ICC Pre-Nationals Tournament (Dec 3 - 5, 2010)

(Jitendra Gidla - Winner of the last ICC tournament and the only player who won twice)

The registration is officially closed. Unless it is our mistake, no more entries even with a late fee. Once we verify all info in the database, we'll post the draw. Please email me any error ASAP.

  • 229 players - only the 4th largest USATT-sanctioned tournament this year so far. Rajul is very upset about not being able to get 240 as he projected. On the other hand, I'm happy that we have so "few" players so that we can maintain a higher quality tournament.
  • I've been asked many times. So here it is. The defending champion, Jitendra Gidla, won't defend his title because he will be in India for a couple of months. Hope he won't get mad at me by announcing this in public. He will come back with a wife! Congratulations Jitu.
  • Things you can help:
    • Arrive ICC ahead of time for your event. The event time is starting time - as well as default time. You will need to allocate some extra time to park, check in, warmup, changing, and etc... We'll have to default people at match time. Can't afford to wait for late players. It will be like punishing all other players who are punctual.
    • The first thing you arrive at the venue is check in with the control desk. You only have to do it once a day so that we know your presence. If you don't check in, we won't know you've arrived and may default you at the match time by mistake.
    • Two-minute warmup
    • Return the score sheet and clipboard right after you finish the match. You can always chat with your admirers later.:-)
Oh, BTW, we'll have a world-class chopper in the tournament. Wei Wang, the top seed of the tournament and former Chinese team member, was undefeated in the North America Team Championships last week in Baltimore. I heard he competed head-to-head with world top-100 players in the Europe League. Have your camcorder ready!

I'm sure we'll have a fantastic tournament. Free popcorn for everyone while available. Let's have fun this weekend.

Pings and Pongs


In addition to being a writer, Larry Hodges is also a world-renowned clip player.


2010 ICC Junior Team Trials

What a treat! In a sunny Saturday afternoon on October 16 while Giants were playing their first playoff in eight years, the ICC Junior team trials still drew a big crowd. The kids did not disappoint them.

Four boys and four girls entered the trials. All of them will represent ICC Junior teams at the 2010 US Nationals. However, the trials would determine which team they will play in. In boys side, the top three finishers will form ICC Team 1 and the fourth will team with Aashay Patel and David Gong who couldn't make it to the trials in Team 2. (Aashay had a previous engagement while David lives in Atlanta.) In the girls side, the winner of the round robin will join Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang to form the ICC Junior Team 1. Ariel and Lily are pre-qualified because of their world ranking. The rest of the girls will form Team 2.

Two barriered tables on ITTF approved red mat were used. The kids in the trials took turns to keep the score on the official score tables. ICC coach Maggie Tian was taking notes throughout the trials. Several camcorders from the parents were on the court side. Photos were taken professionally. It was no kid stuff. It was serious business!

In the boys round robin, there was only one upset, Krish (2175) who will turn 11 years old in December, lost to Shivi (2003) who just celebrated his 11th birthday in October. Shivi, apparently happy, almost seemed sorry to pull the upset from his buddy Krish. Both possess great touch and mid-distance rally capability. They wooed and wowed the spectators from the start to the end. They will rival with each other for a long long time.

In the girls side, it was kind of messy. Some girls just did not respect the holy rating and made the result very interesting. Although Hannah's 1738 USATT rating is comparable to Diane's 1716, her club rating is 122 points lower. (1594 vs 1716) She came back from down 1:2 to win the match 11:9 in the fifth. However, that was not the story of the trials. Ishana whose obvious out-dated USATT rating is merely 629. She turned around beat a much higher rated Hannah in a dominating fashion.

The last match of the trials was cliff-hanging. The winner will team with Ariel and Lily in Team 1 - a lot was on the line. The top seed Isabel and the 2nd seed Diane looked very serious and their parents looked beyond serious. The boys' round robin had finished by then. Most players in the club stopped playing and gathered around the court to watch the match. Both girls played a fast-paced game. They kept smashing at each other. Diane couldn't miss in the first game. Isabel matched Diane very well in the second game but still lost in deuce. Just when people thought it was over, Isabel refused to let go and won the 3rd and 4th game easily. So, it all came down to one game. Diane took the early lead but the score was still within reach. She kept the lead to 9:7 near the end. All of a sudden, not sure what happened, Isabel pulled another rabbit out of her magic hat. She won 4 points in a row to snatch the victory. What a match!

