Isn't Life Tricky?

A few days ago, my friend bitterly told me about her friend who began to change. And after a while, the story actually reminded me of one endgame position study which very aptly describes my friend's situation. It even surprised myself because I'm actually not someone who likes to connect life's issue with our beloved sport, chess.

The endgame position that I'm happy to show here is taken from the book "Dvoretsky Endgame Manual", one of the must-read endgame books for every chess player. Enjoy! :)

Svacina - Muller, Wien 1941 
Black cannot capitalize on the active position of his king. He thought up an amusing psychological trap: retreating his king instead.

1...¢c4 [1...g4 2.¢e1 ¢c2 3.¢e2=; 1...f4 2.gxf4 gxf4 3.exf4=] 2.¢c2 ¢b5 Black attempts to trap opponent and he succeeded! 3.¢b3 

3... ¢c6 4.¢b4 ¢d6 5.¢b5 ¢d7 6.¢c5 ¢e6 7.¢c6?

And it worked! White, having no idea what his opponent was up to, naively marched his king deep into enemy territory - no doubt, he was already expecting to win. But now, Black plays the pawn breakthrough. 7...g4! [7...h4 8.gxh4 gxh4 9.¢c5 f4 10.exf4 ¢f5 11.¢xd5 ¢xf4 12.¢c5 e3 ( 12...h3? 13.gxh3 ¢f3 14.d5 ¢xf2 15.d6 e3 16.d7 e2 17.d8£ e1£ 18.£h4++-) 13.fxe3+ ¢xe3! 14.d5 ¢f2 15.d6 ¢xg2 16.d7 h3 17.d8£ h2= Minev] 8.¢c5 f4! 9.exf4 [9.gxf4 h4 … h3–+; 9.¢c6 h4 10.gxh4 g3–+]

9...h4! 10.gxh4 g3 11.fxg3 e3 0–1

Not only life, our opponents are (almost) always tricky. Beware!


I'm Back

Hi all, it's been a while since I last blogged. I'll tell you what this all about. At the beginning of this month, I was preoccupied by a chess tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The result was not too bad, at least I won a 15 rating points. After that, I have to go back to the training preparation for the SEA Games which to be held in Indonesia in November. Our coach demands us (my teammates and I) to do physical exercise every day even though our time is also largely consumed by chess. As a result, I saw my body look even thinner this week, not bad :)

Lately I try to spend the book The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The book focuses on success and the hard work, social context and cultural background that explains why some people excel and others do not. A very good one, no wonder it has become a bestseller since the very first it printed to public. As soon as I finish reading this book, I'll be back to read the writings of Barbara Cartland or her successors who also wrote about the historical romance theme. I need some entertainment among my daily routines and books are just perfect!

Next month there will be Indonesia International Chess Open Tournament on Oct 12th-19th. I heard a lot of good players come from overseas as if who doesn't interest with USD 10.000 cash prize? I'm really looking forward to it, not only because of the tournament itself, but I'll also catch up with some foreign friends whom I haven't met for so long. 

So this is it, people. I'll try to upload a photo or 2 in my next post. Wish you have a good day! :) 

1 Syawal 1432 H

The essential meaning of each religion is to answer the question "Why do I live and what is my attitude towards the infinite world around me?" No single religion, from the most sophisticated to the most primitive, which does not make the definition of people's attitudes toward the world as a baseline.

At the core of every religion lies a simple truth that unites. Although the Persians wear tavoid, Jews wear hats, Christians make the sign of the cross, Muslims have a symbol of the crescent, we must remember that it is beyond the symbolic.
Common core of all religions is love of neighbor, and this is what was asked by Jesus, Manuf, Zoroaster, Buddha, Moses, Socrates, St. Paul, and Mohammed.

Happy Ied, my Muslim friends!

Pengaplikasian Iman

Apakah gunanya, saudara-saudaraku, jika seorang mengatakan bahwa ia mempunyai iman, padahal ia tidak mempunyai perbuatan? Dapatkan iman itu menyelamatkan dia? Jika seorang saudara atau saudari tidak mempunyai pakaian dan kekurangan makanan sehari-hari, dan seorang dari antara kamu berkata: "Selamat jalan, kenakanlah kain panas dan makanlah sampai kenyang!", tetapi ia tidak memberikan kepadanya apa yang perlu bagi tubuhnya, apakah gunanya itu? Demikian juga halnya dengan iman: Jika iman itu tidak disertai perbuatan, maka iman itu pada hakekatnya adalah mati.... Jadi kamu lihat, bahwa manusia dibenarkan karena perbuatan-perbuatannya dan bukan hanya karena iman... Sebab seperti tubuh tanpa roh adalah mati, demikian jugalah iman tanpa perbuatan-perbuatan adalah mati.

