Friday, December 17, 2010

John Wong's blog

I just added John's Chess Food for Thought to my blog list. I do not know why I missed adding it for so long. Maybe John is not so good at self-promotion unlike some other bloggers I know.

John is a chess coach across the Causeway (that's Singapore for those less acquainted with the region). He blogs from the point of view of a trainer and writes some interesting posts. His latest post is on his satisfaction seeing how his students have improved after training with him.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thoughts on Penang Open

A bunch of Pinoy second liners descended on the island. None of them would be considered a contender for any future Philippine olympiad team. Yet they swept most of the top prizes.

We had two members of the 2010 olympiad team competing but with six points each they could only join a big group tie for 6th to 15th placing. They had the best placing amongst the locals.

Our other players capable of fighting for the top prize - Nicholas Chan, Mok Tze Meng and Ronnie Lim (who recently made his 1st IM norm at this year's Malaysian Open) were nowhere in sight. It is quite simple to deduce that their work does not permit them to play. It is a shame especially for Ronnie as Penang is his home state.This is the sad fact for us - first studies and than work will put an end to our players chess career.

Further down the list, I spotted two juniors whom I have been keeping an eye on. I first got to know them during a training camp organized couple of months ago. They are Low Jun Jian and Tan Jun Feng. Jun Feng is the older brother of Tan Li Ting. Both only scored four points but I think they have potential to become the next batch of strong juniors. These three need a good trainer to work with them to realize their potential.

The last mention is Yeoh Li Tian who scored five points. There is so much expectations from this young kid that this result can be considered a failure. His best result was at this year's K.L. Open. Following on was the Malaysian Open and now this tournament. Looking at the opposition and his results in these three tournaments, my opinion is that his game is not improving. For such a young player, this is of concern for this is the time when he should be making leaps and bounds in strength.

There are other juniors playing but as I have not worked with any of them and therefore know little about them, I cannot comment on their performance.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Zero to Hero

Here is something you do not see very often. In a Swiss tournament in Italy, with several grandmasters taking part, a 2149 rated untitled player ties for first place ,takes the trophy on tie-breaks and makes a IM norm in the process.

 Pos  Title  Name Rtg  PRtg  Fed  Pts
 1  --  Herman Matthew J 21492571 USA 6.5
 2  GM  Solodovnichenko Yuri 2563 2570 UKR 6.5
 3  GM  Tratar Marko 24922464 SLO 6.5
 4  GM  David Alberto 2587 2438 LUX 6.5
 5  GM  Salvador Roland 25272515 PHI 6.5
 6  IM  Bellia Fabrizio 2399 2496 ITA 6
 7  IM  Colovic Aleksandar 24572513 MKD 6
 8  GM  Marin Mihail 2562 2426 ROU 6
 9  IM  Saric Sinisa 24522395 SRB 6
 10  --  Mertens Heiko 2320 2472 GER 6
 11  IM  Tesic Dragan 24032395 SRB 6
 12  GM  Drazic Sinisa 2524 2459 SRB 5.5
 13  IM  Borgo Giulio 24142363 ITA 5.5
 14  FM  Damia Angelo 2302 2382 ITA 5.5
 15  IM  Vezzosi Paolo 23792266 ITA 5.5
 16  --  Garano Nicola 2171 2270 ITA 5.5
 17  --  Lapiccirella Daniele 22252344 ITA 5.5
 18  --  Iudicello Giovanni 2158 2283 ITA 5.5
 19  FM  Sbarra Marco 23122221 ITA 5.5
 20  --  Gagliardi Christian 2188 2291 ITA 5.5

His list of opponents -

 Rd Colour  Title Opponent  Rating Result
 1  W  GM  David Alberto  2587  1 
 2  B  IM  Manca Federico  2405   0 
 3  W  --  Agrifoglio Fabio  1999   1 
 4  W  --  Garano Nicola  2171   1 
 5  B  IM  Saric Sinisa  2452  1 
 6  W  IM  Borgo Giulio  2414   1 
 7  B  GM  Solodovnichenko Yuri  2563   0.5 
 8  B  GM  Marin Mihail  2562   0.5 
 9  W  GM  Tratar Marko  2492  0.5 

Unfortunately for him, this was only an IM norm result as he played two low rated players in the third and fourth round. Nevertheless, this kind of performance is every 2200 rated player dream. I really hope our Malaysian players can read this and be inspired to achieve something similar.