Monday, July 19, 2010

MCF and First GM spat

I hear there is still much confusion out there about the spat between First GM and MCF. So let me spell it out more clearly with numbers.

But before I do that let me state First GM's position again since that is about us.

First GM is about getting results. We believe that money is needed to get results. We need money to buy expertise, we need money to pay ourselves for the time invested and risk undertaken. We believe that when we have results, we will have the means and resources to contribute to the chess community, in the form of sponsorship etc. But we need to first survive as a business entity.

And so we partnered MCF. We took our first of hopefully many steps. But as we walk, we need to evaluate. Just like in chess.

Here are the figures from the Asean training.


RM200 x 8= RM1,600 + RM100 x 5= RM500(Administration fee)
RM3577 (approx) based on differential on exchange rate. MCF used 3.8 and we estimate 3.3 for US exchange (for accomodation).
RM1435 (approx) based on same assumptions (for registration fees).

That makes the total income RM7112

First GM

RM6000 from paying Asean players.
RM900 (from others)

That makes total income RM6900

Costs to First GM
CS solutions RM3500
Excel chess academy RM600
Flag ceremony RM480 for banners+ RM100 for food.

That means First GM was left with RM2220 for our other costs, time and expenses divided over 2 months to set up.

First time venture right? Rome wasnt built in a day.

Consider this also.

1. Administration was managed by First GM not MCF although they charged for it. Ask the parents and players.
2. MCF promoted Asian, after agreeing to support the Asean initiative by First GM, to the extent of calling parents and asking them not to go to Asean behind our backs.
3. MCF did not even want to pay for the flag ceremony even though First GM undertook the Admin, even though First GM sponsored MCF's official return flight to Subic Bay.

So from a purely business point of view, it makes no sense to partner someone who not only do not carry their weight but actively sabotages their partner.

As for the insults from them, not giving the certs, attacking via the family etc. This speaks of who they are. This speaks of their character. But still it's a secondary point.

Note: We have written to MCF as First GM asking that we be compensated for the flag ceremony. We should also be compensated for the extra administrative work but we will leave it to them. Ethics.

We have also demanded that the differential from exchange rate be refunded to parents. So far no reply from MCF but I hear one parent got a private reply. Does that mean that only one parent will be getting a refund? We have given MCF one week from today to respond or we will initiate action. We first wrote to them on the 7th of this month.

The spat is why should MCF get all the benefit from no risk, no work and sabotage. That is the point. See the figures above again.

PS: A parent contacted me and said one of the numbers was wrong. The mistake is that parents only paid RM100 to MCF for admin. It's now been corrected. My apologies.


  1. I guess the admin fees goes to improve MCF coffers to pay FIDE, else Malaysian FIDE rated player will not see their name in the next ratying list again.

    My advise: Just threat your admin service as a goodwill to Malaysian chess community.

  2. I dont think you can justify it like that. There are correct and moral ways to make money.

  3. When no revenue, u will hv to resort to all kind of ways. Set aside the moral value, this is a legal way to extract some money to pay for the bills.

    No money, no talk. When got money, anything can also talk.

    I know u will not agree, but u hv to c from other perspective that will not occur to u if u r not put in those situation. All these issues are non-issue if money is available easily from other taps.

  4. Actually this way borders on fraud, misrepresentation. The way to money centers on giving value and service. I have been on the other side of the fence and that is why I say this. However the way they have chosen seems easier to them. But in the longer run it is self defeating.