Dao slices his way past Dimakilling

9/18/2006 – With a final round victory against IM Ronald Dableo of the Philippines, GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam snatched victory from the hands of Filipino IM Oliver Dimakilling to win the 3rd IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship, one of the richest chess tournaments in the Asia Pacific region. Big illustrated report by Edwin Lam.

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Dao slices his way past Oliver Dimakilling

Report on the 3rd IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship
by Edwin Lam Choong Wai

Having garnered eight points from 11 rounds, GM Dao Thien Hai of Vietnam emerged triumphant at the 3rd IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship, which took place at the Bintang Ballroom of Cititel Hotel Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur.

With his final round victory against IM Ronald Dableo of the Philippines, GM Dao snatched victory from the hands of Filipino IM Oliver Dimakilling. GM Dao had the best tie-break over 4 more other players who also finished on 8 points, amongst whom is IM Oliver who took second spot.


Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur

Held between the 21st to the 27th of August 2006, the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open is one of the richest chess tournaments in the Asia Pacific region. It attracted a total of 85 participants from 18 different countries around the world, amongst whom there were a total of ten GMs, 16 IMs, ten FMs, two WGMs, three WIMs and one WFM. There was even a World Under-12 Champion amongst them – FM Srinath Narayanan of India.

From the regional chess powers of the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, there was a massive contingent of players challenging for honors in the tournament. Then, there were also players from Oceanic neighbors, Australia and New Zealand, and the Pacific Rim, including China, Russia, Japan, the United States of America, Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore and of course host Malaysia. Turkmenistan, India, Bangladesh, Armenia and Myanmar completed the list of nations with participating players.

Opening move: 1. e4!

The Opening Ceremony of the tournament was held on the 22nd of August. In his Opening Address, the Honorary Life President of the Malaysian Chess Federation, Dato’ Tan Chin Nam, started by saying, “I am always happy to be at a chess tournament”.


Players seated at the Bintang Ballroom, Cititel Mid Valley during the opening ceremony

His passion for the game of chess is well documented in a lengthy chapter entitled “The Gymnasium of the Mind” in his recently published memoir, Never Say I Assume! His infinite love for the game of chess is legendary. Yes, “eat, drink, talk and dream chess” is how family and friends describe his attachment to the game!


Dato’ Tan Chin Nam, the Organizing Chairman, giving his opening address at the ceremony

Speaking of chess talk, Dato’ Tan brought the audiences back into time – to a conversation he had with the late Tun Abdul Razak, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia. This conversation, according to Dato’ Tan, is what sparked the late Tun Razak’s involvement with the game of chess. “One day, the two of us discussed chess as not only a hobby for poorer people – but, also as a tributary to the river of muhibbah, or understanding amongst different religious and racial community,” Dato’ Tan said. With that, the late Tun Razak became a strong supporter of the game here in Malaysia and was subsequently even involved in the planning of the 1st Asian Team Chess Championship.

This year’s edition of the tournament was graced by the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak. Dato’ Seri Najib is the son of the late Tun Razak.

Undoubtedly then, Dato’ Seri Najib’s presence at the Opening Ceremony of the competition was as he called it, to “… continue a family tradition”. In his speech, he spoke of how his father “…took a lively interest in chess and realized its social value”. And, here are a few interesting quotes from Dato’ Seri Najib’s speech:

  • … chess is a game played by people from all walks of life…”
  • “… chess is defined as an art in the form of a game – half a pursuit of beauty, half a wrestling match…”
  • “Chess is a game whereby… you make the move and have to live with the consequences of the decision”

At the conclusion of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s speech, he made the customary opening move with a ‘pawn’ to officially mark the commencement of the tournament.


The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak

But, this opening ‘pawn’ move was not the usual move made on the chess board – it was the push of a ‘gigantic pawn’ on the stage by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.


1.e4! (“Best by test!” according to the legendary Bobby Fischer)… as the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, made the Opening Move with the gigantic white pawn on stage with Dato’ Tan Chin Nam to officially mark the commencement of the tournament

A two-horse race…?

