Thursday, December 11, 2014


A total of 366 registered for the National Age Group Championships played at the Jurong East Sports Hall. Some foreign entries from India, Malaysia spiced up the competition and gave our local juniors good opportunities to pit their skills against.

 The above managed to garner some of the trophies and my congratulations to them for the work they put in their preparations. Gavin lost the playoff for the best Singaporean result in the Under 12, while Cadence was 10th in the Under8. Sue Lyn lost her last game against Amanda Chan, having beaten the other 2 favourites Erica Chin and Kong U-Ham to finish 4th overall. Bryan came in 8th place overall.

Caleb and Isaiah not in the pictures

Others who took part missed out of the top 10 places but I'm sure they had all matured during the gruelling 4 days. Some took defeat painfully and could not continue, while on the other end of the spectrum, we also have those who did not think much about losing a game. The correct attitude towards treating a loss should be: yes, it is painful but more importantly, one must seek the reasons for the loss with deep analysis of the game played and errors are to be sought and corrected. No improvement can be attained if this critical step is not taken in every chessplayer's career. 

We had a workshop conducted to ensure that they understand how the pace of the game must be slowed in order to minimise losses. However, many are still trying to cope with the pace of play and made unforced errors. Opening lines were also not well memorised and therefore their games drifted into unknown territory. Besides time management, preparation for such a tournament also requires well-studied middlegame positions and clear understanding of the endgames that will result. 

 Indeed, it takes a lot of conditioning before they can perform at standard chess. To those who did not score above 4 pts, there is work to do in the areas you are weak at. Generally, I am satisfied at the overall behaviour of my students throughout the 4 days. We now take a short break and brace for the next major event - Back to School!

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