Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club

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Samira jumps to 2nd position and Suneh sets scholar’s mate record for the club

January 31st, 2015

After 33 rounds since the start of this season in September 2014, the Discovery Bay internal club competition for the club members Saturdays, shows a ranking in flux. Most noteworthy, compared to the ranking on 25 October, is that Samira (Advanced group) has settled strongly on 2nd place and the Intermediate group players Suneh, Jay and Wo Hang have claimed a spot in the top 10. From the Beginners group Seth and Noah have pushed themselves up close to the top 10 – very impressive.


Chor Xi against Nathan

Chor Xi (white) against Nathan


Good to see that our very youngest players Nathan and Chor Xi start winning regularly and much less so lose because of falling for opening tricks. Speaking of which, we had last week an absolute record set by Suneh, who in a round robin of 5 players beat all his 4 opponents by Scholar’s mate variations – even playing with black, Suneh’s opponents’ white kings collapsed on f2.


Jay with white against Suneh - today no Scholar's mate ...

Jay with white moved his queen out well against Suneh’s Bb6 and Qc5 battery aiming for f2 – today no Scholar’s mate


Christopher 9white) against Koza in foreground and Samira scoring her 2nd win of the day against Joshua in the back.

Christopher (white) against Koza in foreground and Samira scoring her 2nd win of the day against Joshua in the back.


Note that we play with the Keizer System. It can thus be so that players who have played less, but against opponents who are higher ranked, will have a higher ranking than players who played more and/or won more games, but against lower ranked opponents. You can read a good explanation on the Keizer System here. Below the ranking as of 31 January 2015.


DB Internal Competition - Rank After Round 33 on 31 Janaury 2015

DB Internal Competition – Rank After Round 33 on 31 January 2015 (Punten = points, Wa = value, Gsp = played, Gw= win, Rm= draw, Vl = lose)


David Leads Open Winter

January 30th, 2015

In the Open Winter this Friday David and James played on board 1 knowing that the winner of this game would be able to claim first place – for a while. James with black chose the Dutch against David’s 1.d4 and he perhaps gave in the middle game a little too much space for white on the queen side which resulted in just enough pressure to breach the black position.

Michel with white played an equal game against Long’s Sicilian until in the beginning of the middle game Long managed to push his pawn to e4 and torture the white pieces in the center close to it such that there was some material loss down the road, enough for Long to play the game out precisely enough.

Henry with white played the exchange variation against Miguel Angel’s Philidor. Miguel kept an eye on the Philidor weakness d6 in this variation in a very creative way, with Ke7 and Bc7, and timed his break through on the queen side, pushing up the pawns b5 and a5 with all his pieces cooperating to the maximum, very well. Henry, having had to use a lot of time, resigned after Miguel had won a pawn and under the time pressure Henry ended up in, had created himself a winning position.

Conrad with white played aggressively against Melvin who had played h6 a little too early. Conrad’s piece sacrifice in the opening on the king side became thus a worthwhile venture and Melvin was never able to free up his position and after a good fight of many moves finally lost the game.

Ray, who played a very good game against Miguel Angel last week, misplaced some of his white pieces from somewhere halfway the opening against Koji who managed to win material and developed his black pieces in the game towards a win in a straightforward way.

Winter 2015 Open Cross Table after R4

Winter 2015 Open Cross Table after R4









Pairing Round 4 of YGP2 and Winter Open

January 28th, 2015

It will be an exciting Sunday ahead of us. On the top 2 boards we have the top 3 players James, Ronald and Miguel Angel as well as the highest ranked U12 of YGP1, Oliver, facing each other.

On board 3 we will see if Ulysses’ quick ascent will continue at cost of top seed Richard and on board 4 it will be a battle of U10 titans between Andy and Teddy.

On the other boards it remains unclear what to expect, except in Pak’s case who got a full point already from BYE due to odd number of players.


Pairing Round 4 YGP2 2015

Pairing Round 4 YGP2 2015


In the Winter Open, on Friday, on board 1 David will have to prove his worth against James from whom he had narrowly escaped in the Autumn Open giving checkmate with just one second left.

Michel on board 2 meets Long who hasn’t lost a game yet; same on board 3 with Miguel Angel who meets Henry who also has not tasted defeat yet.

On board 4 and 5 both Conrad and Melvin as well as Ray and Koji will surely try to get the full point to stay close to the top position. It could be very much so that like in the Autumn Open 2014 edition things will not be sure until the very last round.


