Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I can only sum up last night's SCF meeting with training vendors under the caption above.

The chess training community presently provides chess-trainers to schools and local individuals wanting chess lessons, comprising no more than 3-5 chess schools and several freelance trainers.  

The SCF President opened the floor to stress that it is not in the SCF's interest to vie for the chess-training jobs in schools. This is mainly a commercial matter best left to supply and demand amongst the training community. 

Key trust of the meeting was the news of chess in schools receiving a boost owing to the visit of Garry Kasparov. Garry  managed to convince some members of the cabinet to give chess a chance to develop young minds in the schools program. 
Hence the relevant ministries are surveying the potential of expanding chess training in the schools, currently from the 30 to 40 (as indicated from the GEBIZ tenders) to larger numbers. In that regard, SCF wished to work with the training community to pre-empt the possible increase in demand for chess trainers  through facilitating the process of application through the MOM and assistance provided in helping chess schools alleviate any shortage of training staff.

Several issues were discussed yesterday by a good representative turnout, notably the issue of state representation from players groomed by the community who may not wish to join the National Junior Squad on reasons of schedule or expediency. An appeal was made to the SCF to reconsider the stand of selecting junior players representing Singapore solely from the confines of the NJS. The President assured all present that potential interested players should write in to apply for their place for consideration, that the door is not permanently shut. Moreover, there will be initiatives announced soon that will allow every junior hopeful to enrol in a program to spawn Singapore's next generation of chess world-beaters. 

Other concerns were the issue of schools currently having a peak demand for chess trainers on specific days like Fridays. The SCF acknowledges that this would take time to resolve but the main priority at hand was to secure a foothold in the school Sports CCA. Major changes to the current Inter-Schools format would be announced in due course to align the achievements of the teams to the Schools' Colours awards model. Other notable initiatives are the possible setup of more schools' events which may involve the international schools here. In line with the de-emphasise on competitive achievements in the current CCA program, more initiatives to empower the juniors in organising chess rather than playing will be introduced such as the formation of the SCF Junior Council. The SCF hopes the new Council will groom interested young chess players to take up leadership roles in chess organisation. Succession planning is therefore in the works. 

SCF may be introducing locally-governed accreditation to better regulate standards amongst chess-teaching professionals in due course, details would be released when due.

So, in all, it was an amicable dialogue with both parties exchanging honest ideas on how to further improve the services of the training community to the schools with the support of the SCF. The night ended with the SCF's call for solidarity amongst the various parties in the training community to gear up for a brighter school scene in the coming years. 


  1. Any discussion on the increasing number of schools closing their chess clubs?

    Chess teacher in school that closed the chess club

    1. Yes there was. I opined that the main reason was that many of the principals in secondary schools felt that the dominance of the top 3 schools over the last 10 years has deprived the others of any chance of winning any titles.

      SCF will revise the format to allow more categories and also more competitions zoned such that those just behind the top 4 schools will get a realistic chance of garnering titles.

  2. I am a private chess coach.

    1. How will SCF local accredition affect me?

    2. The chess students I have do not join the junior training squads. They were never selected to play for Singapore, although quite a few of them are better than the students in the national squads. Can SCF clarify their position.

    3. After the SCF president sold his chess training company Intchess away, why does Intchess have the right to use SCF trainers to do their lessons?

    Disappointed chess coach

    1. If you've read my posting, you've realised that the Selection Guidelines have been adjusted to allow players not in the NJS to apply for participation, so long as they are able to produce a good track record of competitive successes and training program under their current coaches. So your assumption is not true wef this year.

  3. Hi disappointed chess coach,

    1. Probably severely

    2. Concur, happened to me too

    3. Intchess AIM to do well, that is why. Over the years, documentary records show shareholders (chess parents) come and go in Intchess.

    Enlightened chess coach

  4. Hi John,

    FIDE news - Kirsan has asked Ignatius to resign.
    How will this impact us chess trainers especially now that we had the 21 Jan meeting with Ignatius?
    Will he flee Singapore as this news and revelations on Kasparov website, chessbase and so many media uncovered money tactics of Ignatius.
    God save Singapore chess.

    Not so enlighten now, chess coach

  5. The funny thing is, the whole issue made Leong look more "human" than Krisan. I am more concern is the current Fide President a "human" or from outer space, he made this famous speech about the invention of Chess & the encountered of the 3rd kind in 1997!!!!