Monday, September 29, 2008

IM Kevin Denny Leads Mens Barbados Open

Well last week I talked about IM Kevin Denny who was born in UK but raised in Barbados is the current leader in the BOA National Championships with 9.5 points out of 10 games & 1 round remaining in the championship. His closest rival FM Delisle Warner (pic) is 1 point away from the leader. Today is the last round of the championship.   image









Friday, September 26, 2008

The world crown eludes Humpy again

Manisha Mohite  | Wednesday, 24 September , 2008, 23:41

Taken from

image She was the hot favourite but was blitzed away in the tie-breaks. Supporters, critics, and followers each had their say in Koneru Humpy's ouster in the semi-finals of the Women World Chess Championship. The reasons ranged from her crumbling under pressure, persistence with her father, Koneru Ashok as her only coach and to her choking under the tag of the top seed. More than a billion Indians had set their sights on Humpy becoming the first Indian woman to win a World title for we have never had any woman player in any sport who is the reigning world number one for all practical purposes (Judit Polgar, the highest ever ranked woman player does not participate in women events). Naturally, it was a national disappointment. So what went wrong? Were all the reasons valid? Most top players in India however felt that it was just one of those 'bad days'

Let us not forget that Humpy is just 22-years-old and she will have her moments under the sun. A rating of 2622 cannot just be swept aside considering the fact that she is only the second woman ever in the world to cross this 2600 ELO mark. Her talent and strength are justified by the high rating she enjoys. A few things did not go her way on that particular day in the semi-finals tie-break. In the first regular game Humpy lost badly to Yifan's superb game and that pushed her to the defensive. In the second game Humpy scored a lucky victory and forced a tie-break.

The first game of the rapid could easily have swung her way. There was a general feeling that her persistence with the Breyer variation in the Ruy-Lopez, where Yifan comprehensively beat her in the regular game, was a wrong choice. But the very fact that Humpy had the confidence to repeat the same opening showed her depth of preparation and within no time she had deviated into a new variation and was in a good position. Things, however, went astray in time and let us not forget that Humpy's strength is more in the regular version of the game rather than in the Rapids or Blitz. She did not lose because of the opening but lost against time.

"Whenever I compete in World Championships there is heavy expectation riding that I should become the champion. That does put pressure on me," Humpy had admitted to this scribe before leaving for Nalchik. To a certain extent it is the self-imposed pressure to which Humpy succumbed. The hesitation in going for strong continuations was visible as she opted for safe lines, which ultimately let her advantage slip. This is the second time that Humpy was knocked out in the semi-final, the previous time at Ekaterinaburg in 2004. In 2006, Humpy had lost in the second round.

Right from the time that she was unrated to becoming the second highest rated woman, Humpy has just had one coach, her father Ashok. It has worked all these years and there is no reason why it shouldn’t now. Super coach Elizbar Ubilava, Anand's second when he won the knockout edition of World Championship in 2000 commented: "Emotional bonding between the coach and player is crucial and it has worked magnificently for Humpy with her father. Humpy is world champion material."

The knock-out events have always been considered the graveyards for seeded and higher rated players and this time was no different. Reigning champion Yuhua Xu made an early exit while former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova was knocked out in the quarterfinals. Yifan Hou the 14-year-old who eliminated Humpy is also one of the finest upcoming players in the world and at such a young age is rated fourth in the world. The newer generation has always excelled in the shorter versions of the game especially Blitz and Yifan is no exception. Humpy's best chances were in the regular games or even in the Rapid. Some of the biggest casualties of the knock-out event have been Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik when they were in the best of forms and enjoyed world rankings among the top three.

It will now be 2010 when Humpy would get a crack at the world title again and till then she has to get more tougher, mentally and on board

Viswanathan Anand on Humpy’s loss

I was quite sad to see Humpy exiting in the semi-finals. I was actually following the final tie-break, live. After the first classic game that ended badly she managed to win the second game. This really shows she has a lot of determination in her. When it came to shorter time controls there is an element of gamble and things can go wrong. From personal experience I can tell you that when you play tie breaks the advantage you have with an opponent keeps diminishing as time controls get shorter. I think Humpy played very good chess and clearly she has done a lot of work. She should just forget Nalchik, take a break from chess and enjoy the ECC in Greece. Knockouts are different from tournaments and require a different kind of play as one mistake can be costly and then there is no looking back. I don't think she should feel the pressure, rather she should be fairly confident that all the work she has done would help her in the next event. Sometimes, when you are not chasing something with obsession you suddenly find yourself winning it.


clip_image002”NATIONAL RATED TOURNAMENT” clip_image002


TARIKH  : 25-26 OKTOBER 2008.


