There are a few ways to follow the action for tonight’s match.
Official broadcast page on Chess24, with live commentary by GM Pascal Charbonneau, GM Daniel Fernandez and WGM Sabina Francesca Foișor here:
Also, the Russian Steamroller, FM Andrey Terekhov has kindly agreed to host his first stream. As he is highly familiar with many of the Singaporean players, expect more personalised and emotionally charged commentary on the SG Team from Andrey here:
Special Thanks to our generous Sponsors: Singaporean Chess enthusiast, Mr Mr Zhang Changjie of Theme International Trading SPC, Mr Lim See Wah of Ocean Health Pte Ltd, Mr Joshua Lim and an anonymous donor, together they have generously donated a total of SGD 18,000 to Lakeside Family Services, a Singapore based charity which helps families severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Zhang Changjie of Theme International Trading SPC
Mr Lim See Wah of Ocean Health Pte Ltd
Thank you for your donations. All Donations will go towards Lakeside Family Services.
by CM Junior Tay
Today’s ABC Swiss event had 26 players returning for the 3-round, 10min+5 seconds Swiss event and this time, we had 4 winners with maximum points.
Topping the list was Leong Hung Rey, who had studied in Raffles Institution from 2014 to 2019 and according to FM Ashvin Sivakumar, he had represented the school on Board 3 and 4 in the interschool events. He won all his rounds with relative ease and this week’s student analyst; Benedict Koh will provide more details and commentary on how he won the event in good time.
Last week’s champion Maxim Terekhov once again made the podium. He didn’t have it easy this week though as ACSI schoolboy Ethan Teo stretched him in the final game when Maxim’s all-out attack hit a cog when he mistimed his kingside assault. The advantage kept swinging both ways due to the highly tactical nature of the encounter but finally, Maxim wrapped up the proceedings with a mate in 4 combination.
It’s RI in the fray once again as Khor Eng Yeow, likewise a former Rafflesian, breezed past his opponents for his 3/3. Interestingly, we have a chessdad who had the last perfect score. Ng Hui Kwang, the father of Alyssa Ng (NAG U8 champion last year), also had a picket fence score. However, he had to endure some serious time pressure though as Ethan Teo (again?) took him to the wire in round 2. Ng was virtually surviving on increment in a worse ending when he came up with an inspired idea to establish a kingside passed pawn to generate counterplay. Ethan got caught up in playing a-tempo and underestimated the passed pawn (and Ng’s active king) and subsequently lost.
See https://share.chessbase.com/SharedGames/share/?p=Ed162MvLEwJEvRtp/qsrFc9XchO9zJw84j9PJ87jDiaVgg7bNrlbzhwo5QEcYOOb for the exciting finish.
We have received many positive comments about this event, one which allowed the ABCs to compete and spar without the stress of being bulldozed by FIDE-rated players. One parent credited the event for bringing his son’s chess interest back to chess and subsequent chess training. Another parent related how the kids eagerly awaited to compete in the weekly event and I was told about a daughter’s happiness in her own improving play in subsequent ABC events…and so on, so forth. So now, we are discussing whether the event should be continued after June henceforth.
We will leave you now with this wicked stalemate trick by ACS schoolboy Joshua Chee.
The team would like to thank the players for their faithful participation in the event.
Thanks so much!
Tourney director/ coordinator and post-game analyst(by request): WCM Bernadette Kong
FIDE rated student analysts: Lim Kai Jun, Zachary Chia, Benedict Koh and Marcel Neo
by FM Ashvin Sivakumar
The 1st Chess Against Covid Online Bughouse Challenge was a resounding success. Held on the 22nd of May from 8pm-8:45 p.m., it attracted 26 enterprising chess players, willing to try their hand at a scintillating variant of chess: Bughouse.
Bughouse is played with teams of 2 players working together: when one player captures a piece on his board, he can pass it to his teammate to “plant” on his board. A total of 6 rounds were played. Under the chess.com bughouse tournament format, partners were swapped after a loss. By the end of the 6 rounds, FM Lee Qing Aun emerged as the champion with 5/6, followed closely by IM Liu Xiangyi and FM Andrey Terekhov, both tied for 2nd with 4.5/6, and Royce Ho in 3rd with 4/6, beating out 5 other players on tiebreak.
