Tuesday, March 31, 2009

National Age Group 2009 Preview

There are total of 346 participants taking part at the moment with Penang the largest contingent with the total of 71 players taking part. There's also some support from Labuan which last year also sent their contingent to the National Juniors. There will be another expectation of 50-80 participants on the last minute basis with the deadline & bank in tomorrow according to the organiser. Tomorrow the list will be out for the players, team managers & parents to check whether their children names are registered & correct categories in the official site & my blog. If their names not in the list, please quickly contact the organiser. Here are some previews on each category:

U-16 Boys Category

image NM Edward Lee (pic) who is pursuing his studies in ACSI, Singapore will be taking his time off to take part in this year National Age Group. He will be the 1st seed in this category & will face challenges from Sumant Subramaniam (Pahang), Evan Timothy Capel & Gavin Fong (Penang), Muhd Syakir, Muhd Nabil & Low Jun Jian (Selangor), and  Muhd Izz Saifuddin (KL).

U-16 Girls Category


NWM Alia Anin(pic) who recently won the MSSM U-15 Girls Individual Gold will spearhead Malacca challenge in this year National Age Group 2009. However she will face Winnie Hong from Selangor, several KL players such as Teh Kai Wen, Lynette Wong, & Latifah Kaiyisah. However Penang have their two representatives Christine Yeap & Adele Lau.


U-14 Boys Categoryimage

MSSM U-15 Individual Gold Medalist Yeap Eng Chiam(pic) will be the 1st seed in this category & his opponents will most likely from his teammates Wong Jianwen. However not to forget Penang who parade P'ng Ren Chi, their MSSM individual bronze medalist Elgin Lee, & Wong Hao.

U-14 Girls Category

image In this category we will see three horse race between Pahang, Penang & Selangor. Amira Syahmina & Vickie Hong from Selangor will lead in this category. However Sarika who was the 2nd runner-up in MSSM while Hoh Tjin Li (pic) runner-up in MSSM will be challenging for it.


U-12 Boys Category

In this category we will see KL sending their junior players whom recently won the gold in the MSSM U-12 team. They are Faisal Roslan, Tan Wei Hao & Tan Ri Hong. Selangor will have Roshan Singh & Muhd Irfan Haqqim Azhar who is MSSM U-12 Individual silver medalist in MSSM 2009. Negeri Sembilan will have Subramaniam Sivanesan who recently played & won 3rd placing in the MSSM Individual event. Penang can be dark horse in this event also.

U-12 Girls Category

image NJM Nur Nabila who won 2 major titles last year (National Junior Girls & KL Challengers Champion) & MSSM U-12 Girls Individual Champion 2009 will be the favorite to win this category. However Tan Li Ting who drew with Nur Nabila during the MSSM can become the dark horse. 


U-10 Boys Category


MSSM U-12 Champion Yeoh Li Tian will be the favorite to win this category.




U-10 Girls Category

It will be 3 horse race between Selangor, Kuala Lumpur & Negeri Sembilan. Nur Najiha who is also NJM Nur Nabila sister will compete against her teammates Puteri Rifqah while Maisarah will carry KL flag & Nithyalakshmi Sivanesan who's brother is Subramaniam Sivanesan from Negeri Sembilan.

U-8 Boys Category

It will be 3 horse race between Selangor, Kuala Lumpur & Penang.

U-8 Girls Category

In this category Puteri Munajjah looks likely to be the favorite & 200 points rating above than the others player. However upset can happen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pearl Point National Age Group 2009

Attention junior players! Pearl Point National Age Group 2009 will be held at Level 2 Pearl Point Shopping Mall on 4th April & 5th April 2009. The Pearl Point National Age Group 2009 players list will be out on the 1st of April 2009 (Wednesday) in my blog & MCF website. Those who have registered with the organiser but if their names not in, please immediately contact the organiser. REMINDER Tomorrow is the last day of the registration for the event! Players can get the entries form from MCF website. Thank you.

International Open Rhone 2009

image image

Bonjour everyone!

The 5th edition of the Open International Chess Rhone Department will be held from 11 to 17 April 2009 in the beautiful nineteenth century Chateau du Domaine de Lacroix-Laval located near Lyon.
On 18 April 2009 3rd Grand Prix Chess Rapid Tournament and on 19 April 2009 2nd Amateur Chess Rapid Tournament will be held at the Committee Rhone Chess, 3 rue de l'Angile Lyons 5th, Lyon, France. Official Site

Malaysia Open is ON!

20 Countries To Participate In Chess Championship

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 (Bernama) -- Twenty countries are expected to participate in the Malaysia Open Chess Championship 2009 in August.
Malaysian Chess Federation secretary Abdul Hamid Majid said today that based on previous records, the largest number of participants would come from China, Vietnam, India, Armenia and the Philippines.
He said Russia would normally send its team of reserve players.
According to Abdul Hamid, the venue for the championship had been identified.

Source: Bernama & Hairul

Spring Chess Festival 2009 in Hungary

image image image image

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wonderkid So Near to Defend

MANILA, Philippines - Grandmaster Wesley So made short work of International Master Ronald Dableo in the seventh round then halved the point with GM Mark Paragua to move closer to an unprecedented back-to-back title in the Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of GMs" chess championship Sunday in Dapitan.

The 15-year-old defending champion So finished off Dableo in only 26 moves of the French, sustaining a remarkable winning streak interrupted only by a draw with GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. in the sixth round. The draw was later ordered nullified by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP), which ordered a replay of the match on Monday.

Then So settled for a draw with Paragua in 31 moves of the Sicilian Rossolimo in the eighth round to keep a comfortable lead over GM John Paul Gomez with only three rounds remaining in this annual tournament.

Overall, So has 13 points, excluding the outcome of his game against Antonio.

So’s ninth-round assignment is against IM Julio Catalino Sadorra.

Gomez, who nailed the elusive GM title during the World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany last November, made the biggest jump during the weekend.