A sidebar - Isabel and Diane had a busy week. Isabel burned some mid-night oil this week for her pre-SAT test and had to cancel her group training on Saturday. Diane finished first in a 5-K race in her school in her grade one day before the trials. She finished the race in 30 minutes!

  • Krish Avvari over Howard Tong 3-0 (11:6, 11:5, 11:5)
  • Shivansh Kumar over Victor Liu 3-0 (11:8, 11:6, 11:7)
  • Krish over Victor 3-1 (11:9, 12:10, 5:11, 11:5)
  • Shivansh over Howard 3-0 (11:1, 12:10, 11:6)
  • Victor over Howard 3-0 (11:6, 11:8, 15:13)
  • Krish lost to Shivansh 1-3 (9:11, 12:14, 11:7, 10:12)
Final standings:
  1. Shivansh Kumar 3:0
  2. Krish Avvari 2:1
  3. Vcitor Liu 1:2
  4. Howard Tong 0:3
  • Isabel Chu over Ishana Deb 3-0 (11:1, 11:5, 11:1)
  • Diane Jiang lost to Hannah Tong 2-3 (8:11, 11:8, 11:2, 8:11, 9:11)
  • Isabel over Hannah 3-1 (8:11, 11:5, 11:4, 11:9)
  • Diane over Ishana 3-0 (11:5, 11:0, 11:7)
  • Hannah lost to Ishana 0-3 (6:11, 7:11, 7:11)
  • Isabel over Diane 3-2 (7:11, 12:14, 11:4, 11:3, 11:9)
Final standings:
  1. Isabel Chu 3:0
  2. Diane Jiang 1:2 (+2)
  3. Ishana Deb 1:2 (0)
  4. Hannah Tong 1:2 (-2)

ICC California State Open

(Open final Jitendra Gidla vs Zaman Molla. Commentated by Carl Danner.)

Number of entries are limited to ensure quality. Absolutely no more than 250 players. (Individual event cap also applies.) Do not miss the party! Free hotel for out-of-town players over 2350! (Advanced approval required.)
  • Photos from the previous tournament in May

Liha Exhibition in Bay Area

(Liha presentation at the US Open)

After a successful Liha event at the U.S. Open in Grand Rapids, Peter Cua is taking the Liha tour through California, with stops at Balboa Park, El Monte, and ending up in the Bay Area. San Francisco is his last stop before heading back to Manila.

The plan is for Peter and fellow Lihador Andy Abad to demonstrate Liha and its rules to us, and then we will all have plenty of time to experience Liha in its true traditional and cultural form.

Peter also has a video that he hopes to show us which assembles a mix of liha topics with rare modern training footage that is sure to interest both classic and modern table tennis players.

If you like hardbat, you'll love Liha!

For questions or directions, please contact me:
Scott Gordon, 916-978-0117, sgordon@hardbat.com

  • Where: ICC, 1453 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035
  • When: 7PM 7/30/2010
  • Who: Peter and Lihador Andy Abad
  • Cost: free of charge

2010 US Open Team ICC Winners

Gold Medal:

  • Tian Meng: U 21 Women's singles
  • Krish Avvari: U 11 Boys singles
  • Chu Isabel: U 2100 Women's singles
  • Zhang Lily: NAC Junior Girls Singles
  • Hsing Ariel: NAC Cadet Girls singles

Silver Medal:
  • Ariel Hsing: U 21 Women's singles
  • Chodri Kunal: U 13 Boys singles
  • Sung Jia Yu (Trinity): U 9 Girls singles
  • Lily Zhang: NAC Women's singles
  • Chodri Kunal: U 11 Boys singles
  • Ariel Hsing: NAC Junior Girls singles
  • Kashyap Anal: U 2600 rating
Bronze Medal:
  • Lily Zhang: U 21 Women's singles
  • Aashay Patel: U 13 Boys singles
  • Lily Zhang: NAC Cadet Girls singles

Jiaqi Zheng

Bay Area player Zheng Jiaqi did very well. She repeated her quarter-final appearance in Women's Singles. Also will play the Women's Doubles in semi-final later today. (Teams with Mai Ge Jie from LA area)

U21 Women's Singles at the 2010 US Open

  • Winner: Maggie Tian
  • Runner-up: Ariel Hsing
  • Semi-finalist: Lily Zhang
They could have played at ICC.:-)

2010 Volkswagen China vs World Team Challenge

(left to right) Yang Ha Eun (Korea), Leonardo Mutti (Italy), Leszek Kucharski (Poland - Coach), Kim Min Seok (Korea), Ariel Hsing (U.S.A).
Photo by Judit Farago

Full article:

Draw and Result for the US Open Warmup Event

Top two finishers will advance from each preliminary group.