The first few rounds of the event produced a few results that shocked the form books. Some of the top players were faltering to lower ranked players – even as early as Round 1! These shockwaves in the first round resulted in such ‘big name’ casualties such as GM Susanto Megaranto (Indonesia) and IM Wynn Zaw Htun (Myanmar).

GM Susanto lost unexpectedly against Ak Hira Pg Mohd Omar (Brunei), while IM Zaw Htun lost to Filipino Anthony Makinano. Singaporean talent, Christer Aplin defeated the much higher rated FM Lim Yee Weng of Malaysia. Top seed GM Mark Paragua, Chinese GM Yu Shaoteng and Filipino GM Nelson Mariano could only draw against FM Wesley So, Hendra Johan and Christopher James Wallis only in Round 1.


Up-and-coming Melbournian Christopher James Wallis caught everyone’s attention by drawing against GM Nelson Mariano of the Philippines in Round 1


Futur des échecs de l'Asie is borne by talented Singaporean Ravindran Shanmugam (foreground) and Indian FM Srinath Narayanan (background)

In the second round, Ak Hira Pg Mohd Omar again sprung the form books by holding IM Ronald Dableo to a draw. Filipino Anthony Makinano also did the same against IM Richard Bitoon.


Show of unity… IM Richard Bitoon here in action side-by-side with fellow Pinoy IM Ronald Dableo (right)

In the following round, Brunei player, Ak Hira Pg Mohd Omar again held his own against GM Nelson Mariano II – they played to a draw. Shen Siyuan of China held GM Ziaur Rahman also to a draw in this round.

After the third round, only four players had 100% score – GM Dao Thien Hai, IM Oliver Dimakilling, GM Nguyen Anh Dung and John Paul Gomez. A handful of players were sitting 0.5 points behind this leading pack – amongst whom include the 1st IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open runner-up, GM Ian Rogers of Australia.

In Round 4, the 4 players in the leading pack halved their games. GM Dao agreed to a draw against John Paul Gomez after 15 moves. IM Oliver pushed hard with the White pieces for 69 moves, but yet unable to win against GM Anh Dung. GM Rogers won his game to join the leading pack.

By Round 5, IM Oliver had obtained the sole lead in the tournament with 4.5 points – courtesy of a victory against GM Rogers. Six players, patiently waiting to pounce on IM Oliver’s lead, are just 0.5 points behind.


IM Oliver Dimakilling, nicknamed ‘the killer’ – in reference not just to his surname, but also to his results here at the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open, of course!

In the next round, IM Oliver was paired against IM Darwin Laylo of the Philippines, while GM Dao had to pit his wits against IM Zaw Htun. Both Oliver and Dao won their games. After 6 rounds, IM Oliver had creamed his way through to the lead with 5.5 points. GM Dao is the only player with half-a-point behind IM Oliver. Is this becoming a two-horse race to the top? The answer lies in the next round…

And, then there was the “middle game”…

Just like Vladimir Vulfson’s question “Is it worth complicating?” in the famed Attack and Defence, there is no doubt that this same question is also playing in IM Oliver’s mind during the mid-way tournament free day on the 24th of August, which separates rounds 6 and 7 of the tournament.

Mid-way through the tournament, there is little doubt that IM Oliver is having the “initiative”. With 5 more rounds to go, will IM Oliver go on and “crush” his way past his remaining opponents and repeat the “Wang Hao Bind” in this year’s IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open? Or, will IM Oliver play “prophylactic” chess and draw his way towards the end of the tournament?

The two leading players – IM Oliver and GM Dao drew their personal encounter in Round 7. In Round 8, GM Dao drew with IM Tirto of Indonesia, while IM Oliver halved the point with FM Wesley So.


Passing of the baton of generations – experienced IM Jimmy Liew of Malaysia (foreground) and rising star Shen Siyuan of China (background)

By Round 9, the setting’s already quite tensed. IM Oliver still leads GM Dao by just 0.5 points – but, the other players had closed in already. This only mean more exciting battles ahead. In the top two tables, IM Oliver’s up against GM Ziaur Rahman on while GM Dao is challenged by FM Wesley So. Both IM Oliver and GM Dao had the Black pieces. GM Dao’s game against FM Wesley finished after 17 moves with a drawn result.

