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Friday, October 5, 2012

Break from Chess

Alas, I have decided to take a break from my beloved hobby, chess due to studies and work. It is slightly heart breaking to separate with the hobby I love a lot..

Therefore, this blog will remain idle until I start playing chess back again....

Adiós for now readers =)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insofar New Policy

Insofar Chess

Insofar has created a lot of controversy recently after the organizer failed to bank in money into the prize winners account (including mine). I actually had posted about this problem but then removed it since I think it is better to ask the organizer personally first.
Last Sunday, I headed to Wilayah Complex and enquired about it. The organizer, Encik Mat Zaki gave his cooperation and explained to me.

He started with the new policy first that they implemented last month.
"Starting September 2012,a Scholarship Holder MUST play in a Scholarship 
Tournament to get the following month scholarship."

That statement was taken from insofar chess official website. Example: You won a prize of (5unit X 100 month = RM500). You must play the next month edition of insofar to earn your RM5. However, you will not received the money if you failed to play in the next edition. Nevertheless the total amount of RM500 will not decreased. So, you will received money only if you play the next month. That means you need to play 100 editions to get the final RM500. Of course, you can earn more if you win more prizes, such as the 60 consecutive edition prize that will reward you (RM1000 X 20 unit).

But it is still GOOD News for the old prize winners. The organizer, Encik Zaki claimed that he will bank in money even if the previous prize winners did not play. This is because, this rule was not stated in the previous edition.

"Winners will continue to get scholarship every month, although not playing in the tournament anymore." (the previous regulation)
Later this month, I received an "sms" stating that Insofar will give out the scholarship prizes for September or before, later. So no worries for the previous prize winners as you will received money even if you do not play. Hopefully, the organizer will keep his word as they said "Every man of courage is a man of his word".

For more details or contact no. visit Insofar Site. Link

Saturday, September 22, 2012

In His Own Image

A chess veteran himself, Yuen Sow Mun is also a great teacher and novelist. He has started blogging last year in June 2011 and has written 3 books so far. Not only there are many fascinating stories in it, I have learned many great vocabulary and skill in writing essays. Who knows, he might end up being one of Malaysia Best Selling novelist in the coming years. So, please do visit his blog. LINK


Monday, August 27, 2012

Interview with IM Senador Emmanuel

Getting his 1st GM Norm in DATMO 2009, he is IM Senador Emmanuel. Yatzchess managed to invite him for a short interview.

Yatz: What happened in the last round.

Senador: We lost the last match, 2.5-1.5.

Yatz: So, what do you think of your performance

Senador: Worst, Worst ever (laugh). Lost 5 games.

Yatz: How many points you collected

Senador: I scored only 3.5. 3 wins and 1 draw.

Yatz: So what is the factor of your poor performance?

Senador: Erm, nothing. This is a team event, so when 1 looses, you will get slightly affected.

Yatz: So are you a full time chess player?

Senador: Yes, In philipine

Yatz: At what age you started playing chess?

Senador: Very late, I think it is around 12 years old.

Yatz: So when did you get your IM norm?

Senador: I think I got it as early as 2004. But they only allowed the IM tittle in 2011. I didn't compete in any major tournament, it just err...goes up.

Yatz: So how did you started playing chess?

Senador: I saw some guys playing in the barber shop. I got interested in it then. I then enter the National junior championship, luckily I lost (laugh). That was my 1st tournament.

Yatz: How many hours do you spent on your training?

Senador: I think 1 to 2 hours. Generally, just to get the latest games.

Yatz: What kind of exercises you focus more to?

Senador: I focus more on tactics and complicated positions.

Yatz: Is chess engine the most important tool in your training?

Senador: Not necessarily. It is really important for humans mind. Computers are for preparation against players and maybe to see the improvement of the position. In the end, you have to rely on yourselves. I like the 360 chess. You have to rely on your own. Maybe it is good to be original. 

Yatz: So you have been training on your own all these years?

Senador: Philippine is a poor country so you have to train it on your own.

Yatz: Is chess really popular in Philippine?

Senador: Yes because Mr.Pichai, when he became a president in 2005 I guess. He produced many GM's in Philippine. 

