16 Apr 2015

Chessing Out Culture

Although it hasn’t been long since the establishment of the Sha Tin College Go-Chess activity, the school team managed to organise a joint chess convention and cultural exchange with Kwonkapyoung International Baduk Academy and IQ-UP Thai Chess Academy. The exchange lasted for approximately 2 hours, and was held in our Senior School Centre on the 16th of April 2015.

Go-Chess originated in China, and disseminated, reaching other Asian countries such as Japan and Korea during the 5th and 7th century CE. It is not to be confused with international chess; Go-Chess only consists of 2 different game pieces – white stones and black stones. The objective of the game is to gain as much ‘land’ as possible by surrounding your opponent’s pieces, or protecting squares on the board. The game ends when the board is filled, and the winner is the one with more ‘land’.

“I really enjoyed the cultural exchange,” said Kimi Saphakkul, a 9 year old contestant of IQ-UP Thai Chess Academy. “This is my second overseas convention. I love the competitions as I get to spend more time with my friends away from my parents, and face challenging opponents. Sometimes, when I’m at my academy in Thailand, I get bored of playing the same opponents all the time. However, during exchanges I’m able to socialise with different people and meet different personalities. I really love it!”IMG_1627

Photo: Theo Hui 10G2

Another competitor, Chae Chong Kwan, aged 11 of Kwonkapyoung International Baduk Academy said, “I’m not used to talking whilst playing chess. Usually in Korea it’s very quiet when we play – nobody talks… but here in Hong Kong, it’s very different! People keep talking and try to engage with us. It was hard at first to communicate with them, as my English isn’t very good, but after settling down, I became much more comfortable with talking to people from different countries!”

The organiser of the event, Issac Yiu, a senior school student of Sha Tin College said ‘It was interesting playing against adversaries of different ages. You wouldn’t expect a 9 or 10 year old to beat a 16 year old, but it happens! It’s amazing to see the cultural differences and diversity within international schools from around the world – the way they approach the game and their playing style is very different from the way I was taught Go-Chess and significantly different to my usual opponents.’


Photo: Natasha Siu 12X2

As this was merely a convention, there was no recorded winner. However, with the knowledge that students gained immensely from the experience, Sha Tin College hopes to hold similar events in the years to come to allow interested students of all ages to improve their skills.


Isabella Ko 12D2