Monday, February 28, 2011

Report from Maverick. Part 2

Another issue brought up by a parent was the relative strength of our Juniors. That the 3 juniors that met Mas could have given Mas a better fight. This is how I look at it. We are still in early days. The first written criteria was only out for NAG 2010. Not even one full year yet.

IM Mas has just come back into the local circuit. So it will take some time to build their fighting strength. In Mal/Sing I was told by some juniors that it wasnt always about their chess. Before written criteria it was about being in the good books of certain officials.

I mentioned to another parent. 7 players got to play with Mas. There is a mutiplier effect from this. All 7 would have gained something. Other strong players are also coming back. Even Jimmy is playing in National Close. None of this would have happened if the call for selection had failed. So now we just need to be a little patient. I believe we will see the benefits soon if we can keep this up.

If we keep raising the level of our internal competition, our players will do better and better in International events over time. And more success will roll in. It has always been about the players and their fighting spirit. Now there is more reason to fight. There is now a short window to NAG and National Close. I am sure the standard will go up again. There may be a little rust to shake off first.

There is one big overall consensus. MCF has brought noticeable change at last. So kudos to MCF and all the parents, bloggers, organisers and players who supported the selection call.

Next. The work that has yet to be done.

Report from Maverick. Part 1

Read here.

Got to meet many parents and players during Maverick to get feedback on the recent developments in Malaysian Chess. From the players perspective it was almost unanimous that the selection for SEA games gave them new energy to continue the fight to improve. One strong player even told me that he had not played the last 7 National Close but chose to return into the fray this year because of the selection. His friends around him nodded in agreement.

The parents had a vast spectrum of views although all too were supportive of selection. One point brought up was the ugliness of the blog war. So I have this to say. There was not a single voice that was against selection in the vast multitude of players and parents present. So who were those couple of people on the blogs that made it seem that it was such a terrible thing till accusations are flung at me for wanting to destroy chess and them attempting to give an illusion of inflated numbers on the blogs?

So again I clarified that there are 2 types of struggle. There are those that are ego based and those are not worth supporting. And then there are those that are issue based. The issue was selection. And so this was a struggle I felt we had to endure if we want progress, ugly as it was.

And so we now have selection and we see a big influx of players back into the system. Many other issues were raised and discussed yesterday so I will break the story into parts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Maverick here we come.

It's amazing to watch our chess revival unveiling before our eyes. Here.

It all started with a small email on NAG 2010 selection, getting a sponsor to support training for Asean 2010, a Malaysian win over Singapore for the first time in 10 years. And then there was that fateful conversation on a train ride that was supported by our top bloggers. And of course a courageous move by MCF against heavy resistance.

And now we have selection for SEA games. Wow!!

Many of our top players will be at Maverick to warm up for the big events of NAG and National Close. Many of the people who helped start this revival will also be there. So will get to meet old and new friends in the flesh again. Emails, sms'es, phone calls, chats and even the amazing facebook can never replace face to face meetings. And who knows what Sunday's conversations will bring forth. :)

I'm leaving for KL tomorrow morning to play bridge and then Maverick on Sunday. So there wont be any new posts till I am back. So I want to wish all of you a good weekend. I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you that have contributed to our chess rennaisance by supporting selection. Thank you all, thank you MCF. Maverick's success is because of all your work.

To be honest, there were a few moments when I wondered if we will see this day.

We need proper governance in our chess community.

We now have the beginnings of selection criteria. Is that enough? I dont think so. We also need proper governance. We cannot allow unjust sackings without charges, without allowing for defence and using authority that is ultra vires; unconstitutional.

We also cannot allow for the slander of good sponsors who have invested for the good of chess.

Then we can all have a brighter future. All these cloak and dagger and stabbing in the back stuff has to be governed. Fixed matches too have to go. Then more sponsors will come. This is the other role of MCF.

Even out the odds.

The odds of getting a GM is not high. If we do not clean up chess, then it becomes much lower. More effort must be placed in learning how to play chess well and more effort should be spent in bringing rogue organisations in line.

Favoritism, sabotage of strong players, fixed matches, slander must be reduced. Then we are evening out the odds for our players. Then they have a better chance against already slim odds.

Maverick Juniors vs Maverick Seniors.

3 Juniors in top 6 of Maverick and there is an additional prize of tea tarik kurang manis from Ilham. That will be a nice tea tarik indeed. Healthy competition and Fide rules. A good clean chess game. I hope we have turned the page from the ugly politics that seem to have embroiled our chess community. Maybe that is a lot to ask but I think it is possible.

More sponsors will come and better prize money and rewards for our players for playing chess. For the time being, tea tarik is good. On the other hand it could be nescafe ice. Who know? All in the spirit of sportsmanship.

See you guys Sunday at DATCC. My best to all the competitors. Juniors, seniors, not quite juniors and way past seniors.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ACBO Final part

It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not.

-- James Gordon, M.D.

Ref: Here.

Patronage. It is not for me to comment on Dato Tan's contributions to chess. I can only see a small part. But I think I can safely look at the here and now and from my personal experience.

I think MCF has made strong strides in the last 2 years and the single most important factor that can change our story of chess woes is an independent and strong MCF.

The cry for written selection criteria was from the perception that there is biasness. And so it finally came. That is good. But my experience in PICA shows that any gain can also be rapidly reversed and all the work can come to nothing. The perception is also that sponsors attempt to influence selection and the policies of MCF.

Is that good or bad? Debatable for some.

But let us look at some recent past examples. A RM2 million sponsorship proposal lead to the unconstitutional sacking of an official. An attempt to bring training for our National Players before International Tournaments lead to slander of the sponsors. A call for written selection brought on the most vicious and venomous attacks on the blogs.

