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Showing posts from 2012

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

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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 li

An "Official" Evening with Hou Yifan

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Indonesia beats France with one match to go!

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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 ha

Reporting for Chessdom

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http://www.chessdom.com/makita-women-chess-match-indonesia-defeats-france-in-rapid/ http://www.susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2012/12/makita-women-chess-match-indonesia_18.html

The Rapid Match Goes To Indonesia!

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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 Takes Lead on First Day of Rapids

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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  http://chess-results.com/tnr87732.aspx?art=2&lan=1 ). Indonesian National Player, Federation Official (and Sponsor), and Foreign Coach in animated discussion during the Rapid Match

Blitz Match at the Opening Ceremony!

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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

Officiating at the MAKITA Women Chess Match

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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

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

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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 w

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

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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 www.doubleroo.com.au. 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

Malaysia's International Participation in 2013?

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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 o

WYCC 2012 - The Final Results

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As expected, the best performances have come from the youngest where in the starting stages of chess pure talent rules and so even a small chess country like Malaysia is able to compete so big congratulations are in order for Under 8's Goh Jie Yi and Lye Lik Zang with a hope that in two years time they can maintain these results. Our relatively large talented group playing in the Under 10 also did well but other than 9 year old Tan Jun Ying, they will all have to compete as Under 12's next year and so will know that it will be challenge to keep progressing in terms of results as can be seen from the performances from those participating in that category this time around. Nithyalakshmi Sivanesan in the Under 12 and Nur Najiha Azman Hisham and Camila Johari in the Under 14 played much to  their ranking and so have not lost ground and that can also be said for 15 year old Under 16 representative Roshan Ajeet Singh and 16 year old Under 18 representative Elgin Lee Kah Meng bu

Before the Final Round

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I wish all our young players playing in the WYCC 2012 all the best in the final round of a long and very demanding event... they have all done the best they could under various circumstances that even I who am here can only venture to guess at. They are some of the best young talent we have and all are playing very much to or above their initial ranking, and as we all know, last rounds are very much the luck of the draw affairs! For a perspective on expected performances at various age groups, see my earlier post by clicking  here

Silly Season

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I understand that MCF will be holding their elections at its coming Annual General Meeting and both I and KLCA will of course support everyone interested in holding office! After all it is a thankless job in the service of others. Strategies and plans for national development have to be made, communicated internally and externally while being promoted to media together with implementation, individually and collectively large amounts of time and effort need to be contributed for the real gritty on the ground work of such as liaison and coordination of activities with national players and member state affiliates, the various other national and international organisations, organising of major events, etc., and most importantly, for the funds to be found! Then there is the handling of the various necessary administrative matters pertinent to the running of a national sports organisation that is both a critical and a big responsibility, currently unpaid, and without  hope of recogn

At the Halfway Mark

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A snapshot of the results of the Malaysians in Round 6. There are a total of 11 rounds in the WYCC 2012 so this is the halfway point. (For full details, see the official website at www.wycc2012.com and the results and pairings at www.chess-results.com). Summary of scores to date: 5/6. Goh Jie Yi 4.5/6. Lye Lik Zang 4/6. Tan Jun Ying, Nithyalakshmi Sivanesan 3.5/6. Azman Hisham Nur Nabila 3/6. Camila Johari, Azman Hisham Nur Najiha, Chua Jia-Tien, Tan Yong Zhao, William Lee Kah Howe, Wong Yinn Long, Ajeet Singh Roshan 2.5/6. Lee Kah Meng Elgin, Chan Yi Ming Ryan 2/6. Kah Teng Benjamin Lee

Some Impressions and Lessons of WYCC 2012

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From yesterday, after the end of Round 3, the WYCC 2012 organisers have started sending us bulletins together with a file of 96 selected games and we are now getting bits and pieces of Round 4 even as Round 5 started this morning. With two games today before the rest day tomorrow it is certainly going to be a story of catch-up for them and I certainly don't envy those doing this work! As an organiser myself, albeit on much smaller scales,I am loath to criticise as I know something about the very real challenges - it is easy to talk but not quite so easy to do! - and I will say that to their credit, which each passing day it is clear that efforts are being made which are resulting in welcome improvements. From my good friend Vijay Kumar I have now managed, as can be seen, to get a photo of play in Round 3 and it is clear that conditions in this multi-purpose hall at the Dras Centre are a bit tight indeed other than at the top boards. He has also provided this link to the offi

First Few Days in Maribor

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The Malaysian group to the World Youth Chess Championships traveled to Maribor, Slovenia from Penang and Kuala Lumpur via Singapore, Munich and Graz where we were met by the organisers and taken some 38 kilometers by bus over the border to our hotel. It was a very easy and pleasant trip overnight on Singapore Airlines and our hotel is the excellent Mlada Lipa which is a 20 minutes walk from the two tournament venues some 3.5 kilometers from the city centre. No baggage was lost, the hotel check in went smoothly as did the accreditation process. Maribor is a small town of some 100,000 people in a country with a total population of just 2,000,000 but is also the European Capital for Culture for 2012 and therefore very well set-up for tourism - for example our ID tags give us unlimited travel on a very good public transportation system and there are information points staffed by multilingual volunteers throughout a city that is a pleasure to walk about. We have settled

Head of Delegation?

