What to expect in the next few months in the world of chess

JANUARY 8 — We are now a week into 2015 so let’s take a look at the FIDE (World Chess Federation) calendar to see what is going on.

But there is only mixed information as there is still no mention of a date, let alone a venue, for a listed Women’s World Championship match (which was supposed to be held in 2014). Yet there is reference to another one from October 11-31, 2015!

This is very confusing indeed and so some research was in order.

I have been reliably informed that the UAE was approached to organise it but this did not make any sense for even their deep pockets so perhaps FIDE is now forced to consider looking at a much more sensible two-year cycle.

There are already problems with the FIDE Grand Prix Series with the number of events cut and players being advised of changes with very little notice.

Of most interest to Malaysia and other amateur chess playing nations (as well as those more professional chess playing countries with large numbers of talented juniors) is the World Youth Championships from October 24 to November 5 in Greece.

Asia will also be host to a major youth event, the World Schools Championship in Pattaya, Thailand from May 6-15, 2015 

Even if it is no big secret that the Asian Chess Federation based in Al Ain, UAE is an administrative mess despite having well-paid staff including an Executive Director, I was still shocked to see only the ASEAN+ Age Group Championships in Singapore May 22-31, 2015 listed!

This is of course our region’s flagship event started by the former FIDE Secretary General and ASEAN Chess Confederation President Ignatius Leong 15 years ago.

Of the three Asian Zonal Championships, Vietnam is hosting the 3.3 Championship from March 6-16, 2015 to dovetail into their HD Bank Cup Open Championships immediately after from March 17-24, 2015.

Australia too is able to confirm its 3.6 Championship from July 3-9, 2015 but it seems there will no longer be a Sydney Open although the long-standing Doeberl Cup in Melbourne from April 1-6,  2015 (over 50 years now) will continue (even if arguably more of a weekender) and the dates work well with the 15th Bangkok Chess Cup Open (Thailand Open Championship) from April 12-19, 2015.  

Unsurprisingly Nepal has neither a date or a venue for the 3.2 Championship with the promised sponsorship from FIDE apparently still not received by its president.

On the local front, I have been told — unofficially since the current Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) does not bother communicating with its state affiliates — that March will be busy with the National Closed Championships for both Men and Women from March 14-18, 2015 in Penang followed by the National Age Groups Championships from March 13-20, 2015 in KL and of great importance to school children will be the MSSM (National Schools Sports Council) Championship from June 7-14, 2015 in Labuan.

Yet it will be particularly interesting how this plays out since MCF has been suspended by FIDE for being in arrears and is ineligible to participate in official international competition (that applies also to all Malaysians registered under MCF).   

A look at some games

Two young players who will be looking to make an impact in 2015 are our own current Malaysian Masters Champion Yeoh Li Tian and his equally talented counterpart in Singapore Tin Jinyao who is currently slightly higher rated.

For several years now they have been rated together with the Philippines’ Paolo Bersamina as the most promising of their generation in the region and to some extent they have not disappointed. Yet it could also be said that they have underperformed relative to their potential.

Bersamina who is practically a professional has always been active while Tin has in recent months played a great deal as a member of Singapore’s national team while Yeoh is just starting to pick up again after a long break enforced by exams.

At the recent Penang Open Championships both Tin and Yeoh took part while Bersamina played instead at the Asian Junior Championships held in Tagaytay.

To start off 2015 I will offer a selection of games played in Penang by Yeoh including the personal encounter with Tin which ended in a hard fought draw.

(13) Ramakrishnan,Ramesh (1839) — Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (1.13), 08.12.2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Bd3 Bg7 8.h3 0-0 9.Nf3 a6 10.a4 Nh5 11.0-0 Nd7 12.g4 Nhf6 13.Bf4 Qc7 14.Rc1 Re8 15.Re1 b6 16.Re3 h6 17.Qe2 Nh7 18.Na2 Qb8 19.Nc3 Ra7 20.Re1 g5 21.Bh2 Ne5 22.Bxe5 Bxe5 23.Nxe5 dxe5 24.d6 Rd8 25.Nd5 Rxd6 26.Rf3 Kg7 27.Bc4 Nf8 28.Ne3 Rd4 29.Nf5+ Bxf5 30.exf5 Nh7 31.b3 e4 32.Re3 Nf6 33.Bxa6 Rad7 34.Bc4 Rd2 35.Qf1 h5 36.Qg2 Qf4 37.Be2 R7d4 38.Kf1 Nd5

