2011 marks my return to coaching the Victoria School team, back from 2004-7 days when the U16 managed to come in top 6 positions. Some of the older boys were playing for the JCs but they came back for a reunion photograph.
My best result was with the 2005 U-16 team (seen battling ACS I below):
Here we faced the Champions ACS(I), with none other than Jason Goh (now IM) on first board, the Lee brothers Wei Loong and Wei Cheng. Meeting the challenge was Heng Jun Kai (Sec 2!), Obey Wibinov from Indonesia, Ng Qing Yang and Roy Lau. This memorable encounter ended in a 4-0 whitewash for the VS boys, but what was shocking was not the result, but that at the first 20 moves, all boards were better for the VS boys! Jason had trouble defending the White side of a Benko Gambit, but experience told and Jun Kai fianlly succumbed. After he lost, the rest of the team lost steam and morale and started going under 1 by 1.
I had to give them a pep-talk to rally themselves and pull together for the last game against Maris Stella. Only a 4-0 will do to get them into 3rd position. We did well, leading 3-0 but unfortunately Obey lost on time in an unclear position. So they finished 5th - the best ever result in the decade for the U16 team.
After checking the performance of the current team (in 2009 they finished 6th in the U16 and 15th in the U14, but 11th in the U16and U14 in 2010), I have my work cut out this year then. I am looking forward to it.