Friday, January 20, 2012


It was a fun-filled and no-incidents day at the Thomson Club Championships, althought some players who signed up for the Seniors ended up at the Juniors instead due to a mis-categorisation at registration. I apologise to all for this and we will do better next year.

Tan Wei Liang showed and won the Seniors with 6.5/7 after some months of inactivity. Many of his games were filled with complications but experience told in the end. Here's a happy Tan Wei Liang, with tournament chief arbiter Christopher Lim , presented with the Jimmy Ng Challenge Trophy for the Senior's Champion.

The Junior's Section was approximate in numbers to the Senior's with 44 entries. This was the total number of entries for the whole tourmament last year! So it was a blessing that many chose to take part. Some of the top Juniors wanted to play in the Seniors, like Ashvin, Tommy, Qing An and I truly admire their desire to play against stronger opponents without worrying about whether they will eventually win anything. We need juniors with this healthy attitude because they will go on stronger and stronger to take on tougher opponents in the future.

Ashvin won the Junior's with a score of  6.5  pts winning his last game against Qing Aun, held to a draw only by Alfred Chua. Tommy finished second dropping a game to Lee Jun Wei. My observations were fighting chess was the order of the day for the top seeds. 

My students fared satisfactorily with Nicholas on 4 pts, Dan Peng and Royce on 3 and Joshua on 2. It is a strong U12 tournament after all.

The surprise came in the Seniors when Mitchell Han scored 5 pts to take 7th position. This is an incredible score for him so he's got to handle 4 adult players and got 2.5pts. Against his peers, he successfully beat off Brendan's attack and won, though the draw with Joven was suspect (Mitchell had two pieces for a rook).

The prize giving ended with only 5 trophies for 6-10 positions in the Junior's section. All others received books (though used, but in good condition). It is an idea I learnt while I was working in Norway back in 1989. The tournaments there gave books donated by club members as prizes and the Champion gets the first pick of all the books on display, then 2nd place picks and so on. It is a system that will encourage the reading of chess books for self-improvement which encourages further chess growth amongst our youth.  Mitchell (after some advice) chose the Sorceror's Apprentice, a good autobiography of the legend David Bronstein.

Bronstein was a genius in creating so many wonderful games and his chief legacy was the his account of the Zurich 1953 Candidates Tournament. I hope to find a copy of this for next year's Club championship.

Those who wish to look the Senior's results click here, the Junior's results here

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