Yakobus 2:14-18, 24, 26


If you do not believe that in the beginning of your life comes from the soul, why do you look for it somewhere else, think you could find a soul to it elsewhere? Those who behave like this is like ones who lit a lantern in the middle of the bright sunlight.

Do not be afraid to break free from everything that is bothering your attention, everything is material, everything that can be seen or felt. The more you purify the spiritual core of your faith, the stronger your faith.

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.

And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing. 

And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth 

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.

Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded. 

For we know in part and we prophecy in part. 
But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded.  
When I was an infant,
I spoke as an infant,
I reckoned as an infant; 

when I became [an adult],
I abolished the things of the infant.  

For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known. 
But now remains
faith, hope, love, 

these three; 
but the greatest of these is love.


Jane Austen is a well known and much-loved English author. Her fans today number in the millions (me included) and since the advent of motion pictures, her novels have been turned into film at an almost regular pace. Though just having publish a mere six novels, those few works have become the basis for the true romance story since their appearance on the literary scene in the early 1800's.

Today, Jane Austen is as popular as ever and revered as much as any literary figure in history.


Father: Reverend Mr. George Austen
Mother: Cassandra (Leigh) Austen


James (1765-1819) - became the vicar of Sherborne St. John
George (1766-1838) - thought to be epileptic, deaf and mute; sent away to live with care-taking family
Edward (1767-1852) - inherited wealth from uncle and aunt, toured Europe for four years
Henry (1771-1850) - acted as literary agent to Jane; served in the Oxfordshire militia
Cassandra (1773-1845) - only other daughter in family; Jane's confidant
Francis (1774-1865) - opened up Chawton cottage to the Austen girls; served in the Royal Navy
Charles (1779-1852) - served in the Royal Navy


Aunt (father’s sister): Philadelphia (Austen) Hancock
Cousin (later sister-in-law): Elizabeth (Hancock) Capot, Comtesse de Feuillide.

When was Jane Austen Born?

On Saturday, December 16, 1775

Where was Jane Austen Born?

In Hampshire, England at the Steventon rectory

When Did Jane Austen Die?

On Friday, July 18, 1817

Where Did Jane Austen Die?
In Winchester, England

Where is Jane Austen Buried?
At Winchester Cathedral in Winchester, England

How Did Jane Austen Die?

Though historically, many have accepted Addison's Disease or Hodgkin's Lymphoma as the primary cause of her death, new research suggests it may have been disseminated tuberculosis passed through exposure to cattle or unpasteurized milk - more common in Austen's time.

A watercolour and pencil sketch of Jane Austen, believed to be drawn from life by her sister Cassandra (c. 1810)

Love Revealed, Love Enduring... a biography of the Great Jane Austen

Though it has only been relatively recent that her work has become mainstream - thanks in part to required readings in school, reproductions of her classical works at the bookstores and television and cinema productions covering her novels- the lure of the romantic period that Jane Austen created in the minds of men and women alike has resonated for decades. Her careful selection of characters placed in ordinary positions of their time, only to develop into a more dramatic situation by the turn of the last page, has kept readers revisiting these ageless classics time and again. Having read her works, one is left wondering who Jane Austen really was - how close were the predicaments in these works to her real life? What kind of woman was she in the world that she lived in? Did she ever find the love so elusive in her own novels?

Jane Austen came into the world on December 16th, 1775. Born to Reverend George Austen of the Steventon rectory and Cassandra Austen of the Leigh family. She was to be their seventh child and only the second daughter to the couple. Her siblings were made up largely of brothers, which in some ways forced a close relationship with her elder sister, Cassandra (not to be confused with the mother whom also carried the name Cassandra - but further referred to as Mrs. Austen). In order of birth, the Austen children were as follows: James, Edward, Henry, Cassandra, Francis, Jane, George and Charles. Of all the brothers, it would be Henry to which Jane would form the closest bond with, playing the part of Jane's literary agent in the later stages of her writing.

Growing up, the Austen children lived in an environment of open learning, creativity and dialogue. Mr. Austen worked away in the rectory and also tried his hand at farming on the side to earn more money for the growing family. Additionally, he would take on teaching roles within the home to outside children for additional funds. The Austen children would all grow within this close-knit family with Jane herself forming an exceptional bond with her father.

