I've got several of my students to take part in this, with no expectations as I wanted them to enjoy playing after such a long break from chess because of the exams. In all, the stronger students did not disappoint, while others played to enjoy themselves in spite of the mistakes.
Shi Hao's game against the winner of the Open, Ashwin, was rather close from the opening to the middlegame. He had surprised Ashwin with the Danish Gambit which was declined. Generally when a player declines a gambit, it implies a psychological victory to the gambiteer but probably the more prudent choice when one is not prepared to enter the battle a pawn up. I viewed the game vaguely where White was training his heavy pieces on Black, thought it went well but was told later that Shi Hao lost. After a day's battle, Visakan came in 4th with 6/7 pts.
Joshua was very much himself, playing with his hands rather than his eyes on the board, made the usual mistakes but won some games against like-minded opponents. Tricia was still very much a beginner and had trouble viewing her opponent's threats. More online practice will be needed to overcome this deficiency.
The night before the tournament, Samuel was going through most of his opening lines with me to iron out any questions and doubts about the variations. Being my student for 4 years, Samuel had understood the importance of good preparation before good results can be obtained. Though he lost to Nathan Mar, he managed to draw against Nicholas Teo (which was a lucky result as he was losing). His final game was against Shi Hao.
I did not offer any advice but told them to play their best. The game was fiercely fought and Samuel achieved a winning attack, but he needed to go relief himself. Having to choose between losing some minutes running to the toilet in the thick of battle, he decided to concentrate on the game and won..at the expense of wetting his pants.
Yes, quite an eventful day it was, but everyone enjoyed themselves whether on the chessboard or outside (especially in Nicholas Low's case, who was more keen on his Angry Bird score than the chess score). There will be time to demand their best but then, there should also be time to just let them be.