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.