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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chess Competition Preparations...

Alright, tomorrow I'm going to the Chess competition at UIAM, Gombak.
[ sigh ]
So, I'm going to have to wake up early...

Oh, apparently, Winnie's going too.
Forgot to mention that.

Anyway, I've done some preparations for tomorrow.
I've restudied all my Chess openings to determine which will suit my style of play best.
I've also studied the games of my favourite Chess players:
1. Paul Morphy
2. Adolf Anderssen

If you know who they are, then you probably know what their style of play is ( But if you don't, you could always just do a search on the internet ).
Yeah, I know solid, defensive gameplay is the key to winning Chess competitions. But I like to play Chess for the fun of it, you know.

I've always been inspired by famous Chess games, like the Opera Game, the Immortal Game and the Evergreen Game ( Again, if you don't know how these games played out, you can go and look it up ).
All these beautiful games involve flexible, powerful, and extremely flamboyant gameplay.
They're awesome compared to the boring, defense orientated-type games that are played more and more often nowadays.
Works of art in the Chess world...

However, I won't risk it in tomorrow's competition.
Because as we all know, in the modern world of Chess, wild, aggressive gameplay ( which is my bread and butter ), if not calculated properly, could be severely punished by accurately organised defense.
One tiny miscalculation in my attack, and it will all be over in a wink of an eye.

So I'm just going to stick to the basic, fundamental principles of good Chess play.
I'm gonna reserve my Morphy-Anderssen type gameplay for informal matches.
That's fine by me, I guess...

Speaking of which, I've refrained myself from using any gambit-type openings in the competition tomorrow, including my beloved King's Gambit.
However, if any of my opponents are bold enough to use a gambit AGAINST me, I won't hesitate to use a counter gambit instead!

Due to the competition tomorrow, I am forced to renew my list of Chess openings:
1. Scotch Game
2. Philidor Defence ( 3. d4 Bg4 Variation )
3. Italian Game
4. Bishop's Opening

1. Petrov Defence ( And maybe, the awesome "Petrov Trap"! )
2. Sicilian Defence ( Najdorf Variation )
3. Caro-Kann Defence
4. Albin Counter gambit / Falkbeer Counter gambit
5. Bishop's Opening

As you can see, I have refined my list of Black openings.
Point meaning, I've honed my defensive skills by quite a lot.

I owe a lot to the program "Chessmaster: Grandmaster Challenge".
It really helped me delve deeper into the world of professional Chess and significantly increased my understanding of the endgame, which is supposedly the part of the game where I am not that good.

Well, that being said, I think I've prepared myself well enough for the competition.
So, wish me luck for tomorrow!

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Chess Tournament!

I registered for a Chess tournament in UIAM, Gombak.
Okay, actually, I didn't. Ashman did.
According to him, he registered all of us via SMS ( Himself, Hari, Hazwan, Sehran and I ).
All I have to do is bring the RM20 fee, and I'll be able to play in the tournament.

This is my first time participating in a chess competition that's NOT organised by the school, for your information.

It's going to start on Sunday morning and last the whole day until around 6pm.
We all have to rendezvous at Hazwan's house and Ashman's father will send us there.
[ long sigh ] I'm going to be spending my whole Sunday at this Chess tournament.

I've been repeatedly asking myself this question:
"Should I go or not?"
Ugh, I'm getting lazier and lazier by the second!

Well, I do get to hang out with my friends.
Plus, I'll get more experience playing Chess, right?
[ sigh ] But it's a Sunday...

Oh well, might as well just go there, play Chess and have a good time!
It's not just about victory and winning prizes, right?
That's just a bonus.
The experience of going through the competition and making it out alive is the best part, I guess...

Alright, I went to school today, and there was this giant thunderstorm.
The electricity went out and the wind was ferociously strong!

So, other then playing Chess, my friends and I played some Harry Potter variant of UNO, and a game called "Sorry".
The rules are very hard to explain, so if you wanna know more, you could go and check it out for yourselves, kay?

Other than that, nothing much happened at school...
So, my parents decided that it's better off if I don't go to school tomorrow.
Since we won't be doing anything significant at school anymore, might as well save the toll and petrol money, right?

But I am going on Friday, that's for sure.
I don't have much of a choice anyway, Hazwan decreed that the whole "Chess Gang" has to come to school on Friday.
Oh well, that's what Ashman told me.

Well, I guess that's it for now.

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Monday, October 26, 2009

New High Score in Typing Maniac!

Well, I did it.
I beat Jaslyn in "Typing Maniac"!
I beat Iman, too. Yay!

