Sunday, 9 September 2012

Malaysian teamwork and a little side-story - by Junior Tay

In order to create a favourable pairing for Lim Zhuo Ren, sorry...newly minted FM Lim Zhuo Ren to chase down his IM norm by meeting higher rated opposition (preferably the titled kind), the Malaysians did their utmost to beat Japan and their 3-1 win did justice to their determination and team spirit.

Mighty Mok ran into serious trouble in the opening and the local online viewers were speculating  whether he'll go down in flames like the day before. I was told that Mok was extremely fatigued at this stage of the tournament and plugged on nevertheless to overcome FM Kojima  Yee Weng was also in some trouble when the weak squares created by his space gaining Kingside pawn moves were exploited by CM Nanjo. Somehow, Yee Weng turned the game around and combined to win a pawn. However, in view of securing a vital half point for the team, he offered truce and got it. While Jimmy Liew squeezed Averbukh into oblivion, their boy wonder Yeoh Li Tian fought Akira Watanabe to an incredible standstill.

Black is an exchange up with a passed pawn on the 7th rank but there is no win from this position!
The Black Rook must remain on the back rank and the Black Queen cannot leave the h6-c1 diagonal. I don't suppose the draw vexed Li Tian very much as it helped Malaysia secure the 3-1 win.

However, I would like to draw your attention to his opponent Akira Watanabe instead. The chap is one of the greatest Shoji players of all time and probably in the Magnus Calsen league in terms of earnings. In 2011, he earned the equivalent of US$ 785,000 from Shoji. He has also held on to one of the seven Shoji titles (kind of like the Grand Slam in Tennis), the Ryu O (Dragon King) for the past 9 years and last year, he won yet another major title, the Oza. So Li Tian, you can always tell others you drew against the Dragon King! Oh yes, he has his own Iphone/Ipad Shogi app!

1 comment:

  1. It seems we are wasting our time in chess and shogi is the way to go :)