Monday, December 26, 2005

Malaysia vs Singapore Friendly Chess MAtch 2005

17th Singapore vs Malaysia

First Round detail results

Category Age MAS SIN

B 8 0 4

B 10 2 2

B 12 1.5 2.5

B 14 0.5 3.5

B 16 2 3

B 18 1 2

B 20 2 2

G 8 0 4

G 10 2 2

G 12 2.5 1.5

G 14 1 3

G 16 2 2

G 18 1 3

G 20 0 4

M - 2.5 3.5

V - 2.5 1.5

W - 2.5 1.5

Malaysia : 25

Singapore : 45

Second Round

Malaysia : 25.5

Singapore : 44.5


Malaysia: 50.5

Singapore: 89.5

Pictures and other details to be posted later.

Curretly posting this from a train!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

First day in Indonesia

Indonesia Day 1

  • 3.10pm leave for Sentral station
  • 3.30pm bought tickets for the express
  • 3.45pm took the KLIA express from Sentral station reached KLIA in 28minutes.
  • Air Asia arrived without incident at Hatta airport at 7.10pm.

  • Got 'hassled' by taxi runners who wanted us to take their taxi. Wanted to take the Blue Bird because it uses the meter so it would not cost a bomb.

    The last time I was here at Hatta Airport, Blue Bird cost 100,000 Rp plus 16,000 surcharge. We finally found the counter outside the Airport near the Mc Donalds. Seeing this the runners reduced their taxi charge from 100,000 to 200,000 Rp without surcharge. So we took the runner Taxi which was a Volvo cab. Well it was a big mistake as when we reached the Hotel he changed the fare to 150,000 Rp. So it was a good lesson for me. Take the Blue Bird cab from the proper Blue Bird rep counter. Avoid the 'independant' people who walk around looking for suckers like me.

    The counter is just outside of Mc D. (note to self so that I won't forget this next time if I ever come to Indonesia again)

  • 9.05 checked in.
  • 9.15 got into our deluxe room (upgraded)
  • 9.30 tried to walk to nearest food court at Sarina from Hotel.
  • 10.00 Too far so we settled for Mamak style food. Had Soto Ayam with Taufu. Drinks 'teh botol'. Total cost: 27,000Rp.
  • 10.30 back in Hotel room.
  • watched TV while preparing this blog
  • 1am sleep.

  • Friday, December 16, 2005

    Off to Indonesia Again

    Last minute work emergency requires me to go to Indonesia for the 2nd time this year.

    This time I'll go prepared.I still remember how Digi does not support SMS roaming. I couldn't even receive an SMS from home.

    I bought a cheap 017 Maxis starter pack for RM8.80. I only have RM4 for this month but that's all I need to receive SMS.

    Pretty complicated as sending SMS FROM Indonesia is RM2. So in order to save I'll get an Indonesian prepaid card from Telkomsel. It's about RM 20 there. So sending out an SMS from there to Malaysia is cheaper. This would mean lots of SIM card switching as I only have one handphone :(.

    Also bringing over my bluetooth enabled PDA there so all the pictures I take from my handphone can be transferred to PDA and uploaded to this blog easily.

    Anyway, looking forward for the trip as well as feeling a bit nervous as the workload is pretty high. I only have 4 working days to complete my work there.

    Benefits of Lecithin

    Benefits of Lecithin:

    * Breaks up fats and cholesterol, Excellent for a healthy heart
    * Highest Phosphatide concentration available (98% or more!)
    * Rich source of GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid)
    * Helps the body utilize Vitamins A,D,E and K
    * Excellent for memory, concentration and recall
    * Cleanses liver and kidneys
    * Helps the body absorb nutrients

    Why am I posting this here. Well just as a reminder to myself.

    I've been taking Lecithin in capsule form consistently for months and have noticed profound improvements in my mental stamina.
    Particularly in gruelling one day chess tournament where I'm usuall mentally exhausted near the end of the tournament.

    However lately from my own chess results, I've seen a marked improvement.

    I've finished 11th place 3 times !!! Previously I'd be usually hovering around 30th position.

    Imagine or not, I'm a firm believer of letcithin. Anyway, not to turn this into a commercial sounding blog, I won't even mention the brand I'm taking :)
    It'll remain a secret in case my would be chess competitors are out there reading this...

