Friday, July 02, 1999


Kasparov against the world

By Quah Seng Sun

GARY Kasparov has embarked yet again on another publicity stunt. This time, he is challenging the rest of the world in a chess game which is being played on the Internet.

According to the special rules of this game, Kasparov will make the first move and the rest of the world will then submit their suggestions through the Internet to a group of coordinator-analysts who will pick the most popular move from the entries. This move is relayed to Kasparov who will then make his reply, then it is the turn of the rest of the world again.

At the pace which this game is being played, it is expected to last maybe two months. How much public interest this is going to stir is debatable but the chances are that the interest in the game will dwindle as the game progresses. After all, it is being played at a most agonisingly slow pace and it is only the most hopelessly optimistic person who will expect the rest of the world to win this game. However, I will tell you this much: Kasparov will not lose.

How can he lose? He has the experience of more than 16 years at the pinnacle of chess. The rest of the world can offer nothing that he has not seen before. Even if there is one bright spark who can suggest the most inspired move in any given position, the chances of the coordinators recognising this move for what it is worth will be slim. After all, the coordinators are only picking the most popular move from the tens of thousands of moves sent in by the rest of the world.

It is doubtful that the majority of the rest of the world's players would be able to recognise a brilliant move when they see one. Even if they can, the chances of them following it up correctly are poor. In all probability, the game will be reduced to a farce, the rest of the world's moves will border on the ordinary and Kasparov will score a quick knockout after maybe one and a half months. That is, if he has not become bored with this challenge itself.

The people who are taking part as the rest of the world are probably thrilled that they are participating in a game against the strongest chess player in the world. But they forget that the psychology of this game favours Kasparov. His one mind is so singularly focused on chess that nothing else distracts him from it. The rest of the world, on the other hand, have too many cooks, diversions and opinions, and they will eventually spoil the soup.

I think this match does nothing to enhance Kasparov's reputation. He gains nothing by ''defeating" the rest of the world. The non-chess playing public, in their ignorance, may marvel at him for daring to pit his mind against tens of thousands of people but for the chess playing public, this game remains simply a publicity stunt.

Anyone wishing to learn more about this game can browse

Bayview Chess League Results

AFTER four rounds of the ninth Bayview Chess League, Chung Ling High School "A" remains at the top of the Premier Division with 12.5 points. In the fourth round last Sunday, CLHS "A" chalked up a 3.5-0.5 score against the Pessca team. Their nearest rival, one point behind, is still Penang Free School "A" which kept up the pressure with a similar win over the St Xavier's Institution.

These two teams have opened a significant lead over the other teams in the division. After them is the Chung Ling Old Boys Association which has nine points, the Old Frees Association 7.5 points, Penang Free School "B" 6.5 points, Chung Ling High School "B" and International College five points each, Pessca four points, and St Xavier's Institution three points.

In Division One, Penang Free School "C" is leading with 12 points despite losing 1-3 to the Penang Chess Association Novices. This surprising loss allowed Chung Ling High School "D" to creep within one point of them. In the fourth round, CLHS "D" inflicted a 4-0 win against Hewlett-Packard. Third place belonged to Dell "A" after the team fought hard with Chung Ling High School "C" for a 2-2 score.

Dell "A" now has 10.5 points while behind it are Penang Development Corporation with 9.5 points, Chung Ling High School "C" nine points, Hitachi 8.5 points, Penang Chess Association Novices eight points and MSSPP Girls seven points. Languishing at the back of the standings are Penang Free School "D" with two points and Hewlett-Packard with 1.5 points.

In Division Two, Chung Ling High School "E" is in a commanding lead with 11 points after giving Dell "B" a 3.5-0.5 hiding in the fourth round. A distant second in the standings is Union High School which lost 1.5-2.5 to Chung Hwa Confucian School.

Union has 8.5 points, followed by both the Penang Chess Association Ladies and Dell "B" with eight points each. The MSSPP Juniors has seven points, Chung Hwa Confucian School 6.5 points, Penang Chinese Girls High School 5.5 points, Penang Free School "E" five points, and Penang Free School "F" one point.

