Monday, March 29, 2010


How do you place your Knights on the chess board? I bet many of you will adjust the Knights to stare straight ahead, deep into the opponent's camp. But I personally like to put it sideways facing inwards, so that I would know whether this is the King's Knight or the Queen's Knight (useful if you want to read the descriptive chess notation). Now let's see whether these grandmasters agree with you.

1. Anatoly Karpov

Likes to put his Knights facing sideways, either both to the right or left.

2. Viswanthan Anand

Arranges his Knights to stare straight ahead.

3.Magnus Carlsen

This child prodigy likes both his Knights to face each other.

4.Fabiano Caruana

This Italian GM puts his Knights faces away from each other. Strange? Believe it!

Do any of you want to be creative enough with your Knights? Try placing it backwards, towards you!

Friday, March 26, 2010


My recent post has caused some debate. In my hastiness, I reached a conclusion on a matter of which I was not on-hand to witness. Listening on a side of story is never enough to make a decision, and I will painfully learn that the hard way. The conclusion I made 'my personal opinion is that the person in Rizal's case should be banned from local chess scene' is deemed one-sided, thus another look is mandatory. I found here the other side, and I will refrain myself from judging, and leave it to the readers to make their own. The subject of cheating will always be vague, unless it can be proven with facts. In both my stories, I wrote it as my own humble opinion, and it is subject to contradiction from other side of views. No need to go barging in the shoutbox and naming names, as I did not, and will not, reveal the names. It is true that in both cases I felt cheated, thus the title of the post, but others may find it offensive. Nevertheless, I stand by that everybody is to his own opinion, or we should have not been given the brain for it.

Again, my sincere apology to all.

Monday, March 22, 2010


There are cheaters in Malaysian chess scene after all! Reading Rizal's and Sifu's blogs confirmed what I feared most. And it happened to me before in my early chess experience.

My First Story

Several years ago I was cheated by a good Malaysian chess player, but part of it was due to my naivety. It was a three-fold-repetition, watched by many spectators, but in the end what really matters were the players themselves. I should have claimed the repetition before I moved my King at the same place for the third time. What happened was after I moved the King, stopped the clock and raised my hand to call the arbiter, he promptly moved his pawn and pressed the clock before the arbiter arrived. When the arbiter finally came, the pawn structure had already changed, thus the three-fold-repetition claim was no longer valid. A sporting and gentleman player would have accept the draw, but not this man, who went on to win the game amidst my confusion. After the game, somebody told me that I still had the opportunity to claim the draw after the pawn move, because I was the one who stopped the clock (can somebody with knowledge of the chess rule confirm this, please?).

My Second Story

It was at a rapid game, with 25 minutes per person. I was still an amateur then, a matriculation student at IIUM, with only several tournaments of experience to boast. I was waiting at the table for over 20 minutes now, and my opponent has yet to show his face. When it was certain (I checked the clock several times, mind you!) that there was only around 2 minutes left of his clock, I stood up and stopped to watch my friend's game on my way to the arbiter's table. Not long after that, a guy touched me at the back and asked me to make my move. I was perplexed and duly went to the table with him. I noticed that there was still 5 minutes remaining on his clock! As I was a junior then, I did not have the courage to ask him where did the 5 minutes come from as I was certain that he had lost on time and I was on my way to the arbiter's table. I played on to his Alekhine Defense and lost.

So, should these guys be banned? Not likely. Nobody probably will do anything until it happen to them personally. Nevertheless, my personal opinion is that the person in Rizal's case should be banned from local chess scene, as it will tarnish its image.

In Islam, chess is permitted with strict rules, one of which involved using vulgar words throughout the game. Cheating can be included in this rule, IMHO, because it is more dangerous than merely speaking some nasty words which probably do not alter the outcome of the game. Moreover, I agree with Rizal that the winnings (nowadays in the form of money) would not be advisable to feed the loved ones as it is after all acquired from incorrect means.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Diraja Ramli Bin Ngah Talib

Deputy President
Tuan Hj. Ibrahim Abu Bakar

Vice Presidents
Mrs. Haslindah Ruslan
Tuan Hj. Yahaya Ahmad
Mr. Micheal Kimin

Honorary Secretary
Mr. Gregory Lau Beng Hock

Assistant Secretary
Mrs. Zuraihah Wazir

Honorary Treasurer
Mr. Tan Kok Heng

Mr. Abdul Hamid Abdul Majid
Mr. Ibrahim Hj. Yaacob
Mr. Lim Tse Pin
Mr. Mok Tze Meng
Mr. Hairul Abdul Hamid

Monday, March 08, 2010


This is a recent endgame I played against an online opponent. A thorough assessment on this kind of position is essential if you are to be a good chess player. Pawn structures, king position, minor piece arrangement should be considered very accurately. Knight versus bishop always has been, and will be, debated fiercely as who is better, but really, it is only a matter of who realizes the advantages better.

