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Chess a perfect balance of energy and wits for TeamSG Chess Player Edwin Tan

14 September 2017
By Nicolette Mok

TeamSG chess player Edwin Tan is all ready for the APG, armed not just with passion for the game, but also with an ambition to do well.

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Two years ago, TeamSG chess player Edwin Tan was a young ASEAN Para Games (APG) debutant, ready to take his love for chess to another level. He was preparing to represent the nation at his first major competition then.

The 23-year-old remains as passionate as before, but he now bears something a little different – the fire of competition and ambition in him burns stronger than ever.

“The 2015 APG was a very memorable experience. I didn’t win any medals, but the competition showed me how strong my opponents were. It showed me how much I needed to work on to get closer to their standards,” he revealed.

Opening up on what he appreciated most about chess, the Temasek Polytechnic graduate talked about the dynamism and competitiveness of the game.

Those who do not know better may perceive chess as a static and monotonous game, but the only thing constant about it are its rules. With different playing styles, boards, and tactics, chess is – to Edwin – a highly exciting game with a variety of outcomes.

“I like to play chess because you can formulate plans and ways to win [against] your opponent – this makes use of your creativity and problem-solving skills,” he enthused.

Edwin has played chess for about eight years, and not even the gradual weakening of his sight due to retinitis pigmentosa could dim his love for the game. In fact, he simply got around this obstacle by using a special board.

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To get better, the diligent athlete practises constantly. From smaller competitions to social games with his friends, he views these as opportunities to try out a variety of tactics against different opponents.

“I don’t have a specific tactic that I use the most often, though, because it depends a lot on my opponent. You can have a plan in mind, but you need to modify these along the way and be flexible,” Edwin continued.

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Apart from constant practice, as well as “supplementary training” that he receives by watching YouTube videos, Edwin also competes in the Singapore National Para Games (formerly known as the National Disability League). He has medalled consistently in the competition, even taking first place last year.

Could this be the ideal springboard for him to achieve further success on the regional stage? Edwin is certainly excited about this possibility. This month, he will be heading into the APG alongside fellow TeamSG representative James Lim, who will be playing in a different category.

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“I’ll be doing my best in KL, and hopefully I’ll be able to get a medal and be on the podium watching the Singapore flag being raised. That’s a moment that I dream of,” he expressed.

“Looking ahead, I hope to represent Singapore on a larger, international stage for chess. APG is a great opportunity, and I would like to keep playing and go even further!” Edwin shared.

Edwin and James will be competing in the KL APG this month, which runs from 17 till 23 September. Be sure to back them up as they battle it out against their regional competitors! Get the latest updates from the Games by following our Team Singapore Facebook page!

 

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