Sunday, April 10, 2011


7 students took part in the just concluded Queenstown Age-Group with varying results. There were 2 prize winners, Nicholas Low who was 5th in the U10 and Matthew Sim who was 4th. The Primary Section was won by Ashvin Sivakumar while Ting JinYao won the Secondary Section.

 WIth my prize-winning students

Both got 4/7 pts. Dan Peng lost his last game to finish at 4/7, which is already great improvement considering that he did only 2.5pts at the National Schools Individual in March.

I was pleasantly surprised when my first-time participant student T  had Gregory Loh on the ropes on her first major chess game! She was totally winning but stalemated. T showed great composure, taking her time and diligently followed my instructions in recording her moves and looking at threats. She certainly has the temperament for chess if she pursues it with more fervour. 

For those who did not achieve the desired 4pts, they would need to examine the games to reflect on the typical mistakes which can be summarised as:

a. Unfamiliarity with the opening tabiya

b. Not being able to spot opponents' threats

c. Giving up when there's still fight left

d. Switching openings mid-way through the tournament

I believe many of these factors are related to their psyche of over-estimating the powers of the opponent and under-estimating their own. Therefore I will have to work on their confidence level when I next see them. Inadequate preparation may have been the chief contributor to the above factors.  Then again, there's many things to work on and not really enough time to handle every issue. Some things will have to wait and patience is called for.

It has been a fruitful day for most of them, for the most part they are now better aware of what it takes to be at the top. Passion and enthusiasm will top the list, followed by discipline and hard-work.


  1. Hi John,

    Thanks for mentioning the winners of the 2 sections. My son's name should be spelt as Ashvin.

  2. Hi John,

    On a completely unrelated matter although it relates to your theme of training of young children, i think based on your experience and knowledge it would be useful if you could give some suggestions as to how children in Singapore who are looking to get their first FIDE rating or to increase their FIDE ratings can go about doing this. I understand that there are FIDE rated tournaments around the neighbouring countries but it is difficult to find out more information.

    As for local tournaments i think readers already know that the SCF website provides a calendar which shows which are the FIDE-rated tournaments.

    Also perhaps once again based on your knowledge and experience it may be useful for readers if you could have a calendar of local chess competitions which do not appear on the SCF calendar. A prime example is the Thomson Cup. I am sure that there are other chess tournaments such as those organised by Cairnhill (and until this year Queenstown) which readers may not be aware unless by word of mouth from chess players or chess parents who have been around for a while and know the various less publicised tournaments.

  3. hi,

    Any idea why the chess results didnt publish the results of the 8th Queenstown Chess Competition 2011 yet?


  4. That depends whether the Queenstown organisers did send the results to SCF for publishing. The results will have to be submitted using a particular software called Swiss Manager so that it can be uploaded to the Net. If the organisers were using other software to make the pairings, then it will be difficult for SCF to show the results in their usual format. In this case a printed ranking list will have to do.

  5. Sorry for the late reply sivakumar - somehow this reply got logged into my spam box.

    As to FIDE rated competitions for juniors, I am not an advocate of promoting chess beyond the context. My contention is that there is no real need for local schoolchildren to excel at chess to a level where we need to send them for overseas competitions. I shall elaborate further in a new post.

    As to other tournaments not mentioned by SCF, I will of course publish them as and when the events are confirmed. Usually there is a lead time of at least a month so there is ample time to be informed and register.

    The SingaporeChessNews is also another information platform whereby interested players can drop in to retrieve forecasted events.