carlsen beats Kasparov

His rating record, that is.

After round four of the London Chess Classic, Magnus Carlsen has reached 2857.4 on the live rating list. The former all time record is 2851 held by former World Champion Garry Kasparov set in 1999.

Here is a snapshot of the live rating list as of today (6th December 2012).

We may argue that 2851 in 1999 is worth much more in today's rating due to rating inflation. Many have argued on the issue of rating inflation over the years. Of course this is quite a pointless argument.

I'm just wondering what will be Carlsen's rating at the end of the London Classic.

5th National Junior

The 5th National Junior will take play 18-22nd December 2012. Venue will be the DAT Chess Centre in Jalan Munshi Abdullah.

The championship will be open to all Malaysian boys and girls under the age of 20 i.e born on or after 1992. There will be only two categories, boys and girls. The winners of each category will get the title National Junior Master (NJM). Closing date is 16th December so waste no time to register.

Below is the full prospectus.

18th – 22nd December 2012
                         A FIDE-rated & National-rated event

TOURNAMENT :       2 Categories ( Boys U-20 & Girls U-20 DOB on or after 1992 )
Time Control:           (90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move 1)
 All moves must be recorded.

*This event is open to all Malaysian citizens only.





18 Dec 2012 (Tues)
Player Meeting

 Dat Chess Centre
(DATCC), 4th  Floor, Wilayah Komplex,Jln Munshi Abdullah, Kuala Lumpur
0900 – 1300
Round 1
1430 - 1830
Round 2
19 Dec 2012 (Wed)
0900 – 1300
Round 3

1430 - 1830
Round 4
20 Dec 2012 (Thurs)
0900 – 1300
Round 5

1430 - 1830
Round 6
21 Dec 2012 (Fri)
0900 – 1300
Round 7

1500 - 1900
Round 8
22 Dec 2012 (Sat)
0900 – 1300
Round 9
1430 - 1700
Prize Giving
National Junior Blitz

CLOSING DATE IS 16th Dec 2012


     Bank In to  PERSEKUTUAN CATUR MALAYSIA – AmIslamic Bank , Jln Raja Chulan Branch
     Current A/C No:  211-202-200852-2

2.  The entry form and a copy of pay-in-slip MUST can be scanned and email to
     (Attn :Gregory Lau not later than 16th Dec 2012)

        3. Direct submission of entry form with cash payment to Gregory Lau  017-2898215,  
            En. Najib Wahab: 016-3382542
    Pn. Zuraihah Wazir 017-2837808
    not later than 16th Dec 2012



TIE-BREAK:        1) Play-Off (only for 1st place) in the event PE does not produce a result
                                2) Solkoff, 3) S.B. 4) Cumulative

For further enquiries, contact or email :
Mr Gregory Lau: 017-2898215 - (email:
Pn. Haslindah Ruslan (email:
En. Najib Wahab: 016-3382542
        Pn.Zuraihah Wazir 017-2837808

            The Champion will be awarded the title ‘NATIONAL JUNIOR MASTER ’ (NJM) BOY
            The Champion will be awarded the title ‘NATIONAL JUNIOR MASTER’ (NJM) GIRL


Gold Medal     + RM600
Gold Medal    + RM600
Silver Medal   +RM400 
Silver Medal   +RM400
Bronze Medal +RM200
Bronze Medal +RM200
4th – 10th

Championships Medal For BEST UNDER-14
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Silver Medal
Silver Medal
Bronze Medal
Bronze Medal
Championships Medal For BEST UNDER-12
Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Silver Medal
Silver Medal
Bronze Medal
Bronze Medal



*The results of this championship will be one of the main criteria for selection for international representation in the year 2013. (Refer to MCF Selection Guideline)

An updated registration list of participants will be posted on the Blog Site:  Malaysian Chess Federation Chess Blog on 16th Dec 2012 prior to the start of the tournament. Entry forms can be downloaded from this Blogsite. 





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FOC        NJM, NM/NWM  

Registration  after  16th Dec 2012  will be charge a late penalty fee  of  RM50

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