The Chess Academy – Online Chess Competition with Malaysia Players

We had a BIG WIN against Spain a few weeks ago. There will be another exciting opportunity to match up against another country’s (Malaysia) Brightest players.

The Chess Academy Hong Kong will be playing against players from The Brain Box Chess Academy of Malaysia on May 31 (Sunday) at 3:00pm.


Hope you can join us!

To register, please send us your Name, FIDE ID, Lichess ID and D.O.B to

For more details, please contact us at 3480 4199/


Online Match – The Chess Academy (Hong Kong) vs Clube Xadrez Mos (Spain)

TCA - white bkg   28.5   –   11.5   005


Online Match, Sunday April 25. The Chess Academy (Hong Kong) – Clube Xadrez Mos (Spain)

The latest event organized by Activekids – The Chess Academy gathered together 20 of the best Hong Kong players against one of the biggest and most successful chess clubs in Spain, Clube Xadrez Mos.

Making the most out of this situation we are all living, The Chess Academy continues to offer different activities for kids to train and challenge themselves. Besides lessons for all levels given by the highest level coaches in Hong Kong, and Weekly competitions to practice what the students learn, these events help us share our passion for chess with kids from other countries.

The Hong Kong team warmed up for the match by joining a zoom meeting together so they could ask any last minute questions and meet their teammates. Parents were also welcomed into the meeting and it was great to see them stay connected and follow the live commentary of the games given by the coaches from both teams.

Players from both teams also used that meeting to share their results and some impressions about the first game when they finished it and they immediately started the second game. We need to thank our opponents for showing great sportsmanship waiting for 2 of the Hong Kong players to solve their connection problems.

The match ended with a victory for the TCA team, mostly based on the results achieved by the younger players. The final score was 28.5 points for The Chess Academy and 11.5 points for Clube Xadrez Mos. The individual results were as follows:

Board 1: James Kwong – Antonio Álvarez
James had some problems logging into the playing platform and we started to think he wasn’t going to be able to make it. Thankfully his opponent waited for him and 15 minutes later than the other games they could start.
The first game James sacrificed an exchange to complicate the position and Antonio ran very low on time and couldn’t solve all the problems James created. In the second game, James sacrificed 2 pawns to activate his bishop pair and finished the game in beautiful style with a checkmate combination with said bishops. 2-0 for James

Board 2: Justin Cheng – Gonzalo Bastos
Both games showed great creativity from both players. Gonzalo couldn’t make progress with his bishops against Justin knights in the first one and made a mistake when low on time, and in the second one it was Justin who couldn’t stop the mating attack Gonzalo created. Very balanced match that ended 1-1.

Board 3: Ronald Choy – Xabier Pérez
One of the most exciting mini-matches. Ronald and Xabier avoided complications in the first game and went for a repetition of moves in a difficult endgame. In the second game Ronald showed that his bishop was much more active than his opponent’s and created a decisive mating attack. 2-0 for Ronald showing solid play.

Board 4: Ben Han – Lucas Represas
Ben clearly dominated this match in both games. Both of them were a Sicilian and Ben was always in control. First with Black, attacking faster than his opponent in a position with opposite sides castling; then with White, taking advantage of a bad opening idea from Lucas. 2-0 for Ben.

Board 5: Theodore Lam – Carlos Martínez
Theodore played with great accuracy in the first game, first using his outpost on d4 to get an advantage and then transforming it without giving Carlos a chance to fight back. The second game was an all-out attack from both players, and in the complications, when both kings were exposed Carlos ran out of time. 2-0

Board 6: Thanneermalai Kannappan – Óscar Fernández
Both games saw the same story being repeated. Thambu won 2 pawns in both games, went into a queen endgame with the 2 pawns up, and when the coaches were already celebrating his victory a mistake made him lose one of the pawns. As was clear in these and other games today, queen endgames with a pawn up are really difficult to win and Óscar found a way to repeat moves and score a draw for his team. 1-1

Board 7: Andrew Dai – Alexandre Rodríguez
Andrew found himself in a very good position after the opening in the first game, but a big mistake while developing his pieces gave Alexandre an extra bishop and from there he employed the famous (and correct) strategy of trading pieces to secure the win. In the second game the game was much more balanced and when it seemed like it was going to end in a draw by repetition Andrew decided to change his move and go for a win. Unfortunately there was a series of checks that made him lose material. 2-0 to Alexandre.

