Friday, September 21, 2018

SIFU.mycatur Telah Kembali Kerahmatullah

Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Illaihi Rojiun.

Hj Saleh mendapat berita tentang Encik Abdul Latiff Mohamad  yang juga dikenali sebagai SIFU.mycatur iaitu tuan punya laman blog ini telah pulang ke rahmatullah jam 9:00pm semalam (ie Khamis 20/9/2018).

Hj Saleh mengenali Allahyarham Encik Latif sejak 2009 terutamanya ketika Kejohanan Catur MMU dan KLCA Open.

SIFU bersama isteri

Allahyarham Encik Latif merupakan seorang chess arbiter yang sangat berpengalaman terutamanya menggunakan sistem manual.

Ketika zaman Allahyarham aktif sebagai arbiter kejohanan catur, swiss pairing manager masih belum ada.

Banyak juga pengalaman dan kisah2 catur di Malaysia yg Allahyarham cerita dan kongsikan dengan Hj Saleh. Hj Saleh yg dikenali sebagai GiLoCatur di kalangan komuniti catur tanahair sangat berbesar hati kerana Blog Catur Hj Saleh merupakan salah salah satu blog dalam Blog List Allahyarham Encik Latif.

Allahyarham juga telah menjadikan Hj Saleh sebagai author laman blog catur beliau di URL -

Hj Saleh mendoakan agar Allahyarham Encik Latiff berada di kalangan orang2 beriman dan soleh.

Salam takziah buat keluarga Allahyarham Encik Latiff.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GEMPAR!!! Gambar Misteri Masjid Di Atas Gunung [SAKSIKAN...] | Berita OMG™ | Blog Isu Hangat, Semasa Dan Terkini

GEMPAR!!! Gambar Misteri Masjid Di Atas Gunung [SAKSIKAN...] | Berita OMG™ | Blog Isu Hangat, Semasa Dan Terkini

GEMPAR!!! Gambar Misteri Masjid Di Atas Gunung [SAKSIKAN...]

Written By admin on Rabu, November 20 | 2:13 PTG

GEMPAR!!! Gambar Misteri Masjid Di Atas Gunung [SAKSIKAN...] 

Masjid yang di atas gunung ini adalah Masjid Al Khidhr (as). Ianya terletak di atas gunung Nabi Khidhr di Qum-Iran. 

Walaupun berada di atas gunung, masjid ini tidak asing bagi jemaah-jemaah islam yang sentiasa berkunjung dan menggunakan masjid ini seperti masjid-masjid yang lain. 

Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make In Your Chess

1 Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make In Your Chess PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 00:54
11 chess mistakes to avoidWe all love the game of chess.  Some love it because of its infinite possibilities that even computers cannot calculate. Some love it because of its very competitive nature. Some love it because most of the games are decided by skill and not by luck.
Regardless of that 'why' these are the 11 mistakes you don't want to make in your chess.

11. Playing chess to win prize money

I've met people that honestly think that they can spend a few hours on chess, enter a Big Open Tournament and BOOM win $10,000. Wrong. Unless you have a passion for chess, spend a lot of your time to study and practice chess you cannot succeed at any chess tournament.  The tournaments with a big prize fund are especially competitive. Don't do it, if you want to save yourself a big disappointment and time. Money shouldn't be a motivation at whatever you do, chess included.
don't play chess for money

10. Quitting playing chess after a lose

It's not a good habit to quit anything (except for smoking) if you fail once. All players, big and small have lost games. It's normal. If they had quit, there would have been no Fischer, Kasparov or Carlsen as we know them today. Loss in chess should be a signal to you that more training is necessary.  It should motivate you to work harder and to play better in the next game. If you think about a loss from this perspective, you will succeed.
don't give up

9.Stressing out too much about a chess game

Some players get extremely stressed out before and during chess games. Stress is a negative, disruptive factor which will not do anything good to your cool head and logical thinking.  In a state of stress, you would waste extra time double checking variations and will not be able to completely focus on the position. In order to play high level chess, you need to stop caring about the outcome and just to play your game. If you take a serious tournament game with the same ease you play a friendly game you will relax and your results will improve. Give it a try.
manage stress at chess

