Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ethics, is this where we are going wrong?

I just got back from KL. There are some amazing developments. But as usual, it also brought up new questions. This is what happened...

Spoke to one party about collaborating with the new MSSM (or National Scholastic), and with an MCF official about sponsoring tournaments in general.

I made a lunch appointment for the MCF official to meet my sponsor. The MCF official couldn't make it, so I met him the next morning instead and we had a fruitful discussion. However, I got a call this morning that the MCF official, via his assistant, contacted my sponsor for a meeting! Hmmmmm.

Next case. Talked to this guy about collaboration in general. This morning, he emailed me and asked me to name my investors & sponsors and also to reveal my business plan. I told him there is no need. Tell me his plan for MSSM and what he thinks our role should be in it. If it makes sense, I will talk to my sponsors. And tell him yes we are in or no we are not. After all, this is his initiative and I respect that.

Why did I say that? And why is it wrong for the MCF official to approach my sponsor without informing me? Please also see posting below.

Let's look at it this way. A promoter will look at the situation in the market and do his own evaluation. He will then approach his investors & sponsors to back his plan. Investors & sponsors will only do that if they feel that the promoter has the better strategy - otherwise they will back other promoters. As simple as that. It is not personal, it's about backing the better idea.

Ah, but we are all in the business of promoting chess. Yes. So we will collaborate when we see that there are common goals for the betterment of chess. But of course each promoter's strategy differs. This is, after all, "chess" played in the promotion game. Each likes to think they have found the answer to the 40 year problem or think they can.

This is important. This helps to foster healthy competitive spirit. This forces the promoter to keep checking his ideas, to keep looking for the better way. A good analogy is horse racing - you put your money behind the better horse, the better team, right?

But what is happening in chess? Could it be?... Hey, I have no ideas, so I am going to sabotage the other player, the other chess school, the other promoter. I don't have to get it right. Just make sure the other guy can't get it done. No GM? Never mind. (For the GM will come only with better ideas. Not sabotage.) The sponsors will run away if they see behaviour like that.

Hmmmmmmm... Could this be why, after 40 years, we are still at the same place? No ideas? I was personally attacked, I was told by this guy that I'm a new player. Yes, I know that. So why be afraid of competing with me? If you do an excellent job, my sponsors will come to you by themselves. I am only ikan bilis in your opinion. If you are a shark, no need to bother with me. If my ideas don't work in the market, I'm history. Of course, the same applies to you. So I will collaborate and cooperate with you if your idea makes sense and not because you can shout. Does that make sense?

So c'mon guys, play nice. Let's see who has the better idea. Whomever wins, the first GM will be born and WE ALL WIN. That is what we want, right? And let's have fun finding that idea, that system that will get us our first GM. Let's have some basic ethics. I have never approached your sponsors. That is your team. And good luck to you. Just think of it as chess, you can't win by removing my king from the board when I am not looking. :) So how about some fair play? To the MCF official, ever wondered why you have no solid backers? Were there any lessons in my previous post?

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