UAAP Athlete of the Year Gomez swept GMs Darwin Laylo in 58 moves of the Gruenfeld in the seventh round and Buenaventura “Bong" Villamayor in 46 moves of the English to raise his score to 11 points.

Sadorra matched Gomez’s two-game streak by humbling IM Rolando Nolte (48, English) and GM Jayson Gonzales (40, King’s Indian) to move into a three-way tie with Antonio and IM Richard Bitoon in third to fifth places with nine points.

Antonio humbled Villamayor in 62 moves of the Bogo-Indian but lost to Dableo in marathon 98 moves of the Scandinavian, while Bitoon drew with GM Eugene Torre in 55 moves of the Siciliani and won over Nolte in 30 moves of the Sicilian.

Laylo drew with Torre in 60 moves of the Nimzo-Indian to grab solo sixth place with 8.5 points.

In the women’s division, Dresden Olympiad veteran Shercila Cua drew with Catherine Perena in 65 Reti and won over Loreshyl Cuizon in 47 moves of the English to keep a slim lead in the overall standings with 12 points

WIM Beverly Mendoza halved the point with Sherily Cua in 44 moves of the King’s Indian and trounced Daisy Rivera in 50 moves of the Sicilian to maintain second place with 11.5 points.

Sherily Cua outsteadied Rulp Ylem Jose in 77 moves of the Slav to stay in third place with 11 points.

Rivera, Christy Lamiel Bernales and Jan Jodilyn Fronda share fourth to sixth places with nine

Bernales downed Jose in 45 moves of the Old Indian and drew with Fronda in 40 moves of the Sicilian.

And Fronda humbled Jedara Docena in 52 moves of the Sicilian and drew with Bernales.

At stake in the 11-round event are cash prizes, topped off by P200,000 to the men’s champion and P60,000 to the women’s winner. –GMANews.TV

Rochack Wins UM Team 2009

I arrived at the Kolej Kediaman Kesembilan UM together with Kaushal Khandhar who fetched me from my place & drop me back later. Thanks Kaushal. Today in fact will be my first tournament of chess since playing in the Merdeka Chess under Gilachess. I'm the team captain for Bloggers United & playing 1st board. The rest of my team members according to board Shamsol Baharin (NMCC), Lee Kwan Pin(invited) & Hairul Hamid. The event started 30 minutes late due to some technical errors. One of my teammate Shamsol Baharin couldn't turn up because motorcycle 'rosak' for few rounds in the morning. So in the 1st & 2nd round we beat a school team "knight A" & MBS 3-1. I lost in the 3rd round but luckily my teammate came just in time against SMK Dato Onn. We had our lunch of Malay style of chicken rice, 1 bottle of mineral water & soup. Then in the 4th round our real test against Azman Hisham family on table 4. I'm playing against Azman Hisham, Shamsol-Nabil, Kwan Pin - NJM Nur Nabila & Hairul - Nur Najiha. Shamsol lost this round to hard fighting Nabil. In the 5th round we played against another family on table 3; which is the Zulkafli family. The score 2-2 with my 3rd & 4th board lost. I won Zulkafli while Shamsol won NWM Nur Shazwani. In the final round we played against Rochack consists of Cheah Cheok Fung, Ong Thian Loon, Loo Pak Kwan & Ooi Li Tao who became champion of the event winning. They beat us 4-0. Overall I'm happy with the team result of 4 wins, 1 draw & 1 lost & teammates performance. We gave out our best & get 10th position!

Prize Winner List

Champion: Roschack-Cheah Cheok Fung, Ong Thian Loon, Loo Pak Kwan & Ooi Li Tao

Runner Up: City of Map-FM Mok Tze Meng, Ian Udani, Ismail Ahmad & Shukeri Alang Shukor

2nd Runner Up: Nameless-Kaushal Khandhar, Lim Zhuoren, Tan Ken Wei & Mohd Eizran.

2009 Sarawak Closed Chess Championship and Annual General Meeting

Sarawak Chess Association will be organising 2009 Sarawak Closed Chess Championship from 9 to 12 April 2009 at Borneo Chess Academy (BCA), Jalan Song (Adjacent block to Upwell), Kuching, Sarawak
The fixture is as follows:
9.4.09           Thursday     19:30                Registration
                                    20:00 – 23:00     Round 1
10.4.09         Friday         09:00 – 12:00     Round 2
                                    13:30 – 17:30     Round 3          
                                    19:30 – 22:30     Round 4
11.4.09         Saturday     09:00 – 12:00     Round 5
                                    13:30 – 16:30     Round 6
                                    19:30  - 22:30    Round 7
12.4.09        Sunday        09:00 –  12:00    Round 8
                                   13:30 –  16:30     Round 9
                                   16:40                 Closing            

Entrance fees are RM20/= for PCS members  and RM30/= for non-PCS members.
Youth 16 years and below and ladies shall enjoy half of these rates.

Sarawak Chess Association will send the top 4 players from this tournament to take part in the Merdeka Cup Inter Team Championship which will be held in Kuala Lumpur in August. Beside, there are cash prizes totaling RM1,200 with several prizes reserved for youth. Interested Sarawakian players may register with any of the followings before 7 April 2009.  SMS of name and year of birth is acceptable.

Morsin Ahmad           012-8949415
Abg.Mohd.Reduan      019-8887786
Hj.Mohd.Nasir           019-8860323  
Lim Kian Hwa:           016-8603180

Annual General Meeting of Sarawak Chess Association

Annual General Meeting of Sarawak Chess Association will be held on 5 April 2009, 10:00 am at Borneo Chess Academy, Jalan Song, Kuching. Members are requested to turn up for the AGM which will be followed by a lunch and 15-min chess allegro.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

So, Antonio 6th round match to be replayed

MANILA, Philippines – The sixth round match between grandmasters Wesley So and Rogelio Antonio Jr., which ended in a draw, in the Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of GMs" chess championship will be replayed.

The decision was made by National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Prospero “Butch" Piichay, who also nullified the result of the match because of its very quick ending. He added that the replay of the match will be on Monday.

