18 December 2013

National Juniors 2013

The National Juniors 2013 turned out to be a lucky event for the family when Yit San and Yit Ho ended up Champion and runner-up. The event is a sort of first in that it is the first time any one of us played in Johor Bahru. The kids have played in Kangar, Alor Setar, Penang and even several times in Singapore since 12 years ago. Last year had us going to Seremban and Melaka. And earlier this year, they played in Kuala Terengganu and Kota Kinabalu. So Johor Bahru was a lucky first time.

The event took place at the 35th Floor, City Square, definitely the iconic building/shopping mall within Johor Baru City area. The event was generously sponsored by Mr Frank Goon, the Johor Chess Association President, through one of his companies. I had heard a lot of about Mr Goon, so it was a real pleasure to finally meet him in person.
The JB CIQ complex from 35F, JB City Square
A view of Singapore from 35F, JB City Square
Congratulations are due to the Johor Chess Association for a very well-run event, and especially to Steven Cheong Kok Love, main organiser and also Tournament Director, and his team that included Eddy Kwan, Kok Liang and Mun Wan.
From left: Steven Cheong, Frank Goon, Yit San, Yit Ho and Eddy Fong
The main observation is the ‘upsets galore’. It is good MCF implemented the new practice of spreading the national events to the state affiliates, instead of almost always holding them in Kuala Lumpur.  Many talented players get a chance to play who otherwise would not have made it to KL due to cost constraints. I was surprised to find out that local boy, Muhd Zuhair bin Jumaat, who finished 5th, was only 12 years old, certainly a talent to watch out for in the future.

Yit San is  certainly looking forward to playing the World Juniors which is slated for September 2014 at Mumbai. It was a bit of a disappointment he could not make it to Turkey this year as the original venue at Hatay was just too close to the Syrian civil war. It was too late to go when the Turkish chess authorities finally changed the venue away from Hatay. Hopefully things go well with Mumbai.

Li Ting dominated the Girls Section winning with 8/9 ahead of Nithyalakshmi and Chua Jia Tien.

Steven Cheong, Frank Goon, Li Ting and Mr Tan

Waiting patiently through the speeches

Players and Parents

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