Board 8: Samuel Lam – Javier Del Valle
The first game was one of the best ones in the match, and both players tried to show that their bishop was the best one. Javier was more accurate when attacking Samuel’s castle and when it looked like Samuel had stopped all the threats, Javier found a long move with the queen that resulted in a checkmate. The second game was much faster as Samuel used a beautiful tactic in the opening that gave him a decisive material advantage. 1-1

Board 9: Max Liu – Luis Román
Luis played the Spanish opening in the first game, maybe trying to send a message that he was going to try all he could to get the points for his team. It worked, and thanks to a well calculated windmill tactic he could reach a winning position and then give checkmate. In the second game Max started with much more energetic moves from the beginning and that made him win an extra rook, which he converted into a victory showing good technique. 1-1

Board 10: Ritvik Gupta – Joaquín Cuña
Joaquín chose an aggressive variation of the 2 knights Defence and Ritvik couldn’t solve all the problems he created. Only one mistake and Joaquín didn’t give him a chance to come back. In the second game, Ritvik made a strange decision when he moved a pawn in his own castle to stop his opponent’s attack. As it often happens, breaking this elementary rule of chess went wrong and Joaquín once again carried out an accurate attack even including sacrifices. 2-0 to Joaquín.

Board 11: Madison Wu – Carmen Gallardo
Carmen opened the centre at the right time in the first game and inserted 2 knights very deep into Madison’s field. Defending seemed really difficult and the exchanging ideas Madison tried resulted in her losing a rook which was enough to decide the game. The second game was totally different and Madison baited Carmen into a combination that she had calculated better and led to Madison taking 3 minor pieces in exchange for just one rook. From there she executed a flawless attack on the opponent’s king. 1-1

Board 12: Henry Li – Mauro Castro
The first game was the most double edged position from the 20 games. Both players had ideas to checkmate their opponent, and probably they were both scared of being checkmated too. As usually happens in these situations, they went for a repetition of moves and a draw. The second game was much easier for Henry, as Mauro didn’t make good choices from the opening and pushed too many pawns without protecting his king first. Henry made him pay for that and finished with an effective attack on the king. 1.5-0.5

Board 13: Julian Wang – Mario Bastos
These 2 games made the coaches and spectators enjoy a great deal. Both players showed their imagination and while Mario was using it to attack Julian decided to take the material his opponent offered and find a way to defend. After several queen sacrifices, unexpected moves and missed opportunities Julian was more consistent and showed excellent skills stopping all of Mario’s threats. 2-0 to Julian

Board 14: Jacob Lu – Mario Lemos
This match was very balanced in both games and should have probably ended in a tie. In the first game, even being so young the players chose plans more common in older and more experienced players in a Queen’s Gambit position. They reached a queen endgame with an extra pawn for Mario, but Jacob defended well and could save a draw with a stalemate idea. In the second game it looked like it would be a draw again but Jacob showed why knights are better than bishops in rapid games. A hidden fork to queen and king thanks to a pinned piece and Mario was forced to resign. 1.5-0.5 to Jacob.

