Saturday, September 22, 2012


This dinner would have easily raised tens of thousands in dollars but unfortunately CES is not a charity and hence not possible to do so. This is just from the RI chess family from 1981-1988. No one would resist turning down an invitation to dinner with the 13th World Champion. I am sure all would contribute generously if asked, so long as its for a good cause. The ACS group was there, although a bit smaller. There could have been lots more coming if not for the size of the hall!

There must be many amongst us chess players who are semi-retired, having good jobs, in high places. It should not be an issue in my opinion to raise a good sum assuming you know who your target audience is and the draw you'll need to provide.

A chess related dinner requires a true chess celebrity. We have set the example. Maybe SCF ought to get Anand?!

Here for more.


  1. John this comment of mine on the RI/ACS alumni dovetails with your other posting regarding the drop in secondary school chess participation due to the banding of CCAs.

    Clearly CES can play a role outside of the SCF but complementary because CES has its own strengths and resources. Is it not possible for the chess alumni of the school to give back to chess in that school and as such provide the support that some schools may require.

    Setting up a network of chess alumni to identify which school needs support to stop the chess CCA from being closed down will be a worthwhile task. Taking VS as an example purely based on what you had reported in your blog, the VS chess alumni with the support of the other schools alumni could sit down with the VS chess club and see if there is a possible alternative to the rumored shut down.

  2. Siva,

    The decision to close a club lies with the Principal and Head(CCA). As the information may not be made known to past VS chess-players, you are right that there exists a need to rally past chess-players together. However, I cannot vouch if their fervour for the game would be that strong for them to voice their disapproval of club-closure, as in the case of the closure of St.Patrick's School and ACS (Barker Rd). Chess-players I know are a apathetic lot - we lost whole chess-columns on our newspapers in the past without much show of support.

    So I see CES's role mainly in arousing the forlorn chess fervour (through the mega-events) of the old-timers, but it should still be the SCF to galvanise them to work with the school board on policies. In terms of monetary support, I believe these old boys would not hestitate to come forward.

    What is possible perhaps is for SCF or CES to organise a PAST vs PRESENT (say cut off year 2000) match for all school-players who've played in past inter-school events, with the representative schools RI,ACS,SJI,Others (outside of the 3) of say 30 boards. Such events used to be done by the SCF eg City vs University for example. This will create the meeting point for all school players to gather, exchange ideas and tap response for future events.

    1. AlUMNI
      It is precisely because the decision to close the chess club lies with the principal and CCA HOD, that i felt involving the chess alumni of the school in question is a possible way of trying to tackle the situation. A principal would not want to dismiss out of hand a request of the school alumni to raise an issue which involves the school, unlike if the request was made by a person (who just happens to be a chess player or chess parent but not an alumni) or entity (CES or SCF) with no ties to the school (the so-called "kaypoh").

      You can see that some of the chess players of yesteryear are parents now who have children who play chess and perhaps also have the hope that their child will go to their alma mater and perhaps take up chess as they did when they were in school! So perhaps there is some motivation there to shake off the apathy that you have pointed to?

      For example the VS chess alumni could write to the VSOBA to raise this issue and request for the VSOBA to take an active interest in determining whether the closure of the chess club is in the best interests of the school and students especially when the intent is to have a balanced study-life situation which then leads to a balanced work-life situation as well in the future.

      It is a good idea to have these sorts of matches if for no other reason than to have a chance to meet and exchange ideas. Perhaps CES could consider this on the sidelines of the existing tournaments such as Cairnhill, Thomson or Serangoon Gardens or one of the other popular chess tournaments? The idea is that you already will have the parents of the younger players there and then you have the chess alumni playing as well (as you have suggested). A dialogue can then be organised. Sometimes the parents may themselves not be aware of the difficulties faced by Singapore chess today, despite the strenuous efforts on your blog.

      It could be a start at the very least especially as the CES would already have the contact details of the alumni who attended the dinner in 2010 that you had blogged about.

      There may be no super GM to grace the occasion but at the very least the chess alumni may be encouraged to attend to play in the suggested PAST v PRESENT event. Otherwise how do you start? I do not think we can wait for the next Super GM to turn up, whomever that may be.

    2. Ironically, children of the chess alumni do not generally paricipate in chess which has been strange to me but I have no answer to it. So they have no interest at this point in chess other than reunions or get-togethers. As to raising the issue with VSOBA, the VS Chess Alumni may not be aware of it. The only 2 VS players I know are Thomas and Osric. I will raise this with them. It is unfortunate that the CES list did not indicate who the parties are and if they are associated with the alumni.

      Yes, the past vs present project need not require a Super GM to be present so long as it is presented as a 1-day affair and social in nature. It boils down to whoever's interested to see this event happening and who's willing to lay the groundwork.