Records to shatter in sunny Singapore

8/22/2003 – The world domino topple record (303,621 men) was set this week in Singapore, and currently some 2800 students are busy clicking on their computer mouses after school hours, preparing for the biggest Internet Chess Tournament of all time! You too can be part of the record attempt and maybe even become Singapore Internet Champion!

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Something's cooking at the 2nd Singapore Schools
Internet Chess Carnival 2003!

Some 2800 students in sunny Singapore are busy clicking on their computer mouses after school hours these days, preparing for the biggest Internet Chess Tournament of all time! The Singapore Schools Internet Chess Carnival is back again! This year's edition also comprise International Qualifiers which lead to a Grand FINAL where the top school players will get a chance to compete against Chessbase's blitz experts and GMs/ IMs! Already, in the qualifiers, we see illustrious Grandmasters like Roland Schmaltz and Petr Kiriakov taking part (and of course, winning…).



Rivervale Primary School's blitzers

Thanks to ChessBase Germany, Rivervale Primary School was once again welcome to host this event on ChessBase's Playchess.com server with a few more innovative ideas than the year before, where the world record of close to 2200 participants for an Internet Chess event was set . This time, the preliminary rounds will commence on the 26th of August and end on the 30th to qualify finalists who will play for prizes on 6th of September 2003. The top finishers will earn the chance to play against renowned masters such as GM Roland Schmaltz (four time World Bullet Chess Champion!) and Finland's latest GM Tomi Nyback in the Grand Final at 4pm (Singapore Time) that day.

At this time, trainers are sent all over Singapore to train these students on how to install and use the Playchess.com program so that they can compete from their own home Internet-Ready PCs. We took this chance to take a few digital photos of the participants training for the event. Gladwin Ng is a six-year-old Primary 1 schoolboy from Nan Chiau Primary School and one of the youngest participants in the Chess Carnival. After 10 minutes of training, he was ready to take on opponents many times his age on the server. Gladwin is no stranger to winning chess prizes, having won the Merit Prize at the National Schools Individual Chess Championships and helping his school team to 5th place in the recently concluded National Schools Team Championships.


Gladwin Ng of Nan Chiau Primary School

"I hope to reach the Finals of the event", said Gladwin, a sentiment which his brother, Glenn, 8, concurred with. It would not be easy for the Ng brothers to do so as there will only be 14 finalists out of about 700 participants in their category! Perhaps they can improve their chances by getting tips before the game from their teacher-trainer, three-time National Women's Champion, Yip Fong Ling, or their uncle, International Master Chan Peng Kong! Of course, they are not allowed to consult anyone during the course of the game!

Let's hope the knowledge gleaned will help him deliver brilliant checkmates in the coming days!


Gladwin takes a timeout from his Playchess.com training to work on Pandofini's Power Mates.

We now move over to St Hilda's Primary School where the record for the number of entries from a single school was broken many times over! Last year, St Hilda's easily topped the Active Participation Award recipients list with their 89 entries. This year, they broke their record many times over with a whooping 389 entrants! Mrs. Irene Ong, St Hilda's Head of Mathematics Department related, "I merely asked the students if they wished to take part in this year's Internet Chess Carnival and we were pleasantly surprised to find nearly 400 students coming forward to represent the school! How can we say 'No' to their enthusiasm?" Mrs Ong added that the students have since requested for more practice sessions in the school computer labs and now I think she has a scheduling headache. The things we do for our kids!

St Hilda's students attending the training session in droves!

Now we move on to interview the highest rated player in the event, 13-year-old Jason Goh of Anglo Chinese School (Independent) who sports a FIDE rating of 2327.

Last year, Jason was narrowly edged out from the top spot in the Lower Primary Section by his fellow Olympiad team member, Evan Yeo of St Joseph's Institution. This time, Jason is back with a vengeance, stating, "I hoping to reverse the situation this time round!" Already, Jason had finished 3rd in this year's National Men's Championship, behind GM Wu Shaobin and GM Dr Wong Meng Kong. Evan finished one position behind Jason but showed his potential with an attacking win over GM Wong! This is one section worth watching indeed! When queried about his chances in the Grand Final, Jason mused that he would be satisfied with a 'respectable' score, given the strong opposition he will face.

On 6th September 2003, the players who top the preliminary sections will play in the Finals at E-Games, Cathay Cineleisure right in the heart of Singapore's most popular shopping district, Orchard Road! So, for concerned parents and teachers following the proceedings of the matches, perhaps a good shopping spree can help ease tensions!

We are very honoured to have Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, the Mayor of the North East Community Development Council, Singapore, as our Guest of Honour. Our Mayor will launch the event proper by playing the 1st move for the current South East Asian Champion, GM Tu Hoang Thong in an exhibition Playchess.com blitz match against IM Dr Hsu Li Yang.


Grandmaster Tu Hoang Thong

So what's in store for the students who do well in the event? Like in last year's edition, all finalists will receive ChessBase software and trophies but there's much more!

In the Primary School Section, the 2nd and 1st place winners will receive ChessNinja training newletters subscriptions, courtesy of the irrepressible Miguel Greengard. Here is a great opportunity to learn how to stun your opponent with Ninja-like attacks!

All 2nd placed winners in the Secondary School and Junior College sections will receive ChessToday newsletter subscriptions, generously donated by Grandmaster Alexander Baburin. Chess Today provides the latest chess news, book reviews, puzzles and much more to its readers!

All 1st place winners in the Secondary School and Junior College sections will get free membership to the ChessFriend Correspondence Chess Server too, thanks to Reimund Lutzenberger! Huge cash prize events abound on the ChessFriend Server with many Over-the-board and Correspondence Grandmasters taking part in its events!

Finally, the top 10 finishers in the Grand FINAL of this Carnival are entitled to the following prizes.

Place
Ducats*
Other Prizes
1st
1000
Chess Publishing.com subscription (1 year) + ChessFriend Membership + Chess Today subscription
2nd
750
Chess Publishing.com subscription (1/2 year) + ChessFriend Membership + Chess Today subscription
3rd
500
Chess Publishing.com subscription (3 months) + ChessFriend Membership + ChessToday Subscription
4th
300
ChessToday Subscription
5th
200
Chess Today Subscription
6 – 10
100
* Ducats are ChessBase Currency (10 Ducats are approximately equal to 1 Euro or $2 SingDollar) and can be used to buy ChessBase products or be exchanged for training with IMs or GMs on the Playchess.com server.

 

You might have noticed that the top 3 finishers get subscriptions to the ChessPublishing website and can access the latest in chess opening theory! Grandmaster Tony Kosten donated these prizes! Thanks a bunch!

It's not too late to play in the International Qualifiers! The client software to access the Playchess.com server is available free of charge, and all you have to do after logging on is to go to the Singapore Chess Carnival Room 1 at 6.45 p.m. European time (12.45 a.m. Singapore time) on every Thursday right up to the 4th of September. The top three finishers qualify for the Grand Final! Players with IM or GM titles are invited to take part directly in the Grand Final, likewise Playchess.com players with King and Queen ranks!

So, be part of the biggest Internet Chess Event of all time and who knows, you might become the next Singapore Internet Chess Carnival Champion!


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