Monday, March 1, 2010

I saw Yeoh Li Tian play

I saw Yeoh Li Tian play at 10/20/30 at Jax's. One was against Mark. Mark had won Li Tians queen and winning in my opinion. Li Tian fought him to a draw. Another game with Alfred Ting was even more spectacular. Alfred had 2 queens, a rook and I think a minor piece against Li Tians queen and rook. I thought Alfred had found the winning stategy as he was trying to exchange off one queen. And Li Tian was trying to avoid the exchange. I stopped looking and then I was stunned to hear that Li Tian won!

I think we sometimes mistakenly believe that its only about IQ. What I saw in Li Tian's game was he was out thought in the opening. After all he is only 10 years old. But what is truly remarkable about this boy is his fighting spirit.

If he had lost his nerve or became negative, I think he would have lost both games.

So what am I trying to get at? In my conversation with Greg, I said this. I will support any effort that goes in the direction of the development of chess. And this includes the development of the fighting spirit of the players. I once told Mark, if you ever allow yourself to be unfairly intimidated, you will lose that fighting spirit and if that is lost you will never be a GM or a person of stature.

I said to Greg, its not about PICA or personalities. It's about values. Some values are helpful for development and some are against development. So we support the ones that go towards development and discourage the ones that do not. Then we have a direction. We cannot support all and in every direction. That will mean another 40 years in the wilderness.

To me, development of a GM is also about character and character is built by doing the right thing despite the obstacles and fears. I saw that beautifully demonstrated in Li Tian's game.


  1. I agreed. Li Tian is a wonderful youngster. Let's say we are discussing a game. When we all think that there are no way to solve the problem faced by black, he suddenly says:"WAIT!" and tell us it can be solved and he prove it. If he works harder, maybe he will be the first GM in Malaysia!

  2. Yes I think he has the something special. But it must be nurtured.