Thursday, May 20, 2010


Last night I continued my mediocre result in the 3rd DATCC campaign. So far I had played 5 times and lost 4 (including 1 by default) and managed only to win (after very hardworking) a single game. Fatigue, poor opening preparation, poor technique.. they are all major factor to this. May be it was my 'off' season, or may be I should take a long break from playing chess, but enjoying it in a different perspective, like keying in the games for the database (The GACC 2005 project; now, round 3 consist of 60 games to be keyed in is in progress), teaching kids or, my favourite one, selling chess books after telling some promotion stories about the book and chess.

The defeat against Yeoh Li Tian was not really a surprise. I had read and watched his excellent performance. All I wished was to give him the best challenge. Somehow, I did not manage to do so. He is really a matured chess player. There was no single mistake in his play against me last night.


I somehow managed to catch a pair of eyes belonged to Nor Ilhamuddin Shaikh Ali during my encounter with Yeoh Li Tian last night. Just now, after reading his chess oddysey 2010 blog, a name suddenly strucks into my memory... Fahor Jahudi, a columnist that used to write in Utusan Malaysia a very long-long time ago. Like Ilhamudin, I also used to learn some chess techniques from his column.

By the way, my very first encounter in the Inter matrics UUM Sintok 1991 with Nor Ilhamudin, in the ending of Ruy Lopez exchange, I, with plenty of time, offered Nor Ilhamuddin a draw (which was accepted by him) in a drawish position,but with Ilham had less than 5 minutes. I felt that, it was not honoured to win him by default at that time.

like Ilham, I had also had an experienced with this man, Fahor Jahudi. I was only 18 during my 1st year Matriculation Center of International Islamic University. I was invited by the President of IIUM Chess Club, Bro. Arik Sanusi to "assist" the main campus players in their campaign in the Merdeka Chess Tournament. I still remember that, from 7 rounds, I got 5 points.

During my encounter with Fahor Jahudi, I managed to win some materials (I got a rook and a pawn for a Bishop) as early as move 14. Then the Queens were exchanged. I played rather quickly at that time, not because I was over confident, but during my young aged, I enjoyed playing chess quickly, without thinking too much about the intricacies of the position. After 33...Bc4 by my opponent, (at that time, I had a rook + 3 pawns for a Bishop) I somehow blundered by 34.b5 (which I actually did not realise at all that I had blundered) and my opponent took this opportunity to scold my verbally: "Haa! Inilah akibatnya over confident! Over confident la tu!". I was somehow shocked by this scold. However, Arik Sanusi who was playing beside me calmed me down by whispering "Rilek Zal,..rilek".

The game continued, and I had given him some material back (a rook + 3 pawns for a knight and a Bishop) At that time I even thought my Rook is better than a knight + Bishop. But after playing on, I blundered another pawn on move 44. However, I still remember Fischer's advice in his famous My 60 Memorable games, to exchange the pawns when material behind. Fahor Jahudi's problem was that, he has all weak pawns.

On move 46 I decided to kill of his knight and giving up my Rook. I considered that, this is the only way I could gobbled all the pawns and a lone;y Bishop cannot checkmate me. My judgment turned out to be a correct one. After 50.g4 hxg4 51.fxg4 I had 2 connected pass pawns. I was sure I would not lose and played on. After some maneuvers on move 64 I offered a draw seeing that, both could not progress. Again, my opponent scolded me:"kalau tadi saya nak draw. Sekarang saya taknak lah!". But suddenly after 65...Bh7?? I realised that my opponent had blundered. On move 76 it was my opponent who countered offer: "Nak draw?". I declined. After 73.Kc6 my opponent resign. Immediately another player of the IIUM whom we called his nick name as "Pocot' stated flatly " Tu laa.. tadi orang ajak draw taknak, kan dah kalah.."

Remembering this incident always made me smile. The names 'Pocot', Rahim, Arik Sanusi, Shamrazula who were the members of IIUM team might recall this incident, which I annotated it in my personal database.

Mr Fahor Jahudi, do you still remember this? Well, I did not took it hard at all, but it always make me smile remembering this incident.

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