02 Jan

Interview with IM Yeoh Li Tian

Yeoh Li Tian was already identified as a chess talent at a young age. At the age of 10 he was sent to a six week training stint in Beijing, China, sponsored by Dato’ Tan Chin Nam. In the next four years, he came tantalizingly close to IM norms in several tournaments.

In 2015 he finally made his first norm and last December, Yeoh Li Tian made back-to-back International Master norms at two tournaments in Australia, fulfilling the norm requirements of 27 games.

Recently, I did an interview with him to find his thoughts, his preparations and how he sees his future  chess career.

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JL: You recently finished your SPM examinations and straight after flew to Australia to play two tournaments. What expectations if any did you have when you were invited to these two tournaments?

LT: Frankly speaking I didn’t expect much before these tournaments. As it was right after SPM examination, I didn’t have time to prepare for my opponents beforehand as if they were round robin tournaments. Hence I was just aiming for IM norms before these tournaments. I was actually quite confident on the chances as my performance has always been stable and seldom become rusty even if I have not played in any tournament for a long time. It turned out to be correct as I got my IM norms with one round to spare in both tournaments.

 JL:  How did you prepare for these tournaments? 

LT: As mentioned above, I didn’t prepare for any of the 2 tournaments due to my SPM examination. However, in a round robin tournament, I will normally first check the age and rating of my opponents to estimate their strength. I will then check the required points to achieve IM (maybe GM in future) norm and set a target score (win or draw) for each game, based on my colour if possible. After completing all these only I will start to prepare on a particular opponent by his opening and try to find out which type of position he/she normally loses in.

JL: Which game did you like the most from these two tournaments?

LT: I like some of my smooth wins against lower rated opponents, but I think the most interesting game is my game against Patrick Gong in the Lidums Young Master. (Game below)

 JL: Any stories you want to tell us?

LT: There was really not much interesting moment in Australia. It was all about mind duel during the game and resting my mind after the game. I was hosted by a local family in Adelaide and they were really friendly. We actually saw a wild koala on a hill road while getting back home. 

JL: How old were you when you learnt the game?

LT: Around 2-3 years old. I must be literally “playing” with the chess pieces at that time.

 JL: How much time do you spend on chess?

LT:It really depends on my other activities. At the very least, I will spend some time daily to follow the current tournaments to keep my chess-mind awake. I will put it as 10 hours per week.

 JL: Young talented chess players often make their IM titles even before the age of 14. Why did it take you until 17 years old?

LT: The first factor is of course being an amateur player. Even though I focused in chess as much as in academic, it is still a big disadvantage to not work on chess full time compared to those young professional players. Besides, there are also not many suitable sparring partners in Malaysia as chess is not a mainstream sport. There are also few problems with myself such as easily distracted when I face difficulties during training.

 JL: How much the computer plays in your chess preparations? Do you bring it to you every tournament?
 LT: Computer definitely plays a crucial role in my chess preparation. Basically all my preparations require computer, including checking opponent’s basic information, database and opening. Computer is a necessity for me in all important and big chess tournaments. I only leave it at home in event like MSSM [Note: MSSM is an annual schools chess competition in Malaysia] or rapid events.

JL:  Who is the player you admire most?

 LT: I really admire Magnus Carlsen. Sometimes I simply couldn’t understand how he wins such drawish position against strong players. I really hope I can learn that skill.

JL: What is your career that you think you most likely be in. Is it chess?

 LT: To be honest I don’t plan to have a profession related to chess. I may contribute to chess in future, but definitely not full time. I am interested in actuarial science, computer science and engineering.

JL: What subjects are you good in or like at school?

LT: I am really good in mathematics compared to my peer. I like math, physics and chemistry in school. I like part of biology but I have never obtained good results in biology.

 JL: What advice will you give to others who wish to pursue their ambition to be a good player?

LT: Study midgame and endgame. I can see many players and coaches focusing too much in the opening. Trying to win fast by trapping your opponent in a sharp opening can never bring a player to high level.

 JL: Are you going to be world champion :)

LT: As far as I am concerned, no. It is pretty impossible to reach the elite without doing chess full time.

 JL: Thank you for your very informative answers. I believe other young chess players as well as chess parents will find it very useful
27 Dec

Invitation to High Tea

DAT Chess Center is issuing an open invitation to high tea in celebration of Yeoh Li Tian’s IM title. There will also be a blitz event at the venue.

Venue: DAT Chess Center F-03A-9 Starparc Point, Jalan Taman Ibu Kota, 533000 Kuala Lumpur

Date: 7th January 2017

Time: 4:30 PM

All are welcome!



