Friday, November 22, 2013

ANAND vs CARLSEN - Final Episode

Anand finally started with 1.d4. A Nimzo-Indian ensued and we quickly found that Carlsen was under pressure right from the start. He was behind in time and also space and was in danger of being checkmated. However, with nerves of steel, he counter attacked on the opposite wing and got a passed pawn. In the end, this passed pawn contributed to the demise of a champion. 

I really feel sad for Anand. He must win the remaining 3 games to go level and bring the championship into tie breaks. It will be amazing if he really pulls that out, though. If today's game ends in a draw, he will surely regret the draws he had wasted in the first and second games.

Click on the picture to browse the gallery and click on the caption below for the 'live' video. Credit goes to the official website.

http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-9/



http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-10/

Saturday, November 16, 2013

ANAND vs CARLSEN - Episode 2

At last, the first win goes to Carlsen. I kind of expected the result after seeing that Carlsen has managed to gain momentum, especially in Game 4. He might have accustom himself with the climate and atmosphere of Chennai, as well as to its people. Slowly, he took out his arsenal and started firing, although I must admit that part of Anand's weak defending led to his downfall today. He should have probably known by now that messy positions suit Carlsen very well, and they should be avoided if possible. 

On the bright side, they will be plenty of games to go. I personally think that there are still exciting games coming, much to the delight of chess fans worldwide. We have seen Reti, Caro Kann, Berlin and Queen's Gambit Semi Slav (if I'm not mistaken, as shown by my chess programme). Being Carlsen, he might come out with more openings in the course of the 12 games. 

Click on the picture to browse the gallery and click on the caption below for the 'live' video. Credit goes to the official website.

http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-5/



Monday, November 11, 2013

ANAND vs CARLSEN - Episode 1



I, like the rest of the chess world right now, am following the Chennai World Chess Championship where the current World Champion, Viswanathan Anand is playing the highest rated player of all time, Magnus Carlsen. This is the sternest test yet for the World Champion, as Carlsen is not a pushover. He is up there, by the way, and will strive to justify his rating by winning this battle between two generations. 


During my early chess days, I like Anand very much. Then, he was dubbed 'The lightning kid from Madras'. I was inspired by one of his rapid games featured in JAGUH (a chess column in Berita Harian a long time ago) that I took up French Defense as my first opening. I still like him, though. He is arguably the best prepared chess player for this kind of world class tournament, as his five world championship titles show. He even has the home advantage this time.

As for Carlsen, I first heard about him when he nearly beat Kasparov in 2004, the one and only time they faced each other in a competitive chess match. I thought that, 'Wow! I would like him to replace Kasparov in the near future'. Nearly 10 years later, he has the chance to prove that he should be the one holding the title. He did a lot of interviews, and I watched some of them. As a thirteen-year-old boy, interviewed after his game against Kasparov, he did say that he wanted to be the world champion. I was in awe! He showed maturity beyond his age in most of the interviews. 

After two opening games, they are still even. I suspect that both are still studying each other's preparation. Although some of the viewers have already labeled this match as 'boring', I still think that there is so much more to come. As much as I want Anand to win this, I also want Carlsen to get his wish. 

What do YOU think?


Can you imagine these videos airing at ASTRO? I sure can't. Nevertheless, enjoy! (Click on the picture to browse the gallery and click on the caption below for the 'live' video. Credit goes to the official website)


http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-1/



http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-2/



http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-3/



http://chennai2013.fide.com/photo-gallery-round-4/




Thursday, October 10, 2013

BORNEO BLAST



I was in Sabah for 4 days. It was my first time on Borneo soil, and it was enjoyable beyond words. The Kota Kinabalu airport was by the sea while the journey towards the tournament venue in Likas Masterskill was also along the seaside. Although I was not a seafood lover, and I, by personality, do not have taste bud,  I could still see that the food there was delicious, judging by my friends' reaction during our dinners. The people were friendly, especially the committees of Sabah Chess Association who tried to cater to all our needs during our stay there. The tournament was also smoothly organised, and the seven rounds agreed upon by the managers during the managerial meeting were thoroughly satisfying. All the cheerful experience can be read in PCNK website here.