Board 15: Jin Zi Yang – Maia Pérez
Maia, the current Under 8 Spanish Champion, started with a promising attack in the first game, but Zi Yang’s tactics were there to stop her attack and give him an extra knight. From there he didn’t give her a chance and finished with a strong attack on the king. In the second game another classic example of elimination of the defence, and Zi Yang was a bishop up this time. He used that extra piece to create a well coordinated attack that ended with an instructive checkmate pattern with queen and bishops. 2-0

Board 16: Leung Shun Him – Raúl Castro
Shun Him used the ultra aggressive Scandinavian Defence, and Raúl wasn’t prepared for it in the first game. With great precision he developed his pieces and started an attack that even without queens was really dangerous for Raúl’s king. In the second game, in a closed London System position Shun Him started pushing his pawns on the kingside until Raul had to block them with his pieces. When we have many pieces together sometimes it happens that they don’t have much mobility, and that’s exactly the idea Shun Him exploited to win the queen and the game. 2-0

Board 17: Ashley Cheung – Noa Costas
Noa and Ashley were having a quiet, solid game with no pieces traded but because of the time running low they had to start moving faster. It was in one of those moves that Noa made a mistake that cost her a knight and Ashley made it look very simple from there. She was methodically trading pieces until her extra bishop helped her promote a new queen. In the second game, with all the coaches watching her game he used a fantastic promotion tactic that forced Noa to lose too much material in order to stop that pawn. 2-0

Board 18: Kayden Chan – Hugo Souto
Kayden and Hugo had a very balanced first game but Hugo finished it by a sudden combination with his queen and knight. In the second game, in a slower paced Italian Game Kayden managed to get his revenge by using the same patterns with queen and knight that made him lose the first game. A timely double attack with his knight and Hugo lost his queen. 1-1

Board 19: Lingshen Bu – Carlos Pérez
Lingshen played a solid Sicilian in the first game and Carlos sacrificed a central pawn to try to start an attack. It all seemed under control until Lingshen out of nowhere found a brilliant intermediate move that removed the defender of the enemy queen, which then he could take for free. The second game was also a Sicilian but in this case Lingshen, this time with White, didn’t let Carlos castle the king. A few moves later, with his king in the middle and surrounded by White pieces, there was no other solution than giving up his queen and, shortly after, the game. 2-0 to Lingshen

Board 20: Zhiming Bu – Begoña Lage
This match started with a very nervous first game from both players. When they finally calmed down the quality of the game was much higher and we could see nice tactics from both of them. When it looked like Begoña was close to a checkmate, Zhiming used her Queen-Bishop battery to start her own checkmate attack with a series of checks that made Begoña resign soon before being mated. The rematch was a much faster game as Zhiming sacrificed 3 pawns in the opening in exchange for more development. After a precise bishop sacrifice on f7 Begoña couldn’t castle any more and from there the checkmate didn’t arrive much later. 2-0 to Zhiming.

Overall result TCA 28.5 – Clube Xadrez Mos 11.5

The result was very satisfactory for the HK TCA team, and, most importantly, the players had a good training evening while having fun. After the games all the coaches, parents and players that were not too tired join in on the meeting again to exchange some final thoughts. From the TCA we can only thank all the players for their efforts during the games and being so friendly before and after. Thank you too to all the parents for being so supportive and joining us in the commentary.


The Chess Academy Upcoming Events!

The Chess Academy Events!

Special Challenges:

-The Chess Academy HK vs Club Xadrez Mos Spain
Apr 26, 2020 (Sun) 6:00pm
– Simul Against the Grand Master
May 3, 2020 (Sun) 3:00 – 5:00pm

Boost up your skills sets!

– ActiveKids Online Chess Lessons
Monday – Saturday 9:30am – 7:00pm
– Saturday Online Chess Club
Every Saturday at 4:00 – 6:00pm

Chess Tournaments

– Grand Prix #4 – Sicilian Najdorf
May 11 – 15, 2020 at 4:00 – 6:00pm
– Beginners Tournament 2020
May 24, 2020 (Sun) at 1:00 – 6:00pm
– Hong Kong Scholastic Championship 2020
Jun 7, 2020 (Sun) at 1:00 – 6:00pm

And lots more coming… Sign up now!





After 5 amazing tournaments we have the winners! This was a thematic series of tournaments showcasing the French Defense, we sure hope every participant of this grand prix has now acquired a very good knowledge about this defense! In total, any given participant played around 40 to 50 games this week, that should count for some learning experience!

