chess in hong kong
HKCF, today, inform on their web site about their inter-school chess event on 8/9 March.
This tournament clashes with the Caissa Winter 2014 Finals planned for 9 March. We will need to reschedule our Finals and sincere apologies to all players already registered and who cannot make the new date which is Saturday March 1.
Refunds will be provided to all players who cannot change to participate on Saturday March 1 instead of the originally planned 9 March.
After the third round of the Winter competition all players, both in the adult group as well as in the youth group, had to concede at least half a point.
Given the fact that some players could not make it last Thursday, James and David played their game of round 4 while Joseph and Daniel played their 3rd round according to schedule.
James with white played a solidly hypermodern-style move order which did not put black under high pressure, but it also did not give much for black to work on other than positional maneuvering. In that stage of the middle game, when white seemed to be having a small plus, black was given the opportunity to simultaneously attack the center and the h-file looking into the king’s castled position. A small amount of material was won which was enough for David to win the game.
Joseph played with white against Daniel and around move 13 could have pushed for a possibly decisive plan. Not doing so offered Daniel enough counter ideas for black to win the game.
Yesterday, Tuesday, David and Daniel played their round 5 game ahead of schedule and Hannah caught up her game against James.
After Hannah’s initial initiative around the open h-file and in the center, James solidified his position such that he could start a strong black pawn attack on the queenside which turned out to be causing Hannah to weaken key squares around her long side castled king and lose several critical pawns and the game.
David played an attacking game with white against Daniel. In the middle game he had a pawn on h6 and two center pawns on e5 and d5 and with the rooks supporting them from behind the position looked good for white. Daniel’s defense and counter-attack resulted in temporary initiative after a wrong bishop capture by David. This cost David valuable time and with 40 something seconds left on the clock he was forced to repeat 3 times the same position through check and settle with a draw.
Youth U12 Group
At the start of round 3, Ronald, Rachel and Miguel Angel were the three players with the full score of 2 points.
Ronald with white opted to exchange queens early in the game but that didn’t take the dynamite out of it. Miguel Angel won a pawn on f2 but accepted Ronald’s draw offer when the position still had a lot to go for.
Rachel drew against Oliver after some confusion about the process. It is important to know that you can only offer a draw when you have done your move and, if a draw is offered to you, you cannot accept a draw after you have done your move. If you feel this process has not been followed it is important to get the arbiter in and definitely do not talk and exchange ideas about the chess game with your opponent.
Jonathan climbed back up in the ranking by defeating Regis as did Mei Jing after her win against Hugo and Arjun’s win against Ray gives him his first lift up. Anything can still happen in the coming Year of the Horse!
Saturday 25 January was the last chess meeting in the year of the Snake and it was good to see some players who had been away for some time join in again.
Jay booked an important win over Maximilien to secure first spot he is followed closely followed by Wo Hang who secured an important win over Alex. Joshua was back after a long time and Kian confused him by copying all Joshua’s moves – which of course is allowed but not recommended – until a checkmate made more sense. Glad to see Joshua back and congrats to Kian who this time didn’t stalemate his opponent!
Jonathan, also back after a long time, played convincingly against Saga and cashed his first win after a checkmate. Roshan and Noah played the longest game which ended king against king: draw. Ian/s win against Kaya put him back in the top 3 and some fireworks is going to happen in the coming Year of the Horse!
Richard and Koji were also back from several weeks of absence and with their comeback they made their mark. Koji made well use of some weak squares Mei Jing created in her own otherwise solid Philidor set-up. Richard eyed the black king side of Samira with his queen and bishops and converted his well placed pieces into a check mate.
Jing did not manage to create initiative with her white pieces and after a pawn was lost James pushed his army of pawns deep into white’s territory leading to a calm win. Miguel Angel is getting back on track and his win over Maxwell pushed him up to 4th place. David won against Chor Wei who gave away some material in the middle game.
Mei Jing still tops the ranking and we wish her good luck to stay as long as possible in the saddle!
On Saturday 15 February 2014 the Guangzhou East Lake Chess Academy (廣州市少年宮 廣東東湖棋院) will meet us in Hong Kong for the traditional youth Chinese New Year match (report of last year).
With a team of 4 players in each age category U8, U10, U12 and U14-16 we will play 4 rounds. Players represent their cities and will not be paired against their own team members.
Starting from 2pm, in all age groups the teams will play a Round Robin: 4 games in rapid format according to FIDE rules with time control of 25 minutes per person for the whole game.
We play for the Champion Cup which goes to the team with most points and in each age category there is also a prize for the winning team and the top scorer. Everybody will also get a medal as a souvenir of the effort put in.
Snacks and drinks will be provided and we welcome our Guangzhou friends warmly. Our stellar line-up is as follows:
With the adjournment of the game between Peter and James only two games were played in the adult group last Thursday evening. Daniel had to maneuver very carefully with white in an open and exciting French Winawer. Hannah managed to push her center pawns all the way up to 2nd and 3rd rank but with little, and less time on the clock than Daniel, Hannah did not find the strongest and seemingly winning moves, nor the forced draw that could be achieved by giving away all her pawns and march with her king to the white a8 square where white’s dark square bishop could never help promote the a2 pawn. Daniel kept his cool well and won the game.
David played a Veresov against Joseph but gave away a pawn by executing the wrong move order and Joseph’s position was stable enough to slowly roll up the white pieces and claim a good win and first place in the ranking.