Nonetheless, there were two incidents happened which I felt rightly forgettable. They involved cheating. Although I really like to distance myself from this topic after receiving some beatings for my previous post on the topic, I felt that without at least mentioning about them, these kind of immoral actions will go on unperturbed. Don't get me wrong, I really am not contesting the results, which I think were quite fair, but I am troubled by these two incidents which should not happen in the game of gentlemen. 

First and foremost, a deal before a game should not be made whatsoever for whatever reason. Certainly not for the chance of winning certain prizes or best board medals. In this case, it lead to quick results and it killed the excitement and thrill of the game, completely. Ten minutes were all that they took to finish the games, and my word, I was down a little because of that. Granted, final games sometimes finished with draws, particularly in games which did not deter the outcome of the winning prizes, but for this one I knew that some deal were agreed beforehand. 

Another inappropriate event happened to me. Even though I applaud the organiser's attempts to curb cheating, I saw that there was a certain loophole which was used in great effect for cheating purpose. Players were prohibited in certain parts of the venue when they were still playing, and they were to leave the playing hall if they had finished the game. This particular incident happened during the game, and all involved were still playing. It happened inside the playing hall, and it was subtle enough that nobody detected it except me. I noticed it when I made a gross mistake in my game, a member of the team appeared shocked, stood up and went to see a game played by another team. Then, my opponent stood up and slowly went towards the first member. Although the 'meeting' was brief, it was enough for at least recommending a move, or agreeing to a move.

REMEMBER! All these were taken from my observations and all that I had said were my judgments. I know that the two incidents mentioned might not be like I had observed. They might be the other way around and I would end up whining about nothing. I was careful enough by not mentioning any name, and only those involved know what I was talking about. If they are true, stop them at once! And if they are not like what I had mentioned, so be it. Nobody knows about it.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NORAZMI THE OTAI WINS UiTM MEET


Norazmi Mohd Noor won the UiTM Machang 3rd Open Chess Tournament held today. He only drew his last game after winning all the other five to secure his title. Luck was with him since winning the first round with a walkover all the way to the podium by beating, among others, Nik Mohd Nazri and Muhd Syazwan Zulkifli. His non-existence first round opponent eventually came and got three points to help his solkoff.

Friday, September 06, 2013

3rd UiTM OPEN CHESS TOURNAMENT

C'STA UiTM is becoming increasingly active in organising tournaments in Kelantan, including last year's Kelantan Closed. The third installment of the UiTM Open will be held tomorrow (7 September 2013). I will be participating in this tournament to warm up before the big Inter State 4 days after that. Hopefully all my teammates will also be there to flex some rusted muscles and freshen the clogged mind.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

SABAH, HERE I COME!


In 2009, I failed to land my feet on East Malaysia (Sarawak) because of work commitment. This time around, I am happy to announce that I will actually make a touchdown on that part of Malaysia. I have been to all the states in West Malaysia at least once, most of them because of chess back in my university years, but never once been to either Sarawak or Sabah. I have relatives in Sarawak, and many friends in Sabah, but the nearest that I got was that failed attempt to represent Kelantan in that year's Inter State.

Friday, August 16, 2013

MCF OFFICIAL WEBSITE?

My friend Dr. Nasrul posted in his blog about MCF being backwards in its official website compared to other South East Asian nations. Browsing the web today, I found that MCF actually has TWO official websites.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

SHOULD CHESS BE POLITICISED?

What's with the infighting? As a developing chess nation, we absolutely do not need this kind of problem. Instead, every chess player in this country should be working hand in hand to upgrade the level of chess in terms of quality and also quantity. Quality wise, we desperately need a Grand Master. Quantity wise, we need lots of them! It does not matter what race will our first Grand Master be - Malay, Chinese, Indian or even Iban - as long as we have one. The last thing I want to hear is the turbulence in the stewardship of our country's main chess federation.

Friday, June 07, 2013

CHESS WITH ME

WALK WITH ME programme enters its third year this time around. The carnival starts from 13-15 June with lots of events being lined up for all which includes Auto Show, Cultural Show, booths and of course, the Walkathon with the Sultan.

Monday, June 03, 2013

THE RED KNIGHTS FAILED AGAIN

 

For the umpteenth time The Red Knights (TRK) have failed to land their hands on the eluded National Closed Championship trophy and nobody except one Kelantanese has the National Master title in front of his name. I am not in the position to condemn any of TRK because I myself is not a National Master, but I can only comment according to their performance in the UMT.

