Tuesday, 13 December 2011

2011 CHINESE CHESS LEAGUE

Dear readers,

It's been quite awhile after my last blog. I didn't even realize that I have been neglecting my blog for months. Yes, how time flies. My hectic chess schedules have taken my full attention. For little summary, the big event which has held in November was the 26th South East Asian Games. I played in 2 categories there: Standard Mixed Pairs (along with GM Susanto Megaranto as my partner) and Standard Individual. Despite my bad performances, I know I have to thank God for still giving me a bronze in the latter category.

I just came back home on Sunday evening (December 11th) from Beijing, China. I was playing the last lap of the league for this year. Good thing is my team could manage to be in Division A, it's "Hebei" province.

Mr. Kristianus Liem who kindly took me to the airport
                                             
My trip to China was not so pleasant at first. I traveled alone as usual but it was not the main reason of my unpleasant trip. The story began with my plane which delayed for an hour, it was scheduled at 00.40 local time on December 3rd but I flew an hour after that, not a big deal though. From Jakarta, with some decent airline that is a member of Star Alliance group, my destination was to Xianmen as we have to transit there for 45 minutes before going to Beijing

During the flight, I didn't really rest well, I fell asleep at around 4 am. 30 minutes after that, the flight attendant made some announcement which responded by "Huuuu" and "Yahhhhhh" by almost all passengers. After finally the announcement has been told in English, I knew why they gave such a noise. If I'm not misheard, this is what the stewardess said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, due to the technical problem with the plane, we have to land back to Jakarta airport. Please fasten your seat belt and remain seated. Thank you for your understanding." WHAT??!!! We were already in the air for hours!

Around 5.30 am local time, we landed safely in Jakarta. They put us in a good lounge and let us to feed ourselves. "You can't think when your stomach empty", it seems like my motto. So I grabbed some cakes and soup and also some water and hot tea. When I thought it's enough, I gave my brain a little work of what to do next. Yup, first of all I have to tell my team manager in China about the delay of my arrival. When it's done, I tried to call my dad, mom, and brother but none of their phones were on. I called my mon ami just to share this experienced who afterwards laughed and wished me good luck with it.

Does everyone wonder why the plane still can fly for 4 hours despite of the technical problem it had? I have been digging to some crew there that actually what broken is the radar. We were flying around Kepulauan Seribu (a.k.a Thousand Island) which located in the north of Java island. I assumed it because the plane still can be controlled by the computers in Jakarta airport by flying in that distance. And why couldn't we land after the pilot knew that the radar is broken? Because there is an important rule how to land safely, that the plane's fuel must be in certain percentage, otherwise it might explodes. So what were we doing up in the air for 4 hours? Yes, we were just wasting the fuel so that we won't get exploded once we land.

To make the story short, they moved us to a 5-star hotel while waiting for the same flight which scheduled on the next day. But this already made me miss my first game in the league. When I told my team about this over the phone, they were fortunately really understanding me and did not complicate it much further. And on December 4th, at 11 am local time, I arrived in Beijing.

The league actually took place in Tianjin city, 3-hour drive from Beijing. One of my teammates, IM Wang Rui drove me along the way to Tianjin in that foggy day. Thanks to his electronic map for showing us the way.



  It was really a foggy day. The weather was also very cold, around 0 degrees and below zero at night. And for a person who live in a tropic country like me, I found this winter is interesting. Okay I must say that I'm getting bored with the endless hot days. Indonesia only has 2 seasons, dry and raining seasons. And none of them can make me frozen like the Chinese winter does to me.

Typical of winter, see the fog and how the trees wither.
Those Chinese symbols are the answers of where this photo has taken.



Can you see what is written here?

On December 5th, I started playing the league. My opponent was GM Hou Yifan the current World Champion. I played White and lost in 37 moves. I don't regret the game as I was playing quiet good in the beginning and collapsed in the time trouble. Yifan and I knew each other already for around 2-3 years, it gives me an easiness to make an interview with her, check it on http://www.singaporechessnews.com/hou_yifan_interview_scn.html Later on I found that our World Champion is indeed a charming girl :)

Yifan and I before the start of the game

I played 5 games overall and only scored 1,5/5. My team was doing well that made us maintain our position on Division A after playing some additional games. Here are my teammates pictures...


2nd board: GM Zhao Zong-Yuan (AUS, 2564)




1st board: GM Wang Hao (CHN, 2736)


3rd board: GM Zhang Pengxiang (CHN, 2580)
5th board: WFM Zhai Mo (CHN, 2172)









and myself on the 4th board, (INA, 2350)

More galleries:
in the banquet dinner
the wine which is good for your health... lol

with bing jie :)

also known as WGM Gu Xiaobing (CHN, 2258)

with Xue or GM Zhao Xue (CHN, 2541)

Hebei team

Xue, Xiao Pai, and me

train ticket, Tianjin-Beijing

I dedicate this blog entry to Colin Bridgerton whom inspired me to make a journal for each trip record, also whom never understand women way of thinking and has said, "Not a single woman can go from point A to point B without stopping in C, D, X and 12 on the way." 

Yours,
Irene

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Isn't Life Tricky?

A few days ago, my friend bitterly told me about her friend who began to change. And after a while, the story actually reminded me of one endgame position study which very aptly describes my friend's situation. It even surprised myself because I'm actually not someone who likes to connect life's issue with our beloved sport, chess.


