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Archive for March, 2008

 Recent Wednesday, I took one day off work to help Xinwen promoting Go in Taylors College, Sunway. He was the president of Intellectual Club, which the main activities included playing Go and Shogi.

I brought along a number of books, and a laptop and wore Malaysia Weiqi Association T-Shirt that made me look fat.

Well anyway, the event started at 11 a.m. until 3p.m. and we got a number of people interested in the game. Xinwen and Shuwen did most of the talking whereas me, Alex, Jimmy, Wynes and Billy spent more time playing instead ! Haha couldn’t resist.

Hopefully we can do more demonstrations in the future.

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Billy and Wynes playing Go

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Some Shogi guy explaining some Shogi stuff to someone interested in Shogi.

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Can the shirt be blamed for my fat face?

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Xinwen, wearing official blue Oza Asian tournament 2008 shirt.

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3 sudden extra jobs?

It’s funny. I had been thinking about getting extra jobs for quite some time, and suddenly I now have three offered on the same day ! . Makes me wanna scream

“What are the chances of that ?!”

Anyway, these aren’t for money, just some external projects to keep boredom out of my life. Yes, I get bored very easily since I’m single and live alone and a total introvert at work!

The first started with an SMS by a friend asking me if I was still interested in programming. Of course ! She then invited me to join in a website project which seemingly going to be about politics. Whatever, as long as I can write codes.

Another one followed and it was also related to politics. I was offered a job as research assistant to perform analysis on something relevant to post-election political scenario in Malaysia.

Hmm.. funny. I think the unexpected political “tsunami” in Malaysia surely had created jobs for so many people, if I could get 2 of them on the same day.

And lastly, Billy Chia from Malaysia Weiqi (Go) Association had given me an administrator account for Malaysia Weiqi official website. That is great ! I had long wanted to promote Go in Malaysia and now I could work within official association to do this. I’m getting more involved in Go lately. In fact, tomorrow I am taking a day-off to aid Xinwen in demonstrating and promoting Go in Taylors College.

Life’s quite fun actually 🙂

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It was hard to choose between the “correct” life of studying for my Masters and the fun life of a go player. But this weekend, I chose the latter, by taking a 2-day trip to Singapore ditching my classes and a test. It felt so good 🙂

Friday night, Philip fetched me from KL Sentral and took me to his house. I was to stay there so that we could make it to the bus stop the early next morning to Singapore. Before we went to sleep, he showed me pictures of his trips to Japan and Korea as Malaysia Go representative last year and told me a lot to do this and that when I go there in May.

“Dont forget to eat everything.”

“Kimchi is nice, Korean rice taste so good.”

“Next time you go, make sure you extend your stay. Just pay for the hotel, it’s worth it.”

Well, there were lots more. Then he showed me souvenirs and next thing I knew, I wanted May to come quickly.

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Next morning, we boarded Grassland bus at a station across Berjaya Times Square. For RM65, we got spacious seats and personal TV there. The seat in particular was amazing and the TV was a welcome as anyone would want to watch a movie or two during a 4 hours journey. I watched 300 (again) and Mr. Bean : Holiday. I also had a little less than an hour of sleep.

At 1:30p.m. , we reached Singapore and Philip’s uncle was there waiting for us. He took us walking past Bugis junction to Singapore Weiqi Association club house where the go tournament is held.

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Singapore National library. Amazing isn’t it? Well located in the city too.

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A triangular building that’s supposedly not good for Feng Shui?

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Toyota Denso Cup Qualifier. First Prize USD$1000 !

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The club house entrance.

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Tournament already started when we arrived.

There were three professionals entering this tournament. One is from Hong Kong and the other two are from Singapore. Malaysia sent Lee Choon Huat, who did well that day, winning two games from three.

I scouted around for go friends I got from my previous trips to Thailand. Yes, there were many of them ! Lim Surya, Xinwen, James, Kaiwen, Munyi, Karen, Sok Nee, Le Mai Duy, Kang and Yang laoshi, Alvin, Haidar, Daniel, Jia Cheng and many more.

Sok Nee was generous to take Philip and I around. She brought us to Mustafa, a large supermarket owned by an Indian-Muslim that sold almost everything, and sold them cheap. I bought a Japanese doll and some chocolate 🙂

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That night, Philip and I slept at Uncle Tony’s place in Ang Mo Kio. It was a large residential area, packed with apartments. It was a good sleep, and I was refreshed to have another tour around Singapore in the following morning. This time Sok Nee took us to Chinatown.

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Singapore is indeed a beautiful city. And I was impressed with its image of a multi-racial country. The previous night, we visited Little Indian where Mustafa was located, and this morning, we were in Chinatown. We also passed by Malay Street, Bugis Junction and Arab Street, with various different building architecture reflecting the racial identity.