MASA : 08.00 pg – 6.00 ptg






25/10/2008 (SABTU)   
1 10.30 AM-12.00 PM
2 2.00 PM-3.30 PM
3 4.00 PM-5.30 PM
26/10/2008 (AHAD)  
4 8.30 AM-10.00 AM
5 10.30 AM-12.00 PM
6 2.00 PM-3.30 PM
7 4.00 PM-5.30 PM















































        RM 50                                                  


        RM 50                                             




1.        RM 150

2.        RM 100

3.        RM 50


1.        RM 150                 

2.        RM 100

3.        RM 70

4.         hingga 7   :   RM 50                                                          8.       hingga 10 :   RM 30


1.        RM 50

2.        RM 40

3.        RM 30

4.        RM 30

5.        RM 30


1.        RM 50

2.        RM 40

3.        RM 30


RM 50


RM 50





TARIKH TUTUP : 23 OKTOBER 2008.                                                    


Bank Account: ZARUL SHAFIQ BIN ZULLKAFLI, - Maybank, Current Account No: 1580 8822 6680

Tournament entry fees must be paid before the closing date.For further details call:                                                             

1) ZARUL 017-6018919 email        

2) MAZLINDA 019-4773403                                                                          


Map to UPSI


Thursday, September 25, 2008

14th Kepong Junior Open

Venue: SJK(C) Kepong 2, 52100 KL

Date: 2nd Nov 2008

“A Nationally-rated Chess Event”

PRIZES Under-08 “SJK(C) Kepong 2 PIBG Challenge Trophy”
Under-10 “Cheah Lum Choy Challenge Trophy”
Under-12 “Pang Chew Kong Challenge Trophy”
Under-14 “Kong Foo Leong, AMN Challenge Trophy”
Under-16 “Dato’ Tan Kim Hor,JP,KMN Challenge Trophy”

Each category 1st – 5th Trophies + Cash Prizes
6th – 10th Trophies + Consolation prizes
Best Girl Trophy + Cash Prize
Best School Gifts

ORGANISED BY Parent-Teacher Association, SJK(C() Kepong 2, KL

ELIGIBILITY Under-08, children born in or after 2000
Under-10, children born in or after 1998
Under-12, children born in or after 1996
Under-14, children born in or after 1994
Under-16, children born in or after 1992

TIME-CONTROL 30 minutes each to the finish

TOURNAMENT FORMAT 6 rounds Swiss system

TIE-BREAKS 1) Personal Encounter (If Applicable) 4) Progressive Score (P.S.)
2) Solkoff (W.P.) 5) Number of won games
3) Sonnerborne Berger (S.B.) 6) Blitz play-off (For 1st place tie only)

SCHEDULE OF PLAY Check-In 08.00 am – 08.30 am
Round 1 09.00 am – 10.00 am
Round 2 10.30 am – 11.30 am
Round 3 11.45 am – 12.45 pm
LUNCH BREAK 12.45 pm – 01.30 pm
Round 4 01.30 pm – 02.30 pm
Round 5 02.45 pm – 03.45 pm
Round 6 04.15 pm – 05.15 pm
Prize Giving /Closing Ceremony 05.30 pm

RULES & REGULATIONS FIDE Laws of Chess plus Supplementary Tournament Regulations. Games recording is compulsory.

ENTRY FEES SJK(C) Kepong 2 students RM 10.00
Others RM 15.00
Registration after Closing Date RM 5.00 extra



ENQUIRIES Mr. Kevin Tan, Tel. No: 012-391 0866; Mr. Lim Tse Pin, Tel. No: 012-298 4922 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

REGISTRATION Please address entries to;
“14th Kepong Juniors Open Chess Tournament
Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru, SJK(C) Kepong 2
52100 Kuala Lumpur

Supplementary Tournament Rules and Regulations

1. This event is open to all children who qualify for the 5 respective age groups.

2. The FIDE Laws of Chess apply, supplemented by these tournament rules and regulations.

3. The Organizing Committee reserves the sole right to accept or reject any entry without explanation. The Committee may also, at its discretion, limit the number of participants on first-come-first-serve basis to accommodate space or other organizational constraints. We will refund such rejected entrant(s).

