Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club

chess in hong kong

Miguel Angel Leads DB Competition

October 29th, 2014

Last Saturday, in the Step 3 & 4 morning class, after the dozen or so tactic puzzles, we experimented with a fun way to play chess, well, kind of chess. Using all chess rules, in 4 player chess  opponents play against each other on the same board, like it was arguably played in a very original version of chess far back in time in India.

Machiavelli, von Clausewitz, Sun Tsu and the likes would have smiled seeing the players were quick to understand the importance of diplomatic alliances, creating and breaking them many times as the game progressed.


4-player chess at caissa hong kong

More than forks, pins and double attacks Jay, Chor Wei, Jacob and Lucas soon found out the importance of alliances

4-player chess at caissa hong kong

In between the two games of competition Nitai, Ian, Ada and Koza tried out their luck, observered by Nathan


The Advanced Group is merged into the Intermediate and Beginners Group to make pairing easier. Each player will of course still only play for the prize in his or her category but chances are for an Intermediate player who scores well to face an Advanced player and if he/she is in form crisis to also play the top Beginners.

Miguel Angel scored an important win in his second game against Koji that pushed him up to first place.


DB Internal ranking 2014-15 October 25

DB Internal ranking 2014-15 October 25

Benjamin, Oliver and Miguel Angel Winners of YGP 1

October 27th, 2014

YGP1 Prizes

It does not happen often that in a tournament with 7 rounds 5.5 points is the top score. We are glad to see that in our first YGP there was no runaway winner and the competition remained extremely fierce until the last round. From that perspective we have achieved a major goal: youth playing and learning from meaningful games at standard time control.


Miguel Angel and Teddy Warming Up before Round 7

Miguel Angel and Teddy Warming Up before Round 7


At the start of round 7, Benjamin, James, Ronald and Miguel Angel all had 4.5 points closely followed by Oliver and Rachel with 4 points and Richard and Harold with 3.5 points.

It was unfortunate that on the top board the game between Miguel Angel and Ronald had to end in a win by default for Miguel Angel as Ronald could not be in town on Sunday. The expected fireworks from that game, however, were well spread out over the other boards.

Rachel with white on board 2 against Benjamin played the longest game – again, almost the full 3 hours. The position seemed to be quite equal until in the endgame of Queen + Bishop and few pawns Benjamin managed to break through to win some pawns, sufficient for the win.

Oliver played active on the king side, pushing up his rook supported h-pawn and lining up his bishop, queen and knight to assault James’ f7-g6-h7 defense. After a few exchanges black was a piece down and the exposed king was too vulnerable for further counter play.

Harold with black on board 4 made a mistake against Richard that proved to be fatal quickly and on board 5 Mei Jing with white entered an endgame of knight + pawns against Steven’s bishop + pawns which Mei Jing managed to win by stopping Steven’s king side pawn majority before rushing her 3 against 1 pawn majority on the queen side.

Andy beat Samach on board 6 and on board 7 we got a sharp Sicilian with Marco storming his white pawns into the black’s king side while Teddy aimed his pawn march to breach the defense of the white king castled on the queen side. Teddy had a defensive idea that stalled Marco’s attack just long enough for his own attack to be decisive, promoting his a pawn followed by check mate.

Toby on board 8 stayed very focused and precise enough to win his game with white against Sabrina and Samual on board 9 did not allow Ray to recover from various careless mistakes.


Final Ranking Cross Table

Final Ranking Cross Table


Because we only have one U14 player, the U14 category was merged into U12 and instead of 2 prizes in U12 we increased to 3 prizes for U14-U12. The trophies and prize money we will hand out on a separate occasion soon about which we will inform you.

At risk of repeating, again we congratulate all players for their impressive fighting spirit which resulted in a tournament in which it was not sure until the last minutes who would be the prize winners.