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    Chess in Singapore Schools

    Chess is being offered as part of a curriculum early to Singaporean kids.

    Neighbourhood schools these days are producing not just academically capable students but talented ones too.

    One activity some schools are offering to nurture talents is chess.

    For instance, chess is part of the curriculum for all Primary One students at Gongshang Primary.

    The principal of Gongshang Primary School, Daisie Yip, said: "It's really to train them through a game, through a fun way, to be analytical. The best take-away would be when I plan the next move, I'm actually thinking 2-3 moves ahead.

    read rest of article here (Channel News Asia)

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    Joined Malaysian Blog Directory

    I added my blog into the Malaysian Blog Directory.
    Great!! As the title of my blog starts with 'A' I'm right at the top can be seen without scrolling the page :)

    Sunday Chess at Wilayah

    Flickr Photo

    Can't wait to enter the href= tournament at Wilayah Persekutuan this coming Sunday. It's been 3 months since I've played any serious (or friendly) chess games.

    Pictured above is two of my chess friends Vicky and Francis at the same venue some time back.

    Going to PC Fair 2005

    PC Fair 2005 will be in an hour's time.

    I'll be going this time to get
    Screen protector for my PDA
    Mic and Headphones for podcasting
    Optical Mouse

    I just hope it will not be too cramped like the previous PC Fairs.
    Will be going just after it opens to avoid the crowd (hopefully)

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Andreessen: PHP succeeding where Java isn't | CNET

    The simplicity of scripting language PHP means it will be more popular than Java for building Web-based applications, Internet browser pioneer Marc Andreessen predicted Wednesday in a speech here at the Zend/PHP Conference.

    That article warms my heart as PHP is my favourite language of choice for web programming.

    Don't get me wrong as I don't have anything against Java. In fact, I have been teaching Java for several years and it's been my bread and butter for all that time.

    However I've never used Java in work. PHP is still no. 1 in my books.

    Java is just too slow and unwieldly for many things that I want to do.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    In Brief: Zend Core for Oracle available | InfoWorld | News | 2005-10-12 | By InfoWorld staff

    In Brief: Zend Core for Oracle available | InfoWorld | News | 2005-10-12 | By InfoWorld staff:

    "Zend Core for Oracle accelerates the building and deployment of mission-critical, PHP-based Web applications. Zend Core for Oracle also offers an updated PHP 'OCI8' driver to connect with the Oracle Database, providing enhanced reliability, stability, and performance for Oracle Database-driven Web applications.

    Oracle offers free downloads of the products from

    Zend Core for Oracle is also available at "

    This is very timely as I was looking for a way of using PHP+ORACLE on AIX 64 bit platform.

    It was a big headace doing this "by hand" on Linux and finally a friend of mine, Yan, solved it by installing the RPM version.

    Then, at work they wanted it to work on AIX and since we have the Linux step-by-step, the AIX installation "should be easy" as AIX is similiar to Linux (so they say).

    How wrong we were!! The installation steps were full of problems. Compiling PHP + OCI8 libraries just couldn't give an error-free result. After weeks of wasted time on failed installation, Zend package is a saviour. Just had to run install and voila! We had what we needed.

    Thank you Zend!!

    PS: Zend COre is FREE!

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    Birthday Today

    It's my birthday today. The year in review.

    The bad:

  • I lost two of my grandmothers this year. My paternal grandmother passed away in April and my maternal grandmother passed away in August. I will miss them both dearly.

    The good:
  • Doing PHP programming again.
  • My chess website is successful hosting news of 2 of the biggest chess events in Malaysia at here, here and here
  • Met top chess players like GM Utut Adianto, 16 year old GM Wang Hao, World Junior Champ GM Koneru Humpy etc

    I spent the whole day with my wife at home. A luxury we rarely share nowadays with work and other commitment. We watched "Lost" episodes on DVD the whole day.

    After that, a nice dinner together. It was perfect!!
  • Thursday, August 04, 2005

    You going PC Fair this weekend?

    It's that time of the year again. PC Fair is here!!

    This coming weekend (5th to the 7th August) Pikom is holding the largest IT flea market in the country. PC Fair is held 3 times annually.