4. If a particular category is full (limited to 64 players), then the organizer has the right to push up the late entrants to a higher category.

5. All participants must play 6 games in the said event regardless of their results from earlier encounters. The participant with the most accumulated points after these 6 games is declared the winner.

6. All participants must report to their respective section 30 minutes before the start of Round 1. Failure to do so may result in immediate disqualification from the tournament. Failure to play in any round will result in immediate disqualification unless prior notification was given to the Chief Arbiter. Entry fees under such circumstances are not refundable.

7. The time-control for each player shall be 30 minutes to-be-finish, i.e., players must complete all their moves within their allotted time. In the event of an inconclusive result within this allotted time, the player whose flag falls first is deem the loser. There is no walkover period for this tournament.

8. Everyone must record all moves, both White’s and Black’s, played until the player’s has 5 minutes remaining. Failing to do so would result in losing 10 minutes or half of the remaining time leftover, which ever is lower, as penalty time.

9. The winner of each game is responsible for handing in the duly signed score sheets with the correct results recorded to the Arbiter table. In the case of drawn games the player playing White holds this responsibility.

10. The loser of each game is responsible for rearranging the pieces on the chessboard. In the case of drawn games the player playing Black holds this responsibility.

11. We expect all participants and parents to conduct themselves sportingly. The Tournament Director reserves the right to remove any individual deemed a nuisance or undesirable.

12. To qualify to compete for best school prize, the particular school must send a minimum of 4 players for the category.

13. The decision of the Tournament Director, Chief Arbiter and Arbiters with regard to the running of the event is FINAL.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom

A Book Every Chess Players & Business People Must Have!! While there's nothing much to do during the month of Ramadhan, I was listening to this audiobook. It also changes my game plan & preparation.

I recommend to one of my friends who was doing business. After listening to it, to his amazement he found out new ways on how to expand his businesses thank to this book. He's not a chess player but by taking the ideas behind which is decision making & insightful. He'd made the correct choice. CHECKMATE!!! 





Garry Kasparov – How Life Imitates Chess



Editorial Reviews Review
In his 22-year reign as Grandmaster, Garry Kasparov faced more than a few tough choices under the heat of chess competitons. This is a man who knows a thing or two about making smart decisions, and since his retirement in 2005, Kasparov has put his powerful strategic thinking to work in business and politics, showing that a simple reliance on instincts can guide you through even the most complex challenges. With no shortage of wit or eloquence, he's answered our hardest questions about what factors can make or break a decision-making moment. --Anne Bartholomew

By S. Isom (Review from

I picked this up after being impressed by Kasparov on "Sixty Minutes" a few weeks ago. I wonder if those "publishers weekly" people actually read the book! This isn't really a business book, it's a thinking book. I'm not a chess player but those were the most interesting sections of the book, in that I agree. It's unfair to take out a few inevitable platitudes and ignore the other 95% of the book. There are dozens of business examples, although they aren't explored in depth. But the book isn't case studies. It's about the process of making decisions and finding a way to improve that method in ANY situation. Read the Table of Contents above, which is more than the PW reviewer probably did!

(My favorite sections were "Man vs Machine" on his games against computers and a great story about being beaten at a video game by a little kid. And the "Attacker" sections about taking the initiative.)

This isn't a book of simple tips you can take to work tomorrow if that's what you are looking for. It is full of stories and insights about thinking and peak performance. Kasparov is a chess player, politician, and obviously a history buff, so naturally most of his examples come from those worlds.
(Which are more interesting than most business stories anyway.) In fact, that's exactly what he says at the start, where he says it's up to each person to develop a "personal map". He doesn't pretend to be a businessman or try to make many direct comparisons to chess and business. He learned from chess and explains how.