Special congratulations to:

  • Benjamin for winning the tournament and be the number 1 in the U14-U12 group
  • Oliver for being the best U12 player and 3rd place in the overall ranking
  • Miguel Angel for being the only undefeated player, 2nd in the overall ranking and number 1 in the U10 group.

Finally, this first Youth Grand Prix event resulted in the first ranking on the YGP table. Given the little difference in strength so far anything can happen as we proceed into the next YGP qualifying events.

Register now for the Rapid on 29 November and the Blitz on 7 December. And keep your agendas open for the Open YGP2 starting 11 January 2015.


YGP Ranking after YGP 1

YGP Ranking after YGP 1

Finale Coming Sunday to become a thriller as top 3 boards all drew

October 20th, 2014

Differences are really small in the very strong line-up of Hong Kong’s best youth players. Last Sunday we saw 3 draws on the first three board.

On board 1 Benjamin moved his white pieces to active squares trying to crack Miguel Angel’s Philidor – but Miguel Angel’s position held well and just as the black pieces were about to leap out into white territory Miguel Angel offered a draw. With almost all pieces still on the board and with only a minute left for Benjamin, he wisely accepted the draw. Stress levels are high at this tournament. That, and perhaps the toll of the Shenzhen tournament still played that same morning, can explain why Miguel Angel offered a draw – a minute, without increment, is really a short time to survive. The game was in any case a wortwhile event in itself to watch and nothing but applause for both Benjamin and Miguel Angel.


James (white ) and Ronald in Deep Though (or hiding for the camera?)

James (white ) and Ronald in Deep Though (or are they hiding for the camera?)


On board 2, James against Ronald, we also had the time dimension echoing into the game. With little time left on the clock James was still calmly walking around looking at other games but when he finally had created himself a winning end game of rook with few pawns against knight with less pawns James had no time enough to finish it and he had to head fast towards a draw.

Oliver, a little sick, faced Richard, who also had just come back from Shenzhen, and in a double rook end game the boys settled for a draw as there seemed to have been some perpetual elements on the board and they both looked genuinely tired.

Andy, who actually also was participating in Shenzhen, got stuck in traffic and his opponent Rachel won by default, as did Mei Jing because Ray could not make it.

Harold won against Marco, Teddy beat Sabrina, Samach beat Samuel and Steven won against Toby.

With the top 4, actually the top 8 players so close to each other anything can happen next week. A BYE has not been allowed anymore since round 5 and hopefully most players will make it next Sunday or will be able to arrange their game to be played before Sunday under parental supervision.


Autumn 2014 YGP1 R6 results R7 pairing

Caissa Successful in Shenzhen – 4 players win prizes

October 19th, 2014
Caissa players Joseph, Mei Jing, David, Miguel Angel, Koji and Richard

Caissa players Joseph, Mei Jing, David, Miguel Angel, Koji and Richard


Last Saturday, 6 players and 2 supporters from Caissa crossed the border into Shenzhen early in the morning. The first round started at 9am and a total of 5 rounds were played until 5pm. With 2 more rounds on Sunday this was an action packed chess weekend.

The location of the event was a very nice school, and the hotel right around the corner was excellent, but also somewhat out of the way of residential facilities and it took quite a while to get a taxi to take us to Coco Park where some of our Shenzhen friends play outdoor chess and where we would have dinner.


Dinner at Coco Park

Dinner at Coco Park



Nonetheless, over 2 days Mei Jing took the tournament seriously and scored 6 out of 7 ending second overall in group C among 120 players, also winning the first prize in the Girls category. Bravo Mei Jing!


Mei Jing Best Girl with 6 out of 7

Mei Jing (left) Best Girl with 6 out of 7


In the highest youth group Richard and Miguel Angel defended our honour with all they had. Miguel Angel had a glitch halfway the event and it was Richie who stayed on top of the pack until the last round, when he lost. Both Richard and Miguel Angel ended with 5.5 out of 7 within the prize range, 3rd and 7th respectively. Well done boys!


