CAISSA Chess Club Hong Kong

Discovery Bay & Hong Kong Island

GM Raymond Keene OBE Visits Caissa for Speech on Sochi and a Simul

November 20th, 2014

We have had the honor of some of the world’s chess best visiting our club already a couple of times. Women World Champion GM Hou Yifan held a simul earlier this year. Both Junior World Champion GM Alexander Ipatov and trainer GM Efstratios Grivas, Secretary of the FIDE Trainers Commission, visited us for simul and lectures as well. Another top trainer, GM Dimitri Komarov, visited us casually but unfortunately due to the visit of a Super Typhoon, there were very few left to meet him.

This time, on December 7, after our Blitz Tournament (you can still enrol!), GM Raymond Keene will be visiting us in Sheung Wan for a short speech on his view of the 2014 World Championship Match in Sochi between Anand and Carlsen – after which he will give a simul too.


Raymond Keene Visit Caissa on 7 December 2014

Raymond Keene Visit Caissa on 7 December 2014


GM Keene is a veteran in the chess world with an enormous track record.

As a player he was British Champion and European Gold Medalist and he represented his country in the Olympiads several years. Among his personal bests in chess displays, challenging multiple opponents at the same time, are the 107 simultaneous opponents at Oxford in 1973 where he won 101, drew 5 and lost one, and Leon, Mexico, 2013, defeating 17 opponents simultaneously without sight of the boards or pieces! Note that GM Keen is one of the co-founders of the World Memory Sports Council (HK Local branch is here:

As an organizer he was involved in various world chess championships and as an author he has (co-)written many chess articles and over a hundred of chess books.

GM Keene will hand out the prizes of our Blitz tournament on 7 December and he will also hand out the prizes to the YGP1 prize winners.

Register now to to attend his speech and play a simul against him, starting from 5pm (finishing 7pm).

Great Results for Caissa Youth in QBS Junior Star Tournament

November 10th, 2014

Junior Chess Star CompetitionThe chesskids team tasked with organizing the 3rd Quarry Bay School Junior Chess Star Competition did a great job last Sunday.

In 2012 and in 2013 Caissa members had brought home Champion and other prizes and that set the bar high for this year’s group. But they were up to their task!

In this all ESF Schools event the Primary 1-4 years play in one group and the Primary 5-6 play in another group

Among Caissa members we had 14 participants:

  • P1-P4: Mei Jing (last year’s 2nd place), James G, Justin, Noah and Seth (Discovery College), Harold (Kowloon Junior) and Louis (Quarry Bay)
  • P5-P6: Miguel Angel (last year’s 1st in P1-P4) and Ashlin (Discovery College), Toby, Thomas and Howard (Quarry Bay) James K (last year 2nd, Kowloon Junior) and Jay (Bradbury).


Justin and Noah scored 3 points out of 6 games and ended 14th and 12th respectively. This was Noah’s first tournament and scoring 50% is an impressive result.


Noah ready behind his black pieces and Harold looks relaxed against Mei Jing in the back...

Noah ready behind his black pieces and Harold looks relaxed against Mei Jing on the next board …


Seth, Louis and James G scored 3.5 points ending on 9th, 10th and 11th place – unfortunately for James G he just ended outside of the prize range. Congrats to Louis and Seth with their medals. A fine result for both boys and very impressive of Seth who played his first tournament ever.

With 5 points Harold ended 2nd having lost only to Mei Jing who became Champion with 6 out of 6. Well done!


Prize Winners P1-4 Group

Prize Winners P1-4 Group

Mei Jing Champion P1-4: Girl Power!

Mei Jing Champion P1-4: Girl Power!

End Ranking P1-4



Jay had a tough day and did not get his engines started. Thomas started very well with 2 out of 3 but perhaps in the end fell the energy drain away and he found it difficult to get back into his winning streak of the morning.


Thomas with black against Rachel

Thomas with black against Rachel

Jay in action

Jay always in good mood!


Howard recovered well from his first round loss and ended 11th, just 1 place out of reach of prizes. Miguel Angel this year ended 5th and won a medal. Toby ended 3rd getting a trophy and James K with a score of 6 out of 6 claimed the title.

Good job all!


Prize Winners P5-6

Prize Winners P5-6


Unfortunately we do not have the end ranking with points of this group, but below is the ranking:


End Ranking P5-P6

End Ranking P5-P6

Rectification HK Junior Championship

November 5th, 2014

Rectification to the previous entry:

It came to some people’s attention that although there has not been an announcement on the HKCF site, another website, of Hong Kong Junior Chess Club (HKJCC), is open for registration of HK Junior Chess Championship 2014. The website uses its own logo and it does not mention HKCF.

