The Olympiad U16 (21-30 July) in Chongqing, Mainland China, is a mixture of some 30 official country teams of 4 players and at least as many local chess clubs. Great to see so many chess clubs interested in participating and it surely hints towards China being serious about developing international chess. On the other hand, that many clubs mixed with national teams moves the event somewhat away from a true inter-land competition.
The organization though, keeps track of the country teams in a separate list and our Hong Kong delegation after round 10 ranks 30st out of 32 official country teams.
No doubt our players Luke, Michael, Saloni, Ryan and Pak Shing gave it their all and the experience to participate in a world championship event is to be cherished for the rest of their lives.
To participate on a World Champion level tournament, of course, is something to be nervous about and definitely our players would be more comfortable a next time, having gained this valuable experience now – especially so for some of our players who participated while being several years below 16 years of age.
To better support our players in the future it could help if the HKCF would invite players, based on their performance e.g., in qualifying tournaments (like how HKCF does with the Olympiad for adults), to defend Hong Kong in official tournaments. Upon accepting the invitation, players would be formally trained and prepped, say, for at least 3 months before the event.
Such an arrangement requires some funding or sponsorship. Caissa would volunteer to organize sponsorship for such a set-up (of transparant qualification and selection), which would include travel/lodging of the selected players to international events (not only players would go who can afford to bear the travel costs) and training.
This has been suggested to HKCF and awaiting a response.