Saturday, October 05, 2019

Chess removed from MSSM?

Posted by GilaChess

This is not new as it has been done before and one whole generation suffered when chess was taken out of the Malaysian Sports curriculum. So now it rears it's ugly head again. During the years without MSSM, MCF came out with the National Age Group to compensate but it was never the same as chess in the MSSM.

Checking the MCF website this is a quote:
"With those points in mind, it came as a huge surprise by many when Majlis Sukan Sekolah-Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) had recently discussed and almost concluded that Chess will be out from its calendar by 2020. Without any rhymes nor reasons, chess faces a near extinction as a sport for young kids in school."

Full article here:

In that article, MCF is urging the public to sign an online petition so that Chess will remain in MSSM. From the article it sounds that no decision has been made yet so this is a prophylaxis move to discourage the powers that be NOT TO REMOVE chess from the MSSM.

If you feel strongly about this and want to contribute your signature do so here:

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Johor Chess Open - only 5 days left

Posted by GilaChess
Hurry! Only 5 days left to enjoy the 20% discount. After that you pay the full amount. Don't say I didn't tell you..

Details for payment here.
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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Benefits of an AI Chess Coach

Posted by GilaChess

The coming of the AI coach is not on anyone's radar now except for the obscure post at

I just want to add there is an added benefit to the human coaches despite the perceived threat of AI replacing the human coach.

The human coach is still essential and the AI coach just acts as assistant. Particularly useful when doing remote coaching when geographical distance separate the coach and the student. Multiple AI coaches can be programmed individually for each student. Fine tuning and analysis of students wants and needs still require the human touch and decision. Working together the potential synergy of computers and human expertise can be fantastic if the AI coach ever comes to be.

Also when everything is online, rating facilities will reflect on how good the coach (human, AI or both) is or is not. Customers will flock to the perceived better coach.

I have to admit all the above is moot as something as a good chess Learning Management Systems (LMS) isn't yet present. Sure we have many attempts of chess elearning but many are not on level with the commercial LMS. However, new websites like from India looks promising although it's heavily reliant on human coaches and zero AI usage.
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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Cheating vs Violation

Posted by GilaChess
Recently a player in the ongoing Malaysian Chess Festival, who shall go unnamed, was caught with a phone on his/her person.

That person's game was immediately forfeited because this is a clear vioaltion of the rules of the tournament. No chess program can be found on the phone so the case is not a proven cheating case. However the player was suspended from the tournament because did not comply with surrendering the phone immediately and instead was possibly deleting apps before finally giving the phone up.

Of course FIDE or the person's chess federation will have to investigate and make some decision if further punishment is needed.

If it's a proven case of cheating the punishment will be a 3 to 5 year ban from all tournaments.
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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Sumant beats Malaysian Open first seed

Posted by GilaChess

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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Metal detectors for tournaments

Posted by GilaChess
That's the price of one type of metal detectors at Lazada. Cheap right?

The shorter the wand the less sensitive the metal detector is. That is why the short one sold at Lazada is only RM 35.

I mention in a past post that metal detectors can be used as one of the deterrent to chess cheating but as usual technology moves at a rapid rate and even metal detectors can be circumvented. Proper shielding can ensure even metal detectors cannot detect phones. It's logical too as metal detectors like the one show above is meant to detect metallic objects like a gun and most more than half the phone is usually just plastic material rather than metal. That is why 2014 Baku Olympiad metal detectors was used but the 2018 Batumi Olympiad it was not used. Presumably the organisers also knew the weaknesses and the many way metal detectors can be circumvented.

Here an article detailing some of the methods metal detectors are made ineffective: How to get a phone throught metal detectors. Here's another making it easy wrapping your phone in a certain material,

The latest Olympiad in Batumi used X-ray frames like the one they used in airports instead of metal detectors which I think is extreme and expensive but yet unfortunately necessary.

So is technology siding the cheaters? It's not if we use technology more to find and deter cheaters. It need not even be costly. For example a simple wide angle video camera of the whole hall to monitor movement and behaviour of visitors and players can be replayed back for post mortem. Also it need not be technology based. The Batumi Olympiad made random searches on players after every round as deterrent. Again, I think it's extreme and hard to implement in our local tournaments.

Of course, I think the recently went viral non-ethical method taking photos of a player in the toilet is the wrong way to go about it.

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Saturday, August 03, 2019

Countdown to Malaysian Chess Festival

Posted by GilaChess
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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Why analog watches not allowed?

Posted by GilaChess
Some people still can't understand why an analog watch is not allowed in a serious chess tournament today.

One possible protest:
"Come on, this is a freaking 10 year old Rolex. There's nothing digital about it!"

Here's why analog watches are not allowed. Take this Amazfit watch for example..

It uses 'Glonast' tech which just means it has a digital overlay screen. When Glonast is off, the watch looks like any ordinary analog watch. But it's actually a smart watch capable of receiving text messages via whatsapp, SMS, FB messaging etc.

Suffice to say it makes cheating in a chess tournament too easy.

This is not a concept watch as you can already buy it from GearBest (USD 149.99) . Link below:-

It's a cool watch. I am tempted to buy it as it has fitness tracking which includes tracking swimming activities.
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