With the Thai Open 2016 coming up this weekend, we have prepared a series of interviews for you with our participating local players. We’ll be publishing an interview everyday this week till Friday, so do watch this space!
Today, we have with us Alex Koh Bo Chao [WOF Ratings: 2245; Current SG ranking #1]
Q: Why did you decide to attend Thai Open 2016?
Alex: I wanted to play an international tournament this year and Thailand is an attractive choice. I look forward to this tournament due to their pool of strong players and its well run structure.
Q: How is your preparation for this tournament?
Alex: Preparation wise, I still haven’t tried specifically preparing for individual players before, but openings wise I do already have a slight idea of what I am planning to play. I’m also doing some practice with Song Yan leading up to the tournament. Hopefully his skills will rub off on me with a very positive effect.
Q: What are your expectations or targets that you have set yourself?
Alex: I finished 2nd place in 2011 July Thai open so obviously I hope to win the title home. But as the Thai players are stronger this time round, a more realistic expectation would be a finish in the top 5.
Q: Your previous international tournament was WOC 2014, also held in Bangkok. What are your thoughts/feelings about it?
Alex: Numerically, I was disappointed I didn’t achieve more wins than I did back in 2011. But the standard of play in 2014 was very much higher than that of 2011, so it would still seem to be a positive performance for me. I was impressed by Team Singapore’s achievement of being only half a point away from the leader Japan at the end of round 10. This makes me feel that Team Singapore has the potential to achieve much more as a team.
Q: Any last words before we end?
Alex: I figured that if I were to become much stronger as an individual, from a competitive stand point, Team Singapore’s standards might go up as well. So apart from targeting personal glory, I also hope that Team Singapore would correspondingly improve in performance at the world championships.
Editor’s note: Team Singapore believes that Alex’s stepping down from OOS will enable him to progress much more as a player. We wish Alex all the best in his pursuit for excellence in Othello!