Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blast from the Past


It was the year when ACS was dominating the InterSchool Team chess scene the last time in the 80's in the Under 18's. RI's Under 16 team won the National School's Team Championship U16 trophy, the U14s also did well. From 1982 till 1988, RI then swept the top honours in the National Junior and School Team Championships each year, with the exception in 1985 when CJC took the Under 18. Another photo from 1984:

What was the secret? The mentorship that Soh Kok Hong (on extreme left) and I (6th from right) provided, coming back to our Grange Road RI every Saturday afternoon in helping with the training of the boys during these years that made the difference. The bond between us and the boys gave them the necessary confidence to do their best and return with the titles.

One of my methods was to have the boys focus their games onto an empty chessboard and I would throw a book in the air that will hit the floor with a loud thud. The student that got distracted would be penalised, usually made to memorise a game. It was tough but we had fun.

One of my students I met on one of our Past vs Present matches told me that I punished him wrongfully because I commanded him to sit down and read 3 chapters of a book when he complained that he had backache. Years later, I learnt that he indeed had backache but he thanked me still - for I had taught him discipline.

1 comment:

  1. interesting blog, was surfing the net for local chess materials as my son wants to learn chess. by the way, your assertion that RI dominated till 1988 is incorrect.

    In 1987, ACS won the B and C division chess titles (i.e. lower and upper secondary). the next year, some of the team moved to NJC and in 1988, NJC won the A division title