In the youth group Miguel Angel with white breached Jonathan’s position via a knight pin on f6 and from there slowly accumulated material enough to get into a winning position.
Mei Jing did not pay attention in the opening to Rachel’s queen maneuver to b6 attacking both the knight on g8 and the b2 pawn. Once the knight was off the board Rachel routinely played the game out and with 2 points Rachel leads the competition now.
Arjun allowed Ronald to line up his 3 heaviest pieces against his white king. A sacrifice could not avert the black pieces assault and Ronald scored his second win in the competition.
Oliver with white made well use of the positional error of Regis playing his black queen to f6 too early in the game. The black position collapsed soon when the queen was chased away and left some pieces undefended.
Finally, Hugo won his game against Ray because Ray could not make it in time to the club.
In the Beginners/Intermediate group we see that Jay, Wo Hang, Max and Kaya remain without point loss. Be reminded that we are using the Keizer System. Pairing is by and large like Swiss system but the ranking depends on the ranking of the opponent you win against. Because of this reason Wo Hang is 3rd with 2 points and Maximilien is 2nd with 1 point – he won against an opponent with more ranking points than the two opponents Wo Hang beat.
All players on the top will be paired against each other just like in the Swiss system and the situation will soon stabilize.
Kian, same as last week, but this week also Ian, let their opponents escape into a stalemate draw. We will talk about the Midas touch next week to make sure that players are reminded that chess is not about winning as much material as possible, even so much your opponent has no legal moves left (!), but about check mating – preferably in the shortest way.
In the Advanced group we had four games. Jing, who joined the competition for the first time, pushed her white pieces very hard against Samira’s black king side and forced a checkmate. Miguel Angel leveraged his horrible queen pin in Chor Wei’s position towards a quick win and Wilson’s white attack against Maxwell was unstoppable after having reached black’s back rank. A noteworthy result was Mei Jing’s win with black against James who tried to break open Mei Jing’s Philidor defense on f7 but could not recover his piece back. With 4.5 points Mei Jing is leading the group now!
From Caissa three players participate in the Hong Kong Prelims 2014. This is an important tournament, first because it is rated – that is, it is one of the only two rated tournaments held in Hong Kong. Second, because if you end in the top 8 you qualify to play in the immediately following Hong Kong Finals. And the Hong Kong finals, aka Hong Kong National Championship, is the qualifying tournament to represent Hong Kong at the Chess Olympiad, the most important global country vs. country tournament – held this year in Norway.
Lot at stake thus for Caissa players and trainers Aravind Mahadevan and David Garceran Nieuwenburg and Caissa’s youth member Gerent Lee.
Unfortunately in last Monday’s round 2 Aravind and Gerent had to play against each other which resulted in a win for Aravind. David also won which puts him to first place of the ranking after last week’s win due to his opponent not showing up.
The price to pay for being (temporary) on first place is the inevitable confrontation with the better players and for round 3 David is paired against Alberto Muniz, a top 3 player by tradition by now. Aravind will play against Jake Chan who calmly started with two draws and who surely is eager to keep his undefeated status.
Other games to look forward to are between CM Chak Man Chan and Christopher Masters and Robin Lai (Hong Kong’s pride in the Hong Kong International Open) and Raphael Chang (one of the strongest performing (youth) players in the winter competition).
Thursday 9 January was the first round of the adult group and on Sunday 12 January the youth group played their first round of Standard Chess in the Caissa Winter Competition 2014 in Sheung Wan.
In the adult group we had originally 7 players but unfortunately one player withdrew after round 1 because of uncertainty where the Blitz finals would be held at. The game was declared void.
To clarify, the finals are planned to be held in Sheung Wan, but as we have changed the format of the finals into an OPEN tournament, if we exceed 32 players we will move to the Discovery Bay chess club venue. All players, adult and youth, who played in the Standard Chess edition will be automatically qualified for the OPEN Blitz Finals.
Because of the void declared game, effectively there was one game played as both Daniel Lam and Hannah Ball had given notice they could not make the first round.
The matches Daniel -James and Hannah-David will be played after round 5 and below is the ranking and schedule of the Round Robin pairing.
In the youth U12 group on Sunday we had 10 players facing off in round 1.
The longest game was played between Miguel Angel and Arjun in a game in which Miguel Angel won a center pawn which he could push deep into the black position enabling him to grind a win for his white pieces after 2 hours.
Jonathan managed to win a rook in the middle game and maneuvered his material advantage into a sure win against Ray.
Rachel won an early pawn on f7 against Hugo and despite early resistance Rachel’s white pieces kept on improving their position which let to inevitable material gain and a win.
Ronald and Oliver had an equal game going into a pawn end game with queen + rook against queen + rook. However, Ronald benefited well from Oliver’s more exposed king and turned the game into a win.
Mei Jing was a piece up since the middle game but Regis created some counter play through pushing his white queen side pawns up until the 6th rank. While doing so Regis oversaw a checkmate on the back rank which brought Mei Jing the full point.
Last Saturday we had 7 games going in the Beginners/Intermediate group. All players were required to write down their games and that was an extra challenge for some of the newer players.
We have now used the “Keizer System” pairing system and we will continue using that until the end of the season. In the first round in 2014 it was the game between Fiona and Kian that was a thriller: Kian, up a queen, two rooks and some other material, went marching with a pawn to promote for more material but forgot that by now Fiona, cleverly giving away her last pawn, was stale mated.