Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club

chess in hong kong

Richard Takasumi wins HKCA Student Challengers U12 and Michael Yang wins HKCF Open

October 29th, 2013

HKCA Student Challenger

Last Saturday and Sunday the Hong Kong Chess Association held the October 2013 edition of their Student Challengers Tournaments in which youth players up until 18 years are mixed in one group but play for prizes in their specific age groups.

Winner U18 and overall winner was Raphael Chang with 7.5 points out of 8 games. Overall numbers 2 and 3 were James Kwong and Ronald Choy who ended numbers 1 and 2 in the U9 age category, both with an impressive 6 points.

In the U12 age group, Ernest Cheung, Benjamin Oh and Caissa’s Richard Takasumi ended with 5.5 points but Richard claimed first prize on tie-break. Congratulations Richard and to all other prize winners!


Richard Takasumi Wins 1st prize U12

Richard Takasumi Wins 1st prize U12

See here for full results: HKCA Oct 2013 Tournament_Results


HKCF Hong Kong Open Local 

On a dramatic last Monday Andrew Leung, who had been on top position for several weeks, lost his game against Christopher Masters. Because Michael Yang beat Jake Chan, Michael was able to recover his loss from round 4 against Andrew to end first position with 5.5 points, half a point more than Andrew. Congratulations Michael! Also congrats for Andrew, Christopher and Ritesh Mahajan for their top spots.

Luen-Wah Luk, after a “false start” climbed at cost of Lin Wai Kit to 6th position just under Jake Chan. Joe Lau lost his 3rd consecutive game against earlier mentioned Ritesh and as Hysan Wong drew against Pak Tuen Cheung they all ended with 4 points in the top 10.

The number 10 position was for Caissa’s David Garceran Nieuwenburg who after a deep descent in the first few rounds managed to climb up, in the last round against Sang Tsz Tang who in the late middle game had the better position but lost track of the right way forward in the endgame with some time pressure.


Final Cross Table Hong Kong Open 2013

Final Cross Table Hong Kong Open 2013



A Weekend of 10 minutes Blitz

October 28th, 2013

Discovery Bay

The weather last Saturday was so good that, well, why not enjoy the breeze of a blitz. The beginners group was divided into two groups of 5 players.

In group B, Kaya and Gauri shared first place with 2.5 points, followed by Chris with 1.5, Tiffany with 1 and Fiona with 0.5 points. In group A, Alex who came late and played a game less, still ended first with 3 straight wins, followed by Maximilien with 2.5, Wo Hang with 2, Jaewon with 1 and Kevin this time with no points.


Coach Aravind watches over group A. Group B is in the foreground.

Coach Aravind watches over group A. Group B (Fiona-Tiffany and Gauri-Chris) play in the foreground.


In the Advanced group we missed Koji and Richard this time as Richard played in the Hong Kong Chess Association organized October 2013 tournament for youth. Richard was the only player from Caissa but he made an impact by winning the U12 category with 5 out of 8 points. Congrats Richie!

Aravind, who helped supervise the Beginners group stayed on to play in the Advanced mini Blitz tournament – the weather was still very good…

Also in the Advanced group we split in 2 groups. In group B Mei Jing kept on showing her form but Max this time seemed to have a strong come back; to that degree that Max and Mei Jing, both ending with 3 points, had to play a 5 minutes deciding game. Mei Jing had the better position and two more minutes on the clock when the clock’s battery’s turned dead. We had to leave the place and the game was decided draw. Samira ended with 2 points, Chor Wei with 1.5 and Wilson with 0.5.

In group A, David only lost to Miguel Angel but ended first place with 3 points, followed by Miguel Angel with 2.5, Aravind with 2, James with 1.5 and Miguel Angel sr., with 1 point.


Left: James - Aravind and Chor Wei - Samira while Miguel Angel sr. watches Mei Jing play

Left: James – Aravind and Chor Wei – Samira while Miguel Angel sr. watches Mei Jing play


Sheung Wan

In Sheung Wan we are glad to welcome Matthew and Marcus as our new members and it was also good to have both Melvin and Oliver visiting for a trial as they showed some good play, 10 minutes blitz – the weather was still very good – against Miguel Angel, Mei Jing and Ritvik.

10 minutes blitz thaThe weather was still great

Intermediate Group Moves from Thursday to Saturday in November

October 25th, 2013

With just a handful of players, Jay, Jonathan, Bryant, Wilson, Miguel Angel and Mei Jing, Caissa started its first meeting on Thursday June 7 2011. It is very good to see that all these players are still our core members!

Yet, last Thursday was the end of the Thursday meetings. With the ever very kind cooperation from the North Plaza Community Center BMSE we can now make use of the largest room on Saturdays which allows us to hold the Beginners and Intermediate meetings at the same place and time.

We are sure this will benefit the atmosphere and the opportunities to play more games with more equally skilled players. Our best Beginners can play against some Intermediate players and envision their pipeline of progress.

