Monday, March 24, 2014


It has been a while since the Primary and Secondary sections of the National Schools Individuals Championships were played on the same duration. The grand spectacle was officially opened by Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

My main activity for the past 2 days was primarily focused on getting my students to settle down amidst the hustle and bustle. Once the rounds started I left them to tend to their games, though some parents' however were glued to their childrens' moves. Some even resorting to prompting their kids' responses - this I find perturbing as we should not go beyond winning the game at all costs. 

I was tasked to groom the Lower Junior boys from Henry Park Primary and thankfully the efforts paid off with Michael Yeo and Gavern Ong garnering 8th and 12th placing. The others too  made good scores. 

Michael and Gavern with their medals

I-Shiang managed 8th place in the Junior Boys and I am proud of his achievement. All he needs is a little more determination and drive to reach the summit. Isaiah got into the top 20, probably his first time in the NSI. Other worthy results were Qi Xuan, Malcolm, Nash and David who put in good effort. Ryan, Naython and Joseph should reflect on their games, for they are capable of better results in my opinion. 

I Shiang (3rd from right)

Sue Lyn had a great tournament - she had Sunshine on the ropes in their game being a Rook up but could not retain her composure and stalemated. Nonetheless she played the remaining games with determination and got herself 2nd just behind Danielle. The 2 girls were her nemesis for some time and this tournament has closed the psychological gap. I believe it will not be too long a wait before she eclipses them. For her effort, she has earned the trip to play in the coming Asean Age Group championships in Macau in June. 

South Zone winners

A beaming Sue Lyn in her best result thus far
Another breakthrough occurred in the Senior Girls with Isabelle Chiang and Charmaine Sim from RGPS entering the top 20 circle. I am pleased that Isabelle has finally overcome her fear of her usual peers and played some good games to score. Charmaine's performance is also commendable being in the company of top Senior players like Hui Ling and Gillian. The other girls, Shina and Ashley should not feel too disappointed in their results for they had just joined Chess this year. 

Charmaine (extreme left) and Isabelle (4th from right)
 RGPS had 3 medal winners in the South Zone...

Working with Gavin for the past 2 months revealed a lack of confidence in his play - mainly from self-imposed mental blocks due to poor preparation. We managed to correct that, improving his focus on the game as well. This time he moved ahead of his notable peers like Alfred Chua, Carwyn Yeo, Heng Zheng Kai to finish 9th place. 


Royce managed 4th placing this time despite starting 5/5 on the first day, probably lacking in stamina rather than preparation.

Gavin Koh (extreme right)

Qing Aun joined VS this year and we were rooting for him to come in strongly. He did not disappoint and got 3rd placing behind Liu XiangYi and Tin JingYao. For the East Zone, VS garnered 4 medals with Qing Aun, Zhong Kai, Cephas Yeo and Ethan Low.

C Division East Zone medal winners

C Division top 3 winners

In summary, the majority of my students had delivered and I am extremely pleased with their efforts. Looking forward to the Team competition. 

Monday, March 17, 2014


Reading this article will definitely save your children from zero-starting on March 21 and 22!

If you are coming via the PIE then TPE, exit at Loyang Ave and drive along till Pasir Ris Drive 3. Turn left into it and once past Downtown East on your right (about 1 km after turn from Loyang), you will see East Vale on your left and once past the river the Sports Hall is on the left turn into Pasir Ris Central.

Try NOT to alight your child at the Sports Hall Drop Off (see below). Imagine 975 students and estimated double the number of parents alighting from this driveway! Getting your child there will be a lot faster if you choose alternative drop offs.

One is at the side of East Vale and walk across the bridge to the Hall, Do not turn into Pasir Ris Central Rd for I am sure the  will be conjested on that day. The other is to alight at the Pasir Ris MRT station and walk across (about 5 minutes).

Another hassle free drop off is to turn left to Pasir Ris Drive 6 right after you past Downtown East. Keep right and  turn into block 407-408 which is the side where Hai Sing Catholic School is. There are lots of carparks there and once you are parked you can cross the Park Connector into the back of the Sports Centre.

Cross over to the Sports Hall
Block 408 end next to connector

Here is the view of the drop-off point. The stairs to the Sports Hall are on the right
of the picture below.

The Sports Hall can hold the 975 students but I think there are limited spaces for the parents.

The viewing gallery can at most sit about 150 to 180 people each side so many will have no alternative but to move.

Besides White Sands Shopping Centre (which should have the usual eateries), the Sports and Recreation Centre has got MacDonald's and Toastbox, while Downtown East is about 15 minutes walk away. There is an open air carpark opposite Downtown East which you can park for $4 for the whole day. Coupon parking applies at the carparks on Block 407-408. The Red lots there are available from 7am to 7pm. Alternatively you can try Downtown Park just after the Sports Hall on Pasir Ris Central but enter the carpark from Pasir Ris Drive 1 side and go towards Block 530D.

Hope this information helps you to get your children on time for the tournament!