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A new decade, as I enter the tail-end of my 50's and approaching the 60s. Time now somehow seems finite and there is a urgency to get things done. Too much of it has been wasted in politicking and unnecessary struggles serving no purpose. Neither does running the chess calendar annually and completing each event without hiccups help in the wake of looming issues causing by aging of the chess organising core. 

I hope to set a few targets this year, both for myself and the chess scene.

As I say goodbye to my P6s, a new crop of players now enter into my teaching fold. It is also time to consider the feasibility of the podcast model vs the 1-to-1 training mode. With the podcast I am able to reach a wider audience (hence not tied tn a small group weekly) but the apprehension remains in whether the local parents are keen to enrol in such self-disciplined learning. Perhaps I should only consider this for 13 year olds and above? Finding the right balance to derive the best model whereby t…
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Resuming my blogging after a long absence. Sorry.

The 36th National Age Group Championships concluded yesterday saw a mixed bag of results from the current crop of students. Some just started while others were with me for at least 2 years. The results are listed based on their age group.

BOYS Under 7

I only had 3 lessons, but I sense in him quiet confidence and hunger for success. Yu KaiYi played his 8 rounds with the maturity of a U12 and often took his game past 2.5 hours compared to many of his peers and my older students, even lasting longer than those who went through my NAG workshop where I explain the need to slow down in their games to avoid mistakes in the first 12 moves. Scored 6 wins and 2 draws against the top 2 Indians in the field. In many ways he reminded me of the former student Royce who started with me in end 2012 and got his rating to 1714 in 3 years. The future holds bright for this boy as he shows diligence and determination in his approach to chess.

Issac had his …


Thought it would be a good idea to document the last year (since 5 May 2017) in my life as I've started my 55th year today.

In a word - EBAY.

Ebay has brought me in touch with several of the chess-sets I've hoped to collect, especially the ones that stood out for their use in World Championships and Olympiads. Then there were those that were representative of the countries they were used in. So no ornamental sets. Yes it did cost a small fortune but then it's 1 item off my bucket list so...

Hunting them down is perhaps the real finding a pearl on the beachfront. Then there is the bidding process which of course is nerve-wracking as the time ticks down to the final second. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose by a mere $1! But then over the past year I've learnt to live and let live..there are always other bargains if you search hard enough.

The Drueke Player's Choice..a rare gem that is being reproduced by its owner this year as more collectors and playe…


I have changed the format of the Thomson Chess Fiesta this year to accommodate the Seniors, which I take it to mean those aged 45 and over. These players used to be active in chess in the Singapore Chess Renaissance in the 80's. Today many of them have had their careers and kids in their teens. Hence they would have some time I believe to return to their main hobby when in school. Many I've met recalled the fun times, the camaraderie plus friendly(now) rivalry they had while competing for top honours back in their schooldays. There were many chess enthusiasts too then who took part in every CC tournament from the Queenstown , Marine Parade, Buona Vista, Cairnhill  and on to the Inter-Clubs and the popular Christmas Festivals which made it the largest tournament in numbers back from 1978 to 1982. One cannot underestimate the depth of the players in this era as they worked on the game without the help of coaches, Internet resources and chess engines which were non-existent then…


5thTHOMSON CHESS FIESTA June 2 – 32018 Thomson Community Club Hall, 194 Upper Thomson Road Singapore 574339
Organised by Thomson Chess Club with support from Thomson CCMC, YEC and SCF

14:00 15:30 16:45 18:00


Looking back on my old blog posts, I am reminded of the last time I displayed my chess set collection about 4 years ago. Gee how time flies. I am once again rejuvenated in my quest to have the prominent chess-playing sets which have made their mark in World Championships and illustrious tournaments in my collection.

This addictive yet soul-satisfying hobby was rekindled with the discovery of Ebay through a friend who managed to get some real bargains for vintage sets. So I tried my luck.

My first succesful acquisition cost me GBP40 for a 4" King Lardy made of boxwood and rosewood. There's a soft spot for the Lardy with its elegantly shaped Knights and dainty mitres of the Bishops not found in the current FIDE tournament sets today. Since then several good bargains came and my Lardy collection now counts to 8, from 2.75" to 4.25" Kings.

The Dubrovnik was a favourite but the NOJ version is simply out of my budget. So I settled for this Indian repro which costs around …


For the Lower Div Boys I am very proud that Gerrard Lim has retained his composure despite a loss in day 1 to finish 8/9 points and emerge Champion, despite the fact that he had just recovered from HFMD a week ago.
The other pleasant surprise was Ho Ray Ee. He had the luck of the draw on his side bypassing some nemeses but his biggest victory came in overcoming Ethan Lai who was rated 200 points above him.
Finishing 7.5 pts and coming in 4th was his best result. I congratulate him for his diligence and focus which saw him through in the last 3 rounds.

RongXuan was my addition this year but this boy (5th from the left) is a fighter and a fast learner. He was troubled by poor opening play which caused him to suffer early and often succumbed to losses in his games. This time round he had good positions and was able to cash in some good wins. I am very impressed that he can record his games without skipping a move, a skill even some of my older boys lack. The future bodes well for him if…