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)|
|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)|
|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."