Showing posts from June, 2010

Malaysia at the Asian Junior Championships in Chennai, India

Sisters Nur Nabila Azman Hisham, 13 years old, and Nur Najiha Azman Hisham. 11 years old, are two of our brightest young prospects, Nabila already a dangerous opponent for even our senior players at Rapid and Blitz events, and Najiha dominant in her age category and already demonstrating maturity in her play. Of course neither sister has ever had proper coaching so while their strong points are obvious and impressive, their knowledge gaps are often surprising and there is no program (teaching, playing and analysis) in place to develop their talent. In Chennai, participating were 8 countries and 53 players in the girls championship, including 2 who were Women International Masters and 12 who were Women FIDE Masters, and after being ranked 35th and 41st respectively, a finish of 20th and 27th respectively is rather good and they would have enjoyed nice rating gains as well. The trainers of the other participants were surprised at their age relative to others, and even more surpr

The Importance of the World Junior and Asian Junior Championships

Before the explosion of “open” age group events, be it World Youth, Asian Schools, or even National Age group championships, the World Junior Championship and Asian Junior Championship were the only opportunity for a country’s best young talent to showcase their talent. Each country could only send their best player for this under 20 event and the rewards were the International Master title for the winner of the Asian Junior Championship and the Grandmaster title for the winner of the World Junior Championship. Today, these events are still incredibly important to top young players but not for the International Master or Grandmaster title but for the title of World or Asian Champion itself as many who play are already International Masters and Grandmasters! See this year’s World Junior Championship entry list: I was very pleased therefore to help facilitate Malaysia’s participation in the just finished Asian Junio