The NCFP president justified his decision by citing the association’s past rulings regarding matches that were played in less than 30 moves and ended in draws.

Because of this development, So and Antonio will maintain their fifth-round scores. So is unbeaten in five matches and has accumulated 10 points while Antonio has seven.

In other matches, GMs Darwin Laylo forced fellow GM Buenaventura “Bong"
Villamayor into a stalemate after a marathon 119 moves of the Slav to move up to solo second spot with 7.5 points.

Laylo gained 1.5 points in his stalemate win based on the points system being used in the tournament where a win gets two points, a draw one point, a loss no point and a stalemate 1.5 point with the stalemated player getting 0.5 points.

Tied for third to fourth spots were GM John Paul Gomez, who halved the point with International Master Richard Bitoon in 50 moves of the Sicilian, and Antonio.

GMs Eugene Torre, Mark Paragua and Jayson Gonzales’ matches also ended in draws.

Torre, Asia’s first GM, halved the point with IM Julio Catalino Sadorra in 60 moves of the English, Paragua drew with IM Rolando Nolte in 32 moves of the Slav while Gonzales split the point with IM Ronald Dableo in 32 moves of the King’s Indian.

The three – Torre, Paragua and Bitoon – are tied for fifth to eight spots while Sadorra, is alone at ninth spot. – GMANews.TV
Source: GMANews.TV

Antonio Slows Down So in the 6th Round Battle of GM

In the 6th round of Battle of GMs, Rogelio Antonio played to a quick draw against Wesley. The other boards also ended in draw.

Round 6 on 2009/03/27 at 1630
Bo. Name Result Name
1 GM ANTONIO Rogelio Jr ½ - ½ GM SO Wesley
2 IM DABLEO Ronald ½ - ½ GM GONZALES Jayson
3 GM PARAGUA Mark ½ - ½ IM NOLTE Rolando
4 IM SADORRA Julio Catalino ½ - ½ GM TORRE Eugenio
5 IM BITOON Richard ½ - ½ GM GOMEZ John Paul
6 GM LAYLO Darwin ½ - ½ GM VILLAMAYOR Buenaventura

Wesley Continues His Supremacy in Battle of GMs Round 5

The 15-year-old high school student, who is seeking his second straight major title after winning the Barley Open rapid chess tournament at the Gateway Mall in Araneta last week, humbled Nolte in only 27 moves of the Slav in the fourth round late Thursday night.

After beating Nolte in Round 4, Wesley continues to show his supremacy by beating Jayson Gonzales. Jayson lost the game on time although had better position against Wesley. He proved just as deadly with the disadvantageous black pieces against Gonzales, essaying another convincing 51 -move triumph in yet another Slav Counting his victories over fellow GMs Buenaventura Villamayor, John Paul Gomez and Eugene Torre in the first three rounds, So has a perfect score of 10 points under the unique scoring system which gives two points for a win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss.

Here is the game:

[Event "Battle of GM"]
[Opening "Slav Defence"]
[Date "2009.03.28"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Jayson Gonzalez"]
[Black "Wesley So "]
[Result "0-1"]
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Qb3 Qb6 7. Nh4 Be4 8. cxd5 Qxb3 9. axb3 Bxd5 10. Nxd5 cxd5 11. Bb5+ Nfd7 12. Bd2 Bd6 13. Ke2 Ke7 14. Rhc1 g5 15. Nf3 g4 16. Ne1 a6 17. Nd3 Nb6 18. Ba4 N8d7 19. Nc5 Rab8 20. Rc2 Rhc8 21. Rac1 Nf6 22. f3 Bxh2 23. Be1 gxf3+ 24. Kxf3 Bd6 25. Bh4 e5 26. Bxf6+ Kxf6 27. Nd7+ Nxd7 28. Rxc8 b5 29. Rxb8 e4+ 30. Ke2 Nxb8 31. Rc8 Ke7 32. Rh8 Nc6 33. Rxh7 Nb4 34. g4 bxa4 35. bxa4 a5 36. Kd2 Nd3 37. Kc2 Ne1+ 38. Kd1 Nf3 39. Ke2 Bb4 40. Rh5 Ke6 41. Rh6+ f6 42. Rh8 Ne1 43. Rh6 Kf7 44. Rh7+ Kg6 45. Rh5 Nd3 46. b3 Nc1+ 47. Kd1 Nxb3 48. Rxd5 Nd2 49. Rb5 Nc4 50. Ke2 Nb2 51. Rb8 Nxa4 52. Kf2 0-1


Next up for So is comebacking GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., who primed himself for the keenly-awaited sixth round showdown against young master by downing Gonzales in 62 moves of a Nimzowitsch in the fourth round and drawing with GM Darwin Laylo in 27 moves of the Nimzo Indian in the fifth round.

Buoyed by a successful campaign in the United States chess circuit, the fifth-seeded Antonio has two wins and three draws to move up to solo second place behind So with seven points.

Gomez and Laylo posted back-to-back draws to raise their score to six points and keep their slim hopes alive for the top prize of P200,000.

Gomez drew with GM Mark Paragua by repetition in only 15 moves of the English in the fourth round and IM Julio Catalino Sadorra in marathon 76 moves of the Queen's Gambit Accepted in the fifth round.

2009 Games Festival

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There will be 3 chess events competing at the Games Festival 2009 from 26th April - 4th May at Thessaloniki, Greece. In the chess section more than 600 players are expected, featuring GM Grivas, GM Bojkov, GM Vladimir Georgiev and many other top class participants. The event will have World School Chess Championships, World Amateur Chess Championship & International Chess Open Thessaloniki.

Adding the 300 participants in the bridge competition, the 100 in the scrabble, the 100 in the sudoku, and the 100 in the darts, the participation of the Games festival grows to over 1000 players.