0-1

(62) Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) — Paril,Gabriel (2063) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (2.13), 09.12.2014

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 Nc6 6.Nf3 d6 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb3 dxe5 9.d5 Na5 10.Nc3 Nxb3 11.axb3 f6 12.Be3 Bg4 13.h3 Bh5 14.Qd3 a6 15.0-0 e6 16.Bxb6 Qxb6 17.Qc4 Bf7 18.Qa4+ Ke7 19.Rfd1 Be8 20.d6+ Qxd6 21.Qh4 Qb8 22.Nxe5 Bc6 23.Nxc6+ bxc6 24.Qc4 Qc8 25.Na4 Qe8 26.Nc5 Kf7 27.Rd7+ Kg6 28.Rad1 h5 29.Nxe6 Rb8 30.Qe4+ Kh6 31.Qf4+ Kh7 32.Qxf6

1-0

(102) Narayanan,Srinath (2461) — Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (3.2), 09.12.2014

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 6.0-0 Ne7 7.a4 c5 8.dxc5 Nc6 9.Bf4 Nxc5 10.c3 Be7 11.Nd4 Bg6 12.b4 Nd7 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.b5 Rc8 15.c4 dxc4 16.Bxc4 0-0 17.Be2 Nc5 18.Nd2 Qd4 19.g3 Rfd8 20.Nc4 Qxd1 21.Rfxd1 Nb3 22.Rxd8+ Rxd8 23.bxc6 Nxa1 24.Nd6 Bc2 25.c7 Bxa4 26.Be3 Rf8 27.c8Q Rxc8 28.Nxc8 Bb4 29.Bxa7

½-½

(155) Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) — Anurag,Mhamal (2437) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (4.5), 10.12.2014

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bc4 Nb6 8.Bb5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Bd7 10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.Nc3 e6 12.0-0 Be7 13.Qg4 0-0 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Bh6 Bf6 16.Rfd1 Rfd8 17.Ne4 Qe7 18.Rac1 Rac8 19.Nxf6+ Qxf6 20.Be3 Nd5 21.Rc5 h6 22.h3 Ne7 23.Ra5 Rd7 24.Rc1 Nf5 25.Ra4 Qd8 26.b3 Qb6 27.Rac4 Qa6 28.R1c2 Rd5 29.Qf3 Nd6 30.Ra4 Qb7 31.Qd1 Nb5 32.Qc1 Qd7 33.Qb2 Qd6 34.Rc1 f5 35.f4 Qd7 36.Kh1 Kh7 37.Ra5 Qc7 38.b4 Qb7 39.a3 Nd6 40.Rac5 Ne4 41.R5c4 Nd6 42.Rc5 a5 43.Rb1 axb4 44.Qxb4 Qd7 45.a4 Rc7 46.Rbc1 Ne4 47.R5c4 Rb7 48.Qe1 Rb6 49.a5 Ra6 50.Ra1 Qd8 51.Rca4 Rb5 52.d5 exd5 53.Bd4 c5 54.Be5 d4 55.Kh2 Qd5 56.Rb1 Rxb1 57.Qxb1 Nc3 58.Qf1 Qa8 59.Ra3 Rxa5 60.Rb3 Ra2 61.Rb8 Qd5 62.Re8 Qd7 63.Rb8 Nd5 64.Qb1 Ra7 65.Rf8 Ne3 66.Qd3 Qd5 67.Qd2 Ra2

0-1

(212) Low,Zhen Yu Cyrus (2028) — Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (5.12), 10.12.2014

