Friday, December 30, 2016


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


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


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.


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


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!