Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011-Year of change for Malaysian chess.

We started the 1st of January 2011 with a win against Singapore after 10 long years. With that win lifting up our spirits a conversation took place. A conversation that was the start of a chess tsunami in Malaysia. A conversation about change. Why can't we have selection? Why are there players representing our Country that don't appreciate their place?

Why,why,why? Why can't our talented kids make GM? We start out with Champions and then they start to lose their shine. And of course there were many well articulated "reasons" that have "explained" away our lacklustre performances. Well oiled after 30 years of refining the excuses.

But those arguments were not accepted anymore. And selection came.

First sponsored training for the juniors before International representation. This was attacked till the sponsors said enough. Thematic tournaments were re-introduced and this too was attacked.

But funnily change still came. New leaders entered MCF with new ideas. New International Tournaments graced our shores.

There is a new energy in Malaysian chess now. New hungry players raising their skills. For the first time in a long time the forces for progress were stronger than the forces for stagnation and defeat.

2011 was a good year and now it has come to the time to say goodbye and to welcome in the new year. 2012. What will this year bring? Shall we continue moving forward?

Asean women-R8

Here.

Asean men- R8

Here.

Sing Chess Festival- Interim review

Here.

Opening secrets.

Here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Asean men and women results.

Men here.

Women here.

Pls go to the above blog for updates.

Today's Contemplation.

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift of life is yours; it is an amazing journey; and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.

-- Dan Zadra

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sing Chess Festival begins.

To follow how our fighters are doing please use the links given below. Nothing yet on the men and women masters but I think it should be out soon.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sing Age group.

Here.

Good luck to all our age group fighters. May the force be with you.

NM Zhuo Ren and Kian Wah at Sing Open.

Here.

Best of luck guys.

Nabila at Asean Women

Here.

Our fierce competitor Nabila. Our best wishes goes with you Nabila.

IM Yee Weng and Mas playing Asean Men

Here.

The very best of luck Yee Weng and Mas.

Christmas Musings.

You need knowledge to draw the game and you need courage to find the win.

Merry Merry Christmas

FGM wishes our Christian readers a very Merry Christmas.

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.

-- Ada V. Hendricks

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Salutations to the strongest junior 2011/12

Nabil is the undisputed junior Champion. This is what the title National Junior Master means. There were many comments about some missing Juniors but this is the consensus among those I spoke to. You cannot claim to be the strongest outside the ring. That is just your personal opinion. The Champion is the boy that lifts the title. The one that had the courage to step into the ring to fight.

A good analogy is Lee Chong Wei vs Lin Dan. In the fight we acknowledge Lin Dan to be Champion. The Champion cannot be based on ratings. The Champion is determined by the fight among peers; in their category.

So well done Nabil! Be proud of you achievement and your title. Wear it with pride. You have earned it.

Note: I also asked a couple of the top juniors if they thought this was the strongest Junior they have played. After some thought, they said it was. Why? There were almost no cannon fodder on the top tables unlike the past. Strong young juniors are coming up. There were no easy games even with the players with much lower ratings. New Champions in the making. Things are changing for the better. With this type of depth and strong fighters, we may soon find more International class players. Well done MCF.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Clash of the junior titans.

They say when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. We have witnessed our Junior IM killers over the last few tournaments. Yeoh Li Tian also took down an IM at Penang Open and came in 5th place.

And they also say, diamonds are made under pressure and iron sharpen iron. Since the coming in of selection for both juniors and seniors, there are no more backdoor entries. We are also seeing the return of the "lost" generation back into Malaysian tournaments. Players like Abel Yap, Nicholas Cheah, Loo Swee Leong, Fadzil Nayan, Kamaluddin Yusof etc. are back in the fight and getting stronger and stronger.

Now all have the chance to represent the Country. It is now about chess and not politics. This is good for Malaysian Chess. We started this year with a bang, with an emphatic win over Singapore and we are ending it well too. The last big tournament of the year is the National Juniors.

If we can keep this forward momentum, soon we will see new faces in the senior squad. Increased internal competition means our players are conditioned for tough International Tournaments and hopefully we wont hear stories of luke warm play from our players in the future anymore.

And we will be one more step closer to our very own GM.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jianwen at Board 1- Sarawak Open.

Junior Jianwen is fighting top board in R9 after taking down IM Atanu Lahiri. Go Jianwen go. Good luck!

Search for the strongest Junior- National Junior 2011

From the 19th December Malaysia will be having our 4th National Junior Championship at Datcc. This is the event that will determine who the strongest junior is in Malaysia for the coming year. The champion will carry the coveted National Junior Master title.

The Junior championship is for any junior under the age of 20yo. This differentiates the tournament from the age groups since any player under 20 or at 20 can vie for the title.

FGM would like to wish every junior player in Malaysia taking part the very best in this special event. Good luck and fight hard but fight fair in accordance to the rules.

Note: The winner of the junior is entitled to represent Malaysia for International junior events as opposed to International youth events for the age groups.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

He that embarks on the voyage of life will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many fold in their passage; while they lie waiting for the gale.

-- Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Definition of illusions and delusions.

Illusions.
Where you have been Jedi mind tricked into not being able to see your opponents weaknesses.

Delusions.
Where you have Jedi mind tricked yourself into not being able to see your own weaknesses.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined.

-- Harry E. Fosdick

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reflections

Here.

Today's Contemplation.

Q: How can I handle unpleasant emotions from others?

A: Understand them. If someone is furious, see it as an out- burst of his false self. A furious man acts out a false role, having no relation to reality. He has unhealthy notions that life should conform to his demands. Understand the furious man, but never coddle, for that only worsens him.

-- Vernon Howard


The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

-- Henri Bergson

Friday, December 2, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.

-- Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

Trivia from Masrin

Here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

An interesting discussion at Asian Amateur

First round of the blitz and FM Ignatius Leong lost to one of Singapore's young players. He asked the boy to explain to me his loss. I commented that it is a testimony to his coaching that the young boy was not intimidated by him.

Later on there was me, Ignatius and an IM and we got to talking on the topic again. The IM said that it is not his fault that the younger generation of players were weaker than the older ones. Maybe not personally but I think that generally the next generation should be stronger than the previous one. And if that is not so then there is something wrong with the way the older generation is handling things.

Again I found someone trying to lay the blame on the kids. Why don't the decision makers, ie the older members of the chess community, try to see where we can improve things so that each subsequent generation of players become stronger and stronger.

Progress.

Our condolenses, Casto

On the second last day of the Asian Amateur, the chief arbiter Casto Abundo announced that he had to leave to attend his brother's funeral.

Our deepest condolence Casto.

Friday, November 25, 2011

National Junior

The biggie for the Juniors. This is not an age group event. The Champion of this event can claim to be the best Junior in Malaysia.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

The purpose of therapy is not to remove suffering but TO MOVE THROUGH IT to an enlarged consciousness that can sustain the polarity of painful opposites.

