Sunday, 31 December 2017

Looking Forward to 2018 After A Crazy Six Weeks!

It all started from 20 November 2017 and finally ended on 24 December 2017... but while the travelling has temporarily stopped, the resulting work on top of what was somewhat neglected is quite overwhelming.

First up was that once again I was honoured to be asked by my good friend Sahapol Naknavich, International Organiser and Secretary of the Thailand Chess Association, to be Chief Arbiter at the Asian Amateur Championships in Chiangmai from 23-30 November 2017.

Then I had to do a Holiday Camp for a group 1200-1500 as well as prepare some students for upcoming events.

Then from 9-20 December it was off to Ahmadebad, India with a group of some of our best talent on many years to represent Malaysia in the World Youth U-16 Olympiad.

On arrival in KL it was a quick turnaround to get to Dubai and from there to Al Ain for Asian Summit where I was invited as a speaker on the topic "The Importance of Media in Chess" and to conduct two workshops the following day.

Monday, 18 December 2017

No Shame To Lose To Armenia

We were up against our strongest opposition to date and faced an Armenian team desperate to win big to have a chance of medals.

I was not sure what to make of tbe congratulations by some teams of our excellent performance till the eight round to be in 11th position and be playing amongst the top teams  because the other teams throughout that trailed us were happy to see us losing so they could leapfrog us in the standings!

The team did their best and till Tan Jun Ying miscalculated a tactical sequence in the endgame, we probably had two draws in hand and real possibilities to win one.

Earlier we had gone two games down, Lye Lik Zang's level having dropped a little in the last couple of games.

We have throughout been suffering a lot from Ng Jen Sheng's inability to play for the team and that had put a lot of pressure on the top two boards till Jun Ying was able to play himself into form.

Melanie Koo did her best but the level of competition we faced made it very tough for her.

These are young players and all three top boards had dips but Wong Yinn Long overcame that best and so had a standout performance leading from the front.

Well done!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Important 3-1 Win Against Sri Lanka in Penultinate Round

We expected a fight but were confident we would win.

We hoped for 3-1 margin of victory over Sri Lanka and we got that but more importantly this was a team effort with all doing their part to bring home the win!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Our Uzbek Friends Were A Little Too Strong

It was always going to be tough against Uzbekistan but we were still hopeful for a result.

Well 3-1 was a fair reflection of the difference in strength although at one point I feared a wipeout.

Narrow Win But We Will Take It!

South Africa A had in the previous round shocked Indonesia and it was clear to us their players were underated and coukd not be taken lightly.

Nonetheless a white wash was a real possibility but on the flipside, if our players failed to show up on the lower boards, we could even lose.

So a 2.5-1.5 win with at least one of our players clearly struggling for form is a result that we really cannot complain about and hopefully an indicator that the team is coming together over the board during matches.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Back To Winning With Easy 3-1 Win Over Kyrgyzstan

After back to back losses in matches we really should have done much better, we found ourselves paired in round five with Kyrgyzstan.

It was a question of by what score we would win with absolute minimum 3-1 and in the end that was our final result.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Not Up To Bangladesh in Round 4, Losing 1-3

It was a match that could have gone either way but instead we failed on tbe boards where we needed results.

Our juniors rarely play as a team in international competitions and sone are adjusting faster than others to the pressures and responsibilities.

The good news is that we can only get better from now on!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Bad Day At The Office. A 0.5-3.5 Loss To Turkey

The Malaysian Team on the back of an easy win and a commendable draw faced Turkey in Round Three.

Again our boys were heavily outrated but this time there was no fairy tale ending.

Only Lye Lik Zang got a draw from a position he could only wait while Wong Yinn Long decided to risk it all in an equal position of equilibrium after Tan Jun Ying yet again failed to manage his time.

Ng Jen Sheng who had the worst position longest achieved something of sort by being the last to finish.

A bad day indeed at the office and lessons will need to be taken before the next round.

In Round Two, A Fighting 2-2 Draw Against India Blue

The second round saw Malaysia paired against one of the three Indian teams.

In terms of ranking and ratings it would apear that there was a huge gulf in terms of strength but in round one I had watched a promising but not yet strong Thailand keep the India Blue team at bay for a long time, even getting a half point in the end, and so realised they were vulnerable.

