Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Remember the girl in my drawing in my previous post? Well, recently I visited her at her new house in Bandar Sunway, Semenyih with my wife. We went to see her newborn baby, Aqif Naufal. He is a healthy boy, born 3.1 kg, three months ago. Aliza was a chess player for IIUM team. She is still actively involve in chess, albeit only as a coach at school level. I hope her students will one day become good chess players also, representing their states in MSSM tournaments.

Some of her pictures while still playing for IIUM:

Here is a game I played against her in one of our training sessions:

Yours Truly - Aliza
Training, 03.12.1997

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bc4 e5 5.Nge2 Be6 6.d5 Na5 7.dxe6 Nxc4 8.exf7+ Kxf7 9.Bg5 Nb6 10.f3 Be7 11.Qd2 Nfd7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.0-0-0 Rad8 14.Nb5 Nc5 15.Ng3 g6 16.h4 h5 17.Nf1 a6 18.Nc3 Nba4 19.Nd5 Qe6 20.Nxc7 Qxa2 21.Qd5+ Qxd5 22.Nxd5 Nd7 23.Nfe3 Rc8 24.Rd2 Rhd8 25.c4 Ke6 26.b3 Nac5 27.Kb2 Rf8 28.b4 Na4+ 29.Kb3 b5 30.Rhd1 Rfd8 31.cxb5 axb5 32.Rd3 Nac5+ 33.bxc5 Nxc5+ 34.Kb4 Nxd3+ 35.Rxd3 Rb8 36.Nc7+ Kd7 37.Ned5 Rf8 38.Ra3 Rb7 39.Ra6 Rfb8 40.Ra1 Kc6 41.Ne6 Kd7 42.Nec7 ½-½

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Abdullah vs Sulaiman

Date: 28 March 2009
Venue: Raudhah Hotel, Kota Bharu
Format: 6 Rounds Swiss System
Organizer: Silent Knight Event Management
Arbiter: Mr. Muhammad bin Arshad

Sulaiman Johari overcame the odds to emerge as the first champion of the Silent Knight Rapid Tournament ahead of the tournament favourite, Abdullah Che Hassan. He collected 5 wins and lost a game to Abdullah, but won because of a better tie break. Abdullah took second place with also 5 wins but his winning streak was stopped short by third place winner in the last round, Abdul Khalid Musa. Siti Aishah Sabirin edged a host of male players to become champions of under-18 (and under-12) category with 6 straight wins. This include a win against her closest rival, Wan Muhammad Imran, who lost in the last round and took second place. Third place was given to Noor Hisyam Ahyat who also had 5 points but with a weaker tie break.

For full result, check these websites (open or under-18) or browse Badbishops blog.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Chess is not mentioned in the Qur'an. The closest that the jurist could find is the prohibition of gambling and chance in surah al-Ma'idah, verse 92:
O true believers, surely wine and lots (maisir) and images (ansab) and divining-arrows ('azlam) are an abomination of the works of Satan, therefore avoid ye them that ye may prosper.
The verse clearly does not mention chess by its name, but many of those who prohibit the game based their stand on chess being associated with gambling. Thus, if the player manage to play the game solely without the elements of gambling, the prohibition will stand on false ground. Moreover, chess and chance are different altogether. Whereas the latter based on playing usually with dice, where element of lots usually being associated, chess uses only the player's mental intelligence, which can be compared to strategic planning in wars and battles.

Contemporary jurist, Dr. Yusuf al-Qardhawi in his book The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, states that playing chess is permissible as long as the player adheres to three conditions:

1. No delaying of prayers
2. No gambling involved
3. No vulgar words throughout the game

Nowadays, chess competitions and chess tournaments can be found everywhere, many of which offered prize money. Whenever money is involved, we must make sure that no element of gambling involved. The definition of gambling is (according to Wikipedia)
the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods.
This means any competition where the participants put their money with the intention of winning more than that can be deemed as gambling. If this is so, than all the chess competitions and tournaments held in our country can be said to be a gambling place! However, when we take a deep look at the definition, we can see that the intention of the participants is important in determining the permissibility of the tournament. The game will be a gamble when the participant lay small amount of money, which is now rename as a 'registration fee', and hope to get a lot of it at the end of the tournament. Well, this is hard to achieve, because we cannot control our desire and intention, or our friend's intention for that matter, making it almost impossible to take this element out from the equation.

So, how to make a tournament safe from gambling? Zaharuddin said that there are several conditions to make a tournament free from gambling.

1. The prizes should not be taken from the so called 'entry fees', and should be mainly, or part of it, taken from other means such as sponsors.
2. The entry fees could be used for maintaining the smoothness of the event, and not to be used (all of it) as the prize of the event.







Monday, March 23, 2009

Kelantan Girls under-15 Team


Congratulations for the Kelantan girl under-15 team for retaining their gold medals in the recently concluded MSSM Chess held in the state of Selangor. The tournament, which saw the host state as the overall champions, was held at Goldcourse Hotel in Klang from 16th to 20th March.