Source: Games Festival

Reminder: Directions to UM Tournament tomorrow

You may enter UM Main Campus through the KL Entrance and mae your way out of UM Main Campus from the Petaling Jaya Entrance. Then, turn into the main road to your right. As you drive along the road, you will see a big interior decorations shop on your left and also Mahsa College on your right. Keep on the left lane until ou see a Beemer Company on your left and a KFC restaurant on your right. At this point, you just drive straight and take the U-turn under the flyover. Once you take the U-turn, drive straight until you a small junction on your left just before the KFC. Take a left turn and drive straight until you see a small board saying 'Kolej Kediaman Kesembilan UM). Turn left and straight. You'll see our college's main entrance (Kolej Kediaman Tun Syed Zahiruddin)  right away.

To all participants, they will have to register once again on the day itself. All are advised to come at least 15 minutes before 8 am so that we can start our event on time. Below is the flow of the program on that day.
7.30 - 8.30 am : Registration
8.30 - 9 am : Briefing by Mr Abdul Hamid of MCF
9 - 10 am : Round 1
10-11 am : Round 2
11 - 12 pm : Round 3
12 - 1.15 pm : Lunch / Rest
1.15 - 2.15 pm : Round 4
2.15 - 3.15 pm : Round 5
3.15 - 4.15 pm : Final Round
4.15 - 4.30 pm : Break
4.30 - 6 pm : Closing and prize giving ceremony by Tun Syed Zahiruddin's Principal, Profesor Madya Dr Sabri bin Musa.
6 pm : Program ends.

Direction Map:


UM Map

Aronian Defends Amber Again


image Armenian GM Levon Aronian successfully defend his Amber title consecutively which he won last year. Two draws against Veselin Topalov secured the half-point overall victory. Equal second were Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, with Magnus Carlsen half a point behind.


The 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament, organized by the Association Max Euwe in Monaco, is taking place from March 14 (first round) to March 26 (last round) at the Palais de la Mediterranée, splendidly located on the famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The total prize fund is € 216,000. The rate of play is 25 minutes per game per player. With every move made in the blindfold games 20 seconds is added to the clock, with every move made in the rapid games 10 seconds is added. Every day four sessions are played: two blindfold and two rapid games.

Final standings (after eleven rounds)




1.  Aronian    7    

    Carlsen    7   

    Kramnik    7   

4.  Anand     

    Morozevich 6½

6.  Leko      


8.  Ivanchuk   5   

    Radjabov   5   

10. Karjakin  

11. Wang Yue  

12. Kamsky     3
1.  Anand      7    

    Aronian    7   

    Kamsky     7   

4.  Kramnik   

5.  Carlsen    6   

    Karjakin   6   

7.  Topalov    5   

8.  Ivanchuk  


    Morozevich 4½

11. Radjabov   4   

    Wang Yue   4
1.  Aronian    14    

2.  Anand      13½

    Kramnik    13½

4.  Carlsen    13   

5.  Morozevich 11   

6.  Karjakin   10½

    Topalov    10½

8.  Kamsky     10   

    Leko       10   

10. Ivanchuk  

11. Radjabov   9   

12. Wang Yue  

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fourth FIDE Grand Prix


The fourth FIDE Grand Prix Series Tournament will be held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, during 14th -29th April 2009 at the Intour Hotel "Sindica".

The fourteen participants are: Vladimir Akopian (Armenia), Evgeny Alekseev (Russia), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Etienne Bacrot (France), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Gata Kamsky (USA), Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Peter Leko (Hungary), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Peter Svidler (Russia).

The fourth FIDE Grand Prix will be the strongest in the series, and one of the strongest tournaments of the world this year.

The top-rated player of the competition is the World Cup 2005 and Olympiad winner Levon Aronian. Two players have also shown excellent results this year: Alexander Grischuk – the winner of the Linares and Elista super tournaments, and Sergey Karjakin, who won the Corus tournament in January in Wijk aan Zee. The World Cup 2007 winner Gata Kamsky this year has shown also a good performance during the Challenge match against Veselin Topalov. The tournament is so evenly balanced that every one of the 14 participants who comes to Nalchik is in a good position to win the tournament.

Time control: 120 minutes for the first forty moves, 60 minutes for the next twenty moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards.

Games will be played from April, 15 till April, 29 every day. April 20 and 25 are rest days. The total prize fund is 162,000 Euros.

Source: Nalchik 2009

NMCC Today Thematic 5-09 : French Defense : Winawer Variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7


Tournament : NMCC Friday Night Blitz Thematic 5-09 : French Defense : Winawer Variation

Format : Blitz 5 minutes. Round Robin. ( On the tournament day, the organiser will decide whether to organised a single or double round robin) .

Location : Neo Manhattan Chess Centre,
No.42B, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1,
Taman TunDr.Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Date : 27th March 2009 ( Friday)
Starting Time : 9.30 pm
ONLY the first 24 participants will be accepted for this tournament! So be quick !
FEES : RM 10.00.

Prize: Only the champion will receive a prize which is RM 70.00 cash prize.

For more details, please visit NMCC Blog

Chess Simul Malaysia Book of Record Broken

First of all Congratulations to Sarjan Ismail Ahmad for achieving & breaking Collin Madhavan record. Yesterday we saw a total of 120 participants from various schools & states taking part in the chess simultaneous match by Sarjan Ismail Ahmad at Markas Briged Tengah in conjunction of Police Day. He won 90 games, drew 21 and lost 9 games.


Sarjan Ismail receives his certificate from rep of Malaysia Book of Records.

For more details, please visit Selangor Chess

Chess Support Continues Despite Global Downturn

Global impact


Sponsorship for tournaments in the balance.

TWO months ago when I touched on the state of chess sponsorship in the country, I wrote about the possible effects that the global downturn could have on the local chess community.

This would be a challenging year for chess. Money for organising events could slow down or dry out completely. It would be impossible for us to ignore the global downturn’s impact on chess.

Since then, I’ve been receiving mixed signals. Yes, without a doubt, there are still sponsored chess activities going on, like last weekend’s Klang Parade chess tournaments.

The Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) continues to be involved with their national age group chess championship and soon, we’ll see new events like the DATCC KL chess league and the national seniors chess championship.