The Over 2000 final round robin will start at around 7:30 PM.

Special 2010 US Open Warmup Event

ICC will have a special event this Saturday. It provides a nice warmup opportunity for players who play in the coming US Open in Michigan. Actually, good for everyone, too. Limited number of entries. Advanced reservation is required. It is NOT USATT sanctioned. (No rating exchange)

  • Where: ICC, 1453 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035
  • When: 4:30 PM Saturday 6/26, 2010 (Check-in at 4 PM)
  • Events: Over 2000 and Under 2000 (Most recently tournament rating will be used)
  • Format: 3 or 4-way RR to single elimination
  • Prize:
    • Over 2000: 1st $500, 2nd $100, semi-finalists $50
    • Under 2000: 1st four sheets of rubber of your choice in the ICC store, 2nd two sheets of rubber, semi-finalists one sheet of rubber
  • Entry Fee: $25 per event. Either pay by Paypal or in person at ICC.
  • Deadline: Friday 6/25. No snail mail entry will be accept. Either enter by email (bay_tt@yahoo. com) or pay in person at ICC.
  • Entry Received page Get you spot quickly. Over 2000 event is half full!

Sorry there will be no open plan after 4 PM on Saturday this week.

ICC Tournament Winners

(Jerome Poon, Jitendra Gidla, Rajul Sheth, Zaman Molla, Bruce Liu)

  • July 2007 (110 players) - 1st Jiaqi Zheng, 2nd James Guo
  • December 2008 (164 players) - 1st Jitentra Gidla, 2nd Fan Chao
  • March 2009 (148 players) - 1st Siliang Wang, 2nd Hailong Shen
  • May 2009 (150 players) - 1st Thilina Piyadasa, 2nd Hailong Shen
  • December 2009 (234 players) - 1st Li Hu, 2nd Zhu Wen Tao
  • February 2010 (169 players) - 1st Liu Xibo, 2nd Jitendra Gidla
  • May 2010 (238 players) - Jitendra Gidla (The only player won the tournament twice!)
  • Photos by Pradipta
  • Photos by Sammy Chu
  • Photos by Long C. Nguyen

Bay Area Fantastic Three Finished Top 3 in the US Team Trials

Congratulations to the girls! We are so proud of you!

It was a 3-way tie between Ariel, Natalie, and Lily.

  • Ariel over Lily 4-0
  • Lily over Natalie 4-3
  • Natalie over Ariel 4-2
The final order is:
  1. Ariel Hsing
  2. Natalie Sun
  3. Lily Zhang
Complete result

Ariel and Lily in Austria

(A pause in proceedings for the Werner Schlager on Tour players,
resplendent in their Joola shirts. Photo by Bettina Mueller)

Full story is at:

After the camp, Ariel and Lily will play the Safir Junior tournament in Sweden from 2/24 to 2/28.

Go girls!

Ticket to Singapore


2/1/2010 YOG Continental Qualification Event - Pan America

Brazil’s 15 year old Eric Jouti and 14 year old Ariel Hsing from the United States booked their places in the Youth Olympic Games to be held in August 2010 in Singapore, following success on the opening day of action, Monday 1st February 2010, at the Pan American Continental Qualification Tournament in San Salvador.

Both players were in sparkling form in El Salvador's prinicipal city.

They finished the day with bright smiles across their faces and justified their highly seeded places in the draw.

Brazilian Progress
Eric Jouti, the no.2 seed in the Boys’ Singles competition, beat Cuba’s Hector Solja, Puerto Rico’s Brandon Echevvaria and Chile’s Gustavo Gomez to book his place in the final where he accounted for top seed, Argentina’s Pablo Saragovi.

The latter had impressed en route to the final with wins over Guatemala’s Gabriel Orellana, America’s Michael Landers and Ecuador’s Rodrigo Tapia.

Fine Form
Similarly, Ariel Hsing, seeded no.1, was in fine form; her victims en route to the top place being Mexico’s Emilia Ortega, Argentina’s Agustina Iwaa, Peru’s Maria Soto and Brazil's Caroline Kumahara.

More Opportunities
One place in each of the Boys’ and Girls’ Singles events have therefore been decided; two more remain for the boys and two for the girls.

A second knock-out competition will be held on Tuesday 2nd February and a third on Wednesday 3rd February 2010.

ICC California State Open Videos/Slideshows

Chen Longcan and Xiao Wei Footage