Self belief is very important and looking our match up I was sure we should have two points for the draw in the bag should our players play to their ability.

But whether we could get the 3-1 win would depend on whether our other two players could overcome their personal demons, and in the end we had to be happy with a 2-2 result which waa good enough for most, some even calling it a big upset.

Yes, we are good enough. We just need to get on to prove it more often!

Monday, 11 December 2017

An Easy 4-0 Victory in Round 1

Malaysia is seeded 14th from 30 teams in the World Youth U-16 Olympiad and that meant we got one of the weaker teams in Round 1.

Ng Jen Sheng had flown in late the night before from Chennai but we has already long before planned to play Wong Yinn Long, Lye Lik Zang, Tan Jun Ying and Melanie Koo.

Being paired against Kenya A was a bonus as it ensured that we would be off to a winning start and the 4-0 scoreline was really the minimum result expected.

Tomorrow will see the first of two days of double rounds and we will have a very much better idea of where we really stand in relation to the other teams.

We would love a top ten finish but it would not be a surprise if in the end we finished as low as just in the top twenty thanks to an unlucky last round pairing.

Some teams are almost certainly going to be just too good, being traditional chess powerhouses, and these are ahead of us in seedings and which are all three Indian teams, Iran, Russia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Israel, Belarus, Kazakstan, Argentina and Mongolia.

We also cannot take some of those ranked below us as pushovers either, with Canada, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia all close to our level.

Our team will have to perform near optimal to justify our seeding and our players to make individual steps forward to upset the teams we are not expected to a have chance against.

Yinn Long and also Lik Zang will then be up against significantly higher rated opponents while Jun Ying and especially Jen Sheng and to a lesser degree Melanie will need to score heavily, both against players of about their strength but all those a little short of quality.

It will not be easy but the team will certainly be doing their very best!

The World Youth U-16 Olympiad Begins

The World Youth U-16 Olympiad is being held in Ahmedabad, India from 10-19 December.

India has pulled out all stops with this prestigious championship, considering it to be the most important international chess team tournament after the World Chess Olympiad.

Not only have they put together a dream team of future stars to challenge defending champions Iran who themselves have their own golden generation, but have even surprised their own leadership with quite exceptional organisational excellence.

Officials of the All Indian Chess Federation were in full attendence at the opening ceremony and every state had representatives!

Gujarat for which Ahmedabad is their state capital is rightly proud of their culture and heritage but it is the warmth of the people and the willingness to go tbe extra mile that has most impressed.

Malaysia is this year being represented by easily one of our best teams ever and so are seeded in the top half of the draw.

National Champion Wong Yinn Long leads our team with perenial tournament winner Lye Lik Zang on second board, the outstanding junior talent Tan Jun Ying holding down board three, the best local player at the Malaysian Open Ng Jen Sheng taking fourth board, and with team rose Melanie Koo the alternate.

The rules require each team include a girl player who must play at least three games.

All games from the event will be broadcast live and Malaysians following our team can expect daily reports on this blog and the usual colour on my public FaceBook page.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Registration for Asian Amateur Chess Championship 2017

MCF will be submitting entries with full payment on 1 November 2017. Those interested but yet to enter need to get in touch with me ASAP!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

First & Last Fridays Masters in KL and Chiangmai!

November First & Last Friday International Masters Tournaments

The Institute for Chess Excellence (ICE) together with the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) and the Thailand Chess Association (TCA) will organise two 10 Player Round Robin International Master Tournaments to provide World Chess Federation (FIDE) rating and title norm opportunities to players in Malaysia, Thailand and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.
First Friday will be held from 3-8 November 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Last Friday will be held in Chiangmai, Thailand from 24-29 November 2017.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Category Grading Begins - Sunday Weekend Rapid Series Starts 9 July 2017

We have kept the entry fee low and allocated 70 percent of collection for prizes (winning small amounts of cash after paying high entry fees, as has been much the norm for other non-sponsored chess events, should not be the objective of a day enjoying playing chess).

I doubt the 30 percent kept can even defray costs but it is not about profit with our activities.

Still, we guarantee that with every ten entries, there will be one prize, all will also get certificates and more importantly will enter and be part of the category grading system.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Institute for Chess Excellence Category Grading System & Weekly Tournament Series

First I grouped the players into five categories and mapped each against corresponding FIDE rating brackets.