I have a socre of 665,047 points!
Yeah, I surprise even myself!

I don't know if I was really concentrating or if I was just lucky.
I was most likely very, very lucky!
But I have to say, the "ice" power-up and the "slow" power-up is unbelievably useful!

Sadly, I couldn't get past Level 20.
Level 20 is damn near impossible, I tell you!
The words come down at break-neck speed! And the worst part is when two or three of them come down at the same time!

Aaaargh! It's damned difficult!!!
Oh well, at least I've got a new high score...
Now I don't have to touch that game ever again!

Anyway, I've posted another video on YouTube.
It's something involved with lightsaber rotoscoping again.
Have you watched my first ever lightsaber test video?

Well, if you have, the video I've just posted is an IMPROVED version of my first lightsaber test.
In other words, I replaced the pathetic beam effect that I used in the first video and replaced it with Ryan Wieber's rotoscoping technique.

It's kinda awesome, considering the fact that the lightsaber sounds may cause some static in most speakers.

The rotoscoping and glow-adding part was easy.
It's the "masking" part that was difficult ( the process where I have to conceal the lightsaber wherever it's not supposed to visible, i.e. behind the actor's head... ).
This process was the longest and most arduous task I had to handle.

Oh well, at least I did it!
You can go and check it out here:
Lightsaber Rotoscope Test 1 ( Improved version )

And speaking of YouTube videos, remember that Force 138 Productions Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde project?
Well, Part 1 of the video has just passed the 1,000 view mark!
1,022 views, to be exact! And it's still increasing!

Credits to:
1. All the actors involved.
2. Our esteemed director, Hazwan Lee.
3. Our camera man, Kent.
4. And Ashman, for both acting and promoting the video.

You guys made this video possible!
So thanks a bunch!

Well, I guess that's it for now...

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kuantan Holiday Pictures!

Okay, as I've promised, I've uploaded my Kuantan holiday pictures.
And there's a whole tonne of them!
40 pictures, to be exact!

Well, I stayed there for 3 days and 2 nights, so I'm gonna arrange my pictures in chronological order, starting from the first day.
Don't worry, I'll add annotations as well!

Well, here goes...

Important events:
1. Journey to Kuantan.
2. Lunch at "Hoi Yin" restaurant.
3. Arrival at the Swiss Garden Resort and Spa.
4. Checking out our room and the facilities at the hotel.
5. Went swimming.
6. Huge storm occurs.
7. Dinner at some restaurant called "Sri Mahkota Seafood".
8. Went back to hotel and lingered around the lobby.

On the road to Kuantan...

"Hoi Yin" restaurant, apparently famous for its curry noodles.

Finally! We're at the hotel at last!

Checking out our room on the top-most floor...

An aerial view of the swimming pool...

Some view of the beach! I was being sarcastic, by the way!

Somehow, my father predicted this storm coming...

It's getting closer...How scary!

Hmmm, squid, mixed vegetables and 100 Plus. A food vacationer's dream?

Oh my gosh, two crabs? That's a lot...

I just had to take this picture...

Eating crab is really, really messy!!!

We're back at the hotel at last...

I think this was somewhere in the lobby...

Can't talk to you now, I've just entered the "Twilight Zone"! ( That's what the shirt I'm wearing says, by the way! )

That's my piano! Haha!

What a dweeb! Can't even smile properly!

Now that's more like it!

Hmmm, complimentary drinks! Generous, no?

Haha! This is expert photography!
Important events:
1. Went to the Kuantan port. Saw some oil depots.
2. Bought currypuffs and keropok at some roadside stalls.
3. Went to the beach. ( I did take some pictures. But I'm not gonna show them! )
4. Went to eat dinner. Seafood buffet!

[ sigh ] Breakfast...

Ugh! What a greedy sausage-eater!

Somewhere in Kuantan port...

I wonder what's that tall and imposing structure in the distance?

Oil depots! Wow! How awesome! [ sarcastic look ]

A picture of an oil-processing facility...

Another picture of an oil-processing facility...

Mmmm, just look at all that food!

A currypuff stall on the roadside. Authentic, no?

It was scorching hot when this picture was taken!

Erm, keropok galore?

Ahhh, you can actually feel an awesome "bayu laut" from where this picture was taken!

Hmmm, how scenic!

Woah, lobster! No, it's just crayfish...

Ice-cream. Never gets boring...

Never, ever eat oysters without lemon!

He had a stomacache at this point!

Et voila! A work of art!

