Thursday, 30 August 2018

Malaysian Team to the Batumi Olympiad - The Stage of Acceptance?

So, where are we now with national team selection to the Batumi Olympiad which in my mind was always a non issue? 

There was quite an outpouring of anger by some in public, both in open and private letters on top of what appeared in social media, so most certainly stage two... and I think those who felt they had personally missed out would have been at least a little in a state of depression but really hoping for bargaining but it seems if so and at stage four, that never happened!

Given the usual selfishness of the local chess community and the inability of the vast majority to take principled positions consistently and then following up, we should soon be, if not already in the final stage, that of acceptance and moving on until it repeats itself!

When will we grow up?

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Tributes to IM Giam Choo Kwee

Photo: Two Legends of Singapore Chess: IM Giam with the younger IM Tan Lian Ann

Deepest condolences to Mr Giam Choo Kwee’s family. Rest in Peace. A lost to Johor Chess too, he had done a lot for us by promoting chess in Johor for a long time.  Many Johor players will remember him. - Steven Cheong

He would come on Fridays to the Johor Chess Club meets and play games with us.. I was only 14 years old then. We would then go for dinner where he shared stories of his chess journey.  An affable person. - NM Mohd. Kamal Abdullah

Just chatting with him last week about organising chess events in Singapore. He volunteered to find venue and sponsors. - Philip Chan

Sorry to hear about that... one of the legends to inspire us when we were young players. - IM Terry Toh

A good friend has departed. May he rest in peace !! - Watson Tay

I remember all twelve clocks ticking in the sports house when he ran equal time clock simultaneous for the national junior training squad in the late 70s and impatiently waiting for any of us to move. Fondly remember the tournaments he organized in the 80s at the swimming club. His passion for over the board chess was unparalleled. A true mentor. - GM Wong Meng Kong

Sincere Condolences to his family.  RIP Mr Giam. Friendly and helpful guy who loves chess. - Andrew Chan

I am very saddened to hear the demise of our good friend Giam. He will be missed my me and my brothers as we were close to him in the late 70's early 80's. - Ramesh Jhunjhnuwala

Sad to hear the news. He will be missed. - IM Tan Lian Ann

One of the pioneers of Queenstown CC Chess Club. RIP - Lim Chye Lye

He was already an icon when I started chess. Remember he organized River Valley CC and Chinese swimming club chess as well as help set up Dr ST LEE Cup in China. Taught me some chess too. RIP. - Ang Hao Yao

We are deeply saddened by the loss of IM Giam. He is not just a Master in Chess but a fatherly figure to us. Constantly encouraging my students whenever he join or visit our Asean Chess Academy (ACA). Plus he was full of humour. The children enjoyed talking to him. He played 9 straight games at last year’s Merdeka Team Championship for ACA... beating some very strong players , even though he was the oldest in the competition. He showed resilience which I admired a lot. It inspires our young generations of chess players.May your soul Rest In Peace .... - GM Nelson Mariano

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Not Empty Handed in Standard Chess!

Congratulations to Agnes Chong Kai Ni for winning Gold in the Girls U-12 category at the East Asian Youth Championships.

Unfortunately top seeded Anderson Ang Ern Jie in Open U-8 category, despite being unbeaten, had to settle for Silver.

Well done to Cheah Kah Hoe for a nice finish by beating Singapore's top seed Cyrus Nisban in the Open U-14 category to finish fourth.

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Malaysian Teams for Batumi Olympiad

Ranked 82nd but the team we enter will be seeded 105th. No pressure!

Ranked 61st and the team we enter will be seeded 65th. Close enough!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Last Round Battle

Who will prevail. Victory will mean a medal, a draw could mean both go home empty handed.

Day Seven in Shanghai

Very much in medal contention are Anderson, Agnes, and Clarance... and also Kah Hoe

Korea Gets It's First IM, Filipinos Emerge Champions at East Asian Junior Championships

Ignatius Leong has provided full coverage of this event including the final report which can be found at:

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Day Six in Korea

What remained of Rosamund's chance is over. Now young Indonesian has a must win final encounter against the Filipina leader.

No Luck in Rapid

What can one say? Rapid is not Blitz?

Monday, 6 August 2018

ACP Supports Dvorkovich

Day Five in Korea

The Filipina is now in the driving seat after Rosamund took down Irene's talented 14 year old sister

Blitz Success for Malaysians

Gold for Cheah Kah Hoe and Silver for Ferris Lim Feng Wei and Ang Jing Xuan!

Our usual consolation medals that we will certainly hype up as a huge success since we almost always are unable to replicate this in the main standard chess event where titles and ratings matter.

But congratulations and well done! Winning is never easy.

The field may be weak but that is not the fault of the players and give credit where it is due if indeed one decided to take full advantage. 

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Day Four in Korea and Shanghai

Rosamund has recovered with back to back wins and if she can keep this up it will come down to her results against the two players above her she has yet to meet.

Very nice to see that we so many young players in medal contention just after the halfway mark!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Day Three in Shanghai

Two in early medal contention and most are with plus scores

Friday, 3 August 2018

Day Two in Korea and Shanghai

Rosamund is on 1/2, recovering after a first round upset. Looks like her main challengers  for the title will be the players from Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. 

Early days yet and not a lot to add except this is a clearly a weak tournament from all reports and so there is every chance for our young Malaysians to shine.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

How Often is a Malaysian the Top Seed?

Well, Anderson Ang is the top seed at the 3rd East Asian Youth Championships being held in Shanghai, China.

Rosamund Koo is in Korea, Playing for the WIM Title

Poor Turnout at East Asian Juniors & Youth

The East Asian Youth Championships in Shanghai, China from 1-10 August and East Asian Junior Championships in Jeongson, South Korea from 1-9 August are being held concurrently.

I wrote about what I felt was a possible saturation thanks to too many of the same targeting much the same audience in an earlier post: "Too Many International Youth Championships" and from the participation numbers which has never really been high even in the past, it seems I am right!

Shanghai with categories from U-8 to U-18 seems to be having only 215 participants while Jeongson with just the category for U-20 has 22 participants.

One problem with insufficient players in a particular category means that it no longer qualifies for direct titles and norms are impossible but in some cases it is not even possible to have a meaningful competition. As a result, the organisers will then combine sections and while this is allowed, I have always had a problem understanding situations where a player can get a championship when playing many who not in his or her age-group.

While much too many in Shanghai are from China, Malaysia is still well represented, mostly by the usual suspects.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Malaysians in the August FIDE Rating List and going to the World Chess Olympiad

According to the most recent (August 2018) FIDE Rating List, Malaysia is ranked 82nd in the world, pretty much where we normally are even if it is again our No. 1 Yeoh Li Tian's rating that has dragged us up a few places.

The biggest change really is Lye Lik Zang moving past 2300 and in fact is at 2345.

Lik Zang at No. 3 will be the highest rated player in the Malaysian team for the coming World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia and he is joined by No. 9 Zaidan Zulkipli 2203, No. 12 Lim Zhou Ren,
 2166, current National Champion and No. 20 Fong Yit San 2108, and No. 102 Mukhriez Shah Mahmood Shah.

National Teams in Kota Kinabalu

The National State Championships is being held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from 1-3 August 2018, and although there are ten teams taking part, just six states are represented.

Host Sabah has four teams and defending champions Penang has two.

Missing are Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sarawak, Negeri Sembilan, KL, Putrajaya and Perak, a total of nine state affiliates of the Malaysian Chess Federation.

Looks like either bad choice of dates or just too many state affiliates having problems.

(The women's championships has four teams, Penang, KL, Johor and Sabah, so actually it can be said that seven states are present).