Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Rankings Of Our Malaysian Women

The latest FIDE rating list - May 2016 - has just been published and including the Malaysian Championships and Malaysian Masters where practically all our top women players took part, it is perhaps time to take stock of where they are.

I will be as diplomatic as possible but facts are facts and no doubt there will be some proud parents who will take offence.

The first thing that jumps out is that Tan Li Ting is our No. 1 and the next is that with former No. 1 Alia Anin Azwa Bakri at the end of a long comeback, we again have a core group of five girls that are now simply just a little better (more consistent) that the rest, the only main difference being Puteri Rifqah Fahada Azhar has definitively replaced Camilia Johari or Fong Mi Yen.

Nithyalakshmi Sinanesan, Rosamund Koo, Camilia, Chuah Yi Ning and Mi Yen are now in the second challenger group,

Of these several have been around now for many years so it is however hard to see Nithyalaksmi, Camilia and Mi Yen displacing any of the top five unless they continue to slip (the stagnancy of their play as confirmed by the ongoing decline of their ratings would certainly give hope).

The rest do not lack experience either but probably not enough top level competition so that now that Jimmy Liew is working with Rosamund Koo it will be interesting that she can take a step up while in the case of Yi Ning, she arguably has what it takes but was the unlucky player left out of the Malaysian Masters.


Monday, 2 May 2016

Malaysia's No. 1 & No. 2 At The Selangor Open

For many it was the long awaited return to Malaysian chess competition by No.1 ranked Dilwen Ding that made the Selangor Open this year so extraordinary as very many were curious to see first hand how good he had become.

Table: Selangor Open 2016 participants with 50% and above score

This has been especially so with a highly visible No. 2 ranked Yeoh Li Tian having in the last two years been the dominant local player while also almost single handedly fighting alone for top honours in local international competitions against visiting foreign masters.

Of course the sponsorship of the tournament facilitated by Dato' Tan Chin Nam was clearly also all part of his moves against incumbent Malaysian Chess Federation President Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib in a long delayed and repeatedly postponed Annual General Meeting together with elections last promised for May 2016.

In the end however, both fell short, Dilwen returning to the 1850 level he was at before his Hungarian adventures, while Li Tian played a completely different level of competition to finish in an impressive second place but with a result that was still half a point short of what could have been his final International Master title norm.

Dilwen struggled against the four Indonesia girls playing, getting a minus one score and with his loss in the last round against Nabila, it became minus two against five girls. And in his only game with serious local competition, Wong Yinn Long, he was well beaten. 

Li Tian in contrast led the tournament till his loss to the eventual winner and along the way played five International Masters and two FIDE Masters!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Cult of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov?

Malaysian Masters 2016 - The Men Are Almost Decided But The Women Are Hotting Up!

If the Olympiad Team selection is based on the results of the Malaysian Masters, then Mas Hafizulhelmi, Jimmy Liew Chee Meng and Sumant Subramaniam would have already booked their places as should Ng Tze Han while the last place should be between Ng Jen Sheng and Fong Yit San.

The Women started a day later so there are still three rounds to go and is still everything to play for for most but for now it is Li Ting and Alia in the driving seat.

Malaysia's No. 1 Dilwen Ding Will Be Playing In The Selangor Open 2016!

Malaysia's No. 1 player opted out of the Malaysian, Penang and Johor Opens last year and then declined to play the National Championships and the Malaysian Masters this year and so will almost certainly not be at the Olympiad to help the Malaysian team.

Dilwen with the famous organiser of First Saturday Lazlo Nagy, an Arena International Master who was in awe after their game: "I could feel his talent".

The above was extracted from the list on entries for the coming Selangor Open posted on

So now it seems that after two years we will finally have the privilege to see in action once again a still young player who last played locally at FIDE 1800 level (his national rating is still 1717) but since then has gained some 500 rating points and gotten at least one IM title norm from events in his favourite hunting grounds in Hungary.