by Foo Ki Vin
On 4 and 5 June 2012, the Raffles Institution Chinese Chess Club hosted the 27th Raffles Cup. The annual Raffles Cup has traditionally been co-organized by Raffles Institution and the Singapore Xiangqi General Association (Sixga) with the objectives of stimulating interest in the game. This year’s instalment was held at the Indoor Sports Hall, with four categories: junior college, secondary school, blitz and female.
Playing on home turf, the RI Year 5-6 team put up a respectable performance. It won every round except its match against Hwa Chong Junior College (which emerged as the eventual runners-up) and fought to a draw against overall champions Anderson Junior College and 4th-placed Junior College. When all the results had been tabulated, RI emerged as 2nd runners-up. The sole female representative, Toh Hsin Pei, also did well in the male-dominated field, landing a spot amongst the top 10. In the Blitz category, where players only had 5 minutes per side to make their moves, team captain Loh Jun Yu outranked over 100 participants to come in 8th. Our Year 1 – 4 counterparts also did exceptionally well, emerging as overall 2nd: the best result in recent memory.
When interviewed, team captain Jun Yu was humble, “The lesson to be learnt is that you should never underestimate your opponent and lose focus in a game or else half the battle is already lost. Plus, there is always room for improvement but none for complacency.”
Opponent Zhou Jingsong from Hwa Chong Junior College was full of praise for the way RI organized the competition. Speaking in Chinese, he said, “The Raffles Cup is an instantly-recognizable name. It is the ultimate goal which every team aspires to achieve.”
While the RI team was slightly disappointed at the result, its members were all-smiles. They enjoyed every bit of the challenge, be it surmounting the intellectual battles of the competition or overcoming the logistical obstacles when organizing it.
We devote the remainder of this photo essay to showcasing moments to remember from the event.
The writer is Chairperson of the Raffles Chinese Chess Club.