8. Blaming somebody else for your failures

In order to improve at chess you need to be honest with yourself and take full responsibility for your actions (moves). That means if you lose a game, you shouldn't say something like  'that's because of the stupid blunder  on move 20' or 'I did not get enough sleep, so couldn't concentrate', etc.  By finding a true cause of your loss, you will benefit much more than if you come up with some common excuse. You may want to read about identifying strengths and weaknesses of your game here.
fail at chess

7. Not learning from your own mistakes

Of course it would be perfect if we could learn from somebody else's mistakes. Unfortunately, that's not how it works at chess. In most cases, we need to actually lose a game or two by getting  back-rank mated  in order to start being aware of certain dangers. Use this extremely powerful learning tool to your advantage. You can learn much better from things if you have experienced it yourself. Read 7 deadly mistakes every novice player makes and... avoid it.
mistakes at chess

6. Putting chess in front of everything else

Some people get involved with chess so much that they forget everything else: work, family, responsibilities, health, etc.  Of course, it is good for your chess career to concentrate only on chess.  But be careful, you may lose motivation and get 'burned out' by chess. The best strategy is to study chess by little bits during a long period of time. Remember, chess is a marathon, not a sprint.  Read about chess time management in 10 Chess Improvement Rules Most Players Forget.
priorities and chess

5. Spending too much time accumulating knowledge you would never use in a real game

It's is true that if you study chess more, you will become better at it. But the key is to study the right things. For example, reading about the history of chess will not help you much in your next 1.d4 game. Memorizing 25 different variations of Sicilian defense 20 moves deep will not help you to become a better chess player. In fact, if your opponent plays Queen's Gambit Declined, it won't help you at all. If you just spend a quarter of this time solving tactics, working on endgames and analyzing your own games you will progress much faster, and all the work will pay off quickly. You can check the following things about improving at chess: this and this.

4. Buying many chess books and never reading them

The point of chess books is that they possess knowledge that can make you a better chess player. That is only true with one condition: you actually need to read study them.  Chess books are no good if they are just sitting on the shelf. Studying of a chess book includes reading it, thinking about the ideas presented and going over the positions presented on a chess board.  Many people just read chess books, instead of studying them, skipping diagrams and notations. It may be good from the entertainment point of view, but does little good for the training process.
chess books

3. Worrying about rating points more than the game itself

Some player get more worried about losing rating points, than about the game of chess in general. Points are just given to you for an estimation of your strength purpose. Rating should not act as a disrupting factor, especially during the game.
rating drop

2. Having "I'm always right" attitude

This is a kind of attitude that would prevent you from making progress at chess or significantly slow it down. In order to improve, you need to be self-critical and to admit your own mistakes. If you lost because of the badly played opening, you should analyze the lines and make corresponding corrections in your repertoire. If you lost due to some other reason you need to work on that, it's probably your weak side of chess.
I'm always right!

1. Pursuing chess as a professional career

While playing chess may seem like an amazing opportunity to be turned into a professional career you should consider all pros and cons. There are only about 1300 grandmasters in the world. Their rating varies from about 2500 to 2800 something. These are considered "professional chess players", meaning they are making most of their living playing chess. Peter Zhdanov of published a list of highest earning chess players of 2012  from which it's clear that only 2-3 players made more than $1,000,000 in year 2012. The number 10 player made about $150,000 the same year. Just think about it #10 player in the world is about 2730 ELO. What about those who are 2500-2600. How much you think they make? You've got the idea.
The point is simple, unless you are in the top 100, it's not easy to make decent leaving from playing chess, especially if you need to play opens instead of invitational tournaments with appearance fees which are only available for top GMs.
professioanal chess
Please share your opinion in comments field below!
Images of money, don't give up, stress, fail, mistakes, priority, chess books, I'm always right and pro chess are taken from flickr and used under creative commons license. 

