Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The search for results

I spent a good part of yesterday thinking about all the strong junior players I have had the pleasure to get to know during my 6 plus years in chess. Each of them have a special gifting. They played differently, had different styles and skills. An amazing array of approaches and methods. But they all had one thing, they had strong fighting spirit.

And I remember the ones that had that fighting spirit slowly dimmed. Over the years they begin to drop out, give up.

Today, in Malaysia our records show that after 12, we start to slip in International Ranking. The kids who do well at a young age do not do well later. So I must conclude that something is not well.

I have always wondered what would be the story today if that fighting spirit was nurtured, if a way could be found.

And so, I took the opportunity to talk to parents, coaches, officials from the other Countries at Asean. And I got some pretty amazing feedback. I am still reflecting on many comments on their structure, methods and views. I'll give you more feedback after National Close. See you there.


  1. It is clear that you have benefited tremendously with your exposure in the Philippines. Please do not keep all this to yourself. Do share!!

  2. The answer is simple. When the kids who do well at a young age EITHER didn't need to practice 'no pain, no gain' from young because their talent bring them quick success and continues the way without much effort until fade off from the Int radar, some actually fade off before 12 y.o. Most of themselves didn't know why it happens until too late; OR few who had realised and try to put in effort but just not enough and unwilling to put in real effort (4 to 6 hrs daily - minimal for above 12 y.o.) to catch up the time loss against Int. peers who starts from young. At int. scene, normally 8 to 10 hrs daily in chess.

    One of the anon's writer.

  3. hi ray,

    i was there during the awarding/closing rites of the 11th Asean, the first time i went to the venue. Paulo had a picture taken with the tallest guy in coat with Red Dumuk and a Malaysian coach in blue.

    i was busy waiting for IM Jovan Petronic, my mentor in coaching, and i forgot about you.

    i hope your players ENJOYED the games.


  4. Put in real effort? Work 4 to 6 hours daily? What utter nonsense!

    Effort is not enough. Some players do follow the strict regime of long hours and local coach but with the quality and inexperience of Malaysia, all this sweat comes to nought.

    We need professionals.

  5. Having been in the coaching business since 1982,my lament about junior competitions is that we've been focussing on the search for chess talent but don't really know how to fuel them to excel.

    Chess players,however good, come and go. That is a sad but undeniable fact. Witness the generations of talent amongst Malaysians. Who are the ones that carry on beyond their teenage years? When they do, the one thing that drives them to play is their PASSION for chess.

    So no amount of scientific, homopathic, alternative methods of training can replace the inplanting of chess fantasy in a child. For when that happens, coupled with extraordinary talent, this child will ascend the heights of the chess giants.

    Rather than focus on training, tell stories of the world champions, show their brilliancies, explain why it takes genius to create such works of art. If every coach in the chess world can excite, inspire, before he starts to impart, then I am sure you will have children wanting to go at chess for hours on end rather than DOTA or Warcraft.

  6. Whatever it is....all need money to travel. NC2010 is a failure.MCF do nothing to promote the games. Just organizing is not enough. There many real chess CHAMPIONS in Malaysia.BUT, Where are they? They around Malaysia.All the good players which are staying far from KL/Selangor facing financial problems for travelling and lodging. There are many "Kampung good players.There are many good players in Sabah/Sarawak.Are they willing to go all the way to Kl/Selangor with their own pocket money?This is similar apply to NAG2010 in Penang.Furthermore, Even become a National Champion, will represent Malaysia with own cost.So, Why must be a Champion?Why must represent Malaysia with own cost? What is MCF's president doing?What is OCM's role? Whatis MSN's function?I think, chess in Malaysia is for the one who loves playing chess for fun. That is why private corporate companies taking advantage to make money to get sponsors for the overseas trips. Thats is why, i dont allow my childrens to play chess. Enough for myself to face all the problems alone.

  7. John, you have a good point. That is one conclusion I reached when we sponsored the training for Asean. As for the rest of the anons, I hope you will continue reading the blog. I will tell more of what I learned from Asean. To the last Anon, what you express is an ideal, but we have a long way to go before that happens. And that is good for we learn from the process not the destination. Btw, I have removed the ability to post anonymously. That is also part of the process of learning. Own your statements and conclusions. Express it with courage. That is also chess.