L-R: Camacho Chardine Cheradee, Cherrie Ann Meija, Nguyen Thi Mai Hung were All Gold Medalists in the U-14 Girls Rapid.
Vietnam, with 134 medals, more than twice that of the Philippines, was the clear winner at the ASEAN+ Age-Group Championships 2008 held in Danang, Vietnam.
But they did not have it all their way in the ultra competitive U-14 age-group categories!
In ASEAN today, as in the rest of the world, talent is confirming itself after 12-13 years of age, and Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore all showed they have many such players, amongst boys (all) and amongst girls (most).
Singapore: Gold, Philippines: Silver, and Vietnam: Bronze in the Boys U-14
There is no doubt at all in the normal course of events, all these players would easily become IMs/WIMs in the next two years (the weakest would be FMs/WFMs and the very best possibly GMs/WGMs).
But there are very serious questions as to where they would be then and their respective National Federations must pay attention!
1. Young players are not professionals - they will be faced with increasing challenges of school, even going to college.
2. They need proper training and they need international tournaments - otherwise they will be FMs/WFMs and not GMs/WGMs.
None of the above is new, and certainly not rocket science. The question therefore before parents, teachers, and officials is what are we doing for them?