Today is both a sad and joyful day for me. It's sad because I am leaving Singapore after spending 5.5 years in this beautiful country, yet joyful as I will be going back home in Armenia, where I am long awaited by my parents, relatives and friends.Today I would like to remember and thank all those who were with me and supported me in one way or another during these years. These people include Asean Chess Academy, the Singapore Chess Federation's management staff: Ignatius Leong, Philip Chan, Thomas Hoe, Jeffrey Gan, May Hui, Alberto Muniz Pardino, my friends a Jimmy Ng, Goh Wei Ming, Osric Mooi, Olimpiu Urcan, Junior Tay, Chan Peng Kong, Wong Meng Kong and my students: Timothy Chan, Tan Weiliang, Dominic Lo, Christer Aplin, Jeslin Tay, Liu Yang, Jonathan Koh, Edward Lee, Ryan Ow, Najwa Rujok, Timothy Wee, Chen Hoay, Andrew Ong Lay Teng, Zhong Kemin, Esther Huang, Wang Yining, Frederick Goh. I would also like to express my appreciation for Dr Andrew Pan, Dr Irene Chan Lai Yeen, Teo Swee Lian, David Tay Say Kong, Evonne Sim Soo Ching, Angeline Lee, Bob Chua, Chan Kim Keng, Lo Tak Meng, Nick Aplin, Ng Lay Cheng, Agnes Lim, Annie Heng, Hannah Chua Mui Kim, Watson Tay, Peter Chin.
During these 5.5 years, I was not only the coach of National Men's Team, but was also responsible for coaching Youth Teams and National Junior Development Squads. Thus, I can say that I know Singapore chess quite well and let me now give some final advice to all Singaporean players, especially youngsters.
First and foremost, I would like to encourage you to make chess your main profession. In almost all countries, there are people who entirely devote themselves to chess. But sadly, in Singapore, no one does so. Take the risk, be the first! If you become a good chess player, you will have an interesting and nontrivial life, and if you do not, then you can always turn to the other alternative, coaching, and earn not less than, say, a teacher at a school. You can always earn your piece of bread!
Be honourable; do not niggle. Forget the phrases "touch move" and "illegal move". Give up in hopeless positions, do not play until checkmate. Read more books; no coach can replace your books. Learn from each one of your defeats; your losses must be as close to you as your victories. Sacrifice, take risks, play gambits, try the most incredible continuations. Fall, rise up, fall and rise up again. This is real life. Only then can you become a good chess player. Do not be afraid of anything or anyone. Do not offer a draw, always play for a win. And you will definitely triumph!
Thank you Singapore and Goodbye!