Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club

Discovery College Youth win Prizes again in HKCF Inter-School

March 25th, 2015

With 4 teams from Discovery College, all Caissa players and students of course!, we set out Sunday morning on 22 March to participate in the HKCF national inter-school event of this year. Unfortunately due to late cancellations we ended up one player short.

The DC Secondary team, with only first year secondary students, had to face very strong and older opponents – but despite this Richard on board 1 and Carlo on board 4 impressed by scoring 5 and 4.5 points respectively. Bryant on board 2, who in several games started off well but then could not convert his better position into a win, scored 1.5 points and Samira on board 3 also scored 1.5 points.

 

2015interschoolDCsecondary

 

The DC Upper Primary Team B was the team with only 3 players and of course that hits the motivation. In the last few rounds the team got more settled and started to collect some points. Due to inexperience some games with clear winning advantage were unfortunately not converted into wins but hopefully our kids will see this as a motivation to increase experience and play more often.

 

2015interschoolDCprimaryteamb

 

The DC Upper Primary Team A has become a serious title contender already for some years. Also this year we see impressive scores from Miguel Angel on board 1, Mei Jing on board 2 and Chor Wei on board 3 with 5.5, 6 and 5 points respectively. Koza, although starting well, let go a bit in the end but together with the point he scored this team ended on the 4th place and all players received a medal.

 

2015interschoolDCprimarya

 

Furthermore Miguel Angel received a 3rd Prize medal for 1st board player and Mei Jing collected 2nd Prize for 2nd board player and the 1st Prize for best girl. Way to go Mei Jing!

 

Mei Jing showing off her 3 medals

 

The DC Lower Primary Team, Disco Knights, impressed a lot. James on board 1 played calmly and scored a good 4 points on board 1. Noah was especially in form and with 5 points he received 3rd Prize medal for board 2. Well done Noah – your first prize is in – surely more to come!

 

DC Disco Knights pep-talked by coach Michel

DC Disco Knights pep-talked by coach Michel

 

Kian on board 3 played very well but was unlucky at times and with a good score of 4 points remained just out of the prize zone. Nathan, in his 2nd tournament, but first one with a clock from the beginning, kept an eye too many on the clock. However, a memorable game he played check mating his opponent on the back rank with 2 bishops. Nathan is an upcoming talent and we will see more from him.

 

Disco Knights in Action

Disco Knights before Action

Disco Knights in Action

Disco Knights in Action

 

The team ended 5th place. Well done boys!

 

2015interschoolDClowerprimary

Seven Caissa Players in Hong Kong Delegation to World School Chess Championship 2015 in Pattaya

March 20th, 2015

The FIDE World School Chess Championship in 2015 will take place in Pattaya, Thailand, from 6-15 May. It is truly great to see that HKCF leapfrogged in terms of supporting so many Hong Kong players to attend the event.

A group of 13 of our top youth players, accompanied by 16 persons, shall defend our honor. These heroes (and we are very proud to have seven Caissa kids among them!) are:

  • Benjamin Oh U15
  • Katrina Lee G15
  • Oliver Yau U13
  • Richard Takasumi U13 (Caissa Member and Student)
  • James Kwong U11 (Caissa Member)
  • Miguel Angel Garceran Wang U11 (Caissa Member and Student)
  • Huang Ho Pang U11
  • Mei Jing Garceran Wang G9 (Caissa Member and Student)
  • Deng, Yu Dong Michael U9
  • Harold Kwong U9 (Caissa Member)
  • Anika Roy G9 (Caissa Student)
  • Alan, Pang Bo U7 (Caissa Student)
  • Bao, Jinwen U7

We will be updating regularly.

Dusit Thani Pattaya World School Chess Championship 2015 - what a terrible place to go to :)

Dusit Thani Pattaya World School Chess Championship 2015 – what a terrible place to go to :)

Active Kids Tournament – Caissa Pupils bring back home Personal and School Prizes to Discovery Bay

March 17th, 2015

REPORT by Caissa coach IM Matthew Tan

On the 15th of March Active Kids held a chess tournament at the ISF. The tournament consisted of 6 rounds of 50 minutes. I personally, was first of all curious about how our students would perform, but also interested in how things were organized here in Hong Kong. And what an experience it was!

 

Analysis Corner Caissa with coaches Michel watching and Matthew overlooking Seth and Noah's analysis

Analysis Corner Caissa with coaches Michel watching and Matthew overlooking Seth and Noah’s analysis – and Pang Bo paying attention

 

Caissa was represented by no less than 9 players, spread out in all three categories. In the youngest section, Under 6, we had Nathan defending the Caissa honor. Nathan, who has yet to turn 6 and start his lessons, showed no signs of nervousness at his first tournament! After a lucky escape in the first round, he managed to win 3 games in a row and finish on 4 points. This was enough to claim the first prize U5, a trophy almost twice the size of his own head!