From the above position, white made a mistake when he played 43.f4? to which black strongly replied 43...e4! creating a passed pawn. The play continued 44.h4 b5, 45.axb5 axb5, 46.h5

White tried to create his own passed pawn by exchanging his pawn majority on the Kingside. 46...gxh5, 47.g5 Nd6! The black knight blockaded the passed pawn. 48.Ba7 Nf5+, 49.Kh3 e3, 50.Kg2 The King scrambled back to stop the intruder. 50...Ke4, 51.Kf1 Kxf4, 52.Ke2 Kxg5, 53.Kf3 h4, 54.Bc5 h3, 55.Bb6 e2!

The pawn marched on, knowing that it cannot be captured because of the threat of 56...h2 queens. 56.Bf2 White tried to stop both pawns with the bishop and the King, but yet the knight delivered a stunning blow 56...Nd4+!

57.Kg3 Nxb3 Creating another passed pawn. 58.Kxh3 Nc1!

This knight heading for d3 to control the queening square e1. Game over. 0 - 1

Here we can see that the knight was powerful enough to jump all over the place creating havoc and defending at the same time, while the bishop was helpless when all the opponent's pawn were on the light squares. The King was tied to defend the queening of the two passed pawns, but the third one proven to be too much.

However, when both bishops are still on board, they pose powerful threats. The next game shows the power of the two bishops against the two knights.

In this diagram, the knights movement were severely restricted by the bishops and the phalanx of pawns. Even after exchanging all the rooks the bishops will still dominate the knights. Nothing fancy about black's attack - it was straight forward towards the King. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The tournament hall


After two grueling days, 24 players selected for the district chess team. Congratulations to the winners. The names are:

u-18 Male Category

1. Muhd Nuramin (SMA Falahiah)

2. Abdul Haiyi (SM Mahmud Muhyiddin)
3. Badrul Munir (SMA Falahiah)
4. Arif (SMA Falahiah)
5. Muhd Alif (SMK Wakaf Bharu)
6. Wan Muhd Zikri (SMK Tumpat)

u-18 Female Category

1. Wan Nurhazirah (SM Mahmud Muhyiddin)

2. Marlida (SM Mahmud Muhyiddin)
3. Fatin Amira Syakiera (SMK Geting)
4. Nur Faizzeen (SMK Wakaf Bharu)
5. Tg. Haryani Norlaini (SMK Chabang Empat)
6. Siti Sarah (SMK Tumpat)

u-12 Male Category

1. Amir Syariefudden (SK Chabang Empat)

2. Wan Muhd Syazwi (SK Kutan)
3. Muhd Alham Zuhri (SK Chabang Empat)
4. Muhd Zaiful Zulhizman (SK Chabang Empat)
5. Muhd Ikram (SK Palekbang)
6. Nasrul Ubaidillah (SK Kampung Laut)

u-12 Female Category

1. Wan Nur Fatin Athirah (SK Kampung Laut)

2. Siti Zubaidah (SK Kampung Laut)
3. Anis Nadhirah (SK Kampung Laut)
4. Nur Nadzirah (SK Kampung Laut)
5. Nur Amani Balqis (SK Kutan)
6. Wan Nur Nadira (SK Palekbang)

Praise be to Allah, the tournament was a success in the finding the representatives for the Tumpat district to compete in the upcoming state selection on 8-10 April at Pasir Puteh. Overall, the level of play was good, and can be upgraded through the central training which will be held at the end of this month. However, the turnout was not very good; only several primary and secondary schools sent their players. Maybe because of the students are having their March test right now, so the teachers did not bother to send their team. If we are to find the best talent there is, all schools must send their best, so that the selected players are from the best we can find, not from a bunch of players. Nevertheless, most of the selected were in the team to last year's game in Jeli, so that's why I said earlier that the tournament was a success. Hopefully the central training will do them good, and in turn the players will be state players in the near future.

Tg Haryani Norlaini (SMKCE)

As for my school, there is only one representative from the girls u-18, Tg Haryani. Ahmad Zul Khairi could not maintain his momentum from the first day and succumbed to 2 defeats today, thus missed out on a ticket to the states.

Pictures from the event:

SMK Chabang Empat

SMK Wakaf Bharu

SK Kutan

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Today the selection started. There were about 100 students from 10 secondary and primary schools in Tumpat district competed in 4 categories - under 12 male, u-12 female, u-18 male and u-18 female. Details will be updated tomorrow. Some pictures from the event:

U-12 female

u-12 male

u-18 female

u-18 male

Siti Salmiah (SMKCE)

Tg. Haryani Norlaini (SMKCE)

Nor Izzatul Elanie (SMKCE)

Muhammad Shahril (SMKCE)

Ahmad Zul Khairi (SMKCE)

Mohamad Ashari (SMKCE)

Chaperons - Mrs. Zihamdah and Mrs. Sabrina

In one of my student's game, she missed a chance to save, or better yet, to win her game when she didn't see the devastating en passant move. Black, in her eagerness to drive the defensive Knight away, played 1...f5 from this position:

White should have moved 2.exf6+ en passant with a check. Later in the same game, she completely missed a simple check. Subsequently, she got checkmated. Here is the position (White to move):

White should have played the powerful 1.Qb5+ when Black must return some materials. Sample play : 1... Nc6, 2.Qxc6+ Ke7, 3.Ra7+ and heavy material lost follows.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I wrote this today. It has been a long time since my last piece of art. The rustiness is everywhere. Shatranj means 'chess' in Arabic Language.


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