-- James Hollis

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SEA games. Standard Chess.

It's Jimmy and Camelia that will carry our flag. Wishing both of them an indomitable fighting spirit.

Today's Contemplation.

If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, 'Here comes number seventy-one'!

-- Richard DeVos

Game. IM Yee Weng vs GM Megaranto

Here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sarawak Open 12th-16th December.

Reminder. Details here.

The Haven

Hi guys,

On the 1. 11. 2011, I joined The Haven as Business Development Advisor. We beat Singapore for the first time in 10 years on 1.1. 2011. I hope these are auspicious dates and we all go from strength to strength.


Wishing our SEA games team all the best. I was very impressed with Yee Weng and Najiha. I hope all our players will fight all the way. Here.

I will have to reduce my time on this blog. It has been quite a journey. But we have selection now. A hard fought victory for Malaysian Chess. I want to thank all those that contributed to this step forward.

Today's Contemplation.

If in the darkness of ignorance, you don't recognize a persons true nature, look to see whom he has chosen for his leader.

-- Rumi, "Mathnawi" [IV, 1640]

Saturday, November 12, 2011

SEA games begin.

Here

Today's Contemplation.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true but it is necessary to seek for what is false.

-- A Course In Miracles

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Things are as they are.

Ref: Here.

The author in the link above says that all things work to our advantage. Here is an alternative view and I think it's one that is closer to the truth and reality. Things are as they are. What does this mean?

This means that events will conspire to keep bringing to you the same lesson that you need to learn until you learn it. If you did not succeed in one endeavour because of some lacking, you will face the same problem again in another endeavour. If you lose one tournament because of some lacking, you will lose another tournament for a similar reason.

This will keep happening until you learn the lesson you are meant to learn. God in action?

You will stay in the same drama until you learn. When you do, you move on and then you will be brought another lesson until you learn that too? Growth.

Ergo, it is only advantageous if you learn. Otherwise you will just repeat the same mistake again and again.

Look into yourself, look at the evidence. That author is just trying to comfort himself. Another way of looking at it is just escapism; running from reality. So find out what is blocking you, resolve it and move on. Stop saying all things are to your advantage just to comfort yourself because you refuse the lesson.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An appeal from our puteri.

Here.

It is a heavy financial burden for the parents to support their kids to carry our flag. Any help will lighten the load. So anyone out there willing to give a hand?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Asian Amateur Update.

Here.

Tin cup

I watched a movie on mental coaching on my way to KL by train recently. The movie is called "Tin Cup" with Kevin Costner in it. The movie brings up many aspects of mental coaching. Too many to discuss here. But essentially it shows the journey of a technically proficient golfer who kept sabotaging himself with bad attitude and a negative mindset.

Do try to see if you can get your hands on the movie. Decide for yourself if there are any parallels to chess. All my best in your chess journey.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A big congratulations Roshan.

Here.

Malaysia's top 100 by fide ranking.

Here.

A chain of events?

Our U16 boys did really well at World Youth and made us all proud. Was it an isolated event that came out of a vacuum? Or is it like the waves of energy caused by a pebble thrown into a pool of water that is transmitted from an epicentre?

This is my perspective. A series of events took place in Singapore that culminated in us winning the Mal/Sing match for the first time in 10 years on the 1st Jan 2011.

This energy lead to a conversation on the train ride back that started the whole process of asking for selection for the SEA games. Question? Do you think that conversation would have taken place if we had lost?

This conversation also lead to an agreement among some bloggers to support the call on their blogs.

The selection lead to the breaking of some myths and gave hope to players being given a chance to represent the Country if they continue to improve.

Do you think this energy rubbed off on some of the juniors? Can anyone remember a Malaysian Team that fought this hard against Teams that were "supposed" to be higher ranked?

And so I hope there is a small lesson here. If it is to be, its up to me. Dont wait for someone else to start the ball rolling. Do what you can, wherever you are. It all counts. You can be the epicentre of your own waves.

We need success to re-energise us. Many small waves can become a tsunami in time.

World Youth Final result.

Here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

On dramas and goals.

Dramas have no real goals, no milestones. It is directionless. If we were to ask, what do we need to get our first Malaysian GM, there are no real answers. All we find is senseless attacks and pinning false hopes on potentials. But the ground has not been built yet. And so round and round we go.

So as a community we need to ask the right questions. What do we need and how do we get there? Without those questions answered everything is attacked. Where are we now and where do we want to go? What is in the way? Lets think about that this weekend.

Our boys are doing well at World Youth. How do we get them to the next level? Is individual effort enough? What does our history tell us?

As I said, drama thinking is based on the ego. And the ego is in defence of our fears. To reach a reasoned solution we need to face those fears and still engage in civil discourse.

Ergo, to end the drama, we need to first set goals.

More insights here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2 types of thinking.

Ref: Here.

I am rather enjoying my new role as an observer rather than a participant in our chess dramas.

But let me share this. Sometimes I hear people say, dont think so much, relax. My answer is there are 2 types of thinking.

One type occurs in dramas. Round and round but nothing changes. Only sometimes the actors. To me this is useless thinking and I think that is generally what people mean when they ask you not to think so much. Afterall, things will stay the same. :)

The other type of thinking produces change. Solves problems. It is based on reasoning and not egos. This lead to improvements. It's the type that is based on figuring out what is blocking us. What is in the way? Then we set objectives, targets and goals. We embrace the challenge and we overcome the obstacles. To me, this type of thinking start from first confronting our fears.

My believe is that our chess success will reflect either of the 2 types of thinking that will prevail in our chess community. My 2 cents worth.

There are some insights here.

World Youth R4 results

Here.

World Youth R3 results

Here.

Happy Deepavali

FGM wishes our Indian readers a happy and joyful festival of the light.

May the light of love and devotion shine brightly in your hearts. May the light of understanding shine in your minds. May the light of harmony glow in your home. May the light of service shine forth ceaselessly from your hands. May the light of peace emanate from your being. May your presence light the lamps of love and peace wherever you go. May your smile, your words and your actions be as sweet as the sweets of this festive season. May Maha Laxmi bring you the true wealth of health, happiness, peace and spiritual upliftment.

-- Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Muniji)

World Youth- R2 results

Here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Earthquake in Turkey

Here.

Hope our players have an incident free outing. Our good wishes go out to the people of Turkey.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

World Youth

The Malaysian squad left for Izmit, Turkey for the World Youth Under 16 Chess Olympiad at 10 AM, 23rd October. The squad consists of Roshan, Jianwen, Eng Chiam, Elgin and Li Tian. The Team Manager is Mr.Lee Ewe Ghee. The send off at KLIA was officiated by former MCF Deputy President, Tuan Haji Ibrahim Abu Bakar.