Yatz: So he is the factor of Philipine success in chess?

Senador: Yeah. Because of the funding of Mr.Pichai since he is on the government side. 

Yatz: What other sport you do other than chess?

Senador: Not many. Maybe just once in a while. I like to walk more.

Yatz: How do you prepare for yourself before a tournament?

Senador: I will review some opening and analyse my opponents games. I have to do physically conditioning also.

Yatz: Do you get nervous before a tournament?

Senador: Maybe maybe, if the competition is really tense. 

Yatz: How do you described your playing style?

Senador: Aggressive! I also like complicated games. Open position also because it is full with tactics.

Yatz: So how many time have you represent Philippine for the Olympiad?

Senador: I have represent Philippine for 3 times in the Olympiad.

Yatz: So will you be representing Philippine this year?

Senador: No. There is a selection but I didn't make it.

Yatz: How about Wesley so?

Senador: Yeah he is representing Philippine. 

Yatz: Which part of the world you travel the most?

Senador: ASIA countries

Yatz: So how many GM norm have you obtain?

Senador: Only 1. I get it here in 2009 at DATMO. I was leading but lost to Negi. But I still get my GM norm.

Yatz: Last question, what is your aim in chess.

Senador: To get my GM norm. Maybe I might get GM norm in blitz or rapid, maybe..

Thats all for now. I wished you best of luck in achieving your GM tittle. Thank you IM Senador for the interview.

*Special thanks to Andrew Ooi (a.k.a Gilachess) and Hadi for the photos.

  • Stay tuned for the last interview with WIM Emma Guo from Australia
  • Photos and report of the MERDEKA ASTRO Rapid event

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Interview with Irine Sukandar

A WGM at just age 17, Irine Sukandar is definitely one of the most promising chess player to emerge from Indonesia. In this interview, Irene will be talking about her training and her mission in chess.

Venue: Midvalley Cititel
Interview by: yatzchess

Yatz: First of all, congratulation for your win just now (Round 8). So, how do you think you performed in   this rapid event?

Irine: I think my rapid is not as good as my classical. Well, it does not mean my classical is that good but at least is better than my rapid. Well, I am playing this event just for fun and also to see how good I am in rapid.

Yatz: So are you satisfied with your performance?

Irine: Erm, in the individual event, few days before this team event, I was not playing so good. But in the 2nd half of the tournament, I overcome myself with a better performance. Yeah, I'm not so happy but I think I'm doing pretty good.

Yatz: So, are you currently a full time chess player?

Irine: No, I'm still studying in University.

Yatz: Which University?

Irine: gunadarma university back in Indonesia

Yatz: So, what are you studying?

Irine: Literature

Yatz: At what age you started playing chess?

Irine: I started playing chess at 7.

Yatz: Wow, that is really young. Who is the one that encouraged you to play chess?

Irine: My father. Well is not really encourage me. He is just trying to find me some activities in school and all stuff about school. He himself is a table tennis player. I was playing table tennis for a few months, but then I get bored (laugh). But then he introduce me to some sports like chess and table tennis. Well, eventually I chose chess.

Yatz: Is table tennis famous in Indonesia?

Irine: Not really. Maybe just like Malaysia. Badminton is more famous.


Yatz: How many hours do you spent on your chess training?

Irine: If my coach is here, we will train about 5 hours a day.

Yatz: I had a coach from Indonesia too and he said I have to practice at least 8 hours a day.

Irine: Well, If you are really professional then you have to spent as much time on chess because chess is really hard. I used to try for 8 hours during my holidays when my coach is here. Yeah but, during the classes and other things, 5 hours should be enough.

Yatz: During your chess training, what type of exercises you focus on? Opening? Tactics? End game?

Irine: All of them. Ok, in the opening, we cover a bit more than the others probably because there are a lot  of updates in the opening. I mean like in the middle game and endgame, they are stuck like that. But opening, is quite dynamic. Especially top grandmaster, they find some novels and things that we have to catch up.

Yatz: Do you regard chess engines as the most important tool in your training?