The endgame position that I'm happy to show here is taken from the book "Dvoretsky Endgame Manual", one of the must-read endgame books for every chess player. Enjoy! :)


Svacina - Muller, Wien 1941 
 
Black cannot capitalize on the active position of his king. He thought up an amusing psychological trap: retreating his king instead.


1...¢c4 [1...g4 2.¢e1 ¢c2 3.¢e2=; 1...f4 2.gxf4 gxf4 3.exf4=] 2.¢c2 ¢b5 Black attempts to trap opponent and he succeeded! 3.¢b3 


3... ¢c6 4.¢b4 ¢d6 5.¢b5 ¢d7 6.¢c5 ¢e6 7.¢c6?



And it worked! White, having no idea what his opponent was up to, naively marched his king deep into enemy territory - no doubt, he was already expecting to win. But now, Black plays the pawn breakthrough. 7...g4! [7...h4 8.gxh4 gxh4 9.¢c5 f4 10.exf4 ¢f5 11.¢xd5 ¢xf4 12.¢c5 e3 ( 12...h3? 13.gxh3 ¢f3 14.d5 ¢xf2 15.d6 e3 16.d7 e2 17.d8£ e1£ 18.£h4++-) 13.fxe3+ ¢xe3! 14.d5 ¢f2 15.d6 ¢xg2 16.d7 h3 17.d8£ h2= Minev] 8.¢c5 f4! 9.exf4 [9.gxf4 h4 … h3–+; 9.¢c6 h4 10.gxh4 g3–+]


9...h4! 10.gxh4 g3 11.fxg3 e3 0–1

Not only life, our opponents are (almost) always tricky. Beware!





  

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I'm Back!

Hi all, it's been a while since I last blogged. I'll tell you what this all about. At the beginning of this month, I was preoccupied by a chess tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The result was not too bad, at least I won a 15 rating points. After that, I have to go back to the training preparation for the SEA Games which to be held in Indonesia in November. Our coach demands us (my teammates and I) to do physical exercise every day even though our time is also largely consumed by chess. As a result, I saw my body look even thinner this week, not bad :)

Lately I try to spend the book The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The book focuses on success and the hard work, social context and cultural background that explains why some people excel and others do not. A very good one, no wonder it has become a bestseller since the very first it printed to public. As soon as I finish reading this book, I'll be back to read the writings of Barbara Cartland or her successors who also wrote about the historical romance theme. I need some entertainment among my daily routines and books are just perfect!


Next month there will be Indonesia International Chess Open Tournament on Oct 12th-19th. I heard a lot of good players come from overseas as if who doesn't interest with USD 10.000 cash prize? I'm really looking forward to it, not only because of the tournament itself, but I'll also catch up with some foreign friends whom I haven't met for so long. 

So this is it, people. I'll try to upload a photo or 2 in my next post. Wish you have a good day! :) 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

1 Syawal 1432 H

The essential meaning of each religion is to answer the question "Why do I live and what is my attitude towards the infinite world around me?" No single religion, from the most sophisticated to the most primitive, which does not make the definition of people's attitudes toward the world as a baseline.

At the core of every religion lies a simple truth that unites. Although the Persians wear tavoid, Jews wear hats, Christians make the sign of the cross, Muslims have a symbol of the crescent, we must remember that it is beyond the symbolic.
Common core of all religions is love of neighbor, and this is what was asked by Jesus, Manuf, Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Socrates, St. Paul, and Mohammed.

Happy Ied, my Muslim friends!

Pengaplikasian Iman

Apakah gunanya, saudara-saudaraku, jika seorang mengatakan bahwa ia mempunyai iman, padahal ia tidak mempunyai perbuatan? Dapatkan iman itu menyelamatkan dia? Jika seorang saudara atau saudari tidak mempunyai pakaian dan kekurangan makanan sehari-hari, dan seorang dari antara kamu berkata: "Selamat jalan, kenakanlah kain panas dan makanlah sampai kenyang!", tetapi ia tidak memberikan kepadanya apa yang perlu bagi tubuhnya, apakah gunanya itu? Demikian juga halnya dengan iman: Jika iman itu tidak disertai perbuatan, maka iman itu pada hakekatnya adalah mati.... Jadi kamu lihat, bahwa manusia dibenarkan karena perbuatan-perbuatannya dan bukan hanya karena iman... Sebab seperti tubuh tanpa roh adalah mati, demikian jugalah iman tanpa perbuatan-perbuatan adalah mati.

Yakobus 2:14-18, 24, 26

Faith

If you do not believe that in the beginning of your life comes from the soul, why do you look for it somewhere else, think you could find a soul to it elsewhere? Those who behave like this is like ones who lit a lantern in the middle of the bright sunlight.

Do not be afraid to break free from everything that is bothering your attention, everything is material, everything that can be seen or felt. The more you purify the spiritual core of your faith, the stronger your faith.


1 Corinthians 13: 1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.

 
And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing. 

 
And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

 
Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

 
It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth 
 

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.

 
Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded. 

 
For we know in part and we prophecy in part. 
 
But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded.  
 
When I was an infant,
I spoke as an infant,
I reckoned as an infant; 

 
when I became [an adult],
I abolished the things of the infant.  

 
For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known. 
 
But now remains
faith, hope, love, 

 
these three; 
 
but the greatest of these is love.