    The event used to be held at the Putra World Trade Center. However this time, Pikom’s PC Fair will be held at the all new Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre which is beside the Petronas Twin Towers

    I went last year and it was a mess! It was so jam-packed I couldn't really see all the new stuff on display. Bought a cheap 256Mb thumb drive after comparing prices for hours.

    The funny thing was, a week later, the same thumbdrive was sold RM5 cheaper at Low Yat Plaza.

    Man, what a waste of my time. So I'm thinking twice about going this time. What about you ??

    Radio Australia - News - Malaysian haze expected to worsen

    According to : Radio Australia - News - Malaysian haze expected to worsen: "Last Updated 04/08/2005, 03:42:10

    Malaysian officials says an acrid haze hanging over western Malaysia, including the capital Kuala Lumpur, could worsen in the next few days.

    The haze has been blamed on the fires in the Indonesian provinces in Riau and northern Sumatra, as well as blazes in Indonesia's Kalimantan and Malaysia's eastern state of Sarawak.

    States in central-western Malaysia, including Perak, Selangor, Malacca and Negri Sembilan were worst hit. "

    Chess players in the movies

    Chess players in the movies: "Chess shows up a lot in the movies, often for no other reason than to make the protagonist seem smart or sophisticated. It's frequently used in advertisements for the same reason.

    But it's obvious - at least to chess players - that most ad designers don't play chess. The tip-off is in the way the board is set up. More often than not you'll see a dark square at each player's right, but that square is always light in chess. Check it out the next time you see a chessboard in an ad. "

    So far the only chess related movie I've watched is The Luzhin Defence which is okay I guess but potrays chess grandmasters as truly eccentric people. I think that's not entirely true. They are human too.

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Highest hits since Nov 7 2004

    One of my website had a sudden surge of hits yesterday. It usually gets around 50-100 hits a day. But yesterday it hit 4000+. Unbelievable.

    The website is a fan club on the strongest female chess player ever - Judit Polgar.

    Just last week I 'improved' the website look by changing the theme to use one of the more popular Kubrick theme.

    Here's how it looks :

    Someone calling himself dumb web programmer accused me of stealing the theme from LiewCF.Com.

    That's totally bull sh*t. I modified the theme from Xoops Kubrick offered free by someone. I know LiewCF also has a 3 column kubrick thingy but it's in WordPress a totally different type of software. I'm using XOOPS-a content management software (CMS) and not a blogging software for that website.

    Anyway, I'm happy with the high one day traffic. Don't know it's because of the news that I posted (nothing special) or the new theme I used. (maybe a combination??)

    Every second one blog

    BBC NEWS | Technology | One blog created 'every second'

    Can you believe that? Somewhere in the the world, someone is posting a blog. And it's done every second.

    Ha ha... I can't even find time to blog once every week.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    DIGI's does not support SMS roaming

    Here's my experience using DIGI's mobile phone roaming service in Indonesia.
    Get this. DIGI prepaid does not support SMS roaming!!
    I felt isolated as I can't even message my loved ones in Malaysia while
    my friends using 012 in Indonesia enjoyed the facility to SMS back to Malaysia.

    I've been happy with DIGI so far as I have used it's GPRS services to
    blog from my mobile phone as well as post pictures direct to my blog (from phone too!).

    Anyway, lesson learnt. Next time I'll get a 012 prepaid (temporary) when I go over again.

    Oh should add that I can receive SMS in Jakarta from Malaysia but I cannot send any SMS from Jakarta.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Best Steak in Indonesia

    Originally uploaded by andrewooi.

    Went to this place called Grandy where they served the best steak (according to Indonesian locas) in Indonesia.

    They even had a musical troupe to entertain patrons on Saturday.

    How does it taste? Well, mine was a little too well done but then again I didn't specify what I wanted. Served on a hot plate - I'd rate it 8 out of 10.

    The whole meal was about Rupiah 70,000.
    (around RM 28).

    Well now I can tell people I've tasted the best steak in Indonesia.

    Saturday, June 04, 2005

    Nasi Padang

    Originally uploaded by andrewooi.
    Another Indonesian dish.

    Dish name: Nasi Padang
    Price : 9,000 Rupiah (RM 3.90)
    Taste : Deeeelicious.