Exciting games were played, with the tables turning quickly: for example, FM Lee Qing Aun sprung a surprise pawn checkmate on IM Liu Xiangyi when the latter forgot about his weakened kingside.
The Organisers would like to apologise for any confusion during the event as we are still relatively unfamiliar with chess.com’s specific bughouse eccentricities. We will considerorganising another bughouse event when we have a better understanding of the bughouse tournament system.
All in all, it was a very successful bughouse tournament. We look forward to your continued participation in our Chess Against Covid events!
by FM Ashvin Sivakumar
Chess Against Covid’s Remembering Professor Lim Kok Ann: 4 Grandmaster Simultaneous Exhibition ended yesterday evening as a resounding success.
4 Singaporean Grandmasters: GM Zhang Zhong, GM Wong Meng Kong, GM Wu Shaobin and GM Goh Wei Ming, tackled a total of 85 players in commemoration of Professor Lim Kok Ann’s 100th birthday.
The simultaneous exhibition lasted over 3 hours long, with many exhilarating battles across all 4 of the Grandmaster’s simultaneous exhibitions. GM Zhang Zhong ended with a score of 17.5-2.5, winning 15 games and drawing 5. GM Wu Shaobin finished with a score of 16-4, winning 15, losing 3 and drawing 2. GM Wong Meng Kong finished with a score of 5.5-14.5, winning 5, drawing 1 and losing 14. GM Goh Wei Ming finished with a score of 23.5-2.5, winning 21 and drawing 5.
GM Zhang Zhong had a dominating display, only dropping 4 draws in his simul: to Advait Bagri, Teo Hong Ming, Marcus Chen, Joel Ong and Faryal Gohar. Hong Ming essayed the French Defence, a favourite of GM Zhang Zhong, a former World Junior runner-up. Queens were quickly traded by the 20th move, with the players entering an equal endgame. Advait’s game transposed into a Ruy Lopez Tchigorin variation, with the players soon trading into a position where Advait had slight pressure along the c-file, while Zhang Zhong had a space advantage in the centre. The players soon agreed a draw after a threefold repetition, as neither player could make headway into their opponent’s solid position. A well-deserved draw by Advait. GM Zhang soon built a strong position with a kingside pawn storm, but Hong Ming managed to cook up strong counterplay on the Queenside and exploit GM Zhang’s shaky king position. Eventually, the players traded pieces into a dead draw pawn endgame. Marcus Chen’s tactical nous helped him to navigate the difficulties posed to him by GM Zhang Zhong, astutely walking a tight rope to simplify into a position where he had a positional advantage, saddling GM Zhang with doubled pawns. GM Zhang made an audacious attempt, moving his king up to h3 (!) to support a kingside pawn storm. However, it came to naught as Marcus managed to trade pieces and eventually forced a threefold repetition. Joel Ong essayed the Nimzo-Indian against GM Zhang Zhong, managing to clamp down on GM Zhang’s kingside pawn advance to his credit. A manoeuvring phase then began, before GM Zhang made an audacious exchange sacrifice to blow open Joel’s kingside and seize the initiative. GM Zhang soon built an advantage with a piece and 2 pawns for a rook, and soon managed to open Joel’s position, winning a bishop for 2 pawns. However, he later made a slight tactical miscalculation that allowed Joel to win a knight. GM Zhang’s commanding position allowed him to salvage a draw by forcing Joel to repeat moves. Faryal Gohar managed to combat GM Zhang’s threats resolutely, trading pieces into a Queen+Knight+Bishop endgame. He then managed to take advantage of GM Zhang’s slight missteps to penetrate his position, and developed a forcing advantage. He even had a few winning opportunities that he missed: for example, he could have won a bishop on the 36th move by using a sneaky pin. Alas, Faryal missed these tactics in the end, and acquiesced to a draw in a position when he still held an advantage. Final score 17.5-2.5 to GM Zhang.GM Wong Meng Kong, Singapore’s first ever home-grown grandmaster, eventually finished with 5 wins, 1 draw and 14 losses. Unfortunately, the majority of his losses were due to a loss on time, showing how hard it is to manage one’s time as a Simul master.
