4 Caissa students clinch National Titles!
The Hong Kong National Junior Championships 2021 were played in two weekends in February. The groups under 10 years and under 12 years played on 6th and 7th, while the older kids (U14, U16 and U18) played two weeks later. Due to Covid restrictions the tournament was held online. In order to guarantee a fair tournament all participants needed to have two cameras and have their microphone on at all time, to make sure that players wouldn’t be able to receive external help. For almost all players this meant a new playing environment, but our students adapted very quickly. After all dust had settled four(!) Caissa students will be allowed to call themselves National Champion for all of 2021.
Under 10 – Anaisha Hari
Since the federation decided not to have a separate group for kids under 8, deeming them too young for serious online chess, Anaisha decided to play with the older kids in under 10.
She managed to score 4/7, finishing among the top players in the group and a full point ahead of the next best girl. She scored a very important win over her direct rival in the fourth round and stay ahead of the other girls after this. Being only 8 years old, she can still play in this group for two more years.
Under 12 – Boris Chan
From the start there were two clear favorites in this group: Caissa student Boris Chan and Samuel Lam. Both players were flawless after the first day and would face each other in the first game on Sunday. It was a tough fight that could have gone both ways, but when the players traded a lot of pieces and reached an endgame a draw was agreed. After this, Boris kept winning the remainder of his games while Samuel slipped up, making Boris the undisputed winner.
Under 16 – Jennifer Cui
Jennifer went into the tournament with two goals: finishing as the best girl and competing with other top players. After a strong start with 2 out of 3 points on the first day, her first goal was never in any danger. The second day was a bit tougher and maybe all the long games started taking effect, hence the results were not as strong as on the first day. However, her games show great promise and her main goal of winning the title was achieved.
Under 16 – Gerent Lee
As one of the oldest and most experienced players in the group, Gerent had come for one thing: to win! He laid the foundation for his victory by beating his co-leaders in the third and fourth round. In the third round he had to face Boris, who had decided to go for another challenge this weekend. In the fourth round Gerent beat 9yo Henry Li. Gerent continued his winning streak until the final round, in which a draw was enough for him to secure the title. In this group, Boris only lost against Gerent and finished in second place.
Many congratulations to our champions and of course to our other participants as well!