There will be 27 teams participating this year. Russia is ranked first with an average rating of 2455, followed by Azerbaijan (second) with rating of 2361 and India with a rating of 2351. Malaysia is ranked 10th with an average FIDE rating of 2058. There will be three GM's and three IM's with numerous FMs participating in the Under 16 Chess Olympiad this year.

The official website for the tournament is on http://wyco2011.tsf.org.tr/ , and it is reported that the all boards will be broadcast live. Get more details of the players, schedule and results from the tournament that will start at 10PM KL time, 24th Oct.

Best of luck to our boys there.

Today's Contemplation.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

-- Barack Obama

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

Everything you want should be yours: the type of work you want; the relationships you need; the social, mental, and aesthetic stimulation that will make you happy and fulfilled; the money you require for the lifestyle that is appropriate to you; and any requirement that you may (or may not) have for achievement or service to others. If you don’t aim for it all, you’ll never get it all. To aim for it requires that you know what you want.

-- Richard Koch

Friday, October 21, 2011

Paradox, Love and hate.

The "contradictionists", dualists will argue I either love you or I hate you. Either/Or.

But actually when do you hate someone? Lets look at it closer today. If you hate someone because he is richer than you, more successful than you, is it because he has something that you want? If you hate someone because he is poorer than you, is it because he has something that you lost on the way to being rich?

What am I saying? It's a paradox. Hate really doesnt exist. It is the love of something in someone else that you cannot have; am not willing to pay the price to get it. Hate is misdirected love.

Not so easy to see. But think of someone that you think you "hate". Look closely at it. Ask this question. What is it that he has I want so much that I am willing to hate him? What is it that I love so much that I cannot have if I am willing to pay the price?

If you keep asking this question over and over again, you will find you will have less and less to hate. And you will have learnt more and more about responsibility and accountability.

So in reality we have love/hate. Both/And. Different sides of the same thing, same coin. Hate is just misdirected love. So hate does not exist, it's just that I love something else more. A paradox, no.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A civil debate

An atheist professor of Philosophy was speaking to his class on the problem Science has with GOD. He asked one of his new Christian Students to stand and . . .

Professor : You are a Christian, aren't you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

Professor : Is GOD good ?

Student : Sure.

professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn't. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

(Student was silent.)

Professor: You can't answer, can you ? Let's start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Is satan good ?

Student : No.

Professor: Where does satan come from ?

Student : From . . . GOD . . .

Professor: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn't it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

Student : Yes.

Professor: So who created evil ?

(Student did not answer.)

Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, who created them ?

(Student had no answer.)

Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

Student : No, sir.

Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

Student : No , sir.

Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

Student : No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.

Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student : Yes.

Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Professor: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

Professor: Yes.

Student : No, sir. There isn't.

(The lecture theatre became very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?

Student : You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it is, were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?

Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class was in uproar.)

Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?

(The class broke out into laughter. )

Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Professor: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.

Student : That is it sir . . . Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

P.S.

I believe you have enjoyed the conversation. And if so, you'll probably want your friends / colleagues to enjoy the same, won't you?

Forward this to increase their knowledge . . . or FAITH.

By the way, that student was Einstein.!

Fernando Luna Benter

I respectfully disagree

Ref: Here.

When I first read about the case, my thoughts were they took a page off Jimmy and friends. Actually the use of the picture of a GM was interesting. And I found a little comfort that at least the headmaster came out to deny the lie.

But in Malaysian chess we have yet to openly acknowledge we have the same problem.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Asian Amateur, error in banking details.

Here.

Paradigm shift. Both/And

In the past we would isolate an individual that we believe has potential and seek to sponsor him. And if we are wrong, we start all over again to find another and from scratch begin again.

We need to look at both/and. To develop the base to develop the individual. If we come from a culture where players are not encouraged to explore new ideas, not do training before a major tournament, look for the shortcuts of artificially inflating numbers; where players are banned for no good reason; where the trainers and coaches are insufficiently skilled etc, we have a problem.

This is simply because we cannot develop strong individuals from a weak culture.

We now have good tournaments, we now have selection to build strong internal competition to make diamonds. Now all we need is good guidelines and good training. From this base, the strong player will come. Sending players from a weak culture base to compete in tough environments is futile.

Today's Contemplation.

I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.

-- Tony Robbins

Monday, October 17, 2011

Idea for Asian Amateur

Asian Amateur offers a unique opportunity for Malaysia to shine. In other International Tournaments we usually find ourselves outgunned. The cap of 2100 gives our Juniors a chance to take some medals as they are around that level.

My suggestion is for the sponsors/organisers to subsidise the juniors entrance fees. This will free up the resources of the parents to invest in training before the tournament. Tournaments alone is insufficient, we need trained players to fight in those tournaments.

This is a golden opportunity for us to lessen the burden of the parents of National Juniors.

My 2 cents worth.

UPSI- Results.

Here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Asian Amateur Update.

Here.

On bloggers and organisers.

Here.

It requires teamwork to build anything. I think this is something the organisers need to reflect on. They say introspection is good for the soul. :)

True strength comes from freeing.

The need for excessive control comes from fear, mistrust. This act is self limiting. True strength comes from freeing. By allowing the other to be the best they can be. By allowing MCF to be the organisation it can be with proper guidelines and rules; by allowing the players to express their creativity by exploring new knowledge; by allowing the organisers to be the best they can be and earn what they deserve; by allowing the trainers and coaches to express themselves by improving their skills and thus their value etc. etc.

I suggest the benchmark should be International in nature since that is where the GM will come. For us to get the true measure of the gap we need to first look at ourselves honestly. Where we truly are vis-a-vis the rest of the chess world.

Looking to only blame the other by hiding and denying our shortcomings will only keep us in the backwaters for years more to come.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

APSSO 2011- Update

Here

Causality

Cause and effect. The principle that nothing can happen without being caused.

A very simple and obvious principle. In fact in chess we see it in action all the time. The result of no training. Cause and effect. The result of rushing a move. Cause and effect. The result of fear based decisions. Cause and effect. The result of knee jerk reactions.

And yet internalising this concept may be the hardest thing to do. Why? Because if we embrace this concept then we will see our part in the effect. When we are the cause.

So it better to blame the other. Somebody else, anybody except us. I see it all the time. Understanding causality means we have to take personal responsibility for our actions as well as our non actions when action is needed. For both determines outcome.

If it is to be, it's up to me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life … Therein he cannot be re­placed, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.

-– Viktor Frankl

Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.

-– Buddha

The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today.

-- Anonymous

Leave the mind in its natural, undisturbed state. Don't follow thoughts of "This is a problem, that is a problem!" Without labeling difficulties as problems, leave your mind in its natural state. In this way, you will stop seeing miserable conditions as problems.

- Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "Transforming Problems Into Happiness"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How do you explain colour to a blind man?

