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Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Finished My BM Folio!

Well, I finally finished my Bahasa Melayu folio!
It took me around one and a half days to complete it.

And the weird part is that while I was doing the folio, I was listening to music on my earphones!

My parents always stared at me in disbelief everytime they passed by and saw me wearing the earphones while doing the folio!
Oh well...

But I've still got work to do...[ sigh ]
I have to write a formal letter to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Why do we have to do this? Honestly, I don't know...
But the BM teachers at my school threaten to cut my marks in the exams if I don't write this letter, so I have no choice but to do it...

I'm going to reluctantly, I repeat, reluctantly, write the letter after this post... ( Note how I emphasised on the word "reluctantly" )

Anyway, I went to Setia Alam yesterday to bind my BM folio.

After I binded the folio, I had to follow my mother to the "pasar malam" nearby.
I was really bored, because my mum was busy looking at vegetables and fruits...
So I walked around and took a few pictures with my handphone.
Here thay are:

A typical "pasar malam" - very hot, sweaty and humid...

A picture of a dude making some sort of "kuih"...

Here are the "kuih" the dude was making. I just love eating these!
Other than that, I watched a movie last night.
It's a Chinese movie called "Bodyguards and Assassins".
The plot revolves around the "Bodyguards" ( good guys ) and the "Assassins" ( bad guys ).
The "bodyguards" have to protect the VIP ( I think he's called Mr. Sun or something like that ), whereas the "assassins" are obviously attempting to kill him.

There's a lot of killing, violence, and blood.
Many of the "bodyguards" actually die trying to protect Mr. Sun. It's sad, really...
Some scenes can be very, very sad and there's a lot of slow-mo to make it even more heart-wrenching...

Truth be told, I actually cried during the scenes where the good guys died.
I'm surprised my brother didn't notice me crying...

In fact, he actually laughs out loud when people die!
For example, he laughed like crazy when the guy at the beginning of the film suddenly gets shot in the head!

Well, I better get to work...
I need to finish that letter for the Prime Minister by today, because I have to submit it tomorrow.

May the Force be with you...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homework Galore!

Okay, here I am, updating my blog as usual...

Ummm, oh yeah, I probably won't be posting so frequently from now on, mainly because I have literally tonnes of homework to complete!
My homework, as of today, is:
1. Bahasa Melayu - An essay based on a newspaper article.
2. Biology - A report on "Preparing and Examining Slides of Plant Cells".
3. Physics - A report about "Scientific Investigations".
4. Chemistry - A report about "The Melting and Freezing Points of Naphthalene".

I actually have Modern Mathematics and Additional Mathematics homework as well, but I finished them already because they were quite easy.

Oh, I also forgot to mention that I have to create a folio for Bahasa Melayu based on the novel "Papa".
This was a real problem, because none of the major bookstores have orientatated their BM reference books from the old format to the new format yet, as I've mentioned in one of my previous posts.

Fortunately, Jannah somehow managed to find a BM reference book based on the new format somewhere...
So I borrowed it from her ( how nice of her! ), and I plan to get started on the folio tomorrow.
I aim to complete at least half the folio by tomorrow! More if possible!
I'm sure that with enough determination, effort and perseverance, I'll be able to pull it off! [ smiles ]

Besides that, Ashman, Sehran, Hazwan and I are planning to play badminton tomorrow.
The last time we planned to play badminton, Hazwan and Ashman didn't bring their PJ clothes, which was disappointing.
However, they both promised to bring their PJ clothes this time.
I sure hope they keep their word!

Well, I gotta go finish off my homework...

May the Force be with you...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another New Profile Picture!

Okay, I went to IOI Mall in Puchong yesterday to buy a new Red Crescent T-shirt and trousers.
I also wanted to buy a Bahasa Melayu reference book for Novel and KOMSAS ( Komponen Sastera ).

I went to buy the PBSM clothes first.
The only T-shirt size that could fit me was the XL size!
I can't believe I have to wear the XL-sized shirt! Am I really that big?

Then, I went to the Popular bookstore to look for the BM reference book I needed.
I made my way to the "Bahasa Melayu" section.
I scanned the shelf. But unfortunately, I could only find the BM reference books that are based on the "old format".
The novel for the new format is titled "Papa" whereas the novel for the old format is titled "Anak Laut".
I guess the bookstore has not switched the books from the old format to the new format yet, since the new format has just been implemented this year...
Oh well, I'll try again next time...

