Sunday, November 29, 2020

Howler of a Blunder

Posted by GilaChess

GM Yasser Seriawan coined the term "Howler" to refect a very bad move made in chess. In chess the usual term used for a bad move is a blunder. So a Howler is a BAD blunder.

I made the biggest howler when I lost all my website content because I missed payments for the website a few months back. That's years of content from the Catur portal, chess calendar, pictures and various other blogs lost! 

What's worse is that all that could have been avoided if I was not stingy and save on the optional 1$ per month payment for automantic backup.

Well, I have set up from scratch all my websites on Digital Ocean based on Singapore server and this time I will not skim on that $1/month.

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Queen's Gambit vs The Coldest War

Posted by GilaChess

  One is a movie and the other a mini series. But both are about chess or at least centres around the game.

The depiction of Chess from The Coldest Game was silly to say the least. For one thing, in The Coldest Game, the person who overseeing the game is called "arbiter", not a "judge". Also, when a player wants a draw, there is no need to pass the offer via the arbiter, they just ask the other player.  Of course there are many tiny inaccuracies in the movie that would make a tournament player cringe.

The other aspects of the show is acceptable and I only watched because I like Bill Pullman's acting.

The new mini series "The Queen's Gambit" starring Anya Taylor-Joy is way better in terms of chess accuracy. All the chess openings are right, like the Sicilian Najdorf, Levenfish variation, how a simul event is conducted are all correct. I just appreciate it when film makers take the trouble for small details like that and not be creatively"inventive" when it comes to chess facts. Overall, I think The Queen's Gambit will be a worthwhile watch especially when IMDB rates this at 8.7 out of 10.

I only watched the first episode and so far it looks good. Have you seen it yet? Tell me what you think in the comments..

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Friday, July 31, 2020

AISS Chess Championship

Posted by GilaChess
Aspiration International Secondary School brings the Malaysian chess enthusiasts its first-ever AISS Chess Championship! Register NOW and join the online chess competition and stand to win cash prizes:
  • Under-16 Category RM 500 (total prizes) 
  • Under-13 Category RM 450 (total prizes)


Sunday 2nd of August 2020
Under-13 years old @ 1.30 – 3.30pm
Under-16 years old @ 4.00 – 6.00pm

Where to register?

Online Chess Platform: U-16 link: U-13 link:

Registration Dates and Fees

Register before 24th July to get the early bird entry fee of RM 8 (normal is RM 10)
Register for AISS Chess Championship #ACC now!
For enquiries, please call or WhatsApp our hotline +6 012 677 5777 or email us at

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Chess Masks!

Posted by GilaChess

Malaysia is doing well at least better than most countries in this covid pandemic times. I feel we are wasting a lot of resources with disposable masks and washable/reusable masks is more sensible.

A chess friend got the idea and came up with a chess-motif mask! I think it's a great idea. He sent me one but I am in Cameron Highlands for holiday at the moment but I will post a review when I try it in a few days.




You can get the mask from this link to  Shopee 
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Sunday, March 08, 2020

Still dreaming: Local Internet Chess Server

Posted by GilaChess

If someone described me a procrastinator and dreamer, they are so right!

Talked about "wanting" to do this - setting up a local (Malaysian or at least Asia based) chess playing webserver for many years now. Wrote about the Holy Grail of Installing Chess Servers in 2016. Nothing has happened since then.

The obvious questions is why on earth would anyone want to compete with the already established chess webservers like Lichess, Playchess,, ICC and FICC?

Here are the reasons why:

1. It's possible
Just like Nike's slogan "Just Do It", it can and should be attempted just because it's possible!
LICHESS, one of the most popular online playing platform is open source. The games played just surpassed 1 billion the beginning of this year. Anyone with motivation and knowledge can take the source code and build their own version of LICHESS. The installation process is documented at github.

2. Local equals fast
LICHESS itself is hosted in France in 3 separate servers. Distance matters. For Malaysians, the ping rate is higher because of the distance. What this means is that there is a slight delay for moves to be transmitted and played on the game server. The delay is relatively small but serious chess players will notice it particularly if they are playing fast chess like bullet chess. If there is a LICHESS installation in Malaysia, the ping rate will be fast and the experience of almost instantaneous response in the game play will definitely make it a more enjoyable experience.

3. Open source equals modifiable

Programmers can modify and add new features to the server. Eg: interactive rooms for chess coaching, custom local tournaments etc. The possibilities are endless.

Please don't wait for me to do this (for obvious reasons). Anyone out there want to take this challenge and implement a local chess server?

Also with the current COVID19 crisis, it emphasises the importantce of online facilities like a chess server.

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Saturday, March 07, 2020

Postponed: 3rd Johor Bahru International Chess Championship 2020

Posted by GilaChess

3rd Johor Bahru International Chess Championship is postponed due to the covid19 virus.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

50 first dates with GACC

Posted by GilaChess
I love this romantic comedy movie and it's about Drew Barrymore who plays an amnesiac whose short term memory can only retain the last 24 hours and forgets everything the very next day. It's a beautiful and creative story which I really liked.

It's perfect to illustrate GilaChess relationship with GACC. For example, I've helped them in the early days when blogs and website were a thing and there were not many other than GilaChess and a few other blogs. So much so that GilaChess was chosen as "Web sponsor" and covered the event reporting on the many editions of GACC. But they (GACC) do forget the role the websites and blog play for publicity and left us out for some years. Who can blame GACC as they comprise university students who change every year and "memory loss" such as benefits and things that work previously is forgotten when the new batch of GACC takes over.

Last year I decided to remind them, and they did appoint GilaChess the old post of "web sponsor" so the event was covered in my blog and websites in 2019. As web sponsor the official website was created to post daily updates on the tournament.
As expected, without reminder this year, it was forgotten again. And I did not remind them and as such did not cover the event this year. There is no malice or ill feelings towards GACC but I just want to point out the weaknesses of not remembering. Not that blog coverage is important or anything. In fact I am relieved they did not invite me to cover the event this year. It's both expensive (in terms of time and effort) and without any monetary compensation (not that I was expecting it). I even let the website expire (too expensive to maintain).

This "amnesia" costs GACC. For example if they remembered to invite me, they would have free coverage and publicity without any cost (because I would do the grunt work for free). But that's not the only thing.

What I want to point out is that GACC managed to attract better sponsors in the past. For example, the closing ceremony dinner was sponsored by the Legend hotel and playing conditions were good to attract strong players. Because of this GACC bigger and far more successful. For example, they had top Russian GMs taking part in the inter-varsities event. I remember one was top 10 junior in the world. Even Wang Hao took part in one of the years. There was this successful formula in attracting top talents but sadly what worked then was forgotten or lost. They cannot replicate it in the later years which is a shame.

The formula today is not bad. It's sort of like a mini Malaysian Open. We have the age group, blitz, inter-varsities and the team event is especially popular based on the successful Merdeka Team event which many love. But if you, like me remember the past, it was more exclusive and bigger then. Ah .. those were the days..

Just to reiterate, I bear no grudge against GACC not inviting me this year. Like I said, I appreciate the rest this year. Also, I wish GACC success for future editions! Probably one advice is to maybe remember what worked and what didn't and make future GACC better.

Also, watch the movie! Who knows. The solution at the end of the movie may apply and fix GACC current amnesia problem. I won't mention it here. I don't like to spoil!
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Monday, December 16, 2019

Penang Open 2019 results

Posted by GilaChess

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