Nathan with his well deserved cup with proud coach Michel

Nathan with his well deserved cup with proud coach Michel

 

Coaches Michel and Matthew standing with Ben where fellow Caissa pupils Mei Jing, Miguel Angel (back) and Ritvik are seated and ready!

Coaches Michel and Matthew standing with Ben where fellow Caissa pupils Mei Jing, Miguel Angel (back) and Ritvik are seated and ready!

 

With most of our kids playing in the primary section, we were hoping on some successes here as well. Noah had a tournament with ups and downs. Losses were followed by quick wins and after drawing with Seth in the last round he finished with 2.5 points. Seth had a completely different tournament. He started of really well, had to face some of the strongest players of the group which set him back a bit. In the end the 2.5 points we’re quite a decent result.

Ben’s tournament likely felt somewhat disappointing to him. He played really good games, but because of his lack of experience he sometimes couldn’t deliver the killing blow. He ended up at 2 points, but we’re sure he’ll do way better next tournament.

Ritvik and Kevin played more or less the same kind of tournament. Starting off really well, losing against a stronger player, getting back to the topboards again but eventually getting knocked down again. They both finished at a very reasonable 3 points and with a little more luck they can definitely contest for the prizes next time.

The only two left in this section were Miguel Angel and Mei Jing. Both managed to win their first 4(!) games. In the penultimate round they also got good positions, but when the clock arrived (after 30 minutes) they couldn’t control their nerves and eventually lost.

In the final round Miguel Angel drew his game which secured him the first place U10. Mei Jing lost, again after the clock arrived, but was the awarded the best female player prize nevertheless.

Mei Jing best girl Primary

 

Miguel Angel Best U10

Miguel Angel Best U10

 

Also because of the strong individual performances, the Discovery College school (Miguel Angel, Mei Jing, Seth and Noah) finished third place in this section.

Discovery College Players with 3rd Prize for the school

Discovery College Players with 3rd Prize for the school (left to right): Miguel Angel, Noah, Mei Jing, Seth and Nathan

 

Finally, in the secondary section we had Richard playing for the top places. A win in the final round would’ve gotten him a shared first place, but despite his loss he ended 4th in the Secondary section.

All in all, as a coach I was really happy with the fighting spirit shown by all of the players. Even after a disappointing game, they would patch themselves up and give even more in the next game. I can only imagine what more there is to come!

(All results here: U6, Primary, Secondary)

Teddy Wins Winter YGP2

March 12th, 2015

By defeating Marco, Teddy became the winner of U10 and the Champion of the YGP2 with 5.5. points. Teddy, our Caissa pupil, has developed strongly in the last couple of months. Well done!

 

Front: Harsh (white) vs. Oliver. Back: Marco (white) vs. Teddy

Front: Harsh (white) vs. Oliver. Back: Marco (white) vs. Teddy

 

James, who won against Richard, became winner of U12 and also got 5.5 points but ended 2nd overall on the 4th tie-break, that is, Teddy had more wins with black.

Andy defeated Miguel Angel by a good occupation of Miguel’s back rank with his white rook. Herewith Andy ended 2nd in U10 and Miguel Angel 3rd.

Although Oliver won his game against Harsh, it was Ronald by defeating Mei Jing who with 4.5 points could claim 2nd prize in U12.

 

Final Ranking Cross Table Winter 2015 YGP2

Final Ranking Cross Table Winter 2015 YGP2

 

Ronald had left earlier and did not get his prize handed out – but the other prize winners got their trophy and cash prizes handed out by coach Michel.

Miguel Angel 3rd place U10 YGP 2

Miguel Angel 3rd place U10 YGP 2

 

Andy Au 2nd Prize U10

Andy Au 2nd Prize U10

 

Teddy Yang, Winner U10 and Tournament Winner

Teddy Yang, Winner U10 and Tournament Winner

 

James Kwong Champion U12

James Kwong Champion U12

 

Finally the ranking of the YGP:

Ranking YGP per 8 March 2015

Ranking YGP per 8 March 2015

The Recent Changes with HKCF – We Are Positive

March 9th, 2015

Now that 3-4 months have gone by since the HKCF got refreshed after well over a decade of an unchanged previous regime, we would like to take stock for a moment. This is an important matter for us and others who see chess as their sport/activity because the functioning of a sport’s federation is crucial for progress, if not merely sustainability of the sport.

As a start it must be clear that in any situation where leadership has remained unchanged for close to 2 decades, run by the same people in all leadership functions, unchallenged for years even after multiple constitutional breaches as surfaced in the last AGM, it is difficult for a new Committee to root quickly. Succession gap, either organically grown or by design. Echoes of vested powers. Confusion with audiences. You name it. The current Committee still needs time to sort out many things, if not only balancing the chemistry of the individual members in a group who had never had the change to work together.