Actually how do you explain what confidence is to a man who has never known it before in his life? How do you explain a nurturing environment to someone who has only known conflict? How can you tell someone what light is if he has only known darkness? Only if you have known it, experienced it and lost it will you appreciate what you have lost. And only then can you rejoice when you find it again.

Congratulations.


Congratulations to Mohd Zuhri Abdullah and Mr Lee Ewe Ghee of PCA to your new posts in MCF. I am confident that both will bring experience, fresh insights, new expertise and resources to MCF.

From strength to strength. All my best.

Let the board be the final arbiter.

Ref: Here.

Of course the lies will never end. If you read this you will see why. Inner child.

You may have noticed that I never said that it was Jimmy who attacked Zhuo Ren in any of my postings. What I said was that in posting that email, he was also culpable. You may have also read what I said about the stockholm syndrome and its implications. Go back to the posts if you need a refresher. Those who see will see and those who don't won't.

Actually the truth is all in front of us and the drama is unfolding day by day. So I will say this. If Jimmy holds the truth then we will see it on the board at SEA games. If what he has been doing is to build LZR and Sumant (by "exposing" me on the rubbish I said about joining the dots, the importance of training and discipline etc etc), then we will see the both of them going from strength to strength.

I like what Ilham said. In the cuban missile crisis we had the picture, I propose that in chess we have the board.

I will hazard a prediction here. I believe that since we now have selection, we will begin to see the end of the rot. I predict that if we can now find a way to bring back the training for the juniors, the training tournaments, like what FGM initiated, we will eventually have stronger and stronger players. And in time the first GM will come.

And so I will now leave the topic of Jimmy and friends on this blog. Here I want to thank Jimmy for his time in instructing us on how to lie and twist the facts. How to intimidate and to tear down. It has been instructional. I hope the readers here have learnt as much as I have.

ps: I believe in time more will look back at this and see how the negative culture of psycho attacks perpetuated by Jimmy and friends on our own players have kept us from moving forward for so many years. We have been live witnesses in real time on how his methods is used to break our own players. I also want to thank you for your time in following my blog through this difficult process too.

Asian Amateur in KL.

Here. See you guys there.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The way Steve did business.

I love the way this man does business. Here.

The ugly truth about match fixing.

From observation and from their own admission, a fair number of juniors fix their matches. This is nearly an open secret. It's just that no one has openly talked about it before. But I think we need to. It's important. Let me try to explain why.

The juniors are under immense pressure to deliver. And usually they don't have the support system to help them deliver. It is expensive to have both the right training as well as to pay for the overseas trip. So there is strong pressure to take the short cuts.

Over the years, I have seen and heard of many creative ways to fix the matches. But I will talk about a particularly damaging one today. This very often happens on the last round. One more tough match and they either emerge Champion or they can fall from the winners list. R9; the psychological round. The heart starts beating faster. Just one more hurdle.

I suggest that fighting this round is what makes the Champion. The last push, when the nerves are stretched taut. We need to face it here and in our local tournaments first. This is simply because in an overseas tournament, in an International field, you cannot pakat draw.

It will take a while to change this culture. It is deeply rooted. But if we explain it properly to the juniors, I am sure they will see the reasoning in time.

Note: In fact I know of a few cases where they have. I believe these will be the ones who will go further.

And if they can hold the tension of that last round, they will break that glass ceiling in no time.

ps: Can you now see why I thought it was such a low act for someone who should know better to offer LZR a draw with the IM's and also a guaranteed backdoor deal to SEA games if he wrote that email about my training? It has been proven to be just another one of their many lies now. But imagine the psychological blow to him coming from people he ought to have been able to trust to advice him better.

Steve Jobs, a man with character.

Here.

Serenity prayer.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

The duality of Human nature.

Ref: Here.

We have all witnessed the "terrible" side of human nature acted out by Jimmy and his cohorts. We have seen the naked aggressions, the vile lies and the tearing down. And we have seen the twisted "reasoning" that they have used to justify their acts. We know that Malaysian chess has been "ruled" by people like that for a long time and we have seen the results of those actions.

Let us for today look at the other side. We have also seen tremendous acts of generosity in human nature, deep caring, a strong inquisitiveness and thirst for knowledge. Look carefully, it's not totally swamped yet even in our chess culture.

From history, we have seen man's struggle for a more harmonious society. We have seen new rules and guidelines to foster more justice as the society evolve.

So we have this duality in us. Human nature. I propose that one penchant comes from the base emotions. Fear, greed, envy, hatred and anger. And the other comes from the spirit. Both are in us.

We call one the base emotions and we call the people who comes from that place base people.

So how does this impact us? Lets look again at the game of chess. Which "emotion" do you think will produce that GM? Do we see that deep reasoning, the ability to caste aside our self delusions, calmness in the face of adversity, character molded by courage etc as elements that are part and parcel of being a GM?

If it is, then why aren't we nurturing that? It is easy to take the path of fear, anger and hatred. All you have to do is to take the short cuts.

As they say, pressure reveals our true character.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How do we use chess to build?

Ref: Here.

I wrote the article in Feb. 2009. That was after 5 years in chess. During those 5 years I saw very vibrant kids slowly withdrawing into themselves and becoming something very different over time. At that time I wondered why even as I was writing that article although I had my suspicions.

Over the last 2 years I have been in greater contact with the national juniors as well as some seniors. My recent exposure to Jimmy's venom has also taught me a lot.

So let me try to give you what I have discovered. I have always stressed on using chess as a self development tool. That means the struggle is to be the best that you can be. Which means if your problem is discipline then learn discipline. If you have fears then confront your own fears. Be the best player you can be. It's OK to make mistakes, just own up to them; resolve to overcome them and move on.

My reasoning is like this. Not all are meant to be chess champions. And that is OK. You will have gained a lot from chess to accomplish anything else you want in life if you do it this way.

But looking at Jimmy's method, it has shown me that the reverse happens when its about winning at all cost. If you haven't trained, you try to pull down the other. If you are not confident, you sabotage. From that standpoint you deny the truth and you try hide your weakness. You lie, you become afraid and you try to infect others with your fear. A terrible and vicious cycle but futile all the same.

For you cannot hide your weakness in chess. Everytime you play, we will see your thinking. We will see your fears or your courage. It's all on the board.

It doesn't have to be the way it is now. You do not need to tear down. You can use chess to build. Just try to be the best that you can be. And if you have paid the price, you will win eventually. It's a personal choice about who you want to be. It's all about you and not the other. Or any other.

Something has died.

When I go to visit Jimmy's site I get an overwhelming sense of vileness. The stench of putrid decay. There is no sense of right and wrong there. They huddle together only to feed their fears, hatred and their anger.

How did it get that way? I have always said we can use chess to build and we can use chess to destroy. Chess is a double edged tool. Something must have gone terribly wrong. I hope we can see and acknowledge that. In order for change to happen, we first have to acknowledge we have a problem.