Important events:
1. Preparing to go back home.
2. Fell asleep in the car! ( Is this considered an important event? )

I was still quite sleepy, so I didn't realise this picture was taken.

Everyone's asleep except for my father. Doesn't my brother look drowsy?

Well, that's all of them.
Sure is a lot, right?
There really are 40 pictures! You can count if you want! Be my guest!

All in all, I think the trip to Kuantan was quite interesting and fun!
Oh well, that's that.

Okay, I think my post has become way too long, what with all the pictures and whatnot.
So I'm gonna stop for now.

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Music Playlist Updated Once Again!

Okay, I'm here...
Well, since I don't feel sleepy yet, I might as well do something, right?
No, this does not include posting the Kuantan holiday pictures just yet.
That's tomorrow.

For now, I just updated my music player.
I added "New Divide" by Linkin Park and "21 Guns" by Green Day.
Sadly, I got rid of "No Boundaries" by Adam Lambert and "What About Now" by Chris Daughtry because my playlist was cluttered with too many songs.

[ Yawns ]
Ugh! I have to upload so many pictures tomorrow!
It's gonna be hard work!

I think I'm gonna list down the stuff I have to do tomorrow, or at least TRY and do tomorrow:
1. Post all my Kuantan holiday pictures.
2. Try and beat Jaslyn in Typing Maniac.
3. Study the complexities and the principles of the Sicilian Defense.

Well, these are my top priorities for tomorrow.
So, I guess that's it.

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Back From Kuantan!

Okay, guys!
I'm finally back from my holiday at Kuantan!
Yay! I get to blog again!

Anyway, I took a LOT of pictures using various tools, namely:
1. My family's FinePix A340 Digital Camera.
2. My father's handphone.
3. My mother's handpfone.

I'll upload them on my next post, kay?
I'm also thinking of changing my profile picture using one of the pictures from the holiday...

I'm also thinking of adding some new songs to my music playlist, which are:
1. "21 Guns" by Green Day.
2. "New Divide" by Linkin Park.
I'll update my player as soon as I finish posting all my Kuantan holiday pictures.

Now, I remembered that I said in my last post that I would blog about a Chess variant called Double Chess.
Well, here goes...

Double Chess was introduced to our little Chess group ( Ashman, me, Hazwan, Sehran and Hari )
by Winnie.
Of course, Hari and Sehran were absent that day, so Ashman, Hazwan and I got to see it first.

It involves two Chess boards and two teams with two players in each team.
Each team member would play different colours in the same team.
Well, here's an example, then.

Let's say Winnie and I were on one team, and Hazwan and Ashman were on the other team.
That means if Winnie were using the White pieces, then I would be using the Black pieces, and so on and so forth.

Okay, the gameplay goes like normal, but there's a new rule.
It's hard to explain, so I'll give an example:

Let's say Winnie and I were on one team, and Hazwan and Ashman were on the other.
Okay, Winnie is playing with Ashman, and I am playing with Hazwan, using separate boards, of course.

So, since Winnie is on my team, if she captures one of Ashman's pieces, she must GIVE that piece to me, and I have to do the same if I capture any of Hazwan's pieces.
And the weird part is, I can USE the captured piece that Winnie gave me in my game with Hazwan, and Hazwan can use the pieces that Ashman captures from Winnie.

Basically, I can have 3 Bishops or 3 Knights or even 3 Queens in a game.
But there are a few rules regarding this new piece-receiving and placing ability:
1. A player can't put a piece on the FIRST or EIGHTH rank.
2. A player cannot put a piece if it results in a checkmate immediately after placing the piece.

If any player achieves checkmate, then the player's team wins.
Simple, no?
If you have any enquiries, don't hesitate to contact me by any means neccesary! [ smiles ]

Go try it yourself sometime.
Trust me, it's fun!

Well, I guess that's it for now...
I've gotta go and try to beat Jaslyn's score in Typing Maniac! Ugh!
After I post my Kuantan pictures, of course.
[ sigh ] Maybe I'll do all of this tomorrow...

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Off to Kuantan!

Okay, this is officially my 120th post on Blogger!

Oh, and I skipped school today.
I have to follow my family for a holiday trip to Kuantan.
So, I guess I won't be blogging for quite a while.

3 days and 2 nights to be exact.
So try not to miss me too much!
Don't worry, when I come back, I'll have tonnes to blog about!

Here's a preview of my future blogs:
1. A new variant of Chess called "Double Chess".
2. An accident in school involving Ah Keong and a glass window pane.
3. Hopefully some pictures from the Kuantan trip!