The fifth round of the chess league will be played this Sunday morning at level four of The City Bayview Hotel's New Wing. The hotel is sponsoring the use of its premises for the weekly games. The results of the chess league are currently available from the Penang Chess Association homepage at and

Up Next:

Tournament for Students

BUILDING on the success of the first inter-team tournament for institutions of higher learning last year, the Chess Association of Selangor will organise a second such tournament next weekend at the Sunway College in Petaling Jaya.

The two-day event, which aims to encourage chess players to continue playing chess after their secondary school days, is expected to attract university and college students from around the Klang Valley and possibly from outside this area too. Each team will comprise three players and one reserve.

The registration of teams will begin at 9am on July 10 and will be followed by the first round at 11am. Three rounds will be played on the first day, and four rounds on the day after. A one-hour time control will be used for all the games.

The winning team will receive RM250 and a challenge trophy. The second and third prizes are RM150 and RM100 respectively. In addition, the first five teams will each receive RM600 worth of computer software. The best CAS members in these five teams will also get cash prizes from the association. Apart from these main prizes, hampers will be given as board prizes and also for the best girl player. Certificates will be given to all prize winners.

Entry fees are RM80 per team, RM140 if two teams are sent from each institution, and RM180 if three are sent.

For enquiries, call Jackie Wong at 03-703 8237, Lim Tse Pin 012-298 4922 or Jason Yap at 017-888 9121.

Meanwhile last fortnight, the CAS had organised the first two legs of its fourth Royal Selangor under-16 junior grand prix.

The first leg on June 20 was won by Wong Zi Chuang who obtained five points from six games. The four players who finished half-a-point behind him were Yap Chin Leong, Nicholas Chan, Yap Chin Keong and Hafiz Shafruddin. Those who scored four points were Marcus Chan, Lim Ven Gee, Eugene Khoo, Mohd Nur Shafiq and Zarul Shazwan.

The second leg was held a week later and it ended in a four-way tie at the top. Marcus Chan, Nicholas Chan, Yap Chin Leong and Johan Iskandar each obtained five points in the six-round event. Joel Ng scored 4.5 points, while Eugene Khoo, Lim Ven Gee, Wong Zi Chuang, Wan Khye Theng and Foo Swee Chuen obtained four points each.

At the end of the two legs, very little separates the five players who are leading in the Grand Prix standings. Yap Chin Leong, Nicholas Chan, Wong Zi Chuang, Marcus Chan and Johan Iskandar are all jointly at the top with five GP points and it is only the various tie-breaks that separate one from the other. Hafiz Shafruddin, Joel Ng, Yap Chin Keong, Lim Ven Gee and Eugene Khoo are next in the standings with 4.5 GP points. Readers with Internet access can download the GP standings from my web page at

National Allegro Circuit

THE Bank Pertanian Malaysia-sponsored national allegro chess circuit continues with two more legs this month. The Kedah leg will be played at the Kolej Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, tomorrow while the Perlis leg is scheduled for the Sekolah Menegah Putra in Kangar on Sunday.

Entry fees per event are RM10 for members of the Perlis Chess Association, Kedah Chess Association, Bank Pertanian employees, women, under-12 and veteran players, and RM15 for all others.

The total cash prize for each leg is RM1,500 of which RM1,000 goes to the main winners and RM500 to the minor winners. The winner of each leg will qualify automatically for the Grand Prix final in October. To register, call Abdul Latiff Mohamad at 013-301 0204 or Aziz Osman at 04-938 6584.

Seremban Parade Games

THE Malaysian Chess Federation and the Seremban Parade are jointly organising this chess fest over two weekends in the Seremban Parade. All games will be played in the concourse area of the shopping centre. Cash prizes amounting to RM2,000, hampers, trophies and other prizes in kind will be given to the winners.

Scheduled for July 17 is an 11-round blitz tournament with five cash prizes. On the next day, there is a six-round tournament for under-12 and under-16 players. On July 24, the Chess Challenge continues with an under-20 junior open tournament. For these three events, the entry fee is RM10 per player. Cash prizes will be given to the top winners.

The last event will be the Seremban Parade open tournament on July 25. The top 10 winners and the best under-16, under-14, under-12 and girl players will receive cash prizes. The entry fee for this final event is RM15 except for under-12 players who need to pay only RM10.

Only a maximum of 100 players will be accepted for each event. For registration or more information, call Jessie or Jay at 06-764 8282, or fax: 06-761 9177.

Quah Seng Sun's chess articles are archived at ( or ( Readers can write to him at:

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