Saturday, November 5, 2011

Recent Updates

We've settled in to life in Hong Kong. Of course the first priorities when we got here were finding a permanent place to live, getting into school and adjusting to life in a new town. I didn't really expect to find much of a chess scene here. Certainly compared to New York, you can't really call it a scene at all, but there are actually a number of instructional programs for children and a couple of organizations than run small tournaments.

I will post later about what we found. In short, the quality of instruction is sort of spotty so it takes some effort to find something that works depending on your child's level. There are only 6-8 scholastic tournaments each year but there are a few kids/parents that seem quite into it nevertheless.

Richie went to just one tournament and finished 3rd in his age group (9 yrs and under). He actually had first place in hand when his final round opponent offered a draw, but Richie declined and pushed for a win as he didn't know he only needed half a point for clear first. One thing that's different about the tournament compared to the ones in the states is that all age groups (up to high school) were in the same player pool, but results were then determined by age group. That put Richie at a bit of a disadvantage as he had to play much harder players in the end as he was winning his games early. Anyway it was a good tournament that spanned two days with 8 G/60s.

Richie is entered for another tournament in two weeks and has participated in a couple of warm-up sessions conducted by one of the organizers.

One interesting thing for Richie this year is that he will actually have some teammates. His school turns out to have had a pretty decent chess team in the past (completely by chance). There's a weekly chess club which he joined, of course, but it's completely non-instructional. They just meet to play and then the strongest players are selected to play boards 1-4 in the team competition which happens I think a few times a year.

Otherwise, Richie has not been practicing at all and only plays for fun with his classmates once a week.

I did get a chance go gauge his play during a recent visit to Australia where he played a game of blitz in the park. It was a pretty fun game. I feel a little guilty for unleashing him on unsuspecting old guys... Ah who am I kidding, I love doing that!

No comments:

Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide