Sunday, June 26, 2016

MATCH WITH BULLDOGS TEAM JUN 24

 Thomson Chess Club hosted Bulldogs Team on June 24 at the Club Room. The friendly match was played over 12 boards based on 15 10 time control. Bulldogs fielded a very strong lineup of Filipino expatriates for this match. I took the opportunity to invite some senior members and also some inactive adult players with 2 juniors to pit their skills against the visitors. Tan Poh Heng volunteered to be match arbiter.


                            



Round 1 was in progress and we had a rare visitor in NM Oey Liang Hien, a former Champion who donated his copy of Chess Informant each time he finished it. Others came by like Warren and Ashton Chia who was curious to know who won. The visitors were White on all boards for Rd 1, with a score of 4.5 - 7.5.  There were many interesting games and it was a surprise the inactive adults held their own against the seasoned Filipinos!



One of the reasons for organising this match is to get a feel for the possible setup of an adult chess league in Singapore, which can only work if we can coax inactive players to return to play. I am glad that with the good press coverage over the recent weeks, many have rekindled their interest to come back, which I believe is unprecedented since the last Chess explosion we had was in the 80s. With more centres sprouting and the recruitment of more volunteers, we can  rebuild the Community Club Chess centres that once thrived with several players young and old to play rather than compete. Expanding the network of chess playing centres and rejuvenating the chess club culture is what makes Singapore a true chess-playing nation, which may then set the path for professional chess to be introduced when the conditions are ripe. 


After a temporary setback the visitors regrouped and decided to stick to the same board order while I made some changes to Thomson's. Rd 2 ended with a 8 - 4 victory for Bulldogs, bringing the total score 12.5 - 11.5 in favour of Bulldogs. What matters is the great friendly spirit fostered and promise of more matches to come. 

To that, we celebrate!

 




SIGLAP SOUTH CC CHESS OPENS 3 JULY


SCF's initiative of having Chess@East has finally taken off with the launch of the new Siglap South CC. This takes place every Sunday from 3 to 6pm at the second floor activity room.

There will be 5 sets available for players and more equipment coming should the numbers increase. For residents staying in the East, here's your chance to bring your kids or yourself to have some friendly games.

Special thanks go to the CCMC for providing the premises and the admin. Have fun!

Friday, June 17, 2016

WHERE TO PLAY CHESS IN SINGAPORE?

Mondays

None

Tuesdays

None

Wednesdays

Asia Square Meetup
Asia Square Tower 1 Foyer, 8 Marina View #01-05 Singapore 018960
From 6.30pm till 9.30pm

Thursdays

None

Fridays

Cashew Chess Club
We are at Block 180, Lompang Road (Opposite Bukit Panjang Plaza McDonald’s)
 8pm onwards. 


Nanyang Community Club
60 Jurong West Street 91, Singapore 649040
From 7pm

Thomson Community Club Level 3
194 Upper Thomson Rd Singapore 574339
From 7.30pm till 10pm

Saturdays

Nanyang Community Club
60 Jurong West Street 91, Singapore 649040

From 3pm

Sundays

Queenstown Community Club
365 Commonwealth Ave Singapore 149732
From 3pm

Siglap South Community Club
6 Palm Road , Singapore 456441
From 3pm till 6pm

BEGINNINGS OF A CHESS RENAISSANCE?

The two reports in the Straits Times on chess in the community here did cause a stir among several dormant members, some of which I have not seen for years!


As I promised earlier, the Asia Square meetup was featured in the June 9 edition of the Straits Times. Playing chess for the last decade or so has been predominately a junior activity as most adults are busy with career and family to indulge in the game. However, it takes an enterprising Bradley to lug a few chess sets and doggedly lay the tables week after week to create the spectacle that we see below:


This spectacle has caused waves on social media and I've read many comments from once active tournament players and former school-team representatives who 're excited enough to come on down and have a few moves with the other like-minded executives around the CBD. There were not enough sets to go around so some have left but promised to return. What's even more encouraging - a few women too joined in (albeit they were former players for their schools).

Having mingled with most of the regulars, these are chess enthusiasts who do follow the happenings of the chess world and are keeping up with the latest trends in chess-play. Many have gone on to playing in SCF standard events as well. Hence the adult scene is now undergoing a buzz and hopefully we may soon see the makings of chess league  for executives. 

The school scene also received attention from the press, admittedly after several years of media-isolation even though the events that were to be covered were of larger scale that the one featured below. 


All it takes now is for the Ministry of Education to recognise Chess not just as a Club and Society activity but to elevate its status as a Think Sport and accord school colours for its participants. As more and more children are enrolling in chess classes and taking part in tournaments, Community Clubs such as Nanyang CC, Siglap South CC have started offering rooms for chess-playing sessions along with  the current ones like Thomson CC and Toa Payoh West. Just one more in the North and we should have good chess presence all around the island. More community projects are in the pipeline to bring the game to the masses so do watch this space. 

Are we soon witnessing the buildup of another chess renaissance since the last one from 1976-1984? That depends mainly on the driving force for change and the rallying from the community - it does take 2 to tango. More arbiters, volunteers and trainers are required in this journey. It's time to unite. Git'd up!