    Remark :
    Doesn't look as good as it tastes. Sorry because I'm using a camera phone.

    As with all Indonesian dishes the curry beef rendang was extra spicy. (just the way I like it)

    I'm still in Indonesia for a couple more days so will get some chances

    Friday, June 03, 2005


    Originally uploaded by andrewooi.
    This is Indonesia "Mee Bakso" or meat balls mee.

    About 11,000 Rupiah or around RM5. As for taste, it was good.

    Tried this with some friends.

    Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    Chess in Indonesia

    Originally uploaded by andrewooi.
    Chess is so popular in Indonesia, I saw a group of people playing chess at a small booth in a car park.

    Saturday, May 28, 2005

    First time overseas

    This is my first time overseas (Singapore not counted).

    I am in Jakarta and this is day 3. So far it looks like Malaysia but also pretty foreign at the same time. For example, I can't really see a racial difference in Jakarta as what I see back home. There is no Chinese, Indian and Malay culture. I just see ONE culture and it's Indonesian. The people here look alike too.

    As for food, it's pretty cheap and it's pretty good. I've sampled some Sudanese spicy food (without incident).

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005

    A mother and world class chess master

    Judit Polgar returned to the chess scene with a vengeance taking 4th place in the recent Corus tournament.

    What's fantastic about this is that she has not been playing serious chess for a long time. Most male GMs would struggle to find form after a few months lay off from chess. Here is Judit performing as if she never left. And the ONE YEAR absence from professional chess meant did nothing to slow her down.

    What's more is she did it with a new responsibility of becoming a new mother. Thus this is a fantastic feat - I received many emails from readers who are mothers telling me how difficult it is to balance a career as well as raising a child.

    Among the unlucky GMs were GM Topalov and GM Peter Svidler who fell to Judit's agressive and uncompromising style of play. As her results were better than expected, her ELO will have a slight rise. This would also mean she will be reinstated as one of the world's top 10 chess player (after being inactive for one year).

    Welcome back Judit...

    Related Links:-
  • Judit Polgar Fan Club
  • Judit's Yahoo Group - Excellent analysis by Wayne Mendrik of her Corus games
  • Corus official site
  • Chessbase coverage of Corus

  • Monday, January 31, 2005

    Bye-Bye PaintShop Pro, Hello Picasa

    Just discovered this wonderful tool offered
    by Google.

    What's more it's free!! Being a webmaster for several hobbyist websites I usually use Jasc PaintShop Pro 7 to crop, brighten or sharpen my picture. Paintshop was perfect for quick
    and dirty picture retouching.

    However after using Picasa (3Mb download) I've becomed hooked.
    It's just too good a tool not to use. It's 10 times smaller the PaintShop (30Mb)
    and it's definitely of commercial quality.
    Oh there's no nag screen to register, donate, upgrade or ad-supported

    It's 100% free.

    What else can you ask for in a graphics utility ?
    I don't know about you but Picasa has just become one of my essential webmaster tools.

    Thursday, January 27, 2005

    Hungry Dog

    Passed by this shop near Petaling Street on my way to my favourite corner shop and saw this dog patiently waiting in front of a chicken rice stall. Passed the dog and the shop and just couldn't resist going back and taking a picture of the dog. Hungry Dog

    Guess what? After I had my lunch, the dog was still there, though different position. That's what I call bull-dog determination! :)

    Wednesday, January 26, 2005

    Google didn't index my page

    Originally uploaded by andrewooi.
    Well it's been over a month now and Google just doesn't want to index my page. I have other website (paid ones) that have similiar problems.

    Some people I asked from forums told me that it's because they give priorities to older websites. Worse some say that Google is money minded and only concentrate on websites who pay them -- eg: using Adwords. I hope that's not true. I've sent my website URL again to Google. We'll see...

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    Petaling Street Hor Fun

    Corner Shop Lum Hor Fun

    That's my favourite food! What is it? It's just Hor Fun drenched in mouth watering sauce (donno made of what). Oh it's NOT HALAL to avoid misunderstandings with our Muslim readers.
    The price is quite reasonable - RM3.50 (large)

    • Shredded Chicken
    • Pork (not halal)
    • Mushrooms

    You can find it a a shop near Petaling Street.

