Thursday, February 27, 2014

An endgame lesson

Today I witnessed an interesting off-hand game between Dato' Tan Chin Nam and Bernard Ng this afternoon. The lesson to be learned - calculate everything!

Dato Tan - Bernard Ng
 White immediately captured the bishop and as he explains, the black king is outside the square of the pawn.

1. Rxf4 Rxf4 2. Rxf4 Kxf4 3. d6 h3 4. Kf2 ??

After 4. Kf2??
This looks easily won as the white king can stop the h-pawn. The other king move does not change anything 4. Kf1 Kf3 5. Kg1 (5. d7 h2 6. d8=Q h1=Q#) 5... g3 with the same winning idea

4... g3+ 5. Kg1 Kf3 6. d7 h2+ 7. Kh1 Kf2! 

On the contrary it is black who wins!
8. d8=Q g2+

White resigns since  9. Kxh2 g1=Q+ and mates next move

At the time we thought 4. d7 was drawing but looking at this position at home the win for white is clear

After 4. d7 h2 5. d8=Q h1=Q (Here we all thought it was a draw by perpetual but the black king is in an unfortunate position) 6. Qf6+! Kg3 7. Qe5+ Kg2 8. Qe4+ Kh2
9. Qxg4 with a winning queen ending.

Things are never as simple as they look!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chess in Sri Hartamas

Now you can play chess with other enthusiasts in Sri Hartamas. Najib Wahab has organized a place open to all chess players at Knowledge Mind Tuition Centre in Plaza Damas. Below is his message -

Interested to meet up and play chess?

I am organizing a weekly chess session every Wednesday evening from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at Knowledge Mine Tuition Center located in Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas with the first weekly session to start on 19th February 2014. Knowledge Mine Tuition Center is located at Blok L, Unit 1.9/2.9 Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas – immediately on top of Starbucks

This is a free and open session (no fees shall be imposed) for everyone to participate. The center intents to promote as part of its learning enrichment program and the weekly session is to promote and provide a place for chess players to meet up, chat, play a game of chess with fellow chess players, or enjoy reading a collection of chess books available in its mini library. As this is a voluntary site provided by the management of Knowledge Mine, visitors are encouraged to bring their own sets and clocks although a limited number of sets and clocks will be made available.

Currently, there is a beginners chess class being organized every Saturday from 5:00pm to 7:00pm with more classes to be added soon. Other events planned at the same location will include a monthly chess event, team event, blitz event, weekly team/individual league and many more activities for players from all playing levels and age groups. If you are into Sabutteo - the table football game, the Knowledge Mine is also the place to be

For parents and non playing partners, there are plenty of eateries and entertainment within the complex including Starbucks (directly below the Tuition Center), TGIF, a Supermarket, convenient stores (7-11), Karaoke and many more. From my personal experience, the Mee Rebus and Mee Bandong served at the Warong nearby is definitely something not to miss.

For those driving to the center, there are ample parking spots within the complex basement with rates as cheap as RM1 per hour - as a reminder, do avoid the open car park above as it can be costly. 

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Master Class with GM Li Chao

The annual Gibralta Chess Congress is in its 12th Edition. Most interesting for me is the Master Class that are conducted nightly. I followed GM Li Chao's class and found it most entertaining.

Li Chao's English has progressed a lot from just a few phrases to holding a full master class in English.  Definitely not for the less confident in the English language. But I found it funny every time he pronounced the word  "usual" without the "s"!

From the chess perspective, it is very informative as Li Chao explains what is going on in the mind of a top grandmaster. Very instructive is how he presents the concept of "waiting" in the first game. I believe this is something from the Chinese School of Chess.

View the video here .