Showing posts from December, 2012

MAKITA is now over... and is a huge triumph for Indonesia

The winners on the stage with guest of honour Utut Adianto on the left and flanked by the two teams is Eka Wirya whose MAKITA sponsored the match.

In the end the results will show that Indonesia lost the single Blitz match on the opening day 1-3 but in four rounds of Rapid chess won 10-6 with three match wins and one draw while in the showcase Classical or Standard format, it was a 9.5-6.5 victory on the back of a 3-1 win in round one, 2.5-1.5 in round two and 2-2 draws in rounds three and four.

The bulk of the major individual prizes based on cumulative scores across all three disciplines went also to Indonesians, Median Warda Aulia on 7.5/9 the biggest winner, Sophie Milliet second wth 6.5 points and sharing third and fourth was Irine Kharismar Sukandar and Dewi AA Citra.

But perhaps in reality this good run of recent results for the Indonesian girls may either be flattering to deceive or perhaps women's chess is really not that good.

And if you watched all the games live as I …

An "Official" Evening with Hou Yifan


Indonesia beats France with one match to go!

The MAKITA Women Chess Match being held from 16-22 December 2012 at the Sekolah Catur Utut Adianto (SCUA) in Bekasi, Jakarta between Indonesia and France has been a absolute success for the Indonesians!

After losing the single Blitz match 1-3, Indonesia swept the Rapids 10-6 by winning the first three matches 2.5-1.5, 3-1, 2.5-1.5 before drawing the fourth 2-2.

Now after three rounds of the Classical matches where the French were expected to make a strong comeback, Indonesia has continued to prevail, winning the first 3-1 and the second 2.5-1.5 before drawing the third 2-2.

With this the Indonesian team has a score of 18.5-13.5, a five point lead that cannot be overturned irregardless of the outcome of the fourth and final Classical match.

But Indonesia has also won by any possible scoring system and as much as you would feel for a French team that have clearly yet to adjust from European time and have been clearly not at their best, the fact is that the Indonesians too had been with…

Reporting for Chessdom


The Rapid Match Goes To Indonesia!

The third round was nearly an amazing triumph of pre-game preparation. It was no exaggeration that while sitting next to the Indonesian coach once the games got underway that I was told that he had done and within 10 minutes it all unfolded exactly as predicted!

But it is another matter to execute and even more so perhaps when you are playing Rapid chess.

For sure the Indonesian girls had come out determined to build on their first day lead and get the three points needed to seal the deal with one more match to go.

In the end Medina Warda Aulia's win went exactly as planned but Dewi AA Citra mixed her moves up (and forgot some analysis) and opted to take a perpetual check. Worst was Chelsie Monica Shite lost her way after building up a completely winning position right out of the opening against her much more experienced position to even lose. But Irine Kharisma Sukandar had less problems with the help of some ready poor moves by her opponent.

So 2.5-1.5 it was to Indonesia. That…

Indonesia Takes Lead on First Day of Rapids

The Rapid Match has gotten underway at the Grand Ballroom of the Sekolah Catur Utut Adianto with the first two rounds being played and Indonesia has taken the lead with 5.5 points again 2.5 for France and so just needs 3 from 8 points available in tomorrows matches to win the Rapid match.  

In the first round, wins from Medina Warda Aulia and Dewi AA Citra made up for an out of sorts Irine Kharisma Sukandar to win 2.5-1.5 and in the second round, it was Medina with her second win together with Irine bouncing back with sheer determination that sealed a 3-1 victory. (For full details, please go to

Indonesian National Player, Federation Official (and Sponsor), and Foreign Coach in animated discussion during the Rapid Match

Blitz Match at the Opening Ceremony!

Soon after I arrived at the hotel from the airport where the AirAsia flight again proved to be the now usual nightmare, we held the technical meeting where the principal business was the drawing of lots for the Rapid and Classical games and then came the Opening Ceremony where four tables suddenly appeared on stage, the Indonesia and French teams were introduced and a Blitz Match broke out!

No, I am of course joking. Even if a one off match affair, there was money at stake - USD 600 going to the winning team and USD 400 a nice consolation for losers. Not to mention that although not being FIDE rated, the scores are counted towards the overall team and individual results.

But the players of course went at it for national pride (as they should) and approximately 5 frantic minutes later with a rapt crowd paying close attention and a large media turnout very much in the way of the arbiters who were reduced to spectators, the French girls emerged 3-1 winners in an exciting match that coul…

Officiating at the MAKITA Women Chess Match

My readers will know that it has been an incredibly hectic time for me chess wise since August... starting with preparing and then coaching our national women's team at the World Chess Olympiad, then returning to run the DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open just a week later, followed by being part of the media team at the Indonesia Open Chess Championship (IOCC), and finally going to the World Youth Chess Championships.

Only the last was long planned for but not at all also taking on working with two very big young talents which entailed numerous and intense visits to Penang that has been for me very enjoyable and satisfying (and I hope also successful) work indeed.

I have just been back from 12 days in Australia where I found time for Doubleroo, unfortunately missing the Asian Schools Chess Championship that I had originally committed to go to (as well as the Penang Open), and now out of the blue I have been given the very big honour indeeed of being the Chief Arbiter at th…

Speaking at Doubleroo... then Missing my Flight Home!

The night before going home I gave a small talk to parents at the Doubleroo Chess Academy and to my surprise it was a rather decent turn out and I really did appreciate the warm nice reception.

In most countries where chess is rather low on the list of parent priorities for their children, I have found that the issues are very much the same and so it would seem that it is also no different in Australia and as a start it was probably very important for parents to understand what chess talent is and how much of that would their child have (or at least at what point they would know for certain).

Parents are always supportive of chess provided the more important things like doing well in school, being well rounded, etc. is satisfied, so what they really only needed to know next is how best could chess fit in.

The good news is that I believe that in general the 'problem' takes care of itself if the parents have the means to support a program for achieving chess excellence when the…

Enjoying Queensland, Dropping by Brisbane... and Visiting Doubleroo!

Thanks to a client I am in Australia for 10 days and yesterday, while enjoying Brisbane on the weekend, I was asked (on a quite beautiful Sunday afternoon) to "help" run the inaugural First Sunday Junior Rapid being organised by Doubleroo Chess Academy at the La Dolce Vita Cafe with generous sponsorship from local businesses and officiated by the local member of Parliament who proved to be both a popular and an enthusiastic guest of honour!

Of course my contribution really consisted of taking some photos in-between enjoying the truly excellent pizza there (and then also the great seafood dinner after) so I don't really know too much of what happened but it clearly was a huge success with a turnout that exceeded the limited space available and for sure everyone had fun and you can find the full report at

But it was a whole weekend off for me (not just the afternoon of chess) and below is a sample of the sights in Queensland that I managed to take in…

Malaysia's International Participation in 2013?

I was browsing the FIDE website when I came across a calendar update for 2013 where my attention was drawn to quite a few events listed, most of which Malaysians might be interested in participating in, and if ineligible or unable, might still feel that we should be represented.

The first event that jumped right out was the Asian Zonal 3.3 from 21-30 January 2013 in Tagaytay, Philippines. That is part of the World Championship qualifying cycle and would be an incredibly strong event with GM norms on offer and I hope many of our top players with ambition from the likes of Mas, Nicholas, Mok, Yee Weng, and Ronnie would be alerted and get in touch with MCF about the possibility of their participation.

Next was the Asian Junior U-20 Championships from 1-10 April 2013 in Sharjah, UAE and perhaps enough said already but I have always felt that we have not paid enough attention to being represented at this event (and also the World Junior U-20 Championships) but several young winners of ou…