Monday, May 27, 2013

THE RED KNIGHTS ARE OFF TO TERENGGANU



Before the Red Warriors are scheduled to finish off Terengganu's chances in FA Cup after seeing off the first leg with a dramatic 4 - 1 win, our own Red Knights are marching towards Terengganu capital, Kuala Terengganu to fight for the National Closed Championship crown which will be contested from 28 May - 1 June 2013 at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.

Friday, April 26, 2013

AL-FIRDAUS WINS SMACH OPEN 2013



Muhammad Al-Firdaus stopped the Terengganu players from bringing home the Zaaim Redha challenge trophy by winning the SMACH Open 2013. He finished with the same score as Muhammad Arshad, but his Berger tie break gave him the edge after the Bucholz tie break could not determine the winner. The tournament also saw a comeback by Syed Azizi and Bakri Jusoh who were last seen in the Kelantan tournament earlier last year.

Friday, April 19, 2013

KELANTAN CLOSED 2013

Masterskill College saw a grueling fight among players aiming to be the Kelantan representatives for this year's National Closed which is scheduled to be held at Terengganu. Once the registration closed at 10 a.m. Friday morning, 41 players in the Male Category and 7 players in the Female Category started the first round at 3 p.m. Only 4 male players and 2 players needed, so the 7 rounds produced high quality games despite the time allocation of 30 minutes plus 10-second increments. There were sacrifices everywhere, and Abdul Haq produced the best sacrifice of the tournament when he sacrificed himself for the third round game by giving the opponent a win without playing! When the dust has settled, the emergent winners were announced by the President of the Persatuan Catur Negeri Kelantan (PCNK), Mr. Nik Mohd Azrihan on the eve of the second day. The reps are:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

SMACH OPEN 2013

For a year, the Zaaim Redha trophy sits proudly on my chess rack. This Saturday, I have to bring it to SMACH again to be defended against those who aspire to be the next champion. Players who want to enter this tournament, though, have to register their names by today (18 April 2013) or risk paying the penalty. The organiser really wants to change the mindset of Kelantan chess players who like to register late and thus delay the start.

Friday, April 05, 2013

KELANTAN DID WELL BUT NEED TO IMPROVE

Individuals and team medals show the efforts made by the Kelantan team in the recent MSSM Chess held in Perak. Wan Mohd Amirul portrays why he is the force to be reckoned with in the near future when he managed to be second in the under-18 Boys Category. On the same note, Mohd Ali Ashgar also makes Kelantan proud by getting among the top 5 of the under 15 Boys Category. In the team category, under-18 Girls team manages to get the silver medals while Mohd Iqbal Amran from the under-18 Boys team had the best first board medal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

LUCK SAVES ALIF AND TUMPAT TEAM

Muhammad Alif from Tumpat
 
Muhammad Alif survived the final day misfortune which happened to his unlucky friends from the Tumpat team and clinched the final place in the under 18 male category. It has been a long time desire for the plucky lad as last year was the closest he has been to be a Kelantan representative. It was all down to hard work in training and, of course, a little luck.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

PERFECT IM MAS HAFIZUL

The Tournament



IM Mas Hafizulhilmi is still dodging from playing against me in a tournament. No, no. Actually, I should say that I am still not 'up there' to play against such a complete player like him. Last year in Kelantan Closed, I wasn't paired against him although I managed to finish fourth. This year in Kelantan Open, unfortunately, I still did not cross path with him on my way to finish seventh. He was such a celebrity that day; signing autographs for his fans who were mainly under aged players. Winning all 9 games showed exactly why he was rated 2354 FIDE, almost 300 points away from me who was second highest rated player with my 2068 FIDE. Calmly, he sprinted away and left the second place winner with a mere 7.5 points.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

TUMPAT SELECTION

HECTIC! That is the most suitable word describing the Tumpat selection held in SMK Chabang Empat today. Increased participation from additional schools attending the selection ensured the hectic atmosphere around the block C hall. Inevitably, problems arose, and fortunately, solutions were found. Thanks to all involved, especially my beloved assistants, Saifuddin and Shamiera. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

KELANTAN OPEN IS A FIDE RATED EVENT!

After the postponement of this event last December due to the flood, it is now confirmed that it will be held this Chinese New Year. Actually, it will be a dual event where the open category will be an International event while the age group category will be a national event.

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