Friday, June 05, 2015


3 losses, 3 draws and 1 win was all that I could muster at this year's MAKSAK. I continued where I left off from the National Closed, still searching for my old self. I tend to be afraid easily nowadays; even innocent positions became a nightmare for me. Consider the position below taken from my game against Ahmad Mudzafar of Perak. The game was played at night because we had to cram the seven games inside two hectic days so that we could have the closing ceremony early in the morning the next day. The time control was 1 hour to the finish, enough for tired eyes to doze off during complex calculations, especially at night!

Ahmad Mudzafar (Perak) vs Yours Truly (Kelantan)

Black was not far off from development. In fact, I only had to move my Bishop to b7 in order to complete the development. I could even start an attack on his castled King by pushing the pawn to b4. In between these two thoughts, which took me more than 5 precious minutes, I suddenly became wary of his pawn push to d5 square. As though hypnotized, I took my f6 Knight and place it on the d5 square, blundering a piece.

After 14...Nd5

He didn't take too much time to remove the Knight and put it outside the board though. Play continued 15.Nxd5 exd5 16.Qxc6

After 16.Qxc6

A Queen standing on the same file with her King always spells danger. However, having just lost a Knight, I failed to see 16...Bf5 where Black can start an attack towards White's King. He has to flee with 17.Kd2 and with Qa5-Rc8-Rc2 to come, he would not be comfortable (17.Qxd5 is out of the question because Black will get back the lost piece with 17...Qc7+ and 18...Be6).

Instead, I moved 16...Bd7.

After 16...Bd7

The difference between this move and 16...Bf5 is that White's King gets to defend the Bishop with Kb1. 17.Qxd5 Qc8+ 18.Kb1 Be6 19.Qe5 Bxa2+ 20.Kxa2 Qc4+ 21.Kb1

After 21.Kb1

Here I thought of sacrificing another of my piece with 21...Bxa3 to get the perpetual, but I saw that White did not really have to take the Bishop. A simple move like 22.d5 will bring the Queen to the defense of her King already, so I scrapped the plan and moved 21...Rfe8. After 22.Qf5 b4 23.Qd3, Black has no play anymore.

Our judgment in chess really is related with our emotional and physical condition, thus keeping both of them in tiptop condition is a must in order to play our best game. Family and office problems should be settled before any tournament because they would haunt us time and time again during our calculations. Kids and teenagers really don't have these kind of problems, so they could play their game smoothly. This is what I've encountered during the National Closed, and though none of them were there in MAKSAK, the inability to cope with my problems caused me dearly.

Kelantan Team Performance

Kelantan team comprises of:

1. Muhammad Ariez Azman
2. Md Anis Rahimi
3. Yours Truly
4. Baharuddin Hamzah
5. Nik Mohd Nazri Nik Hasan
6. Mohd Saufi Deraman

Overall, the Kelantan team did very well in this MAKSAK. We lost only once to Terengganu, drew 4 and won 2.

Won vs Selangor 2.5 - 1.5
Drew vs Johor 2 - 2
Drew vs Perak 2 - 2
Lost vs Terengganu 0.5 - 3.5
Drew vs ATM 2 - 2
Won vs PDRM 4 - 0
Drew vs KL 2 - 2

(Final standings can be read here).

In fact, we should be able to be third if our last player, Mr. Md Anis Rahimi, completed his onslaught on the Kuala Lumpur player. Instead, he missed a win and gave his opponent the opportunity to get a perpetual which made our team sixth.

This is the position:

Md Anis Rahimi (Kelantan) vs Roslan (KL)

Here, the game continued 1.Ng6 Be7 2.Nxe7+ Qxe7 3.Qg6+ Qg7 4.Qxe6+ Kh7 5.Qxd5 Ng6

After 5...Ng6

The two connected passed pawns should be enough to force a win. Other teammates by now had already calculated this game as 1-0 and we were ecstatic to finally break the hoodoo and become third for the first time in Kelantan MAKSAK history. The game continued 6.e6 Kh6 7.Rc5 Kh7 

After 7...Kh7
8.Qxh5+ Kg8 9.Rc8+ Nf8 10.e7! Qxe7 

After 10...Qxe7

11.Qg6+ ? We could not believe our eyes! The simple 11.Qxg4+ should have won the Rook and the game, and Kelantan would have made the podium finish. Indeed, time trouble makes us do something unbelievable.

Nevertheless, here are some pictures taken from the event:

Kelantan vs Selangor 2.5 - 1.5

With Kelantan state team official

Team registration form

In front of Holiday Villa, Alor Star

Kelantan vs Perak 2 - 2

Final standings

The champions - KL

Nik Mohd Nazri won best board prize

Johor vs Kelantan 2 - 2

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