Speaking of which, both Ian and Rafe keep on marching away from the rest. As they again both won their games they are now both leading with 6 points but Rafe having played one match less. How shall this end …?


James, Rafe and Maximilien (left team) play against  Suneh, Ian and Jonathan in the last Transfer Chess match on Thursdays.

James, Rafe and Maximilien (left team) play against Suneh, Ian and Jonathan in the last Transfer Chess match/fun on Thursdays.

Rafe scores important win in Intermediate and Mei Jing leads Advanced Group

October 22nd, 2013

Discovery Bay Beginners

Last Saturday in the Beginners group we played a round robin of 5 rounds.

In Group A we saw a very tight race for glory in which Alex emerged as the number 1. Kian and Jaewon had some games in which their positions were very much winning but the solution could not be found over the board.

In Group B some players had to leave a little earlier, thus losing a critical match. In this scramble of unevenly played matches Fiona turned out to be the winner together with Kaya.


Caissa Beginners Oct 2013


Discovery Bay Intermediate

Rafe scored an important win against Ian and now ranks 1st place with Ian both with 5 points but Rafe has played one game less. With several games still to play it is not clear how this group ends although Rafe seems the favorite at this moment.


Intermediate Group Ranking after 7 Rounds

Intermediate Group Ranking after 7 Rounds


Discovery Bay Advanced

In the Advanced group we welcome two new members. New adult player James brings in some solid quality which he displayed by beating Richard in round 2.

New girl youth player Samira also showed she had no starting problems by winning her first game in this group against Max who in round 1 had miraculously escaped into a stalemate against Chor Wei.

Chor Wei in this round moved convincingly towards a better position against Mei Jing but in the King Pawn against King Pawn ending Mei Jing’s calculations turned out to be more precise and once her pawn queened the finish was merely a technical exercise.

Miguel Angel hasn’t found his form yet in this group and lost against Koji who seems to improve week after week.


R2 Caissa Advanced 2013

Advanced Group Ranking after Round 2


Sheung Wan

Our Sheung Wan location was opened last Sunday and it is ready to go. It was good to see some new people visit the place and we hope to see our Kennedy Town participants, and more new members, find their way to this location soon!


Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club - Sheung Wan

Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club – Sheung Wan

Caissa Training Center and Moving Kennedy Town Club to Sheung Wan

October 10th, 2013

At the Discovery Bay Club we have been giving lessons on Saturday mornings to meet ad hoc needs, especially those of very beginning players who need to learn the basic rules, and a little beyond, before they can start play in the Beginners group in the afternoon.

In this flexible approach students could book single lessons, which resulted in teaching a different group of students almost every week. From November on we will organize the small group training differently.

Taking one lesson is of limited value as there is no growth path.  Therefore we will offer 4 lessons in a batch to the same group of classmates so that all students in the same group go through the same material and are at the same level during and after the course. We will make  use of the Step Method that can lead complete beginners to a FIDE rating of around 1900 (Step 5).

For Intermediate and more Advanced players we will also use a mix of classroom and online teaching with world class players and trainers, like the course by GM and Junior World Champion 2012 Alexander Ipatov, Building an Opening Repertoire: Queens Gambit Declined in the Train with the Best Series.


Inspiring world class trainers: GM Alexander Ipatov Surrounded by Caissa Youth

Inspiring World Class Trainers: GM Alexander Ipatov Surrounded by Caissa Youth


Caissa Members Following GM Alexander Ipatov's Explanation of the Carlsbad Pawn Structure

Caissa Members Following GM Alexander Ipatov’s Explanation of the Carlsbad Pawn Structure (via Skype)


Trainers CM Collin Madhavan (left) and GM Efstratios Grivas (middle) appreciated guest teachers at Caissa.

Trainers CM Collin Madhavan (left) and GM Efstratios Grivas (middle) Appreciated Guest Teachers at Caissa.


Our Kennedy Town Club will move out of Kennedy Town into a permanent location from 20 October in Sheung Wan (15/F, Well View Commercial Building, 10 Morrison Street). This allows us to have longer opening hours on Sundays and during week days we can start playing and training in the “Caissa Way” on Hong Kong Island as well.

Registration for training for November onwards is online. Places are limited!

Discovery College Students Bring Top Prizes Home from QBS all-ESF Primary Chess Tournament

October 6th, 2013

The second edition of the Quarry Bay School organized ESF schools Primary School chess tournament was a great success. In all aspects: weather, premisses, organization and … results!

The weather was excellent, probably a bit hot down at sea level, but up the mountain where QBS is housed, the wind (and aircon …) created a very pleasant atmosphere. The organization of the event was outsourced to chesskids and the entire event was very well managed, child-friendly and professional.

Different from last year the Discovery College students had not specifically trained for this event as 7 out of the 8 players already train or play with Caissa on a weekly basis.


