Sunday, January 11, 2015


The faces tell it all..prizes or none, on the students who took part in the Kickoff Tournament organised by SCF at the Toa Payoh Sports Centre on Sunday 11 January. 7 prize winners in the respective categories !

I want to congratulate Naython Tan on his superb performance today in the Cat 4G section, 2nd with 5.5 pts, as well as Soh Rui Yang though he finished on 5th by tiebreak. Good job boys! Andre and Ethan Chiam started their first tournament and I'm so proud of them after they watched Sue Lyn in action and learnt so much about taking their time to record their games and think. Ethan managed to record till move 35 and he was unexpectedly not crying over his loss. They have grown to learn how to deal with losses and I'm sure they will look forward to playing their next tournament. I Shiuo scored 4 pts while Jasper managed 2.5 pts.

I Shiuan and Sue Lyn are in Cat 2 and clearly the strength of the participants meant extra effort to win every game. Both lost against the Champion but scored 5 and 4.5 pts to finish 4th and 6th. Clearly Sue Lyn needs to be more focused on her games if she wants to progress further as watching other boards during the game is a definite no-no.

Jaryl in Cat 4F finished on 8th place with 3.5 while Qi Xuan could only get 3 pts and ended on 12th place.

Zhong Kai had a good run starting 3/3 but fell back in the second half and managed only 1 more point after. Good win against Arlan Cabe but this meant being paired against Tin Jingyao and FM Terekhov later and the strength told in the end. Qing Aun was the top scorer from VS with 5.5pts on 3rd.

A satisfying end to a day well spent!

Friday, January 2, 2015


Many may find this book archaic in presenting the study of pawn structure with its quirky terms like leucopenia, telestop, ram etc. But if you take that away and understand its content, Pawn Power is a classic book on pawn structures that no budding chess-player can avoid studying.

Evidently this came about when we were discussing a game between Cyrus Nisban and Lee Jun Wei. Someone opined that the position was wrongly played by Black having a Benoni pawn structure, where White broke through the centre with the advance e5. The pawn advance is thematic (at least to those who read the book). When discussing the position further, it seemed that Lee did not realise that his c8 bishop was a hindrance and his battle plan should involve the exchange of that bishop. Again, such understanding can only be attained if one were to read books like Pawn Power in Chess. 

The study of pawns pervades not only in the opening but also into the middlegame and endgame. Of course, computer analysis may do a lot to negate the weaknesses created by pawns in odd squares by counterbalancing it with piece pressure. However, as humans do not possess such visualising power when compared to the silicon monsters, what makes sense still will be the exploitation of pawn weaknesses as performed by the masters in their collection of best games. 

I recommend that the juniors take a serious look at this wonderful classic (until someone revises it by taking away the clinical terms).