Monday, February 27, 2012

Hong Kong Inter-School Team Championship

The Annual Hong Kong Inter-School Championship was recently held at the South Island School. This is one of only two major country-wide chess tournaments in HK and unlike it's sister event, the Inter-School championship is an Olympiad-style team event with four players per team. There were over 60 registered teams (many schools entered multiple teams), and Richie's team from Quarry Bay School won in convincing fashion. Richie competed on board 1 and scored 6.0/7.0 points. His team was perfect over the event, though, and emerged with a clear 1.5 point lead over second place.

When we first enrolled our children into QBS, we had very little expectations for any school-organized chess. Truth be told, the club is not exactly instructional and only ran for half the year. Nevertheless there's a small group of relatively enthusiastic players and parents and I think Richie's presence at the club may have helped raise the standard of play amongst his friends. Of course the real irony about the school team is that in all the time Richie played chess in the states, he was always a lone wolf and never had the opportunity to play as part of a school team.

Richie has been doing only maintenance level study for the better part of a year now and rarely plays online or otherwise, but I did have him continue with almost weekly lessons with Ian Harris (his last coach from the US) and he gathers several times a month with a few friends and a local teacher for a group lesson. It seems though, that with the level of chess seriousness as it is in HK, he still has quite an edge over the field.

Strangely, I can't actually gauge his strength. When I watch him play I still feel there are a lot of basic errors going on that I'm surprised to still see, and when he's asked questions in his lessons, I often come up with the answers quicker than he does. On the other hand, when we play (and he takes it seriously) he seems to beat me routinely. (Maybe I need to take it more seriously!).

Perhaps it should be obvious that his tactical strength is ahead of mine, but to make it concrete, we had a father-son challenge to be the first to reach 1800 on tactics and while I'm consistently stuck around 1600 he's gets very close to 1800 when he's focused. But more importantly, in actual games, he seems to be more consistent in spotting tactics throughout the game than I am.


Anonymous said...

hi, question, i assume with the quality of competition in HK that your son plays slower games online. Any sites you recommend for slower online games? ICC it seems hard to find anyone willing play 30+ min games. has more, but he quality of play there seems to be very variable.. thx

Koji said...

Actually, Richie doesn't play slow games online at all. At most he plays G/15.

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