Sunday, 28 August 2011

Playing for Dragon One... at the Merdeka Rapid Teams

My first games since last year's Olympiad and a milestone of sorts as I finally found time to play in a local event after a very very long time (even if only at this 25 minute time control which is really neither blitz or rapid and was rather hard for me to adapt).

The five rounds on day one left me exhausted on getting home and then the four more on day two proved to be really hard going. So I suppose I could not complain too much from scoring 5/9 on board one (probably after having being designated as the sacrificial goat on the assumption that match points would be used!).

I did find it interesting to play some of the players, some of whose names which were vaguely familiar from being mentioned to me by others from time to time and on my impressions, I can only say that young local players should only be encouraged and not criticised on public forums.

Generally (and to my surprise?) I did not have any special difficulties n the technical side of things - even the one opening which I had some problems I was able to successfully steer it into a playable position albeit without any advantage but then was able to gradually develop a winning endgame until a wild hallucination after all the hard work had been done allowed it to become a draw!

That was the sign of things to come on day two when obvious tiredness started to kick in!

On day one the loss to IM Yue Li was annoying but my own fault as after playing very sharply I then played a safe move after reaching the decisive moment after which my initiative disappeared and it was rapidly downhill from then on. (IM Jimmy Liew's advice after: "In this format, take risks").

Losing to IM Oliver Barbosa was just a matter of stronger player pressing until I made a mistake. But the loss to Jahongir Vakhidov following the draw I gave away was really stupid as I saw a win and got a little too clever and played another move that looked easier, saw it become refuted where in the process he found time to coordinate his pieces and then I foolishly decided to close up the attacking side of the board to block up the position and make a draw and in one careless (fatigued?) moment simply blundered away a rook.

By that time I knew I was in serious trouble physically but luckily the all important last round came after lunch when I had a bit of a catnap and despite having Black I did all the pressing and IM Gary Lane was I think slightly fortunate to find a drawing resource.

Dragon One still went down 2.5-1.5 when a big win was needed and given games points were used, we were of course left empty handed (GM Wang Rui put it very well: "I think we have no task to perform later at the closing ceremony").

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

On the Malaysian Chess Festival

First congratulations are in order to Hamid and his team for managing to again do a Malaysian Chess Festival and I think that any activity is a good thing and that the response shown in increased participation is due reward.

While the various supporting events are going from strength to strength, the original Malaysian Open is clearly diminishing, be it in the quality of local representation (lack along competitiveness) and even the foreign entries are not what it used to be.

There are many reasons and some obvious solutions but I appreciate how hard and difficult it is to organise and it is easy to criticise when you have not done it and while I have, a public forum is not always the place to provide feedback no matter how well intended.

So, well done guys and I sincerely hope it continues on next year because what I can say here is that the money to do it was not anything like what we understood from previous years so I ask our local chess community to start stepping forward now to start to make a difference.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Asian First Saturday?

Campomanes Memorial Yangon International Grandmaster Chess Tournament 2011 Yangon, Myanmar. { 21 Sep - 01 Oct, 2011 }

1. Organization

This event is organized by Myanmar Chess Federation in honor of late FIDE Honorary President Florencio Campomanes under the auspices of the Myanmar National Olympic Council.

2. Schedule

21 Sep             After 1200      Arrival
                        2100                Technical Meeting

22 Sep             0900                Opening Ceremony
                        0930                Rd. 1
                        1600                Rd. 2

23 Sep             0900                Rd. 3
                        1600                Rd. 4
24 Sep             1600                Rd. 5
25 Sep             0900                Rd. 6
                        1600                Rd. 7

26 Sep             0900                Rd. 8
                        1600                Rd. 9

27 Sep             1600                Rd. 10

28 Sep             1600                Rd. 11

29 Sep             1600                Rd. 12

30 Sep             1600                Rd. 13

01 Oct             0900                Closing Ceremony
                        1200                Departure

3. Format & Time Control

Total 13 players (4 GMs + 9 Others); Single Round-Robin; FIDE-rated and titled; Rate of play will be 90 minutes for the whole game with 30 seconds increment for every move starting from the first move. Zero-Start shall be applied.