IM Oliver pushed harder against the Bangladeshi GM Ziaur with Black and even managed to convert his passed a-pawn to a Queen. But, in the ensuing endgame with both players’ pawns all on the kingside, GM Ziaur’s Rook held firm against IM Oliver’s Queen and after 61 moves, the game was agreed drawn. Let’s see the game in full:

Ziaur Rahman (2534) - Oliver Dimakilling (2463) [D34] 3rd IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open (9), 26.08.2006 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 c5 3.c4 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Nf6 7.0–0 h6 8.Nc3 Be7 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Na4 Be7 11.Be3 0–0 12.Rc1 Ne4 13.Nd4 Bd7 14.Nc3 Nxc3 15.Rxc3 Bf6 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Bd4 Rb8 18.b3 Rb4 19.Bxf6 Qxf6 20.Qd2 Rfb8 21.Rc5 R4b5 22.Rfc1 Qe7 23.Qd4 Rb4 24.Qd3 h5 25.h4 g6 26.Qd2 R4b5 27.Rxb5 Rxb5 28.Bf1 Rb4 29.Qc3 a5 30.a3 d4 31.Qb2 Rb8 32.Qxd4 Rxb3 33.Qa7 Qd6 34.Rc4 Be6 35.Rd4 Qe5 36.Rd8+ Kg7 37.Bg2 Rxa3 38.Bxc6 Ra1+ 39.Kh2 a4 40.Qe7 Kh7 41.Qf8 a3 42.Bd5 a2 43.Qg8+ Kh6 44.Qf8+ Qg7 45.Qxg7+ Kxg7 46.Bxe6 Rh1+ 47.Kxh1 a1Q+ 48.Kg2 fxe6 49.Rd3 e5 50.Re3 Qd4 51.Kg1 e4 52.Kg2 Kf6 53.Ra3 Qd2 54.Ra6+ Kf5 55.e3 Qb4 56.Ra7 Qf8 57.Ra5+ Ke6 58.Rg5 Qf7 59.Kg1 Kd6 60.Kg2 Qf6 61.Ra5 ½–½ [Replay game]

Elsewhere in Round 9, GM Anh Dung defeated IM Tirto of Indonesia on Table 3 after 70 moves to reach 6.5 points. IM Wynn Zaw Thun could only split the points with FM Julio Sadorra with White in Table 4.

In the following round, IM Darwin Laylo drew with GM Anh Dung in 9 moves on Table 1. IM Oliver also drew his game against John Paul Gomez, a fellow Pinoy. Compared to Table 1, IM Oliver managed to warm his seat a little longer with the game lasting 15 moves.

But the highlight in this round is definitely the game on Table 3. After drawing with IM Oliver in a massive endgame with White in Round 9, Bangladeshi GM Ziaur was again drawn into a protracted endgame battle in Round 10.


Third place finisher, GM Ziaur Rahman, caught in action here against Filipino FM Julio Catalino Sadorra. FM Sadorra, now based in Singapore, is taking one entire year off from studies to concentrate on chess.

This time, he was up against GM Dao. Just like the Round 9 game, GM Ziaur had to play the endgame with a material deficit, but again he held firm to reach a draw. Let’s take a look at the 103-move effort between the two protagonists:

