Tuesday, March 29, 2016


There are several initiatives taken by the SCF lately to address the shortage of chess trainers in Singapore.

Firstly, the FIDE Trainer's Seminar on May 12-15 has attracted 25 participants.

The SCF Instructors' Course from 2-4 May aims to get locals who are chess-players to consider a career in teaching chess in schools at the Beginner's and Elementary Level. Hence you need not be a strong chess player to come for this course. However, basic knowledge of chess and the FIDE Laws of Chess is an important pre-requisite.

For those who want to attend the course but have little knowledge of chess, they can consider signing up for the condensed Beginner's Course for Adults in April.

We urge those who are considering a change from their current jobs, to join the current trainer's pool for a less hectic and enjoyable time.

NSI 2016

Over a thousand chess players gathered at Pasir Ris Sports Hall to fight for top honours at this year's National Schools Individuals (NSI) 2016. Held over 4 days to avoid the logistic tussle, the tournament was well run by a small team of 12 arbiters and pairing officials. There were no major delays and what's  impressive was the A-C Div competition where the noise level was down to 60 db as compared to the Primary section (>90). Then again with 803 young school-children you can expect major noise issues but generally they were managable.

The rankings of my students:


Sun Shilian 

RGS Pr 8
18 Tan Xuan Ying 

CHIJ Toa Payoh 5
22 Lim Yen Jie Sophie  

CHIJ Toa Payoh 5
Chan Yi Jin Elyse 

CHIJ Toa Payoh  4
26 Wu Dan Dan 

RGS Pr 4
27 Tong Rui Wen  Natalie

CHIJ Toa Payoh 4
34 Grace Angelina Tjengal 

CHIJ Toa Payoh 4
Lim Patrina 

CHIJ Toa Payoh  3


Rank      Name                                               School                       Score

53 Chan Wen Hui Ryan 

ACS Pr 6
63 Lee I-Shiuo 

Rosyth Sch 6
75 Goh Caleb 

St Andrew's Jr 5.5
89 Lock Yan Jie 
St Andrew's Jr 5
90 Loh Zhang Yan Leonard 
ACS Jr 5
119 Ng Kai Zechariah  

St Andrew's Jr 5


5 Loh Wern Sea Cadence 

RGS Pr 7
14 Koh Wei Shi Isabel  

RGS Pr 6
35 Chua Wan Lim Penelope 

RGS Pr 5
49 Yap Rui Ke 

RGS Pr 4
64 Chan Mi Mi Samantha 

RGS Pr 3.5


29 Chow Guo Quan Jovan 

St Andrew's Jr 6.5
30 Lee I-Shiang 

Rosyth Sch 6
44 Aadithya Kumar  

St Andrew's Jr 6


2 Cheong Sue Lyn  

SCGS Pr  7.5
11 Ooi Zi Ern Shannon 

RGS Pr  6
16 Goh Dai Ting 

RGS Pr  5.5
Ang Xin Ying Faith  

RGS Pr 4.5
33 Sonakshi Nag  

RGS Pr 4.5
38 Ang Alexis Jaycee 

RGS Pr 4
44 Mak Wy-En  

RGS Pr 4
45 Mok Rui Ying Caitlin 

RGS Pr 3.5
46 Lubna Maryam Shah 

RGS Pr 3.5
49 Ng Shi Han Joyce 

RGS Pr 3
54 Lee Sze Ern Vera 

RGS Pr 3
61 Ng Xuan Rui Felicia 

RGS Pr 1.5


Koh Ming Yao Gavin 

St Joseph's Inst 6.5
17    Chua Zhi Xiang Elson 

Victoria Sch 6
Tan Jun Yi Royce  

Victoria Sch 5.5
24 Tan Zhiren Bradley 

Victoria Sch 5.5
34 Khew Yu Cheng Shaun 

Victoria Sch 5
40 Saw Sheng Jie Issac  

Victoria Sch 5
66 Lam Kai Yoong 

Victoria Sch 3.5


6           Lee Qing Aun                                    Victoria Sch                 6.5
12         Tan Zhong Kai                                   Victoria Sch                6
29         Alagappan Ramanathan                     Victoria Sch                5 
31         Brighton Ng                                       Victoria Sch                5

Friday, March 18, 2016


Dato Tan Chin Nam celebrates his 90th birthday today!

He is the Grand Old Patriach of chess in Malaysia and many times sponsor for many of our tournaments in Singapore. Together with Dr Lim Kok Ann and ST Lee, he has pioneered the growth of chess development in China and is also instrumental in creating the chess superpower that China is today.

Back in Malaysia, the Malaysian Open and Merdeka Tournaments are run annually with the inception since the mid 80s thanks to his generous sponsorship. The DATCC and now White Knight Chess Academy are another of his intiatives to foster growth in Malaysian chess.

