Thursday, January 6, 2011

Misdirected Anger

With respect to the personal achievements of our senior players, I have wondered why almost none of them, if any at all, have the attitude of wanting to give back. To be sure those that have elected to make a living out of chess deserve to make a decent living from the chess community. But the idea of national service seems alien.

I was told that the training for Mal/Singapore was not a training at all but a lot of wasted time.

I have seen seniors reviewing the games of juniors and heaping abuse on them rather than helping.

They criticise but offer no solution although they are the best placed from their vast experience of what did not work.

Their attitude seem to say how great they were at one time; that the current juniors cannot compare to their past achievements. That may be true but what is the point of this exercise? Unless they are prepared to carry the cross/burden and make the final push themselves, why dont they try to help those who are still trying?

Instead I see them putting the kids down, telling them they are not good enough. What does this really say? To me its a reflection of what they themselves must have gone through. Unappreciated over the years so they feel they must continue to hog the limelight; long past their due.

If you are no longer prepared to continue to carry the flag, then pass it on. Help the juniors. Give them of your experience and knowledge so they too do not get lost along the way. Encourage them. Shine the light on the path.

The new generation is not responsible for what happened to you. That was in the past. Why take out your frustrations on them and those who are still trying to make a difference. With all due respect, your anger is misdirected.


  1. saya sokong pendapat mr raymond. hehe

  2. You are right Raymond, most of the seniors have no time to correcting youngsters. To support your suggestion, its works if seniors can play and compete juniors to ensure how strong they are. Healthy!

  3. I think Mr Yeoh Marcus has done a big service coaching some of the players and should be commended.

  4. A suggestion by a parent of a National Junior is that we have a junior versus senior tournament to select players for the olympiad. I think the place and money spent on the players to the olympiad is wasted if the players have no intention of improving. So I feel the idea of a team of one senior and 3 juniors by Singapore was a good idea. Maybe even all juniors for the next olympiad. We need to look to the future. The olympiad should not be an old players club.

  5. Not everyone can afford to do national service. It is not always about money, but the time commitment of contributing meaningfully by helping the juniors (especially the stronger ones) requires not only the hours put in to coach the juniors, but also the hours spent in preparing them. Perhaps to be fair to some senior players, this should be noted.

    I also sense an entitlement attitude in the sense that we expect a lot from the senior players (for free). While giving back is a form of charity, but it should never be expected in the long run because it is encouraging a "crutch" mentality that Malaysia is guilty of. Juniors would then be over-relying on senior players and their contributions. There seems to be a lack of focus on self-improvement these days. I like your ideas on self-analysis. This should be done in a brutally honest way. None of the juniors are doing that. If they themselves cannot identify what they are missing, no amount of coaching in the world can make them world class.

    To be world class, one needs to have a world class attitude. Just look at IM Goh Weiming's approach to chess. He does not expect GMs to give him pointers. It would help if our players read about the success of others (not just successful chess players, but successful people in general). They should be aware of how hard these people have to work to get there. While many of these successful people have good mentors at one point or another, we must first note that it was because of their existing work that they could gain meaningfully from the mentors.

    In short, one must always approach life by expecting more of yourself than of others. If you expect senior players to give you free coaching, you must also be prepared to work twice as hard.

  6. I agree. Even among the juniors there are those that have "given up". However I feel that this may not be their fault. Our culture does not reward excellence. I think a way should be found to revitalise them before they too become irretrivably lost.

    By National Service I mean the training for Official International Tournaments. Other than that those who make a living from chess should be commercial in nature. That is only fair. They cannot give if they dont have.