Of course it is a key crucial role of the President to deal with internal polemic and try to bind the new members and help bridge different points of views – and keep those indoors. And it is the role of each Committee member to sort out individual differences at Committee meetings and be a united team towards the public – as is the case in any professionally run organization.

Despite that this Committee needs to grow a little further here, especially when it comes to uniting internal diverse perspectives and how these are expressed to the public, which will surely happen with time, we see that this Committee is well on track to establishing various positive changes:

  1. Hygiene factor: (a) the Monday QES venue is bigger and we have more people playing in a good atmosphere; (b) a web site with up to date information with links that work; (c) all games played in the Prelims playable/downloadable as PGN.
  2. We have a delegation of some 10 youth representing Hong Kong in the upcoming School World Championships. This is in steep contrast with previous world or regional championships (Maribor World Youth 2012, Halkidiki World Youth 2013, ASEAN 2013, Al Ain World Youth 2013) where our youth players were the singletons from Hong Kong if not for their parents. We know about these above tournaments because the players are Caissa members and there were surely also some other tournaments where HK youth went. But as no public announcement on results have ever been made by previous HKCF we have no clue how these went.
  3. The National Arbiter course already has and will further expand the arbiter base from a select controlling few to over a dozen more. More (than the max two organized by previous HKCF) FIDE rated tournaments can now be held, also by other persons/parties who need not be Committee members, and more of our players will find motivation in improving their rating. This is an important break-through as we, Caissa, ourselves have had first hand experience to overcome the absence of support when we wanted to organize the FIDE Trainer course in Hong Kong to increase accredited trainer base by some 10 trainers, away from the good-old status quo of less than a handful trainers – with the exception of one, all of them HKCF Committee members.
  4. Rating system: although this is being reviewed for further refinement, especially in light of most active players in Hong Kong by now already having a FIDE rating (the preferred rating) showed great ambition and this work will not be wasted if it can be introduced not for its own sake but as a meaningful supplement to FIDE rating. Up to the Committee to decide.
  5. We understand from latest web entries that there is a calendar at this moment forward looking only until halfway June with a National HK Rapid and a National HK Blitz championship. That is truly great news for us – which cannot be understood by chess players from ‘spoiled’ countries where such events are simply table-stakes for a federation to stay in power.

We hope that the HKCF, despite internal Committee calibration efforts ongoing as a natural fact of the power vacuum as described above, feel encouraged to continue on this track.

Well done so far!

Excitement and Drama in Round 6 of YGP 2 – Anything can happen in next round

March 4th, 2015

Unfortunately Ulysses could not make it today (resulting in an automatic win for Andy) but apart from that we had action on all other boards in round 6.

 

The Start of Caissa YGP Round 6

The Start of Caissa YGP Round 6 – Time to wake up Anika!

 

This was a round with highs and dramatic lows. To start with, on board 1 Teddy could have freed himself up to pole position for round 7 by beating James. His ferocious attack led to win of a piece and just-not-check-mate. However, possibly Teddy forgot that he was a piece up when he accepted James’ draw offer when his immediate check mate didn’t work.

On table 2 even more drama. Given the above, by winning from Ronald, Richard could have pushed himself up to first place instead of Teddy. But at the end of a long pawn endgame battle Richie let his completely winning position of King + Queen against Ronald’s King + pawn end in a draw. Tension and pressure must be high in this event as we all know Richard’s qualities to be way above this to happen – and similar things were to happen on other boards too…

 

Ronald (white) vs. Richard and Miguel Angel (white) vs. Harsh in the background

Ronald (white) vs. Richard and Miguel Angel (white) vs. Harsh in the background

 

These results were definitely useful to Miguel Angel who beat Harsh by timing his king-side attack well enough to gain some pawns for free. It was also calmer and more straightforward to winning routes on the boards where Marco beat Toby and Mei Jing beat Harold after both Toby and Harold had made some early mistakes.

Samuel came with lots of advantage out of the opening with white against Anika but the excitement of having a good position could work against you if you lose patience and that is what might explain why Samuel lost the game.

 

Samuel against Anika on the foreground, followed by Seteven against Pak, mei Jing against Harold and Marco against Toby

Samuel against Anika on the foreground, followed by Steven against Pak, Mei Jing against Harold and Marco against Toby

 

Finally, the most impressive game seen in a while on any chess board was between Steven and Pak. Steven had developed his white pieces in such a harmonious way that when he lost his queen through a knight double attack check, he managed to create immediate counterplay. Allowing pins, creating new ones, trading few pieces in the way of several checks he wanted to give with his combined bishops, Steven suddenly had pushed the black king back to the middle of the board where it was checkmated by a combination of 3 minor pieces and a rook. Pak probably could have done something about it 10 moves earlier, e.g., by sacrificing something back, but the last 5 moves were already part of a forced win.

