Saturday, December 31, 2005

Singapore vs Malaysia 2005

Posted by GilaChess
Singapore vs Malaysia 2005
This event is held annually and last year, Malaysia lost by a margin of 10 points.

You can find the official report on MCF website.

This year, armed with the knowledge that the Singapore team is not as strong as last year as Singapore had an extra estimated ELO 1500 more than Malaysia.

Boy were we wrong and took a terrible beating compared to last year.

Day 1

I was excited to be together with the Malaysian team heading to Singapore for this "friendly" match. This is my first time witnessing the Singapore-Malaysia match. It's also my first Singapore visit after 15 years!!

I was told to come to Sentral Station by 7.30am. Arrived just in time to meet many chess players already waiting at KFC restaurant. Most of the other players were at Mc Donalds having breakfast. The train ticket was for 8am but KTM was late and we only boarded the train at 8.50am. A good thing too as FM Mok Tze Meng arrived a little late but was still in time to catch th train.

All aboard for a long 8 hour journey to Singapore.

After visiting the impressive Singapore Asean Chess Academy, we had dinner at a nearby food court. Finally arrived at Orchid Compthorne Hotel at 7.30pm.

At around 9 or 10 pm I received a call from Calvia Olympian Leong Mun Wan to visit at a 'Mamak' style foodcourt. We were joined by FM Mok Tze Meng, Michael Siong, Chen Tze Wei, Pok Wern Jian and two other chess players whose name I can't remember.

Day 2

Had breakfast buffet style at 8.15 am. The dining hall was packed. Had to wait 10 minutes before I got a seat.
At 8.45am, the players are called out to assemble as it appears the Singaporean players were all at the playing hall, seated and ready to play. This early and they already had a psychological advantage of playing on home ground as well as appearing totally ready for combat. The Malaysian team on the other hand had to hurry to get to the playing hall (in the same hotel) with their stomach full. Probably a better strategy next time is to have our breakfast early and avoid the rush.

It took only a few minutes for the opening ceremony to introduce the neutral arbiter from Mongolia and explain the simple procedures to the players.
Present was saw GM Mark Paragua who must be playing in ASEAN masters tournament held in Singapore too.
The previous night advice by team captains Lim Tse Pin, Gregory Lau and Ismail Ahmad seemed to be effective as the players did not end their game too fast like last year (in 10 minutes).
After about an hour only a handful of games were over.

However, the Malaysians were losing by a deficit of 10 points after around one and a half hours.

The veteran section contributed in reducing our losses last year to only 10 points.
This time though the score was about even.

GM Yu Shaobin vs IM Jimmy Liew at the Men's top board.

Roslina Marmono and Samantha Lee representing the Malaysian Women section.

Leong Mun Wan was the last game to finish in Round 1 but by then we had already lost by a 19 points deficit.

Chuah Soon Peng (Jonathan Chuah's father)

IM Jimmy Liew not looking happy in Round 2. Malaysia takes Black pieces for the second round. With a disastrous Round 1 results taking White it will be an uphill task playing the Black pieces.

FM Mok plays another FM from Singapore. Mok lost his first round but outplayed the Singaporean FM in the endgame to win the second round.

Johor chess organiser Nara playing vs Nick Aplin. Naraa won the first game but lost the second.

PDA used for recording moves. No moves are actually written down. You just use the touch screen to move the pieces to reflect the actual board position.

The game recorded can be broadcasted to the public via projector and notebook. This was implemented on 4 boards from the Under-14 boys section.
Overall score:
Malaysia 50.5 - Singapore 89.5

Day 3

Going home..

Waiting for the KTM train at Tanjong Pagar station.

Getting ready for the long 8-hour trip home.

Not enough chess in Singapore. Carriage K5 vs Carriage K4 blitz on the train back to KL. Exciting finish as we had to go to playoff to see who was the winner. Players who took part were Mok Tze Meng, Wan Khye Teng, wonder boy Yeap Eng Cheam, Ronnie Lim and many others.

Anyway, the results show that overall, Malaysia is slipping further behind Singapore in terms of chess development.
Singapore now have better players in terms of quantity and quality. Their "Chess Academy" training program is definitely very effective in producing new talented chess players. We do not have any program in Malaysia comparable to this except for some personal coaching classes conducted by local chess coaches. Singapore now has about 20 foreign coaches!
Singapore also emphasises on the classical time control unlike in Malaysia where most of the time we are playing fast allegros.
It's time for us to buck up and take our revenge (hopefully) in September 2006. That's only 9 months away...

Lastly I have to thank MCF for giving me this chance to witness the Malaysia-Singapore match for the first time.


Anonymous said...

I wish I could play chess like that :)

GilaChess said...

Why not?

Check out for local tournaments in and around Klang Valley.

There are many and you can play for fun. Malaysian Chess is not that competitive compared to our neigbours in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

How can I take part in this event? I would love to destroy them :).