CCA Previews ’19: Chess Club

By Chess Club

Ever wanted to join a cool sport without having to sweat it out under the sun? Ever wanted the chance to spar with your friends after school and pit your wits against them? Ever wanted the satisfaction of taking on your opponents in exhilarating face-offs and emerging victorious? Well, look no further, because Chess Club is right here waiting for you to join the ranks of great minds like yours!

Are you new to the game? Fret not, because Chess Club welcomes all amateurs to the Mindsports arena; in fact, Chess Club seeks to uncover hidden talents like yourself to hone your chess skills and sharpen your senses. That’s right, you can sign up for Chess Club (there are no trials!) and join this community of dedicated and passionate chess players. Even if you are a beginner, you will be surprised how good you will get at the art of war, and maybe even receive more than you bargain for.

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Chess Club comprises of 2 sections, International Chess (abbreviated I-Chess) and Chinese Chess (C-Chess) respectively. Regardless of which form of chess you play, you will be able to meet and interact with fellow thrill-seekers of both variants of chess, and thus immerse yourself in this mentally and physically challenging sport amongst like-minded peers.

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Chess Club official trainings are held once weekly, 2.30pm – 4.30pm on Wednesdays. Trainings for both C-Chess and I-Chess are held at the same time in adjacent classrooms, and we have 2 coaches – one for each chess variant. C-Chess trainees start the session by sparring with one another under the observation of our experienced coach Mr Chan Mao Ran (陈茂然), who will point out any errors made by either player over the course of the gameplay. Coach also spars with the players, sometimes even simultaneously taking on 5 players at once, playing a 1 v 5 simul game (车轮战), a testament to his incredible chess skills.

On the other hand, I-Chess trainees start the lesson with some chess puzzles, particularly about the midgame and the endgame, or by running through some openings with the coach. The rest of the time is allocated to friendly matches between fellow CCA mates. Time controls range between 1 minute per side bullet games to leisurely 30 minutes per side standard games. If you want to improve your skills faster, our coach welcomes your challenge!

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We may not be the best, but we always give our best. Chess Club takes part in many tournaments every year, ranging from national championships to various chess competitions held by different schools. March and September are the most thrilling months, during which we participate in National Schools Individual Chess Championships and National Schools Team Chess Championships. Chess Club also holds our annual Raffles Cup (C-Chess), with over 30 years of history, and Raffles Chess Championships (I-Chess) concurrently in early May, inviting other secondary and tertiary institutions to pit their wits against one another, marking the pinnacle of mindsports excellence for Raffles and a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from chess players from other schools.

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In the words of Garry Kasparov, “Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actions, how to problem solve in an uncertain environment.” Chess Club provides a one-of-a-kind experience, one which constantly challenges and trains your mental prowess. We are but a community that enjoys the spirit of mindsports- it teaches us the ability of critical thinking and logical analysis which one can never stop improving on.

Like what you are reading so far? Then what are you waiting for? Hop on board and join Chess Club today!

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