I suggest the spirit has died there. Here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Discussion on training.

I also had the opportunity at UTP to discuss with Greg and other parents on training.

This is the gist of the discussion. I said we have loads of tournaments now. In November we will have the Asian Amateur in KL. This will be followed by Penang Open, Sarawak Open, National Junior. And to end the year there is the Singapore chess festival. Following that we have another International Tournament in Malacca in January.

We now have selection which means that in time players will focus more on winning tournaments than on increasing their ratings. Both routes have deep implications.

Now comes the crux again. We need to complete the steps to unleash the potential of all the other initiatives. There is little point in our players playing only to lose in an International field. At the time of the tournaments what skills they have will be all that they have. It's the training before, that will make the difference.

So now we come back to why Jimmy's orchestration of the attack on the training for the juniors for Asean 2010 was so destructive. For whatever reasons he and his friends wanted it stopped. Lies were spread despite evidence published to the contrary. I postulate the reasons are they do not want the juniors trained by a GM. I postulate that the reason is because they do not want that glass ceiling broken.

The Thematics were another step. Training tournaments. There are many benefits which is too long to list here. Again this is attacked. And again I postulate the reason is because somebody wants to protect that glass ceiling.

Sumant and LZR attending FGM training for SEA games selection. Both boys were attacked till they disavowed any relationship to FGM. This is Jimmy's proof. Ref: here.

If you go back to the post on their attendance at my training, you will see that all I said was they attended the training. Not that they were FGM's student. But actually both had signed up with FGM. I have the documentation for this. But never mind.

So I suggest that all Jimmy has proven is that he can intimidate them.

This is the current problem we have for training. Players cannot freely choose. So now you can also see the real reason for the banning of players without grounds. Anyone who is a threat to breaking through that glass ceiling is attacked. All sorts of psycho attacks is orchestrated.

Until this culture is changed and the Academies compete on who has the better system for training and the players can choose for themselves which system they prefer without penalty, I suggest we will be giving away the prizes to players who come from an environment where they are properly trained to compete.

As for the match fixing that Jimmy accuses Mark of, that is another whole can of worms. But I wont talk about it right this moment. What I will say now is that I was not present during the game. I was informed and I supported the arbiters decision without hesitation.

Note: Sumant made it through selection for SEA games with our training and support. Mark made U12 and U18 Perak Champion and is currently both U18 and U20 number 2 at National level with my methods. Apart from that I make no other claims. I do not want to add or subtract anything.

Monday, October 3, 2011

On respect.

At UTP, there was a lightening of the atmosphere. Gone was some of the suspicions and dark clouds at Datmo. I think this is because many people are finally seeing Jimmy for who he really is. One parent even made a joke about me "taking down" or "exposing" him.

Actually that was not my intention. I just felt that someone had to write about his rampage of destruction only to serve his ego. Right at the beginning of our interaction, I reminded him that as our first IM, he needed to set an example.

Most of us have a moral compass. We don't or at least we try not to lie, to attack the kids etc. But that compass is sadly lacking with him and his toyols.

His recent role in attacking the only training program for the juniors etc. etc. etc. etc. and etc. will soon cloud all his past achievements if he is not careful. I said to the parent. It's not that we don't want to respect him. It's just that he has done nothing worthy of respect recently. And sadly that maybe his legacy to the Malaysian chess world unless he changes.

Malaysian chess badly needs a hero. A fighter we can all look up to. At least Mas, Yee Weng and Mok have gone back into the fray and fighting again. I don't know if one of them will become that hero or maybe even all three. Each giving their best and fighting with courage and being our living example of a mental warrior. But right now all Jimmy is doing is tearing down. I hope he can change and prove us all wrong at SEA games.

What is courage?

Courage is not your ability to shout down and attempting to intimidate others. Courage is your ability to look at your fears. The ability to stare hard at reality and not be cowed. Courage is your ability to caste aside your self doubts and delusions and continue moving forward.

So you see the attack on the training for the juniors comes from fear. The personal attacks on the juniors comes from fear. The banning of a national junior without any grounds from KL Open comes from fear.

My question today is why should we be afraid of people who are so scared of the juniors doing better than them? Tell them not to waste their time and improve their chess instead. Tell them to show us what they are made of at SEA games. We will not be impressed if they try to put down the junior there. We will be impressed if they show courage fighting their peers.

ps: Another question. What would you learn from fear ridden people?

Report from UTP

Results: Here.

Nabil had a very convincing win against Ian Udani and then lost fairly tamely to Sumant. That prompted me to ask some of the juniors present if they think they can overtake the seniors in one or two years time. They weren't very confident that they can do it. The parents I spoke to seemed more optimistic. :)

I think it is possible but it will depend on many factors. There are some psychological factors. What we saw at SEA games selection is that the seniors are not invulnerable. If they stop competing and stop struggling to improve then it will happen sooner rather than later. With every encounter the myth of their superiority will start to diminish.

That is why selection is so important. It keeps everyone sharp and on their toes. Many of us fought hard to get selection. Gilocatur, Firey Rook, Gilachess and FGM rallied to urge MCF to support selection. We were attacked. Some officials within MCF pushed for selection. They were attacked. It got very ugly but we paid the price.

The door is now open and one junior has crossed the threshold. We need to now keep that door open so others, juniors and otherwise, can continue to strive to walk through that door.

No more priviledged positions and no more selection based on outdated or manufactured numbers. The basis of selection is your ability to win tournaments. All the numbers do is to determine your starting point. It does not reflect fighting strength.

We have started a new chapter in Malaysian chess history. It will continue to be a struggle; the rot is deep. But if we keep this up then we will see a stronger Malaysia in the chess world. The beginning was Mal/Sing on Jan 1, 2011. Lets continue to go forward and not return back to the dark old days again.

Now we are saying, if you think you are strong, no need to waive your title or numbers at us. We are not impressed. You think you are strong..... then prove it on the table. We will accept that outcome.

Today's Contemplation.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

-- Steve Jobs

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Courage comes from character.

And vice versa. I have said that confidence is hard to develop. You are not born with courage, with confidence. It can only come when you pay the price of not taking the easy way out. So it has to be carefully nurtured and developed.

I have also said that if the fighting spirit is strong then the technical will come eventually. Lets look at a GM run. You need to beat GM's to get a norm. At that time GM's will probably be your technical superior. So you will need tons of courage.

Note: Competitor analysis and profiling can aid but it cannot replace courage.

So when I see someone who attacks a training program meant for the juniors, attack a program meant to help the parents save some money, attack the thematics meant to provide training tournaments, attack the juniors till they break down, it tells me something about their character.

Is it surprising that they can now lose to players who are around 2100? And is it surprising that they will find tons of excuses to hide their failings? So can that glass ceiling be breached? I think so.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All actions are driven by a core belief system.