Dao Thien Hai (2549) - Ziaur Rahman (2534) [E12] 3rd IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open (10), 26.08.2006 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Qa4+ c6 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.cxd5 exd5 10.g3 0–0 11.Bg2 c5 12.Rd1 c4 13.Ne5 a6 14.Ng4 Bg5 15.h4 f5 16.hxg5 fxg4 17.Qc2 g6 18.b3 b5 19.bxc4 bxc4 20.Rb1 Bc6 21.Qd2 Ra7 22.0–0 Rd7 23.e4 dxe4 24.d5 Qa5 25.Bxe4 Qxa3 26.Bg2 Bb5 27.Nxb5 axb5 28.Rxb5 Qd6 29.Qd4 Nc6 30.Qxg4 Ne5 31.Qe6+ Nf7 32.Rb6 Qc7 33.Rc6 Qd8 34.f4 Re7 35.Qf6 Ne5 36.fxe5 Rxf6 37.gxf6 Rxe5 38.Bh3 Rxd5 39.f7+ Kf8 40.Rc8 Qxc8 41.Bxc8 Rd6 42.Rc1 Kxf7 43.Rxc4 h5 44.Bb7 Kf6 45.Be4 Kg5 46.Kg2 Kh6 47.Kf3 Rf6+ 48.Ke3 Kg5 49.Bf3 Re6+ 50.Kf2 Kh6 51.Rc5 Kg7 52.Be2 Kh6 53.Bd3 Kg7 54.Ra5 Kh6 55.Kf3 Kg7 56.Rc5 Kh6 57.Kg2 Rf6 58.Kh3 Rd6 59.Bb5 Rf6 60.Kh4 Rf2 61.Kh3 Rf6 62.Rc6 Rf5 63.Bd3 Rg5 64.Rd6 Kg7 65.Be4 Rg4 66.Bf3 Rb4 67.Be2 Kh6 68.Rc6 Rd4 69.Bc4 Rg4 70.Be6 Rg5 71.Rd6 Re5 72.Kg2 Kg7 73.Kf3 Ra5 74.Bd5 Kh6 75.Be4 Rg5 76.Rd8 Kg7 77.Rc8 Kh6 78.Rc7 Rg4 79.Bd5 Rg5 80.Be6 Re5 81.Rc6 Ra5 82.Kf4 Ra4+ 83.Bc4 Ra5 84.Rc7 Rf5+ 85.Ke4 Rg5 86.Kf3 Rg4 87.Be6 Ra4 88.Rc6 Ra5 89.Rd6 Kg7 90.Bd5 Kh6 91.Kf4 Rb5 92.g4 hxg4 93.Be4 Rg5 94.Kg3 Kg7 95.Rd7+ Kh6 96.Re7 Ra5 97.Re6 Rg5 98.Re8 Ra5 99.Kxg4 Ra6 100.Rb8 Kg7 101.Kf4 Kh6 102.Rb7 Rf6+ 103.Kg4 Ra6 ½–½ [Replay game]


GM Dao Thien Hai contemplating his next move in the game against IM Wynn Zaw Htun of Myanmar

Perhaps, it is a blessing for GM Dao to draw in this round and “triangulate” to “lose a tempo” in the race to the title. The front running guys heading to the final round are IM Oliver, IM Nadanian and GM Anh Dung. These guys are on 7.5 points while GM Dao is at 7 points.

By dropping to Table 5 in the final round, could GM Dao “outflank” IM Oliver in the final round? What if IM Nadanian wins his game in the final round and finish with 8.5 points? Or, will GM Anh Dung ascend to the throne by beating IM Wynn Zaw Htun in the last round?

The permutations to the finale of this 3rd edition of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship are less than straightforward. It’s definitely a race to the finish line – making it one of the most exciting editions of the tournament, thus far!

Dao’s Chess Manual

We have an interesting pair-up in Round 11. There’s GM Anh Dung pitting his brains against IM Zaw Htun on Table 1. On the adjacent table, IM Oliver is paired up against IM Nadanian. GM Dao, having “lost a tempo” with his draw in Round 10 is up against another Pinoy, IM Dableo.

Having gone up against John Paul Gomez, IM Oliver and FM Wesley So in rounds 4, 7 and 9 respectively, IM Dableo will be GM Dao’s fourth Pinoy opponent. With draws in rounds 4, 7 and 9, it looked like GM Dao had come up against the Pinoy Wall. Could he break the defensive lines of the Pinoy Wall by beating IM Dableo?

