There is a principle in presentation and negotiations; when all the facts and arguments have been presented and clarified and the response is askewed, then there is something else going on beneath the surface.
We were keen to sponsor the Asean training as it would have been a good step forward to preparation before international tournament and filled a gap in the system then.
And so First GM wrote to MCF to see if they would welcome such a move. That started a series of correspondence. We informed MCF that we would like to work in a partnering manner and outlined our plans transparently.
In a nutshell it was this, our supporter Air Asia has made an initial expression of interest. If we are able to present a united front and deliver some results we may be able to persuade them in the longer period. This was agreed on and so we embarked on this journey.
At that time, we were aware that there were many negative forces that wanted the status quo to remain for some reason or another and many rumours flying around as to the character of the many different chess leaders. But I like to find things out for myself. Let practice unfold. After all if we are to put significant effort and investment into First GM, we need to know the character of the players. So this was a test case.
The first Alarm bell rang when after agreeing to support the Asean initiative, MCF promoted the Asian games agressively. We immediately contacted MCF and said this was an act of sabotage and then demanded a series of action to correct this. And so a meet the parents with MCF was arranged to explain the proposal as well as a opening up of eligible participants beyond the top 4 of NAG. This was on the surface. I have since been informed that a MCF official was at the same privately calling the parents who agreed to go to Asean to go to Asian instead. But I did not know that at the time. Strike one.