Monday, December 30, 2013

Lets rewrite history

Normally I do not comment on Mr "Once we taught China" 's blog posts as they are crap. But the latest attempts of his to rewrite history did not (to use his words) "sit well" with me.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 SEA Games chess shame (Part two)

International Chess

Our representatives were drawn from the National squads. For the men it was the top eight finishers from the Malaysian Masters. A blitz selection was held during the Malaysian Open in August this year to determine who will be the representatives in SEA Games International blitz. Read here.

All seems good but lets think a little outside the box. The Malaysian Masters was a standard time control tournament. Then the top eight (men's anyway) played a blitz to determine the top two. (Actually only five competed since IM Mas, Aron Teh and Lim Zhuo Ren were not present).

Let's look at a little analogy. We want to choose two runners to represent in an important 100 metre dash event. Let's hold a long distance run and see who are the top eight runners. Then from these eight put them in a 100 metre race to find our best two runners to represent us. Is this a good way to select? After all, a long distance race is very different from a 100 metre dash.

I finished last in the Malaysian Masters but my blitz is pretty good. Just after the 2011 National Championships I handily won a very strong blitz event attended by most of the participants plus IMs Mas and Mok. In 2012 I qualified from the online World Mind Games qualifier.  In a recent blitz tournament, I finished second to Yeoh Li Tian ahead of Ronnie Lim, our SEA Games blitz representative. Standard chess and blitz chess are different.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 SEA Games chess shame (Part one)

I never intended to write this particular piece. Over the past week I was still debating with myself whether I should do so. What made me decide was looking at the final results of Malaysia in chess at the 2013 SEA Games.

What I write here is based on what I understood from talking with people involved. If there are any mistakes, they are fully mine. This will be a long article and I will break it up into two parts as there will be too much to digest in one go.

For full disclosure I must state that I was asked to train with the ASEAN and Traditional Chess team. I also had a two day training with the International Chess women team. Up till three months before the games, I thought I would be competing in the Transfer Chess event (read below for more).

In case anyone tries to spin this post, let me emphasis that this is not written to attack or humiliate any of our representatives. They were vetted and sent by the Malaysian Chess Federation. Personally, I hold MCF responsible for this Games debacle.

Contrary to what some had tried to spin, Malaysia was not last. We were last in the medal tally - two other countries had no medals and they are Singapore and Laos. Therefore we actually finished third last.

Friday, December 20, 2013

True humility

I am quite impressed to read Eddy Fong's piece on Yit San's success in National Juniors held recently. Contrary to what Eddy attributed to luck, I think it is more to perseverance and hard work that is now bearing fruit.

Also, Eddy does not come up with the "how we did it" kind of self-promotion. Imagine if this has happened to Mr Raymond "Once we taught China" Siew's son. We will never hear the end of his "I told you so" and how "competitor analysis" and "blindfold training" is the key. We will also hear more of such catchphrases as "iron sharpens iron" and "ELO ratings are just fat numbers". By the way, catchphrases are phrases that means nothing and is just a way of trying to sound clever to the uninformed reader.

I already said Yit San is the man to watch here (third paragraph). His successes have now included two National Juniors, 2nd placing in Nationals (which he almost won), great performance in the recent Penang Open where he was one of the best Malaysians. However I did not understand how he was left out of the SEA Games when he is part of the national squad after his good placing in the Malaysian Masters. Why was he left out?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

No medals in International Chess for Malaysia

All the International chess events have been completed. As I expected there were no medals that could be won here by our representatives. I will give my explanation of the blunder that MCF has made here.

The next events are Traditional with standard time controls. Again there will be no chances for any medal. Transfer chess starts today with the men's pair. Our players are IM Mok Tze Meng/Lim Zhuo Ren and IM Lim Yee Weng/Wong Jianwen. I expect the IM Mok/Zhuo Ren team to give us our second medal.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

27th SEA Games - Chess960 results

At the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar, the Chess960 rapid event was concluded yesterday. The gold was taken by Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto while Filipino GM John Paul Gomez took the silver.

Malaysian representation Lim Zhuo Ren had a great chance at silver/bronze as he was in 2nd place prior to the final round. He was paired with Vietnamese GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son. A draw would have brought silver for Zhuo Ren. Unfortunately he lost to the Vietnamese who took the bronze instead.

Today is the start of the ASEAN chess and International Rapid. Our representatives in the International Rapid are Nur Najiha, Camilia Johari, Wong JianWen and Lim Yee Weng . In ASEAN chess, we have two youngsters, Teh Qing Hong and Arif Alauddin Wafi Akhramsyah taking part.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

27th SEA Games chess blitz is over

The international chess blitz has concluded with Vietnamese GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son taking the gold. This is not a surprise as he is a very good blitz player as proven in the World Blitz earlier this year where he was fourth. Compatriot Nguyen Van Huy and Filipino GM Rogelio Antonio who showed he still a force to be reckoned with , took the silver and bronze respectively.

Malaysians Ronnie Lim and Ng Tze Han did not do so well here.

I found the women's section more interesting as far as our girls were concerned. Both Nur Nabila and Puteri Rifqah did very well for themselves with 9 and 8 points respectively.

It is worth noting Rifqah's results. In round 13 she beat Indonesian Medina Warda Aulia. I would have loved to be able to witness that game because the Indonesian is a very talented youngster who has just become a Women Grandmaster. In the final round Rifqah also beat Vietnamese Pham Bich Ngoc. These two wins possibly affected the final medal winners.