It's not the belief system that one espouses but the one that is deep inside. Once you can see that then random actions stop being random.

Note to Jimmy.

Ref: Here.

Maybe you can also show us the game with Jax Tham where you lost as white. I suggest some show of mastery at SEA games will do more to convince us of your superiority.

Today's Contemplation.

One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered.

-- Michael J. Fox

Congratulations Jimmy.

Ref: Here and here.

Bravo! You are the consummate magician. Able to make demons/ghosts/toyols appear and disappear at will. And in broad daylight too! No wonder you have such contempt for the chess community and the juniors. We can all be broken and tricked at will by your amazing mastery.

So what if we dont have proper training, so what if LZR and Sumant is traumatised by your little games. You have lived up to your reputation as the go to guy. You can make players reappear even if they fail selection.

If only all that energy had gone towards improving your chess you might have beaten Fadzil. But then again maybe not. Afterall we are only here to feed your ego.

It doesn't matter if the rest of us is now wondering what is the point of selection if it's only a charade. The really important thing is that the glass ceiling must not be broken.

So now we won't know what it could have been like if the juniors were given proper support and training. Well done again! We can now all sit back and wait to see the results of your machinations at SEA games.

Monday, September 26, 2011

An interesting article on stress.

Here.

National Rapid at UTP. 1st and 2nd Oct.

Reminder. Here.

See you guys there.

Congratulations Fadzil Nayan.

Here.

From a Turkey movie.

Heroine fighter comes to town just in time to befriend woman who was subsequently killed by mobster. The victim has a younger brother who has some computing skills but little else. In the final encounter heroine asks the younger brother to stay away. But he insists on going. Heroine asks why?

He said, "This is not your fight. She was my sister. I am afraid of what will happen to me if I don't fight this fight."

In final encounter, younger brother didn't do much except throw a stone which changed final outcome.

Hmmmm, maybe not so Turkey afterall.

Note: Fighting does not equate to violence. It is enough to resist intimidation and fear.

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.

-- Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

From a story.

Psychological damage.

A senior law enforcement agent was asked why she retired early from a promising career. She mentioned one horrendous case where she felt she let down the victim of a crime.

This is what she said. "It's like a naval convoy where one of the battleships gets holed below the waterline. No visible damage, but it falls a little behind, and then a little more, and it drifts a little off course. And then when the next big engagement comes along it's completely out of sight. That was me."

I hear we are sending a strong U16 team to Turkey. Here. Lets value them. My best wishes to those Juniors and I hope you guys will break out from that false glass ceiling sooner rather than later.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Interview with GM elect Barbosa.

Here.

Also see comment here.

Steps to world beater.

Ref: Here.

I wonder why he says that we have no world beaters among the juniors? Isn't the steps from weak IM's to strong IM's. From IM's to GM's. From weak GM's to strong GM's. And from strong GM's to world beaters?

Why this separation? An impossible target for the juniors when even our IM's are struggling.

Steps to recovery.

From denial we need to get to acknowledgement. And from knee jerks we need to get to considered decisions.

Implications from GM interview below.

Ref: Here.

He made GM at age 26. I think that's a more realistic number. Given what we know and our own conditions here. Where are we at the moment? We don't have the level of skills in our local trainers to produce high level players. Our juniors will probably end their run as juniors at around 2100 plus in todays world and given current constraints with other factors like education etc.

So unless you have the resources to get that very strong GM to assist your protegy's run from a very young age, to expect a GM by age 15 is unrealistic. So in all probability our GM will start his run sometime after age 20. And he will probably have to do it on his own.

Now do you see why running down our own juniors with that lie that you are all washed up by 15yo is such poison? If we keep injecting that lie into our juniors they will have "failed" for 5 years running by the age of 20. We are setting them up for failure with unrealistic expectations. We are tearing them down instead of building their character, mental strength and discipline.

What we need now is for our juniors to breakthrough that glass ceiling and go forward. And btw, that glass ceiling is much too low anyway going by world standards today. Haven't we got enough evidence to show us that already?

Look at that GM's run again. He worked with other strong players to share knowledge. That should be our route too. As well as increasing internal competition and devising better training. What are we doing instead?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

Self-acceptance comes from meeting life's challenges vigorously. Don't numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.

-- J. Donald Walters

Musings.

You know at Datmo, people were coming to me and telling or asking me about what was happening at the top tables. And I always say I have no clue. It's true. I don't even know who won. Even now.

My focus has always been on what is happening to my players at that moment in time. How are they making decisions? What mistakes are they making? What is their mental state? Which band are they are playing in? What more do they need to cross just one more level?

My belief is that by doing it one step at a time, there will come a day when my players will be at the top tables. Then I can have the luxury of seeing them there and then doing the same all over again. This is simply to ensure that they can stay there.

How to get a Malaysian GM by 15yo.

As I delve further into developing our competitor analysis model and with more interaction with other trainers and still competing GM's, it seems to me that it is only possible to have a very young GM under one condition. And that condition is that the young protegy has a second who is also a very strong GM.

Lets assume that this analysis is correct for the moment and lets look at the implications if that were true. Most high level GM who is current and still competing will not be a second unless he has a strong belief in that protegy. And even with that belief he still has to be financially compensated.

That GM's primary role is to prepare the competitor analysis for every landmark tournament and to oversee the technical training. So if I am correct the cost implications and variables have changed. The sponsor has to now finance both the player and the GM. Then it is possible to have a Malaysian GM by 15yo.

Note: You may also have to factor in cost of training etc. It's not just the tournament. And I presume you will also want the type of training where the player is getting stronger and stronger mentally, more disciplined etc rather than more and more fear bound. So it is not just technical.

There are 2 very important characteristics necessary for a GM run. The first is the correct anticipation of the opponents opening or response and the correct specific training. And the second is mental strength/toughness which has to span for at least 3 GM norms.

So I suggest that unless you have access to that type of funding and is able to convince a strong GM to dedicate serious time to your young protegy, our best bet is to increase internal competition.

And that can be accomplished if we can raise our awareness to what is happening now. If acknowledged, this basically means that we need good rules and discipline. Look again at what I have been saying. The self sabotage of Malaysian players. The sabotage of sponsors who took the first step to sponsoring a training program etc. If we can stop this and discipline the culprits, we will be much closer to the desired result.

I suggest that no serious independent sponsor will enter into the environment that we have allowed to fester. I do have some insights to this. I have been talking to them for sometime now. And this is the feedback.

Caveat: Unless the sponsor also has interest in controlling MCF there is no other returns. (But that brings in other problems, don't you think?)

Note: We do not have local expertise that can give us that type of guidance. As I have said before, just compare their knowledge/skill level to those of our neighbours or even to the knowledge now freely available on the internet.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Training elite forces.

