Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The nature of classical, rapid and blitz

I have been asked many times, why certain players can play rapid but not classical etc. This is what I see. Superficially, it's a function of knowledge. It is difficult for anyone without the requisite knowledge pool to play classical simply because they run out of knowledge to apply. Blitz is merely pattern recognition but can be a useful tool to test openings.

But there is more beneath the surface. Even with the correct knowledge, their natures are different. The nature of classical is that there is a lot of space in between moves, in between thoughts. And nature abhors a vacuum. So if your strategy is not pat, if your fears and doubts are not dealt with, there is plenty of room for it to surface. And so you'll find some strong technical players crash in the classical games. Their problem is not technical. Something I saw alot of in Subic and the recent National Close.

But my purpose today is to extrapolate that lesson to the "strategy" applied by MCF. Have you ever tried to get someone there to articulate a clear path? A clear path to results and to sponsorship. My attempts were fruitless.

Why? I think MCF plays blitz or at the most rapid. You see in blitz and rapid, you do not have to confront your fears. I have seen this many times in real life too. Many people keep themselves very busy in order to avoid thinking about the things that are going wrong in their lifes. The extreme cases cannot bear silence, and so they have the TV, music etc on all the time. The purpose is to avoid thinking, to avoid facing up to the things going wrong.

Another way to look at this is; when you have results, you do not need the drama. When you do not have results, you need as much drama as possible to hide the fact you cannot produce results.

After Asean, I heard much talk about the incompetence of MCF, talk ranging from replacing the President to working with MSSM etc. To me, this approach is another blitz attempt. To solve our dilemma, we need to look deeply at our problem. More knee jerk and band aid solutions will only create more drama. We need a classical approach.

First GM's first attempt at sponsoring has left a bad taste in our mouths. An attempt at post mortem has only found entrenched defence of the things that obviously have not worked. We experienced sabotage, insults. In my next posting I will talk more about the thinking behind such actions.

It is amazing that a thinking sport like chess is helmed by people who are afraid to think. Here I qualify. There is a lot of thinking on how to create illusions and dramas. But not to create results. And that is the crux.

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