A thunderstorm embracing the afternoon in which we kicked off the Youth Grand Prix 1 heralded what was to happen on the boards that evening. Of 19 participants, and as such a pool of 95 points to be distributed over the top 5 players at the end of this YGP1, 18 players rumbled their chess pieces around in search for chess glory.
We were honored that Mr. Jackson Li, President of the Hong Kong Chess Federation, paid us a visit and at the opening of the tournament spoke encouraging words to the youth players to do their best and enjoy their games. And that is what happened.
On board 1 Caissa member Richard played a solid game against Andy Au but with a pawn or two up he missed Andy’s sacrifice tactic which led to a checkmate.
Ronald and Benjamin faced each other in a tough game where Benjamin was able to push his black pieces far enough up to pressure a win.
Caissa members Sabrina and Louis had a short game as Sabrina could translate her years long exprience onto the board against talented but just recently started Louis.
Steven and Marco had an equal position until the end of the middle game when Steven managed to checkmate Marco’s black castled king with his queen on h7 when Marco in an attacking move of his own seemed to had forgotten the white knight on g5 supporting the white queen going to h7.
Caissa members Mei Jing and Teddy went into a double rook end game with lots of pawns but as it was Teddy who managed to put his rooks on the second rank first there was no stopping him trapping Mei Jing’s white king on the back rank while taking enough pawns to force a win.
Caissa members Miguel Angel and Thomas faced each other in an equal game until Thomas lost his queen. Thomas, also among the least experienced in this field, will surely grow into the tournament as we proceed.
Rachel and Caissa member James played the longest and perhaps toughest game of the evening. In an end game with 5 pawns and a few pieces each it was James who maneuvered a little more precise enough to win the game.
Caissa member Toby with black faced an adventurous Oliver who early in the game created some opportunities to breach the black position enough to gain substantial material advantage and finally the game.
Caissa members Harold and Ray had a somewhat wild game in which Ray’s overwhelming style was just not enough to breach Harold’s black set-up.
Samach got a point through BYE because of an odd number of players. Next week he will play for sure.
Right when the last player left we had a very nice surprise in the visit of 2500+ FIDE rated GM Dimitri Komarov, currently training players in United Arab Emirates, on a short stop-over in Hong Kong. Dimitri had intended to come earlier but the thunderstorm delayed his arrival and although we were about to close the club, Miguel Angel was lucky (?!) enough to play a short game. Thanks for visiting us Dimitri!