In 1783, at the age of 8, Jane and her sister Cassandra were sent off to boarding school for their formal educations. Education would consist of the appropriate teachings of the time, which included foreign language (mainly French), music and dancing. Returning home, the rest of Jane's education centered mainly around what her father and brothers could teach her and, of course, what she could learn from her own reading. As Mr. Austen was part of the church, he kept a large collection of literature in his home library. This library was open to Jane and Cassandra as well and the two made extensive use of it in both reading and writing endeavors, with Jane taking the lead in both. Mr. Austen fed Jane's interest in writing by supplying his books, paper and writing tools to allow her to explore her creative side. By all accounts, life inside the Austen homestead was a casual environment where many an attempt at humor was made with some very good debating going on on the side.

It became quite common for the family to invest time and energy into making home-based productions of existing plays or writing and acting out their own creations. One can only assume that it was in these exercises that the true talent of Jane Austen was being nurtured - through observation, improvisation, acting and participation.

1787 rolled along in time to see Jane start taking more of an interest in generating her own works and keeping them in notebooks for future reference. These collections consisted of stories and poems that allowed Jane to touch upon topics of interest and reflect the times. Collectively, these works became the Juvenilia and made up three whole notebooks. By 1789, Jane penned the dark, satirical comedy Love and Friendship, and began to lean towards writing seriously. Four years time would see her delve into play writing in the form of Sir Charles Garandison or the Happy Man, a comedy centered around the works she was forced to read in schools and consisted of six full acts. Unfortunately, the idea fell to naught and was abandoned for another idea that later became Susan, a novel told in the epistolary format - that is, a story told as a series of letters. Sometime before 1796, members of the Austen family recalled Jane completing the work entitled Elinor and Marianne to which she would then read aloud for the amusement of the Austen family.

In December of 1795, a nephew of nearby neighbors began placing several visits to Steventon. His name was Tom Lefroy, a student studying in London to be a barrister. Jane and Tom began spending much time with one another and it was noticed by both families. This marks the one documented instance of Jane Austen admitting to falling in love and spent a great deal of energy in writing to her sister Cassandra about their relationship. Unfortunately for the pair, the family of Tom Lefroy reviewed any forthcoming engagement as highly impractical as Tom was being supported externally by family members whilst he was in school and planning for his own practice. Jane herself, and her family for that matter, had no more to offer in the pairing. As such, Lefroy's family intervened and sent Tom away. Even when in town again, every effort to keep Tom from Jane was made and Jane was never to see her love again for the rest of her life.

With their formal educations completed at the boarding school, Jane and Cassandra return home permanently and Jane sets out to pen the work First Impressions. Little did she know at the time that this single work would become her most popular and enduring piece, becoming the story we now know as Pride & Prejudice. The first draft was completed sometime in 1799.

Always the supportive father, Mr. Austen takes a serious step to help his talented daughter succeed. With one of her works, he attempted to have the piece published through Thomas Cadell, a publisher based in London. The attempt fell flat as Cadell was quick to reject the work, not even bothering to open the package. It remains unknown if Jane knew of her father's attempt at assisting her in her career.

Jane returned to work on Elinor and Marianne, completing all revisions to the story by 1798. The revisions are quite substantial in that she removed the epistolary point of view of the storytelling and instituted a more traditional 3rd person. With the work up to her new standard now, she began serious work on Susan. Susan is the work that would go on to become Northanger Abbey. But before work on Susan was completed, Jane decided to revisit the short play she had attempted all those years before - Sir Charles Grandison or the Happy Man. In this go-round, Jane saw her first play to completion all while finding time to finish Susan.

As with most Decembers in the Austen family history, the December of 1800 brought about some great news. Jane's father George announced that he was retiring from the clergy, an announcement that seems to take the Austen family by complete surprise. This meant that their stay in Steventon was all but over, much to the dismay of Jane, whom had formed an attachment to the one and only home she has known her entire life. Now at age 27, she and the entire Austen family moved to the town of Bath for the Austen parent's retirement life.

Now we come to the part of the story where Jane's novels meet real life. Enter the real life character in the form of Harris Bigg-Wither, a childhood friend of the family and of Jane's. Once again in the month of December - this time in 1802 - Jane receives her one and only known proposal of marriage from Mr. Bigg-Wither. Sensing the practical measure of both their situations, Jane agrees to the marriage. Bigg-Withers is due to inherit a sizeable amount of real estate and is well off. His one negative seems to be Jane's indifference to the man as a whole. She expressed no true love for him, no affection whatsoever, but the convenience of being provided for and for her family's future as well seemed to have dictated her acceptance of the proposal. In a turn very much like one of her penned characters, however, Jane revoked her acceptance the next day. In a letter to her niece some years later, a family member seeking relationship advice from Jane, Jane makes a pivotal comment in her writing that is a summary of many of her stories - her advice to the niece is simply not to wed if the affection is not there. This revelation is a shining insight into the mind of Ms. Austen, seemingly taken out of the very pages of one of her novels, where her heroines did not to marry for money or power, but for love.