In my mind this is an indication of hidden forces to prevent the entry of new sponsors to chess. Sponsors that want things done the right way.

If there are no new sponsors, MCF has no new options. They will be unable to sustain their independence over time and this can lead to a reversal of policies eventually.

So I suggest, keep the old sponsors and patrons if they still want to stay and contribute but allow the entry of new sponsorship. Then we may see a difference. The achievers will now have better odds. They can fight over the table. Fide rules. And if they do well, they can also achieve, excel. Their progress will no longer be determined by non chess criteria. They now have choices.

That is why I feel MCF has to look into the unconstitutional sacking, the slanderous anonymous blogs. This will allow the entry of new players and allow MCF to remain independent. To order the chess community without fear or favour.

So Najib, not everything has been tried. This hasnt been tried. And until this has been tried, we will not know whether its because of too much food on the table or otherwise that has prevented our first GM from coming.

ps: Question. If that RM2 million sponsorship had been allowed entry, would we be further up the road now towards that first GM? It's been more than a year now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ACBO Part 3

Ref: Here.

So we should be grooming officers and gentlemen. Not GI's. The GM will come from strong character. I find that best exemplified by the National Juniors. All we have to do is to nurture more evolved reasoning and judgement and I believe they will excel and achieve.

I really dont know who will be our first GM but I think he will display some of the nobility of spirit of a Nabil, the generous spirit of a Sumant, the fighting spirit of a Syakir, Zhuo Ren, Li Tian, Eng Chiam, Edward Lee etc. etc.

Of course I am not saying that the seniors dont have any of these qualities. I dont know many of them that well.

But I do know this. A negative culture can destroy them over time. A negative culture can wipe out a whole State full of players. I have seen many young candles snuffed out. This is what I am asking us to be careful of. The evidence is there in abundance. All we have to do is to look.

ACBO Part 2.

Ref: Here.

Our perspective is wrong. Chess is the game of Kings. And Kings are not technicalists. To be GM, you need the perspective of Kings, of generals, and the pieces are merely the soldiers. So you need strong nerves, strong heart, strong fighting spirit. You need to weigh the odds, see possibilities and then have the courage to go for the win.

What you do not need is excuses, whinning and praying that someone will come to rescue you. You do what you can with what you have. You build and then you build again. You do not tear down. That is not the way.

Hard to hear? Hard to face the truth? Yes, it is hard. For to achieve anything in life, you have to beat the odds (ACBO). It's not any different in chess.

Take the bigger picture not katak di bawah tempurung. Take the Kings perspective, the generals perspective and the GM will come.

And it wont come by 17yo Najib. First learn what it takes to become GM, then get the next one earlier. Its not over for IM Mas or Mok. They can still do it if there is a change of perspective. What's the hurry. Maybe that is why we keep stumbling. That expectation is unrealistic.

There is still a lot we dont know and we still have a lot of untapped resources we have not fully utilised because we keep crying for someone to save us. Actually I think we have enough with what we have now if we can stop tearing each other down. Others have made it with much less.

Read the story of the man below who built an empire starting with just threads and needles and then tell me again we dont have enough.

Any Achiever has to beat the odds. Part 1.

Najib has written a thought provoking piece. Here.

Let me give my take on this. The argument presented is the standard one I have been hearing since we started chess. The first thing I want to say is that Anand was probably talking about being World Champion when he talked about being a GM by 15 yo. There is plenty of evidence of GM's later in life.

Let me now talk about the relative merit of chess. As a parent I too am concerned for the well being of my son. But I had a life changing experience post 1997 that made me question some of our basic assumptions. What is the real value of an education today? I was fortunate to have an education in the UK. But this gave me no guarantees in life. In todays business climate you can be retrenched in a blink of an eye.

So I looked back to my mentors. My last surviving mentor is Mr Yan of Syuen. He was perhaps the best thinker I have met in all my life. And he was only educated to Standard 6. But he had loads of graduates who worked under him. I wondered for years how he could see issues so clearly when all the better educated people around him were still muddled. I realised much later when I rediscovered chess that his thinking was akin to the thinking of a GM. He considered without fear. His mind was crystal clear. Consider this. He was a tailor by profession. Yet he became a developer and contractor. One of the largest multinational company in the North at that time. He told me once. Learn to judge people. That is the key. He was the general in the chess game. He was not a technicalist. He just employed them.

Healthy competition in chess can also teach us that.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Looi Xin Hao wins USM

Players warming up for NAG and Malaysia Close. Here.


From MCF's official site. Here.


It is best not to try and lead the celebratory parade if you did not contribute to the victory. You are merely trying to steal someone elses work. Do your own work. Without fear or favour.

Raymond Siew 2011 (The year Malaysia beat Singapore on their own turf and lead by the Juniors)

NAG 2010

For those who have forgotten. It was Puan Adzlin's email on the selection criteria for NAG 2010 from Greg that was published on this blog that started the ball rolling on written criteria. Today FGM wants to acknowledge this contribution from her.

Without fear or favour.

What does that term really mean? To me it means that credit should be given where credit is due. More credit is flattery and less credit is a put down.

Neither accept or covet for more credit than you are justifiably due nor accept less credit than for what you have achieved. That is living without fear or favour.

A special bog for NC2011

A special blog has been created for our National Close. Do add this to your favourite so you can follow the action. Here.

ps: I wont be posting quite so much from now. Trying to get my bridge up. Got a tournament this Saturday. Then Maverick on Sunday. I want to thank all the readers who have been following this blog over the last few weeks. A new blog by Najib is continuing to look at the issues raised. Do go there to participate. Here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

NAG at UTP Tronoh. 12th-14th March.

Was just forwarded email from Greg. Details here.

List of players for Maverick.

