Thursday, March 23, 2017

MY STUDENTS AT THE 2017 NSI

Doubling as Tournament Director and MC left me little time to observe my students' games, so they are left to themselves much of the time. Preparatory work has been done the week before, so all that's left is to wait and see how they would measure up.



Overall, I am satisfied with their performance, as most came in within the top 30 in view of the large numbers in the Juniors' ( 244) and Senior's (323) categories.
Cheong Sue Lyn missed out with her loss to Eunice Hng despite in a better position at the end when her flag fell, but chess is chess. No excuses. As for the other students, I congratulate Jayden Wong, Ryan Chan who scored 6.5 to earn their places in the HP, while commendations should go to Nathaniel Cheng and new students Ho Ray Ee, Ian Ho, Lock Yan Jie and Caleb Goh  garnering 6 pts.


There were a few surprises from those I've coached in the Schools. Singling out from RGPS Madeline Ng ,Arshia Mahajan and Cadence Loh  who did well in the Junior Girls' scoring 6 pts. From Maris Stella, Ashton scored 7 finishing and Ian 6 pts in the Junior's while Gerrard Lim got 6.5 in the Lower Juniors'. My SAJ boys Joven Chow did himself proud with 6.5 followed by Caleb Goh and Lock Yan Jie with 6, The SJI Junior boys did averagely well with Cayden Wee on 7.5 and Bian Gede on 5.5 while Isaias Foo , Jonathan Chen and Dylan Lim got 5.

The primary factor in doing well in competition is consistent practice and study. Time must be made for this activity or else no one can vouch for any good result.Most of my students had put in reasonable hours for playing and going over their notes with the same diligence as their school homework. Of course, for that sacrifices will have to be made in less playtime or foregoing other activities.

Yet for those who missed the top, think about how you can better use your time by reflecting on your game. Try to ask what is the main obstacle for reaching the top 10 - fear? lack of preparation or simply not following the thought process method that you'd learnt? These questions will help in correcting one's mistakes and improve for the next major tournament.






Monday, March 20, 2017

HOW TO PARK AND GET TO TAMPINES HUB



To get to Tampines Hub the best way from the Central and West, take the PIE and exit at 3B and drive towards  Tampines Ave 2. You can go via Tampines Ave 7 and join Tampines Ave 4, then turn right at the junction of Ave 5. There is less traffic on this route than if you are to come from the Simei Exit and up Tampines Ave 5. The  EW(2) line station  is also quite close. DT32 is not ready yet.


As for parking, there is an open car park just after the Hub. Drive past the Hub, turn round the corner and you'll see the entrance on the Ave 5 curve. This is a coupon parking carpark and open-air (60cts 1/2 hr) and has about 200+ lots. The other place to park is across from the Tampines Hub at Block 858-864 which is open to public 7am to 7pm coupon parking. You can enter this carpark from St 83 Block 864 and navigate towards Block 859.



If you go round till you see a green sign on your left, the road leads to the Drop Off and North Plaza Carpark entrance.  Proceed straight in to park at B2 onwards or drop off at the right turn. Take the elevators after you enter on Lobby A or B to level 3. Parking at the Hub is 1.20 for 1st hour and 60cts for every 30 minutes. 




The hawker centre is not aircon but there are huge fans to keep air circulated there. 

                          

If you get off level 3 from Lobby B the auditorium is across

and there's a walkway
                             which takes you across to the Lobby A elevators and the            auditorium is on the right .


         Stepping out into Lobby A elevators,  head left towards the auditorium 


At the time this picture is taken there is partition at the far end. Beyond that is another 8 courts! The players shall be at the farthest end occupying about 12 courts. There will be a holding area for the parents and for students to rest after their games. Please whisper otherwise the noise level will be too loud. This hall is air-conditioned.

No shortage of eateries here! Located at L1 or B1.


Ok, I don't think anyone can get lost so long as they head back to Level 3 auditorium. Have fun at the NSI!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

ANAND REVISITS SINGAPORE

  

5 time World Champion Viswanathan Anand revisits Singapore on March 11 spending a day here at the Overseas Family School to promote chess among school children here. 

Anand last came in 1990 before his Candidates Match with GM Dreev and gave a simultaneous chess match at Cairnhill CC.

I was fortunate to join him at dinner and we shared some interesting stories. One of which concerns GM Eduard Gufeld.

Gufeld was trying to sell his latest book on the Benko, said Anand. But he wasn't really interested in the book as he doesn't play the opening. Gufeld tried to lower the price from US20, then 15, then 10, finally gave it to him for free. Anyone who knows the Ukranian grandmaster would know how good a bargainer he was. For him to be on the opposite end, well...

Chess Fans in Singapore, do not miss this opportunity to catch the man in person! His books and Chessbase videos are wonderfully produced. See you there

Monday, February 20, 2017

2017 THOMSON CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP

Thomson's 11th Club Championship had 86 participants from the 102 members who signed up in 2017. We started 10am and were able to complete before 6pm, thanks to no major disputes from our players who showed good sportsmanship and knowledge of the rules in general.