Jayden Cheng, Ethan Teo, Low Kah Tzay, Karthika, Sanjay Vasu, Dylan Long, Yu Kaiyi, Benedict Koh, Lau Yan Han, Poh Yu Tian, Cai Mingzhe, Harryndran Gunendran, Elliot Koh, Dwayne Alekhine and Huang Song-Jei all beat GM Wong, while Megan Kwok split the points with her esteemed opponent. Only Karthika, Poh Yu Tian and Cai Mingzhe had winning positions when they won their games on time. The rest of GM Wong’s opponents were either completely losing, or had an equal endgame, when GM Wong ran out of time. Cai Mingzhe used the Dutch Defence to outfox his GM opponent, later forcing a piece sacrifice in order to cook up some counterplay. However, GM Wong did not have enough time to further complicate the position, giving Mingzhe the opportunity to consolidate his extra piece and eventually score a well-deserved victory. Karthika played a tactically complex Queen’s Gambit Declined against GM Wong, navigating the middlegame complications well, save for a slight slip on the 13th move that presented GM Wong with the opportunity to win a pawn. To her credit, Karthika found the best defensive moves in the position, and her tenacity finally paid off when she found a cunning fork on the 31st move that forced GM Wong to give up his rook. Her accurate defence meant that no counterplay was available, and GM Wong soon conceded the game. Poh Yu Tian played a tough tussle in the Gruenfeld, skillfully defending against GM Wong’s minority attack before penetrating his position in the endgame. A misstep by GM Wong in time trouble saw him get his rook skewered, whereupon the grandmaster graciously resigned. Megan Kwok was the only player to draw with GM Wong. She strangely eschewed the opportunity to play on in a slightly better position, where she was up a pawn and GM Wong’s king was feeling draughty. She was probably already satisfied with achieving a draw against her well-respected opponent. Final score 5.5-14.5 to GM Wong Meng Kong.
We would like to sincerely thank all those who have supported this event in any way, through your kind words of encouragement, your participation, and your donation
GM Zhang Zhong’s final result: http://chess-results.com/tnr527697.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=1
GM Wu Shaobin’s final result: http://chess-results.com/tnr527698.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=1
GM Wong Meng Kong’s final result: http://chess-results.com/tnr527716.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=1
GM Goh Wei Ming’s final result: http://chess-results.com/tnr527694.aspx?lan=1&art=2&rd=1
This part of the report covers GM Wu Shaobin and GM Goh Wei Ming’s games. GM Wu Shaobin is the epitome of a chess gentleman, who takes every game with the utmost seriousness, and is gracious in victory and defeat.
GM Wu’s simul started slightly later due to some technical difficulties at the beginning. After a grueling 3 hour battle, he dropped 3 losses and 2 draws in a commanding display. GM Wu lost to Deng Tianle, Gideon Yen and Bryan Kow, while he drew with Chong Huan Yan and Chen Chia-Chien. GM Wu lost all 3 games on time, a testament to the tough time management requirements of a 20-board simul. Gideon Yen was in a lost pawn endgame, but Deng Tianle and Bryan Kow were both winning. Bryan played a strong game, tricking the grandmaster and winning a full rook, after GM Wu forgot that his rook was hanging with check. The game was lost from then on. Deng Tianle outplayed GM Wu from the black side of a Queen’s Indian setup, making a thematic hedgehog-style break in the centre with d5. Tianle found himself with a powerful light-squared bishop slicing through GM Wu’s weak kingside light squares. Tianle then managed to pick up 2 of GM Wu’s pawns and simplify into a won rook endgame, and was close to winning when GM Wu ran out of time. Strong play from Tianle! Huan Yan was outplayed in a King’s Indian by GM Wu, who showed his skill and experience to build up dominating connected passed-pawns in the centre. However, GM Wu later made an unforced error, leaving his bishop en prise due to time trouble. A draw was later agreed as neither player was able to make progress. A topsy-turvy game and props to Huan Yan for fighting hard! Chen Chia-Chien essayed a solid French Defence, which led to an uneventful draw where GM Wu continued to press throughout the game, but was unable to break through Chen’s solid position. Overall, a final score of 16-4 to GM Wu.