The girls are:

1. Wan Zarif Sofea Sazali
2. Wan Aemillia Elisha Wan Azzlan (picture right)
3. Laila Husna Sahadi -Best Board
4. Nabillah Muhamad Najib

Under-12 teams (boys and girls) also produced several achievements:

1. Mohd Lokman Mat Daud (picture left, from Gua Musang district) - Best 3rd Board U12 Boys

2. Siti Nur Afiqah Haslam - Best 3rd Board U12 Girls
3. Wan Ainul Basirah - 9th Place U12 Girls Individual

Kelantan Team

Overall, Selangor is the champions, followed by Kuala Lumpur, Penang while Kelantan only managed to get 6th place.

For full results, please check masterchess91 and MSSMKL blogs, while the contingent pictures from Terengganu Chess website. You can also use these links for each categories:

Under-18 Boys (team, individual)
Under-18 Girls (team, individual)
Under-15 Boys (team, individual)
Under-15 Girls (team, individual)
Under-12 Boys (team, individual)
Under-12 Girls (team, individual)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The Kelantan's girls team were much stronger than the boys in the team games for the first round of MSSM in Selangor. While the under-15 girls got a bye, the u-12 and u-18 won their games. However, the u-12 and u-18 boys drew while the u-15 lost. Hopefully, they will do better in the second round game this morning and the third round this evening.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


One of the most important endgame study as a material for chess trainings is the Lucena Position. Knowledge of this position is essential for every chess player and the ability to convert their game plan in order to achieve this position is obligatory. I recently managed to achieve the position in one of my online games and won.

White : "danigol"
Black : "iiumchessmaster"

Sicilian Najdorf

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be2 Nbd7 9. Qd2 b5 10. O-O-O Nb6 11. f4 Nc4 12. Bxc4 bxc4 13. fxe5 cxb3 14. exf6 bxa2 15. Nxa2 Bxa2 16. b3 Rc8 17. Kb2 Bxb3 18. cxb3 Qxf6+ 19. Qd4 Be7 20. Qxf6 Bxf6+ 21. Bd4 Bxd4+ 22. Rxd4 Rc6 23. Rhd1 Ke7 24. Rd5 Rhc8 25. R1d2 f6 26. g4 h6 27. h4 Ke6 28. g5 hxg5 29. hxg5 R8c7 30. gxf6 gxf6 31. Rf5 Rc5 32. Rdf2 Rxf5 33. Rxf5 Rc5 34. Rf2 Re5 35. Rf4 d5 36. exd5+ Rxd5 37. Re4+ Re5 38. Ra4 a5 39. Kc3 f5 40. Kd3 Kf6 41. b4 axb4 42. Rxb4 Kg5 43. Rb8 Kf4 44. Rg8 Kf3 45. Kd2 f4 46. Rg7 Kf2 47. Rg8 f3 48. Kd3 Kf1 49. Kd2 f2 50. Rg7 Rd5+ 51. Kc2 Ke2 52. Re7+ Kf3 53. Rf7+ Ke3 54. Rf8 Rd4 0-1

Monday, March 09, 2009


Last night I went to SMK Ahmad Maher again to visit the Kelantan's chess team centralized training. The training will be held until this Thursday before the team depart for Selangor MSSM on Saturday. Anis, the team manager, wanted me to test the target group - girls under 15 - just to see whether they will be up to the task of defending last year's gold medal. I'm happy to say that these girls were a tough nut to crack and I sincerely think they will need only minor adjustments to become better in their games.

For more pictures of the centralized training, please visit Masterchess91's blog.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Venue: SMK Ahmad Maher, Kota Bharu

Yesterday I stopped by at the centralized training for Kelantan's chess team who will fly the state's flag at the national MSSM chess championship in two weeks time. The training was conducted by Mr. Sahadi, Mr. Nik Mazlan and Mr. Saufi. The players were given speeches, exercises and tips on chess. There were also sparring sessions between the players. Some of the students were having examinations when their teachers from their schools came with the question papers. This was done at night, while others proceeded with the training. This is to ensure that they will not be left out in terms of completing their academic requirements, thus enhancing the notion that co-curricullar activities and academic excellence do go hand in hand.

The players listened to the speech given by the coach, Mr. Saufi

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Date : 28 March 2009 (Saturday)
Venue : Dewan SMK Putera, Kota Bharu
Format : 30 minutes / player Swiss System

Open Category
1st place - RM400
2nd place - RM300
3rd place - RM200
4th place - RM100
5th place - RM70
6th-10th place - RM50

Under 18 and Under 12
1st place - RM100
2nd place - RM90
3rd place - RM50
4th-10th place - RM30

1. Closing Registration Date : 26 March 2009 (Thursday)
2. Pairing for round 1 will be published on 27 March 2009 (Friday)
3. 1st round will start EXACTLY at 8.30 a.m

Inquiry : Mr. Norazlin (013-9223707)

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Morra Gambit surfaces again. According to Rizal Ahmad Kamal, the ladies team of the Malaysian Para Games Contingent used it to claim the gold medals in the Para Games in Korat, Thailand in 2008. I used to think that this is an opening for those who are very lazy, but I forgot to reason that even Morra Gambit has its various lines to consider, depending on the Black's position. One of my colleague in IIUM used it effectively as his main arsenal. He continues using it now in our on-going correspondence game. We have reach the position below:

Black just moved 13... Bd7


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