Thursday, September 08, 2011

Face to Face with Mental Wellness - Joe

with Bindi and Jay while we were prepping in our suite at the Portland Westin Hotel.
Joe not only volunteers with many mental health organizations but also is one of the stronger players at Robson square that frequently plays the old timers there.
He displays good sportsmanship over the board and is a friend and role model I look up to.

Kumon Chess Camp Summer 2011

Many Thanks to Eliza Lam from Kumon Math and Reading @Burnaby Heights,

Joe "Musician Extraordinaire" Roback, International Master elect "scared of ghost movies" Bindi Cheng, Alfred "the brains" Pechisker and chess chump James ran a chess camp during the end of August 2011.
Complimentary pizza,pasta, unlimited pop,juice, fruit snacks were at the kids disposal. Book prizes were rewarded to all those that worked hard doing puzzles and at the end of each day would reap the fruits of their labor by choosing any book they wanted!
Our goal in the camp was to make it as fun as possible. With the Kumon center packed with 30 kids the youngest being 5 years old and the eldest 16 we had to constantly switch modes while conveying our ideas. Ultimately we did our best to ensure that every kid took away something from chess camp. Hopefully all the kids will have warm memories!

Priceless Kodak moments :

Alfred trying to explain exponentials to six years olds.

Bindi losing to 5 year old Trisha and as a result Trisha got to ride his back.

Joe taking attendance with "that tonight is going to be a good night" by black eyed peas.

Kyle Zheng grade 9 accompanying his younger brothers Maven Zheng and Viktor Zheng on the bus to camp. (thanks for the support Mr Zheng!)

Bindi showing all the campers and coaches that it didn't matter whether you were rated 300 or 2300 in blitz,

James asking Bindi for solutions with mate in 2 puzzles.

Kids bringing an aluminum briefcase doing serious business transactions with their Ugioh Cards.

Nikolaos Kyriakides playing "now I know my abcs" on Joe's guitar.

Grace Okamura and Rio Kada playing connect the dots with our mate in 1 puzzles!

Matthew Katz and Alex Yoshino not only best friends but best bughouse players.
(too bad Alex is moving to Hawaii)

There were probably a million things I did not mention but the bottom line was it was a blast for everyone.

After camp it was a nice dinner at the keg and some lessons in texas holdem at Alfred's new condo. The following week we all played in the Langley chess tournament with Alfred coming 1st and Bindi 2nd. This same crew intends to do a little damage in Victoria and Seattle next year =)

Care to join us? =)

Monday, August 23, 2010

worlds longest ziprider

Having a blast at Icy Strait Point cruising on X Celebrity. I appear at 0:40 howling in the wind.

Thanks to Franklin!

Friday, January 08, 2010


Last year training in one of the elite centres under intense condtions with table tennis top-10 national coach Zhen from Shichahai. While intense for myself it's a walk in the park for the kids that live there. I've been to Beijing many times even one time for chess as a young teenager. The city has changed dramatically but the people are the same, really down to earth and helpful!

Shichahai has produced many Olympic champions in various sports including Wushu, Volleyball, Taekwondo and SanDa (free style combat). A graduate from Shichahai is Xie Jun ex womens Chess world champion. I got a chance to play chess in the parks while doing 5km runs in the mornings, while hanging around there during the evenings you can experience the famous Red Lotus restaurant from the Tintin comic by Herge and see magic shows that can rival those that you see in Las Vegas from David Copperfield. I realized that Shichahai offered so many other recreations and martial arts that were just as rewarding. What is so remarkable about this place is that on any given day you will have national team members from all over the world Russia,USA,France, Japan, Korea,Indonesia surrounding you at a dinner table and the remarkable thing is it is common to find people conversing in someone elses language fluently! It's a place where you can share ideas and grow together through trials and tribulations.

Kids at a tender age of 12-13 from this centre already have the skill and mindset to spar with professional players from other countries or sometimes even defeat them. But how can this be possible? It's mainly due to the high level of competition and dedication during the physical training sessions. I took notes of the training techniques the coaches used as well as how they interacted with foreign students.

If you are adventerous and you are willing to fall down and face uncertainty, humiliation and defeat,extend yourself beyond limits you could ever have imagined then Shichahai is worth a visit. There is a reason why it has produced so many torch bearers! It is also a haven of hope as it welcomes even Paralympic players with open arms.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Alex vs Alex

Today there was a bit of a surprise with Alex calling me to say he would be at the chess club. Usually Sir Alex is super busy but today he was there non stop playing Alice and little Alex. There is also a very strong junior called Paula who almost beat little Alex.

Here are some pictures I took with the new iphone 3g which aren't that great because it still uses the ancient 2 mega pixels which is disappointing conidering it's really cool in so many other regards. Incidentally I beat Alex and Toni's prep over the board in the Vienna so Toni if you ever read this you can go back to the drawing board in that shady sideline or just get him to play the Frankenstein Dracula otherwise I will =)

Alice who managed to take 1 game away from the champ.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Summer is up =(

Main form of transportation from island to island somewhere in Italy...

Getting some martial arts tips

You must go to the Egyptian museum Cairo to see the real deal.

Outside temple of Queen Hathshepsut

A 7 stars floating hotel. The cruise of all cruises X Celebrity. This is the life!
No I did not stay on this cruise. I'd need to be a billionaire.

Her sister ship passes by Victoria BC except this was one was at Mykonos Island!

Little Alex Sabaratnam my future chess coach.

He was giving free simuls in August to all the kids at the library chess club.

Luxor Temple again

Next to the oldest monumental sculpture

Yep it's Venice!

Going to Athens

River Thames Hampton Court. London is always another home.

Doing some grocery shopping at
Port Said. These kids do it all they help out on the car washing,dish washing and photo taking!
Some beautiful egyptian ladies studying to become tour guides


Some family time!

Luxor temple home of the Obelisk
but where did they all go?

An original right in the heart of the Vatican

Thursday, March 20, 2008


White to play and win!