Friday, December 30, 2016

COMING UP IN 1Q 2017

As we say goodbye to 2016, here's some of the confirmed events the public can look forward to and plan:

JANUARY

The Kickoff Rapid Chess tournament at Nanyang CC on 22 January. Details at SCF website

FEBRUARY

Thomson Chess Club Champion for members only on February 19. Details shall be announced on the Thomson Chess Club blog soon.

Siglap South CC Hong Bao Rapid tournament on February 26.

MARCH

The 69th National Schools taking place near 20-24 March at Tampines Hub. Details shall be announced later.

Other Centres like Thomson, Siglap South and Queenstown should resume their weekly Club activities after January 3rd. The Asia Square meetup continues each Wednesday with consistent crowds of 30+ players so its a good idea to bring your set and clock if you have.

Happy Chess in 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 REPORT CARD

Here's a summary report for all students who worked with me in 2016 and also new students that have just enrolled. I use this to monitor their progress and track their areas for improvement.


Nathaniel Cheng (3rd from right) started with me May 2016. In the space of 5 months, he has astonished many (including me) in his progress from finishing 35th in last year's Nee Soon East Chess Challenge to 3rd place in this year's National Age Group! I attribute this to constant practice and diligently going through my opening notes. He scored well in positions where he'd gotten advantage from good opening preparation. More needs to be done in his endgames which will form the basis for our work next year.


Jayden became my student since March 17 just before the 68th National Schools' Individuals, finishing 25th. He has generally good foundation, but tends to overestimate his own chances in analysis. Having reformed his repertoire to suit his playing style, he has made steady progress in his thought processes and achieve good scores after his East Asian debut. 7th place in the NAG, 40th in the Penang Open (6/9) and 66th in the 2nd SG Amateurs (5/9) rounded a bumper year in the course of 9 months. My wish for him is to manage his time well and to work harder in finding better candidate moves (in essence shaking off the habit of picking only 1).


This is Ryan's 2nd year with me and it has been a roller-coaster ride, with good and bad results but in all a great journey. Many a times he does not see the value of remembering opening moves and plays them in the wrong sequence with dire consequences. When he gets his act together in the face of  pressure to perform, he does very well. It took 2 major setbacks in between the KL and Penang Open to finally hit home the message that success can only come with hard work in remembering all lessons covered. The other valuable life lesson he learnt was to never give up when the chips are down - especially his last game at the Amateurs. Though the game was lost he hung on till he saw a mistake from his older opponent and converted it to a win. Thankfully we're past the turbulent learning curve and I am confident we see clearer skies ahead.


Joven's 2nd year with me has been consistent, startting the year with 6.5/9 for 29th place, then 7th place in the NAG (his best result in the NAG) but slipped to 4.5/9 for the Penang Open and 2nd Amateurs. I see it as a case of fitness, as both tournaments are gruelling and challenging in terms of stamina. Most of his games are positonal struggles so it is important to stay alert for 3 hours or more, which is physically demanding. Improving his fitness is key to better results. 


Leonard Loh started June 2015 and is a very quick learner. However, he has other interests which resulted in him spending not as much time on chess as he could have. He plays rather quickly and impulsively which often leads to gross errors.Not spending time at the board often means there will be moves that are missed or opportunities not seized. It will take more than just a few standard chess tournaments to correct this, but I am sure if he takes it upon himself to better his results next year by slowing down, it will materialise.

Sue Lyn finishing her PSLE and went back into play. She chose to play in the U14 category in the NAG as well as the National Womens' to find out where she stood after months of inactivity. Yes, there were signs of rustiness but these can be easily fixed.

Detailed results here.

2016 has been a year I'd like to do more for my students but involvement in the SCF has taken its toll. There were a few students I had to say goodbye to, much against my wish but sacrifices had to be made. For those leaving the pack in 2017, my sincere thanks to you for the years we'd worked. To those coming in, face the future with confidence - focus on your goals and let's achieve them together!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

EVENTS COMING UP

The last 2 months of 2016 promises lots of chess activities in Singapore!

The coming Admiralty CC tournament on Nov 27 will kickstart the season, followed by Toa Payoh West CC on Dec 4 and the Cairnhill Chess Festival on Dec 10-11 promising a hefty $700 first prize for the Open Section! After that comes the National Championships and the 2nd SG Amateur Championships on 17-23 Dec with the top 3 places given entry to the 2017 National Championships!

On the International front, the Asian Nations U14 will begin soon on 4 Nov and the Penang Heritage Open on 5-10 Dec. Many Singaporeans have made it an annual affair to take part and we see a healthy turnout this time for those keen on upping their ratings in Standard Chess in Penang.

2016 has been a vibrant year with 2017 even better .. watch this space!

NATIONAL AGE GROUP: HOW TO GET THERE

The QCD 33rd National Age Group Championships is being held this year at Bartley Secondary School on Jalan Bunga Rampai near the junction of Bartley Road and Upper Paya Lebar Road.


Drivers can enter via Joo Seng Road or Little Road along Upper Paya Lebar Road. For players taking the bus/MRT, you are requested to walk along Bartley Road till the intersection with Upper Paya Lebar Road. There is a small path that will take you  along Jalan Bunga Rampai and a 200m walk to the school gate. The tournament hall is on Level 2 and is fully air-conditioned.

The Black route above is for those alighting from CC12 (Bartley Station) while the Red route is for those coming from CC11 (Tai Seng station). The side gate to the school is not open as the distance from the side gate to the tournament hall is approximate to that of the Black route.

Drink stalls are open but not the food stalls so you need to scout along Upper Paya Lebar Rd (many stalls along Little Road - Pereira Rd) and there is a Breadtalk Food Republic near the Tai Seng station where there is the usual fast food 0.5 km from the school.

Players are advised NOT to loiter to other parts of the school when not in the tournament hall. There is hardly any space in the Hall so parents will have to wait at the School Canteen once the round starts.

Thanks to the QCD Group for helping with the venue which is more central to get to, plus the Tshirt, clipboards and pens for each player!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

RESULTS FROM ASIAN SCHOOLS

We've got a CM in Goh Zi Han for finishing 2nd in the U07 category, while Siddarth won the Blitz in the U09 Blitz tournament though he finished 7th in the standard.

A most commendable first time effort !

I reckon that both boys have never imagined that they will be leading the tournament up till Round 5! The pressure mounts after and it is certainly not easy to stay calm and alert in the last few rounds. Stamina and keeping oneself relax is paramount to make the final ascent to the Championship title. Most importantly, one should not worry too much about the placing then and mainly focus on the game in hand. Play your best. When the mind is distracted worrying about tournament standings, it cannot do its best. Physical fitness also plays a part toward the last rounds - it is like running a marathon ! When the body tires, it needs rest. A fresh mind can do more for the player than last minute preparation.

Lessons I hope the boys will take with them to the next international tournament.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

SG BOYS LEADING IN ASIAN SCHOOLS

Our 2 boys who are currently competing in the Asian Schools Chess Championship in Tehran, Iran are doing extremely well after 3 rounds. Zi Han at the U07 is on board 1 with 3/3 while Siddarth at the U09 is on board 2 with 3/3 as well. I am sure they are raising eyebrows now among the Indians, Iranians and the Mongolians :-)


Keep up the good work boys! We're proud of you!