When it comes to representing Hong Kong in FIDE tournaments based on the event, we note that there is a difference in the notes of 2014 flyer issued by HKJCC with the flyers of previous years issued by HKCF and HKJCC as below:

2014: “The HK Juniors Chess Club would support all winners to represent HK in the corresponding junior international events……”
2013: “All winners may have the priority to represent HK in the corresponding junior international events…….”

We asked Jackson Li, President of HKCF some questions, to please:

– 1: clarify the relevance, if any, of these differences for the players
– 2: explain what the relationship is between HKCF and HKJCC
– 3: in that context, confirm that HKCF is the only organisation which can nominate both junior and adult players to represent HK in the FIDE tournaments organised by FIDE and the Federations of other countries

In response we learned that historically the HKJCC Championship was founded by Ms. Ho and only later run under the HKCF support. This year Ms. Ho decided to go on her own and that’s why that event no longer has HKCF endorsement.

Answers to the concrete questions were as follows:

-1: Previously, winners had priority to represent HK and now not.
-2: The relationship between HKCF and HKJCC is just like HKCF and Caissa; while HKCF respects the efforts of various clubs in promoting chess, HKCF do not have any preferential terms over one and another.
-3: HKCF is still the only organisation that can nominate both Junior and adult players for FIDE events.

We are making a fuzz out of this because:
1) there is a strong impression among public that this is an official qualifying tournament – which it is not, it is not even endorsed by HKCF;


Information on Ms. Ho's website gives the idea there is an official status to HKJCC tournaments

Information on Ms. Ho’s website gives the idea there is an official status to HKJCC tournaments


2) because of this impression some events had been cancelled, like the HK-Macao Interport because of the wrong reasons – trying not to clash calendars. In that sense the late notice of all HKJCC organized tournaments is disturbing – but now less so as these tournaments are not any more official than e.g., the upcoming Quarry Bay School Junior Star (9 Nov) event, the Active Kids Novice (16 Nov) tournament or Caissa Rapid and Blitz tournaments (29 Nov and 7 Dec).
3) Ms. Ho is the HKCF Juniors coordinator and we find this set-up a serious breach around managing conflict of interests.

Whereas in our previous entry we recommended U13 and U17 to join the HKJCC tournament we take back this recommendation and invite players of that age group to freely choose between HKJCC or DB Rapid on 29 November as both are not officially FIDE qualifying events without any official status, however, the DB rapid is a Youth Grand Prix qualifing tournament for U14 to get a fully sponsored trip to a prestigious international tournament. Don’t miss it out!

Macao Chess Federation 2015 Chess Calendar

November 3rd, 2014
Macao Historic Center

Macao Historic Center


As any proper Federation the Macao Chess Federation has planned their 2015 activities well ahead and shared this with us.

Hong Kong adults and youth can play in any of these tournaments, however, to represent Macao in an international event requires a Macao ID. Fair enough, of course. For Hong Kong youth (and adults) and Macao players it is in itself already a good experience to play against different opponents.

Registration is on the spot around 2.30pm and play starts around 3pm. If you are interested to join any of these events let us know or go straight to the City of Dreams to register.

The Interport between Hong Kong and Macao (planned in November but cancelled because the Hong Kong Chess Federation still hasn’t announced when it will hold the Hong Kong Youth Championship in November) is going to be rescheduled to beginning 2015.

Hopefully the Hong Kong Chess Federation will also produce a calendar for 2015 so we can work around their planned events efficiently.

Joseph Wins Autumn Open, Henry 2nd and James 3rd

November 1st, 2014

The last round of the Autumn Open 2014 last Friday evening turned out to be a roller coaster ride as was the case with the YGP: until the last minute it was not clear who would win which prize.


At the start of Round 7 everything was still possible on the top boards - Henry having a bird's eye perspective of his game against Koji

At the start of Round 7 everything was still possible on the top boards – Henry having a bird’s eye perspective of his game against Koji


At the start of round 7 Joseph led the tournament with 5.5 points out of 6, having played a draw only to James, and he seemed to be cruising towards an undisputed title. However, in the last round the not-so-rusty-anymore Long turned out to be strong enough by now to win an endgame of double rooks and pawns in an impressive manner – very precise play.

James, who had 4 points at the start of round 7 played a solid game with black against Melvin. Instead of trying to create counter play Melvin mostly reacted to James’s threats which helped James controlling the game and finally promote a pawn decisively. James now had 5 points.

Henry, who already had 5 points at the start of round 7, was kept under pressure with black by Koji (4 points at the start of round 7) who had a dominating knight controlling the middle of the board, unopposed by Henry’s enclosed bad bishop. Koji’s win secured Joseph his title and among Henry, James and Koji with 5 points it were Henry and James who ended 2nd and 3rd on tie-break and Koji just out of the prize zone.