This will be our practice match for NAG and National Close. So we will be testing our new weapons to see if it fires blanks or "live bullets". A lot at stake. May lose tea tarik bet to Ilham. Here.

List of players, National Close.

The numbers are rising. It is good to see the players who have not played for the Country before but have been very active in local competitions getting a shot. This is an historic event for Malaysia. All my best to the competitors.


ps: latest announcement is that the list is closing. Those that havent paid up please contact the organisers to do so in the next 24 hours.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Sham, National Instructor, talks on Bangsars preparation. Excellent work on the ground. This is the base of the pyramid. Here.

FGM statement of principle.

In all my years in chess, I have never interfered in selection. FGM has always asked for clear selection criteria and healthy competition. So you will never hear of us asking for the inclusion of any player outside of the selection criteria or the exclusion of any player because we do not like them. That call is always with MCF.

We do not in anyway condone favoritism or use sponsorship as a way to influencing results.

Our stance is very clear. Non intervention in the affairs of properly conducted events. We support healthy competition as a matter of principle.

Sunday morning post selection musings.

Just got back from KL last night. It was good to be away from the computer for 2 days. Najib has come in with some facts and figures. See posting below. I havent had time to read it properly yet but on cursory glance it looks positive.

I also watched American Idol last night and was reminded yet again what all this has been about. It's about commitment. A hunger to strive for what we want. It's about fighting spirit.

It's also more than that. Yesterday I had a few discussions in KL. So let me recap here. It's also about responsibility. FGM is responsible to its partners, responsible for the good name of its supporters and sponsors. So we could not ignore the slander. It was also about saying that FGM will do all in its power to defend them and itself from unjust attacks.

And even more then that. The blog war has shown us the damage that can be inflicted on the players in a highly competitive environment without success for too long. I hope it has raised the underlying issues from our subconcious to our consciousness. We have seen the ugliness rear its head over the last few weeks. It is now much harder to say that it doesnt exist.

The selection is now a reality. That is a tangible result. That is good. But we also need to be much more aware of the psychological damage that can be inflicted on the players over time. If we want them to perform at the highest level, we have to arm them with the right tools, the right support.

I think we also need to look carefully at the rules of engagement. Debate is good, it can also be heatedly argued for this is a passionate sport. But we have to draw the line at slander and deliberate lies. I was told that this has always been around. I know this from my 7 years in chess. But this still doesnt make it right.

Anyway I have done all that I can so its time to move on. Looking forward to Maverick and testing some new ideas for NAG and National Close.

All my best to the competitors in the coming events. Healthy competition. That will be our key to success.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Move order.

I really hope there will be more coverage on chess Salleh. But no point writing about little news. I sincerely believe if we can get some order in our chess community, we will have a lot more to write about rather than write around. Get this done and more newspapers will come. Chess can be a popular sport. Move order.

Ref: Here.

An excellent new initiative.

An excellent initiative by Datcc. I wish the venture every success. Here.

The Chess culture for a GM.

I hope that we are starting to see why the current culture is not condusive to making chess a popular sport in Malaysia and why we do not have a GM yet?

The response to a RM2 million dollar sponsorship with accountability is the arbitrary sacking of the official (in case he got too influential).

The response to a blog that talks about mental strength is attacks against the blog with even our first IM continuosly asking the writer to shut up and promoting blogs that attack him, his supporters and his ideas.

The response to the juniors winning Mal/Sing is an attack on the juniors. We have weak juniors. Even Mark's remarkable run at the National Junior coming from nowhere is followed by calls to victimise him. Even a comment to scrap National Age Group so he is not allowed to shine.

The response to selection for SEA games is an attack on all the blogs that supported the call. And followed by a call for "strong" players to boycott.

The response to good non partisan sponsors is an attack on their reputation.

The response to Datcc doing well under a new management is to ask for free tournaments.

This is the mirror. Let us look at why chess is not a popular sport. Let us look at us.

What culture will bring us that GM and make chess popular?

If you do not think that mental strength has anything to do with chess then Jimmy can prepare his own student and put him into the arena to challenge that assumption. Declare that this student is only technically trained first. Up to the challenge IM Jimmy?

If you are worried that FGM is bringing in sponsors that can support chess, then go out and bring in your own sponsors.

If you are concerned that bloggers will write on fixed matches, then police ourselves and stop fixed matches.

This is supposed to be chess. Why use "gangster" type responses? The rules are clear. Fight it out on the chess board with FIDE rules. If you want to be gangsters then go and join the underworld. And be good at it. Make sure you are the best criminal in Malaysia and go down in our annals as the most hung gangster or something. Worldwide exposure.

But this is chess. Dont mix up the forum.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why is FGM attacked? Final part.

There is a deeper reason why selection was such a controversial topic. Lets go back to the conditions that DKLS set for access to their 2 million sponsorship fund. The conditions were a member of DKLS must be in the disbursement committee and a 5 year plan charting milestones. This actually means that selection criteria must first be in place.

So when FGM wrote on selection and if this came to fruition then part of this condition will already be met, at least on the National level. After that its a question of time before this percolates to the State level. So this must be a huge threat to those who continue to want to hold on to personal power in arbitrary selection.

Why MCF must act against slander?

This will be the final step that MCF must take before many new sponsors will enter chess. This is the big step for MCF. FGM have had a few meetings with the Secretary of MCF on this very topic. I have also had a few discussions with DKLS (who is copied my postings) and my other partners who also have access to many sponsors.

This is our consensus. FGM cannot be running to the police everytime there is slander against one of our sponsors and supporter. We have shown we can bring in sponsors but making police reports is not our job.

Use this analogy. Investors will only invest if there are clear rules of law in any Country. If you want development you will have to allay their concerns.