4. Venue & Official Hotel

Central Hotel, Bogyoke Aung San Road, Yangon.
All the players have to stay at the official hotel. The hotel is located in the center of Yangon. There are many places of interest such as the landmark of Myanmar Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Yangon Port, National Museum within the walking distance. More information can be found at

5. Prize

No prize money. 1st. - Trophy, 2nd. - Trophy, 3rd. - Trophy.
All the winners will get the special prizes (Quantum Shields, Quantum Pendants, Quantum Flasks and Quantum Bracelets awarded by Fusionexcel International). Information on these health products is available at  
The diploma certificates are to be awarded for all players.

6. Entry Fees

For GM
Free Entry + Air Ticket + Pocket Money + Free Twin-Sharing Hotel Room (Breakfast)

For IM or >2400
US$ 500 Package (Entry Fees + Twin-Sharing Hotel Room with Breakfast) 
US$ 700 Package (Entry Fees + Single Hotel Room with Breakfast) 

For others >2300
US$ 700 Package (Entry Fees + Twin-Sharing Hotel Room with Breakfast) 
US$ 900 Package (Entry Fees + Single Hotel Room with Breakfast) 

For others >2200
US$ 900 Package (Entry Fees + Twin-Sharing Hotel Room with Breakfast) 
US$ 1100 Package (Entry Fees + Single Hotel Room with Breakfast)

The fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. There will be 10% discount for those who register and send the money to the organizer's bank accounts on or before 20th. August, 2011.

A/C Name       : Mr. Maung Maung Lwin
A/C No.          : 127-0-672262
Branch             : Soi Aree
Bank                : Bangkok Bank
                          BANGKOK, THAILAND 10400

7. Payment

Myanmar Chess Federation members shall have to pay their dues upon registration.
Foreign players have to settle the full payment (Entry Fees + Hotel Room Charges) to the organizer before 10th. September, 2011. Otherwise, they shall be expelled from the tournament.

8. Entry Visa

This is necessary to have the entry visa before entering Myanmar. The players from foreign countries have to apply and get the entry visa from the nearest Myanmar Embassy in their countries.

9. Official Airline

Myanmar Airways International (MAI).

10. Official Transport  

PARAMI Taxi is the most reliable transport in Yangon.

11. Participation

Since the numbers of players to participate in this event are limited, players are advised to make early registration and payment to confirm their participation. Payment shall be made one day after the approval from the organizer and the scanned copy of payment at the bank shall be sent by email to the organizer.

12. The organizers have the right to reject any entry without giving reasons.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

We are represented at the World Junior Championships!

Chilling out in the lobby!

Getting ready for battle!

Let us all wish our National Champion all the best in competition against the world's very best young champions!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

World Junior Championship in Chennai Gets Underway!

The 50th World Junior and 29th World Girls Championship got underway in Chenna with spectacular opening ceremony on the evening of 1 August 2011.

Participants and guests were treated to an hour long cultural show showcasing Indian dance performed by students from a local chess school before the formalities were conducted by the other main attraction, the main VIP guest who was non other than former World Junior Champion and current World Champion, home town hero Vishy Anand!

Anand welcomed all and assured us that we would enjoy our stay in Chennai while acknowledging the role of the Tamil Nadu Chess Association who have from its inception ensured that Chennai is the chess capital of India. He noted it took his 4 times before winning the World Junior Championships but in the process the friends he made were among his greatest and longest standing friendships and than even to day he remembered the games and the wonderful moments!

Very much in evidence too was FIDE Vice President D.V. Sunder who recently handed the baton to lead Indian to Bharat Singh and that bodies well for Chennai!