Irine: Err, in our training, we usually use our brains more. We will try as much to avoid computer. I mean, we want to crack it with our brains..not practising the chess engines brain, (laughs)..Yeah but it is pretty important, I mean after the game, when we have a some unclear position that you cannot solve, then you just use the computer to work it out.

Yatz: This might sound silly but do you prefer if chess engines didn't existed?

Irine: It is something we cannot avoid. I really like what it already is.

Yatz: To have a healthy mind, you must be physically fit to according too. So what sports you usually do?

Irine: I like running. I do some jogging sometime. Mostly I am more into table tennis again. Usually when I am at home, I will spent my time with my family. My father and brother likes table tennis so I play with them.

Yatz: How do you prepare yourselves before a tournament?

Irine: The preparation are more or less about opening.Because, like in middle game and endgame, we just have to understand. But in opening, we really have to memorize and understand. And also, our opponents character are different, that's why we need to explore more ideas in the openings.

Yatz: Do you usually get really nervous before a tournament?

Irine: Yeah it happens.

Yatz: I usually couldn't sleep the night before a tournament due to nervousness, have you experience it?

Irine: Well, it happens to me sometimes, not all the times. I mean is something normal for human right? But usually I don't get nervous because this is something I have done many times already.

Yatz: So do you consider yourselves a tactical player or more positional player?

Irine: Oh, when I was younger I used to be the more tactical one. All my coaches told me that "Irine, why you so tactical one? Can you just play a bit solid, look after your position." And I say "I just can't because that is my character." But now, I am slowly becoming a more positional player, I don't know because after sometime when you reach the tactical one, you found positional is more solid. It doesn't mean it limits my chance for me to play the tactical position. Whenever the tactical position arise, I will just play it. When it is not, it is better to learn positional ideas because it happens more often than the tactical one.

Yatz: I supposed experience helps in positional understanding.

Irine: Yeah.

Yatz: You have been travelling all around the world. So which country you generally visit the most to play chess?

Irine: Erm, Asian countries, I think China also. I'm now playing in the Chinese league, I will go back and forth like every 2 month.

Yatz: In Indonesia, is chess really popular. I mean are you like..ermm celebrities?

Irine: Oh come on (laugh)

Yatz: So it is something like Malaysia..

Irine: I think it is better, because we do have a lot of junior players. Chess is getting more popular in Indonesia compared like 10 years ago, where only old people play chess.

Yatz: So, which chess player inspire you the most?

Irine: Judit Polgar. She is already one of the top female player in the male category when she was very young and she still plays in the men section now. Yeah, I think all women chess players in the world are inspired by her too.

Yatz: Alright, this is the final question. What is your aim in chess now?

Irine: I want to get the highest achievement. But now I'm a WGM and I am running for my IM tittle. I already got my norm I guess, I just need to get my rating to 2400 to get my tittle. That is my main target for this year. I mean I have hanging in this 2300 for 4 years, it has been always up and down without breaking 2400. So it is abit, errr...yeah, it is pretty irritaing actually..yeah that is actually my target.

Yatz: Well, all the best on what you aim for. Once again, thank you Irine for this interview. =)

*Special thanks to Andrew Ooi (a.k.a gilachess) and Hadi for the photos.

  • Stay tuned for exclusive interview from IM  Senador Emmanuel and WIM Guo Emma
  • Photos during the MERDEKA team rapid event

Friday, August 24, 2012

Confusing FGM


Did you mean this FGM??? Next time, please check properly before commenting because you might sound like a "Fool". =)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

NAJIB in Make The PITCH!

A surprise appearance by Malaysia renowned chess arbiter and organizer, Najib Abdul Wahab in 8TV reality show "Make The Pitch"! Make The Pitch is a TV reality show that is looking for innovative ideas from Malaysia Entrepreneurs. If the panel of investors is satisfy with the idea, they will invest in to the business.

Najib was proposing to set up an academy with 88 students in it. He will then employ foreign GM to come and coach. He also said that he will published chess books and set up an online chess site in Bahasa Melayu. 

Najib presentation was excellent. He was able to response the questions asked by the judges with great confidence. However, the judges were not convince with the return they will be receiving. They also think that he is not an Entrepreneur. Instead, they considered this as a noble act to promote chess in Malaysia. In addition, Najib was advised to collaborate with Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF).

