Sunday, 26 October 2008

My first chess competition that is already obsolete

I joined my first official chess competition, called Sabah Rating Chess
Competition organised by the Sabah Chess Association.

I'm already 50 years old but suddenly had the urge to find out my chess
playing strength. I thought that I can get my rating at the competition.
I lost in all games competing against filipinoes who have made their
marks at the recent UMS Open Chess Competition.

As we grow old, we need a way to keep our brain active. Playing chess is
the cheapest and easiest way to exercise our brains. Reading is too
relaxing and does not exercise our judgement functions.

As I was waiting for the competition, I was talking to one of our
committe member who organised that competition. He introduced me to a
website dedicated for Sabah Chess community, He also
mentioned about online chess.

The moment I read the advertisement for the competition, I started
practising. I only had 2 days to practise. I used my mobile phone a
Motorola V3x to practise. The software is It is powerful. I
rarely beat it despite being able to take bake my moves. It is fast
enough at level 3 at my Motorola V3x and L6.

After the competition, I joined the Association and hopefully join in my
second competition on the 11th of December. Meanwhile, I am practising
hard online. My recommended site is because it has the
"Live Chess" for free for unlimited number of games. I initially tried but it only allowed 5 games per day for free. My
rating at is now at ELO 1500. My 12 year old son, is now
at 1000. Our user ids are othmanskn and aqiblari.

For learning,
allows you to download common openings with percentage wins in pgn
format which can be viewed using on
Pocket PC or ChessDB for PC. From ChessDb site you can download 3
million games but without any percentage win analysis. has
more chess game database with analysis but it is not free.

I shall force all my children to play these online chess games and find
out their ratings. It is a better alternative to playing online games
such as MapleStory and Dotta which my children are busy doing. Chess is
better because it has better support currently although I don't see any
difference between it and the other online games.

Rankings can also be applied to other competitive games as well and all
these games are just a waste of time. They are more for recreational
purposes, as bad as any video game or any sport for that matter. At
least chess and any video game is an activity to exercise our mind.
Unlike other AI controlled games, I have never been able to defeat Chess
games at the highest rating consistently, unlike other video games such
as Home World and Forge Alliance but the in future, society should
find a replacement for Chess that is more in line with current
technologies. Dotta is one such game but it will take time for it to get
as much recognition as Chess.

These online and computer monitored games allow us to view our ratings
and game playing records instantly and conveniently. This makes board
games obsolete. In future, Chess competitions should be done on Computer

Sabah is heaven. Beautiful shark-free beaches and mountains next to
civilisation with no natural and man-made disasters except Malaysia.
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