The TCA Junior Chess Championships at Serangoon Gardens Country Club has become the latest talk of the town on the lips of parents whose participating children were given the best possible conditions of play, both on and off the chessboard.
You will never get to see children clambering for space to view their pairings, parents having a hard time finding space to rest after the kids are off to play. The ever efficient SGCC team ensured that pairings were printed on A3 paper and they were also flashed as powerpoint slides in the playing area and holding hall where parents have full view. It usually takes no more than 10 minutes to have everyone seated and ready to commence the round. Lunch was served (as part of the entry fee) which was a relief to all when there was heavy rain on Good Friday morning. Ice cream was sponsored for the last round and balloon sculpting was pre-prizegiving activity. The kids had a ball!
I had 6 students participating, 2 in the Open Section and 4 in the Primary. Samuel Yip and Adrian Yeo did themselves proud when they came in 7th and 5th in their category, with Samuel scoring a nice win over Rudolph Lau and Adrian besting the likes of Heng Zheng Kai and William Woong. Both finished ahead of the top juniors in the squad (notably the Lim brothers) by the luck of the draw.
Chia Dan Peng could not believe himself when he landed 5 pts (despite missing a win against Krystal Valerie Soh) to come in at 10th position for the P5-6 category. It took a lot of effort to convince him that he had what it takes to win, but there was always self-doubt which showed everytime he played someone rated higher. This result will do wonders I am sure for his self-confidence and he deservingly won a Portland Chess Set from me.
Royce Tan also garnered 5 pts coming in 4th in the P3-4 category, however, there were some aspects of his play that I will need to work on especially in the area of move selection. Nicholas did not have a good tournament, plagued mainly by his mood when he arrived just in time for the first round. Though he scored 3/3 before lunch, he lost steam and could not convert his advantage against Siew Kai Xin to concede a loss. The last game loss against Lim Tia Keat must have been painful.
All in all, it was a most smoothly run tournament and I congratulate the SGCC team for their great teamwork, ever smiling faces which certainly lit a lot of happy faces that day! Thanks also to Jimmy for giving everyone on the team a well-deserved treat after all is packed and cleared.