26 Dec

GACC Chess Championship

The GACC chess championship returns for the 21st Edition. There are three events
– Open Age Group for Under 8/10/12/14/16/18
– Open and Team
– Inter -Varsity

The registration for Inter-Varsity is already closed. Registrations for the other two events  are open until 10th Jan 2017. See below for details


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08 Dec

Yeoh Li Tian close to norm

Malaysian FM Yeoh Li Tian is playing in Australia at the Lidums Young Masters in Adelaide. This is a ten player round robin. After seven rounds, Li Tian has scored 4.5 points and is tied for 2nd placing. He needs another one point from the remaining two games to achieve his 2nd IM Norm.

This is quite a strong tournament with one GM and four IMs. The remaining are FMs with one exception, Patrick Gong who is also the lowest rated. Li Tian will play IM James Morris in the current round and Patrick Gong in the final.

The rankings after round 7:Clipboard-1
Latest update 1:15 PM 
No sooner have I just posted this and results came in. Yeoh Li Tian beats IM James Morris and shares joint lead with IM Bobby Cheng!

02 Dec

1st Kimma Chess Tournament

The 1st Kimma Chess Tournament is scheduled for 5th February 2017. The champion will receive the YB Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ibrahim Kader Trophy. This event is managed by DAT Chess Centre.

Rounds: 7
Time control: 25 minutes to finish
Venue: Dewan Serbaguna Pusat Perdagangan PT 80 DBKL, Lorong Bunus 4,
Masjid India, 50050 KUALA LUMPUR (Belakang Haniffa Departmental Store)
Contact: Abd Hamid Majid (019 3158098) / Siraj (010 5499916) / Fadli (014 2312370)
Prizes: There are prizes for Open, Under 18 and Under 12. The winner of the Open receives a generous RM1000.

For the prospectus go to www.kimmachess.blogspot.my or Click here.

18 Nov

2016 National Scholastics

The 2016 National Scholastics will be held from 3-4 December 2016 at Putrajaya. More details below

VENUE: Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah, presint 1, Putrajaya

ORGANISER: Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF)
Co-Organise : Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah Putrajaya ( SGE)
: Institut Kemajuan Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (IKIAM)
: Perbadanan Putrajaya
: Majlis Belia Kawasan Putrajaya

SPONSOR: Pihak Berkuasa Kemajuan Pekebun Kecil perusahaan Getah (RISDA)

FORMAT: 25 mins + 10s (9 Rounds)

Contact: En. Sophian 011 3950 5981 ( nationalscholastic@malaysiachess.com )

Entry Fees : RM 50

Payment: Persekutuan Catur Malaysia
CIMB PWTC Current Account: 8000649725

There are several age categories: Open U09, U11, U13, U15, U17 (+Best Girls). Medals and cash prizes are awarded to the 1st-10th placing and for Best Girl in each category.

Please note that the closing date is 29th November 2016. This is part of the Selection Policy for the Asian Schools or World Schools Championships for 2017.

To find out more, click here

10 Nov

French Defence: Positional Understanding

IM Jimmy Liew is one of Malaysia’s foremost expert on the French Defense. He will be talking about postional understanding, pawn structures, good/bad squares etcs. Seats are limited. Kindly confirm early.

Date: 13/11/2016
Time: 11am – 1pm
Venue: DATCC, F-3A-09 Starparc Point, Jalan Taman Ibu Kota, Taman Danau Kota, Setapak, K.L.
Fee: RM30 per person
Trainer: IM Jimmy Liew
Topic: French Defense: Positional understanding.

Please bring your own chess set, notebook & chess clock (if available)

12 Oct

Chess Openings Master Class

Opening Series

White Knight Chess Academy is pleased to present our Explore the Chess Openings series of master classes conducted by Malaysia’s first International Master Jimmy Liew and International Master Mok Tze Meng.

The structure of the class will be a lecture on a specific opening by an expert in that opening. Participants then take part in a clock simul followed by a discussion of selected games from the simul. This ensures that you learn specific lines to combat against white and get practical game experience against a strong player.

The French Defence

The first class will focus on the French Defence which is considered one of the more solid black defenses to the king pawn opening. The class is conducted by IM Jimmy Liew who has been using this defence from the beginning of his chess career.

Participants will learn the most common white replies and Jimmy will demonstrate his lines of play against each one , refined with over 40 years of experience and 700 games in this opening.

Date and Venue

6th November 2016  (Sunday) 2 PM – 6 PM at Saujana Villa, Jalan Prima Saujana, Prima Saujana, Selangor. More details will be given on registeration.

Fee: RM300 per participant (first 10 participants will receive a complimentary autographed copy of Jimmy’s book The Veresov, Move by Move)


Download the prospectus

11 Oct

Lim Zhuo Ren makes IM norm at Millionaire Chess

Congratulations to FM Lim Zhuo Ren who has made an IM norm (his second) at the Millionaire Chess in Atlantic City, USA.

He scored 5/9 against strong opposition. Here are a selection of his games published with his permission. All notes are by Zhuo Ren.

In the second round LZR draws with a strong Indian GM.

LZR dismantles a 2420 rated opponent

Beating another 2400 player in the fourth round.