And so the Courts and the police of the Chess Community is MCF. If there is order then the investors can come in. Their purpose is to invest for development and to ride on the success of their investment. So for them proper selection will ensure that their investment is secured. But they will also not come in and have "gangsters" and anonymous slanderers take pot shot at their reputation.

If MCF can take this final step then many sponsors will come in. We will not have to sit down and complain why there is no new big sponsors in Chess. And very possibly players will not have to pay for representing the Country eventually.

This is of course a big threat to the people who have controlled Chess in Malaysia till now. So the ball is now on MCF's court again. Make this last step and we will have solid success for 2011. We have started well and we must complete the work. We have learnt this from Chess. (Winning is not won. You must continue with courage till the last move and the game is won.)

Now you can understand the forces working against FGM. We will not sponsor till there is order. New sponsors have expressed interest in the International Tournament I was thinking of organising after Mal/Sing. But we have put it all on hold. We cannot risk the reputations of our supporters in this climate. We will only come back in after MCF has taken the final step to protect our sponsors.

This move will protect all future promoters and not only FGM. Then we can have healthy competition and a healthy culture. Not the backstabbing culture of intimidation, threats, lies and slander as the standard modus operandi. Do you want that? More sponsors so we can bring chess to the next level? Get that GM? Then lets get our house in order.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why is FGM attacked? Part 2.

So all was quiet until...I wrote about the selection. Why the sudden venomous attacks again?

Many people have supported the selection for different reasons. Let me tell you mine and why I think it provoked these attacks again.

Let me ask you a question first? How many FM's do you think we have in Malaysia? A very few. I think less than IM's. We have 5 IM's. Does this fact show we may have a flawed system?

In a natural system, we should have many FM's. From the struggle there, we will produce our IM's and from the struggle of the IM's our GM's will be born. The structure should look something like a pyramid.

So how did we get our IM's then? By outside support yes? Hand picked? Is that wrong? Hard to say but it hasnt really worked has it.

So lets say we now have a system where there are proper selections. Everyone fights. FM's and IM's built from fire inside Malaysia. What is the difference? Well for one, you wont need to spend so much money sending them overseas to play. We now have our own internal competitive model. I believe everyone will benefit from this system. Even the IM's we now have if we raise our internal competition. You wont need to raise so much money to get to that GM status. Does that make sense?

So this topic touched a nerve. I think most people will agree with selection if we look deep down inside. But a few may feel a sudden loss of priviledge. I hope this is only a temporary knee jerk reaction.

When the dust settles, the real reason for the attack on FGM will surface again. Read part 3 next.

Correction: I just checked with Greg. We have 6 Fm's and 2 Wfm's. I think the argument still stands.

Andrew has a more complete list. Here. Thanks Andrew. Amazing isnt it. I've asked this question so many times and now the answers are coming.

Why is FGM attacked? Part 1.

That is the 2 million dollar question isnt it? It is a little puzzling so lets just go back in time to see the thread. Lets do this slowly so you can get the picture.

2 Malaysian Open ago, Dato Tan asked me to organise an event with the sponsorship he got from KLK. I then told him that I did not want to organise it under PICA. I believed that there would be better traction in a model similar to Datcc. I had become very disillusioned with PICA by then and wanted to get out.

He then came to Ipoh to try and patch things up between me and PICA. I then invited him to meet my sponsor (DKLS, a public listed company) when he was in town. A meeting was held at the boardroom of DKLS and he was informed of their intention to sponsor.

After getting me and the President of PICA to agree to bury the hatchett and do our best for chess, he left.

Then Dr Yee from PICA, now the treasurer arrived. (After Dato had left). We then convened again upstairs to summarise the discussion. Dr Yee then told DKLS to write PICA a proposal so PICA can consider whether to accept their sponsorship (overturning the agreement we had in the morning). A few days later I was sacked from PICA without any rhyme or reason.

My partners and I in FGM then did the training for our Asean players in a deal which was unprecedented. And MCF "supported" the initiative. We structured something that allowed the parents and one official to fly for free and the players to pay in effect RM700 for training and air ticket instead of RM1,500 for air ticket only.

Note: The model that was used for the Asean initiative is the same model as the one used for Datcc ie we bring in our own sponsors to sponsor our own events. In the case of Asean initiative our supporter and sponsor for the training was Air Asia.

The attacks on FGM became even more intense. So after the Asean initiative FGM announced that we will not sponsor any more events until we see some semblance of order in the chess world. The attacks stopped. Until.... Next.

ps: Before all these I also brought in the sponsors for the Syuen Grand prix. Tenby college and Syuen hotel sponsored generously.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To IM Mas

Dear Mas,

I believe you were part of a conversation yesterday about the controversy surrounding the handphone ringing issue at the Olympiad. Do allow me to clarify again here since I was the writer that started this.

What I wrote was about the parents heartache when they heard the stories of players wanting to sell books, doing business deals as well as the handphone ringing which lead to the loss of a game. The word I used was "thrown" but it was meant in that context if you read the actual posting.

Please also note that I qualified with the words "true or not" as this was the story circulated among the chess circle.

This word "thrown" was manipulated to launch an attack on me (and you as well if you see their true intention). I have read your explanation for the hand phone ringing and did not at anytime think or say that the game was fixed.

The posting was actually a call for more seniors to participate in local events as well as a call for proper selection criteria.

These irresponsible people who manipulated the posting was hoping to derail the message by confusing the issue.

From your comments yesterday, according to my feedback, and your willingness to play at Maverick, I believe you are not taken in by the lies.

However I would still like to apologise to you for the misunderstanding caused by these people and for any unease caused by their words that were meant to divide and to hurt feelings.

I still believe you and IM Mok are the closest to that GM title. Please fight on. Do not allow other people to put you down. I would be the happiest man to wait to congratulate you when you succeed.

