Dear Readers,

Yesterday marked the end of my school chess seaon (albeit there is still Nationals) of my former junior days. Unfortunately we abdicated the trphy we had kept for 2 years to Sydney Boys, losing 3-1. But luckily I managed to create a nice win after a zugzwang sequence to save my team from an embarrassing 4-0 loss.

Now as the Metropolitan chess seaon ends and my seniors Kevin and Peter graduate, I am now assuming the position of NSB chess captain from 2011 onwards, with the responsibility leading young stars Oscar and Jack as well as the eager year 7s just beginning their flight to their own chess adventure and success. Not only that, next year I'll be a senior high school student, and thats just not fun... :(


Although chess may not sound very exciting to many my readers, I assure you, chess is a blood thirsty game, where the action doesn't stop until resignation is gestured or one of the king's head is chopped off. ;) Furthermore, you can replay the action as many times as you want, and there are computers and friends that give you different scenarios and often you end up laughing till your stomach hurts during rewatching the games and different scenarios.

One peculiar thing I found was the concentration that is required, as a newly met friend of mine in Japan said, often allows us humans to occupy different stances and poses in order to reach that level of concentration, which was quite an extraordinary thing!

I began as board 4 in year 7, starting on not the veteran team, but rather with friends that played the game as a pastime and a distraction to the 'distressing' work of year 7. I lost a couple of games, and we didn't make it through the finals because within our division lied the powerful 'C' team as we called them, which consisted of reasonably strong players including the likes of Kevin Lin sitting on Board 1.

In year 8 I had joined the top junior team consisting of Gavin, Anthony and our new year 7 Renny, whom was chosen on top of Alex after several arguments that resulted in a match having to be played. We were NSB 'D', the 'dream team' as my coordinator liked to call it. We raced through the preliminary divisions. The difference was, this time I was put on board 2, but when the crucical showdown between us and Knox came, I was switched to board 1 in order to have a chance to take a point from the opposing team to ensure that we try and win the match. We drew the first match 2-2 after I defeated my opponent and Gavin won his game (quite convincingly if I remembered correctly) but unfortunately in the rematch we lost as I failed to win against the same opponent the second time. Although we had not won our Northern Region, it was an improvement from last year and noting the arrival of Marco the following year (a strong junior) our team will be bolstered whilst Knox loses Bernard (because he will still be in the junior division). This was a good sign indicating a promising result next year in the first year in the intermediate division. I finished the year undefeated with only one draw finishing on 10.5/11.

Year 9 was a great start to NSB chess, as we welcomed veterans Jack Ruan (2009 NSW U12 Champion) and Former Australian U10 Champion Oscar Wang into the school. We often talked about winning the Metropolitan chess tournament in all 3 divisions, which of course was to be a great feat. In the junior divisions we were led by the 2 forementioned juniors, senior division my seniors Kevin and Peter as well as 2 other experienced players. In the intermediate team we recruited Marco, and Anthony dropped to part-time because of his studies and we had Kevin Lin sitting on board 1, and Marco board 3. I once again assumed board 2, claiming that Kevin Lin was the more experienced and stronger player between us two.

We drew with Knox in the 1st regional final match after Kevin Lin lost to Kinto and Marco accidently blundered a rook which meant he lost. In the rematch though, our strategy changed significantly, where our reinforcement Anthony was called in to take the place of Kevin Lin, we placed him on board 3 and moved Marco and I up 1 board each. This strategy proved to be very successful, I played a strong game and despite endgame inaccuracies, I managed to win and so did the rest of my team! An amazing feat, for I don't remember ever a team beating the strong and solid Knox team 4-0 in the history of NSB vs. Knox metropolitan matches. Marco won after getting into a positive endgame, Anthony swindled after incorrectly sacrificing a peice for 2 pawns, and Gavin forced the endgame result with some commendable technique in a drawn position. We now were the Northern Regional Champions, but by then we were wolves hungry for much more! The junior team at this time had already lost to James Ruse in the State Semi Finals and The Seniors are looking forward to their State Finals match.

Unfortunately the seniors suffered a huge upset loss of 4-0 and we were the only team left that had a chance of becoming our respective region's state champions. We took out James Ruse 3.5-0.5 and proceeded to face the strong Sydney Grammar team led by the City of Sydney Junior Champion John Papantoniou! :D Fortunately I was on board 2 and didn't have to feel the wrath of his prowess. We drew the first match 2-2 after Gavin and Kevin Lin lost, but in the rematch we won 3-1 after Kevin lost again but this time Gavin defended an attack very carefully and emerged completely winning and smoothly converted the resulting position into a win.

With this, we became the 2009 Intermediate Division State Chess Champions! Successfully defending the title our seniors won last year :D:D! Individually I finished this season brilliantly, with 15/15 perfect score, half a point above my previous year.

In year 10 I decided to reduce my preliminary rounds to part time only, and playing just enough to qualify to play for the finals. Against Knox this year We won on the bottom boards, and Marco took a draw in an imbalanced but fairly equal endgame to ensure the win. I was left playing for the win as I was completely winning, but botched the endgame in the end to draw anyway. So yea, kept my team waiting an addition 15 minutes just to prove my incompetency... great eh?

Our match vs. Ruse was unfortunately delayed 5 weeks and finally when we played we had to finish both matches on the same day. The rest you know in one of my previous posts, but we drew the first 2-2 and won 2.5-1.5 to go into the finals. In the finals we lost 3-1 to Sydney boys when Gavin blundered a whole rook, Marco flagged in a drawn rook endgame and Raymond lost the Sicilian match after obtaining no play.
I, however, decided that 4-0 would be quite embarrassing to the defending State Champions and decided to go for a win, and ended up doing so, which was great ;D:D So my final year of junior chess, finishing with 9.5/10, only one draw against my opponent of Knox :)

R.I.P My Junior Chess Days

Now.... it's time to give a big thanks to my coordinator! Yay!

AND...

Marco! We'll miss you!! Awww........................... stupid little boy going to Ruse next year.

-big hugs from the team-

Lol bai bai!

Yours sincerely,

Jerry

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