GM Kevin Goh Wei Ming was the final grandmaster to play the simul. Singapore’s 2nd grandmaster, and an extremely strong player, he convincingly mopped up the field, scoring an almost unbelievable 21 victories and 5 draws. Eshwant Singh, Charlene Mak, Do Minh Quan, Tran Dang Minh Quang and Clement Chieng. Do Minh Quan played a topsy-turvy game against the strong grandmaster: a complex middlegame descended into an endgame where Wei Ming had a clear advantage, with a knight and 2 passed pawns for a rook. An uncharacteristic misstep by Wei Ming saw him miscalculate a key variation, upon which Do Minh Quan traded into an endgame with a rook and a pawn vs a bishop and a pawn for Wei Ming. However, Wei Ming was able to hold a fortress and eventually forced a draw. Charlene Mak had a lucky escape after Wei Ming’s early Greek Gift sacrifice of his bishop on h7, where Wei Ming unfortunately missed a winning tactic near the end of the game. Tran Danh Ming Quang traded into a worse endgame, where he was down a pawn. However, his active play soon allowed him to drum up strong counterplay, eventually forcing Wei Ming to accede to a draw. Clement Chieng’s game was a rather peaceful English opening, with pieces vacuumed off the board extremely quickly, leading to an uneventful draw in a bishop endgame. Eshwant Singh put pressure on Wei Ming from the start, and went up a pawn after skillfully defending against Wei Ming’s Trompowsky opening. However, he later went for a threefold repetition against Wei Ming in a position where he still held a sizeable advantage. A draw against a strong grandmaster was probably satisfactory for the young Malaysian player. A powerful performance by Wei Ming, with an overall score of 23.5-2.5.
We at Chess Against Covid are extremely grateful for all the support for this initiative, in commemoration of Professor Lim Kok Ann, the man who built up Singapore chess. We are glad to have raised over $2000 for families badly hit by Covid-19 due to this event, and are also very thankful for the participation of his daughter, Ms Stella Kon, in support of this event.
Do stay safe and take care of yourselves. Chess on!
by Junior Tay
The 4th and final Fight Night Tuesday had 45 wood pushers (or should we call them mouse shifters/clickers?) vying for the title of Chess960 king.This time round, the Elo 2000+ gang comprised FM Ashvin Sivakumar, FM Andrey Terekhov, CM Benjamin Foo, Royce Ho, Ng Sheng Feng and Jayden Wong. By now, everyone was ready to expect an anonymous strongie to show up to claim the title, since it has occurred in the past 2 editions too.
This time round, the mystery man was a certain ProfMorosoph, who moved twice as fast as our resident masters and had everyone playing catch-up (just like Myozz and Limcf before him).
Off the starting blocks, it was Zheng Yuan Heng of Raffles Institution and ProfMorosoph heading the pack, while the Elo2000+ crowd struggled to make headway. As I had explained in the groupchat, in Arena format, the initial pairings pits the similarly rated players together (unlike Swiss where the top seed gets the middle of the pack dude) so there is little chance of them seizing the lead barring a massive blunder by one side.
Zheng and ProfMorosoph continued to lead into the first ½ hour and by then, the top juniors such as Sean, Dixon Tang, Ng Sheng Feng and Jayden Chua began to assert their presence. FMs Ashvin and Andrey and CM Ben also stayed in contention.
10 minutes later, a small but perceptible gap began to open up with Sean and Ben taking turns to try ousting ProfMorosoph from pole position while the rest tried to stay close to the top 3.
At the 1 hour mark, Jayden had joined the leading pack. It was also noticeable that some young ‘punks’ such as Charlene Mah, Zachary Chia, Lauren Rice and Lim Kai Jun, figured in the top 10 occasionally, but they naturally found it hard to sustain the momentum with so many strongies contending.