Obviously, he dug deep into Dao’s Chess Manual and came up with the following:

Ronald Dableo (2415) - Dao Thien Hai (2549) [A22] 3rd IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open (11), 27.08.2006 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.Bg2 0–0 5.e4 Bxc3 6.bxc3 d6 7.Ne2 Be6 8.d3 Qc8 9.a4 Bh3 10.0–0 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 a5 12.f3 Nc6 13.Bg5 Nd7 14.d4 b6 15.h4 Kh8 16.h5 h6 17.Be3 f5 18.exf5 Rxf5 19.g4 Rf7 20.Qd2 Qg8 21.Rh1 Re8 22.f4 Nf6 23.fxe5 Ne4 24.Qc2 Nf2 25.Bxf2 dxe5 26.d5 Ne7 27.Ng3 Qh7 28.Qe2 Nc8 29.c5 bxc5 30.Bxc5 Nd6 31.Rae1 e4 32.Be3 Rff8 33.c4 Qg8 34.c5 Nf7 35.Nf5 Ne5 36.Rd1 Nd3 37.d6 cxd6 38.cxd6 Qe6 39.Rdf1 Rf7 40.Qd2 Ref8 41.Qxa5 Ne5 42.Kg3 Kh7 43.Qc5 Nxg4 44.Nd4 Qd7 45.Bf4 Ne3 46.Bxe3 Rxf1 47.Qe5 R8f3+ 0–1. [Replay game]


IM Ronald Dableo (Philippines) with IM Taufik Halay (Indonesia) on his right

In the adjacent tables, GM Anh Dung lost with the White pieces to IM Zaw Htun while IM Oliver split the point with IM Nadanian. FM Julio Sadorra and John Paul Gomez both lost their games.

Nguyen Anh Dung (2539) - Wynn Zaw Htun (2572) [B96] 3rd IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open (11), 27.08.2006 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0–0–0 b5 10.e5 Bb7 11.Qh3 dxe5 12.Nxe6 fxe6 13.Qxe6+ Be7 14.Nxb5 axb5 15.Bxb5 Be4 16.c3 Rd8 17.Rhe1 Kf8 18.Bxd7 Rxd7 19.Rxd7 Qxd7 20.Qxd7 Nxd7 21.Bxe7+ Kxe7 22.Rxe4 Rf8 23.a4 Rxf4 24.Rxf4 exf4 25.a5 Kd6 26.Kd2 Ne5 27.b4 g5 28.h3 Kc6 29.a6 Kb6 30.b5 h5 31.Ke2 g4 32.hxg4 hxg4 33.Kd2 Nc4+ 34.Ke2 Nd6 35.Kd3 Nxb5 36.Ke4 f3 37.gxf3 g3 38.Ke3 Nd6 39.f4 Kxa6 40.Kf3 Nf5 0–1. [Replay game]


IM Ashot Nadanian of Armenia

Ashot Nadanian (2431) - Oliver Dimakilling (2463) [C84] 3rd IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open (11), 27.08.2006 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.d3 d6 7.c3 0–0 8.h3 b5 9.Bb3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Re1 Bf6 12.Nh2 Nce7 13.Ng4 Bxg4 14.Qxg4 Ng6 15.g3 Nb6 16.Be3 Rb8 17.Na3 Be7 18.Rad1 c5 19.h4 Qc8 20.Qxc8 Rfxc8 21.Nb1 c4 22.dxc4 Nxc4 23.Bc1 Bf6 24.Kg2 Nf8 25.Rd5 Ne6 26.Bxc4 Rxc4 27.Rd6 a5 28.Nd2 Rc7 29.Nf3 b4 30.Bd2 bxc3 31.Bxc3 e4 32.Rxe4 Bxc3 33.bxc3 Rxc3 34.Ra4 Ra8 35.Ne5 g6 36.Rd5 Rc5 37.Rxc5 Nxc5 38.Rc4 Ne6 39.Ra4 Nc5 40.Rc4 Ne6 41.Rc3 a4 42.a3 Ra5 43.Nd7 f5 44.Rc4 Kf7 45.f4 Ke7 46.Nb6 Nc5 47.Nd5+ Kd6 48.Nc3 Ra8 49.Rb4 Kc6 50.Rc4 Kd6 51.h5 gxh5 52.Kh3 Rg8 53.Rd4+ Kc6 54.Rd5 Re8 55.Rxf5 Re3 56.Rf6+ Kd7 57.Rf7+ Ke8 58.Nd5 Rxg3+ 59.Kxg3 Kxf7 60.Kh4 Ke6 61.Nc3 Kf5 62.Kxh5 Kxf4 ½–½. [Replay game]