In 1803, brother Henry visited a London publisher by the name of Benjamin Crosby to help push the Susan novel into publication. The copyright for the work is sold for 10 pounds to Crosby with the promise that the piece will be published. Unfortunately, Crosby never fulfilled his end of the bargain in any acceptable timeframe and a tug of war over control of the copyright will go on for some time. Nevertheless, Jane continues work, this time on a piece entitled The Watsons.

January 21st of 1805 brought about startling changes to the landscape of the Austen world. Beloved father George Austen - already falling quickly ill - died to the shock of the family. This period of time forced Jane to put off work on The Watsons indefinitely as the Austen family is thrown into a kind of crisis. The Austen brothers all agree to help support Mrs. Austen and her two daughters though the girls are forced to live an unsettled life of constant moving and renting out their living quarters. Eventually, the women move in with brother Frank who later offers up a cottage on a nearby property to the girls. This cottage - known as Chawton cottage - would rejuvenate the 33 year-old Austen into a period which she will made great strides in her work, nearly as great as her younger years.

To begin with, Jane penned an angry letter to Benjamin Crosby, the publisher in London with a hold on the Susan copyright. Since the work had yet to be published by Mr. Crosby, Jane submits a new revised version of the novel to force Crosby's hand to either publish the work or return the copyright to her so she may find another, more willing, publisher. Crosby agrees to Jane's demand, though in a shrewd business move, allows Jane access to the copyright of Susan only if she can pay the equal 10 pounds back to him for it. With the Austen family financial future severely in doubt at this point, Jane was forced to decline the offer for the time being, leaving Susan out of her control for still more time.

Life in Chawton cottage proved to be a godsend for the women. Now fully settled in a quiet environment, Jane saw it fit to continue her work. Her sister and mother even acknowledged her talent and took away some of her required chores to allow her to work unfettered. This she did in a very private way, but still more productively than ever before.

Henry Austen, working on a burgeoning banking career on his own with help from his brother's investing, doubled as Jane's literary agent and approached London publisher Thomas Egerton with the manuscript for Sense & Sensibility. Egerton agreed to publish the piece and fulfilled his end of the deal. The novel is published in October of 1811 and comes out to favorable reviews. The piece is a financial success for the family, the first edition selling out completely by1813.

Egerton then took the manuscript of Pride & Prejudice and published this second work for public consumption in January of 1813. This time around, Egerton put a fair amount of time and money into marketing Jane's work and the novel was an instant success with the public and critics alike. The success is so great that a second edition of printing is quickly ordered by October.

Mansfield Park quickly followed, Egerton striking while the iron was hot. The piece was received in luke warm fashion by reviewers, but the public could not get enough of Jane Austen. Another modest monetary success greeted the Austen family. In fact, Mansfield Park, with all copies sold, became the best selling and most profitable of Ms. Austen's works at that time. In an effort to bring even more success to her novels, Jane left the services of Egerton in favor of a more well known London publisher, John Murray. Murray would be the final publisher to work with Austen before her untimely death.

Under Murray's watch, Emma, a second edition of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published. Emma arrived with critical success, but the second edition printing of Mansfield Park is not so successful, basically negating the earnings Jane received from the former. At this time, the banking venture pursued by brother Henry failed, and along with it, the fortunes of brothers Edward, James and Frank. This left the Austen girls - and family for that matter - in a precarious financial position. Jane continued writing, even more dedicated to complete a working first draft of The Elliots, though this work would later be more recognized as Persuasion. It is at this time that Henry takes it upon himself to repurchase the copyright of Susan from Crosby & Company and does so for the 10 pounds originally paid. The title of the work, however, is now changed to Catherine which led some historians to believe that there may have been another novel out in print at the time with the same title of Susan.

At the beginning 1816, Jane noticed a decline in her health, but disregarded it in favor of continuing the works she started. With so much happening, Jane's health declined quickly with each passing day. Her family began to take note. Though progressively unwell, Jane maintained an upbeat attitude and played off her illness to family and friends, all the while rewriting the final two chapters of The Elliots to her liking. The piece is eventually finished and, by January 1817, Jane is hard at work on a new project entitled The Brothers. Twelve chapters of the work are completed before her illness takes a more serious toll on Jane. The simple act of walking at age 42 became a chore and energy was greatly exhausted performing the simple tasks of a given day. By April, Jane was confined to her bed and her work suffered as well.

