Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shah Alam finishes 8th

The Shah Alam team managed an eight place finish, one above their initial seeding of ninth. The team generally performed well with everyone scoring above 50 percent with the exception of Nabil.

In the last round, they narrowly lost against the eventual winner , Tagaytay City. Nicholas lost to GM Barbosa on first board but Li Tian managed to beat GM Paragua. This means that Li Tian should win the silver on second board. This performance could push Li Tian over 2300 in the next rating list.

Fong Yit San did very well to draw with GM Gomez though this could be a strategic draw to ensure a match win for the Tagaytay team. We have to wait to see the game score.

Nicholas playing on first board had possibilities of IM norm as he had to play a fair amount of titled players . His final score of 5/9 was very good as  he had to play four grandmasters and one international master. He needed 6.5 points for a IM norm but considering that he has not been very active in the past years it was a good result for him.

Last round pairing and results -

Tagaytay wins Asian Cities

Tagaytay City has won the Asian Cities in Tagaytay City, Philippines with a round to spare. They have collected fifteen match points after eight rounds. Shanghai is in second place with thirteen points which means that Tagaytay is already the champion with a round to go. Tagaytay success is because they are the only team that has a full line-up. They comprises four grandmasters, Barbosa Oliver , Mark Paragua, John Paul Gomez and Darwin Laylo.

Shah Alam is doing fairly well and lies in sixth position with nine match points. Unfortunately for them, they will meet Tagaytay in the last round and it is unlikely that they can collect any match points unless the Filipinos are feeling generous.

Final round pairings

In round seven, Yit San took down a Chinese IM rated 2415. The Chinese player made a horrible mistake with 21...g6 weakening his king-side irreparably. Yit San only had to make natural attacking moves to bring home the only point that the team scored. The Chinese resigned after 30. Rh3 as there is no defence to the threats of 31. Rxh5 or 31. Ne7

Thursday, October 24, 2013

R.I.P. Jackie Wong

Jackie Wong (or Mrs Wong as everybody called her) passed away yesterday from cancer.

I just came back from the wake which was attended by a number of chess players and chess enthusiasts. Besides current CAS chess officials and players, I also met former players Joseph Toh and Tony Tay , a national master from yesteryears, who came to pay their respects.

Jackie was the longest serving secretary of the Chess Association of Selangor and possibly the main driving force behind the association in her day. Those who know her will remember her as a strong-willed and independent woman; useful qualities in our chess circles which is mainly dominated by men.

Jackie actively encouraged her children to play chess  Chess was not well popularized at that time and she had no idea where to turn to. She once told me the story how she had to put an advertisement in the papers to look for chess players to play with her daughter, Audrey. The ad was noticed by the president of CAS who put her in touch with the association. Both her children, Audrey and Adrian, became strong juniors in the 1980s. Audrey regularly competed in open tournaments and eventually became our first Women International Master.

Cremation will be tomorrow morning at the Gui Yuan Crematorium (Besides SK Kampung Tunku) at Jalan 229 in Petaling Jaya.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Asian Cities in Tagaytay City

The Asian Cities Championship is going on right now in Tagaytay City, Philippines. Malaysia is represented by Shah Alam, a team which is put up by Chess Association of Selangor by virtue of their winning the Inter-State Championship in Sabah recently.

The team consists of Nicholas Chan, Yeoh Li Tian (both who were in the winning Selangor team), Evan Capel from Penang, Fong Yit San of Perak and Mohd Nabil.

The team is doing fairly well and in a tie for third with 11 match points after four rounds - same as Wuxi (China) and Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia). Tagaytay City is leading with 12.5 points followed by Manila.

Top scorer for Shah Alam is Yeoh Li Tian 3.5/4 followed by Nicholas Chan with 3/4

The team faces a tough challenge in the fifth round as they will meet Shanghai with GM Zhou JianChao on first board.

The best games so far played by our team

Monday, October 14, 2013

Too weak too slow

Chess players are too serious when they are playing competitive chess. Here is a video showing the fun side of Magnus Carlsen while playing blitz with French GM Laurent Fressinet. The French grandmaster walked right into a checkmate at the end.

You can replay the game below

Friday, October 4, 2013

Another page in Ivanov saga

Borislav Ivanov is very well known amongst chessplayers, and for the wrong reasons. A 2200 rated player, he has beaten many strong grandmasters. Many suspect that he is using computer assistance but no one has yet proved it.

Here is Maxim Dlugy's take on it. He has some interesting observations in Chessbase.