Thank you and Happy Birthday SIR!


Well, with the support of chess enthusiasts and rejuvenated ex players, the Singapore chess club scene is slowly but surely coming back. Witness the number of players at the last Spore Chess Meetup last Wednesday at the Asia Square mall! This is in comparison with the Rizal Park or Washington Square Park chess arena and the numbers are growing!

We also see interest among some women who came by to learn how to play. That's most encouraging.

Now with interest in starting weekend chess playing sessions in the East and also more CCs offering their venues for tournaments, we are seeing a renewed interest in playing chess (not checkers) on the island.

In time to come, we should have good numbers in the tournaments and perhaps gearing towards larger scale events like a World Championship to be held here?!


What are they? I am afraid some of these names below may be alien to young chess players, who may not have even known who I am talking about. Let me just flash out the titles first, then I will go in depth on my next posting. I own most of them by the way.


Having lost my copy of the Singapore Chess Digest August 1986 ( 25 years ago) which this article of mine was published, I took a trip to the Library to retrieve it and reproduce it unabridged:


Dear Sir,
    Chess clubs are created solely for players and enthusiasts to interact and exchange ideas regarding the game. It is often the hive of chess activity in strong chess—playing nations like the USA, Britain and West Germany, where friendly matches and club leagues are most popular.

   However, chess clubs today seem to have lost their grip on the chess scene in Singapore. Poor attendances, little activity between clubs and, judging from the number of clubs that have been formed then closed after some months of hunger pangs, the direction of chess is vague and uncertain. Just what does a chess club serve to do for the interested player?

   Well, it is certain that all clubs want to provide competitions for players, be it friendly matches or tournaments. The Queenstown and Cairnhill tournaments are regular crowd-pullers among chess players with their history and prestige. But if we examine these ‘open’ tournaments closely, we will find that they have dominated chess activity so completely that this leaves the player little chance to practice without having to compete. Tournaments should not form the mainstay of chess for a developing nation; rather, what is really needed is the gradual build—up of a broad base of players and the education of these players to appreciate the game. Chess cannot succeed as  a spectator sport because you need to be knowledgeable to appreciate its beauty, as it is in the case of art. Perhaps this should be the direction that the Singapore Chess Federation should consider in its plans to popularise the to promote the game through chess clubs.

   Simultaneous displays, lectures and friendly matches between all club members can attract enthusiasts to enjoy the game more effectively than organising a major ‘open’ tournament. After all, such tournaments are only meant for average players and a great opportunity for the top players to make some pocket money. Due to the adoption of the ‘open’ tournament in recent years, the average player rarely wins anything and this can turn him away from chess as it offers no returns for the time spent in learning about the game. What is worse is that it breeds mercenaries who will only play if there is a prize. Many of these mercenaries are sadly plentiful within the ranks of the juniors, which explains the high attrition rate of chess players after the age of 20. Only a handful of our past junior champions are still playing; can’t anyone just enjoy the game for the game’s sake? Perhaps the competitive element of the game has taken its toll on local players with the lowering of standards in the play of our juniors. The reason is simple: there is no impetus for them to improve as they were not taught to enjoy and love the game. The emphasis is on winning and if you don’t win, you will feel that you are just wasting time.

   Forgive me if I sound too blunt in my views, but I urge the Federation to review its aims and objectives for chess in the ‘80s. Are we content to simply produce ‘professionals’ who come out of concealment to try their luck and then disappear with the prize after winning, or do we need more chess lovers who never get tired of exploring the vast possibilities that chess abounds with? If there are any remnants of talent left to be savoured and corrected before they turn foul, then may I suggest that we start educating our school children now that chess is a tool for creation and recreation and not like tennis or golf.  Money is NOT the only reward

Signed : One concerned chessplayer

The reason why I signed off anonymously was due to the fact that I am not yet a subscriber of the magazine, so I was not sure if it would be proper to sign myself. The editor Mr Alexius Chang nonetheless thought it interesting of some of the points made and decided to publish this.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Noted that SCF has closed the registration for the FIDE Trainer Seminar in May due to overwhelming response. The number expected from the FIDE website was 20.

The one I attended in June 2015 had only 7 participants.

Monday, March 7, 2016


A whoping 93 participants graced the Lim Kok Ann Memorial Blitz event yesterday held at the Bishan CC hall from 2 to 6pm. This is quite unprecedented compared to previous editions of the event.

This is the first time incremental time control of 3 mins with 2 sec increment was introduced in the local chess scene.

The event was won by GM Bong Villamayor on 9 pts followed by IM Enrique Paciencia. A photo:

We've got feedback from some adult players to do this on a regular basis. Guess its up to the CC chess clubs to work on this, or go join the Asia Square chess meetup on Wednesdays.