Yee Soon Wei (R) during his
match against Dzhumaev Marat
of Uzbekistan in Incheon,
South Korea, yesterday.
Picture: Courtesy of Tahir
Yee Soon Wei lost his opening match of the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games yesterday, but the country's top-ranked chess player has nothing to be ashamed of. Yee went up against Grandmaster Dzhumaev Marat of Uzbekistan in the first of his seven rounds in the men's classical event, and despite the loss against the vastly experienced opponent Marat has been playing for 30 years compared to Yee's 10 the World Chess Federation/FIDE Master (FM) remains in strong spirits.
"I realise I need to play faster," said Yee.
"It's a good warm-up for the upcoming matches," added Yee, who will now face the Maldives' Hassan Mohamed in today morning's second round action.
Yee's third round opponent in the afternoon will only be made known after the end of second round play at Yonsei University's International campus.
Yee headed into yesterday's match hoping for a favourable draw, but seeded 34th, had to play the ninth seed Marat a player who won the prestigious Campomanes Memorial Grandmaster Open in Brunei last year.
Marat and national coach Tahir Vakhidov represented Uzbekistan at chess competitions in the past and it was obvious that Marat has a good camaraderie with the coach and his brightest pupil, chatting amicably with the duo as he went through some post-match analysis with them at the training room.
"It was a very interesting game with many complicated situations and strategies," said Marat. "He made the correct moves, but it took time But maybe if he was quicker, he'd make the wrong move.
"That's the problem with chess. But he's a young player so it's alright, "he added.
Vakhidov was grateful his compatriot spent the time analysing the game with Yee, and after a few minutes the trio had deduced that one reason Yee lost was because he hadn't seen a move where Marat sacrificed the pawn for the initiative.
"It was an unexpected move. Only a high-level player would make that," said Vakhidov, a GM himself.
"That's why it's important to play against stronger players and get their opinion after the game.
"This way, you make mistakes and learn from them so you know what to do in the future."