I hope to meet you in Maverick so I can say this in person to you. All my best IM Mas.

Cabaran pemain catur.

This article is in Malay. Here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting to know ourselves by GM Grivas

Thanks Hairulov. Here.

Is this possible?

I have seen this many times but mostly with the National Juniors. When Syakir won against Mark in the last National Junior, we sincerely congratulated him. When Zhuo Ren became the National Junior Champion, we celebrated with him. Although fierce competitors on the board they shared of their knowledge when off the board. I think the reasoning is like this. We share so that we all learn together. Iron sharpen iron.

This increases the competition till one of us makes GM. It's still a long climb and there are no secrets at this level. They study each others games and improve together.

Is this a better way than the way a few anonymous bloggers and one known blogger have shown us? Tearing down, sabotage, lies, slander etc.

Which is the better way that will take us further? Which is the culture that we want? They have shown their ugliness. And they want that culture in our chess community. It's all in the open now. We need to choose because we will not accidentally get the better culture. For the ugly culture to take over, all we have to do is close one eye.


Cento with game.


News from the ground over hate campaign online.

I have spoken with several people to give me news on the ground on effects of the hate campaign online. The response is very positive indeed. Many are jubilant about the selection for SEA games. The hate campaign is not working. What a waste of time. If only it was spent on something positive instead. All that wasted time and energy. If that energy had been spent on improving their chess. Imagine that.

ps: Somebody asked me to ask you Jimmy, the Asean initiative model is based on the the Datcc model. Perhaps you can bring the matter up with Dato Tan. Just passing on a message.

New paper with Chess Column by Peter Long.


Garry Kasparov on mistakes in chess.

An important way to check progress.

A fair number of juniors have told me that they find that their game is not as strong as it was when they were younger. The remedy has always been to go back to technical. I dont think that answers the question. With more knowledge, the game should be stronger. I think something else is happening. I think somehow the fighting spirit has been eroded. It is very important to check the mind to see where the blockages are.

The fact is we do not have a healthy culture yet. It is very much still work in progress. Achievements are not fully recognised and ideas and independent thought are not encouraged.

When a player meets another over the board an important arsenal besides technical is self esteem and confidence in their own thinking.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How DENGKI works.

Was chatting with a parent last night. I was asked, "dont they know that they are contradicting themselves at every turn"?

So I explained how a hate campaign works. Something for everyone. So....


This is how it works.

Say that I am trying to get Mark a place in SEA games. The people who have experienced unfair selection in the past will get angry. They remember all the behind the scene maneuvering. It has nothing to do with the fact that clear selection criteria means that everyone will have to fight for the spots.

Say that I attacked Lim Chong. Lim Chong's friend will get angry even though I have only written one comment on his articles. And that was the one pertaining to Asean.

Say that I am attacking our IM's. It doesnt matter that my posting actually said "the stories we heard.. true or not (notice the qualification)...parents heartache.. The ones that are rooting for IM Mas for GM will get angry. Doesnt matter that I said its not over for IM Mas or IM Mok, if they continue to fight even though some other blogger with a title too has said that they will never make it.

Say that I do not play chess. It doesnt matter that my methods have produced a National Junior who comes from Perak when Perak has not produced one in over 10 years.

Say that I cheated the parents, players, sponsors. The ones that want to believe will believe. It has nothing to do with the facts. Breakdown here.

Say that I am a racist. It doesnt matter that I have tried my best to defend anyone, when it was within my authority, irrespective of race, colour, age or creed. I believe I have consistently encouraged, defended people I may not even personally like if they are in the right or doing something for the betterment of chess. I have always tried to look at issues not personalities.

The trick is to get to the dengki in you. Find your button. Find your fear. Find your anger.

Then the truth doesnt matter. They have moved your emotions. That will cloud the facts.

The way to see through this is by reasoning. So they will shout at you, harangue, slander and lie. They are attacking you mind, your ability to reason. They poison you by using your own fears and prejudices against you.

And they do the same on the chess board. They do the same to try and control MCF. They keep talking about past failures to keep you angry. So you cannot see the new strides, new progress, new successes, new management.

They try to maintain their power and influence in this manner. I have said this is not right. MCF have made a stand on selection. Some strong bloggers have also come out to make a stand on selection.

Now you know why a new lie comes out everyday. It can only come from a few people. The ones who are affected. With these methods they have stopped our chess from progressing for many many years.

Note: With every success there is less and less anger and more cause for celebration. With every problem solved there will be more success. Somehow these people cannot stand that. Somehow our success diminishes them. They can even turn a training that FGM managed to secure for our National players into something ugly.

We need to complete the work.

Allow me to go back again to my experience in PICA. Soon after the elections there was a balance between old and new. I argued with the new committee members that our mandate was for change. But they didnt agree. They wanted to make up. And so there was no further push for change. Afterall we have "won".

No my friends, we have only "won" when we have completed the work. Proper selection criteria. Proper rules of conduct etc.

Every community need to have rules. We are no different. In our larger society we have laws so you cannot behave like gangsters and get away with it. You cannot slander and get away with it.

I cannot even recall how many times I have had this discussion. Why have all the ones who can work and contribute left chess? Why dont we have good sponsors?

For me the simple answer is because we have been ruled by cowboys. We shoot you down if you try to say anything for change. We shoot down your sponsors, supporters, if you are not one of us, whatever that is.

We need some order or no genuine sponsors will come into this environment. And order will only come if we stand up and say slander is unacceptable behaviour. Fixed matches and no selection is unacceptable.

But it is frightening isnt it to make a stand. See what happens to those that try? This is what they want. To frighten you. But if we dont make a stand then things wont change. Sponsors will shy away and we will not have success.

