Thursday, September 30, 2010


Mas gets another GM! Thanks to the Malaysian players who played courageously to win during Mas' hibernation. Hopefully Mas emerged from it unscathed tomorrow. As for GM Oscar, he is the highest rated player in Andorra. His performance in this Olympiad has been quite remarkable, losing only once in his first game against the Russian, and drawing twice to Megaranto of Indonesia and Hansen Sune Berg of Denmark. It will be a tough call, but I know Mas can pull off an upset, like he did against GM Rozentalis.

Oscar WILL PUSH 1.e4 to meet Mas' Sicilian Defense. So far in this Olympiad, he won against GM Yehuda's Sicilian by selecting 3.c3 for his third move. We can expect fire on the board tomorrow, because slow maneuvering is Mas' forte. He used 3.c3 again when he won against Ryan Harper of the Trinidad and Tobago. Thus, safely to say, 3.c3 is his pet line against the Sicilian, and Mas should take note of that and prepare properly.

All the best for tomorrow, Mas! (I'm going to sleep now, it's already 2.00 am when this post is published)

I'm following Mas' game LIVE. My prediction did not materialized; GM Oscar did not push 3.c3. However, he did not play the main line either, but retreated his Knight to f3. In the above position, he just moved his knight to e1. He has to reposition his Knight, quite common in this line. Mas let his pawns to be doubled at e6, but the GM refuses. The position is quite balanced, and Mas surely does not stand worst.

After just five moves from previous diagram, we arrive at the endgame phase. Mas has a Bishop compared to his opponent's Knight. Both pieces are now defending the fort for the time being, while the two Rooks are repositioning to premium squares. Personally, I like Mas' position because he has more active Rooks.

Now, Mas just has to activate his King. Neither has a passed pawn yet, but White's b and c pawn are under scrutiny. However, Mas a pawn could be a problem. My prediction, Mas can escape with a draw if he plays correctly.

So, the Knight goes to battle first while the Bishop still defending. I think Mas made a mistake when he did not push the Knight before White put his Rook at d1. Moreover, Mas could be in a big problem if the b pawn starts rolling.

At last, the Bishop comes to life! By this time, all the other boards already finished. Mok drew, Peter won and Tan lost. It is now up to Mas to take Malaysia to glory, and personally to take his GM ambition a step further.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


After a rest and an eventful run, Mas starts afresh by beating an unrated player. However, will he stroll pass a deaf and mute GM Yehuda Gruenfeld from the Israel? Sadly, Mas will not have the opportunity to play the Gruenfeld Defense against Gruenfeld because he will again play the white pieces. GM Yehuda already won using the Kan variation of the Sicilian against Maxence Murara in this Olympiad, and will surely cherishes the chance to spring it again againts Mas if he pushes 1.e4.

Go, Mas!

This is the current position of IM Mas vs GM Gruenfeld. I am uncomfortable with Mas' position. I hope it is not his first defeat in this Olympiad.

Mas manages to activate his Bishop and creates a passed pawn. But it remains to be seen whether this pawn will ever advance.

Did Mas just made a mistake? GM Yehuda manages to penetrate into Mas second rank, and it appears that his Knight will join the attack too. We are hoping for the best for Mas.

As I said earlier, I did not like Mas' position, and that he made a mistake on move 38. Mas resigns as the team trails 3-0 with only Tan Khai Boon to save its blushes.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Round 4 started at appoximately 5 p.m. this evening (Malaysian time). Click on the image below to go to the live games.


Mas looked sharp in this tournament so far. His next opponent will be a Grandmaster from Switzerland, GM Yannick Pelletier with FIDE rating of 2592. Mas, who drew against GM Micheal Adams (2728) and won against GM Eduardas Rozentalis (2611), will surely love another scalp in the higher rated GM Pelletier. However, being a GM since 2001, Pelletier is no pushover, having already won his national championship three times.

Mas will play White, which means he will face either a Sicilian or a French if he starts with 1.e4, or a Queen's Indian if he starts with 1.d4. A sample of Pelletier Sicilian game from his recent encounter is here, while a win against GM Granda-Zuniga using the Queen's Indian is here.

Your move, Mas!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I'm following the game live at the official site. So far, IM Mas can still hold with different coloured Bishops, Mok has a Knight to his opponent's Bishop, Tan has to withstand three pawn avalanche amidst his extra Bishop, while Peter is playing with all the minor pieces, i.e. 2 Knights and 2 Bishops.

View Open Section
View Women Section

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The Malaysian chess teams are flying the Jalur Gemilang at the 2010 Chess Olympiad. It is held at a little known place of Khanty-Mansiysk from 20th September - 4th October 2010.

Men's Team - seeded 86/148

Board 1 : IM Mas Hafizulhelmi (FIDE 2422)
Board 2 : IM Mok Tze Meng (2416)
Board 3 : NM Tan Khai Boon (2160)
Board 4 : FM Peter Long (2302)
Board 5 : Gregory Lau (2159) - Team captain

Women's Team - seeded 74/114

Board 1 : NWM Alia Anin Azwa Bakri (1904)
Board 2 : WCM Nur Nabila Azman Hisham (1829)
Board 3 : NWM Nurulhuda Wahiduddin (2020)
Board 4 : NWM Roslina Marmono (1933)
Board 5 : NWM Fong Mi Yen (1905)

My hopes for the Malaysian teams are that they will successfully change these numbers for the better - their team seedings and their personal ratings. I am also hoping that IM Mas Hafizulhelmi finally lands his GM title in this tournament. So far, at the time of this writing, he already secured a draw against GM Micheal Adams (2728) from England! Hopefully this draw will be the stepping stone for our country's ambition of a first GM.

Those who would like follow their news, kindly visit the official website, or our blogger hairulovchessmaniacs. You can also see the results at

Monday, September 20, 2010


MPP University of Petronas, in colaboration with MCF and Perak International Chess Association (PICA), will hold the 1st National Rapid Chess Championship at its campus in Tronoh, Perak. This event, held in conjunction with UTP Convofair, will be a national rated event. Those who are interested can see the poster above and download the registration form here.

Friday, September 10, 2010


We wish you a prosperous and happy Hari Raya


Related Posts with Thumbnails