24 August 2014

Final Words on Malaysia@Tromso

It is already a week since the Malaysian team returned from Tromso. I started blogging on Tromso with a preview just before the start of Round 1 three weeks ago now. My reviews and analyses, at first on the overall team performance and then on the individual performances have been published, and I have nothing much to add on the analytical side. So this will be my final article on the Malaysian team at the Tromso Olympiad.

23 August 2014

Assessing the Olympiad Debutants 2

Malaysian Teams to the Chess Olympiads prior to 2014 were generally hand-picked by the then MCF supremo. For many years, it was Hamid while Greg took over for the 2010 and 2012 teams. Their contention was always that they only picked the best available team, claiming they know who are the strongest Malaysian players.

19 August 2014

Olympiad: Assessing the Debutants

It was more than 10 years ago that I had a discussion with Hamid Majid, who was then MCF Secretary and de-facto supremo of Malaysian chess, on selecting Malaysian Olympiad representatives. I put forward the case that the National Closed should be the primary criteria for selection, at least the top 3 should  be selected.

17 August 2014

Malaysia@Tromso: Tournament Review Part 3 (Final)

FIDE changed the ranking basis at the Olympiads to Match Points (previously Game Points) starting from the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden. . At the same time, the event was reduced to 11 rounds (previously 13), and team size reduced to 4 players + 1 reserve (previously 4 + 2).

15 August 2014

Malaysia@Tromso: Tournament Review Part 2

Part 2 of my review of the Malaysian Men's Team performance at the just completed 2014 Olympiad benchmarks that performance with previous Malaysian Olympiad teams.

Malaysia@Tromso: Tournament Review Part 1

My review of the Malaysia Men's Team at the 2014 Tromso Olympiad shall be in 3 parts as follows:

Tromso R11: Malaysia lose 4-0

An all-GM Norway team was really a bridge too far for the young Malaysian team. losing on all 4 boards. This loss finally broke an amazing 6-match unbeaten run by the Malaysian team which included draws with 51st-ranked Switzerland in Round 10 and 56th-ranked Tajikistan in Round 9.

14 August 2014

Hope for Malaysian Chess

There is a definite sense of excitement in the Malaysian chess community over the final round match in the 2014 Tromso Olympiad today. All Malaysian chess fans will be supporting the team. No matter what the final round result, these boys are already heroes in our eyes.

R11 Preview: Malaysia v Norway

The final Round 11 of the 2014 Tromso Olympiad today starts at 5.00 pm Malaysian time. The Malaysia Men's Team is meeting the home team, Norway, on Table 3. The Board line-up is as follows:

13 August 2014

Malaysia meets Norway in R11

Malaysia is paired with home team Norway in the final round. A plum tie on the 3rd Table with all the attendant media spotlight. I do not know whether to laugh or cry.

Tromso R10: Malaysia draws Switzerland 2-2

The Malaysian Men's team gave another impressive display to draw 2-2 with the much higher-rated Switzerland team at the Tromso Olympiad yesterday. The result stretched the team's unbeaten run at the Olympiad to an amazing 6 matches.

12 August 2014

Tromso R10 Preview: Malaysia v Switzerland

Malaysia Men will be playing Switzerland later today in round 10 of the Olympiad. The pairings  for the individual Boards are as follows:

Tromso: Rankings After R9

The rankings after Round 9 of teams with 11 match points or more is reproduced on the left.

Malaysia is ranked at No.50 after Round 9.

It can be noted that as no. 103 seed, Malaysia is by far the lowest seeded team in the top 53. The next lowest seed is the no. 72 seed Indonesia. The Malaysian boys have really been outdoing themselves. It is at times like this that I am proud to be Malaysian. The team has made us proud. I am sure this feat has not gone unnoticed by the other participating countries.

Whatever happens the next two rounds, the 2014 Malaysian Olympiad Team has proven itself beyond doubt.

For now,  I am just enjoying the moment.

Tromso: Malaysia draws Tajikistan 2-2

The Malaysian Men’s Team drew 2-2 with Tajikistan yesterday to continue an amazing run at the Tromso Olympiad. Although a 4-match winning streak was broken, there is now a 5-match unbeaten run.

11 August 2014

Tromso: R9 v Tajikistan Preview

Malaysia Men is up against Tajikistan in Round 9 starting is less than an hour's time. Tajikistan is fielding its strongest line-up with 2590-rated GM Amonatov on Board 1 and 3 2300+ rated IMs in the other 3 boards.

Board Pairings:

Tajikistan starts as favourites, clearly out-rating Malaysia on every board. However, our Malaysian boys have been playing above themselves and an upset is very much on the cards. A 2-2 draw should be the primary target for Malaysia to maintain a Top 50 ranking for at least another round.

Wishing our heroes good tidings and do well. We are proud of you.

Tromso: Malaysia Moves into Top 50

The Malaysian Men’s Team beat Pakistan 3-1 to record their fourth straight win. With that win, Malaysia moves into the Top 50, at 48th in the interim rankings after Round 8. A very impressive win that made a very decent Pakistan team look weak.

10 August 2014

Why Pakistan? in Round 8

Malaysia Men is paired with 158th seeded Pakistan in Round 8. Pakistan's lowly seeding is due only to the inclusion of two unrated players. However unrated does not mean weak, it only means FIDE doesn't know how strong.

Malaysia at Tromso: Calculating the Tie-Breaks

My wife was asking me how the tie-breaks are calculated to determine the team rankings at the Olympiad. So I thought it would be a good thing to share my explanation with readers of this blog.

Malaysia at Tromso: That's 3 in a Row and Upwards to No. 65

Malaysia's Men's Team scored a third big win in-a-row with a 4-0 win over Nigeria yesterday. Malaysia is at No. 65 in the interim rankings after Round 7 with 4 more rounds to go.

09 August 2014

Malaysia at Tromso - Moving Up (Half-Time Report)

After 6 rounds of play, Malaysia's Men's Team is sitting on no. 92 on the ranking list. This follows 2 big wins in consecutive rounds, 4-0 against Saudi Arabia in R5 and 3.5-1.5 against Namibia in R6. The chess-results summary for the team is as follows:

02 August 2014

Tromso Olympiad - Malaysia Team Preview

Round 1 of the 2014 World Chess Olympiad will be starting in a few hours with the Malaysian Men's team meeting the 17th seeded Spain team.

Malaysia faces Spain in Round 1

Malaysia's Men's team faces the all-GM Spain team in Round 1 on Table 16. Malaysia starts at the No. 103 rank from a total of 177 teams with the fixed board order below:

01 August 2014

Yit San at Tromso

Yit San is already making himself at home in Tromso. Here he is mixing with the local folks and taking photo with a total stranger.

Malaysian Contingent at KLIA

The Malaysian contingent to Tromso at KLIA just before departure on Wednesday evening.

From left, Front: Alia, Nabila, Puan Zaza, Najiha, Rifqah, Li Ting
Back: Greg, Fadzil, Sumant, Yit San, Farouqi

Top 20 Malaysians - 1 August 2014

Top 20 Malaysians based on FRL 1 August 2014

K=40 for U18

New K factors for rating calculations kicked in with effect from 1 July 2014.

Below is an extract of section 8.56 of the new rating regulations:

= 40 for a player new to the rating list until he has completed events with at least 30 games.