                                

The Juniors Section was keenly contested with 48 entries. There were no withdrawals right from the start.Many came from the West. The results are generated from SwissPerfect which is not compatible with chess-results so I am uploading it here.

 






We had 40 participants in the Seniors section. Top place was Alex Chan with 6.5 pts followed by Wayne Luay with 5.5 and Leong Sher Hern on 5.


10 prizes were awarded, with the Champion Samuel Ho taking first draw followed by Alex Chan, then 2nd Place Satvik Kapoor and Wayne Luay. 6 prizes were given to the Seniors and 10 to the Juniors who all returned with some good books. 1 special prize was awarded to the tail-ender in the Juniors section for displaying perseverance in finishing the tournament and recording every game!

The Club certainly hopes that we'll see more of our new members and urge them to come by regularly Fridays from 730pm till 10 to practice and spar with other members.



Friday, December 30, 2016

COMING UP IN 1Q 2017

As we say goodbye to 2016, here's some of the confirmed events the public can look forward to and plan:

JANUARY

The Kickoff Rapid Chess tournament at Nanyang CC on 22 January. Details at SCF website

FEBRUARY

Thomson Chess Club Champion for members only on February 19. Details shall be announced on the Thomson Chess Club blog soon.

Siglap South CC Hong Bao Rapid tournament on February 26.

MARCH

The 69th National Schools taking place near 20-24 March at Tampines Hub. Details shall be announced later.

Other Centres like Thomson, Siglap South and Queenstown should resume their weekly Club activities after January 3rd. The Asia Square meetup continues each Wednesday with consistent crowds of 30+ players so its a good idea to bring your set and clock if you have.

Happy Chess in 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 REPORT CARD

Here's a summary report for all students who worked with me in 2016 and also new students that have just enrolled. I use this to monitor their progress and track their areas for improvement.


Nathaniel Cheng (3rd from right) started with me May 2016. In the space of 5 months, he has astonished many (including me) in his progress from finishing 35th in last year's Nee Soon East Chess Challenge to 3rd place in this year's National Age Group! I attribute this to constant practice and diligently going through my opening notes. He scored well in positions where he'd gotten advantage from good opening preparation. More needs to be done in his endgames which will form the basis for our work next year.


Jayden became my student since March 17 just before the 68th National Schools' Individuals, finishing 25th. He has generally good foundation, but tends to overestimate his own chances in analysis. Having reformed his repertoire to suit his playing style, he has made steady progress in his thought processes and achieve good scores after his East Asian debut. 7th place in the NAG, 40th in the Penang Open (6/9) and 66th in the 2nd SG Amateurs (5/9) rounded a bumper year in the course of 9 months. My wish for him is to manage his time well and to work harder in finding better candidate moves (in essence shaking off the habit of picking only 1).


This is Ryan's 2nd year with me and it has been a roller-coaster ride, with good and bad results but in all a great journey. Many a times he does not see the value of remembering opening moves and plays them in the wrong sequence with dire consequences. When he gets his act together in the face of  pressure to perform, he does very well. It took 2 major setbacks in between the KL and Penang Open to finally hit home the message that success can only come with hard work in remembering all lessons covered. The other valuable life lesson he learnt was to never give up when the chips are down - especially his last game at the Amateurs. Though the game was lost he hung on till he saw a mistake from his older opponent and converted it to a win. Thankfully we're past the turbulent learning curve and I am confident we see clearer skies ahead.


Joven's 2nd year with me has been consistent, startting the year with 6.5/9 for 29th place, then 7th place in the NAG (his best result in the NAG) but slipped to 4.5/9 for the Penang Open and 2nd Amateurs. I see it as a case of fitness, as both tournaments are gruelling and challenging in terms of stamina. Most of his games are positonal struggles so it is important to stay alert for 3 hours or more, which is physically demanding. Improving his fitness is key to better results. 


Leonard Loh started June 2015 and is a very quick learner. However, he has other interests which resulted in him spending not as much time on chess as he could have. He plays rather quickly and impulsively which often leads to gross errors.Not spending time at the board often means there will be moves that are missed or opportunities not seized. It will take more than just a few standard chess tournaments to correct this, but I am sure if he takes it upon himself to better his results next year by slowing down, it will materialise.

Sue Lyn finishing her PSLE and went back into play. She chose to play in the U14 category in the NAG as well as the National Womens' to find out where she stood after months of inactivity. Yes, there were signs of rustiness but these can be easily fixed.

Detailed results here.

2016 has been a year I'd like to do more for my students but involvement in the SCF has taken its toll. There were a few students I had to say goodbye to, much against my wish but sacrifices had to be made. For those leaving the pack in 2017, my sincere thanks to you for the years we'd worked. To those coming in, face the future with confidence - focus on your goals and let's achieve them together!

Friday, November 18, 2016