At this point, a crucial top of the table clash between ProfMorosoph and Sean ensued which eventually ended in lone kings for both sides. Jayden was next up against the leader and the game ended inexplicably after a 16th move draw offer by Jayden was accepted. From a strategic perspective, it was a good truce agreement by ProfMorosoph as it broke Jayden’s streak (thus he will have to go back to 2 pts for a win instead of 4 for a streak win). However, will it cost the pair their leading status? All signs seem to point to that as Benjamin was next to challenge ProfMorosoph. With 12 minutes remaining, Jayden with 43 points, edged one pt ahead of ProfMorosoph and Sean.
Amazingly, Sean lost the exchange to Cai Mingzhe on move 2(!) and the latter slowly but surely converted the win. Benjamin had ProfMorosoph tied up and trussed on the back rank but just failed to find the finishing blow and the latter overturned the tables to actually increase his lead. Try as the chasing pack might, they could not close the gap as ProfMorosoph started getting non-top 10 players to contend with. With 3 minutes left, Jayden had a final chance to make or break. He had 46 points to ProfMorosoph’s 52 and they had to face each other. A win followed by a quick berserk last game victory would seal the deal. ProfMorosoph cleverly elected to go into total defensive mode with a central barricade and no targets for the youngster to aim at. All White had to do was to run the clock down and the fat lady can start singing.
In his attempt to complicate, Jayden gave away the f4-square which was swiftly latched onto by ProfMorosoph’s knight and it was all over as the knight and g-pawn tandem could not be stopped without copious material losses. And so, for the 3rd time in the series, a mystery guest claimed the Chess960 title. This time round, it was really exciting as Sean, Benjamin and Jayden’s attempts to dislodge him were so near and yet…so far.
2nd: Jayden Wong
3rd Sean Goh
4th: CM Benjamin Foo
5th: Zheng Yuan Heng
6th: Jonathan Goh
7th: Ng Sheng Feng
8th: Cai Mingzhe
9th: FM Andrey Terekhov
10th: Charlene Mak.
Final results and games: https://lichess.org/tournament/Bs49GQ4GThanks to all the participants for taking part in our Fight Night Tuesday!
The CAC 1st ABC Swiss Event tournament gathered 30 players from Singapore. All of them are advanced beginners or casual players, who have not (yet) attained FIDE rating in standard chess. However, the starting lineup sported impressive ratings on Lichess, with the top players sporting 1800-2000 ratings.
After three rounds of struggle, the top three winners emerged with a perfect record – 3 out of 3. They were separated in the final standings only by the Buchholz tie-breaker.
The winner was Maxim Terekhov, whose opponents sported a perfect record, other than losing their games to him (making for a Buchholz coefficient of 6). In the second place was Kayden Lim, whose tie-break was one point lower, and third place was Harryndran Gunendran of Victoria School, whose tiebreak was 3½.
The winner of the tournament is a 12-year old boy who did not play chess for almost a year and returned only thanks to #ChessAgainstCovid initiative, with his first tournament after a long break being last week’s Chess960 tournament.
In this competition, he played two games out of three with Black. However, at this level the color does not matter much (White won 44% of the games, Black 42% and 9% of the games ended in a draw).
In the first game, the winner played the Two Knights Defense and although the game quickly steered far away from the conventional theory, Black still got a strong initiative for the sacrificed pawn. Around move 30 Black won an exchange thanks to a nice combination and eventually managed to convert it into a victory. In the second game, he won with a direct attack on the enemy king and delivered a checkmate when the opponent blundered on move 20. The last round game was a hard-fought battle in the Queen’s Pawn Opening, in which White missed an intermezzo on move 21 that would have allowed him to maintain the material balance. All games by the champion will be analysed by our resident analysts (FIDE rated juniors).
The runner up, Kayden Lim, was quite lucky in this tournament. In the second round, he was a piece down by move 12, but twenty moves later his opponent blundered this piece back and lost. In the final round, Kayden was again in a difficult position, but posed enough problems for his opponent to lose most of his advantage first and blunder a full queen in one move.