Anyway, I rotoscoped a new profile picture using Adobe After Effects.
Hey, I was really bored and I had nothing else to do!
I applied a new, advanced glow layer to the lightsaber core to make it look just a bit more realistic! [ smiles ]
Here it is.
Oh, and by the way, I had a haircut prior to this picture being taken...
I'm gonna be using this picture as my new profile picture for Blogger, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger, kay?

Oh, and PS: Essie, if you're reading this, I've added a little more "attitude" into the picture above in response to your comment in my cBox.
Ummm, here are the comments, just in case you forgot:
9 Nov 2009
Essie: Shi-Cho, stance 1. Slap some attitude into that face lah!
Essie: Less "I'mma gonna nap after this" and more "GRRR"
Essie: That, or Darth Sidious. MOAR ATTITUDE BRADDERRRRRR

So, yeah, I hope I have enough "attitude" in the picture this time!
You be the judge, Essie! And for all you other people out there, feel free to comment as well!

Okay, that's it.

May the Force be with you...

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Heavy Duty Kacau Andrew Day"?

Well, I just finished my Biology, Physics, Bahasa Melayu and Modern Maths homework, with some time to spare!

So, I decided to update my blog.

Besides, this is a great opportunity for me to blog without any interference or interruption from my brother!
He's working out at the gym right now.
I think he aims to get a set of six-packs! Nah, I'm kidding!
He's just staying healthy, that's all...

Anyway, I'm gonna recall what happened Thursday, which was yesterday.

Ashman, Hazwan, Sehran and I originally planned to play badminton during Pendidikan Jasmani.
But unfortunately, Ashman and Hazwan couldn't play, because:
Hazwan - He didn't bring his PJ shirt.
Ashman - unknown reasons...

So, only Sehran and I went to play badminton.
We played for two rounds. I won the first round and he won the second round.
By the time we finished the second round, the Pendidikan Jasmani period was almost over, so we both agreed to a draw.

After I finished changing back into my normal school uniform, I went into 4 Epsilon.
Unsurprisingly, I found Ashman, Winnie and Hari in the middle of the classroom playing Chess.
I sat down next to Ashman.
Then I asked the simple question: "How's my hair?", and all three of them burst out laughing!

Oh, and Evo didn't come yesterday, so since Jannah can't disturb her, she decided to disturb me instead.
She even decreed the 21st of January as the "Heavy Duty Kacau Andrew Day"!
Want proof?
The picture below says it all!
Could you believe she even took the time to draw this picture?!
It's unbelievable!

Okay, besides that, I have to go to school tomorrow.
It's considered a normal schooling day based on Thursday's timetable.
But Hazwan, Sehran and I have to attend a speech about public speaking from around 8am until 11am...
So that means we'll be skipping Pendidkan Jasmani! Nooo!

Finally, I heard a song playing during one of Astro's television commercials.
It's called "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble, and I think it sounds really good!
I think I'm gonna record and insert it into my handphone's music playlist! [ smiles ]

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

May the Force be with you...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chemistry Was Interesting!

Today is the day I had been waiting for ever since I was in Form 1.
Today's the day my Chemistry teacher introduced us to the Periodic Table Of Elements! Yay!
I've been wanting to learn about this ever since I first laid eyes on a Periodic Table Of Elements in one of my Science reference books back when I was in Form 1...

And it turns out that it's quite easy to understand the table.
The elements are simply arranged from left to right based on the number of protons in the elements' sub-atomic structures.
I aslo learned a whole lot of other stuff involving atomic and sub-atomic particles...
Long story short, I found Chemistry today rather interesting!

Anyway, there was supposed to be an English for Science and Technology ( EST ) class today.
But it was cancelled for some reason, so I had to stay back at school until 2.15pm.
Luckily for me, Sehran had to stay back as well, because he knows that his transport will be quite late today.

So, guess what we did?
We played Chess, of course! [ smiles ]
I was Black and he was White. He played something he refers to as the "Hedgehog System" and I played the Caro-Kann Defense.