Pairing Round 4 Open Winter 2015

Pairing Round 4 Open Winter 2015

No player with hundred percent score after round 3 YGP2

January 26th, 2015

The results of the YGP1, in which all players over just 7 rounds had had to concede at least 1.5 point loss, remind us of the width of the player strength in this event. Also in YGP 2, there will be no walk-over with some of Hong Kong’s finest youth players competing here. Already after only round 3 there are no players with a hundred percent score.


Steven, enjoing his checkmate composition, had a BYE due to odd number of players today.

Steven, enjoying his checkmate composition, had a BYE due to odd number of players today.


On the top boards James, the YGP leader in U12, and Ronald played a cautious game, keeping pawns on the board and maneuvering their pieces behind their own lines which resulted after 2.5 hours in a draw.


James with white against Ronald

Board 1: James with white against Ronald

Teddy with white against Miguel Angel

Board 2: Teddy with white against Miguel Angel close to the critical moment of trades on d6


On board 2, Teddy, who was leading the pack after round 2 and who is 2nd place in YGP ranking U10, played aggressively with white against Miguel Angel, the YGP leader in U10. When teddy could play 16. Rxd6 he took on 16. cxd6 and that lonely pawn was enough for Miguel Angel to bite on and get his pieces out on the queen side such that Teddy had to sacrifice a knight with 33. Nxb5 to not get check mated.



On the other boards Oliver and Marco had a quick draw and Mei Jing could not repeat her excellent result against Richard from YGP1 and gave a away the draw in a completely draw rook endgame.

Toby, in a winning position, started to follow Ulysses speed and unnecessarily lost materials and the game in the end. Andy’s attack came too close to Pak’s king for Pak to avoid a loss and Harsh won the game against Harold  quickly once he got a piece up.


Harsh prepared his white pieces for entry into Harold's black territory

Harsh prepares his white pieces for entry into Harold’s black territory


The pairing for round 4 will be done Wednesday noon – the final BYE in this tournament to be requested before then.

See below the results and the cross-table ranking after round 3.

Pairing and Results Round 3

Pairing and Results Round 3

Cross-Table and Ranking after Round 3

Cross-Table and Ranking after Round 3



James Nichols and David Garceran Nieuwenburg Lead in Winter Open

January 24th, 2015

Michel had the chance to break free half a point if he would have won in round 3 against James. However, after winning a pawn, Michel took perhaps a few moves too many to bring his king into safety before commanding his pieces to an assault on the white position. James found just enough time to position his pieces for an effective set-up to breach black’s center and queen side and claim the win.

Ray played an excellent game against Miguel Angel and came better out of the opening stretching his material advantage of one pawn deep into the endgame. It was here though where Miguel Angel understood the position better and a slight positional inaccuracy of Ray moving his king just one square too far from a pawn island in need of protection was enough for Miguel Angel to neutralize Ray’s knight and evaporize Ray’s 2-pawn island with his bishop and steer towards a win.

Melvin with white played dynamically through the center against Henry, but as Melvin pushed his pawns, even onto d6 in the middle game, Henry found ways to infiltrate white’s open position via the queen side and disorganized the coordination of white’s pieces enough to gain decisive material advantage.

As Koji and David had a BYE, the final game of the evening was between Long against Conrad. Conrad with black ventured the position into a Scandinavian with Nf6. Long went for a side variation with a killer move Na3 trapping black’s queen who was eyeing Ra1. Despite a queen for a rook down, black’s pieces were active enough to put up some hurdles for white to develop quickly but Long played patiently and the impact of his material advantage increased move by move until finally black had to resign.


Pairing and Results Round 3

Pairing and Results Round 3


Pairing for coming Friday will be done Wednesday 12 noon – below is the cross-table ranking.

Cross-Table after Round 3

Cross-Table after Round 3


Round 2 Winter Open – Results

January 18th, 2015

Last Friday fortunately we had no BYE. Melvin, who last week lost because of one second short on the clock played again a good game and this time he was rewarded the full point when he managed to give an x-ray check with his white queen on h8 and black Kf6 and (unprotected) Qd4.


Melvin with white against Koji in Round 2


Conrad Ackerman, the new contender who last week managed to beat Koji in the heat of time pressure chose a very solid approach with white against David. David, a Philidorian and used to manoeuvring his black pieces in little space, rushed an unprotected pawn onto g5 to lure the white pieces, mostly on the 2nd and 3rd rank so far, into black terrain. Conrad accepted the challenge and in addition sacrificed a piece for two pawns to nestle his knight in the 6th rank and started an assault on black’s exposed king. But black held and with little time on the clock David won the game.