Richie 3rd and Miguel Angel 7th both with 5.5 out of 7.

Richie 3rd and Miguel Angel 7th both with 5.5 out of 7.


In the Open Group, with a handful adults, including 2400+ rated International Master Li Bo who ended 6th in the recent HK International Open, and dozens of strong youth players, Koji and Joseph started off with a loss. Koji could not really find his rythm but Joseph, the player in form in our Autumn Open, recovered well and towards the end of the tournament with 5 out of 7 ended on 9th place. David started off very well with 3 out of 3 but lost 2 consecutive games after that, in an unnecessary fashion. His recovery on the second day with 2 wins pushed him up to 7th place with 5 points, like Joseph, and within prize range.


David, on behalf of Caissa, receives a plaque, token of appreciation

David, on behalf of Caissa, receives a plaque, token of appreciation


This was a very nice event, with hundreds of young players, well disciplined and clearly enjoying their weekend behind their board and pieces. What else can you ask as organizer. Well done Huateng Chess Club.


HK – Macao Interport Postponed

October 19th, 2014

The planned 16 November 2014 traditional Interport Chess match between Macao and Hong Kong, to be hosted by Caissa in Hong Kong, has to be postponed because as of now the Hong Kong Chess Federation have still not announced the date of the Hong Kong Junior Championships which normally take place in November.

In order to avoid possibly unnecessary logistics and dissapointment like happened before, we have agreed with the Macao Chess Federation to pick a date in the first quarter of 2015.

It would be helpful if HKCF start to publish a yearly, or at least half yearly calendar of their few, but important youth events, around which other organizers can work for their tournaments.

Here are two events we previously organized:

Joseph Unstoppable in Autum Open

October 18th, 2014

Last Friday it turned out to be Mission Impossible also for Koji to try to stop in-form Joseph cruising towards his 5th victory. Henry, who only conceded a loss against Joseph did good business in solidifying his 2nd spot with a win against Richard.

Long is appearantly throwing all rustiness off him that came from 10 years no play as he secured an important win against Hannah who hasn’t found her form yet.

Ray convincingly drew against Miguel Angel and James with black against Michel defended fiercefully enough to win the game and as such he slowly crawled to 3rd place already which comes with the honor to try to stop Joseph next week in round 6…


Autumn 2014 open R5 ranking R6 pairing

GM Amonatov cancels visit due to Hong Kong Demonstrations

October 15th, 2014

Farrukh Amonatov have let us know that taking into account the worries of his family about the situation in Hong Kong he decided to cancel his visit.

Although the situation is getting better and we do not foresee any problems we understand and respect Amonatov’s decision. All players who have registered for any of his events 6-8 November will be refunded before the end of this week.

We look forward to working with Amonatov and other top GMs in the future.

Autumn Youth Grand Prix Fully Open Again after draw between James and Miguel Angel

October 14th, 2014

Last Sunday on board 1 the only two undefeated players, James Wing Ki and Miguel Angel were facing off to stay on top. James opened d4 against Miguel Angel who choose and Old Indian set-up in the same spirit of playing his Philidor weapon against e4. After 28 moves the game was agreed to be a draw but it is somehow unfortunate that young players agree on draws when the board is still full of adventures to explore.


James, Wing Ki with white vs Miguel Angel



On board 2 Ronald and Andy played the longest game of the evening, won by Ronald. On board 3 Benjamin won against Marco in a game that was simply played too fast as was what happened on board 4 with Oliver winning against Ray.


Ronald faces Andy's Sicilian (foreground)

Ronald Choy


On board 5 Rachel beat Sabrina and on board 6 we had a thriller between Richard and Teddy in a rook vs. bishop end game – after Ronald vs. Andy, the longest game. Although technically it should have been a draw, under various kinds of pressure, like Teddy having to return to Shenzhen, Teddy made a mistake and Richard scored an important point.