I found a lot of it useful because it makes you aware of how lazy most of us are when it comes to things like being impulsive, or over-cautious, and unprepared even for important moments. I'm not in the "boardroom" but I've owned my own business and I'm interested in using these ideas. Not with Kasparov's over-the-top rigor maybe, but you don't have to want to be a world champion to learn from one.
For sample of other reviews, click here.

Questions for Garry Kasparov Why do you think decisiveness is such an elusive skill for people to master? Are there simply too many choices? What’s a good first step for negotiating your options?

Kasparov: It’s true that today we are faced with greater complexity in almost every aspect of our lives, from global competition in the business world to more options for entertainment. The connected world has flooded us with a limitless supply of data, and equally limitless choices. One of the problems this has created is that it creates the illusion, or delusion, that we can achieve perfection in our decisions by accumulating more information. It’s too easy to blame faulty decisions on imperfect information, but information is always limited in some way, as is the time available to make our decisions. Forget perfection! Decisiveness comes from the courage to trust your instincts. The more you trust, the more you’ll build up that intuition and the more accurate it will become, creating a positive cycle.

Before you lay out your options, what we might call considering your next move, you have to have a solid understanding of the present. Evaluation is more important than calculation. Rushing into narrowing things down to a list of options is itself a form of making a choice -- and if you do that, you can prematurely rule out important possibilities. Stop looking ahead for a moment and examine the current state of affairs. Good decisions come from a solid understanding of all the factors that come into play. Once you have tuned your evaluation skills and learned to put the options on hold for a moment you’ll often find that difficult decisions become obvious. Taking a holistic view of your career, do you recall the moment you identified your talent for thinking strategically? Is it possible for you to separate that sense of yourself from your identity as a chess champion?

Kasparov: In the world of competitive chess, or any sport for that matter, everything is relative. Your results tell you about your talent. How can you identify a talent that goes untested? That’s one reason I’m so passionate about trying new things and about encouraging others to leave their comfort zones. I was fortunate in that my status as world champion brought me into contact with world leaders, top executives, authors, and other luminaries. I very much enjoyed these exchanges, learning about these other worlds. It also gave me the chance to share my own thoughts, something I’ve never been shy about doing. I’m sure they had to humor my impetuousness on occasion! But often they encouraged me and I discovered I had a knack for making unusual connections, a way of seeing the big picture that wasn’t limited to the chessboard.

Until my retirement from chess in March 2005 it would have been nearly impossible for me to separate myself from my chess identity--other than love for family and friends. But since then I have moved into several entirely different worlds. I’m at the table as a politician, or writing editorials, or lecturing about strategy and intuition in front of business audiences. My former chess career still precedes me in these settings, but they aren’t humoring me anymore! Actually, the biggest step was working on this book, which forced me to consider the mechanics of my own mind beyond chess. I had to ask myself if I really had something to offer and then figure out how to express it concretely. The positive reactions of my lecture audiences also helped in this regard. Playing chess competitively no doubt requires huge reserves of passion, patience, and discipline. For those readers who haven’t experienced the kind of rigorous training that competitive chess imparts, can you recommend some good ways to practice strategic thinking?

Kasparov: We all do it every day, the difference is that it takes discipline to become aware of it. In the book I ask the reader to consider all the significant decisions they made that day, that week. You don’t have to be a chess player or an executive to benefit from improving your decision- making process. We make hundreds of decisions just to get through each day. A handful are important enough to keep track of, to look back on critically. Were they successful? Why or why not? We can train ourselves, which is really the only way. Did you ever find during a particularly difficult match that it was hard to prevent your emotions from clouding your decision-making ability? What was your strategy for coping with stress or anxiety in that kind of situation?

Kasparov: Emotion is a critical element of decision-making, not a sin always to be avoided. As with anything it is harmful in excess. You learn to focus it and control it the best you can. I’m a very emotional person in and out of chess so this was always a challenge for me. When I sat down at the board against my great rival, Anatoly Karpov, it was a special occasion. I knew it, he knew it, and we both knew the chess world was paying special attention. We had such a long and bitter history that it was impossible not to bring it to the board with us every time we played.

On some occasions this anxiety created negative emotions like doubt. More often it generated greater creative tension, greater supplies of nervous tension, which is a chess player’s lifeblood.

