4G Team Battle Reflection by CM Junior Tay

Singapore chess used to have a National Interclubs event with about 5 to 6 teams in 3 to 4 divisions. For aspiring juniors who wish to have a go at the top local masters, they had to be part of the Combined Schools teams to contest in the Premier division. There were teams like Caissa Patzers and Queenstown CC which were chockful with IMs, FMs and NMs.

So ever since the event’s departure, we seldom see the tussling of strong local teams in tournament praxis.

However, the 4G Team Battle event demonstrated that our top players spanning the last 30 years can be relied on to return to play, albeit online with a worthy cause – the #ChessAgainstCovid Charity.

30 top local players from 4 different generations took part in the 6 teams, 5 players per side event with the time control of 3+1 second. We also managed to attract sponsorship of Eu Yan Sang, Q & M Dental, QCD Technology and the contributions by Shaun Lim, Mark Ong, Timothy Chan and WHOM Pte Ltd came in handy to attract local luminaries such as GM Zhang Zhong (who has also donated substantially in his own private capacity), WGM Gong Qianyun, IM Hsu Li Yang, IM Jason Goh and FM Daniel Chan. As a result, $5199 will go to Lakeside Family Services to aid the poor affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

The first 14 minutes saw Crazy but Not Rich Asians storm into the lead with 4 of their 5 members scoring early wins. The SEAS team, (the only one without a ‘professional’ hired gun) surprised all by edging close to the Crazy Asians thanks to Ng Sheng Feng’s double wins. What was worrying to the onlookers was the Rusty Half Masters who were on 0 points for 12 whole minutes(!) which really made their moniker a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their Half – Masters name is also an inside joke, as 3 of their players, Jarred, Daniel and Tim have a total of 6 IM norms between them, before they retired to their fledgling careers (inclusive of a double norm – as GM Daniel Fernandez was quick to point out in the CAC whatsapp group chat).

1 minute later, WGM Gong Qianyun showed why she is the SEA games champ by pushing her Skrubs team to even terms with Crazy Asians. But it was a short-lived reign for the two teams as Bruh Force 1’s IM Tin Jingyao and CM William Woong exerted their presence to bring the Generation 3 team into the lead. It was neck to neck with these teams but at the quarter time mark, Bruh Force 2 and Bruh Force 1 brutally forced their way into the top two spots. By now the Rusties had their engines chugging already and rust removed, only 1 point behind the Bruh-lies. Amazingly, they even surged into the lead at the 30 min mark, thanks to FM Jarred Neubronner’s 12 points.

At halftime, it was a 4 horse race with Bruh Force 1, Bruh Force 2, Crazy Asians and Rusties all equal with 37 points. The players were tiring and tilting, mixing wins and losses. The two exceptions were IM Tin Jingyao (Bruh Force 1) and IM Hsu Li Yang (Crazy Asians) who matched each other win for win to lead the MVP standing at 14 points, leaving the rest of the field in smoke…

After 1 hour, the Legendary Dr Hsu and his good buddy FM Mark Ong Chong Ghee kept the lead for Crazy Asians with a 6 points distance from the Bruh Force teams. But the Rusties weren’t gonna just watch the proceedings and surged past these team. It was insane as the lead kept changing hands every few seconds. With 10 minutes left, the Rusties and Crazy Asians were on 73 points, furiously chased by the Bruh Force duo with 71 points. That was when GM Zhang Zhong stepped up a gear. He took out GM Kevin Goh and FM Ong Chong Ghee consecutively, thus terminating the Crazy Asians’ chances of clinching the title. With Jingyao continuing his awesome winning streak, there was no stopping Bruh Force 1 as they built up a 6 point winning margin over the Rusties.

Congratulations to Bruh Force 1 for emerging the Champion Team of the 4 Generations Team Battle, the strongest team event in Singapore! As for the Most Valuable Player of the event bragging rights, the top scoring player was IM Tin Jingyao with 41 points, followed by IM Hsu Li Yang with 34 points. Young Jayden Wong’s impressive 27 points gave him 3rd place, with GM Zhang Zhong and FM Siddharth Jagadeesh taking equal 4th with 23 points.

BRIEF POST TOURNAMENT CHAT WITH BRUH FORCE 1

We had FM Ashvin Sivakumar to interview the winning team on their amazing feat in a Skype interview.

Ashvin: It was fun, wasn’t it? How do you feel about this win?

Bruh Force 1: We are really elated and it was unexpected and really fun! Jingyao really carried the team!

Ashvin: How did you find the format of the event? What did you mean when you said it was fun?

Bruh Force 1: The format was really fun because the games can get really crazy. We were also very glad to have a chance to play the older generation, masters we hear about but seldom get to challenge.

Ashvin: GM Zhang Zhong started slowly and started mopping up the opposition, didn’t he? How did you fellas come across the idea of ‘buying’ him for the team?

Bruh Force 1: We gotta thank Eu Yan Sang’s sponsorship for allowing us to get our ‘Messi’. It started as a joke…when we jestingly said, OK, let’s get GM Andrey Kvon…he’s the highest rated player in Singapore…and it dawned on us…why not GM Zhang Zhong?

At this point, we interrupted the interview to ask Bruh Force 1 and Bruh Force 2 with a question.

CAC: Why did the boys split their players into 2 groups? Surely the winning chances are higher with the highest rated players in a team?

Bruh Force 1 and 2: This has always been our style. Form 2 equally strong teams and see which team can win the event, say like the Racial Harmony team event over the past few years.

CAC: Can I have a screenshot of the winning team?

Bruh Force 1: No, we paiseh…

CAC: 🤣

Thanks to all for a memorable event. I would like to especially thank our sponsors and contributors for their support which is most important, as our main aim, apart from connecting the top players of the last 3 decades together, is to raise funds for ChessAgainstCovid’s beneficiaries.

Final result and games : https://lichess.org/tournament/E9ANJDAh

Event Livestreaming: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/615778614 courtesy of GM Kevin Goh

To our generous Corporate Sponsors for this event – our Sincere Thanks.

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