A few days ago, I was given some rather mixed news and it concerned one of the country’s very active chess associations. It’s not totally disheartening news so we don’t have to worry yet.

The good news is that the Chess Association of Selangor (CAS) announced their annual state open championship for the end of next month. It’s the longest-running annual state championship in the country.

But the not-so-good news is that for the first time in 30 years, there’s no sponsor for the tournament. As a result, this event will simply be known as the 36th Selangor open chess tournament. “For the sake of the survival of the longest running chess event in Malaysia, (the CAS) made a decision to continue with the event for at least this year. We are digging into our reserves and expect to fork out about RM6,000 of the association’s money to keep this tournament going,” said CAS secretary Lim Tse Pin.

Lim added that last year’s tournament attracted more than 60 players but he hopes to get a greater turnout from the chess fraternity this time. “We hope to have at least 80 players coming to support the survival of this long-standing event,” he said.

I would like to see our local chess players respond positively to this gesture. For a long while, there have been remarks that some among our senior players seem to have a mercenary streak in them. I’ve heard that they pick and choose the tournaments to play. They would be interested to play only in tournaments that offer attractive prize money. If the incentives were not there, they wouldn’t want to play and waste their time.

Well, it is exactly times like this that we should be asking whether we play tournaments for money or for enjoyment. If we want to play for self-satisfaction where prize money is secondary, then please rally round to support the Selangor open when it needs us most.

It’s the oldest-running and the longest-running chess tournament in the land, surpassing even the national closed championship. All of us should be aware of the great tradition behind the Selangor open and play our parts to help the tournament succeed.

I should also mention that the days of good prize money may be over for now. In the next two years or so, be prepared for lower prize money as chess organisers try to pull through the difficult times. It’s either lower cash prizes or no tournaments at all, and the chess associations that adapt best to the changing economy will have the best chances to come out stronger.

In this respect, I’m a little surprised that the CAS had not made more drastic restructuring to the prize structure of this year’s Selangor open. Last year, the cash prizes totalled RM6,400 but this year, the association is even offering slightly more to the winners: a total of RM6,750.

Perhaps in a way it is to demonstrate to the local chess community that despite the challenges, chess life is still as close to normal. But the CAS knows that this cannot go on indefinitely. When the gravy train eventually stops, even they will have to adjust.

Source: Star

Wesley Pulls Away In Battle of GMs

Standings after four rounds:
Men: 8.0 points—W. So; 6.0—Antonio; 5.0—J. Gomez, R. Bitoon, D. Laylo; 4.0—M. Paragua, E. Torre; 3.0—R. Nolte, J. Sadorra; 2.0—B. Villamayor, J. Gonzales; 1.0—R. Dableo

DAPITAN CITY, Zamboanga del Norte—Teen sensation Wesley So continued his rampage in the Battle of Grandmasters at the Dapitan City Resort Hotel here Thursday night.

The 15-year-old So pounced on a blunder by International Master Rolando Nolte to prevail after 27 moves of a Slav, stretching his win run to four and pulling away from the field in the chase for the P200,000 champion’s purse.

So now totes 8.0 points under the novel scoring system that rewards a win 2 points and a draw 1 point.

GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio also squeezed out a victory over GM Jayson Gonzales to rise to 6.0 points.

With his first loss, Nolte virtually blew his bid for a GM result in the 11-round event supported by Phoenix Petroleum and the Dapitan city government.

GMs John Paul Gomez and Mark Paragua opted for a draw by repetition after 15 pushes that moved them farther behind So, winner of last year’s tournament in Manila.

Gomez, who completed his GM title in the 2008 Dresden Olympiad, was at 5.0 points. Paragua was at 4.0.

IM Julio Catalino Sadorra bounced back with a 42-move victory over GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor in their Slav game to improve to 3.0 points.

In other matches, GM Eugene Torre beat IM Ronald Dableo and GM Darwin Laylo drew with IM Richard Bitoon.

Torre, winner of the 2008 PGMA Cup, boosted his total to 4.0 points, while Laylo and Bitoon were at 5.0.

In women’s play, WNM Kimberly Jane Cunanan and WFM Catherine Pereña hurdled their foes to stay in contention for the P60,000 top prize.

Cunanan handed WNM Jedara Docena her fourth straight defeat to climb to 4.0 points while Pereña, the highest-rated player in the field, subdued erstwhile co-leader WFM Sherily Cua to improve to 3.0.

Sherily Cua stayed at 5.0 points in a tie with older sister WFM Shercila Cua, who was still battling WNM Cristy Lamiel Bernales at presstime.

Source: Sports Inquirer

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Battle of GM's After Round 3

Rank after Round 3

Rk.   Name FED Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 GM SO Wesley PHI 2627 3,0 0,0 0,0 4,00
2 IM BITOON Richard PHI 2473 2,0 0,5 0,0 2,75
3 GM ANTONIO Rogelio Jr PHI 2519 2,0 0,5 0,0 2,25
4 GM GOMEZ John Paul PHI 2539 2,0 0,0 0,0 1,50
5 GM LAYLO Darwin PHI 2504 2,0 0,0 0,0 1,50
6 GM PARAGUA Mark PHI 2537 1,5 0,0 0,0 2,00
7 IM NOLTE Rolando PHI 2488 1,5 0,0 0,0 2,00
8 GM TORRE Eugenio PHI 2560 1,0 0,5 0,0 1,25
  GM GONZALES Jayson PHI 2468 1,0 0,5 0,0 1,25
10 GM VILLAMAYOR Buenaventura PHI 2471 1,0 0,0 0,0 0,50
11 IM SADORRA Julio Catalino PHI 2445 0,5 0,0 0,0 1,00
  IM DABLEO Ronald PHI 2432 0,5 0,0 0,0 1,00

So Leads Battle of GM's After Beating Gomez

By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:25:00 03/26/2009

DAPITAN CITY—An in-form Wesley So trounced fellow Grandmaster John Paul Gomez Wednesday to grab the solo lead in the Battle of Grandmasters at the Dapitan City Resort Hotel.

