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. 

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