Showing posts from 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…

Ahmadebad World Youth U-16 Olympiad


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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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!

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, Bela…

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…

Winners of the Asian Amateur Championships 2017