On 2 August, youth players from Hong Kong and some who were in the USA that time, from Boston, embarked on an intercontinental trip to The Netherlands to participate in the ONJK – Open Dutch Youth Championship 2015 from 3-8 August.
Accompanied by parents, aunt, uncle, grandpa, coach, and together with our local Dutch Caissa girl, who joined us in Holland, our group of total 18 people finally carried eight Caissa Hong Kong’s Chess Club players.
The drive from Schiphol airport to the hotel Erve Hulsbeek took 1.5 hours and once we arrived and checked in, it was the perfect moment to explore the neighborhood and for a big cheers on the terrace and to explore the nearby city center of Oldenzaal to do some shopping.
Arrived at Erve Hulsbeek – Cheers!
Bao Jin Wen … and the rest …
Exploring the area. Nice beach and Fong Li and Mei Jing – chess friends forever!
Into the city
Shopping at the local “Park n Shop” called Albert Heijn
Round 1 on the next day, 3 August, would not start until the afternoon. After a typical Dutch no-frills breakfast of freshly baked bread, ham, cheese, croissant and such there was still some time to play around – and in Holland that could lead to biking and feeding cows…
Erve Hulsbeek Hotel Breakfast
The biker girls Mei Jing, Jasmine and Hoi Ching
Feeding Number 2059, Hoi Ching’s favorite cow.
Our players were spread out over almost all age groups:
- Group B (U16): Melvin Cheung and Fong Li Calje
- Group D (U12): Jasmine Leung and James Wing Ki Kwong
- Group E (U10): Miguel Angel Garceran Wang
- Group F (U9): Mei Jing Garceran Wang and Harold Wing Shun Kwong
- Group H (U7): Jin Wen Bao
Early morning players towards the buses for the ride to the playing venue Sporthal ‘t Wooldrik
Jin Wen warms up before round 1 with former ONJK U9 champion Luuk van Steenhoven
Jin Wen and James on their way to their round 1 game
The tournament has started …
Our analysis corner from which we followed and analysed all games (photo: Tu Tran)
(See also report FGH Group on tournament site)
The F (U9), G (U8) and H (U7) would play two tournaments, the first one of 9 rounds in 3 days in their own age group and then another 11 rounds in the subsequent 3 days. A gruesome schedule by any standard.
But in Jin Wen we had a true hero in our team. In the first part of the tournament the G and H category were mixed but Jin Wen emerged as winner of his age group H … and also higher than anyone in the G age group. A true world champion who can add an Open Dutch title now to his list of achievements!
Game preparations at Jin Wen’s table
Jin Wen against Wendy
Cross Table Open Dutch Championship H (U7) & G (U8) mixed
Bao Jin Wen – CHAMPION!!!!
Our F group players Mei Jing and Harold had a tougher time but still managed to score 4.5 points and ended 14th and 17th respectively.
Harold before action
Other kind of action: Harold, Jin Wen and Miguel Angel playing football in between the rounds with Matthew and David (not on photo)
Mei Jing against a player with sound blocker.
In the second part of the F, G and H group tournament, when all three groups were merged and for our kids opponents would thus be stronger, we suddenly see a stronger Harold score 5.5 points now, Mei Jing even getting 7 points and Jin Wen again emerging as champion of all 3 age groups. Well done Jin Wen, you are a true champ, but also to Harold and Mei Jing: huurraaay!
Mei Jing sad after an unnecessary loss cost her a prize – she stayed 0.5 pints behind the first two placed girls. Cheer Up Mei Jing, next time better.
Final Ranking FGH after 11 rounds (first 37 of 46 payers)
ONJK 2015 – Caissa HK: Jin Wen Champion again!
(See also report Group E on tournament site)
In the E (U10) group Miguel Angel was in top shape! With fierce and intelligent play and a strong will to win he was already champion with still a round to go! But also the last round he did not take it easy and with 12.5 out of 13 he might have broken a record. He was the absolute best player in this age group – good to see that the level of a Hong Kong U10 Champion is strong enough to triumph in other countries, of which Holland is one of the strongest. Well done Miguel!
