Friday, January 25, 2013



Brian Lee      -  Agung Santoso
Adrian Yeo   -  Alvin Chen
Royce Tan    -  Oei Liang Hien


Marcus Chen - Benjamin Hurst
Tan Jun Hao  - Nicholas Low


We have the endgame league and the adult's league starting today from 730pm so as to give the 1 hr per side for each player. The following members have registered:


Alvin Chen
Agung Santoso
Brian Lee
Royce Tan
Adrian Yeo
Oei Liang Hien


Marcus Chen
Benjamin Hurst
Tan Jun Hao
Nicholas Low
Mitchell Han

Please be ready to play at 730pm. We can delay up till 745pm but no later.

See you then.

Monday, January 21, 2013


After no-shows and absentees, we settled to 81 participants. The hall was setup only on Sunday morning due to the IConnect evening at the CC on Saturday. So it was a blessing that we started at 10am.

Our CCMC Chairman, Mr Sng  Jin Poh and Treasurer Mr Tan Tiong How came by to visit and I amthankful for their support to chess for all these years.

We've attracted a lot of new players at the tournament (based on the number of illegal moves claimed by the players) and its a healthy sign that its popularity amongst the youth has not quite waned. Though the weather was downcast, the games played were quite the opposite - with lots of gusto, risk, hair-tearing agony and ecstacies. 

The senior section has a good mix of strong adults and a former junior champion with the top juniors like Tin YingJao, Ashvin Sivakumar to name a few. We did not give any cash or trophies, only books, which automatically meant that the mercenaries would stay away from this event and allow the chess die-hards to play.Players get to choose their books based on the order of merit, ie the Champion gets first pick followed by the 2nd and 3rd placing etc. I found this idea interesting (from my Norwegian experience). There will always be parents asking for trophies but then I wonder what would be the right thing to do for our budding players - bolster their egos further or to help them grow?

Thomson CC tries to provide the best possible playing conditions where most players do not cramp into their tables for their games. In addition we are also using the opportunity to broadcast our weekly club practices and the starting of our endgame and adults league commencing this Friday.

As for the results, click SENIORS and JUNIORS.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


At closing we have received 86 entries, 32 in Seniors and 54  in Juniors.

Thank you all for your support!

See you tomorow at 10am first round. Those who are driving, please remember to park BEHIND the CC on Shunfu Estate Blk 303 and 319 on Shunfu Road. The link below will show you the drections.


Lunch is not provided, but there are lots to choose from for lunch - Longhouse Eating House opposite the CC, Shunfu Market, as well as Target Cafe next to the playing hall.

The Hall is airconditioned so do bring warm clothing just in case. See you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Owing to Rapid Chess where the games will have to be decided at the last 2 minutes, there is little scope for players to practice their endgame play. Hence Thomson Chess Club is organising the 2nd Endgame League where each week a prescribed endgame position (near equal for both sides) is introduced for both players to play the position out. Each player will get to play both White and Black of a position.

Time Control is 45 minutes per side, which is ample time for players to assess, create a plan and play the position without the rush of time. This I believe will enhance the player's understanding and change their mindset when studying the endgame.

All games start at 8pm to allow players ample time to get to Thomson CC. Only members are eligible to join the league.

We hope to start on January 25 and resume after the Chinese New Year season on February.8 onwards till end March.

Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 players with the best scores. Note that you can skip games if you inform me 1 day in advance so you  will not be paired.

Interested players in the Endgame League please email me at You can also sign up at the Thomson CC Club Championship.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Click HERE for the entry form. The same is submitted and should be published at the SCF Website soon.

Please note that you need to have a valid PASSIONCARD before you can sign up. If your parent is a PASSIONCARD holder, then you can quote his/her PASSIONCARD number on the entry form. Those without PASSIONCARD can apply at the Thomson CC Counter.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


As usual, its time to present the report for my student's performance for the year 2012. The 2011 report is linked here for those wishing to compare their previous year's performance.

I am most heartened when 11 out of my 13 students who took part in 3 or more competitions last year achieved more than 30 pts increase in their ratings (one of my 2011 resolutions). What's even more heartening is that 5 of them had over 100 pts increase in their ratings for the year, excluding the one who had received his rating only in 2012.


Royce Tan (at left)  is my player of the year for 2012. Starting with me in Jan 2012, he has persevered having to relearn a new opening repertoire which took months to ingest and finally the results piled in towards the last quarter, with great performance ratings for the Penang Open where he finished 1st in the U10 category, the National Age Group 2012 where he was 4th and the recently concluded New Generation tournament where he was also 4th in the Pearl Section. A 265 rating haul in a single year is also a phenomenon for me in my career as a chess coach and I am most proud of him. He has matured a lot in his play, though more work on positional play is required to rein in the necessary wins from equal positions. Tactically he has no fears and is often able to spot winning moves when one least expects. We are going to higher sights as he is now ranked only behind Alfred Chua in his age-group.  

Mitchell Han has done well again this year, even more so as I have stopped lessons with him about 8 months ago knowing full well that he is motivated and equipped to help himself. His 286 point gain comes amidst a change of opening repertoire and re-orientation of the usual positions that he plays. Though he started with a more aggressive White opening repertoire, I have advised him to switch to a more positional one as he now appreciates the positional finesses after modelling himself to the games of Karpov and Capablanca. Changes and tweaks are often necessary when a player's preference for positions are no longer applicable and here lies the biggest challenge to any chess coach - How not to make carbon copies of yourself amongst your students.For that, deep analysis of the style of your student to spot and rectify any weaknesses is necessary.

Adrian's rating reached a high of 1502 before dropping back to the present due to his lackedaisal performance in the NAG. Potentially he is capable of better results  but poor preparation and poor discipline robbed him of better results. We will have to work on that for 2013 should he see significant progress in overcoming his self-doubt.

Shi Hao (who did his PSLE this year and only made a comeback in November) were impressive in the NAG having drawn his nemesis Ashvin Sivakumar though from a losing position. He would need to work harder in understanding his new repertoire by more personal analysis of his games. I am also stopping lessons with him as he has officially graduated with top honours in chess apart from his excellent PSLE score. 

Though I do not train Jonah individually, this boy has managed to fuel his passion in chess on his own and truly deserved his rating gain. I do wish that more of my students were like him in his hunger for success. He has beaten Eugene Wee, Tin JingYao in rapid games but did not do so well at the Cairnhill tournament


The following rankings show where my students currently stand amongst the top players in their age group:


Thus their goals for 2013 is to aim towards improving their rankings over their peers. Parents can now gauge for themselves what it will take to make the necessary adjustments in schedule and also in managing their children to strive for better results in 2013. I am ready to work even harder this year to see that they get their wishes fulfilled. But that is only my part. I need every student willing to make sacrifices in terms of less TV, less computer games and doing more for their chess before any measurable success can be achieved. Discipline, consistent hard work and practice can yield results if you believe in it , believe in yourself that you can do it.