    Here's 2 pictures to guide you to exactly where you can find it.

    It's sold by a nice lady and her husband there at the ground floor of "Hotel Lok Ann".

    The shop (in Hotel Lok Ann) is just across Petaling Street main entrance (near the traffic lights).

    Sunday, January 16, 2005

    Posting from mobile phone. I am posting this from my 2 year old Nokia 7650 using a DIGI prepaid.That means i can blog anywhere. Cool eh ?. This tool is offered by Anybody else using this ?

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    Strongest Girl Chess Player in the world

    She is the strongest female chess player in the world. She is ranked top 10 in the world!!!

    That's overall World Ranking - not female chess player ranking!!

    That means she can beat 99% of all men chess player's in Malaysia.

    Why am I posting this? Well I'm a chess nut and have never lost (s0 far) to a woman chess player except those who are of international standard. See my previous post.

    Well she has her own new fan club website with tons of pictures.

    Guys, if you are thinking of going after her, give up. She's already married.

    But there is another strong girl chess player who is still "available"

    But I think she is over commercialised her website. Some call her the Anna Kournikova of Chess. :)

    Thanks Java

    Java - is just a programming language. I'm a programmer but Java was never my favourite programming language.

    I hated it then when it first launched back in 1993 - I just couldn't see any real applications for Java besides running silly animation applets.

    My favourite language was Pascal, later, it was
    PHP - a web programming language. But never Java.

    However, it was Java that paid for my living for almost 2

    I taught Java part time for six months. Then, taught it for another
    2 years by giving Java tuition when I was jobless.

    Later I tried applying for jobs involving Java but never
    got hired because many employees don't trust programming
    teachers. I think it's the adage "Those who can do - teach".

    Later I applied and succressfully got my dream job doing web programming. Guess what?

    The project I worked on was only short term so after it ended my boss threw me with a bunch of Java programmers and now I'm doing Java !!!

    Monday, January 10, 2005 is up!!

    It took 3 days but I've finally finished writing some customised script for my new Chess website.

    I was a PHP programmer but nowadays my full time job is doing Java. So I was a little rusty writing PHP again.

    My website uses PostNuke which is CMS (Content Management System) which makes it easy to maintain a website without any knowledge of HTML. My old chess website started in 2001 and slowly grew to have a loyal following of chess enthusiast from Malaysia.

    Check out this link. which is a page that has chess diagrams - all without any technical graphics knowledge or even HTML.

    Here a video on how "easy" it is to post a Chess Diagram.

    BTW this website not a commercial website - it is fully paid by donations from Malaysians chess enthusiasts (aka GilaChess!)

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    Smoking is hazardous to your health

    Do not smoke. I should know. No, no, no. I'm not a smoker but my lungs are damaged by a lung disease I had when I was young. Still 70% functional but I see those smokers damaging their lungs at their own free will. What a waste of lung tissue..

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    Chess players from China

    Xie Jun, Xu Yuhua (center) and Zhao Xue

    Xu Yuhua - the Chinese player I played against in a simul in August and almost drew. She is one of China's strongest players.

    Belown is a picture of her in action on August 28 2004 when she was in Malaysia.

    I'm hidden behind the other 2 players wearing caps. FYI, she beat everybody (about 20 boards). I was the last one playing against her. I resigned and she asked me "Why?" and proceeded to show me how I could hold a draw. Man it was embarassing ... just shows that you should never give up even if things look bad...

    I've learnt from that experience and never gave up even in a losing position and have resulted in many narrow wins in my favour :)

    Accidents and driving tests?

    Hmmm.. looks like even google ads picked up on my morose and dull mood for the past week. Accidents and tsunami. That's not what this blog is about. At least I hope not. Promise to talk about more postive things in the coming days.

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    Happy New Year?

    Ok the new year is here and I'm sitting in a cyber cafe typing this out. My wife is still working and I'm waiting to pick her home. We'd be too tired for any celebration. Still haven't had dinner yet. At least tomorrow we'll get to sleep late for once. No work!!!

    A sombre reminder. I know. I know. We are sick of seeing pictures of death and destruction. But just one last one ...

    A before and after picture of the destructive force of the Tsunami