Teddy vs. Richard aka Bishop vs. Rook endgame

Teddy vs. Richard aka Bishop vs. Rook endgame


Wing Shun Harold played more concentrated and motivated than Mei Jing which translated into a deserved win for Harold. Steven, despite being some material down in the beginning against Samach, managed to win a queen by double attack and thus won his game as did Toby against Samuel early in the evening.

With 4 players with 4 points all playing against each other next week we will  have a great Sunday to look forward to – anything can happen!


Ranking after 5 Rounds and Pairing Round 6

Ranking after 5 Rounds and Pairing Round 6

Joseph leads Autumn 2014 Competition after Thriller against David

October 11th, 2014

David changed his d4 Veresov for a Queens Gambit last Friday trying to stop Joseph from winning his 4th game in a row. Joseph responded with a Slav, d5, c6, e6 set-up and was able to mount serious pressure on David’s king side which nonetheless held – even such that David managed to sneak into black territory with his knight and win a rook when Joseph did not pay attention enough. After that David spend too much time trying to convert the winning position into a point and in a high time pressure situation even lost the game in a neat checkmate orchestrated by Joseph’s queen and knight.



James tricked Ray into losing his queen early in the game and the two pieces Ray got back was never enough to prevent James from playing the game out as a technical win.

Henry played solidly against Hannah’s French and came maybe with a slight plus out of the opening. In what still seemed an even game it came to a shock to Hannah to find herself having overseen a sudden check mate by Henry.

Melvin had to face Michel’s French and when he gave away a piece on the way to the middle game this was the second game that could be played out technically without problems for Michel.

Miguel Angel and Toby played a dynamic game against each other  and although Miguel Angel won some material early in the game Toby managed to put his black rooks on the 2nd rank as he invaded white’s queen side. Yet, an inaccuracy by Toby let to too much material loss and a win for Miguel Angel.

Next week it is up to Koji to try to stop Joseph …


Autumn 2014 open R4 ranking R5 pairing

Ranking after 4 Rounds and Pairing Round 5

Return to Business as Usual after Golden Week

October 8th, 2014

The first week of October is traditionally, with the National Day on October 1 and the following Chung Yeung festival, a golden opportunity to combine those national holidays with a weekend and enjoy a nice break.

This year the occupation by demonstrators of key traffic arteries in Hong Kong required some maneuvering of plans for many people. But not for those participating in the biggest yearly chess tournament in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong International Open, as always planned during this Golden Week. The event, with a handsome prize fund this year from the Kasparov Foundation, took place at Hong Kong University in Pok Fu Lam, away from the crowds.

Although here and there some of the local players suddenly had to report duty at work because of the demonstrations, of course affecting their results, by and large the tournament went smoothly and as expected with a dozen or so overseas GMs, IMs, FMs and CMs participating, the top spots were out if reach for the locals. Only one Hong Kong player managed to get in the top 20: congratulations to Alberto for his 15th place with 6 points.


Alberto Muniz - higehst scoring among HK Players

Alberto Muniz, highest scoring player among HK Players – by the way, can you spot the 3 Caissa players in their white club shirts (photo borrowed from Cyrus Lai’s Facebook)


The Hong Kong Local Open on Mondays in Queen Elisabeth Stadium, close to the demonstration zone, remains a challenge to get to for some players – including Caissa’s Michel who had to forfeit twice. Nonetheless, round 6 was played last Monday and also here Alberto did good business by defeating Jake and he is with Brian 1.5 points loose from the competition. An interesting game next week will be between Brian and Caissa’s David and Alberto against Chor Yuen, who was the 2nd best Hong Kong player in the International Open ending on 21st place.




On a smaller scale, the Caissa Autumn Open 2014 will also proceed with round 4 on Friday 10 October. Koji, Richard and Long have requested a BYE. The other 5 boards will surely produce some exciting games.

Business as usual.


Pairing Round 4

Caissa Autumn Open 2014 Pairing Round 4