The World Junior Chess Championship is the real benchmark of talent with many winners graduating to the senior title and many more joining the ranks of the chess elite.
Malaysia has not usually sent our young talent to this event, preferring instead the World Youth Championships which is a much weaker tournament as it is an age-group event with a wide variety and range of participants, meaning as in the Olympiad, there is a group fighting for medals, another group behind but with the chance to make an upset or two and with a bit of luck getting onto the top twenty or thirty, then another group really in the middle, and so on.
Some of our best and most ambitious have however stepped up to the challenge and to these ranks we add FM and NM Wong Yinn Loong, already a national senior champion last year, the mainstay of the Malaysian team to the World U-16 Olympiad, but whose play this year has seen a dip primarily because he is now very more focused on the SPM exams (so why is he even playing one might ask?).
In a super strong field, Yinn Loong has acquitted himself well, performing at over 2300 level and getting 37 rating points on his way to a 50 percent score.
We rarely have our girls play in the World Juniors but this is Rosamund's second time around and as much as she has improved in the last year, she fell short when it mattered over the World Chess Olympiad selection that basically bastardised the National Championships and a lot perhaps had to do with coming off her A-Levels.
Ros cannot be thrilled with her result but she did play to approximately her rating but the many blunders through simple tactical and calculation oversights and poor technique should be of concern if she wants to make real progress in chess.