I really hope the selection criteria is the first step of many to bring some order. I think we have shown what we can do if we support issues for the benefit of chess. Continue to stand up. Together we can make a difference. Support the right issues. There are only a very small handful of them blocking success.

ps: I can only imagine the struggle that went on inside MCF. But somebody there must have shown courage against this type of tirade. My hat off to you, MCF. Kudos indeed.

Another way out of the venom- Success.

Some parents I have spoken to have expressed surprise at the depth of the venomous behavior. I am not so surprised. I think this is the natural result of many years of failure. Now the attack seems to be on the Secretary of MCF for bringing in the SEA games selection and "destroying" chess.

If we have no success for a protracted period, then the natural way out is to find excuses. It is very hard to blame oneself, to look in the mirror, to stare hard at our competitors, to measure the gap and then to change ourselves.

So we rather make excuses and attack someone else. Make it somebody elses fault. These voices, people have been around us for a long time. But they whisper in the corners, they sabotage in ingenious ways. They have had plenty of practice at failure. But a few are now out in the open. That is a good thing for now we can see them.

So for this venom to stop I think there are 2 ways. One is to keep building on our success and they will slowly disappear and two, for the short term, identify the most venomous and remove them from the scene or they will continuously undermine any move forward.

I believe I have demonstrated that a few is beyond reasoning. So do not be mistaken. They will not change. They will only bury their heads deeper and then strike again when the moment is right. That is their nature. I hope we can remember this.

Judge for yourself. I learnt this the hard way.

IM Mas plays at Maverick.

Well done Najib. Thank you Mas for playing in a local circuit. Hope more players will take part and make this a memorable event. See you guys there. Here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lim Chong memorial chess championship 27th March.


USM Tournament on Feb 20th.

Still deciding if we want to go. Here's the detail.

Lessons from a very bumpy train ride.

On the train ride to Singapore, the parents congregated as they usually do to pass away the time. And as chess parents we talk about chess and how to improve things. A conversation about how the juniors will benefit more if the seniors are playing in local tournaments was picked up by me. After the euphoria of our win in Mal/Sing, I decided to write about it. Then another idea was proposed by someone else, Mamak Gang vs Juniors. And so the idea grew. The idea was given life because we all wanted improvement.

And then a blogger wrote about the selection in Indonesia. And the idea again morphed. Selection for SEA games. And FGM and other bloggers also wrote on it. I dont really know who the real originator of the idea is but I believe our show of support gave MCF the space to implement the selection criteria.

But this progress came at a price. Bloggers were attacked and asked to keep quiet. FGM got its reputation smeared. My partner, supporters, sponsors, my son and myself went through a very bumpy ride. New blogs were created to attack even my personal integrity.

Lets stop for a moment here. If we cannot express our views without being asked to shut up, slandered, harangued etc, then where will new ideas come from?

So who are these people that are so threatened by a simple suggestion for selection? MCF has approved the selection criteria. So there must be support for change there too. The bloggers have come out to support.....

I cannot imagine the parents and players (or at least the vast majority) objecting. Why do these few people want everyone to shut up? And why the venomous attacks? Why twist everything to build a hate campaign?

It is my opinion that without the public support shown things may have gone another way. So I want to thank all who have stood up and stuck their necks out. We need more ideas. Dont let the "gangsters" take over chess. This is supposed to be an intellectual sport. We are supposed to reason things out. And we can if we remove the poison from this well. Or the next time someone else has an idea to improve, this will happen to them too. No good sponsors will come into this type of environment.

So what is the lesson? Nothing will change if we dont stand behind issues.

The Divide

To me the only acceptable way to persuade is by reasoning. If you present your reasoning and I can make sense of it and agree then we are in accord.

I do not think that shouting down, derision, lies, haranguing, slander, emotional blackmail or other forms of pressure are acceptable ways to persuade. That is intimidation.

Todays Contemplation

It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.

-- Mabel Newcomber

Why written selection criteria is such a big thing?

I am not sure if the historical moment is fully appreciated. So let me go back again in time to my days in PICA. When I was in PICA, I was part of the selection committee. When I tried to put in written selection criteria, I met with tremendous resistance despite the verbal agreements.

At first I couldnt understand the reason for this. But as time went on I realised that having no selection criteria is a big source of personal power. I remember a case where a Perak player studying in KL played for Perak in National Close. As the manager of the team I wanted to pay him the incentive the committee agreed. However after achieving the goal set, he was required to go to Perak to meet the President and Vice President to get his RM150.

That is not right to me. He played his heart out and he deserves his incentive without fuss. A few other incidences confirmed my suspicions. Written criteria is a step forward so that our players can play with their dignity and integrity intact.

Selection at the whim and fancy of officials will demotivate players in the long run. I feel this is an important step forward. It may not be perfect as some of you may have objection to details but it is more than we ever had before.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chess from Aeroflot


More Chess from Cento.

Time to move on. Here are more news and chess from Firey Rook.

SEA Games Selection Criteria.

Wonderful news. Well done MCF. I really think this is a great step forward. Here.

Freedom of expression.

I visited Hairulov's site just now to see if there is any announcement for NAG and I was amazed to see comments in the shout boxes asking Andrew of gilachess and Sham of Firey rook not to write on selection. Apparently that is the purview of MCF. I know Salleh of gilocatur also wrote on selection but dont know if he is attacked as well.

What is going on? I have read their postings. They are merely asking for selection. They are not telling MCF what the selection criteria should be. What about sites like chess ninja then? He is talking about the details of selection like he is MCF. Chess ninja is telling MCF what the proper selection criteria should be. But no mention of him. Strange.

Freedom of expression means we can give suggestions without being attacked, harangued, badgered or slandered. When I make suggestions they attack my site with the most inane arguments. They are not here to enquire but to tell me what I should think or say. But I already know where they are coming from. So I tell them to go to the sites that expresses their philosophy.