GP_summary_1Outstanding performance by Baffledbear 80 out 80 perfect score.



The best game of the tournament was played between Henryli2012 vs Baffledbear, this was one of the few losses for Baffledbear. Link below to see complete game.
In this position due to low time black blundered his bishop.



This is the most typical center pawn structure where white has a strong pawn on e5, this allows white to win space on the king side. The pawn on e5 also protects the squares f6 and d6 preventing the Bishop and Knight to develop! Normally a plan for white after developing pieces is to try to go for moves like f4-f5 to try and break on e6, continuing to open the f file and create lines directly to the king. For black normal plans are on the queenside starting with the pawn-break c5! This is a move that must be played as a French defense player! As this is a key move to help develop and free our pieces
on queenside!


Have a good day and see you in the next Grand Prix.
Getting stronger and stronger every tournament!



Points earned after Tournament 1:


Tip of the Day:
It was noticed that many of you decided to play exd5 after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5! This is known as the Exchange Variation of the French.


In the diagram above, White has captured d5, after which Black will usually recapture with exd5. Even though the position seems symmetrical and dry, a typical plan to play for a win is for White to play for c4, or if allowed Black for c5! This will often result in an isolated pawn if captured.. The player without the isolated will have a target to go after, while the player with the isolated pawn will have more space for his pieces. Below are some examples of both scenarios.

White plays c4!
A great example of Black being allowed to play c5!
A game where both players go for c4 and c5!


See you guys at 4pm on Mar 10!



The Chess Academy Online Programs in March

We are EXTREMELY EXCITED to let you know that we have set up some ONLINE Chess Programs to keep our students active and engaged in chess. And the best part is YOU can learn in the comfort of your own home!

THE CHESS ACADEMY has structured THREE ONLINE Programs

  • Active Chess Lessons
    (Individual or Group classes of up to 6 students)
  • Grand Prix Tournaments #2 (from Mar 9 – 13)
    (A 5 consecutive day tournament, where you can join at anytime)
  • Saturday Chess Club
    (Similar to our regular Saturday Chess Club, students can play against each other)




We would like to give a big Thank You to all the participants who brought their best chess day after day. That was 20 hours of wood pushing and close to 1000 games played between us all, thanks! In this summary you will find a break-down of the top scorers as well as Game of the Tournament and an overall Tip in the Sicilian Dragon.

Overall Ranking Table Note, only the top 4 performances of a player are taken into account for final Ranking.


Congratulations to the Top 3

Thanneermalai Kannapan (kannat1) 1st Place
Henry Li (Henryli2012) 2nd Place
Kayden Chan (KaydenChan) 3rd Place

Top 3 will receive a 1 hour Online Lesson with Grandmaster Andres on the Sicilian Dragon. Please get in contact to coordinate a time.

Throughout the tournament it was decided to implement an Opening Theme, to help those players with less opening knowledge and make the games a bit more balanced, and we decided on the very dynamic Sicilian Dragon. In the Sicilian Dragon, activity is paramount as more often than not players are castled opposite sides and this creates a who-attacks-first type of game. In the game below we witness a ferocious attack from White after a seemingly ok move from Black, which after White does not waste any time and launches a pawn-storm to open up Blacks King and win the game.


kannat1 (1690) vs Henryli2012 (1500?)


White just played 10. Bh6 attempting to trade Black’s Dragon Bishop, to which Black replies 10…Bh8 , avoiding trading as is always advisable to keep as it serves as a defending and attacking piece but in this case if was not so. Instead Black had the opportunity to neutralize any attack with 10. ..Nh5, blocking any activity down the h and g files. Game continued, 11. h5! Nxh5 12.Rxh5! gxh5 Blasting open the King side 13. Qg5+ Kh7 14. Qxh5 Kg8 15. Bxf7+ Nxf7 16.Qg6+ Bg7 17. Qxg7# A very nicely played attack.

