Singapore juniors performing creditably abroad
Once the final academic exams were over, some promising juniors (and their parents) took the opportunity to test their skills abroad. If one can afford to do so, it is a great idea as I've always felt our juniors are way underrated. basically taking points off each other in a finite pool of rated players at home after they have started off with low ratings in their initial stage of chess learning (what to do when the rating floor starts at ELO 1000?).
FM Ashvin Sivakumar (2nd from the right) with the rest of the gang at the 1st Puchong Masters 2017. Photo credit: Ashvin Sivakumar
First up, Ashvin Sivakumar took a 'gap semester' to venture Poland and took part in the Wroclaw Open (9-15 August 2017) where he was seeded 17th out of 115 participants with 2 GMs and 4 IMs participating. After accounting for a couple of u2000s in the initial two rounds, he stepped up a gear and took out eventual champion Pavel Kowalczyk (2311) and drew against GM Vladimir Sergeev (2417) from a position of strength. Eventually he finished the event unbeaten with 6.5/9, with a TPR of 2402, and gaining 88 points in the process, propelling him to FIDE 2309. (with the FM title that comes along with it). Ashvin tied for 3rd in the event and his round by round results can be seen in the screengrab from chess.24.com.
Here are two games kindly annotated by Ashvin:
Ashvin was less successful in the First Friday IM event held in KL from 6th to 10th of October 2017. With a minus 1 result, his rating went below 2300 though he had the satisfaction of ousting Indonesian IM Dede Liu by doing a 'Timothy Chan'. The game is analysed below by Ashvin:
A few other Singaporeans made their way to Melbourne to compete in the Hjorth Open (3rd November to 7th November 2017) with GM Max Illingworth, IMs James Morris, Stephen Solomon and Trevor Tao plus WGM Julia Ryjanova spearheading the event. Not surprisingly, Max won the event with a resounding 8.5/9 but unheralded Ethan Goh (1812) upset the applecart to tie for 2nd at 7 points with the likes of Thai Ly and IM Morris. Ethan held his own against IM Solomon and WGM Ryjanova though he had to absorb a loss to fellow Singaporean, former Cairnhill Open Champion Eddy Seah who is now based in Melbourne. A strong finish of 3 wins in a row propelled him to the main prizewinner's list.
Ethan (left) next to MCC honcho Elizabeth Warren, tourney organizer Simon Dale, and other =2nd placers Thai Ly, and IM James Morris (holding his cheque)
Photo credit: Mr Goh Ken Yi
Here is Ethan's well played draw against IM Solomon who was placed on the defensive right in the opening before Ethan even castled.
This is the breakdown of Ethan's performance in Melbourne.
Another Singaporean who performed creditably is Soo Kai Jie, who upset IM James Morris in Round 2 and earned a rating prize with his 6/9 performance.
There are some more top juniors in action this and next month with IM Tin Jingyao playing in the prestigious World Junior Championships (11-round Swiss, Tarvisio, Italy, 13-25 November 2017) and FM Lee Qing Aun pitting his skills in the Lidums Australian Young Masters IM norm event (Adelaide, December 2-8). All the best to their effort!