How to get better at chess: guide for all levels

How to get better at chess: guide for all levels PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Monday, 05 October 2009 22:01

A lot of people are asking the same question over and over again, how to improve in chess? So, I have decided to write this whole thing once and for all. First of all it is important to know at what level you are playing now. It would really depend what to study and how to improve from the player's current (estimated) rating. Here is a chart that gives an idea on what should players work on at different levels of their chess career:
  • Below 299: Learn basic rules of chess, how pieces move, and special rules (en passant, castle etc).
  • 300-1000: Learn basic chess ideas such as checkmate, simple attacks, etc.
  • 1000-1199: Learn basic opening ideas. It's recommended to play 1.e4 as white and sharp variations as black. Learn basic checkmates (King + Queen vs. King, Queen + Queen vs. King, Rook + Rook vs. King, King + Rook vs. King). Practice them until you are completely confident and can checkmate anyone (even a GM) in these positions.
  • 1200-1399: Study more openings, but do not stick with "rarely played variations". It is a huge mistake that a LOT of chess player make while studying openings, to study rarely played/unusual lines which most likely would never come up in real life tournaments.  Studying standard opening lines would yield a lot more results!
    Spend maximum of 20% of your study time to study openings. Until 1800 level openings aren't very important. Concentrate more on middle game and tactics.
  • 1400-1599: Endgame is the key on this level. Only imagine the advantage you get against your opponent if you know how to play endgame well and your opponent does not. The odds are that your opponent will loose the endgame almost immediately. Study basic endgame schemes: King + Pawn vs. King, King + 2 Pawns vs. King, King + Pawn vs. King + 2 Pawns and so on.   Besides the endgame do tactics problems (puzzles).  Play as much chess as possible especially in real life over the board tournaments with a long time control (that's where you learn the most).

  • 1600-1799: If you got on this level it means you are already strong, very solid chess player which knows a lot about all stages of the game of chess. Keep working on your middle game, strategy and tactics. Try to play blindfold chess. It is easy these days, since programs like Chessmaster 10th   offer really nice options of blindfold chess. You are basically only see the chess board with no pieces on it, but you can move these empty squares and play chess (because you know that knights are on b1 and c1, bishops are on c1 and g1 and so on).  During the game you have to keep all the pieces in your head, since they are invisible which is hard in the beginning. Play really weak players first.
    Blindfold chess helps to develop player's visualization ability and eliminates most blunders. All GMs are able to play blindfold chess well.
  • 1800-1999: Wow, you are ready to become an expert. Now it is a good time to systemize your opening repertoire. Ideally, you should know very well 2-3 openings for white and 2 for Black. The key to advancing to the expert level here is to analyze your own games. After the game, sit down with a chessboard, paper and pen and go over the game move by move writing down thoughts on your own and your opponent's moves. Only then you may check your game with an engine (Rybka, Fritz, etc). The number #1 mistake chess players make, they either do not analyze their games at all or analyze them by using chess program right away. This is a big mistake which slows down chess progress.The main idea of analysis is not to look at what computer thinks was a good move, but to look for that move yourself! Would it make sense to solve chess tactics puzzles by plugging them into a chess engine?  Probably not.Also it is great idea to go over GM games and think them over. The best way to go over these high level games is to first go over all the moves without author's comments and only second time read the comments and annotations. This works great with the openings too. Remember that when you read your opening book tomorrow.
  • 2000-2199: Congratulations, you are now an Expert. Keep working on chess and I'm sure you'll be able to make at least a Master sometime soon and when you do, please, send me a message saying "Hi! I am a Master now!"
Follow up on this article: Chess self improvement guide

Rapid Chess Improvement: Evaluation of Positions

Rapid Chess Improvement: Evaluation of Positions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Monday, 08 February 2010 19:27
rapid chess improvementWhat exactly to do in order to improve my chess? It is a common question I hear from different players all around, including my page on Facebook and Twitter.
I already gave an outline how to get better at chess, you may want to review it before reading further.
In this article, I will suggest the list of things you need to take care of in order to quickly and effectively improve your game and gain elo points.

