REPORT by Caissa coach IM Matthew Tan
On the 15th of March Active Kids held a chess tournament at the ISF. The tournament consisted of 6 rounds of 50 minutes. I personally, was first of all curious about how our students would perform, but also interested in how things were organized here in Hong Kong. And what an experience it was!
Caissa was represented by no less than 9 players, spread out in all three categories. In the youngest section, Under 6, we had Nathan defending the Caissa honor. Nathan, who has yet to turn 6 and start his lessons, showed no signs of nervousness at his first tournament! After a lucky escape in the first round, he managed to win 3 games in a row and finish on 4 points. This was enough to claim the first prize U5, a trophy almost twice the size of his own head!
With most of our kids playing in the primary section, we were hoping on some successes here as well. Noah had a tournament with ups and downs. Losses were followed by quick wins and after drawing with Seth in the last round he finished with 2.5 points. Seth had a completely different tournament. He started of really well, had to face some of the strongest players of the group which set him back a bit. In the end the 2.5 points we’re quite a decent result.
Ben’s tournament likely felt somewhat disappointing to him. He played really good games, but because of his lack of experience he sometimes couldn’t deliver the killing blow. He ended up at 2 points, but we’re sure he’ll do way better next tournament.
Ritvik and Kevin played more or less the same kind of tournament. Starting off really well, losing against a stronger player, getting back to the topboards again but eventually getting knocked down again. They both finished at a very reasonable 3 points and with a little more luck they can definitely contest for the prizes next time.
The only two left in this section were Miguel Angel and Mei Jing. Both managed to win their first 4(!) games. In the penultimate round they also got good positions, but when the clock arrived (after 30 minutes) they couldn’t control their nerves and eventually lost.
In the final round Miguel Angel drew his game which secured him the first place U10. Mei Jing lost, again after the clock arrived, but was the awarded the best female player prize nevertheless.
Also because of the strong individual performances, the Discovery College school (Miguel Angel, Mei Jing, Seth and Noah) finished third place in this section.
Finally, in the secondary section we had Richard playing for the top places. A win in the final round would’ve gotten him a shared first place, but despite his loss he ended 4th in the Secondary section.
All in all, as a coach I was really happy with the fighting spirit shown by all of the players. Even after a disappointing game, they would patch themselves up and give even more in the next game. I can only imagine what more there is to come!