I have to admit, I made a mistake in the opening that almost cost me my Kingside rook.
Fortunately, Sehran never captured that rook, and I mounted a powerful counter-offensive on Sehran's Queenside, using the power of "Zwischenzug" to my advantage.
In the end, I managed to win his Knight for free. And I still threatened to unleash a powerful forcing combination that will lead to me winning even more material!

I was retaining an awesome initiative until Sehran had to leave because his transport had arrived.
So, I agreed to draw with him, even though I was clearly winning!
Oh well...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that our timetables have changed.
So that means we have Pendidikan Jasmani tomorrow!
Sehran, Ashman, Hazwan and I are planning to play badminton.
However, if it rains, or if it is too windy, then we'll switch to Plan B - Playing Chess!

Well, I guess that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

165th Post...

Okay, since this is only my 165th post on Blogger, I'm just gonna recall what happened at school today, kay?

Ummm, let me see...
I lost twice to Ashman in Chess during Pendidikan Jasmani.
Apparently, his understanding of positional play is much better than mine.
In the first game, at the point when I was losing, Hazwan suggested I used the "psychological effect" on Ashman.
And it worked! Kind of... [ smiles ]

In my second game with Ashman, I reverted back to my old tactical style of play.
I managed to come up with a deeply-calculated combination involving a central Knight fork, which against a weaker player would have resulted in the loss of a whole piece.
But Ashman, being the seasoned player that he is, applied "Zwischenzug" to great effect, avoiding the loss of his Bishop.
But after a series of exchanges, my combination successfully saddled Ashman with an isolated pawn on the d file.

By right, I should have won this game.
I had a Queenside pawn majority and he had an isolated pawn on the d file.
But then, I made a mistake that cost me the whole game.

When Ashman's Rook flew down the board to check my King, I made the decision to advance my King towards the enemy Kingside pawn structure. This was the fatal mistake that I made.
I was still thinking based on my old tactical style. Therefore, I was aiming for a double threat - the capturing of his Kingside pawn chain and checkmate.
In the end, I lost because his Rook was destroying my Kingside pawn structure. Then, he forced an exchange of Rooks and successfully promoted one of his Kingside pawns.

I realised my mistake as soon as his Rook started wreaking havoc on my backrank.
I should always play positionally in the endgame, not tactically.
I should have just put my Rook behind my Queenside pawn majority and slowly march my pawns up the board.
My pawns' advance up the board would be very nearly unstoppable and inexorable.

Well, I learned from my mistake.
Next time, I won't let this kind of thing happen to me again...

Anyway, after Pendidikan Jasmani, we had Physics.
Nothing much happened during Physics class. The teacher just showed us what a vernier caliper looks like, that's all.
We would only be doing the experiment involving the vernier caliper in the next Physics class.

Immediately after that, there was Biology class.
The teacher taught us about "organelles" and their functions in a cell.
Then she asked us to draw a diagram of the insides of a cell.

Truth be told, I think I was the last person in the whole class to complete my diagram!
By the time I finished labelling the organelles inside the cell, the Biology class was already over!
Well, thank goodness the Biology teacher didn't ask us to pass up our diagrams, or else I'd be in a heap of trouble!

Here's the diagram, by the way.
PS: I only posted this picture to show Jannah how big of a "show-off" I can be! [ smiles ]

After that, we had Civics.
But apparently, our Civics teacher was busy, so we got a relief teacher instead.
So it was actually considered a free period because the relief teacher let us do whatever we wanted.
So, I managed to play a game of Chess with Sehran.
I used the English Opening, and he surprisingly used the "Fried Fox Defense"! ( Involving the moves 1. ...f6 2. ...Kf7?! )
He said he was "experimenting" with this opening!

He lost in the end.
I congregrated my pieces on the Queenside and unleashed a devastating attack that led to his King being clobbered and checkmated on the h file.

Well, yeah, I guess that's pretty much everything that's happened today.

May the Force be with you...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Trip To Sunway Pyramid...

Okay, I went to Sunway Pyramid yesterday to go and get the stuff that I need, which are:
1. An A4-sized sketchbook for Biology.
2. A Red Crescent T-shirt and trousers.

I went to Popular Bookstore first.
I looked everywhere for the sketchbook, but I could only find the A5-sized one, not the A4-sized sketchbook I needed.
So, I asked one of the Popular Bookstore employees and he said that there's no stock for A4-sized sketchbooks!

