First GM sponsored the Asean training. So we are looking at it through the eyes of sponsors. What are the potential pitfalls of sponsoring chess?
What we were looking for is a "chess" team event. Is there a winning team? We are only as strong as our weakest link. And so the "team" with MCF, suppliers etc. was assembled and the goal carefully articulated, via this blog and face to face.
So lets see.
As we approached the training, our coordinator with MCF went MIA (missing in Action). So First GM was landed with the task of coordinating with parents, players etc. for the trip. This was essentially the head of delegation job (MCF coordinator) but we took on the extra role without a fuss since we were already talking to Air Asia. Please note: We only signed up to sponsor the training and nothing else.
In the course of putting this together, we engaged Ziaur Rahman under CS solutions. We intitially conceptualised that it would be good for Ziaur to pass on his experience to our trainers and IMs. Up to that time, I have heard from an IM that a GM would be able to guide them to greater heights. So we made the offer for free. An opportunity I thought. But strangely no one took up the offer except Jax. There have been much speculation as to why, some derogatory, but I wont presume to be able to read their minds. But this maybe be something for the IM's and trainers to reflect upon.
Anyway, the train the trainers got scrapped and we finally got to the training proper with 8 players including Mark and Amier. You do the maths. All in all it took about 2 months to set up, with trips to KL for meetings, phone calls etc. etc.
Then came the flag ceremony. We expected MCF to provide with the bare essentials. After all these players are to represent the Country. And MCF did collect RM200 from each parent and child. On top of that we also sponsored the return ticket for the MCF official. But no, MCF said they had no money and First GM would also have to foot the bill.
Now from the small amount we collected, we have to pay CS solutions (another story; waiting for meeting with them), pay Jax for time and premises and pay for the flag ceremony. Of course we could have done away with the flag ceremony, but we didnt have the heart to dissapoint the kids and parents.
And after Subic Bay, we were informed that the same MCF official that "helped" us put this together was also calling the parents behind our backs not to go to Asean. There was also a further complication. We were also informed that a parent of a Malaysian player was also doing the same.
And so began the "partnership" of First GM, trainers, MCF, service providers and parents, with First GM as the sponsor. This was the Malaysian team for Asean, aside from the players of course. The Malaysian support team.
And after the apparent "success" of Asean according to one MCF official, we are asked to consider sponsoring the next Asean and other events.
But lets not be hasty, there is even more to tell about what went on at Subic. Next posting.