And finally,
How did you manage to beat my score in Typing Maniac?!
IT'S NOT FAIR!!! [ sulks ]

Well, I guess that's it.

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lightsaber Tests!

Alright, I'm here.

Okay, remember in my last post, I said that I have Adobe After Effects CS4 on my computer?
And I said that I would try to learn how to create a lightsaber?

Well, I did it!

But I had no choice but to use the video files from the "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde" project because there was no other video file on my computer that I could use.

You can go and see them here:
Adobe After Effects CS4 Lightsaber Tests

Yeah, I know that the frame rate / performance of the videos is crappy!
Those are the only videos with the most decent frame rate on my computer, alright?
I don't have a super duper HD camera or anything like that!

Just wait until I get my hands on one of those REAL cameras!
That will be really fun!

Anyway, the lightsaber in the first video is obviously my first attempt at creating a lightsaber because it looks awful, I have to admit.

The lightsaber in the second video is a bit better, but is a real pain in the neck to work with. And it doesn't really blend in with the original video that well...

My third attempt at making a lightsaber is a rotoscoping technique I learned from a guy called Ryan Wieber. Apparently, he's one of the most famous lightsaber rotoscopers ever!
I found out how to rotoscope a lightsaber using his technique from this website:

Then there's my fourth video, which depicts a pair of lightsabers battling it out for a short while.
I made this one because I had nothing else left to do at the time.
Oh well...

Okay, I guess that's it for now.

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do I Look Like An Adult???

Okay, I've finally got a program called "Adobe After Effects CS4" on my computer.
Apparently, according to my brother, it's a program that, if used properly, can allow me to insert all types of graphics into my videos.

And that includes lightsaber effects!

But I'm still figuring out how to use it.
I've been living off video tutorials from YouTube.

So far, I only know how to make Force Lightning using After Effects.
Well, it's better than nothing!
Don't worry! Sooner or later, I'll know how to insert lightsabers into my videos!

Besides that, I went to the Tesco at Setia Alam this morning, and the strangest, most unexpected thing happened to me.

My mother wanted to buy some stuff there, so she asked me to bring my brother to the bookstore.
So anyway, I was browsing around the bookstore, when suddenly, I had the sudden need to go to the toilet.
So I told my brother to wait at the bookstore while I went to the toilet.

I was on my way to the toilet when suddenly, a man walked up to me and asked me to sign some sort of thing - I'm not sure what it was again, I forgot.
And then he asked me if I was working or studying!
So, I told him I was still a student, shook his hand, and continued my journey to the toilet.

Somehow, he thought that I was an adult!
It must because I was wearing a Hong Leong Bank shirt at the time.
But do I really look that grown up???
I'm only 15, and some guy thought that I was an adult!
[ scratches head ]

Oh well...

Well, I guess that's it.

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nothing But Chess!!!

Okay, I went to school today.

Remember the Chess tournament I was talking about in my last post?
Hari and Sehran didn't come, so we couldn't continue with the tournament.
Among the 5 participants, only Ashman, Hazwan and I came.

In fact, almost 3/4 of the class were absent today!
So the class was quieter than normal.

Anyway, I played Chess with Winnie again.
And guess what?
I won!!!

But it wasn't really that glorious, because Ashman beat her before, too.
But oh well, at least I managed to defeat her at last!
P.S. I used the Petrov Defense! It's so awesome!

Okay, after that match with Winnie, I tried experimenting with the Stonewall Attack, and it turns out that it doesn't really suit my style of play.

So I adopted another White opening.
It's a variation of a Black opening known as the Philidor Defense.
It's called "Philidor Defense 3.d4 Bg4 Variation".

It's really awesome!!! I played it against Ashman, and it worked brilliantly!

It is characterised by the moves:
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 Bg4

After Bg4, I would play:
4. dxe5 Bxf3
5. Qxf3 dxe5

I love it!
It leads to such an excellent game for me!
I just LOVE open games!!!

So, because of the failure of the Stonewall Attack and my discovery of the effectiveness of the Philidor Defense 4. d4 Bg4 Variation, I made some changes to my list of prefered Chess openings.
Oh, and I gave up on the Sicilian Defense. I don't really like Black hypermodern openings anymore.

1. King's Pawn Opening ( transposes into other openings that I like )
2. King's Gambit
3. Benko Opening
4. Bishop's Opening

1. Symmetrical King's/Queen's Pawn Opening
2. Petrov Defense
3. Albin/Falkbeer Countergambit
4. Caro-Kann Defense

Okay, I guess that's it.

Comment me, kay?

May the Force be with you...