We would like to take advantage to invite you for the next Grand Prix taking place March 9 to 13. Once again, we will implement an opening theme. It’s a good chance for any level of player to learn and add an opening to their chess repertoire. We will be using the French Defense, see image below. The tournament once again will be played on the Lichess platform, take in mind that we use Lichess as it provides a powerful anti-cheating software to create a positive environment free of chess engine assistance.

In conclusion, we are very happy with the chess that was played and most of all the commitment that was shown throughout the entire 10 days of the Grand Prix. However, we did have an instance of computer assistance in some of the games. The intention of the Grand Prix is to create a fair-play community around us to continue to improve and enjoy a positive learning experience. We hope this serves as a learning experience and we look forward to having you join in our future TCA events. Remember, we will still be hosting Chess Club Arena every Saturday from 4-6pm. See you there!


SUMMARY ActiveKids TCA GRAND PRIX WEEK 1 + Tournament No 7

The first week of the ActiveKids TCA Grand Prix was quite a success with as many as 15 players at one point, and over 350 games played throughout the week. The rankings on top have been challenged by 3 players who have day after day shown great chess, following not too far behind are another 3 players who can potentially make a breakthrough into the top 3 with a good performance in this second week.



Post-tournament 7 results
Remember that for general points we just count 4 best performance.



Henryli2012 vs KaydenChan


Last move from black was 1…e5. This move 90% of the cases in the Sicilian Dragon is bad! The reason is we are blocking the a1-h8 diagonal of the dark bishop, also known as the Dragon Bishop. Usually the g7 bishop is a strong piece for everything, to defend the King and for making a good attack over c3 and b2, but right now with the pawn on e5 this is not possible.




Blacks move was Ng3!! Making a deflection over c3 square! Right now if white takes
Ng3…Bc3! Killing move! Game continues with 2.Qd5 Ne2 3.Qc4 Nc3 -+.


Another fantastic day of attacking chess! We were back to our comfort zone and played our usual opening repertoire. Still, there were many decisive games and even some upsets from players in the lower bracket. With 7 rounds to go, there is plenty of time to make up some ground in the ranking list.

Here are the Standings and Highlights for Day 3:


Points earned from Grand Prix No 3 Arena:

1. BentFlappingSushi     20
2. kannat1                        15
3. Henryli2012                12
4. Zig_Hon2008               10
5. Jacobbwj9                     6
6. yhoratio                         5
7. KaydenChan                 4
8. randy_wang                  3
9. ethanos128                    2


1. kannat1                          50
2. Henryli2012                  47
3. BentFlappingSushi      36
4. Zig_Hon2008                 34
5. Jacobwj9                        17
6. KaydenChan                 16
7. yhoratio                         11
8. randy_wang                   9
9. Bruce-qin                       6
10. ethanos128                  5
11. winston-qin                 1


Game of the Day:

kannat1 vs Henryli2012 1-0


In this position coming from a Sicilian Dragon (surprise!), where opposite side castling occurs often, we have a very tactical and dynamic position. Here Black plays 19. ..e5 , attempting to push back the centralized Knight in d4. The computer engine suggests g5, with a counterattack and ideas of opening the g and h files for the Rooks. In the game, 20. Nf5!? Was played, creating a checkmate threat in 1! Leaving Black with an important decision to make. The game followed 20. ..BxNf5 21. gxBf5 Nxh5?? , which then White correctly exchanged the Rook in 22. RxNh5 and went on to win in a couple more moves. Amazing attack!


Tip of the Day

One thing noticed in many of the games is that people are trading when down in material! If we blunder a piece, we try to maintain pressure by playing as actively as possible with our remaining pieces, if we continue to trade (unless there is an exceptional reason, like checkmate, or winning back material) we are just helping the play of our opponent be easier.

Have a good day and remember tomorrow’s tournament is at 10am! We will be going back to the Sicilian Dragon starting position.

Also, Chess Club tournament from 4-6pm tomorrow Saturday!

See you there!