Sunday, June 26, 2016

MATCH WITH BULLDOGS TEAM JUN 24

 Thomson Chess Club hosted Bulldogs Team on June 24 at the Club Room. The friendly match was played over 12 boards based on 15 10 time control. Bulldogs fielded a very strong lineup of Filipino expatriates for this match. I took the opportunity to invite some senior members and also some inactive adult players with 2 juniors to pit their skills against the visitors. Tan Poh Heng volunteered to be match arbiter.


                            



Round 1 was in progress and we had a rare visitor in NM Oey Liang Hien, a former Champion who donated his copy of Chess Informant each time he finished it. Others came by like Warren and Ashton Chia who was curious to know who won. The visitors were White on all boards for Rd 1, with a score of 4.5 - 7.5.  There were many interesting games and it was a surprise the inactive adults held their own against the seasoned Filipinos!



One of the reasons for organising this match is to get a feel for the possible setup of an adult chess league in Singapore, which can only work if we can coax inactive players to return to play. I am glad that with the good press coverage over the recent weeks, many have rekindled their interest to come back, which I believe is unprecedented since the last Chess explosion we had was in the 80s. With more centres sprouting and the recruitment of more volunteers, we can  rebuild the Community Club Chess centres that once thrived with several players young and old to play rather than compete. Expanding the network of chess playing centres and rejuvenating the chess club culture is what makes Singapore a true chess-playing nation, which may then set the path for professional chess to be introduced when the conditions are ripe. 


After a temporary setback the visitors regrouped and decided to stick to the same board order while I made some changes to Thomson's. Rd 2 ended with a 8 - 4 victory for Bulldogs, bringing the total score 12.5 - 11.5 in favour of Bulldogs. What matters is the great friendly spirit fostered and promise of more matches to come. 

To that, we celebrate!

 




SIGLAP SOUTH CC CHESS OPENS 3 JULY


SCF's initiative of having Chess@East has finally taken off with the launch of the new Siglap South CC. This takes place every Sunday from 3 to 6pm at the second floor activity room.

There will be 5 sets available for players and more equipment coming should the numbers increase. For residents staying in the East, here's your chance to bring your kids or yourself to have some friendly games.

Special thanks go to the CCMC for providing the premises and the admin. Have fun!

Friday, June 17, 2016

WHERE TO PLAY CHESS IN SINGAPORE?

Mondays

Nanyang Community Club
60 Jurong West Street 91, Singapore 649040
From 7pm

Tuesdays
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Wednesdays

Asia Square Meetup
Asia Square Tower 1 Foyer, 8 Marina View #01-05 Singapore 018960
From 6.30pm till 9.30pm

Thursdays
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Fridays

Thomson Community Club Level 3
194 Upper Thomson Rd Singapore 574339
From 7.30pm till 10pm

Saturdays

SportsHub Library
4 Stadium Walk, Singapore Sports Hub, 397697
11am - 2pm

Sundays

Queenstown Community Club
365 Commonwealth Ave Singapore 149732
From 3pm

Siglap South Community Club (starting 3 July 2016)
6 Palm Road , Singapore 456441
From 3pm

BEGINNINGS OF A CHESS RENAISSANCE?

The two reports in the Straits Times on chess in the community here did cause a stir among several dormant members, some of which I have not seen for years!


As I promised earlier, the Asia Square meetup was featured in the June 9 edition of the Straits Times. Playing chess for the last decade or so has been predominately a junior activity as most adults are busy with career and family to indulge in the game. However, it takes an enterprising Bradley to lug a few chess sets and doggedly lay the tables week after week to create the spectacle that we see below:


This spectacle has caused waves on social media and I've read many comments from once active tournament players and former school-team representatives who 're excited enough to come on down and have a few moves with the other like-minded executives around the CBD. There were not enough sets to go around so some have left but promised to return. What's even more encouraging - a few women too joined in (albeit they were former players for their schools).

Having mingled with most of the regulars, these are chess enthusiasts who do follow the happenings of the chess world and are keeping up with the latest trends in chess-play. Many have gone on to playing in SCF standard events as well. Hence the adult scene is now undergoing a buzz and hopefully we may soon see the makings of chess league  for executives. 

The school scene also received attention from the press, admittedly after several years of media-isolation even though the events that were to be covered were of larger scale that the one featured below. 


All it takes now is for the Ministry of Education to recognise Chess not just as a Club and Society activity but to elevate its status as a Think Sport and accord school colours for its participants. As more and more children are enrolling in chess classes and taking part in tournaments, Community Clubs such as Nanyang CC, Siglap South CC have started offering rooms for chess-playing sessions along with  the current ones like Thomson CC and Toa Payoh West. Just one more in the North and we should have good chess presence all around the island. More community projects are in the pipeline to bring the game to the masses so do watch this space. 

Are we soon witnessing the buildup of another chess renaissance since the last one from 1976-1984? That depends mainly on the driving force for change and the rallying from the community - it does take 2 to tango. More arbiters, volunteers and trainers are required in this journey. It's time to unite. Git'd up!

Monday, May 16, 2016

FIDE TRAINER'S SEMINAR 2016 12-15 MAY


In our efforts to beef up training personnel to meet the rising demands from schools and parents, the FIDE Trainer's Seminar attracted 27 participants this time. Lecturer FST GM Thomas Luther flew in 2 days before to prepare for the event, assisted by National Coach GM Bong Villamayor and myself.

The trainees come from a vast spectrum, from high rated players and current trainers to parents of chess playing children. Most of them had participated in the SCF Instructor's Course and took on a bigger challenge to vie for the FIDE trainer titles.

The 15 hr course was conducted over 4 days on weekday evenings and weekends to accommodate the participants' schedules. There were at least 6 on the waiting list but we could not accommodate them as the room was already full.

It was not all work and no play...


Once again we thank FST Thomas Luther for his guidance and all participants who signed up for the course, paving the way for more such seminars to be conducted for those wanting to enter into the chess training community. Welcome!

Monday, May 2, 2016

SCF INSTRUCTOR'S COURSE

Conducted by National Coach GM Bong Villamayor, the course was well attended by many enthusiasts, parents and also teachers who wanted to learn insights on how to approach the teaching of the game to beginners.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

THOMSON CHESS FIESTA 2016

The THOMSON CHESS FIESTA 2016 will take place on May 28 and 29 just before the June holidays begin.

Please download the registration forms here