So, my family and I went to have dinner at KFC.
The service was slow and lousy, and the food wasn't that good either...

After that, my father took me to a Maxis store.
He wanted to change my handphone service to Hotlink Prepaid, because the charges for Postpaid are too great.
Point being that if I don't make a call, he has to pay RM30. And if I do make a call, he has to pay more than RM30. So it's not worth it.

So yeah, I'm using Prepaid now.
This means that I won't be making so many calls in the future.
Fortunately, my handphone number is still the same...

Later, we asked the guy at the Information Counter whether there were any shops in Sunway Pyramid selling clothes for Uniformed Bodies ( Badan Beruniform ) like the Red Crescent Society etc etc.
Apparently, according to him, there were no such shops in Sunway Pyramid.
How can a huge mega mall like Sunway Pyramid not have a simple shop that sells clothes for Uniformed Bodies?
[ sigh ]

Well, at least I got the sketchbook I needed...

Oh yeah. Just before my family and I went back home, I took this picture of the main Pyramid for some reason.
I don't know why I took it - It could be because of those sparkling lights twinkling all over the Pyramid structure...
Here it is:

Well, I guess that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First PBSM Meeting of 2010...

Okay, I went to attend the Red Crescent Society meeting at school just now.
And guess what?
I actually forgot to bring my co-curricular attendance card! ( It's a card that the teachers use to record my attendance. )
When I realised this, I was panicking like crazy!

Fortunately, most of the other students have not received their co-curricular attendance cards yet.
So the teacher asked us to write down our names on a piece of paper and attendance will be recorded during the next meeting.
Lucky me! I promised myself I won't be so careless next time.

During the meeting, Jannah and Sarah were both pestering me without end!
They kept on bugging me about all sorts of stuff!
It was pure torture!
Okay, I'm exaggerating about the "torture" part. But you get what I mean, right?

Anyway, I became the AJK ( Ahli Jawatan Kuasa ) PBSM for Form 4.

I'm going to have to get a new Red Crescent T-shirt and trousers.
My old ones are way too tight! This is no surprise, due to the fact that I have not changed my PBSM attire since Form 1!
I'll most likely be going out tonight to go and buy my new PBSM clothes...

Well, that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How I Dislike Dragonflies!

Well, I'm just here to express my disliking of dragonflies, that's all...
The insects just keep flying into my house, making an extremely annoying flapping noise and assaulting anyone that gets too near to them.

Just last night, a dragonfly somehow managed to fly into my bedroom.
The noise created by the dragonfly's beating wings were unbearable!
I had to lay awake for nearly half an hour before the irritating noise stopped, and I finally managed to drift to sleep...

Oh well, I guess I'm going to have live with it.
They don't call my area "Setia Eco-Park" for nothing!

Anyway, I've just finished off the last of my homework, which are Physics and Biology.
For Physics, I had to search the Internet for a diagram of "vernier calipers".
This is the one I'm gonna use:

As for Chemistry, I am required to find the meaning of the term "discrete".
Apparently, according to the definitions I found on, "discrete" means "apart", "detached", "separate" and "not connected".

After that, I had to look for some examples of discrete particles.
Truth be told, I couldn't have done it without Hazwan's help.
We were searching for the examples on Wikipedia, when suddenly he found something promising.
It's under the article titled "Discrete Element Method". There was a whole list of examples of discrete particles under the "Application" sub-topic.
Thanks, Hazwan! I appreciate your help!

Well, yeah, that's pretty much it for now...

May the Force be with you...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Borrowed Another Chess Book!

Here I am, updating my blog once again!
I obviously can't let my blog rot for too long, can I?
You can say that I'm a very "responsible" blogger! [ smiles ]

Anyway, I just finished all of my homework, and I did it in just one hour!
To be honest, I didn't really expect myself to complete all of my homework today.

I had to write a Bahasa Melayu Essay ( Which has to be over 350 words long. ), do tonnes of Mathematics homework, and copy down some stuff from my English textbook.
But somehow, I managed to finish it all in just one hour.
Sometimes, I amaze even myself!

That leaves me with plenty of time to read the book I borrowed from Hazwan today.
Yup, I think you've guessed it - It's a book about Chess!