Sadly, Najib failed to make the pitch. Nevertheless, salute to him for attempting to bring chess to a higher level (unlike some who only know how to TALK but no ACTION). Don't give up your dream Najib! Like they said, "When there is a will, there is a way"! Good Luck =)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kamaluddin Yusof vs Ian Udani

As promised, here is the video recorded between Insofar Champion, Kamaluddin Yusof and top seed Ian Udani in the recent Insofar tournament. It is only a 4 minute video clip. Ian Udani only had 1.52 minutes on his clock while Kamaluddin had a comfortable 10 minutes to spare.

Sorry about the quality of this video since Blogspot only permit videos below 100MB...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kamaluddin Yusof Champs Insofar with PERFECT SCORE!!

Kamaluddin The Great, won the Insofar July edition today with perfect score of 6/6! His victims included top seed, Ian Udani and Ronnie Lim. Despite the fasting month, the turned out was pretty good. Some of the top players includes Ian Udani, Ronnie Lim, Efren Bagamasbad, Kamalarifin, Jax Tham, Liew Ken Yew, Nik Ahmad Farouqi and Nor Ilhamuddin. The organizer also shortened the tourney to only 6 rounds since it is the month of Ramadan.

Insofar is one of the rare tournament that offered vouchers as prize (voucher to play Insofar for free in the next edition). Not only that, Insofar is also the first to offered scholarship prizes, that means the organizer will bank in to your bank account every month until it reaches the limit of the cash prize. There are also various of prizes being offered. Category prizes includes Best Father, Best lady, Best Blogger, Best IPT, Best Primary, Best Secondary and many more. Najib Wahab, the arbiter also claimed that his biggest challenge is not arbitering, but sorting out the prizes for each category. But the best part is, you could even win the scholarship prizes despite being at the bottom.

Below are the pictures of the prize winners.

Champion: Kamaluddin Yusof 

Runner Up: Ronnie Lim Chuin Hoong 

 3rd: Efren Bagamasbad 

Best U2000/4th: Nik Ahmad Farouqi Nik 

Best Father/5th: Kamalariffin Wahiduddin 

Best U1700/6th: Amiruddin Zakaria

7th: Ian Udani 

Best Blogger/8th: Jax Tham Tick Hong (Excel Chess)

Best U1800/9th: Yat Guo Jie a.k.a yatzchess

Best U1900/10th: Nor Ilhamuddin Shaikh Ali (Chess Odyssey)

Best IPT: Chek Kin Keuk

Best Secondary School: Liew Ken Yew

 Best Primary school: Mok Tsu Zing

Best Teacher: Bob Yap 

Best Non Malaysian: Taione Sikivou 

Best 2nd Blogger

Best U1600: Lum Zhun Hoong  

Best U1700/Best U15: Darrel Yap Egin

Congratulation to all prize winners. 

  • Final standing will be published in soon.
  • Short video between Kamaluddin Yusof and Ian Udani later
  • Some pictures during the tournament

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

The Opening of The Dark Knight Rises was a huge success, setting a box office record of  $161 million! I just watched it yesterday and it was really awesome! Bruce Wayne a.k.a Batman climbed back up from the penitentiary which escape is practically impossible. But the Dark Knight managed to rise in the end and safe the day. This 2 and a half hour movie is worth every cent you pay for the ticket. Easily rate 4/5 star.

Thursday, July 19, 2012



    SUNDAY 22ND JULY 2012

#All players will get certificate of attendance
PLACE :  No.33, 5th Floor
                AMPAC Shah Alam
                (yellow building infront of Mc Donalds)
                 Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah F9/F
                 Section 9,Shah Alam
TIME: 9.00am – 4.00pm
          (Check attendance at 9am.Break 1-2pm)
Fees RM20
Players will play in different respective age group   tournament
Time Control:25 minutes Swiss 4 Rounds

               SMS Full name and age group to
                  0172032051 (Insofar Chess Academy)
               No walk-in registration will be accepted

PRIZE (for each AGE GROUP)

