Friday, October 31, 2008


Kasparov visited US of America earlier this month and played a simul at the Harlem Children's Zone before sitting for an interview with Glenn Beck at the CNN studio in Manhattan about his political involvements. Finally, he signed autographs at the Borders, one of which on a 20-year-old Kasparov chess computer brought by a girl.

Kasparov played a simul at Harlem Children's Zone

Kasparov vs US Girls' Champion, Medina Parilla

Glenn Beck interviewed Kasparov on his political views

Kasparov signed a vintage Kasparov chess computer

Pictures courtesy of Chess

Kasparov was attacked by a flying penis at a political speech!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Anand drew the 11th game to retain his title of the World Chess Champion with the final score of 6.5 to 4.5. As expected, Anand pushed the e-pawn to seduce Kramnik to play Petroff Defense, which is known to be very drawish among the top GMs. Understandably, Kramnik chose the sharp Najdorf to keep his chance alive. Anand replied with 6.Bg5, and soon the position went AWOL and the result could not be predicted. However, Anand got a slight advantage at the end so Kramnik offered a draw.

Kasparov commented on the championship in Chess Ninja:

"It was a very well-played match by Vishy. Except for the loss of concentration in the tenth game he played consistently and managed to enforce his style. His choice to open with 1.d4 was excellent. He reached playable positions with life in them, so he could make Kramnik work at the board. Anand outprepared Kramnik completely.

[In this match] Kramnik did not expect tough, sharp challenges with white, and this was the key for Anand. He kicked some sand in Kramnik's face and hit Kramnik's weakness: his conservative approach to the game itself. Suddenly Kramnik had to fight in these sharp positions and he wasn't able to do it. This result ends the illusion that Kramnik is a great match player. London was a unique occurrence and I still stand with Leonid Yudasin as the only players Kramnik has ever beaten in a match! Kramnik now has some work to do. His overly-defensive play seems to represent a general decline in strength."

Match director Josef Resch (left) with Anand and Campomanes
(pictures courtesy of

Replay game 11 here:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Me vs ex-UKM, position after 19.Qg3

Venue: Yahoo! Messenger (YM)

Last night I played a game through the YM with a formidable ex-UKM player, now a Math teacher in Selangor. It started with the Sicilian Defense until it reached the above position before we decided to adjurn it. I hope we will continue it in the near future.

Monday, October 27, 2008


The score now 4 - 6. Kramnik have to win the last 2 games to bring the championship into a tie break. Last night, he chose the Kasparov variation to counter Anand's Nimzo-Indian Defense. He then moved his Queen to a6 and tied the black pieces down before forcing Anand's knight into the edge of the board. Once the rook entered the seventh heaven, Anand resigned.

Xabi celebrated his goal after the final whistle (pic from LFC official site)


Chelsea 0 - Liverpool 1. Do not adjust your computer screen, it is true. Liverpool had done what other teams could not do for the past 86 games (4 and a half years) by beating Chelsea at their own turf - the Stamford Bridge. Xabi Alonso's deflected goal was enough for the Reds to maintain their unbeaten run this season thus confirming their title credentials despite what others said or would say about them. One interesting fact I want to share with you - IM Malcolm Pein (picture right) is a Liverpool fan and last night he commented on the 9th game of Anand vs Kramnik from the stand at the Stamford Bridge.

Enough said. Now let us ponder upon Kramnik's record of going without a win for nearly 2 years now with the black pieces. He needed to win this game to have a chance of ever winning the championship. However, the game was delayed for about half an hour because of the daylight saving time. But this did not deter Anand from playing the ultra sharp anti-Moscow gambit in order to kill Kramnik off. Even a novelty with 11...Bb4 and a Bishop sacrifice could not stop Anand from getting the result he wanted. So, Kramnik's waiting continues.