The title is "303 Tricky Chess Tactics" by Fred Wilson and Bruce Alberstein.
This book is full of chess positions in which the reader has to find solutions based on a certain theme or motive.
It should be quite interesting for a guy like me, right?
I'm gonna start reading it tonight, and I'll most probably finish reading it and return it to Hazwan on Friday.

Other than that, I finally gave Jannah that bar of chocolate that she always wanted me to give her [ you're welcome, Jannah! ], and I had one hell of a laugh watching a big guy like Amir chasing Sehran all around the school!
And finally, I received 30 cents from Sarah for doing her a favour.
Yay! Free money!

Well, that's it for now...

May the Force be with you...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Boring Day At School...

Honestly, today was a rather uneventful day for me.
School was boring...

I guess the only thing interesting that happened today is the fact that Ashman was playing Chess with Winnie, and he lost 3 times in a row to her.

I didn't manage to see the first two games.
But I DID manage to see the last game he lost, in which Ashman apparently made a positional blunder, involving him moving his b8 Knight to c6, and then back to b8 again for no advantage whatsoever.
In other words, he wasted a move.

If you ask me, I have no idea why would a strong player like Ashman make such a blunder.
But we all make mistakes, and Ashman is no exception.
But the fact that he lost three times consecutively to Winnie in a single day, now that's a whole other story!

Frankly speaking, I feel very tired right now...
My head feels heavy and my eyelids are practically half-open...
Ugh! Sometimes I feel like I genuinely hate afternoons!
The weather is ridiculously hot and it's so easy to get tired and drowsy at this time of day!
It's a wonder I'm still awake at all - I could very well be sleeping with my head on the keyboard right now!

Finally, just so you guys know, this is my 160th post on Blogger!
Just another 40 posts, and I'll reach my target of 200 posts!
[ smiles ]

Well, that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Co-curricular Activities For 2010!

Alright, today is the day I get to choose my co-curricular activities for the year.
Wait, so soon?
But it's only the fourth day of school!

We had to sit at the school assembly for quite a long time, listening to the teachers explaining the characteristics of each co-curricular activity.

Honestly speaking, when Encik Isyraf talked about the Computer Club, for a brief moment, I had a very strong temptation to join the Computer Club.
I mean, they were going to teach you how to assemble a whole PC! They would also be talking about various hardware and software as well.
But then I realised I already knew tonnes of stuff about computers, so joining this club would be more or less a waste of time...

Anyway, here are the activities I'm going to choose for this year:
1. Badan Beruniform - Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah ( PBSM )
2. Kelab dan Persatuan - English Language Society ( ELS )
3. Sukan dan Permainan - Permainan Dalaman

Ugh! How I dislike PBSM!
It's all about marching, marching, and more marching!
And the worst part is that the squad commanders treat us normal members like some sort of crap!
I hate it!
But I don't have a choice but to join it, because I already bought the uniform...
Oh well...

Fortunately, according to Ashman, the teachers count the points for only TWO of the activities that I've joined, not all three.
For example, If I'm more active in Permainan Dalaman and ELS, but not so active in PBSM, it doesn't matter, because the teachers are only going to count the points I've accumulated from Permainan Dalaman and ELS only.
But this is based on what Ashman told me, and in my opinion, he's a person that can't be fully trusted!

Well, I guess that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What happened at school on the 6th January 2010?

Alright, let me recall what happened at school today.
Let me see...

Hmmm, immediately after the asembly, all the Form 4 students went to the Open Hall and received a lecture from Pn. Zanariah, the school's Penolong Kanan Akademik.
It was nothing much, really.
She talked about the different streams available to us Form 4 students and that we should make the right decision or else we would regret it later on, etc etc.

As for class, there were 5 subjects today.
First, there was Chemistry. I can remember that at the time, it was really hot because the class curtains have disappeared for some reason.
The Chemistry teacher gave us an assignment to find the definition of Chemistry, the common use of chemicals in daily life, and careers related to Chemistry.

Next up was English.
I got a real surprise when I found out that Pn. Roslinda, the English teacher for my class last year, turned out to be the English teacher for my class this year as well!
Honestly speaking, I was not expecting Pn. Roslinda to be the English teacher this year - I thought she was a relief teacher or something...