I believe that very important aspect of the rapid chess improvement is properly organized training process.  It can be divided into the following categories:
  • Evaluation of Position
  • Opening Repertoire
  • Tactical Vision
  • Calculation Technique
  • Strategy
  • Endgame
These are very broad categories; many books have been published on each and every category from this list. You may ask why the Middle game is not present here? Actually it is, Middle game is represented in form of evaluation of position, strategy and calculation. But, these elements can also be applied to other stages of the game as well. If you want to learn to play chess better you will need to master all these aspects of play.
I will discuss Evaluation of Position in detail today, and save other categories for later time.
Evaluation of Position
What is evaluation of position? Basically it is a technique or an algorithm that let a chess player know what side is better in particular position on the board. It is a very important component of the game of chess. Based on that evaluation, chess player is making decisions for his next move or sequence of moves.  It is well known fact that if you having a positional advantage you must attack, else you’re risking losing it. Needless to say, mistakes in evaluation of position can turn out to be deadly. Here is a quick example:  if a player thinks that he will win that endgame after the rook exchange, but his evaluation of position isn’t correct, he will lose the endgame by exchanging the rooks.
Why computers can play chess so well? They have precise algorithm of how the position changes with one or another move. Why GMs always beat amateurs? Because they can evaluate positions extremely well.  Lesson? In order to play good chess you need to learn to evaluate chess positions precisely.
Very common guideline for evaluating all chess positions consists of 4 categories:
  1. King’s safety
  2. Material on the board
  3. Pieces activity
  4. Pawn structure
We can assign for each of these categories the numeric value similar way that it is assigned in chess programs such as Fritz and Chessmaster.
King Safety – the difference of positions of the Kings. If one King is relatively safe in respect to the other one he gets a value from +1 to +2 points. We don’t take into account positions where a forced mate exists.
Material on the board - standard numeric values for the pawns and pieces can be used here. So, Pawn = 1 point, Bishop = 3 point, Knight = 3 points, Rook = 5 points, Queen = 9 points, King is assigned to 3.5 points in the endgame.
Pieces Activity - defined as the difference of activity between your piece and similar piece in the opponent’s camp (example Knight vs. Knight, Rook vs. Rook and Queen vs. Queen, etc.) Maximum difference in activity will be 1.5 points or 1.5 pawns.
Pawn Structure – control of important squares (center) by pawns, weak pawns, strong pawns, isolated pawns past pawns can give maximum advantage of 2 points.  Of course we don’t  take into account extreme cases where pawn can checkmate or promote to a Queen.
If White is better in particular position we will assign a positive value, such as +3, would correspond that White is 3 pawns up in position and material together.  If Black is better we will write -3, which would mean Black is 3 pawns up.  Take a look at the position below:

rapid chess improvement
     White to move
Let’s evaluate the position above according to our 4 categories.
  1. King Safety – White King have castled, while Black King is stuck on f8 and cannot castle.  We assign a score of +0.5, or half a pawn, to White, since there is no immediate danger due to position of Black King.
  2. Material – White has an extra pawn on the King’s side. We give +1 to White, and total score becomes +1.5.
  3. Piece Activity – White’s Rook on a1 is equal to Black’s Rook on a8, White’s Rook on f8 is somewhat more active than Black’s Rook on h8 (+0.25), White’s Bishop on c1 is less active than the Black’s Bishop on d6 (-0.25), White’s Bishop on b5 is equal to Black’s  Bishop on e6, White’s Queen on d5 seems to be more active than Black’s Queen, but it’s also more vulnerable for threats by Bishops, so we assume they’re equal. Total Score +1.5
  4. Pawn Structure – as we said previously White is a pawn up, which gives them a King’s side 4 to 3 majority. There is an equal number of pawn on the Queen’s side. We have counted pawn’s majority in Material section, total score doesn’t change: +1.5, or we can say that White is 1.5 pawns better.
If we check this position with the computer (I used Fritz 10), it gives +- 1.54 at depth of 3/43 and recommends the line 16.Qxb7 Rb8 17.Qa6 Bc5 18.f5 Bc8 19.Qc6 Qe7 20.Ba6 Bxe3+ 21.Kh1 Bxh6 22. Qxh6 +- . Our evaluation of +1.5 seems to be pretty good there.
I recommend practicing this system on some random positions and applying this method to your own over the board (OTB) games. It is not necessary to apply this method after each move, in fact it would be very time consuming and impractical to do that. You need to do the deep evaluation only in critical positions, such as after the end of an opening theory or a critical position when it is hard to see what to play. It is a very good method to apply if you don’t know what to do in positional game. It will guide you through the game, show what pieces to exchange (your inactive pieces for active pieces of your opponent).

