Monday, January 2, 2012

STUDENTS AT THE SIYC

Shi Hao garnered points from the unrated players like himself but lost against the rated Indians and a very strong Chinese Zhou Xiangheng. 3 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses is a satisfactory result for his first International outing. Though 2 of the games could have been saved if he had studied the opening more and played slower in the first 10 moves, as he lost pieces due to simple tactics and was not familiar with the lines he played.
Hui Ling was the surprise of the group, getting 5.5 / 9. She even managed to win against Breasha Gupta of India  Though she scored only 0.5 from the first 2 days, she steeled herself to coast a winning streak of 5 wins till round 8. At the last game, she fell to an attack by Malaysia's Teh De Zen and lost. In spite of that, she had the best score out of my 6 students taking part. Her result came ahead of several Junior Squad trainees and for that, she should rightfully be very proud of her successful first International outing.
Though he managed a smile for this picture, nothing could be further from the truth that he had only 3.5 pts before the last round. Sam was hardworking throughout the tournament, preparing and working on the board longer than many of the other students and often last to finish, but the results were not rewarding. He would need to review his skills at the sight of the board to do better. For the effort he put in the games, he did get a gift of a chessbag from me despite the 3.5 pt result. A small setback, but a valuable lesson learnt in understanding what needs to be done. 
Adrian always had what it takes to finish at the top, but never realised his potential owing to imagined fears he had of his opponents. I was very mad at him for agreeing to a draw offer by Indonesia's FM Ivan Maximillan when the position was obviously winning for Adrian. Our preparations worked to a T and yet he was afraid to deliver the final blow. Poetic justice soon found its way in the form of facing Vietnamese FM Tran Tuan Minh and he duly lost under intense pressure to end at 5/9 in 14th position.  He will need to undergo tougher training in mental preparation if he is to do better in such tournaments in the future.     
Mitchell only started chess in November 2010 and took part in this competition with relatively little experience in terms of tournament games. Whatever his shortcomings  in terms of  tournament play,  he made up for it in terms of  hard work in preparation on his opening lines and studied diligently to perfect his understanding of the endgame. These came to good use when he managed to keep his cool under  attack from India's Aditya Lodha who had one stage was assaulting his King but blundered a piece in the skirmish. Mitchell managed to bring home the point at this critical round to end up 5/9 on 17th position, ahead of players such as  Benjam in  Yick and  Sa muel Tan who took part in more tournaments than he did. A most commendable effort  by this quietly confident student who I believe will outshine many of the talented boys simply because he loves chess and is  constantly improving.      
   
Nicholas's nerves gave way being his first International outing, which is understandable. He had the poorer of the draw , met and lost to Wong Yinn Loong in a French, Tommy Tan and Jerome Chan who were stronger. The game he should not have lost was against Keven Chua where he was up the exchange but lost a Rook in return for his hastiness to attack. Such lessons are painful but also beneficial for his growth. He can hold his own against the 4.5 point players but not those who did better. In spite of that, his 4.5 score for a first outing is commendable.

Though all my students qualified with ease for the NJ Training, I doubt if they would benefit much from it as they have had good scores when working with me and I hope to prove that once again, you do not need any training squad to imply that you can play chess well when your results speak for themselves.

Thanks to all their parents who consented to their 8 day training stint which had helped in their conduct of the game, especially Oileng and Chan Hong who offered their home for the boys to rest on days where there were 2 rounds to play. Thanks also to John Yeo for use of the function room in his condo for the training to take place. 

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