This is probably one of the more competitive zone for the boys among 5 zones. This zone has many schools with proper chess development either all year round or some kind of intensive training projects prior to this event.
If Sentul has SJK(C) Kepong 2, then Keramat has SJK(C) Lee Rubber. The latter has National Women Master for 2009 Tan Li Ting as their U12 representative. She is the youngest ever NWM at age 11, elisped the previous record holder held by WIM Siti Zulaikha Foudzi who set the record in 1999 when she was 11 too. Few other girls from her school do get inspiration from NWM and benefits from the training.
As for the boys, they have a relatively strong team consisting Max Wong (U10), Ng Jen Sheng (U10), Dawson Tan (U12) and Dilwen Ding (U12). This team will be favourite to win the Boys Team title if there is a Team Category. These players are trained under rapid and blitz play which is a big advantage over SJK(C) Kepong 2 boys. However, the Kepong Boys alway did better (relative term) in the Individual Category due to the time control of 45min per player. Btw, Individual Category is the criteria for selection of KL players to MSSM (time control is 90min per player). Maybe this is the missing secret that puzzles Lee Rubber's Coach when comes to analyse the Individual result and more important What happens?
So, why am I writing this article? Well, I just want to share some insight on zones that I have students competing. Unlike Sentul zone, I do not teach any school in particular for Keramat zone and have 2 private students currently. As I recalled 2 years ago, one parent from Lee Rubber who is eager to see how best can she helps her son who just started chess not too long ago to improve in the game. Through word of mouth during NAG2008, she contacted me during the NAG as I was the Chief Arbiter.
Frankly, I'm the type who choose students to teach and many occasions I have to explain to parents on not wasting their money in private chess lessons if the interest is not great after 2 or 3 months. I'm a strong believer that timing is very important essense in life. Lets come back to these "new" students consists of Tan and his older brother, Ding, and Lee, they remind me very much of those earlier generation of Kepong 2 Boys when I started at SJK(C) Kepong 2 back in 2003. What's the similarity? The answer: Blitz player with good intuition for their age. I know I'm in for a "hell time" because these kids are aged 9 and 11 y.o. Why Blitz for a newbie? Fun, i guess. BUT there is no way they can be good in long term, just imagine going into a F1 race without actually knowing the fundamental of the car that they are driving.
Fast forward ......here today both players who can control themselves much better had finished as Champion and 2nd in U12 Boys category. Let see how far can these 2 boys go from here ........
Next installment, Bangsar Zone (Primary)