Anand played the anti-Moscow gambit

Kramnik sprang a novelty

Kramnik sacrificed a Bishop

Baharuddin Hamzah


Venue: SMK Sultan Yahya Petra (2)
Date: 25 Oct 2008
Format: 6 rounds Swiss

Baharuddin Hamzah, a Kelantan MAKSAK player, won the recently concluded Kuala Krai Open with a tie-breaker after finishing with 5.5 points, the same as 2nd place Ghazali Che Cob and 3rd place Syed Azizi Syed Abdul Rahman. The tournament, which was held at SMK Sultan Yahya Petra (2), attracted more than 100 participants. Below are the full results:

Open Category
  1. Baharuddin Hamzah ( 5.5 points )
  2. Ghazali Che Kob ( 5.5 points )
  3. Syed Azizi Syed Abd Rahman ( 5.5 points )
  4. Wan Ali Wan Manan ( 5 points )
  5. Nik Ahmad Faruqi (5 points )
  6. Wan Ismail Wan Yusuff ( 4.5 points )
  7. Zulhasmie ( 4 points )
  8. Wan Abd Fatah ( 4 points )
  9. Mohd Amin ( 4 points )
  10. Sahadi Ismail ( 4 points )
Under 18 Category
  1. Chiew S Hau ( 5 points )
  2. Md Azmanizam ( 5 points )
  3. Md Ilham ( 4.5 points )
  4. Ahmad Hafiza ( 4.5 points )
  5. Pang S Chin ( 4.5 points )
  6. Vnesh (4 points )
  7. Tang S Soon ( 4 points )
  8. Jamidah Dzurie ( 4 points )
  9. Nuraihan ( 4 points )
  10. M.K. Hafizi ( 4 points )
Under 15 Category
  1. A Zulhilmi ( 6 points )
  2. Md Syazwan ( 5 points )
  3. Wan Md Azmi ( 5 points )
  4. Fadhil Aiman ( 5 points )
  5. Kamalanathan ( 5 points )
  6. Wan Md Imran ( 4.5 points )
  7. Wan Md Ridzuan ( 4.5 points )
  8. S Norashikin ( 4.5 points )
  9. Md Anas ( 4.5 points )
  10. Nik Zulhafiz ( 4 points )
Under 12 Category
  1. Alif Omar Saufi ( 5.5 points )
  2. Laila Husna ( 5.5 points )
  3. Noor Hisham ( 5 points )
  4. Fatih N Sahariah ( 5 points )
  5. Siti Nur Afiqah ( 5 points )
  6. Hafiz Nuzlan ( 4.5 )
  7. Najihah ( 4 points )
  8. Nur Salsabila ( 4 points )
  9. M Nursyahir ( 4 points )
  10. Muhammad Afham Haikal ( 4 points )

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I came across an interesting study by L. Kubbel, hosted by Alexandra Kosteniuk at Chesskillertips. Enjoy (I like the way she says zugzwang).

Friday, October 24, 2008


Last night I had to watch game 8 of Anand vs Kramnik at the UKM library. As it happened, I forgot to bring my broadband modem. So, I used the wireless connection readily available at the library compound. Although it was quite fast, it blocked some features from the Internet. As a consequence, I cannot watch the game live at Chesscube, so I had to find some quick alternatives. I tried Playchess and ICC, all of which I had to download some .exe files and register in order to watch the game. It was troublesome, until I came across Chessdom. The drawback, however, was that I had to continuously refresh the browser. I cannot wait for my wife to finish her class and head home to watch this game using my broadband connection, in the comfort of Chesscube.

Back to the game. Kramnik was blown out of his preparation again as Anand sprang a novelty as soon as move 10. After sinking into deep thought for most of the game, Kramnik had to make a perpetual check to draw the game.

Anand's novelty 10...Bxb5!