There is something very fundamentally different in the approach to the training of elite forces. Generally they operate in small teams. Each with their own speciality and yet each team member is trained to fulfil the mission alone if he is the last man standing. That means each team member is taught to be a leader.

The training is very tough not only physically but mentally as well. They need to be able to think under pressure. To continue to make optimum decisions and to evaluate best odds under ever changing conditions.

Talent alone is insufficient. We need to look at the training. Which model is closer to the training requirements of chess warriors? So my question is if we are training GI's or elite forces? It seems to me that we are instilling more fears into our own players rather than teaching them how to withstand the assaults from the outside.

If you ask me who would I fund, my answer would be the trained elite warrior. One who has calculated the odds, done the preparation, is able to not only acknowledge the pressure but able to thrive in it and surmount the odds. Someone like the Nichol David of chess.

I think we have a way to go yet.

Dedicated to our currently still fighting and our future chess warriors.

We are not training GI's, we are training elite forces/officers.

GI's. General issue. Theirs is not to question why. Theirs is to do or die.

Just for some fun today, lets see how we can create GI's. Lets be creative here. The first thing we have to do is to break their spirit. Are we agreed here? Otherwise how are we supposed to ask them to do crazy things like charge a position and die like men so we can get a count of the enemy concentration in that sector or apologise to ghosts?

So the first thing we need to teach them is rank. I am FM and he is IM. It really doesn't matter if we are cowards or if they respect us. They cannot question us. We just teach them to obey orders. And if they don't we punish them. We ban them. We frighten them into apologising to ghosts. Hell anything, so long as it's not done with thinking. So long as we make them more frightened of us than the enemy.

Any other ideas? How about we tell them the other side have got a new IM. And I beat him 2 years ago. Got to make them feel inferior right? Otherwise how to control? Otherwise how would they know I am boss?

Any more? Lets see. If we tell them that they are all washed up by 15yo, would that mean there will be no one who can challenge our wisdom? Lets think on this.

Hmmmmm, but there are tons of evidence everyday on the internet to the contrary. In every International tournament....

I got it. If we keep them frightened enough they wont be able to see this. Aren't I smart? :) If I keep this up maybe they wont see me screw up at SEA games. I'll just blame the other fella. Good idea.

Any other ideas? Lets keep it coming guys. We just invented ghosts but they are catching on. And all the other ideas have been overused for the last 30 years. Come on......

No new ideas? Sigh! I'm surrounded by people who cannot think. How did it get that way?

Dedicated to my muse Jimmy and Peter. Guys, you inspire me. You are the greatest. Please accept this humble tribute to your great teachings.

Some ideas compiled by Al Kamil.

Here.

The many levels.

the best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up....
Hayda Yasmine Hartmann (facebook)
-------------------------

Gerald's moving story spoke to me on many levels. Who are we to judge a man's life? I think that is why we are taught to love the criminal but to "hate" the crime.

People only change when they want to change. That is an immutable fact. They cannot be forced into changing. It just doesn't work. And the best way to help anyone change is to tell them the truth.

(Caveat: But they can be broken so we wont call that change here.)

And so lets return to chess. We are in a highly competitive sport where seeing the truth is paramount to success.

So why do we get upset when it is said that the seniors need to buck up? That we should not manufacture numbers. That we should train harder and smarter. That we need basic rules of conduct and strong leadership.

That it is not ok for our juniors to apologise to ghosts. The only people who should engage toyols are mediums and ghostbusters.

Why do we tell our seniors that they are great when they take pathetic steps like playing in the veterans before they represent our Country for SEA games?

We cannot be great if we continue to run from the truth. It is not for us to change anyone. That power we do not have. But it is within our power to tell them the truth. Then it's up to them.

Can we do that?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gregory Lopez, a true story.

This is an email I just received from an old friend that I publish here with permission. Gerald is a very old friend from my teens. We studied together in the UK where he did law and our friendship has spanned both time and continents. In all the time I have known him he has never spoken of his father. Gerald now resides in New Zealand. So here in his own words.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


My father, Major(Ret'd) Gregory Joseph Henry Lopez P.J.K, died last Thursday after several weeks' illness, and was buried in a small village in East Timor.

As a child in World War II, he was imprisoned in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, and escaped with his brothers.

He was an intelligent and dashing young man, and went to Sandhurst Military College in the UK, where he a met a beautiful French woman who was to become my mother. He became a Major in charge of a whole regiment of men, engaging the so-called Communist Terrorists in the jungles during the Malayan Emergency.

Although I didn't see much of my father, I recall that at the tender age of seven I was very proud of him, and wanted to grow up to be smart and important like him. One year later, while my mother and sister were away in France, he left me all alone in our apartment, and disappeared to Singapore. I fed myself and went to school for three days before someone found me and took me to my uncle's. The rent went unpaid, the landlords took possession of everything we had, and sold it or destroyed it. I can see the moment my mother came back from the airport, the look of horror on her face as she realised her home had gone, and my vague sense that something terrible had happened.

Over his life of adventure and exploit Gregory left a trail of financial disasters, of dispossession, of women with broken hearts, and of children with shattered dreams.

Yet he chose to live the last ten years in one of the poorest countries in the world, a country of dispossessed people who had long suffered extreme inhumanity and unspeakable cruelty. He avoided the luxuries and trappings of modern civilisation to live a life of simple needs, helping the people of East Timor to rebuild their shattered lives. He fell in love with the country, and with a woman who looked after him with heart and soul. He must have touched their hearts, as his funeral was attended by many who had travelled long and arduous distances.

I realised in the last few days that there is an invisible and very real web in society, a web of positions and roles to be played. As men, women, fathers, mothers, sons, daughter, youngers or elders; each "place" has a set of responsibilities. We can choose to either take our place or not; and depending on the choice there will be hurt and destruction, or healing and repair in the fabric of family, community and humanity.

I was never aware of my role as a father's first son, until I was called to give my consent to his burial in East Timor.

The grief that I have felt all my life, and the tears that now roll down my cheeks; are for a man who, in his early life, did not take his place as a father and husband. He later knew this, yet he also knew he was unable to mend the many broken bridges within his lifetime.

From endings shall come new beginnings. From his passing have come many wonderful realisations, many heartfelt connections, and many new possibilities for redemption and repair.

Peace can come not from changes in external circumstances, but from lifting of judgment, and from forgiveness. Forgiveness not only releases others, but also frees ourselves from our past.

Although this is a general email, I have specifically addressed it to you because you are important to me, and you have a place in my heart. If I have caused you the slightest hurt or grievance any time in our life, I am truly sorry. Please forgive me.

My deepest love, and wishes for your health and joy,
Gerald.

2 different systems.

Ref: Here.

I was reading with interest about this split. Personally I prefer Carlsen's system. I think it's very important that the person on the front line learns to think for himself. I see my job is just to show the player how to evaluate, how to think and reason. We run through scenarios and we prepare responses.