Mathematics is the same for me as it had been in Form 3.
Pn. Goh just goes through the topics in the textbook as quick as a flash, asks us if we have any questions, then gives us tonnes and tonnes of homework...
It's a routine I got used to during Form 3, because Pn. Goh was my Maths teacher last year as well. Her style of teaching is no different this year...
But I guess it's kind of effective. Kind of...

Pendidikan Moral was scary for me...
The teacher likes to stare into people's eyes for an uncomfortably long time before finally looking away!
It was pure scariness! It's even scarier than staring into Lynn's eyes!
Those of you who were there with me, I think you know what I mean...

Finally, there was History.
Our teacher was none other than Encik Din himself. And he turned out to be a very fun and interesting teacher.
But I'm guessing he'll become more serious once he actually starts to teach us.
Today, he just asked us to do a presentation based on the first and second chapter of the History textbook.
My team was tasked to gather information about "Mesir Purba" ( Ancient Egypt ). Great! I love Ancient Egyptian History! I just hope the textbook doesn't turn out as boring as I think it's gonna be...

Conclusively, I think I enjoy being in 4 Beta.
I don't think I want to switch to another class given the chance.
Point being, the teachers are good, and I'm quite comfortable where I am...
Besides, I've already wrote the class name "4 Beta" on all my exercise books already. I can't switch them ALL to "4 Epsilon", can I?

Well, I think my post is long enough.
So I'm gonna stop here.

Oh yeah, I decided to check out a new optional subject I can take for the SPM Examination.
It's called "EST" ( English for Science and Technology ).
Hazwan and Sehran are with me as well.

It's an English paper, but involving topics based on Science and Technology.
The EST class starts after school and ends at 2.15pm.
I'm attending the class next Wednesday.
Should be quite interesting, no?

Okay, I guess that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tactical vs Positional!

During my first day of school as a Form 4 student, I managed to meet up with the whole "Chess Gang" ( Me, Ashman, Hazwan, Hari and Sehran ), before we got separated into different classes.

Remember my last post about Chess? The one involving my intention to switch from my tactical style of play to positional play?
If you really don't know which one it is, it was posted on the 3rd of January and is titled "Ugh! Back To School Again...".

Well, Ashman and Hazwan agreed to teach me the principles and ideas involved in positional play.
We managed to play one game before Ashman had to shift to the other class.

I was White and Hazwan was Black. At this time, I was still quite unfamiliar with positional play, but astonishingly, I realised that positional play isn't that tough to learn after all.
I used the English Opening, and Hazwan countered it with the Sicilian Defense.

During the game, I had very strong urges to just take my pieces and attack Hazwan's position. But then I remembered I had to try to play based on the principles of positional play, which include:
1. Thinking strategically and attempting to achieve long-term goals ( Unlike tactics, which only involve short-term goals ).
2. Being patient, building up a solid position, and only attacking when the opportunity emerges.
3. Allowing your opponent to break first. When he/she does break, counterattack.
4. Placing your pieces in key positions so that they may prove useful in the long run.

Previously, my tactical gameplay involves me attempting to complete a string of short-term goals, usually by means of calculated combinations, tactical weapons and something called "Zwichenzug" ( go check it up! ).
In positional play, however, I strive to complete long-term goals instead. These involve stuff like pawn structure, piece build-up, control of space, piece placement at vital hardpoints on the board, all of which can only be achieved in the "long run". No flashy, swashbuckling moves here!

Anyway, back to my game with Hazwan. I strived for control of the central square d5, using my pawn on c4, my Knight on c3, and my fianchettoed Bishop on g2.
I slowly built up a strong, counterattacking position. And in the end, I won after going through one of the most interesting middlegames I have ever played.
According to Ashman, my strong dominance of the Queenside played a vital roll in Hazwan's defeat.

Later, I played another game with Hazwan, only this time I was Black and he was White.
The opening transposed into the "Caro-Kann Defense Advance Variation".
The Caro-Kann is one of my preferred defensive openings. I didn't expect Hazwan to play the "Advance Variation", however.
Hazwan and I slugged it out, leading to a closed game with a locked pawn chain in the middle.

Finally, Hazwan launched an attack on the Queenside. I anticipated his attack, because it's all part of my positional game plan.
I weathered his attack with my defensive pieces, and launched a counterattack on his central pawn structure, resulting in him losing a whole piece. But then he immobilised my Kingside Knight using his pawns on the a and b files.
Everything went on very slowly, and in the end, we both predicted the game would inevitably end in a draw. And so it did.