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 g6 6.h3 Nf6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 Re8 10.Bf4 Nh5 11.Bh2 Bh6 12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Qb6 14.Qb3 Qxb3 15.axb3 Ng7 16.Na3 Ne6 17.b4 Bd7 18.Nc2 a6 19.Be2 Red8 20.Red1 Bc6 21.Bg4 Nc7 22.Nd4 Bd7 23.Bf3 e6 24.Be2 Bb5 25.Kf1 Bxe2+ 26.Kxe2 Nb5 27.Bg3 Nxd4+ 28.Rxd4 Bg7 29.Rdd1 Rac8 30.Kd3 h6 31.Re1 Bf8 32.Ra4 Be7 33.Bf4 Kg7 34.Be3 h5 35.Bd4 g5 36.Raa1 Rc4 37.b3 Rc6 38.Rf1 Kg6 39.f4 g4 40.hxg4 hxg4 41.Rh1 Rcc8 42.Rh2 Rh8 43.Rah1 Rxh2 44.Rxh2 Kf5 45.g3 Kg6 46.Bb6 Rc6 47.Bd4 Rc8 48.Bb6 Rc6

½-½

(263) Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) — Leong,Ignatius (2100) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (6.13), 11.12.2014

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be3 e6 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nf6 9.Bc4 Bd6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Rad1 Nbd7 12.Bc1 Nd5 13.Ne4 N7f6 14.Nxd6 Qxd6 15.Rfe1 a5 16.c3 Nb6 17.Bd3 Rfd8 18.Bb1 Nbd7 19.g4 Rdc8 20.h4 Nf8 21.h5 Qd5 22.Qe2 Qd6 23.g5 Ne8 24.Qg4 Rd8 25.Bf4 Qd7 26.Be5 b6 27.Rd3 Ra7 28.b3 a4 29.c4 axb3 30.axb3 b5 31.Qg2 bxc4 32.bxc4 Qb7 33.Rdd1 Ra4 34.Bd3 Rda8 35.Rb1 Rb4 36.Be4 Ra6 37.Rxb4 Qxb4 38.Rb1 Qa4 39.Rb8 Qd1+ 40.Kh2 Qxh5+ 41.Qh3 Qxh3+ 42.Kxh3 f6 43.Bg3 f5 44.Rxe8 Kf7 45.Rxf8+ Kxf8 46.Bg2 Ke7 47.c5 g6 48.Bd6+ Kd7 49.Bf4 Ra3+ 50.Kh2 Rd3 51.Be5 Rd1 52.Bf3 Rd2 53.Kg2 Rd3 54.Be2 Ra3 55.Bf4 Ra4 56.Be5 Ra3 57.Bf4 Ra4 58.Be3 Ra2 59.Kf3 Ke7 60.Bf1 Ra1 61.Bg2 Rg1 62.Kg3 Kd7 63.Kh2 Rd1 64.Bf3 Ra1 65.Kg3 Ra4 66.Kf4 Rb4 67.Ke5 Ra4 68.Be2 Rb4 69.Bf1 Ra4 70.Kf6 f4 71.Bxf4 Rxd4 72.Bd6 Rg4 73.Bh3 Re4 74.f4 Re3 75.Bg4 Re1 76.Kf7 Re3 77.Be5

1-0

(308) Liu,Xiangyi (2138) — Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (7.10), 11.12.2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0—0 Bg7 5.d3 Nge7 6.c3 a6 7.Ba4 0-0 8.Nbd2 d6 9.Bb3 h6 10.Nc4 b5 11.Ne3 Na5 12.Bc2 c5 13.d4 exd4 14.cxd4 cxd4 15.Nxd4 Qb6 16.Nf3 Be6 17.h3 Rac8 18.Ng4 Bxg4 19.hxg4 Nc4 20.Rb1 Qc5 21.Bb3 d5 22.Bxc4 Qxc4 23.b3 Qxe4 24.Ba3 b4 25.Nd2 Qf4 26.g3 Qb8 27.Bb2 Bc3 28.Nf3 Qb6 29.Bc1 Kg7 30.Kg2 d4 31.Rh1 g5 32.Rh5 Qc6 33.Kh2 Rfd8 34.Ne5 Qe4 35.Nd3 Ng8 36.Bxg5 hxg5 37.Rxg5+ Kf8 38.Re5 Qc6 39.Rf5 Nh6 40.Rf4 Qd5 41.g5 Qxg5 42.Rh4 Rc6 43.Qh1 Rf6 44.Kg1 Bd2 45.Rd1 Bc3 46.Rh5 Qg4 47.Rf1 Bd2 48.Ne5 Qe2 49.Qh4 Rdd6 50.Nc4 Be3 51.Re5 Bxf2+ 52.Kg2