Their modus operandi is to shout everyone down. You all know that Firey Rook takes out time everyday to give you updates on tournaments around the world with the latest games. He does more for Malaysian Chess in one day than these idiots have done in their lifetime. Andrew gives so much of his time giving you live feeds from tournaments and is one of the oldest and most respected bloggers around. He has helped countless chess players with chess programs. All of these people do it for the love of chess.

Together the readership of gilocatur, gilachess, firey rook and fgm represent the views of the vast majority of chess viewers online and chess parents and players offline.

How dare this handful of people tell us that we cannot bring forward suggestion for selection? Who do they think they are? They can keep their hidden agendas with their lies and slander and belligerence. We do not need them.

Complex vs complicated, The illusion.

Read a discussion between 2 chess players on facebook the other day on complex problems. And today I had 2 discussions on google chat. One with a friend wanting to understand the current issues and another with a fellow chess blogger.

Hmmmmm, maybe I need to explain again. The current war of words on the chess blog started when I supported a suggestion for selection made during the Mal/Sing match.

Now, it is almost impossible for these anonymous bloggers plus Jimmy to attack this directly. So they chose distraction. Lies followed by more lies and slander. And they chose to attack the Asean initiative. And they chose to use belligerence and profanities. Why? Because it repels your mind from the issues.

They use hate and dengki. Why? Because that will make some of you want to believe the lies.

Now this is called complicating the issue.

Yes, the issue is a little complex but really not that difficult. FGM wanted to provide training for the Asean players and they asked for the support of their corporate allies. And it was given. FGM did not mislead its allies nor paint the wrong picture to all the participants to the training. Great pains were undertaken to make sure there were no misconceptions. Details published on this blog plus a meet the parents together with MCF was undertaken. Questions were asked from the floor and 2 members of FGM plus MCF officials were present to explain.

But this was brought up again and distorted by Jimmy and cohorts. And so I have now published a portion of our internal correspondence to Air Asia. My purpose is that it will reduce the complications brought from the psychological attacks against both you and I so that we may focus on proper selection criteria again.

Observe carefully. That is what happens in chess too. They are losing. It's a complex position (in this case they actually have zero argument) and so they try to swindle the win. They attack your mind. You get flustered and then you lose. Complications.

On the internet, they create an illusion of numbers. Very easy to do. Same person not sleeping and going around posting all over the blogs. Poor man. There is just a very small handful of them. So they use a hate campaign in a desperate attempt to swell their numbers. Complications.

They want your mind away from selection. I have said the path to that GM is being able to reason. To see the complexities of argument. If you get distracted by the complications ie the noise in your mind resonated by the noise outside, you have veered off the road, lost the plot.

Selection for Chess Para Athletes in Malaysia


An Indonesian example of selection.

Thank you Salleh for the comprehensive report. Here.

A question of perspective.

From the parents stand point, they get to fly for free and only pay RM700 for their childs ticket with training on top of it. From the additional 5 players perspective they were happy to pay RM300 for 3 days of training by Ziaur. The solution providers got paid and they were happy.

The one that was short changed were the sponsors, they got a bad name for helping out and doing National Service.

Your perspective (Anonymous bloggers plus Jimmy). Raymond got a deal, Raymond may bring in sponsors. He brought in Air Asia and may yet bring in DKLS. So we attack, we lie, we slander. "This is good for chess". The Malay language has a very good word for this. The word is DENGKI. (No direct translation but its a form of jealousy with deep hatred).

And all those who have dengki in their hearts will support you for the illusions will work on them. They want to believe the lies.

So Jimmy, the illusions you are spinning is not working with the rest of us. There are many cases of bloggers being pulled to court for slander. Do you not see the news? Do you really think your illusions will work? The question is rhetorical.

My take on right to self defence ie Natural Justice.

Right at the outset of the slander, my take was that Air Asia needs to be informed. It was not a popular view as the belief was it could be contained. But I see this problem getting bigger and bigger.

It is the simple right to self defence. If someone slandered me I would like to think my friends would inform me. And then it is for me to decide what action I will take.

Jimmy, Chess Ninja, Rationality and Beyond 64 Squares. You may think that twisting the truth, slander and lies are ok from your perspective. Others may not think so.

You cannot badger and try to intimidate others into accepting your views.

Everyone smeared by your hate campaign has the right to know your names. Apart from Jimmy who is known of course. They have a right to choose to defend their names against known attackers.

I still hope that MCF can take a stand before this blows up in our face. I cannot speak for how Air Asia will view this. All I know is that everything FGM has done is above board and transparent.

So now you know my moral dilemna. If you guys are so sure of your position, then you have nothing to fear.

ps: Up to this point only DKLS has been copied my posts since that is purely my call alone and this is cc'd to the Secretary of MCF.

Note: I will not entertain further discussion on this topic in this blog. I have answered your questions as clearly as I can. Thank you.

Problems need to be solved.

There is one lesson that shouts out at us when we play chess. Problems need to be solved. And sometimes it needs courage. A difficult lesson for sure.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FGM's proposal to Air Asia 2010 (With Addendum)

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 8:16 PM
subject Proposal from First GM Chess Academy

Dear Raman

Allow me to introduce First GM chess Academy. I am the National events coordinator in First GM. First GM was formed with the focussed Vision of finding the solutions to finding ,as our name states, Malaysia's first Grand Master in chess.

We also believe that chess training is helpful to preparing our young minds to face a globalised world. Please see here.

We are hoping that Air Asia will provide the sponsorship to enable First GM to conduct a training course that will help prepare our players with training that is comparable to the other Countries taking part. Right now no training is provided by the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF). The substance of our proposal can be found here. xxxxx

Yours sincerely

Adzlin Azhar
First GM
National Events Coordinator.