 For EACH age group
1st – RM100+ RM200 Voucher (50 x 4)  =RM300                   
2nd – RM70 + RM150 Voucher (50 x 3) =RM220                
3rd – RM30 + RM100 Voucher (50 x 2)  =RM130
4th – RM100 Voucher(50x2)                     
5th – RM100 Voucher(50x2)                    
6th – RM100 Voucher(50x2)                     
7th   – RM100 Voucher (50 x 2)
8th    – RM50 Voucher  
9th   – RM50 Voucher
10th – RM50 Voucher

EXTRA PRIZES (RM50 Voucher each)
  * Best Outside Shah Alam Player
  * Best Outside Selangor and KL Player
  * UNDER 7 –Best Under 5 Boy
                     _Best Under 5 Girl
                     --Best Under 6 Boy
                     --Best Under 6 Girl
Each RM50 Voucher – Eligible to attend One  INSOFAR Scholarship Tournament or One Combined Tournament.See more at

Monday, July 16, 2012

The brilliant Rg2!

This position arises from a game between Yeap Eng Chiam as black and Thong Yung Chen as white in the last round of KASUGI. Yeap Eng Chiam brilliantly played Rg2! On first sight, many would have thought it is a blunder, even Eng Chiam himself was surprised for a second after playing this move. But it turned out to be the winning move. Did you see the continuation after Qxg2?

Chess Players in KASUGI

Ian Udani, a well known Filipino chess player in Malaysia

 IM Jimmy Liew (chessischess), will be representing Malaysia for the Olympiad

IM Mok Tze Meng, expert in the "MOK"dern defense

 FM Nicholas Chan, Malaysia No.2 rank chess player

NM Marcus Chan  

 Ronnie Lim won the best state prize

Yeoh Li Tian with an impressive 2358 rating performance...not the best Junior? Think Again!

 2010 National Master Tan Khai Boon

Veteran Eddy Kwan, the father of Johor state player, Ruby Kwan

Mohd Ezmi from Kelantan

Tan Hong Ghee contributing only 2 points for the team

 Muhd Syazwan Zulkifli (mylifeinchess) scoring 5/8 points

 Wong Yinn Long, the 4th board for Tesla Chess team 

 NM Evan Capel Timothy in top form, defeated FM Yee Soon Wei in round 7

This Year National Master, Roshan Singh 

 Jax Tham Tick Hong doing some stretching before the game begin

Khor Shihong playing for Penang B

 Chess talent, Sivanesan Subramaniam 

 Najib Wahab, won the crucial point in the last round against Loo Swee Leong

 NM Kamalarifin from Pahang

Nor Ilhamuddin (2010chessodysey), done his best for his team

 Kevin Seow, captain for SPAWN Armageddon

 Muhammad Arshad, a blogger, a well known chess equipment supplier and a strong chess player

 Ibni Hajar Amri from Kedah

 Ong Thian Loon also from Kedah

 Tukiran Taulani from Johor

 Abdullah Che Hassan. This man is also a pro in poker game

 Tan Ken Wei playing 1st board for Nameless chess team

 Kaulsha Khandhar, champ the RSC Open last week

 Foo Chee Kin playing for Negeri Sembilan

 Amier Hamzah, a hyper active chess player. He is also the top scorer for his team.

 Sarawak renowned chess player, Lim Kian Hwa

Ilias Mohd Safri and Izzudin Ahayat

 Wong Jian Wen with 5/8 points.

Razali Hamzah or better known as (Ng6), a very underrated chess player

Alfred Ting Shih Chieh, the 3rd board for SPAWN Armageddon

Mohd Saprin and his family 

 Iskandar Rashid, making his début only on the 2nd day

Ramone Mikgail Kok, representing UTP (Universiti Teknologi Petronas)

 Harun Bustaman from Kelantan


 Highly rated, IM Nolte Rolando from Philippine. He too finishes with perfect score!

 NM Lim Zhuo Ren

 Efren Bagamasbad from Philippine 

 IM Bancod Ronald, playing top board for Apocalypse-Manilla Chess Team

 Muhd Syakir Shazmeer 

 Olivia Madhavan a.k.a olive oil

Jairan b Ibrahim, last minute replacement for SPAWN Armageddon

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