Miguel Angel shaking hands with Kasper Bleeker who would end 2nd
Miguel Angel and Wing Ki always in the top of the list and supporting each other
Miguel Angel and Wing Ki table tennis teamwork against some Dutch!
Analysis of each game was part of the deal.
A crucial game and break through was against nemesis Constantijn Beukema. Miguel Angel’s win was important to also beat Kasper Bleeker in round 6. In round 7 followed the only draw against Jan Casur.
Miguel Angel Champion E group (U10)
Miguel Angel’s impressive score after 13 rounds: a deserved Champion!
Evening entertainment in the hotel with Mexican music …
… and Opa’s Spanish water …
(See also report Group D on tournament site)
In the D group our players were Jasmine and Wing Ki. Jasmine had never ever played a longer tournament than the one, max two days, events that had been organized in the past in Hong Kong, mostly rapid. This event, 40 minutes and 30 seconds increment was an entirely different speed.
Jasmine in the middle – nervous but always happily smiling – here amidst her team members and coaches
Jasmine with mom Sally
Pep talk from coach Matthew for Jasmine
After 13 rounds Jasmine had accumulated 5 points. Keep it up Jasmine, good job!
Jasmine (orange), Mei Jing with Hoi Ching (white) cooling down after a day of stressful chess
Wing Ki also played in the D group and as 11-year old he must have been among the younger players in this U12 age group. Until the very last round it was not sure whether he would be 2nd place or would be crowned Champion.
Wing Ki in preparations for his game with some final advice from coach Matthew
Last round. Wing Ki had won. All watching the game between Gilian Honkoop and Nathaniel Faybish. A win for Nathan or a draw would be enough for Wing Ki to win … and it became a king vs king and h-pawn draw!
Wing Ki had beaten Gilian in their individual game and as such claimed the Champion title with an impressive score!
Wing Ki had received the Champion prize from the Mayor of Borne City
Congratulations Wing Ki!!! You got our 3rd National Open Dutch title. We can go home proudly!
Our 3 National Champions flanked by proud and happy David and Matthew
(See also report Group B on tournament site)
In the B Group it was unfortunate that in round 1 Melvin and Fong Li were paired against each other. The game resulted in a draw. Both Fong Li, who hadn’t seriously played for 3 years, and Melvin, who had never participated in 9 round standard chess tournament within a week, played many draws and it was lack of experience or recent practice that turned some games into some avoidable losses. We had great fun analyzing Melvin’s “immortal”, when he refused a draw while a queen down and 20 seconds on the clock …
Fong Li with 5 draws and a win and Melvin with 4 draws and 2 wins ended just below 50%. The B group is serious business and it is a score to accept with pride and to set as the baseline for … next year?
Fong Li and Melvin in round 1
Fong Li in deep thought (photo: Tu Tran)
Melvin, the last game of the day, played long games …
Melvin turned out to be a fine badminton player!
Sally and Jing were not bad either …
On Thursday, we had half a day off and of course the trip would be to Amsterdam, the only true tourist destination in Holland…
From Borne to Amstelveen and from there to Amsterdam by tram
Arrival at the Museum Plein with the Rijksmuseum in the background
Melvin and Miguel Angel study the chess game at Max Euwe Plein in Amsterdam
Live entertainment at Leidsche Plein
Jasmine, mom and sister Hoi Ching at the flower market
Terrace at the Dam monument
Jin Wen, a bit ill, carried by his aunt through the Amsterdam channels
Sally taking care of the BBQ when we got back from Amsterdam – supported by Harold
Finally, on the last day it was Opa’s 77th birthday.
Jin Wen helps Opa blowing the candles in the hotel
Happy Birthday Opa!
Finally thanks to ONJK 2015 for the great organization. Thumbs up from the whole group!