You can replay the 8th game here:

Anand vs Kramnik, World Chess Championship 2008
Final position Game 7


What can Black do in above position? Sleep for 100 years, of course! He can't enter his opposition's castle, thus the outcome is obvious. I wonder what went in Kramnik's mind when he shook Anand's hand for the conclusion of game 7. 3 points down with only 5 games to go, he surely must do a gung-ho or bust in the most embarrassing defeat in his world championship history. Anand chose to play white, but this time Kramnik strayed away from his beloved Nimzo after defeat of game 6. After refusing Anand's pawn sacrifice on move 10, Kramnik unexpectedly offered to fix the pawns on move 31... a5. Anand, with 3 points in his bag, happily accepted. Then a series of pieces exchanges followed before the inevitable draw was agreed. You can follow the game here:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anand was forced to move 16.Rg1


Anand did it again! Winning games when supposedly having bad piece placements. Forced to move 16.Rg1, it became uglier when Kramnik exchanged Bishops on g2. Whereas Kramnik's pieces comfortably placed in the middle of the board, commanding everything, Anand slowly pushed away Kramnik's control and made his pieces stronger with every moves. Finally, Kramnik became disoriented, and shortly after Anand's King got married with another Queen, Kramnik resigned. Replay the 6th game here:

Here are some pictures I took from

Karpov made the first move for Anand

Kramnik offered his hand in resignation

The winner's smile

The loser

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Sometimes I analyze both types of chess at once!

After 15 years of playing chess, I now indulge myself in Chinese chess. However, I do not know the tactics very much, just the movements of the pieces which I learned from I find it to be an interesting alternative to chess, whenever I want to stray away from it. It is not that different from chess, in fact the Knight and the Rook move the same way. Nevertheless, the King, Bishop and pawns move differently. And there is another piece which is not in chess, the Cannon. It moves by jumping one piece (friends or foes) and landing on the next piece. For chess lovers, do try Chinese chess.

Monday, October 20, 2008


... and both games won, incredibly, with the Black pieces! Today game 6 commences, and Kramnik has an Everest mountain to climb in order to cut the deficit. I follow the games at, with comments from Mark Levitt and analysis by Fritz 11. So far, it is Anand who states his intention of ever winning this championship, to retain his World Champion title, while Kramnik still has not reveal (I'm being kind, I know) his secret weapon yet. Can he do a Liverpool, or die miserably by Anand's onslaught, we just have to see. Replay game 5 here:


Every chess player dreams of getting a rating, some for show off, some just to make comparison with their peers, and some for their personal gratification. And then, there is active list, and inactive list. Sadly, I am among the inactive chess players, as I do not play rated game for quite a long time now. I got the final rating from Royal Selangor 2004, and with the rating of 2065 I went into hiding, so to speak, but actually I had no time for playing rated tournament after I finished my studies at IIUM. There is no rated tournament in Kelantan, just a few allegros from time to time.

Well, latest rating placed me 89th, a drop from 47th when I was still in the active list. There are so many talents emerged nowadays, and it can only be good for Malaysia. Here are Malaysia's top ten (taken from FIDE official site):

1 Mas, Hafizulhelmi m MAS 2439 45
2 Lim, Yee-Weng f MAS 2396 11 1982
3 Chan, Nicholas f MAS 2386 0
4 Long, Peter f MAS 2353 0 1961
5 Mok, Tze-Meng f MAS 2308 10
6 Liew, Chee-Meng-Jimmy m MAS 2306 0 1958
7 Lim, Chuing Hoong Ronnie
MAS 2287 0 1983
8 Bakri, Anas Nazreen f MAS 2270 0 1991
9 Foudzi, Siti Zulaikha wm MAS 2218 0 1988
10 Zakaria, Fairin
MAS 2207 8

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Kuyt celebrates after getting the winner, again!

Liverpool has done it again! Winning games after getting themselves a goal down, or even 2 goals down. Last night confirmed their title of the 'King of Comebacks' this season after winning the game when Wigan got on the scoresheet first. They have done it against Boro, Marseille, and even Manchester United! Virtually, I watched two games at the same time - game 4 of Anand vs Kramnik World Chess Championship running on my laptop while Liverpool game was on Astro. Both resulted in my favour, so to speak, as I am a fan of both Anand and Liverpool. Surely, Kramnik couldn't do a comeback, can he? Being a point down after losing the 3rd game yesterday, he lamely chose to offer Anand a draw which the latter duly accepted. Play the 4th game here:

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Game 3 of Anand vs Kramnik World Chess Championship match 2008 in Bonn, Germany shows how deadly prepared lines could be. I was among many chess enthusiasts who gets to see the game live because of the advancement of technology nowadays (I watched it at ChessCube). Anand gets the upperhand by moving very quickly which leaves a whopping 1 hour gap between the two (Anand used 20 minutes to reach move 20 to Kramnik's 1 hour and a half!). You can replay the game below:

As a player, I myself had the opportunity to prepare against a very good player once (he was 2196 FIDE rated!) during Royal Selangor 2004. He went down checkmated before reaching move 20! However, I did not move quickly so as not to reveal my home preparation. I just pretended to think even though I already knew what to move.

Yours Truly - FIDE Rated Player (2196)
Royal Selangor, 2004
Sicilian Defence

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nf3 c5 4.Nc3 e6 5.Nxd5 exd5 6.d4 Nc6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qxd5 Qb6 9.Bc4 Bxf2+ 10.Ke2 0-0 11.Rf1 Bc5 12.Ng5 Nd4+ 13.Kd1 Ne6 14.Ne4 d6 15.exd6 Bd7 16.Bd3 Bc6 17.Nf6+ gxf6 18.Qf5 Rfd8 1-0

Friday, October 17, 2008


Good news for Gua Musang residents (especially me!) as my broadband modem turns from green to blue light. It started approximately a week before Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year (2008). I hope it stays that way for the rest of my stay in the district (not planning of moving in the near future, though). It was false dawn at Tanah Merah (my in-laws' residence) during last election, when I enjoyed UMTS connection for only about a week, as it turned back to GPRS after the election. However, the district also has Celcom 3G connection now, and I'm not complaining.

In my previous post, I told you about how I started to play this game, at the age of 15. However, my chess adventures really started with a coach when I was at IIUM Matriculation Centre (now called Centre for Foundation Studies). He is Mr. Ismail Ahmad (already mentioned about him in one of my post). Mr. Hairulov took the liberty to interview him during his Hari Raya open house recently. Thank you very much. Here is some facts about my first coach (taken from Hairulov's blog) :

1. Although not yet a Grandmaster (GM), Ismail must be proud to achieve the Grandfather (GF) title ! He has two GF norms already (two lovely grandson!) and only need one more "norm" to confirm the title.

2. He won the World Police Chess Champion in Barcelona in 2003. One incident happen before the prize giving ceremony when the organiser refuse at first to award Ismail the prize because there's a dispute about Ismail nationality. Some players claim that Ismail is a Philipines or Indonesian (two strong chess countries) illegally play for Malaysia which is not so strong country (generally known). They ask for Ismail Identity Card ( I.C) to prove his nationality which is ridiculous because Ismail's passport should be good enough to prove it. Eventually after some clarification, they award the prize to Ismail anyway.

3. Ismail said that he is a chess maniac, sometimes he will read chess book in a restroom (when nature calls!) which is quite a common habit among chess fanatics.

4. In one case, while waiting for his wife meeting the doctor in the clinic...Ismail wait outside in his car and play chess online!

5. He won US Army Open (open for uniform organisation - police,army,etc..) in 2004 for both category (classical and blitz!).

6. He is lately sponsored by his sister in law who own a motorcycle shop - JEFFOLEA in Sungai Petani, Kedah. The company sponsor his tournament expenses such as his tournament fee, accommodation, notebook, transport, t-shirt and jacket.