On the other boards Hannah and David won against Toby and Ray respectively.

Congratulations to Joseph, Henry and James for their top 3 position and to all other players for upholding a very good atmosphere and some fine play throughout the event. Especially also a big applause for the youth players Toby, Ray, Melvin, Richard and Miguel Angel who dared to challenge the adults.


Prize Winners James, Joseph and Henry with trophies and envelopes!

Prize Winners James, Joseph and Henry –  well done gentlemen!


Final Ranking Cross Table Caissa Autumn Open 2014

Final Ranking Cross Table Caissa Autumn Open 2014

Miguel Angel Leads DB Competition

October 29th, 2014

Last Saturday, in the Step 3 & 4 morning class, after the dozen or so tactic puzzles, we experimented with a fun way to play chess, well, kind of chess. Using all chess rules, in 4 player chess  opponents play against each other on the same board, like it was arguably played in a very original version of chess far back in time in India.

Machiavelli, von Clausewitz, Sun Tsu and the likes would have smiled seeing the players were quick to understand the importance of diplomatic alliances, creating and breaking them many times as the game progressed.


4-player chess at caissa hong kong

More than forks, pins and double attacks Jay, Chor Wei, Jacob and Lucas soon found out the importance of alliances

4-player chess at caissa hong kong

In between the two games of competition Nitai, Ian, Ada and Koza tried out their luck, observered by Nathan


The Advanced Group is merged into the Intermediate and Beginners Group to make pairing easier. Each player will of course still only play for the prize in his or her category but chances are for an Intermediate player who scores well to face an Advanced player and if he/she is in form crisis to also play the top Beginners.

Miguel Angel scored an important win in his second game against Koji that pushed him up to first place.


DB Internal ranking 2014-15 October 25

DB Internal ranking 2014-15 October 25

Benjamin, Oliver and Miguel Angel Winners of YGP 1

October 27th, 2014

YGP1 Prizes

It does not happen often that in a tournament with 7 rounds 5.5 points is the top score. We are glad to see that in our first YGP there was no runaway winner and the competition remained extremely fierce until the last round. From that perspective we have achieved a major goal: youth playing and learning from meaningful games at standard time control.


Miguel Angel and Teddy Warming Up before Round 7

Miguel Angel and Teddy Warming Up before Round 7


At the start of round 7, Benjamin, James, Ronald and Miguel Angel all had 4.5 points closely followed by Oliver and Rachel with 4 points and Richard and Harold with 3.5 points.

It was unfortunate that on the top board the game between Miguel Angel and Ronald had to end in a win by default for Miguel Angel as Ronald could not be in town on Sunday. The expected fireworks from that game, however, were well spread out over the other boards.

Rachel with white on board 2 against Benjamin played the longest game – again, almost the full 3 hours. The position seemed to be quite equal until in the endgame of Queen + Bishop and few pawns Benjamin managed to break through to win some pawns, sufficient for the win.

Oliver played active on the king side, pushing up his rook supported h-pawn and lining up his bishop, queen and knight to assault James’ f7-g6-h7 defense. After a few exchanges black was a piece down and the exposed king was too vulnerable for further counter play.

Harold with black on board 4 made a mistake against Richard that proved to be fatal quickly and on board 5 Mei Jing with white entered an endgame of knight + pawns against Steven’s bishop + pawns which Mei Jing managed to win by stopping Steven’s king side pawn majority before rushing her 3 against 1 pawn majority on the queen side.

Andy beat Samach on board 6 and on board 7 we got a sharp Sicilian with Marco storming his white pawns into the black’s king side while Teddy aimed his pawn march to breach the defense of the white king castled on the queen side. Teddy had a defensive idea that stalled Marco’s attack just long enough for his own attack to be decisive, promoting his a pawn followed by check mate.

Toby on board 8 stayed very focused and precise enough to win his game with white against Sabrina and Samual on board 9 did not allow Ray to recover from various careless mistakes.


Final Ranking Cross Table

Final Ranking Cross Table


Because we only have one U14 player, the U14 category was merged into U12 and instead of 2 prizes in U12 we increased to 3 prizes for U14-U12. The trophies and prize money we will hand out on a separate occasion soon about which we will inform you.

At risk of repeating, again we congratulate all players for their impressive fighting spirit which resulted in a tournament in which it was not sure until the last minutes who would be the prize winners.

Special congratulations to:

  • Benjamin for winning the tournament and be the number 1 in the U14-U12 group
  • Oliver for being the best U12 player and 3rd place in the overall ranking
  • Miguel Angel for being the only undefeated player, 2nd in the overall ranking and number 1 in the U10 group.