Usually when you are under stress there is a good reason for it. Learning not to get anxious about things beyond your control is a separate issue. So don’t fight stress, use it! Channel that nervous energy into solving the problems. Sitting around worrying isn’t going to achieve anything and the loss of time will often make the problem worse. Even in the worst case, mistakes of action teach you much more than inaction. Forward! If you could choose five people, living or dead, to play you in chess, who would they be?

Kasparov: Don’t you know I have retired as a chess player? Well, I will go with you to the middle with two and a half opponents.

4th world chess champion Alexander Alekhine (d. 1946) was my childhood chess idol. The book of his collected games was my constant companion. He was a player of limitless imagination and combativeness. Some aspects of his pre-WWII-era chess would be considered antique today, but his talent is timeless. Just sitting at the board with him to analyze and share ideas would be like a youthful dream made real.

My next player requires a change of date as well, since I am now retired. In the period of 2001-2002 I felt I deserved a rematch against Vladimir Kramnik, who took my title in 2000. I was still the top-rated player in the world, the obvious top challenger. So I would choose a 16-game match against Kramnik--in 2002.

Last on my list is a chessplayer who is most definitely dead. Even if chess has by now passed it by, I would take a tiebreaker match against Deep Blue. I won our first match; the machine won the second. Then IBM made sure there would be no chance for a rematch. This time everything would be out in the open, no black boxes. Of course chess machines are considerably stronger today. It would still be pleasant to gain revenge and set the record straight.


Opening Gambit
The secret of success
Why chess?
A map of the mind
Better decision-making cannot be taught, but it can be self-taught

Part 1
Chapter 1 – The Lesson
Personal lessons from the World Champion
Becoming aware of the process

Chapter 2 – Strategy
Success at any speed
“Why?” turns tacticians into strategists
An ever-expanding example
Play your own game
You cannot always determine the battlefield
A frequently changed strategy is the same as no strategy
Don’t watch the competition more than you watch yourself
Once you have a strategy, employing it is a matter of desire

Chapter 3 - Strategy and Tactics at Work
Element of surprise
A genius for development
Sticking with a plan
Confidence and the time factor
Never give in – never, never, never

Chapter 4 – Calculation
Calculation must be focused and disciplined
Imagination, calculation, and my greatest game

Chapter 5 – Talent
Recognizing the patterns in our lives
The power of fantasy
Fantasy can cut through fog
Developing the habit of imagination
Be aware of your routines, then break them

Chapter 6 – Preparation
Results are what matter
Inspiration versus perspiration
Preparation pays off in many ways
Turning a game into a science
Targeting ourselves for efficiency

Part II
Chapter 7 – M-T-Q: Material, Time, Quality
Evaluation trumps calculation
Material, the fundamental element
Time is money
When time matters most
The third factor: Quality
What makes a bad bishop bad?
Putting the elements into action
Double-edged evaluation
Personal return on investment
MTQ on the home front

Chapter 8 – Exchanges and Imbalances
Freezing the game
The search for compensation
The laws of thermodynamics, chess, and quality of life
Strategy on the browser battlefield
All changes comes with a cost
Overextending our reach

Chapter 9 – Phases of the Game
Know why we make each move we make
Improving the product
Art is born from creative conflict
Make sure a good peace follows a good war
Eliminating phase bias
Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight

Chapter 10 – Attacker’s Advantage
The aggression double-standard
The initiative rarely rings twice
An attacker by choice
The transition from imitator to innovator
The will to attack

Part III
Chapter 11 – Question Success
The gravity of past success
Competition and anti-complacency tactics
In favor of contradiction
The difference between better and different

Chapter 12 – The Inner Game
The game can be won before you get to the board
The storm before the calm
Don’t get distracted while trying to distract
Breaking the spell of pressure
Staying objective when the chips are down
Pretenders to the crown and fatal flaws

Chapter 13 – Man vs. Machine
Enter the machines
And a child shall lead us
Kasparov V. Deep Blue
If you can’t beat’em, join’em
Staying out of the comfort zone

Chapter 14 – Intuition
We know more than we understand
Intuition versus analysis
How long is long enough?
The perils of ignoring a trend

Chapter 15 – Crisis Point
One single moment
Detecting a crisis before it’s a crisis
Learning from a crisis
A final chess case study: The Crisis in Seville
Must-win strategy
Errors on both sides
Keeping a grip on the title