Left to right: Saga, Mei Jing, Ashlin, Maxwell, Chor Wei, Richard, Miguel Angel, Arnav

Left to right: Saga, Mei Jing, Ashlin, Maxwell, Chor Wei, Richard, Miguel Angel, Arnav


Upper Primary (P5-P6)

Chor Wei, who played very well last year in the Lower Primary scoring 4.5 points scored a very decent 3.5 points in this section.

Ashlin played her first tournament ever and scored 0.5 points after 4 rounds. Unfortunately she had to miss the second half of the event and likely therefore she missed out at least another point or two.

Richard, champion in this category last year, faced sure competition, particularly from his peer-talents James Kwong and Collin Wong, but managed to prolong his title with an impressive score of 6.5 out of 7.


Richard (left) Champion Upper Primary

Richard (left) Champion Upper Primary


Lower Primary (P1-P4)

Some of our players here played too fast, not atypical for this age group and nothing to worry about. With continuous play this will improve.

Saga, somewhat overestimating her opponents, scored 2.5 points ending 22nd. Similarly, Arnav, who last year scored 1.5 points, scored 2.5 points (ending 23rd) this year and as confidence grows, fear will make place for respect for the opponent and that is an important major break-through for all players.

Maxwell, who scored 3.5 points last year, improved his score with his 4 points this time and ended very respectably on 11th place. Surely more is within reach if the urge for speed can be better balanced.

Mei Jing, who last year scored 3 points, made the biggest improvement and with 6 points (only losing against her brother, school and chess club mate, Miguel Angel) she claimed 2nd prize, 1 full point loose from number 3.

Miguel Angel, last year’s champion with 6.5 points, was unstoppable and with his 7 points 100% score he claimed the 1st prize again, convincingly.


Miguel Angel and Mei Jing (left) end 1st and 2nd respectively in Lower Primary

Miguel Angel and Mei Jing (left) end 1st and 2nd respectively in Lower Primary


Online Course on Queens Gambit Declined by IGM A. Ipatov

October 4th, 2013

Ipatov Opening Repertoire Series - QGD Basic1

Tomorrow we will start our first experimental trial to use modern means to get world class quality chess into Hong Kong. International GM and 2012 Junior World Champion Alexander Ipatov will be holding a class on the Queens Gambit Declined via Skype at Caissa. The session will be projected onto a large whiteboard so the students can better see and interact with Ipatov.

As part of our program Training With The Best we are glad to have Ipatov aboard.

  • What is this about? Series : Building Up Opening Repertoire
  • What Opening is studied now? Queens Gambit Declined – Part 1: Basic
  • Can I still join? Have you played a tournament already – yes? Then hurry up! ENROLL NOW.
  • Can I join if I miss a lesson? We will record the sessions on DVD in case you miss a lesson.
  • Why the Queens Gambit Declined? Let’s have Ipatov explain himself:

Queens Gambit Declined (often written as “QGD”) is probably the most classical chess opening. It was played on top level 100 years ago and hasn’t lost its popularity since then. QGD was the main field of opening battles in multiple World Championship matches. For example: in 1927 between Alexander Alekhine and Jose Raul Capablanca or in 1984-1985 between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. Talking about these days, QGD is successfully played by Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjabov and other elite players.

When I started to play chess, Queens Gambit Declined was the first opening I was taught by my first coach. He told me that understanding plans and ideas of QGD is the fundament for further growth. Making a comparison with life: if the building has no fundament, it can’t be build higher, as everything will fall down from the top. Same with chess. If a player is not aware of classical heritage, then he can never become a decent player. And I do believe that exploration of classical chess heritage must begin from learning and understanding plans and ideas of the Queens Gambit Declined.

“Queens Gambit Declined – Part 1: Basic” – online course which consists of 4 lessons, will help you to understand basic secrets of this opening. For deeper understanding, all plans and ideas will be demonstrated in games played by masters.

Good luck!

GM Alexander Ipatov

  • Finally, what are the contents of the course? The course will be structured as follows:
    • Lesson 1: Carlsbad pawn structure – basis of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Other openings where the Carlsbad pawn structure can arise. Introduction to typical plans for both sides in QGD. Analysing the first game ever played in Carlsbad pawn structure (1898!). Few other classical examples about Carlsbad pawn structure.
    • Lesson 2: How to attack in Carlsbad pawn structure with White : pawn minority attack.
    • Lesson 3: How to defend in Carlsbad pawn structure with Black : piece counterplay on the kingside & creating a barrier with b7-b5.
    • Lesson 4: Modern handling of the Queen’s Gambit Declined.

Intermediate Group Evolves Towards Two Players with 4 Wins

October 3rd, 2013
Intermediate Group players warming up before round 5 of the competition

Intermediate Group players warming up before round 5 of the competition


After 5 rounds we have Rafael and Ian leading the group, both with 4 points out of 4 games. Saga has settled in well from the Beginners group last year and with 2.5 points stands firmly on the 3rd place. Joshua tried out Intermediate for the first time and played well enough, despite losing to the Ian, to realistically try to climb up in this group.


Rank after round 5

Rank after round 5