Sunday, 9 December 2012

The strongest National Championships ever! - by Junior Tay

From 22nd December till the end of the year, the strongest ever National Chess Championships in all Categories will be held. It is fitting that this is the 64th edition of the event (If you don't know what's the significance, then surely, you're not a chessplayer...).

6 IMs will contest for the title of Singapore Champion in a double round all-play-all event. Asian Nations Bronze Medallist  IM Goh Weiming (2441) will be up against Cairnhill Blitz Champion IM Steven Kim Yap(2410) , 1982 Lucerne Olympiad Gold Medallist IM Rico Mascarinas (2390), Toa Payoh West Champion IM Enrique Paciencia (2374),  Queenstown Open Champion IM Luis Chiong (2301) and SEA Games Bronze Medallist IM Lim Yee Weng (2300) in a gruelling 2 rounds-a-day event in the Premier section

The participants in the Candidates section are no slouches either. Top seeded is former Asian Junior Champion IM Domingo Ramos (2259) who will have his hands full against Cairnhill Open Champion Tan Weiliang (2214), Multiple National Blitz Champion FM Chia Chee Seng,  ASEAN Youth U17 Champion FM Liu Xiangyi (2118) and National Challengers 2011 co-winners, Iskandar bin Abdullah (1991) and Shawn Yong Han (1901).

In the Womens' Category, all participants have already attained Master Titles. Top seed is WIM Gong Qianyun (2267), followed by WIM Angela Khegay (2214). WFM Liu Yang (2078), WFM Zinmar Min Than (1964), WFM Victoria Chan (1948) and WFM Danielle Ho (1907)

The time control is 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move.

More details can be found at the Singapore Chess Federation National Championships webpage.


  1. Is it stronger than 2005?
    2 GMs and 3 IMs and 2 FMs it is recorded there:

  2. Yes. It is stronger than 2005. In 2005, there were 2 GMs, 2 IMs and 3 FMs ( Wei Ming not IM yet) but also 6 players rated below 2100, which pulled down the average rating of the field to below ELO 2300. In the 2012 edition, no one is below 2300 so it is no doubt stronger.

  3. I personally feel that the challengers, candidates and premier setup for national championship is too premature and elitist. Unless we have a strong group of local players wanting to compete yes. But if not, why not have a format open to all players in 7 or 9 round swiss?

  4. Do you mean candidates and premier? There is no challengers section this year.

    We used to have open qualifiers with no minimum rating floor which resulted in lopsided matches during the finals. There are pros and cons to both formats but it makes more sense to me to have players with approximately the same elo to face each other. This is in fact an accepted practice in plenty of other places. In my opinion, there is a case for both formats but neither is more correct than the other.