Then I looked to assign each age-group to a category they needed to be to effectively participate in the National Junior Development Training Program.

Next, I determined the basis for promotion from one category to another based on measurable results through competitive play.

Finally, I came up with incentives and what I think is the right way to reward those who excel and are able to outperform their peer group.

But you might ask, how does this work?

Well, to start with, let's say a player who is relatively new to the game decides to take part and so starts with participating in a Category 5 which will also be his or her given grade.

Players with FIDE 1200 and below rating who wish to take part also play in Category 5.

In fact, all are immediately considered to be Category 5 and recognised as such with a Certificate confirming this grade and would be included in a player database.

However, if a player is able to score 60 percent in three such events, then he or she is promoted to Category 4 and from the onwards competes with players with the same grade and those between FIDE 1200-1500.

And so it goes until a player achieves Category 1 status.

If a player is in the National Junior Development Training Program and if he or she in competition outperforms his or her normal grade, then he or she will be entitled to a scholarship in the form of a discount on fees.

We will also be asking the Malaysian Chess Federation to recognise outstanding participants by giving them the right to play in International Youth Championships.

Internally, we will of course also give special attention and provide extra help!

Yes, we will start this off on Sunday 9 July! With registrations closed the day before and with the games starting exactly at the start time!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

National Junior Development Training Program To Start On 1 July 2017

69-2 & 69-3, Jalan Puteri 2/3, Bandar Puteri Puchong, 47100 Puchong New Village, Selangor


The Institute for Chess Excellence seeks to develop and offer best of kind education and training programs to the chess communities in Malaysia and the region.

Our comprehensive range of offerings include supporting providers of lessons for beginners to conducting talent development programs to organising tournaments for all levels to the training of chess officials, organisers, arbiters and teachers.

We are a member of the Asian Chess Federation Academy Network and are also the Malaysian Chess Federation’s National Chess Academy.

The Institute for Chess Excellence is headed by Malaysia’s first FIDE Trainer, International Arbiter and FIDE Master Peter Long, who is an internationally recognised expert in chess, having been an organiser, arbiter, trainer and player at all levels of the game for over 40 years.


There is no questioning the available talent in Malaysia but at the same time there is also no doubt that generally they are not developing as they should.

One challenge is of course the opportunity to participate in the right type and level of competition but increasingly so it is the lack of access to high level systematic training.

“Chess lessons should not reduce merely to an expansion of knowledge – opening, middlegame or endgame, specific or more general.

There is another aspect of improvement, no less important than the assimilation of information – I am talking about skill in employing your knowledge, the ability to take correct decisions in a variety of situations, arising on the chess board.

Incidentally, the same conclusion was reached by Rowson in Chess for Zebras: ‘aspiring players should place much more emphasis on developing their skill then increasing their knowledge.’

This means that chess work should be less focused on ‘learning’ and more on ‘training’ and ‘practising’ whereby you force yourself to think.”

– Mark Dvoretsky

This too will be our approach – purposeful training – the method of deliberate practice which is well known from other spheres of life and especially in sport.

In our program we are looking develop three core groups, each of which requires special attention at their stage of development and which both separately and together are the future of Malaysian Chess.

Remember, the most important attribute for participation in this program is interest, and in time, capacity for work!

Local coaches (and even the visiting foreign players from the region) need not fear as we are not trying to offer general lessons or even opening preparation, but are instead looking to increasing the competitiveness of our best young prospects.

In short, we offer the tools, techniques, and methods while promising the hard work needed to excel on the international stage!

The above are the initial dates which have been proposed around Saturdays - with Young Talents from 1-5 p.m. and Future Stars and Today’s Champions from 6-10 p.m. - but we are flexible with the dates and also are agreeable for any change of timings needed to accommodate the majority.

On Sundays we are proposing to organise Category Grading Tournaments which will also provide valuable practice, plan to have a FIDE (International) Rated Tournament each month to provide international rating opportunities, and will be organising IM (International Master) Tournaments every quarter.

If you interested to participate in the National Junior Development Training Program, please email me at to book your place.

Thank you

Peter Long

Institute for Chess Excellence