The 29th Singapore National Open Championship took place in the week before Christmas. In the 9th and last round Miguel Angel Garceran Wang, in the Open Under 8 Category, unfortunately lost his game and consequently could not gain a top position but ended with 6 points on the 9th place.
However, some of Miguel Angel’s games were very convincing, a prelude of what was to come in following 2 weeks.
In the Girls Under 8 Category Mei Jing Garceran Wang started well with 4 points out of 4 games but ended after 9 rounds with 5 points on the 6th place and a nice trophy.
A city renowned in the Netherlands for strong youth players is Rotterdam of which the adjacent small town Capelle aan den IJssel once had a strong youth section conquering titles in Dutch national championships. And still now in 2012 the prestigious Open Capels Jeugdschaak Kampioenschap attracts good and promising youth players.
In the Open Category D (Under 10 years) both Miguel Angel and Mei Jing participated. Mei Jing scored 4 points and ended 16th but Miguel Angel was crowned Champion Under 10 years with the very impressive score of 10.5 out of 11 games. Well done!
It is very clear that such a small country like Holland, ending 6th in the latest Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, just behind some former USSR states, China and the USA, knows how to organize and attract young players. It is difficult to exactly describe how or why this “child friendly atmosphere generating” youth tournament differs from the “clinical and no-nonsense atmosphere” in youth tournaments held in this part of the world; but it could well be a contributing factor in keeping youth players interested even after they turn 14 years old – the moment in various places in this part of the world chess participation collapses.
Chess club Tornado, in the Dutch small town Druten held its regional IJSCO “jeugd schaaknacht” (youth chess night) on 2 January 2013 that attracted over 80 participants from around the region of East Holland. Again, in an ambiance attractive to and motivating for children, Miguel Angel (7 points out of 7 games in group H) and Mei Jing (5 points in group J) won 1st and 3rd prize respectively after a night of hard work (final ranking).
It is good to see that Caissa youth is internationally competitive and it is highly recommendable to play chess in different settings. In 2013 Caissa will aim to coordinate participation in overseas or international tournaments for a larger group of Caissa youth.