0-1

(354) Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) — Udani,Ian (2264) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (8.7), 12.12.2014

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Ngf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Bd7 11.c3 Qc7 12.Qe2 0-0-0 13.Be3 h5 14.h3 Bd6 15.Rfd1 Bh2+ 16.Kf1 Bf4 17.Bxf4 Qxf4 18.Kg1 g5 19.Qf3 Rhg8 20.g3 Qxf3 21.Nxf3 Ba4 22.b3 Be8 23.Bf1 h4 24.Ne5 g4 25.gxh4 gxh3+ 26.Kh2 Ne4 27.f3 Nf6 28.c4 Rh8 29.Kxh3 Nh5 30.c5 f6 31.Rxd8+ Kxd8 32.Rd1+ Ke7 33.Nd3 Bc6 34.Be2 Rg8 35.Kh2 Rh8 36.Rg1 Kf7 37.Rg4 Ng7 38.Nb4 Bd7 39.Bd3 Rh6 40.Rd4 Ke7 41.Rg4 Kf7 42.c6 bxc6 43.Na6 Ne8 44.Nc5 Bc8 45.Ra4 Ke7 46.Rxa7+ Kd6 47.Ne4+ Ke5 48.Re7 Rxh4+ 49.Kg3 Rh8 50.Nd2 Kd4 51.Bf1 Nd6 52.Bh3 f5 53.Rc7 Kc5 54.Bf1 e5 55.Nc4 f4+ 56.Kf2 Nxc4 57.Bxc4 Bf5 58.a4 Rh2+ 59.Kg1 Ra2 60.Bg8 Kd6 61.Rf7 Bd7 62.Rf6+ Ke7 63.Rh6 Kf8 64.Bc4 Ke7 65.Kf1 Bf5 66.Rxc6 Kd7 67.Rf6 Bc2 68.Ke1 Rb2 69.Kd2 Be4+ 70.Kc3 Rc2+ 71.Kb4 Bc6 72.a5 Re2 73.Rf7+ Kd6 74.Rf6+ Kd7 75.Rf7+ Kd6 76.Rf6+ Kd7 77.Rf7+

½-½

(403) Yeoh,Li Tian (2322) — Tin,Jingyao (2355) [A00]

6th Penang Heritage City International C Red Rock Hotel (9.7), 12.12.2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Nb6 9.Nc3 Qe6 10.Bd2 Be7 11.Qe4 Bb7 12.f4 d5 13.exd6 Qxe4+ 14.Nxe4 cxd6 15.Bd3 Ba6 16.b3 d5 17.Nf2 dxc4 18.bxc4 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 Nxc4 20.Rc1 Nxd2 21.Kxd2 Rd8+ 22.Nd3 Bb4+ 23.Ke2 Ba5 24.Rhd1 0—0 25.Ne5 Rxd1 26.Rxd1 Re8 27.Kf1 Bc7 28.Rd7 Bxe5 29.fxe5 g6 30.Rxa7 Rxe5 31.Rc7 Ra5 32.Rxc6 Rxa2 33.Rc7 Kg7 34.Rb7 h5 35.Kg1 Kf6 36.h4 Ra4 37.g3 Ra2 38.Rb5 Ke6 39.Kf1 Rd2 40.Kg1 f6 41.Kf1 Rd5 42.Rb6+ Kf5 43.Kg2 Rd2+ 44.Kf3 Rd3+ 45.Kg2 Re3 46.Ra6 g5 47.hxg5 fxg5 48.Ra5+ Re5 49.Ra4 Re4 50.Ra5+ Kg4 51.Ra2 Rd4 52.Rb2 Rd5 53.Rb4+ Kf5 54.Kh3

½-½

*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.