I had 8 students playing in this tournament, as I believe that they can practice their thinking and vision skills better in a 1 hr per side game. All except 1 won trophies, which was a good result for any trainer. Here I want to give some comments on their performance:
Mitchell, being the oldest in terms of age but relative young (in terms of tutelage) in my group, once again topped the list of my students' performance with a solid 5.5/7 score. His game against Alfred ,although blemished at the end to a draw, was well-conducted in accordance to his style. What I was impressed about him was the determination he set out to play each game to fully utilise his time and made generally good decisions. I am sure this will translate into another 30 rating pts thereabouts.
Adrian as usual, missed the chance to end up in the top 10 finishers not because of lack of playing strength but lack of determination. His last round game against Lew Zhi Hong started not well but he managed to turn it round to get a clear advantage, but in the ensuing pawn race, poor calculation skills and lack of focus on the end position led him to drop a simple drawn game. Mental toughness sadly cannot be corrected from external help, but it often must come from the player himself. The mark of champions not only rests on the supremacy of technique, but also the forged steely nerves and will that will surpass all limitations. Only thus can one scale the heights of chess mastery.
Nicholas has grown a little since the last tournament and managed himself well though he played against 3 adult players. He lost 1 near the end of time control and bravely forced a draw in the last game. I am proud of him in this tournament as he has curbed his fears about playing older players without mentally psychling himself to lose. Looks like the Malacca trip did the kids a lot of good.
All my students did not join the rest in fidgeting between rounds, dabbling in transfer chess and all that rubbish. They dutifully checked their opening notes to prepare themselves for each game. I am happy that they realise that victory can come only with good preparation. As in the game Adrian vs Tan Jun Hao, we researched the line and knew what to do when it resurfaced and the 1 point was only a matter of time.
I Shiang being the youngest of the group started well but of course could not manage the adults and due to the pairings, met 3 and lost them all. The game he should not have lost was due to insufficient care on his part to see the opponent's simple pawn fork. For that he was cautioned and he managed to win his games after that. So he did learn from his mistakes and will do better the next time.
For my 2 other students who did not stay to collect their prizes, I am glad that they took the time to take part in the tournament as they have hectic schedules and tests to take in the following week. Yes, some games were lost but in general they behaved well and tried to play each game spending their time. Both had the temperament but lack tournament experience which will have to be gained painstakingly by clocking it through more games in the future. I hope they persevere because they too will join their seniors in garnering more honours if they would put in the time to consistently play online.