With these turn of events, GM Dao victory of cracking the Pinoy wall in the final round meant that he had delivered the final “checkmate” on IM Oliver and stole the Champion’s crown under his nose! What a “game”, I must say between the venerable GM Dao and the rising ‘son’ IM Oliver!


Queenslander FM Jonathan Humphery cruising his way to his final round draw against fellow countryman, GM Ian Rogers


Malaysian IM Mas Hafizulhilmi working out his win with Black against Viacheslav Dotsenko from Vladivostok, Russia in the final round of the competition


Filipino Alfredo Paez (foreground) grinding out a win with Black while talented junior, Bryan TH Lee of Hong Kong (background) didn’t even manage to win with the White pieces in the final round

The top 15 finishers in the final standings from a total of 85 participants:

1 GM Dao Thien Hai (VIE)
8
2 IM Oliver Dimakilling (PHI)
8
3 GM Ziaur Rahman (BAN)
8
4 IM Darwin Laylo (PHI)
8
5 IM Wynn Zaw Htun (MYA)
8
6 GM Nguyen Anh Dung (VIE)
7.5
7 GM Nguyen Ngoc Trong Son (VIE) 
7.5
8 GM Mark Paragua (PHI)
7.5
9 IM Ashot Nadanian (ARM)
7.5
10 GM Susanto Megaranto (INA)
7.5
11 John Paul Gomez (PHI)
7
12 FM Julio Catalino Sadorra (PHI)
7
13 GM Yu Shaoteng (CHN)
7
14 IM Shvedchikov Anatoli (RUS)
7
15  Anthony Makinano (PHI)
7

Could the situation have been different had IM Oliver pushed harder for a win against fellow Pinoys, FM Wesley So and John Paul Gomez in rounds 8 and 10? We will never know.


Chess philanthropist Dato’ Tan Chin Nam speaking at the closing ceremony of the competition

All we know now is that GM Dao has finally found the right formula in his third attempt, to be crowned Champion of the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open! Third time lucky!


GM Dao Thien Hai lifting the IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open champion’s trophy with Dato’ Tan Chin Nam next to him


Till we meet again next year… signing off from Kuala Lumpur with a picture of my favorite subject – sunset!


About the author

Working full-time as a Public Affairs Manager at Procter & Gamble (Malaysia), Edwin Lam is highly passionate about the game of chess. Having grown up with an artistic feel of life, he somehow went about doing a degree in Commerce at Monash University’s main Clayton campus in Melbourne. Being the only child in the family, he had to follow his heart, not his head, and chose to return home to Malaysia, upon graduation. Knowing something was amiss in life, he started fiddling with the advertising industry, when he started working. Here, he deepened his love for writing – be it copy-writing, copy strategy development, article writing or even translation work.

As a lifestyle writer, his work has been published in Plan B, a men’s magazine based here in Kuala Lumpur. As a chess columnist, he has written for a host of international publications. Beginning with a regular column in the Philippine-based Chess Asia, he has branched out and contributed to the Melbourne-based Chess Kids as well as Australian Chess, which is under the editorship of FM Brian Jones. One of his most well known articles is the nice profile he wrote about GM Yasser Seirawan that appeared in the US-based ChessCafe.com. He also contributes regularly to the world’s top chess news site, Chessbase.com. His writings that have graced the web pages of Chessbase.com include:

Besides being a chess columnist, he is also currently coaching the school team of his alma mater, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Secondary School, in Klang. Aside from chess, he enjoys motor racing (Formula 1, Formula Nippon and the Japan GT Championships), besides photography and traveling. Without doubt, he does all the photography of his articles.



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