Conrad with White while David takes the photo ...

Conrad with white while David takes the photo …


Miguel Angel seemed somewhat out of concentration and against James it is best to stay very focussed – soon Miguel Angel was two pawns down, more than enough for James to win the game on auto-pilot.

Ray, similar to Miguel Angel, seemed to lack the focus so necessary to beat an experienced player like Michel. Through a wrong recapture by Ray, Michel’s white pieces could easily go for a brutal checkmate approach towards the black king and claim the win.

Henry and Long had the longest game. Henry had to defend tediously with white against Long’s black dominance the entire game. But when it got to the end of the 180 minutes of the match, there was not enough material on the board anymore to create a checkmate and the game ended in a draw.


Henry against Long in Round 2

Henry against Long  (undistractible!) in Round 2


Results Round 2 Winter Open Caissa

Results Round 2 Winter Open Cassia


Ranking Caissa Open Winter 2015 after Round 2

Ranking Caissa Open Winter 2015 after Round 2


Pairing for round 3 will be done Wednesday noon.

Winter Youth Grand Prix (YPG2) Round 1 Results

January 14th, 2015

Sunday 11 January the second cycle of standard chess (90 minutes for each player) took off with again some of Hong Kong’s best youth players competing for trophy prizes and grand prix points for sponsored overseas tournment participation. The current ranking in the YGP can be found in this entry.

On board 1, two prize winners of the preceeding YGP1, James and Andy had a tense game which in the end, pressurising the position, James managed to turn into a win.


Harold against ... who?

Harold against … who?

Harold against Marco!

Harold against Marco!


On board 2 Harold lost a piece somewhere down the line in the middle game and Marco had no problem converting the material advantage into a win.

On board 3 we had again 2 prize winners of the preceding YGP, Oliver and Miguel Angel, playing against each other. The game resulted in a draw when Miguel Angel did not see a way through after having closed down the position with his powerful black pawns on a5, b4 and c3.

On board 4 Pak lost a piece against Richard who remained cool enough to stop Pak from getting enough counter play with his advanced a-pawn.


Pak with white against Richard

Pak with white against Richard


On board 6 Ronald managed to win material from Samuel early in the game and converted this into a straightforward win and on board 7 Toby’s black queen had entered on b2 to create some havoc but found no way out when Teddy trapped it there and therewith secured the win.


Teddy with White against Toby


We had an odd number of players and Mei Jing was (very voluntarily) paired against the BYE.

There were no requests for a BYE for coming Sunday before today, Wednesday 12 noon, and the pairing for round 2 is a per below.


YGP Pairing Round 2

YGP Pairing Round 2


Winter Open Round 1 Results and Pairing Round 2

January 12th, 2015

On Friday 9 January we started our winter cycle of standard chess (90 minutes per person) in the Open group. We had an ovewhelming amount of 6 BYEs in the first round. Nonetheless, the two games that were played were very worthwhile.

Conrad, who hadn’t played for a decade other than online, played against Koji in a game that took almost the full 180 minutes allowed before Conrad could claim the win.

The only other game, David against Melvin, was an even longer game, decided by time with Melvin having the better position on the board but losing on time with David just 1 second more on the clock.

Cross Table after Round 1 Caissa Winter Open 2015


Hong Kong Prelims Round 1

January 7th, 2015

On Saturday 3 January we started our first training and meeting of the year. With several members still out of town both Saturday and the following Sunday were a little slow.

In addition to the restart of the Caissa chess engine (you can still register for our Winter Open and Youth YGP), on Monday 5 January the Hong Kong preliminaries at Queen Elizabeth Stadium started as well – with a relatively large crowd of over 50 players. It was the first concrete event in the hands of the new committee and it was well done. In a relaxed but properly controlled atmosphere KK Chan, the new VP and Director of Tournaments run the show very professionally.


Round 1 HK Prelims

Nervousness ahead of Round 1 HK Prelims


A leap forward was also that all games now can be downloaded as PGN and you can replay all games – and prepare for your next opponent.

That can be useful also for Friday and Sunday when we will start our own Caissa events, the Winter Open and the Winter Youth Grand Prix 2 respectively, with players who also play in the Prelims.

Stay tuned.

By the way, the only two Caissa members playing in this edition of the Prelims, James Wing Ki Kwong and David Garceran Nieuwenburg, won their first game!

Stay even more tuned …