7. Beside doing some private chess coaching, Ismail is appointed as JEFFOFLEA chess coach.

Below are some of his chess achievements :-
  • 1990 - Allegro Kedah - Champion
  • 1992 - Malay Open - Runners up
  • 5 times Selangor Champion.
  • 1999 - Malay Master Champion (I was the co-organiser when I was the president of IIUM Chess Club)
  • 2001 - National Closed runners up
  • 3 times MERDEKA OPEN Champion
  • 2003 - UNIVERSITY of CYBERJAYA Open Champion
  • 3 times PDRM sportsman nominees
  • 5 times MAKSAK best board winner
  • 2 times MAKSAK sporstman nominees
  • 2003 - WORLD POLICE CHESS CHAMPION - Barcelona, Spain
  • 2003 - Bronze Medalist - SEA Games - Vietnam
  • 2003 - Terengganu Open - runners up
  • 2003 - MERDEKA Team Champion
  • 2004 - US Army Open (Classical)
  • 2004 - US Army Open ( Blitz)
  • 2006 - UIA Open - Runners up
  • 2006 - ROYAL SELANGOR CLUB OPEN -runners up
  • 2007 - FIDE Rating MCF InvitationTournament - Champion
  • 2007 - MERDEKA Team (STANDARD) - Champion
  • 2007 - GERAK KHAS Open (MELAKA) -Runners up
  • 2008 - KLUANG(JOHOR) Open - Champion
  • 2008 - BANDARAYA JOHOR Open - runners Up
  • 2008 - TOP 3 National Closed
  • 2008 - Malaysian Best Team (MERDEKA Rapid)
  • 2008 - best Board (MERDEKA rapid)
  • 2008 - Kuala Langat Open Champion
One of my game against him while he was still my coach (I have one more recent encounter with him at Royal Selangor Open, but unfortunately it is still on the scoresheet in my home at Gua Musang. I will post it next time).

Ismail Ahmad - Yours Truly
IIUM Convo Simul, 22.11.1997
Veresov Opening

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nbd7 4.f3 h6 5.Bh4 c6 6.e4 g5 7.Bf2 Bg7 8.e5 Nh7 9.Bd3 e6 10.Qd2 a6 11.a4 Nhf8 12.Nge2 c5 13.dxc5 Nxe5 14.0-0 Bd7 15.Ng3 h5 16.Rfe1 h4 17.Nge2 h3 18.Ng3 hxg2 19.Kxg2 Rxh2+ 20.Kf1 Nxf3 21.Qe2 Nxe1 22.Rxe1 Bxc3 23.bxc3 Bxa4 24.Nf5 Nd7 25.Ng7+ Kf8 26.Nxe6+ fxe6 27.Qxe6 Qf6 28.Qxf6+ Nxf6 29.Kg1 Rh6 30.Bd4 Re8 31.Rf1 Kf7 32.c4 Bc6 33.cxd5 Bxd5 34.c4 Rh1+ 35.Kf2 Rxf1+ 36.Bxf1 Bc6 37.Bd3 a5 0-1

Monday, October 13, 2008


I have two chess movies on my CD rack, The Luzhin Defence and Innocent Moves (or sometimes called Searching for Bobby Fischer). However, there are many chess movies made which I love to get a hold on. Some of the movies in the list here are taken from Movies and Chess website:

  • Chess Fever (1925) was a hilarious old Russian short film. A bride nearly gets mad because her betrothed (played by the russian comidian Pudovkin) has more interest in chess than in her (and everybody around her likewise). The grandmaster tournament Moscow 1925 plays an important part in the plot. The world champion in this movie is played by J.R.Capablanca.
  • The Seventh Seal (1957). A Knight and his squire are home from the crusades. Black Death is sweeping their country. As they approach home, Death appears to the knight and tells him it is his time. The knight challenges Death to a chess game for his life. The Knight and Death play as the cultural turmoil envelopes the people around them as they try, in different ways, to deal with the upheaval the plague has caused.
  • Return From the Ashes (1965) Stanislaus Pilgrin, a Polish chess master and handsome gigolo, marries wealthy Jewish widow, Dr. Michele Wolf, an X-ray technician and has an affair with her step-daughter, Fabienne and then plots to murder them both in a scheme that will have him inherit their money.
  • Night Moves, a 1975 Classic Detective movie not to be confused with the more recent Knight Moves, this movie featured Melanie Griffith and Gene Hackman as a detective who uses the famous game where the GM missed the sacrifice of his queen to mate with three little "Knight moves" to illustrate how he feels he is overlooking something important to solve a murder.
  • The Great Chess Movie (1982) with an interview with Igor Ivanov. Chess and the best players of the game are the focus of this video which examines and analyzes players such as Anatoly Karpov, Viktor Korchnoi and Bobby Fischer.
  • Dangerous Moves (Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1985) Two very different men compete in the World Chess Championship Games. One is a 52-year-old Soviet Jew and chess master for the past 12-years, and the other is a 35-year-old genius who defected to the West several years earlier.
  • Born American (1986) It was really a very bad movie, 3 young Americans decide to test the security on the Finnish-Soviet border, get caught and thrown in a gulag, in the gulag they find that the prisoner society is run by chess games, with human pieces, that decide who is the strongest.
  • Knight Moves (1992) A chess grandmaster is in a big tournament, and when his lover is found painted up and the blood drained out of her body he becomes a chief suspect. After he gets a call from the killer urging him to try and figure out the game, he cooperates with police and a psychologist to try and catch the killer, but doubts linger about the grandmaster's innocence as the string of grisly murders continues.
  • Searching For Bobby Fischer or Innocent Moves (1993) Notice in the scene where Josh is playing the guy at the Manhatten Chess Club (the Gummy Bear guy) and notice what colour he has when the game begins. Then notice what colour the guy is playing when he tips over his king and resigns. It is a very good movie about a father and son relationship in which chess takes an important part. But it's not a film "about chess".
  • Fresh (1994) Michael (or Fresh as he's well known) is a 12-year-old drug pusher who lives in a crowded house with his cousins and aunt. His father has become a street bum,but still meets with fresh on occasion to play chess. Fresh is rather quiet in a crazy world. Fresh' sister is a junkie who sleeps with the dealers that fresh sells for. As the story progresses Fresh realizes that he doesn't want to sell drugs anymore, he wants revenge.
  • Long Live the Queen (1996) A Dutch childrens' movie, Esme Lammers. Tiba Tossijn stars as a bright but misunderstood schoolgirl who escapes unhappiness when, in her imagination, chess pieces come alive and the White Queen (vivacious Moniqe van de Ven) advises her both on the best moves to make on the chess board and in life itself.
  • The Luzhin Defence (2000) Set in the late 1920s, The Luzhin Defence tells the story of a shambling, unworldly chess Grand Master who arrives in the Italian Lakes to play the match of his life and unexpectedly finds the love of his life. Discovering his prodigious talent in boyhood overshadowed by his parents' failing marriage, Luzhin's lyrical passion for chess has become his refuge and rendered the real world a phantom. Already matched up by her family to the very suitable Comte de Stassard, when Natalia meets Luzhin, she is drawn to the erratic genius and offers him a glimpse outside of his chess obsession. But it is a world he is not equipped to deal with and his two worlds collide to tragic effect.
  • Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (2004) Campbell and Hsuing-Tsu had worked side by side with master chess player Joel Benjamin to create a machine that could compete with the top human chess experts, and while Kasparov easily bested Deep Blue in their first tournament, it was a different story a year when he returned for a rematch. In the second game of the series, Kasparov was so roundly defeated that the champion began suggesting IBM was the computer as a decoy for a human player, and what started as a friendly exercise between Deep Blue's designers and the champion became an increasingly ugly battle of egos with many viewing the event as a publicity stunt used to prop up IMB's sagging public image.
  • Schwarz und Weiss wie Tag und Nacht which is in German and has English subtitles. It's a little corny, a computer genius programs computer to play chess, it loses badly to the World Champion who makes fun of the programmers effort, so the genius learns to play at the top level himself with the idea of getting even.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I like playing chess online. Pitting my brain skills against opponents from all over the world. There are several places where I usually play online chess.


The graphic is quite okay, but the bubble sound is a little bit intimidating. There's only one playing hall to choose from, and it is the biggest drawback of the site, even though the strength of the players are good sometimes. It sends your games to your e-mail.


Great graphic display, easy to play, and save my games in .pgn format by just a click. It has plenty of chess cafe to choose from, even though the quality of the players remains to be seen.


This is actually is a correspondence chess, where moves being made without the players sitting in front of their computers at the same time. You can also send a message with each of your moves and keeping notes on what you intended to do for each position. It is a good place to make your best moves on the board.


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