Thursday, December 16, 2010


Sometimes I wonder to myself what would be the most satisfying moment for a chess trainer? Is it the huge amounts of money that he can get from dishing out lessons, or rather, just the joy of the students' faces when they have achieved their goals?

So far, 2010 has been a good year for me. Most of the students that were with me for more than a year have achieved mostly 50-60 rating point increases. The ones that joined me this year, some for just 5 months or less, have also performed well.

I would rather not mention their names (mainly to protect the innocent) but display their photos.

S has been with me for more than 2 years now, he has seen steady improvement from the days of scoring 3 to 3.5 pts out of 7 back in 2008.  His latest  SCF rating stands 1358 as compared to 1008 when he started. 350 pts in 2 years. He has just scored 5.5/7 and finished 6th place out of 120 registered players at the recent Toa Payoh West CC Primary School section. 

The chief factor that propels him is his diligence. He has played over hundreds of online chess games, made many mistakes and learnt from them. Well, not always, but he did correct many of his bad habits he had prior to studying with me.

I had N recently for the last 3 months. Though he is only 8, he displays great determination to succeed and has the competitive instinct. His last result at the Cairnhill Under 8 tournament? 6/6! He won it and now he's really hungry for more.Though he scored 4/7 in the Toa Payoh West  Primary School section, last  Sunday ,in all fairness, there were games he had to play with U12 or U10 boys. That's really quite an achievement. 

SH (no photo) was a son of a long-time chess junior friend of mine who recently switched to private coaching. He has managed to score 5/7 at the Major Rapid section in the Cairnhill tournament. I was really amazed as he only averaged 3.5-4 pts for every tournament result previously. After a drastic change of opening repertoire, he plays now with confidence, though not completely tuned into the thought process I showed him as yet. But I'm sure that in time, he will be ok as he already possesses a good endgame foundation taught to him by his father. 

These are 3 of my most-improved students for this year and I want to commend them here for their good effort. Well done boys!

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