Immediately after that game with Hazwan, I played a game with Sehran.
I was White and he was Black. I used the Queen's Gambit, and he responded with 2. Nf6.
Again, I was attempting to solidify my position whilst defending against Sehran's attacks.
Because I was using the Queen's Gambit, my control of the Queenside was rather strong.

After the middlegame was over, I ended up with a passed pawn on the d file.
I used the endgame techniques I learned from "Chessmaster: Grandmaster Edition" to effectively push my passed pawn to promotion, and despite everything Sehran did to stop the pawn from advancing, the promotion was inevitable, and Sehran resigned.

I played three games today, and I didn't lose a single one!
But I think I still have much to learn about positional gameplay...
Of course, I'll still incorporate a bit of my old tactical style into my positional play, just to keep things balanced.
But overall, I think positional play is quite effective...

Well, I guess that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

First Day Of Being A Form 4 Student...

Alright, the first day of school is over.
It wasn't a very happy or exciting day in my opinion, mainly because the teachers forced us to stand in the rain during the assembly...

Anyway, there have been a few changes...
My school now has two sessions. Students from Form 1 and 2 will be attending the afternoon session, whereas students from Form 3, 4 and 5 will be attending the morning session.

Furthermore, I am no longer in class Omega.
I'm now in 4 Beta.
Apparently, there are three science stream classes, and Beta is one of them.

We were distributed into these classes at random.
No class is classified as the "best class" this time.
Unfortunately, we all got separated. Ashman, Hari and many more of my previous classmates all shifted to the other classes.
Only Hazwan, Sehran, Jannah, Haziq, Lee King, Kamal, Nafis, Evonia, Theeban, Amirah, Aleef and a few others remained with me in 4 Beta.
It's sad really...
But my class teacher, Pn Salasiah, DID say that this was temporary.
Hopefully things will turn out better soon...

Besides that, I was elected as the class AJK ( Ahli Jawatan Kuasa ) SPBT.
Plus, I agreed to do some public speaking for a teacher named Pn Rohaida.
I also managed to drag Sehran, Hazwan and Lee King with me as well.
According to Pn Rohaida, we were going to be trained by someone from Oxford University or something like that...
That's all I know for now. I'll post more about this public speaking thingy as soon as the teacher tells us more about it.

Well, I guess that's it.
I'm gonna be typing another post right after this one, because there's not enough space here.
Oh, and the post is gonna be about Chess, just so you know.

May the Force be with you...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ugh! Back To School Again...

Well, tomorrow, school will re-open...
[ long sigh ]
You know, to be honest, I really don't like school days...
Wanna know why?
I've got several reasons, including:
- Waking up at 6am every day, not to mention that it's pitch black at that time.
- Being nearly deafened by the sharp ring of my annoying alarm clock.
- Getting half-blinded when I turn on the lights.
- Suffering the wrath of the icy cold shower.
- Having an excruciating stomachache ( not likely, but it happens... )

The school holidays this year seemed to pass by so quickly...
Could it be because I was so busy working on my project, I never really noticed how time flew by so fast?
Oh well...
On the plus side, I'll get to see my friends again!

Anyway, I have something to say about Chess...
I haven't been blogging about Chess for quite some time now, so here goes...
I've decided not to be too much of a tactical player. It turns out that that's one of my biggest weaknesses in Chess - I tend to play too aggressively, which may lead to overextension of my pieces.

So, I've decided to change my style of gameplay.
I aim to improve my "strategical" gameplay.
Point being, I'm going to have to make deeply-calculated, subtle, positional moves in contrast to the flashy, aggressive, swashbuckling moves that I play all the time.

Another principle involved in positional play is a player's subtlety in his moves.
This means carefully positioning your pieces at important hardpoints on the board, so that they'll be ready for the storm that is to come.

This is the direct opposite of the tactical style of play. Tactical gameplay involves complicated, complex moves that involve the very mechanics of the pieces ( how they move and operate ).
In other words, clever, properly-calculated combinations are the foundation of tactical Chess. You're gonna have to be very, very good at calculations in order to play around with the tactics involved in this style, however.

