A total of 360 players representing 19 countries now in Singapore for the 11th Asian Schools Chess Championships held at Nanyang Technological University from 30th May to 8th June 2015 has started the first round of play!
This followed a 45 minute opening ceremony graced by Ms Chan Lai Fung, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Singapore with over 600 people in attendance and full of performances by young local performance arts talents.
Ignatius Leong, Singapore Chess Federation (SCF) President and Chairman of the Organising Committee welcomed the participants and expressed his hope that on days with single rounds the opportunity would be taken to visit the many attractions of the Island state.
Leong also took pride in stating that Asia was proving that they could lead world chess and was its future, pointing out that not only are Asians world champions at all levels of the game but also winners of Olympiads and World Team Championships for both men and women.
He also noted that with when the Asian Schools Championship was held in the East, not only were the numbers of local players high but the percentage of foreign players was almost 80% of the total.
Chan Lai Fung, herself a Woman International Master, then gave her keynote address which reflected fondly of her time in the game when every hour outside of school was spent on studying and playing chess, something she observed was still much what young players in the game still did today.
She also acknowledged how much chess had helped her, in particular teaching humility which comes from eventually losing a game and at the same time resilience as mistakes could not be dwelt on too long and one had to fight hard again to overcome weaknesses and be successful again.
As always the ceremony ended with player representatives and the Chief Arbiter on behalf of the technical team taking public oaths undertaking to conduct themselves with sportsmanship and to uphold the integrity of the game.
News and photos by Peter Long