Sunday, 11 November 2012

The value of hard work - by Junior Tay

Two days ago, Tan Weiliang was contemplating whether to join Jarred Neubronner, IM Lim Yee Weng and your scribe in a badminton, bowling and blitz session yesterday afternoon when he finally decided to stay home to prepare for his evening HPE league match against FM Tin Jingyao. What I found amazing was that he disclosed to me that he intended to try "catching Jingyao in a specific 4 Knights endgame". Prepare an opening to catch someone in an endgame? Goodness. This is some serious preparation.

And indeed, Jingyao walked into the setup Weiliang anticipated but the latter blew a good chance to win when he missed an advantageous piece exchange (as pointed out by the arbiter IM Domingo Ramos). Jingyao's enterprising play allowed him to retain strong drawing chances. Weiliang was chastising himself for allowing Jingyao to escape and collected his thoughts. Weiliang had already lost 6 ELO points after Ashvin Sivakumar drew against him last week. Another draw would mean another 4.4 ELO points down the drain. He then worked out an insidious plan in an attempt to win. And what an awesome idea it was indeed!

The Doctors win Interpro 2012 - by Junior Tay

The Medical Society of Singapore clinched the 2012 edition of the Interpro Chess teams by beating the teams from Law Society of Singapore and Institute of Engineers. As the engineers could only muster up 2 players for their team (out of 4 boards), the deciding factor was the matchup between the doctors and the lawyers. 

The doctors managed to outscore the lawyers 3-1 but the result could easily have swung the other direction. On Board 2, NM Gregory Vijayendran and Dr J Nithiananthan tussled in an extremely sharp French Classical and in chronic time trouble, Gregory made the last mistake and that was it.
NM Gregory Vijayendran vs Dr J Nithiananathan
FM Jeremy Lim being given a tough time by David Lui.
On Board 3, David Lui played well to ward off FM Dr Jeremy Lim's Catalan Opening pressure and kept exchanging White's good pieces. Jeremy decided to make a draw offer (abeit in a slightly better position) but was rebuffed. Jeremy finally reeled home the point with steady fingers and accurate defence in the blitz finish.

Board 4 saw the doctors' secret weapon, Dr. Paul Thng (the doctors could even rest ex-National Champion NM Derrick Heng!) edging out former Olympian Andrew Ee from the Black side of a Sicilian Maroczy Bind. Massive manouvring in the first 25 moves and chaos in the blitz finish.

  Paul Thng playing on three ranks against FM Andrew Ee's Maroczy Bind.

Finally, on top board, we saw the heavyweight encounter between IM Hsu Li Yang and  Malaysian Olympiad Board 2 IM Lim Yee Weng, 
IM Hsu Li Yang vs IM Lim Yee Weng.

It was an intriguing tussle as Li Yang kept encouraging Yee Weng to double his pawns on both sides of the board. On a few junctures, Li Yang analysed advantageous Queen trades but felt he could always wait a move more and finally, it was one move too many as Yee Weng finally doubled Li Yang's a pawn to get a huge plus.
Final Results Interprofessional Competition (Chess) - Arbiter: Kenny Chern
1st- Singapore Medical Association
2nd - Law Society of Singapore
3rd - Institution of Engineers Singapore.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Edward Lee and Iskandar bin Abdullah rack up 30+ ELO points in overseas events - by Junior Tay

Edward Lee's Unive Open tournament can be considered a success for him ELO wise. As reported by NM Urcan in his column, Edward drew GM Jan Timman in Round 3. He also bagged 33 ELO points after scoring 4.5/9 against an average ELO 2327 rating field. Watch as he made short work of Romanian WIM  Ioana-Smaranda Padurariu (2236).

Iskandar bin Abdullah completed his Visag GM event with 6.5/11, beating 2 ELO 2300+ FMs in the process and gaining 31 points. It is well known that there are many strong underrated players in India. I think Yee Weng and Weiliang can attest to that!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Strong start by Ashvin Sivakumar at the HPE Training League - by Junior Tay

Ashvin Sivakumar, the National Under 11 champion made full use of the opportunity to play masters for ELO rating points by scoring an outstanding 2 points against 3 of the strongest players in the league.

 Ashvin receiving the Challenge trophy for winning the 2nd Patrick Tay Challenge event with a perfect 7/7 result.

Ashvin's win against NM Robert Suelo Jr and his draws against NM Arlan Cabe and Tan Weiliang allowed him to  make a TPR of 2340 and he is poised to earn 40+ ELO points. FM Tin Jingyao has also made netted some ELO points by drawing higher rated players such as James Attwood (England) and WIM Angela Khegay. Also, Lee Qing Aun took out WFM Zinmar Min Than and Gabriel Cheang and can expect a nice ELO gain too.

Thanks to IM Domingo Ramos who scanned all the Round 1 to Round 3 scoresheets  into PDF format, we can now view how the games went.

Here are some interesting games from the event.

Ashvin proved that he is as adept at chess as at National Spelling Competitions by beating NM Robert Suelo Jr in this superb strategic display.

The biggest upset so far from the tourney is Northland Primary's 10 year old Steffi Lim's win over WFM Zinmar Min Than when she floored the Myanmese master with the following tactic.

The matchup between two of our most promising juniors ended abruptly with this stock Rook sacrifice by Heng Zheng Kai.

A nice switch from a complex middlegame to a winning ending by Heng Jun Kai.
Updates, scanned gamescores and tables of the SCF HPE League can be found on the SCF HPE page.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

IM Chan Peng Kong in New Zealand - by Junior Tay

IM Chan Peng Kong took part in two FIDE rated events in New Zealand in October. He first played in the George Trudle Masters Event from  September 29th - October 7th 2012, scoring 6/9 points against a field which comprises 7 FMs, 1 IM and 1 GM. 8th seeded Chan finished equal 4th and  earned 11 ELO points in the Auckland Event. Next up, he also scored 6/9 in the South Island Championship in Dunedin (October 10th - 14th 2012).

IM Chan Peng Kong (With thanks to New Zealand Chess Federation for the picture)

This time, he made the prize list with his equal 3rd placing. For his efforts in both events, he gained 12 ELO points. IM Gary Lane won both events with FM Ben Hague making an IM norm in the George Trudle Masters Event.

Here are some of his games from the events.

A strong exchange sacrifice turns White's aggressive Kingside  formation into a porous mess in which Black's Queen + Knight tandem proved too difficult to parry off.

An abrupt end to a tense positional fight...
An anti-positional Bishop trade precipitated the following Queenside chaos where White's pieces ended up stepping on each other's toes.