In May of 1817, brother Henry and sister Cassandra looked to get medical help for their ailing sister. They escorted Jane to Winchester to seek medical treatment for an illness that - at that time - could not possibly have had a cure. On July 18th, 1817, Jane Austen died in Winchester and with her, she took the conclusions of her unfinished works. With his connections, Henry worked to have his sister buried at the Winchester Cathedral.

Not content with seeing her final completed works go unpublished, Henry and Cassandra worked at getting Northanger Abbey and Persuasion published through Murray as a set collection. Within this work, however, Henry penned a most endearing account of the author of the works - who at this point was still nameless to the world. He unveiled her as Jane Austen, connecting her to her work for the first time in her career.

In many ways, Jane Austen embodied the very strong-natured, head-strong women that were her stories. They came from different circumstances with different backgrounds, yet all sought the same thing in true love. It is an irony that such a thing eluded the great Ms. Austen herself, but perhaps to the betterment of her stories and ours. In the end, we are left with what are truly timeless pieces of art. Despite penning just six completed works, she has spawned a legion of followers that devour every word she wrote. In her life, and even after her death, but most importantly through her works, she has left all readers with the fanciful notion of love revealed, love enduring...

List of works:


* Sense and Sensibility (1811)
* Pride and Prejudice (1813)
* Mansfield Park (1814)
* Emma (1815)
* Northanger Abbey (1817) (posthumous)
* Persuasion (1817) (posthumous)

Juvenilia – Volume the First[121]

* Frederic & Elfrida
* Jack & Alice
* Edgar & Emma
* Henry and Eliza
* The Adventures of Mr. Harley
* Sir William Mountague
* Memoirs of Mr. Clifford
* The Beautifull Cassandra
* Amelia Webster
* The Visit
* The Mystery
* The Three Sisters
* A beautiful description
* The generous Curate
* Ode to Pity

Juvenilia – Volume the Second

* Love and Freindship
* Lesley Castle
* The History of England
* A Collection of Letters
* The female philosopher
* The first Act of a Comedy
* A Letter from a Young Lady
* A Tour through Wales
* A Tale

Juvenilia – Volume the Third

* Evelyn
* Catharine, or the Bower

Short fiction

* Lady Susan (1794, 1805)

Unfinished fiction

* The Watsons (1804)
* Sanditon (1817)

Other works

* Sir Charles Grandison (1793, 1800)[120]
* Plan of a Novel (1815)
* Poems
* Prayers
* Letters


Yaroslav Zherebukh wins Cappelle

Ukrainian player Yaroslav Zherebukh took clear first place with 7.5/9 in the 26th Cappelle-la Grande Open, France, took place 13th-20th February 2010.

Pl Nom Elo Cat. Fede Ligue Pts Tr. Perf.
1 g ZHEREBUKH Yaroslav 2527 CadM UKR 7,5 43 2734
2 g KRYVORUCHKO Yuriy 2602 SenM UKR 7 43 2695
3 g RADULSKI Julian 2577 SenM BUL 7 43 2683
4 g NEGI Parimarjan 2621 CadM IND 7 43 2663
5 g GUREVICH Mikhail 2597 SenM TUR 7 42,5 2743
6 g AMIN Bassem 2544 SenM EGY 7 42,5 2724
7 g EDOUARD Romain 2608 JunM FRA 7 41,5 2705
8 g ARUTINIAN David 2566 SenM GEO 7 40,5 2589
9 g DZIUBA Marcin 2587 SenM POL 7 40 2686
10 g KRAVTSIV Martyn 2543 JunM UKR 7 38 2556

See full standings

Le Quang Liem wins Aeroflot, qualifies for Dortmund

Le Quang Liem Wednesday won the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Like at the Moscow Open, the grandmaster from Vietnam finished on an undefeated 7/9, which this time was enough for clear first and qualification for the Dortmund tournament later this year. The 9th Aeroflot Open took place February 9-17 2010 in Moscow, Russia. It’s one of the biggest tournaments (and certainly the strongest) of the calendar, and as always sponsored by airline company Aeroflot and organized by the Russian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Committee on Tourism of the Municipality of Moscow. The festival had the same prize fund as in 2009 amounting a total of 180,000 EUR (which includes the prizes for the World Blitz Qualification Tournament which will be held afterwards).

See full article