Chess Training Program Outline (for up to 2100 ELO)

Chess Training Program Outline (for up to 2100 ELO) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 14:37
chess study planToday's article is somewhat a continuation of the last week's chess saga about finding  strengths and weaknesses of your chess. We will talk about developing a chess study program that would suits individual needs for players it's designed for.
What is the most important in the chess program? Of course it needs to be effective, meaning that after investing your time in it your chess strength should increase.  It is very difficult to create a universal study plan that will suit all chess players. 
The plan should be based on two main parameters: players overall chess ability (rating) and player's individual strengths and weaknesses.  In order to evaluate which positions you understand the best and what type of openings yield best performance I suggest reading finding  strengths and weaknesses of your chess.
I will show you detailed chess training program that is designed for a players up to 2100 rating. If your rating is much below that you should not feel intimidated. Regardless of your current chess level you will greatly improve your chess by following the themes presented below.
Chess Training Program (up to 2100 ELO)
1. TACTICS BASICS [20 hours]
This a very or maybe even the most important part of chess training. Surprisingly enough most chess player don't like working on chess tactics puzzles and get very surprised why the miss easy tactics and lose the game against those that do. Don't make this mistake and spend enough time on it. Chess progress will come quick if you stick to daily tactics routine.
You can jump start your tactics training with simple exercises from here or here. For more serious training I would recommend getting a specially designed software like CT-ART. Chess Master and Chess King (review) have some solvable tactics problems as well.
The main idea of solving tactical problems is to improve your calculating ability, increase board visualization ability and overall chess awareness.
2. STRATEGY BASICS [30 hours]
This are very fundamental middle game themes that every chess player should know. You should find chess literature and study the following topics thoroughly. If you have an access to a chess database with the ability to search games by themes (like ChessBase) you should select some of these themes and study related masters/grandmaster games. If you have annotated game collection, it's even more useful. After you read theory and study high level games, you should spend some time on analyzes of your own games on these themes and solving tactics problems related to these themes.
List of topics to study:
- Pawn advantage on one side of the board
- Pawn chain
- Better pawn structure
- Blockade
- Isolated pawn in the center
- Weak pawns
- Closed center
3. ENDGAME BASICS [30 hours]
Endgame is another extremely important area of the game that needs to be studied thoroughly in order to get consistently good results at chess. The method of studying endgames is similar to those of middle games. You should first read some theory about the endgame themes below. For that I would recommend using books such as Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual , Pandolfini's Endgame Course or any other endgame resource you wish to use.  Then, again if you have an access to a chess database with ability to search by themes, you can sort out high level games on the particular ending and go through it. You can practice playing certain endgame positions against the computer and then check it with Nalimov's Tablebase.
List of topics to study:
- Bishop vs. pawns
- Opposite color bishops
- Same color bishops
- Knight vs. pawns
- Knight endgames
- Bishop vs. knight
- Rook vs. pawns
- Rook endgames
- Queen endgames

Good luck with training program. Remember if you stay dedicated to one thing, the results will come!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10 Reasons Why Most People Are Not Good at Chess (and how to fix it)

10 Reasons Why Most People Are Not Good at Chess (and how to fix it) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Sunday, 17 November 2013 22:51
why most people are not good at chessAbout 8.6% of the world’s population or roughly 700 million people play chess.
Majority of these players will never reach even 1000 rating level which is considered to be a beginner’s strength.
Why is that the case? How to change it? Most people are not good at chess because they:

1. Don’t take chess seriously enough

Many novice chess players don’t really care about the outcome of the game. They just play chess for fun, without being competitive and without the drive the win.  These players forget about the game once it’s over and never come back to look at it again. With this attitude it's difficult to become a better player.