As can be seen from below ranking tables in the coming last round, anything can happen.

Cross Table Ranking after Round 6

Cross Table Ranking after Round 6

Ranking after Round 6

Ranking after Round 6

Pairing Round 7

Pairing Round 7

Long You Champion Winter 2015 – Miguel Angel 2nd and David 3rd

March 2nd, 2015

Last Friday, in the 7th and last round, Long was leading with 5 points but he was not present and David with 4 points on 2nd place was not playing either. Therefore the top 3 positions were not secured until the very last game ended.

That game was between Melvin and Miguel Angel. If Melvin would win he would join Miguel Angel and David with 4 points and depending on the results of James and Henry, this could mean a prize…

 

The last game of the tournament: Melvin with white against Miguel Angel in Round 7

The last game of the tournament: Melvin with white against Miguel Angel in Round 7

 

However in an endgame with strong queen attack that was en route to be winning for Melvin, Miguel Angel lured Melvin’s white king towards the middle of the board into checkmate.

The other key match that could still change the ranking in the top 3 was between Koji and James. Gradually pieces went off the board until a 2 rooks vs. 5 pawns endgame was left in which Koji managed to stay more precise, winning a few pawns and the game.

 

Koji with white against James and Ray with white in the background against Henry

Koji with white against James and Ray with white in the background against Henry

Conrad with white against Michel

Conrad with white against Michel

 

Although there were no prizes at stake in the games between Henry and Ray and Conrad and Michel – both boards showed dynamic positions. While Michel with black pressed his h and g pawns far up, supported by a rook, piece and queen, Conrad suffered a piece loss. After this his play through the middle was insufficient to prevent a stampede of the well coordinated black pieces trampling the white king.

In the game between Ray and Henry it was Ray who was slamming on the door of the black king with his pawns pushed up all the way to h5 and g5, supported by queen and pieces. However, Ray chose to break the black protective pawns in front of the black king in peril  by playing g6 instead of h6. This made a difference of day and night as Henry freed up his Rh8 after capturing f7xg6 and with his active queen and knight was able to execute a decisive attack on the queen side.

With these results, Long stayed number 1 and became Champion with 5 points. Miguel Angel, single digits in age, ended also with 5 points and collected 2nd prize (and counted and recounted his 750HKD prize money …). David with 4 points ended 3rd. Trophies will be given next week.

Thanks all for the good atmosphere and several fine games played over the board.

Final Ranking Caissa Winter 2015  Open

Final Ranking Caissa Winter 2015 Open

 

Cross table after 7 rounds

Cross table after 7 rounds

Teddy and and James share first place in YGP2 … and meet next Sunday

February 25th, 2015

With Miguel Angel drawing against Richard in round 5 Teddy has emerged on the top position again after his win against Ronald in that same round, sharing 1st place with James who won against Marco. The game to watch in round 6 will be James against Teddy!

Teddy with white against Ronald

Teddy with white against Ronald breaking through the center

 

Below the ranking after round 5 and the pairing for round 6:

Cross Table Ranking after Round 5

Cross Table Ranking after Round 5

Pairing Round 6

 

 

Long You Stays on Top but …

February 24th, 2015

After Long beat James in their encounter before CNY, Long has freed himself a full point from his followers. However, as Long will not be in town this Friday the top 3 places are not settled at all yet.

See below for ranking after round 6 and pairing round 7…

Cross Table after Round 6

Cross Table after Round 6

 

Pairing Round 6

Pairing Round 7

Long You Leads Winter Open

February 9th, 2015

The game between the until-then only two undefeated players last Friday ended in a win for Long who met David’s Sicilian with the c3 variation.

Henry’s good-looking sacrifice of a piece for 2 pawns and a strong king side attack did not go as planned against James who found enough of his white pieces readily positioned for the win when black’s assault had run out of steam.

Our 9 years old Miguel Angel came under dangerous fire of several pins and attacks all around his defensive white pieces but he still managed to win the game after Conrad’s miscalculation of move order cost him a rook.

 

Miguel Angel vs. Conrad - Long in background

Miguel Angel vs. Conrad – Long in background watched by Melvin

 

Koji and Michel maneuvered their pieces around for a long time before finally the end game with rook + piece and few pawns on both sides grounded into a stand-still  and draw.

 

Koji vs. Michel

Koji with white vs. Michel

 

The ranking and score table are below, as is the pairing for next round when the game between James and Long could be crucial for the championship:

Cross table after Round 5

Cross table after Round 5

 

Pairing Round 6

Pairing Round 6

 

Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club