Friday, April 26, 2013


Please note that the Chess Club will be closed on 3, 10 and 24 May. We will resume from 31 May.

Monday, April 15, 2013


The dates for the Thomson Cup International Chess Tournament 2013 will be on 25-26 May 2013.

We have decided not to FIDE rate the tournament, however it will be SCF rated.

The entry form link to SCF here

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The SCF April rating list has just been published. 

For this quarter, the top performer is Lee I Shiuan who has been studying with me since 6 Jan 2013 this year. I had revamped his opening repertoire to allow his strengths in the endgame to shine, while curbing his urge for sacrificial fancies which were most times unsound. This brought about an increase of 86 pts, mainly based on his good performance at the Hong Bao Rapid and National Schools' Individuals. He has been diligent and followed my instructions, generally a good student. 

Others have chalked up close to 30 rating points, which is meeting the targets set for the year. There were 3 new students which made their debut in the April list. I will monitor their progress from now on.

To slip 20 rating points is a small warning sign which should not be taken lightly. Jaryl has just started changing his repertoire so he will need some time before he gets to winning his games once he familiarises with the moves. However, I feel that I Shiang needs to put in more effort in his games by considering threats from his opponent and not ignoring them most of the time. He has been observed to be playing without regard of his opponent's moves and that leads to lost games. Losing to weaker opponents causes one's hard-earned rating points to drop and every player must be accountable to his own performance.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Think of it...just think of it.

We had Karpov and Kasparov in Singapore in 2010, its been 2 years since.

Would it not be nice to see Anand play Carlsen in Singapore?? It would still be cheaper to do this than the entire Olympiad, in my opinion.

I am sure Anand would not object as it beats playing in his hometown in Chennai where the pressure mounts up. I remember the last time he did well on World Championship matches was against Dreev in 1990. When it was held in Sanghi Nagar, he collapsed. So it would be better if Indian resources were to support the venue outside of India, if he wishes to have less pressure on him to win.

The Norwegian funds that backed Carlsen would of course prefer it to be in Europe, but Singapore being neutral territory (plus Carlsen has never been here) and being the new financial capital of Asia, it would seem possible to persuade Carlsen to play here. This would be a good angle to pitch the project to the Singapore Tourism Board, where the match would gain international spectacle and   acclaim it as the 2nd World Championship match held in South East Asia (after Baguio 1978). As we ascend toward the top 3 cities of influence in the world, after London and New York, it would be most appropriate to host the match here.

Well, the ball is in the hands of SCF and the authorities to make this happen. Or perhaps CES??...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


For those who do not need to sit for tests or exams, here's a good FIDE rated tournament near home that you can consider participating in:

for more details.


I met Chia back in the days when I was a student in RI in the late 70's, visiting the National Chess Enterprise store on Killiney Road shopping for chess books. He was also writing for the Singapore Chess Digest under the name of Unknown Bobby, where  he annotates games for the magazine. I guess he picked that name because he, like Fischer, hates draws. In fact, during the final game in one Queenstown Club championship, he was so disgusted by his opponent offering him a draw at every move that he got up and resigned the game. His gruff voice barked " You  like to win so much, win lah!" and stormed off. It was perhaps his uncompromising stance at the chessboard that he fell short of the vital point in achieving the norm at every IM tournament he took part, which eluded him in his quest for IMship.

Chia has his own brand of humour few would comprehend. He once advised me, after I've lost to Michael Siong my once nemesis, how to beat him. "You know he loves to get up to walk about after each move right? Just wait till he is about to get up,put out your hand (to make a move). When he's about to sit down, withdraw your hand!" he finished his sentence with that wry smile. In another episode, I had just declined a draw against IM Tan Lian Ann in the River Valley Rapid Tournament and lost in a time scramble. Everyone crowded round to remark that I should have won but Lian Ann dismissed it saying there was no win. After the crowd dispersed, Chia came round to show me the win. "See! you can win!"

Back in those days where I regularly visited the Queenstown Chess Club, Chia would play many blitz games with me and our regular opening discussion was the Classical Caro-Kann where he held the Black pieces. I was usually ground down by his maniacal Bishop manoeuvres though I was following the current theory then. But it taught me a lot about how to hold such positions, not just knowing moves alone.

He was also the one who taught me mahjong. Yes, we did not just play chess. He gave me his mahjong manual and told me to study it if I was to avoid paying expensively over the table. The art of losing less was not easy to fathom for a chessplayer who was bent on winning at all costs. Watching him exit the game by throwing the winning card to the smallest hand made me realise that it was alright to lose sometime, but to limit my losses.

In return, I introduced him to the world of ICC. ICC was text-based in those days, until ZIICS was introduced with graphics. It was then that I asked him to sign up and before long I realised he was an admin. He would then spend his nights on ICC playing, chatting, sending muahs and wuahs (mainly ICC lingo) and wuah sehs to ICC regulars.

I had not much to say to him over the last decade, as he was in poor health and became withdrawn. But there was always a nod from him when we saw each other.

Vaya con dios my friend.