Handling white with precision, So gained tempo on their tactical duel and was on the verge of moving a pawn up when Gomez resigned after 25 moves of a French Defense.

The 15-year-old So, the opening round conqueror of GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor, thus raised his total to 4.0 points under the novel scoring system being applied in the 11-round tournament. A win is worth 2.0 points, a draw 1.0 and a loss 0. If a stalemate occurs, the player who stalemates his opponent gets 1.5 points while the stalemated player receives 0.5 point.

The bespectacled Gomez, highest Filipino scorer in the 2008 Dresden Chess Olympiad, remained at 2.0 points.

Trailing So at 3.0 points were Grandmaster Rogelio “Joey” Antonio and International Master Richard Bitoon, who both settled for draws Wednesday.

Antonio downed IM Julio Catalino Sadorra Tuesday night before being forced to a draw by IM Rolando Nolte after 37 moves of an Alekhine Defense.

Bitoon agreed to a truce with Sadorra after 30 moves of a Nimzo-Indian Defense.

Smarting from his loss to So, Villamayor subdued IM Ronald Dableo after 56 moves of a Slav Defense to climb to 2.0 points in the company of GM Eugene Torre, Gomez, GM Darwin Laylo and Nolte.

In the women’s division, Women National Master Jan Jodilyn Fronda matched So’s 4.0 points with a victory over WNM Rulp Ylem Jose after 63 moves of a Nimzovitch Defense.

Lurking behind Fronda at 3.0 points are Woman FIDE Masters and sisters Shercila and Sherily Cua.

Source: Sports Inquirer

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FIDE Trainer Information & Resource Centre Launched!

The FIDE Trainers' Commission is pleased to announce the FIDE Trainer Information & Resource Centre at getchesstraining.com which can also be accessed from the front page of FIDE.com.

Originally an initiative arising from the meeting of the then FIDE Trainers' Committee at its meeting held on 18 November during the Dresden Congress to promote the work of professional trainers, www.getchesstraining.com has now been greatly expanded to also faciliate and support the development of the chess training industry.

Stakeholders and the public will find useful articles documenting the Benefits of Chess, Scholastics Chess, Gender Issues and Talent Development as well as a Hall of Fame featuring legendary trainers.
Besides information about seminars and courses for professional trainer development and the activities of the FIDE Trainers' Commission, www.getchesstraining also promotes the FIDE Regional Academies, lists all FIDE certified trainers in its Trainer Database (still an ongoing exercise), and provides the FIDE Trainer community with a Member Forum for the exchange of ideas.

We call upon and welcome all members of the FIDE Trainer community to participate and perhaps even to offer their services to help make our FIDE Trainer Information & Resource Centre a success!
In the pipeline (very very soon) are services in partnership with other industry leaders such as "Play and Learn" with ICC to offer a place for students to play training games that can be analysed by top trainers through "Ask A Trainer", and "Lessons on Demand" starting with FIDE Senior Trainer Susan Polgar where students can get the very best lessons available via video based training.

Source: FIDE & Getchesstraining

Sarjan Ismail Chess Simul Malaysia Book Of Records

Former World Police Champion Sarjan Ismail Ahmad is going to attempt to break Collin Madhavan chess simul record. He's going to play more than 100+ according to Hairul Blog tomorrow 26th March 2009. Good luck to Sarjan Ismail!

Details of the events is as follow:-

Date : 26th March 2009 (Thursday)

Time : Registration : 7.30 am - 8.30 am

Official Opening : 8.45 am ( by Dato' Rosli Mohd Nizam - Komander Briged Tengah)

Simul start : 9 am

Place : Markas Briged Tengah (maps below)
Pasukan Gerakan Am,
Taman CEUPACS, Cheras

Fee : Free !


For more details, please visit Hairul Blog.

So Score over Villamayor

By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:30:00 03/25/2009

DAPITAN CITY—Top favorite Grandmaster Wesley So downed Bong Villamayor last night to take the head-start in the Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of Grandmasters” at the Dapitan Resort and Hotel here.

The end came after 25 moves of a London Opening, with So threatening mate with his queen and rook in three moves.

So, winner of the first Battle of GMs in Manila last year, reasserted his supremacy over Villamayor, who now has lost three times in four games to the country’s top player.

Grandmaster Eugene Torre and International Master Rolando Nolte fought to a draw in the first completed match of the 11-round tournament that stakes P900,000 in prizes.

Torre, winner of last year’s GMA Cup, and Nolte agreed to a truce after 36 moves of a Gruenfeld-Slav, with both players having two pawns each and opposite-colored bishops.

Still being played at press time were the games pitting GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. against IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, GM Darwin Laylo against IM Ronald Dableo, GM John Paul Gomez against GM Jayson Gonzales and GM Mark Paragua against IM Richard Bitoon, winner of last year’s Singapore Open.

In women’s play, sisters Sherily and Shercila Cua also settled for a draw after 34 moves of another Slav.

Still unfinished were the matches between WNM Loreshyl Cuizon and WNM Cristy Lamiel Bernales, Rida Young and Woman Fide Master Catherine Perena, WIM Beverly Mendoza and WNM Jan Jodilyn Fronda, WNM Rulp Ylem Jose and WNM Jedara Docena and WNM Daisy Rivera and Kimberly Jane Cunanan.

To lessen the number of draws, a scoring innovation is being introduced in the event with a win worth 2 points, a draw 1 and a loss 0.

In case of a stalemate, the player who forces the draw gets 1.5 points with the stalemated player getting 0.5 points.

The men’s division champion pockets P200,000 plus trophy while the girl’s division winner receives P60,000 plus trophy.

Rounds two and three will be played Wednesday at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.

Former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos declared the tournament open while FIDE honorary president Florencio Campomanes gave the inspirational speech.

