Friday, November 09, 2018


I haven't played FIDE rated tournament for donkey's years, and when I finally played one last month, I made an effort to find out about the way to calculate FIDE rating. After browsing through the materials, I found a website, ELO Calculator, which really helped me in this aspect. My calculation showed that I lost 3 points from my FIDE rating after the tournament. 

When the latest FIDE rating was published last September, I found mistakes, at least involving me and my teammates ratings. Here are the mistakes:

Yours Truly

According to chess results, I played against 5 rated players with 4/5 results. However, according to FIDE rating website, I only played against 4 rated players with 3/4 results. My rating changed from 2014 into 2011.

Baharuddin Hamzah

According to chess results, Baharuddin played against 3 rated players with 1/3 results. However, according to FIDE rating website, he played against 4 rated players with 1/4 results. This leads to him being deducted up to 16 points for losing to lower rated player whom he didn't meet at the tournament (Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Mohd)! I don't have to stress that this player gets 10 points for defeating Baharuddin then.

There are others who are affected also because of these mistakes. I hope the organiser and FIDE will rectify this promptly.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


I knew competitive chess in 1996 when I was in IIUM Matriculation in Lembah Pantai. The first tournament I entered was IIUM Open held at IIUM Main Campus Petaling Jaya. There I had my first tournament game (a draw against Azhari Mohd Nor) and there also I knew the late IA Abdul Latif Mohamad.

Then, there was no computer pairing system. It was manually done and he was among the experts at that. It was the first of my many encounters with him throughout the years because he was really close with the IIUM Chess Club members, especially Rizal Ahmad Kamal (one of my coach) and his gang.

Fast forward 20 years later, his health deteriorated which limited his participation in chess. I hardly ever met him from 2006 onward, mainly because I had already returned to my hometown to become a teacher. News about him came either from reading in the media or through social interaction with chess friends.

On 20 September 2018, the final news came in sadness. He passed away at approximately 9 p.m. As fellow Muslim, I was grateful because passing away in the eve of a Friday is considered a dream of many Muslims.

May Allah bless you, IA Abdul Latif Mohamad.

* I'm still searching for my old chess files because I might have something original to be shared here. As for now, I'll settled with a profile picture taken from his blog SIFU.mycatur.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Do you believe in fairy tales? Even the most skeptical will surely gasp in awe for the achievement of this petite girl from Pasir Puteh. Why? Here is the story. 

Getting second place in the state selection was the start needed by Nik Nur Afifah Nik Mud. She and her teammates were then involved in the centralised training under the tutelage of Mr. Nik Mohd Nazri, the under 12 coach. Judging by the scores from the selection, Afifah and three others; Fatin, Haifa and Azreen; were equally strong. Coach Nazri and the head coach, Mr. Saufi decided the four of them should be in the team event at the MSSM while the other two would be in the individual event. However, before the SIC Team Championship, the coaches had a change of heart. Afifah was so strong in the training sessions that the coaches were worried her teammates would stripped her of any chances in getting the medal. The results confirmed their assessment, thus Afifah would be playing in the individual event alongside Fatin, the selection champion. 

For the first three rounds, the coaches were unfazed with her ability to outplay her opponents. They didn't even prepare her, as they believed she could do it again the next game. When she asked me about it the night before the fourth round, I said that we didn't want to 'stop the ball rolling' and continued to focus on preparing the under 15s as I was their coach. Unexpectedly, she replied, 'Do I looked like a ball?', prompting my nervous laugh. Therefore, I assured her that we really cared about her and that we just didn't want to stop her momentum. 

True enough. She went all the way. She even offered a draw in the last round while leading the exchange. She had two Rooks and a Bishop compared to her opponents' Rook, Knight and Bishop. Her opponent accepted and got third place. 

One important fact: the final round was on her birthday! So, before the final round, we celebrated her birthday with a cake just outside the main door of the tournament venue. Then, we encouraged her to get the gold as her best birthday present ever. 

The gold medal put Kelantan high in the ranking in terms of gold medal:

1. Penang 4 gold medals
2. Selangor 4 gold medals
3. Kuala Lumpur 3 gold medals
4. Kelantan 1 gold medal

However, Kelantan was eighth in terms of overall points tally:



Wednesday, August 08, 2018


This is the second year I'm involved with the Kelantan MSSM squad. It is a team consisting of old and new talented young chess players gathered from all around Kelantan. Even though many of them are either from Kota Bharu or Kuala Krai, there are also some originated from Pasir Puteh, Pasir Mas, Tanah Merah, Machang and also Tumpat. 

The centralised training was held at SMS Faris Petra during the weekends for the whole of July. In the middle of the training, there was an individual event organised by Persatuan Catur Negeri Kelantan at PROKEL and a team event at Sultan Ismail College. Both tournaments were designed to test the players because they are going to be involved in both events at this MSSM. 

There were a couple of players who won the selection which was held at SMK Pak Badol beforehand, but did not turn up at the training. Both were substituted with the players in the waiting list as we don't want players who cannot give their commitment to the cause. 

The Terengganu MSSM is being held at Dewan Sultan Mizan in the heart of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu premise. It is a very big hall and the playing space is comfortable. Even the praying room and the toilets are very satisfying for me at least. 

As for the team, they are currently doing well, especially the under 12s. They are punching above their weight and there are also two female players who are still with full points from 4 games. This brings hope for the contingent as a gold medal will surely benefit all for they are promised with funds if they succeed in actually bringing it back to Kelantan. 

Today is the fourth day and there will be 2 more games waiting to be won. Hopefully we will be glorious and lift some medals this year. 

For those who are interested, you can follow the results in chess results website. 

Under 12 Boys (Individual) (Team)
Under 12 Girls (Individual) (Team)
Under 15 Boys (Individual) (Team)
Under 15 Girls (Individual) (Team)
Under 18 Boys (Individual) (Team)
Under 18 Girls (Individual) (Team)


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