But the moment the clock starts he is on his own. He has to make his own decisions.

The million dollar question.

Ref: Here.

Besides the many demented comments from Jimmy's toyols, there was one that said, we just don't care. Actually that is not quite true. Lets look at the clues and see if we can make some decisions today that can make a difference. Let's apply the lessons we have learnt from chess.

What do we know? We know that if a Junior wants to explore new knowledge, he will be attacked. We know that if a Junior wins a spot in the senior squad, he will be attacked until he apologises to ghosts. We know that actually no one is above the attacks. The Fide Secretary is attacked personally and even Fide itself can be openly attacked. We also know that they have zero respect for MCF.

We know that they mainly use invisible people to launch these attacks and their methods is to twist the facts and then play with your mind. So all these things we know. And we know that with strong leadership from MCF these things cannot happen. But MCF seems paralysed.

On the flip side we saw selection coming in against very strong opposition. We saw the people who supported selection attacked and attacked again.

So somebody cares. Or there will be no need for the escalation in the attacks. Something must be happening. The obvious answer had always seemed to be to change the leadership in MCF and so I have heard many discussions along that vein. I don't really agree.

Lets relook again at recent history. There was a strong consensus for selection and it came. Now they are trying to reverse that gain by little small steps. They increase the pressure and they hope the support will wither one by one. They try to turn the issues and create more confusion.

So somebody cares. Or they will not be manning their computers night and day and reading every word that I write. So what is the answer to that million dollar question? I propose that we leave MCF alone. There is nobody better to replace the current administration. At least with this new administration we have seen more progress than we have seen in many many years.

Actually the answer lies with you. Reject the fear, don't allow the mind tricks to work. Don't allow the divide and rule methods they are trying. Once you can do that and we have consensus again, more change will come. That's all we have to do. Learn to protect our own minds and develop our reasoning powers.

Then MCF will change too. It has been demonstrated. And then our strong players will come. Who cares what that players name is so long as he is Malaysian. When he fights on the world arena with courage and dignity we can all be proud of his/her achievement because we have all helped shape the environment where he/she was born. So focus your energies, dont let them continue that silly divide and rule strategy anymore. Just focus on you. That's how this chess game can be won.

Iron sharpen iron. And so we cannot afford to lose any more players. The diamond is developed by slowly increasing the pressure and helping them to handle it. What they have been doing all these years is to knock the new players out one by one before they can become strong.

It's a very simple method. Inject enough fear while they are still vulnerable and you will break them. Then they can never again be strong players for you need confidence and courage to compete. Not fear, hatred or anger, for those emotions only cloud the board.

And all this is done to help a few who want to keep their place way past their due date. Get rid of the fear and you will see it too. Is it clearer now? Can you see the clues?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Real confidence is the hardest thing to build.

Have you ever wondered why we accept criticisms so easily and resist compliments? Why we remember our failures and forget our successes? That is an interesting phenomenon.

Lets talk about character here and what it actually means. Lets say I was to offer you a bribe of RM1,500 to allow me to demoralise an entire Malaysian contingent. If you have "strongish" character you will resist. Lets say I now increase the amount to RM15,000, then to RM150,000 etc etc. You get the picture. How many of us can take that pressure? Lets be honest here. True character means that you will be able to resist, no matter what the amount of pressure is.

Now lets look at developing our Juniors. And let me use Mark again as an example. He got to being State Champion without ever compromising on his principles. Then the pressure got higher and he slipped at National Junior. So my friends at Jimmy's site, it was not a mistake on my part to talk openly about it. It was a lesson for Mark (and the other juniors) on how easy it is to take the short cuts at higher and higher pressures.

It was to mold his character; for him to admit the mistake and then resolve to continue and fight again. He knows I will not condone that and he knows I will measure him the same as I measure anyone else, including myself. What I did was to show him, it's OK to slip up. Admit your mistake and then move on. It is human to make mistakes and that is how you also learn.

When you hit another level of pressure the temptation will come again. It is only by training your character over higher and higher pressures will you become a diamond. And incidentally, I am not training him to be a GM. He has not made that decision himself. For that decision can only be made by him alone and nobody else.

I am merely training him for life using chess as the tool.

Musings from Jimmy's shoutbox.


Since I have a little spare time this morning, I wonder how helping Sumant get a place in the SEA games squad is beneficial to Mark? I wonder how asking for clean and fair competition and selection is prejudicial to others? I wonder how I tried to sabotage LZR by allowing him to come to our training, at his own request and showing him our methods?

As I said, no capacity to reason. Just hate filled rantings, distortions and lies. All that is offered is tearing down. No building, no guidance. As they say, birds of the same feather...

ps: Have you ever wondered why the real abuses are not mentioned? Isn't the omissions super glaring? What they don't say?

Quote from facebook.

When asked what profession young Albert should take up, his headmaster told Mr. and Mrs. Einstein,"It doesn't matter, he'll never make a success of anything."

Decision making and Chess.

Perhaps the greatest lesson with universal application that chess can teach us is decision making. If I told you the theme of the puzzle, if I said there is a sacrifice on H7 or there is an end game win from this position, many good chess players can find the solution.

The real difficulty to chess lies in recognising the clues before the opportunity slips away. And to do that your mind needs to be clear. You must not only look at the things you like but also the things you do not like. You must not add or subtract to the issues facing you. You need confidence and have the courage to make decisions when the door of opportunity presents, for the door will surely close again. That is the nature of opportunity.

In real life, just like in chess, you will not have all the facts before you at the point of decision making that can make a difference. In chess you can see the board but you cannot see your opponents mind. And so the need for anticipation from clues. Hence competitor analysis, profiling etc.

Do you see the problem now? Once all the facts are known the game will already be won or lost. The way to play chess, is to make good decisions as you go along but you generally need to make it before all the facts are known or you'll run out of time ie developed judgement. (Apart from the very obvious answers of course.)

Take this understanding and apply it to all the issues that have been raised on this blog.

ps: Jimmy complains that I do not allow him or his friends from discussing on my blog. Actually I did try to reason with him and his friends at one point but that was fruitless and a waste of my time. I think the reason is because they have hidden agendas or just have too much fear, anger and hatred in them to be able to reason.

So I publicize his and his friends blogs as often as I can. I even encourage my readers to go to his shoutbox to see his and his friends "reasoning". So there is no need to invite him here. I have done enough to help him get readers. Here we want a quiet place to think and reason.

For your ease of reference, please find Jimmy's site here. Happier now Jimmy?

Note: So you may find that chess engines or certain postmortems have limited use. They give answers after the fact.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our SEA games Team.

Here.

If the entire team sees that we are only as strong as our weakest link and all work as one, we will see a good outing. Train hard and fight with courage and dignity and our best wishes go with you.

Note: In case you are wondering, Yee Weng is still on the team and I'm told Mok is our rep. for blindfold chess.