Also present were Dapitan Mayor Dominador Jalosjos Jr., board member Bullet Jalosjos, Vice Mayor Patri Chan and Amadeo Mas, client relations officer of the sponsoring Phoenix Petroleum.

Source: Inquirer Sports

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reminder Rukun Tetangga OUG 2nd Age-Group Chess Tournament 2009


Earth Hour 2009

This year, WWF Malaysia and its partners are planning Earth Hour 2009, which will be launched in Malaysia for the very first time. Earth Hour is a programme aimed at spreading awareness about energy conservation and global warming through a very simple premise: Everyone, everywhere, in every city in the world, is encouraged to turn out their lights for one hour.

Please support this movement by turning out your lights on the 28th of March 2009 between 8.30pm-9.30pm. One person may not be able to change the world, but together we'll definitely make a difference!

image image

Double Hand Desperado

There were eight grandmasters, twelve IMs and fourteen FIDE masters took part in the Hybercube Blitz Tournament on 21st March 2009 in Ultrecht. The average rating of the 130 participants was 2100. There was a controversy of how many hands can you use to play blitz chess.

This incident happen between Anish Giri against his opponent Vladimir Epishin when he uses two . Anish is currently the world's youngest grandmaster, having made a total of four valid norms and in possession of enough rating points to get his title officially the next time FIDE announces its awards.


Grandmaster Vladimir Epishin, Winner of 2005

Giri,Anish (2457) - Epishin,Vladimir (2587)
Hypercube Blitz Utrecht, 21.03.2009


In this position Black (on the move) realised that his previous ...e4 was a mistake and that he was losing a pawn. He quickly retreated his queen to b7 and e7 and a fairly chaotic situation arose, with both players in time trouble. Suddenly Black lost his queen to a knight fork and Anish Giri was winning. At this moment Epishin launched a protest: Anish had used both hands to execute a move.


A lot of people were watching the game and amazingly Robert Beekman actually captured the moment the move was executed. In the above picture Anish has the captured piece in his left hand, while executing the move of the capturing piece, his queen, with the right. He then went on to press the clock with his right hand.

Epishin called the arbiter while pressing on his side of the clock. Anish tried to press down on the lever, but did not have a chance against the burly Russian GM. So he stopped the clocks, which then showed 26 seconds for Black and eleven for White. The arbiter is summoned and decides that Giri should not have played with both hands and that his opponent should receive two minutes of additional time in compensation. Anish protests that he should get some extra time as well, since his clock ran down to eleven seconds while his opponent had kept his side pressed. He wanted 16 seconds, the arbiter proposed 14, Epishin was not happy with anything. In this moment Anish offered Epishin a draw, which his opponent immediately accepted.


An upset Epishin


Anish showed after the game.

The FIDE rules have nine words on the subject:

Article 4: The act of moving the pieces
          4.1 Each move must be made with one hand only.

Source: Chessbase

Latest list of Thailand Open List Chess Championship 2009

A total of 141 players from around the world will take part in the Thailand Open Chess Championship 2009 which going to be held at the beautiful Aisawan Resort & Spa in the quiet Wongamart Beach, only 2km from the famous Pattaya Beach, 1-6 April 2009. Thailand Open will start exactly 1 week from now. GM Nigel Short will start as the favorite to win the event however he will face stiff challenge from Mihkeil Mchedlishvili (Georgia), Li Shilong(China), Mark Paragua(Philippines), Georgy Timonshenko(Ukraine), & Abhijit Kunte(India). However Malaysia will be represented by IM Mas Hafizulhelmi, FM Mok Tze Meng, FM Peter Long, former police world champion Ismail Ahmad, NM Kamal Abdullah, former national junior player Gerald Soh, Sarawakian Abang Draup Zamhari & Hj, Abang Azman Draup & Khairul Nazmi. Besides that Pinoy Ian Udani who often win local chess competition will also take part in the Thailand Open. It would be interesting to watch the games as Hairul Hamid will follow the Malaysian team to do live reporting. Kudos to Hairul after Gilachess feat to Vietnam & Philippine last year.

image image

Players List


Source: Bangkok Chess Club

Reminder National Age Group 2009 (4-5 April 2009)





To all participants, they will have to register once again on the day itself. All are advised to come at least 15 minutes before 8 am so that we can start our event on time. Below is the flow of the program on that day.

7.30 - 8.30 am : Registration
8.30 - 9 am : Briefing by Mr Abdul Hamid of MCF
9 - 10 am : Round 1
10-11 am : Round 2
11 - 12 pm : Round 3
12 - 1.15 pm : Lunch / Rest
1.15 - 2.15 pm : Round 4
2.15 - 3.15 pm : Round 5
3.15 - 4.15 pm : Final Round
4.15 - 4.30 pm : Break
4.30 - 6 pm : Closing and prize giving ceremony by Tun Syed Zahiruddin's Principal, Profesor Madya Dr Sabri bin Musa.
6 pm : Program ends.
Direction Map:


UM Map

Humpy Won Istanbul Women Grand Prix

In the last round of İstanbul Women Grand Prix, Humpy Koneru won against Marie Sebag while Hou Yifan faltered against Shen Yang. Elina Danielian scored an important victory and outplayed Xue Zhao to take the second spot. Martha Fierro won against Maia Chiburdanidze while Pia Cramling closed the tournament with a win against Antoaneta Stefanova. Zeinab Mamedyarova and Betül Cemre Yıldız drew.
The leader changed for the third time and Humpy Koneru won İş Bank Atatürk FIDE Women Grand Prix with 8.5 out of 11. Elina Danielian took the second place with better tie-break having 8 points while Hou Yifan took the third place.

Koneru Humpy won the event from the 12 strong field of players although she suffers her losses against China sensation girl Hou Yifan. Here's are her interview:


"First two rounds the way I played was very good. Just missed 2-3 move combination starting with the third game. Once I lost to Hou Yifan I lost my hope to win the title. I just wanted to play some good games. Overall I could not really play up to my level."