Finally, this first Youth Grand Prix event resulted in the first ranking on the YGP table. Given the little difference in strength so far anything can happen as we proceed into the next YGP qualifying events.

Register now for the Rapid on 29 November and the Blitz on 7 December. And keep your agendas open for the Open YGP2 starting 11 January 2015.


YGP Ranking after YGP 1

YGP Ranking after YGP 1

Finale Coming Sunday to become a thriller as top 3 boards all drew

October 20th, 2014

Differences are really small in the very strong line-up of Hong Kong’s best youth players. Last Sunday we saw 3 draws on the first three board.

On board 1 Benjamin moved his white pieces to active squares trying to crack Miguel Angel’s Philidor – but Miguel Angel’s position held well and just as the black pieces were about to leap out into white territory Miguel Angel offered a draw. With almost all pieces still on the board and with only a minute left for Benjamin, he wisely accepted the draw. Stress levels are high at this tournament. That, and perhaps the toll of the Shenzhen tournament still played that same morning, can explain why Miguel Angel offered a draw – a minute, without increment, is really a short time to survive. The game was in any case a wortwhile event in itself to watch and nothing but applause for both Benjamin and Miguel Angel.


James (white ) and Ronald in Deep Though (or hiding for the camera?)

James (white ) and Ronald in Deep Though (or are they hiding for the camera?)


On board 2, James against Ronald, we also had the time dimension echoing into the game. With little time left on the clock James was still calmly walking around looking at other games but when he finally had created himself a winning end game of rook with few pawns against knight with less pawns James had no time enough to finish it and he had to head fast towards a draw.

Oliver, a little sick, faced Richard, who also had just come back from Shenzhen, and in a double rook end game the boys settled for a draw as there seemed to have been some perpetual elements on the board and they both looked genuinely tired.

Andy, who actually also was participating in Shenzhen, got stuck in traffic and his opponent Rachel won by default, as did Mei Jing because Ray could not make it.

Harold won against Marco, Teddy beat Sabrina, Samach beat Samuel and Steven won against Toby.

With the top 4, actually the top 8 players so close to each other anything can happen next week. A BYE has not been allowed anymore since round 5 and hopefully most players will make it next Sunday or will be able to arrange their game to be played before Sunday under parental supervision.


Autumn 2014 YGP1 R6 results R7 pairing

Caissa Successful in Shenzhen – 4 players win prizes

October 19th, 2014
Caissa players Joseph, Mei Jing, David, Miguel Angel, Koji and Richard

Caissa players Joseph, Mei Jing, David, Miguel Angel, Koji and Richard


Last Saturday, 6 players and 2 supporters from Caissa crossed the border into Shenzhen early in the morning. The first round started at 9am and a total of 5 rounds were played until 5pm. With 2 more rounds on Sunday this was an action packed chess weekend.

The location of the event was a very nice school, and the hotel right around the corner was excellent, but also somewhat out of the way of residential facilities and it took quite a while to get a taxi to take us to Coco Park where some of our Shenzhen friends play outdoor chess and where we would have dinner.


Dinner at Coco Park

Dinner at Coco Park



Nonetheless, over 2 days Mei Jing took the tournament seriously and scored 6 out of 7 ending second overall in group C among 120 players, also winning the first prize in the Girls category. Bravo Mei Jing!


Mei Jing Best Girl with 6 out of 7

Mei Jing (left) Best Girl with 6 out of 7


In the highest youth group Richard and Miguel Angel defended our honour with all they had. Miguel Angel had a glitch halfway the event and it was Richie who stayed on top of the pack until the last round, when he lost. Both Richard and Miguel Angel ended with 5.5 out of 7 within the prize range, 3rd and 7th respectively. Well done boys!


Richie 3rd and Miguel Angel 7th both with 5.5 out of 7.

Richie 3rd and Miguel Angel 7th both with 5.5 out of 7.


In the Open Group, with a handful adults, including 2400+ rated International Master Li Bo who ended 6th in the recent HK International Open, and dozens of strong youth players, Koji and Joseph started off with a loss. Koji could not really find his rythm but Joseph, the player in form in our Autumn Open, recovered well and towards the end of the tournament with 5 out of 7 ended on 9th place. David started off very well with 3 out of 3 but lost 2 consecutive games after that, in an unnecessary fashion. His recovery on the second day with 2 wins pushed him up to 7th place with 5 points, like Joseph, and within prize range.


David, on behalf of Caissa, receives a plaque, token of appreciation

David, on behalf of Caissa, receives a plaque, token of appreciation


This was a very nice event, with hundreds of young players, well disciplined and clearly enjoying their weekend behind their board and pieces. What else can you ask as organizer. Well done Huateng Chess Club.


CAISSA Chess Club Hong Kong

Discovery Bay & Hong Kong Island