The third placer, Harryndran, started the tournament by outplaying his opponent with Black pieces in the symmetrical endgame of Ruy Lopez. In the second round he won with a ferocious attack in Sicilian Defense. In the final game, Harry went for Two Knights Defense with Black, obtained a winning by move 10 and confidently converted it into a full point.
Here are some tactical positions from the event that you might want to try to solve:
CAC Online Bughouse Challenge
Date/Time: 22 May (Friday)/8pm
Venue : Chess.com server
Time Control: 3mins + 2s increment
Format : 9 Round Swiss
Register @ https://tinyurl.com/CACbughouse
A detailed writeup on the Bughouse rules are at: https://support.chess.com/article/349-bughouse.
For those who may already know the rules, but may not know the strategies, you can read some new tips and tricks here
by CM Junior Tay
The 3rd Fight Night Tuesday was shorn of quite a few of the regular blitz monsters, though 55 is a good crowd to contest for the title of the Chess 960 king. However, there was still considerable punching power in this horde with elo 2000+ types like CM Benjamin Foo, Sean Christian Goh, Ethan Poh, Ng Sheng Feng and Royce Ho lurking around.
Brendan Kong seized the lead after a quick draw and an even quicker win to top the table. Another youngster Cai Mingzhe overtook him but then, a certain Limcf started berserking his way up the top and after ½ an hour, he overtook everyone with 5 straight wins. He was not only playing extremely fast, but very precisely as he took out strongies using less than 1.5 minutes in total. I was wondering if we were dealing with a chess bot at this point . Also I was getting myriad calls about this person’s identity.
So this dude was having an exhibition of his own, leaving the rest to contest for 2nd place. Jonathan Goh, Sheng Feng, Sean and Mingzhe were having their own Mexican standoff after they reached top board to play and inevitably lose to Limcf. This was when Ben Foo started to get his mojo and went on an 8-game winning spree.
With 30 minutes remaining, Ng Sheng Feng took his A-game to limcf and had him on the ropes. The latter was in serious time trouble with a pawn short but kept finding ways with creative defending/counterattacking to confuse Sheng Feng and when the smoke cleared, all the pawns had disappeared. Limcf’s perfect score was dented with Sheng Feng getting a well-deserved draw.
And that was all anyone could do to slow down the Limcf freight train and he mowed down his next 5 opponents to finish 10 points clear of Jonathan Goh. The latter was quite fortunate to snatch 2nd place from Benjamin when the latter, in a highly advantageous position gave a free rook and got mated at the same time. Ben was also overtaken by Sheng Feng and had to settle for 4th position, with Sean finishing 5th.
After computer correlation checks for possible engine usage was completed, it transpired that the results showed Limcf to be more likely a strong human player with a very high degree of accuracy in his play but yet, not shelling out computer-like/level moves. My apologies to the chap, for indicating that ‘his moves seemed too good to be true’ in the group chat.
And so. it transpired that our champion this week turned out to be a Grandmaster who still wanted to remain anonymous. All I can say is, when he came over to my place a few years back with a bunch of masters for sort of our own version of the Olympics (tennis+badminton+bowling+table soccer+swimming+chess), he crushed two masters at blitz chess with the ping pong like score of 8.5-0.5 and the like. At least we took him out in badminton though…
1st: GM limcf
2nd: Jonathan Goh
3rd: Ng Sheng Feng
4th: CM Benjamin Foo
5th: Sean Goh
6th: Cai Mingzhe
7th: Jiang Youhan
10th: Adharsh Venkatakrishnan
Final scores and games can be found at https://lichess.org/tournament/9j7fR0o9
Yesterday, our Young Masters, who organised the successful Young Masters Simul Series, were in for a treat: a GM Masterclass by Grandmaster Daniel Fernandez!🤩
The Young Masters learnt a lot as Daniel shared some of the key endgames that he played in his chess career, such as against GM Gawain Jones, a giant of British chess.!learning from his deep calculation, as well as his strong intuition in the endgame.
Thank you to all Young Masters for your help in the Chess Against Covid campaign!😊