Koneru Humpy receives 6,500 Euro cheque


Elina Danielian receives 4,375 Euro cheque


China sensation girl Hou Yifan receives 4,375 Euro cheque

Final Ranking
Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts
1 12 GM KONERU Humpy 2621 IND
2 7 IM DANIELIAN Elina 2496 ARM 8
3 4 GM HOU Yifan 2571 CHN 8
4 5 GM ZHAO Xue 2508 CHN
5 6 GM SEBAG Marie 2529 FRA 6
6 3 IM FIERRO Baquero Martha L. 2403 ECU
7 1 GM CRAMLING Pia 2548 SWE
8 11 GM STEFANOVA Antoaneta 2557 BUL 5
10 10 WGM MAMEDJAROVA Zeinab 2362 AZE
11 8 WGM SHEN Yang 2448 CHN
12 2 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2214 TUR 2

Battle of GMs up in Dapitan; So favored

By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:01:00 03/24/2009

DAPITAN CITY—Defending champion Wesley So tries to keep his clean slate against veteran GM Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor at the start of the Phoenix Petroleum-Dapitan City “Battle of Grandmasters” on Tuesday at the Dapitan City Resort Hotel.

The 15-year-old So has beaten Villamayor twice against one draw in their head-to-head duel, all with the black pieces, making the country’s highest-rated player the slight favorite to take a big head-start in the men’s division of the tournament staking nearly P900,000 in prizes.

So, with an ELO rating of 2627, will handle black anew as he tries to sustain the momentum of his recent exploits that included a victory in Group C of the Corus tournament in The Netherlands, the top junior award in the Aeroflot Open in Russia and a recent triumph in the Barley Rapid Chess.

Out to stop So’s dominance are Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre, GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, fresh off a successful stint in the United States where he ruled 10 of 11 events he took part in; and GM John Paul Gomez.

The resurgent Torre will be playing white against International Master Rolando Nolte while Antonio, who came in from Iligan City Monday afternoon, will be facing IM Julio Catalino Sadorra with the black pieces.

Gomez, the country’s highest scorer in last year’s Dresden Chess Olympiad, will battle GM Jayson Gonzales as the quest for the P200,000 champion’s purse begins in the tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines headed by Prospero “Butch” Pichay.

Some of the women’s division matches pits WIM Beverly Mendoza against Jan Jodilyn Fronda, Cristy Bernales against Loreshyl Cuison and Catherine Perena against Rida Jane Young.

The 11-round tournament, being held in cooperation with Mayor Dominador Jalosjos, former congressman Romeo Jalosjos and Vice Mayor Patri Chan, ends on March 31.

Expected to grace the opening ceremony are International Chess Federation (FIDE) honorary chair Florencio Campomanes, Phoenix Petroleum president Dennis Uy and brand and marketing manager Jay Delloso and Secretary to the Mayor Alemarlou Dagpin.

Source: Sports Inquirer

Monday, March 23, 2009

11th Cup of Rector

11th Cup of Rector, Match of the Champions

25th-29th March in Kharkov, Ukraine

The 11th Cup of Rector is scheduled to take place on 25th-29th March in Kharkov, Ukraine, in a completely different format. Unlike the previous year, when there were women and men closed invitational tournaments, this time a match between "PVK KievChess", the bronze medalist from the recent European Club Cup, and Kharkov's "Law Academy" will be played over five rounds.

The time control will be 90 minutes for each player to finish the game with extra 30 seconds for each move from the start (Fischer system) and the games will be broadcasted live on the ICC. Both teams are lining their strongest available rosters and we will get to see some of the top Ukrainian Grandmasters in action.

PVK KievChess:

1. GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2726
2. GM Efimenko Zahar 2688
3. GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij 2667
4. GM Beliavsky Alexander 2646
5. GM Baklan Vladimir 2627
6. GM Vysochin Spartak 2526
7. IM Nyzhnyk Illya 2503

Law Academy:

1. GM Eljanov Pavel 2693
2. GM Moiseenko Alexander 2676
3. IM Firman Nazar 2546
4. GM Kovchan Alexander 2543
5. GM Aveskulov Valeriy 2526
6. GM Brodsky Michail 2517
7. IM Onischuk Vladimir 2487

Behind the scenes of MSSM & MSSKL

First of all I would like to say big thank to Md Arshad whom is also the Secretary of the Terengganu Chess Federation for the hardwork of getting the MSSM results & update it on the daily basis. In fact it's the first time MSSM event was covered live by 3 bloggers; Me, Gilocatur, Md Arshad & MSSKL. However it was quite disappointed for bloggers like us have to struggle to get the results on hand from the host & have to key in the results manually especially Md Arshad.

This year I'm happy to help MSSKL achieve as overall top medal winners. This success doesn't come alone & with the help of other KL trainers, dedicated KL teachers & the determination of the players whom strive to win for the best. In fact I'm out of MSSM for 2 years Kuching & Malacca. The last time I involved in MSSM was in Terengganu with MSSPP(Penang) & that time won gold in the U-18 Boys team.

Before the Final round


Dedicated KL Teachers!


Picture Source: Mysifu.






Prayer every round....


Words of encouragement from the General Mr Suhairi! Chia Yo!!


Motivation from KL coach Mr Shamsudin.


Team Manager Cikgu Azwan (correct me if I'm wrong)


Supportive KL Parents! Kudos to them!!

MSSKL Prize Winners:


MSSKL Boys U-12 Team Gold (Tan Wei Hao, Faizal Roslan, Daniel, Tan Ri Hong)


MSSKL Boys U-15 Team Silver (Wong Jianwen, Lim Chin Shen, Tan Jun Feng & Ashwin)


MSSKL U-15 Boy Individual gold (Wonderboy Yeap Eng Chiam)


MSSKL U-12 Girls Team Bronze (Camelia Johari, Nurul Aina, Chua Yee Ler, Maisarah)


MSSKL U-18 Girls Team silver (Lee Joo Hui, Nurul Atikah, Lee Lee Tin, Latifah Shamimi)


MSSKL Goldmine!

Picture Source: MSSKL Blog