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Today I officially agreed to be the Head of Delegation (HoD) for the Malaysian team of 15 players + 17 accompanying going to the World Youth Chess Championships. Frankly this is a responsibility I have no interest in - especially since my first and foremost obligation is to work with our young National Champion whose parents are paying for me to go - but as always, once I accept, I will do my best (and professionally too!) and I think all saw that at the Istanbul World Chess Olympiad. The Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) of course understands that I am only agreeing to this in the absence of options available to them as this point due to various circumstances and I hope those going will also understand that I while I am experienced in these matters, on the details and in this very short time, I too am going to be learning! My role as I see it will be primarily to be the first point of contact between the Malaysian delegation and the organisers while we are in Slove

Preparing for the World Youth Championship 2012

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It is no secret that I have been working for almost two years now with current national champion Roshan Ajeet Singh and in the last few days have spent time with him preparing for the World Youth Championships to be held in Maribor, Slovenia from 7-19 November 2012. Roshan has just come off his exams - the reason why he had to opt out of playing at the World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul - and is clearly very rusty but is starting to pick up a little. I will also be going along as was my promise to him should he qualify and also become National Champion, and in the last two years he has been first U-14 champion and then, this year, even if only having turned 15, become both the U-16 and the senior champion. The preliminary participants list is out - see official website at  www.wycc2012.com  where they have a nice tool with the participants list viewer that allows you to group players by category and by country. Besides being a bit out of practice Roshan will have his wo

Building on the Indonesia Open 2012

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As I briefly mentioned in an earlier post, from 9-18 October I was privileged to be part of the media team at the Indonesia Open Chess Championship (IOCC) 2012 and it was a hectic time indeed! What surprised me what not so much the scale of the event but the huge number of people that were involved in the organising and it would be no exaggeration to say that practically everyone in Indonesian chess came together to help out. Indonesians are a tolerant people and I was really impressed at the pride and unity to make the tournament work! One challenge that Indonesia has always had was that because it is such a huge country it is often unnecessary for locals to look beyond the borders of a country spanning three time zones and with a territory of 1,919,440 sq km making it the 16th largest in the world. But I well remember the incredibly strong Indonesian teams of the 80's where they could beat just about anyone and were constantly challenging for top honours in Asia. The

New York! New York!

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Seems like New York is also the centre of the Universe where chess is concerned! Recently came across this book (no, I did not buy or read it) which documents a year with a chess team. From browsing however I think there is much to relate to if a coach, administrator or parent. But more to the point for the purpose of this blog post is perhaps the video story in this link on the BBC website as follows:  http://www.bbc.com/travel/video/one-day-in/20121012-new-york-citys-chess-scene

Enjoying the Rest Day in Bogor

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On the rest day of the ongoing Indonesia Open Chess Championshp (IOCC) 2012 being played in Jakarta, many players took advantage of the excursion planned by the organisers to nearby Bogor to visit the Presidential Palace and Botantical Gardens. As it was so aptly put when everyone assembled on the hotel lobby to depart: "Today is a holiday, tomorrow we fight again!". I don't know about the players but it was a welcome break after two successive days with double rounds and one more double round to follow the next day! From my experience coaching our Woman Olympiad Team, it is much better to be a player and I can certainly say the same once again now that I am experiencing being part of the huge team here that churns out the media component of a big event! For happenings at IOCC 2012, do visit the incredibly informative official website hosted at www.indonesiaopen.chessdom.com. It has regularly updated reports, numerous interviews with participants, of course the r

The Indonesian Open 2012 Gets Underway...

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Official tournament website: www.indonesiaopen.chessdom.com Here you can also get a great number of interesting and often insightful interviews with the various participants. The opening ceremony was also covered at www.fide.com as well as numerous other leading chess websites.

Indonesia Open Chess Championship 2012

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The Indonesia Open Chess Championship will be held from 10-17 October 2012 at the Puri Ratna Convention Hall, Level 2, Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jakarta. Once again organised by PERCASI (All Indonesia Chess Federation) with sponsorship from its President Hashim Djojohadikusumo, this year's second edition builds upon last year's highly successful inaugural event with a top class, diverse and representative field of old and young talent, both male and female, from as many as 18 countries! Our congratulations to PERCASI which has certainly put together the best International Open tournament seen in Asia in 2012! Hashim Djojohadikusumo, the PERCASI leader, at last year's opening ceremony  Indonesia does chess in the grandest possible fashion and no one who has ever played in an international tournament there will ever forget the experience, so the 27 Grandmasters playing including 9 rated 2600+ will be looking forward to the competition in more ways than one! Top s

Sergei Tiviakov wins DYTM Raja Nazrin Shah International Open Championship 2012

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Despite not showing his best form, top seeded and big favourite Sergei Tiviakov, the ex-Soviet Grandmaster who has now long represented the Nederlands, emerged the winner with 7/9 after edging defending champion Oliver Barbosa on tiebreak. Filipino Barbosa would have rued both his fourth round loss to Vietnam's Cao Sang and then failure to take advantage of a better position against Tiviakov in the second last round. But it was all in all a professional and convincing performance from a deserving winner! Taking the best woman prize was young Indian WGM Padmini Rout who at 18 has already been a World Champion in various age group categories while Ng Tze Han put in a steady performance to be the best local finisher after FM Dr. Ronnie Lim lost his last two games. Many local young players took the event as a warm up for the coming World Youth Championship to be held from 7-19 November 2012 in Maribor, Slovenia and while all had encouraging if not also commendable results, th