One thing I noticed about Singapore though, was that most people are old (sorry 🙂 ). “Where are the kids?” I asked. Sok Nee admitted that Singapore had a serious problem of ‘greying’ (hair color) population. Also, since we were walking early in Sunday morning, most kids simply hadn’t woken up, so this ‘greying’ population problem seemed more serious that it should.

Nearly noon, we visited the club house again. Most game had already finished and it appeared the 8-dan professional from Hong Kong won the first place and will represent Asian region (not including Big Three Korea, Japan and China) to Toyota Denso World Championship.

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Informal discussions among Go professionals. I was just posing there 🙂

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Singapore Weiqi Association provided great facilities. Look at this multi-purpose table. One side is a go board, the other is normal table surface. Next to me was Karen, among top female players from Singapore who went to SEA Games. Me and Shuwen as Malaysian pair might meet her and Tan Jia Cheng in Korea Pair tournament later in May.

Along with Toyota Denso Go Tournament was a Junior tournament held in the next room. This was the tournament where kids played. I was amazed by the number of junior players and they seemed to be strong ! I was told that the strongest among these kids was a 3-dan player. That is nearly my level already ! I might have to play against kids next time 🙂

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Malaysian Lee Choon Huat played with the kids in an informal game.

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Turn out for Singapore kids tournament was larger than Malaysian National Tournament. 🙂 Are we not nearly 10 times their population?

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The seriousness displayed prompted me to take this picture.

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Hehe. So cute.

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Friendly matches after the main tournament finished.

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Le Mai Duy with his famous moyo style. I want to play him again !

Philip and I learned a big deal from this tournament, particularly the go scenarios in other countries by talking to the representatives. The Mongolian girl, Ravjir told us that there were about 500 Go players in Mongolia although only 20 were active. And Le Mai Duy  informed me that in Vietnam, the Go Association was a division of Chess Federation. To my understanding, the Chess Federation is formed by International Chess Association, Chinese Chess Association and Go Association. Philip hypothesises that maybe all associations have the same players 🙂 . Very likely.

Anyway, Vietnam has about 5 times more Go players than Malaysia. We need to catch up !.

3p.m. Philip and I had to leave. Many thanks to Singapore Weiqi Association for holding this fantastic tournament. Also many thanks to Fong Sok Nee who tour-guided us around Singapore. Otherwise, I must say a trip only for Go purposes could be very boring. Hehe 🙂

1a.m. Monday now. Office hours soon. God knows how much I hate Mondays.

p/s : Mun Yi said I looked like the escaped terrorist !

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Love for Chess is back?

I once studied with Mas Hafizul, with him being 2 years senior in Kolej Matrikulasi Yayasan Saad (KMYS). I initially wanted to play Chess against him, but then the fact sank that the best I ever did was winning low-level Perak Tournament hosted in a cement factory, while he was already playing at international level. So yea, we didn’t play.

There was a question bugging me that time. If I really put all effort into chess, can I be really good at it? I asked Willie, my Chess arch-rival back then, and he said “no way” confirming my own answer.

4 years have passed, and I stumbled upon this article in the Star which reported that Mas is taking 18 months break from employer Petronas to fulfill his ambition to be the first ever Grandmaster in Malaysia. That is cool. I love the story of people giving all into something.

Suddenly there is a little spark of interest for me to play Chess again, after 4 years in hibernation.

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What would you break?

Mix FM is holding a competition “What would you break to win a holiday?” New handphone, TV, Playstation?

Hmm, I’m too poor to participate, so for fun and challenge purposes, I’m thinking of non-material things that I can break.

  1. Someone’s heart
  2. Silence
  3. Promise
  4. Record

Hmm I was aiming for 10 but only managed 4. My word play skill is getting too weak now.

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One post criticising Lim Kit Siang brought so many visitors to this blog. LOL. Whoever wants to start a career as blogger or journalist should consider politics as the field. Malaysians are hungry for any written material that is related to politic. I would think this trend to continue until end of the year as many things are coming.

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What is BN going to do?

Party election.

Witch-hunting.

Removal of pro-Malays policies.

Hot debates in Parliament.

Hehe, those graduates in politics have easy chance to make name and money.

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Yawn.

I am one of the many people who are now calmed down after Lim Kit Siang publicly apologised to Perak Royals. As for me, I’ll be getting back to my daily boring life.

3 hours of sleep lost because of this whole thing. My family came from Perak and I was schooled there for 5 years. While I dont associate myself with Perak anymore, I still care for it in some ways.

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