After 3 days and 11 rounds of chess the 2013 edition of the cross-straits tournament ended with very decent results for our Hong Kong youth.
In U10, James Kwong ended on the 11th place, earning an Award of Honour with 7.5 points and by himself as one-man-team he also managed with these 7.5 points to get 3rd prize for best team! Well done, James.
In U8, Gerent Lee, who recently joined Caissa as a member (welcome Gerent!), scored 7 points, just outside the top 16 who would receive an Award of Honour.
With 7.5 points for both Adrian Leung and Miguel Angel Garceran Wang they ended 12th and 9th respectively, both earned the Award of Honour with Miguel Angel just outside reach of a medal (given to the top 8 of 16) in addition to the Award.
In U7 Mei Jing Garceran Wang had a strong comeback on the last day winning 2 out of 3 to end with 5 points on the 9th place of the girls in this age category. Harold Kwong, with true fighter spirit achieving an amazing draw with a queen down in one of the last rounds, ended comfortably with 6.5 points in this age group.
In this field of hundred or so players in each of these age groups, of whom the (top) players from China receive training from Masters and Grand Masters and are introduced to chess at schools already, as we understood from the organizer, the disadvantage for our youth not receiving any of these opportunities in Hong Kong, was handsomely compensated by their talent and interest for the game.
It is time that in Hong Kong chess for youth is taken to the next level to nurture our players to develop their talents to the maximum possible. This is not done by small scale (semi-)private lessons, an occasional holiday chess clinic and a handful of tournaments here and there: this requires a structural approach to build a chess infrastructure of clubs, teaching programs, introducing chess to schools and other well coordinated activities that take part in a well designed pipeline of chess education and motivation.
This tournament proved to be a good opportunity to have established first contact with the organizers (and especially a thank you to Mr. Lui the organizer in charge for his warm welcome to the Hong Kong players and parents) to explore further ways of cooperation for Hong Kong youth. You will be kept posted on this.