Quick fix:

The only way to become better at something is to be serious about it, care about the outcome and spend time on training.

2. Give up chess too soon

Some people give chess a try by playing one or two games. The decision, if they like the game or not, greatly depends on the outcome of these two games. If a person wins, he would probably stick with chess for a few more games. If he loses he would probably say, chess is not for him.

Quick fix:

Don’t give up chess after a negative outcome of the game. Play more games against opponents of different strengths, watch professional chess tournaments, look over a few chess books or magazines and then decide for yourself if it’s a game for you. Many famous people play chess.
don't give up chess

3. Don’t take any steps to get better at chess

Many people play chess for fun without taking any steps for improvement.  They play infinite number of games, playing the same openings, trying to checkmate an opponent the same way. If they have a flow in their chess understanding (almost 100% true for this level) they would lose limitless number of games the same way too. Finally they say the game is boring and stop playing at all.

Quick fix:

Analyze your games. Even a short replay of your own game can help you to conclude what usually goes wrong. Then, work on fixing it.  You will enjoy chess much more, once you become a better player!

4. Don’t calculate variations

There are many novice players out there, who don’t feel like calculating deeper than one move ahead. They use their intuition to judge if the move is good or not. Although, the intuition can be a valuable resource for a chess player, calculation of variations is something that will help you win a lot more games, than solely relying on intuition and luck!

Quick fix:

Try not to play moves without first seeing the whole line. At first, you will be able to see 1-2 moves ahead, then once you train more, you will be able to improve your calculation abilities to 3-4 moves ahead. Grandmasters can calculate up to 20 moves deep in some positions.

5. Don’t mind giving up pawns (or even pieces)

The simplest rule of chess states that if you don’t want to lose the game too early do not give up material for no reason. Novice players are struggling from this mistake the most. They can get too concentrated on some minor things (castling, development, etc.) that they forget to move their pawn and pieces to safety. Lost pieces = lost games.

Quick fix:

Before making moves, make sure none of your pieces are under attack.
give up pawns and pieces

6. Think that it’s impossible to improve at chess

Some players think that it’s not possible to improve at chess more than they already have achieved. They think that chess level is limited by inherent factors such as IQ and cannot be increased. I’m not sure if the IQ of a person can be increased or not, but I’m 100% sure that any chess player, no matter how strong or weak can still make progress at chess if follows the right training program.

Quick fix:

Follow a training program which included combinational training: openings, tactics, attack techniques and the endgames. You should check out the following programs: here and here.
chess iq

7. Play self-invented openings

While it may be a good idea to surprise your opponent, playing a self-invented opening is definitely not the best way to do it. Reinventing the wheel is something that you probably should avoid at chess. Playing standard lines is a better idea, since they are developed to give a player (you) the most favorable position possible.

Quick fix:

Study one opening line for white and one line for black to start with and then build up on this basic opening repertoire.

8. Don’t have any plan

Having a plan at chess is really and I mean it, really important. A player with a bad plan would likely a player who has no plan at all.

Quick fix:

Always have a plan in your games. It doesn’t have to be completely accurate, but you should always have an idea of what to do next. Planning small things like castling and developing rooks on open a and b files is really essential for success at chess.
chess plan

9. Don’t see the whole chess board

Many novice chess players have difficulty seeing the whole chess board. Well, they see the board, but they don’t see all the threats that may be coming from the opponent’s pieces located far away from them (geographically, say in the opposite corner of the board). This leads to lost queens and checkmates in one. Even grandmasters miss mates like that sometimes.

Quick fix:

Look at all the pieces on the board equally. If some pieces are further away from your king than other, it doesn’t mean they are less dangerous.
chess board

10. Don’t look for checkmates

This maybe a continuation of a previous point, but surprisingly enough, many novice chess players protect their queen much better than their king. This leads to many missed mates and disappointments.

Quick fix:

You need to develop a sense of danger for the king protection. Until you develop it, always check the possibilities of attacks on your king. You will save many games, by avoiding mates-in-1.
Comments are as always welcome!