I plan to balance out my skills, combining the best of my tactical weapons with the subtlety of positional play.
Hazwan and Ashman seem to know a great deal about positional play. Perhaps I'll learn from them when I return to school tomorrow.

I too have a tiny bit of experience in positional gameplay, having developed several strategies from the passive benefits of the Caro-Kann/Slav Defense.
But I've yet to perfect my positional play.
I'm still, as of now, a very tactical player.
I hope Hazwan and Ashman will be able to teach me the ways of positional gameplay.

Well, that's it for now.

May the Force be with you...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Trip to FRIM!

What better way to top off the year 2009 than with a family trip to the Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia ( FRIM )?
This is exactly what my family and I did on the final day of 2009, which was yesterday.

Reality check:
1. Today's the first day of the year 2010!
2. School's gonna start next Monday, which is 3 days from now.
Scary? Or exciting?

Okay, anyway, back to the main story.
I went to FRIM yesterday.
We arrived at around 3pm. At 3.15pm, we started walking along a path called the "Rover Track".

The path was quite long, and was honestly, rather uneventful.
You want to know why?

The only thing you get to see there are trees. Thousands of trees. Millions of trees. Trees as far as the eye could see!
In fact, I think I had a bout of "deja vu" at one point during the walk!
Well, I guess that's why they call it the FOREST Reserve Institute of Malaysia.

Alright, I took some pictures with my 3.2 megapixel handphone camera.
Some of the pictures are also taken by my father using his handphone camera.
Most of the pictures involve, yup, you guessed it - trees!
Here they are:

Guess who?

Look at that long, winding path...It looks like it goes on forever...

The forest canopy - resembles a weird, ornate kaleidoscope of some kind...
I have no idea why I took this picture. It could be because of the flowing water in the foreground, I guess.

I have to admit, I like this picture. Those sunbeams really ooze atmosphere.

More trees!

Even more trees!

You won't believe how much my brother was sweating at this point!

When we finally exited the "Rover Track", we found ourselves at a structure known as the "Malay Teahouse".
We walked inside. It turns out that the interior of the building is modelled to look like an old, authentic Malay teahouse...
There were tonnes of colonial stuff, such as British-like coffee canisters and an old gramophone.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something.
Just as we were exiting the "Rover Track", my father found a giant ant!
We could tell it was a giant ant, because a smaller, normal ant was scurrying around it when we took a closer look.

Astonishingly, the ant was stock still for some reason, and we figured it was a great opportunity to snap a picture.
I tried to take the picture of the ant with my handphone, but it was too blurry, so my father used his 5.0 megapixel handphone camera instead.
Here are the pictures of the giant ant and the "Malay Teahouse":

The giant ant. We were lucky it wasn't scurrying all over the place, or we would have never been able to take this picture!

Ignore my Jurassic Park shirt and shift your attention to the "Malay Teahouse" signboard!

The gramophone makes this picture look very authentic and colonial, no?

After we left the "Malay Teahouse", we walked along the main road towards the Information Centre.
My father asked the lady at the information counter about the location of the waterfalls, which was our next destination.

We headed there, and I just managed to take a quick picture of the waterfall. It was rather difficult to do so because I was taking the picture on a rather steep and narrow flight of steps.

After that, we left the waterfalls and headed for the car park.
Along the way, I took a few more pictures of some interesting-looking trees.

This isn't as breath-taking as Angel Falls, but it will do...

Looks very European-ish, doesn't it?

Believe it or not, it's a bamboo tree.

At about 5pm, we reached the car park.
We got into the car and headed for home.
But unfortunately, there was a massive traffic jam, so by the time we finally got home, it was already 6pm.
I was so tired. I actually planned to type this post as soon as I got home yesterday, but I was too tired to do anything.

Well, that's what I did on the last day of 2009...
Oh well...

Ummm, oh yeah, I finally posted my video "Andrew vs Alvyn" on YouTube!
I also posted it on Facebook too.
You can go and check it out on YouTube by clicking on the link under my "Jump To Lightspeed..." link list.
Of for you lazy people out there, you can just click here:
Andrew vs Alvyn - Lightsaber Duel

Of course, you could just scroll down and watch my video in my previous post.
But the downside is that you won't get to watch it in fullscreen...

Well, I guess this is it for now.

May the Force be with you...