The above is a truncated email to an officer in Air Asia after we were directed to him by Tony Fernandes. Under normal circumstances this would be private correspondence between FGM and Air Asia. However in light of the accusations levied against FGM, that also threaten to sully Air Asia's name, I have decided to release this.

So let me go back to the beginning again. MCF was charging the parents RM1,500 for the air ticket to Subic Bay. FGM thought we may be able to do something that added value.

Note: Our proposal to Air Asia was for training and asking for support to enable this. We came up with the RM1,000 fee for the players going which would include both training and air ticket as well. The accompanying parents were given free tickets. We also sponsored the flight for a MCF official. On top of that the parents were refunded the difference in exchange rate thus further reducing the cost for most of them to around RM700 instead of RM1,500 for air tickets alone.

Now there were only 8 players going and that meant only RM8K was collected. I have somewhere on this blog the full accounts. I will search for it when I have time. But after paying for the services of Ziaur and other expenses FGM actually made a loss. FGM carried the cost of the flag ceremony as well as all the administration for the event right up to travel to Subic Bay.

We brought in other players simply because we needed sparring partners for the players and partly to reduce our losses. The parents of the few players who came paid RM300 but they were few in numbers and they understood the conditions. They figured RM300 for 3 days training by Ziaur was cheap.

Nobody was cheated. MCF knows this. FGM wants to contain the damage caused by the lies promoted by IM Jimmy Liew and his anonymous bloggers. We are concerned that if the news leak back to Air Asia, future sponsorships will be difficult.

We sincerely hope that MCF will now take action against people that have maligned the good names of the sponsors.

ps: My mistake. Take away Amier Hamzah and Mark Siew, there were only 6 paying players ie RM6,000. Of course I am not even mentioning the fact that the parents who went with FGM as well as an MCF official flew without having to pay for the air ticket. And yet IM Jimmy can lead such an attack on FGM, Air Asia and MCF's good name. Isnt that a disgrace to the title he carries?

The blog war explained.

Yesterday a fellow blogger emailed me to clarify the side note of my posting to the selection committee; if I meant that he should serve in MCF instead of urging MCF to have proper selection criteria for all future tournaments. I have since reworded but I think if he can misunderstand then many can as well. So let me clarify further here.

First let me explain what was/is going on at Chess Ninja's site. He first appeared on my site as a new blogger. In the beginning he was all out against Hamid. We had a long discussion on that. Then he urged me to use my influence on MCF. I told him I didnt have anymore than the next person and asked him to present his own ideas like everyone else. Then he started talking about selection criteria and challenged me to state mine. And of course it all went down hill after that. He just needs to attack something or someone.

So what is the point? The point is us talking about the details of the selection criteria now is a waste of time. We are not MCF and so we must know our role. I have said that we can urge MCF to come up with written criteria. If that happens we will have something we never had before. That is step 1. From there the criteria can only improve. But getting dragged into the details of something that doesnt exist yet is just a diversion. Coffee shop talk. They talk like they are MCF when they are not. So the focus should be on step 1. Get something written first. Then step 2. Improve on it. In that order of move.

There has been a lot of lies written about this site and FGM. They say that I have been deleting comments not in my favour etc. I have deleted comments not to the point, posted anonymously and ones that try to divert the issues. But I do not delete questions that ask for clarification.

The worst lies are about Air Asia and the Asean initiative. A renewed attack occurred after I asked for selection directly after Mal/Sing. A new site was also formed and it was all lead and promoted by Jimmy. Jimmy seems to have found his type of followers with chess ninja, rationality and beyond 64 squares.

The real question is why? Now if you recall, FGM brought in DKLS with RM 2 million dollars for chess. This lead to my expulsion from PICA. FGM brought in Air Asia and this lead to slander and lies posted on the anonymous blogs. And MCF's silence and inaction is deafening.

These are 2 very big sponsors. And the attacks were relentless. So these issues must be resolved. Otherwise how can we bring in anymore sponsors and expose them to this type of ugliness. We need to get our own house in order before we can invite guests in. I am still urging MCF to take the right action to protect anyone who is bringing in sponsors. That is the correct action. They must use their authority to order our house or we will keep going in circles. Lies and slander is not the way. Questions on how to improve is the better way.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Announcement on National Close

But not much detail on selection for SEA games. But it is mentioned. Here.

ps: It would be good if we have some clear indication what the exact criteria is asap. Thank you.

To the Selection Committee of MCF.

History has put you in a place where you are now in a position to charter a new course for Malaysian Chess. This is an awesome burden and one that I hope you will carry with courage. I am sure if you make this decision with your conscience you will make the right one for Malaysia.

Side note: Do leave the selection criteria to MCF. They have been tasked to do the job and they hold the authority and responsibility for this. Some anonymous bloggers are trying to tell MCF how to do their job. That to me is not right.

If you have detailed ideas on selection criteria I suggest that you stand for election or volunteer your services to the selection committee. Perhaps then you may learn of the complexities involved.

I hope we can be supportive as MCF goes through their own learning curve. This is new for MCF too if you remember our history. However this does not take away the burden of accountability from MCF. Thank you.

The people who hide in the light.

Good story Ilham. Here.

The Godfather was one of my all time favourite books. I found it intriguing that they still managed a sense of honour and a sense of family despite the mayhem. In my business life in construction I met many people with very rough exteriors but with hearts of gold. Your story brought back a lot of memories to me.

A major turning point in my understanding took place when I was a Councellor at a HIV Hospice. My work was with the boys who were still outwardly healthy and not with the dying. I am not ashamed to say that death scared me then and I was scared to be too near the dying.

Anyway, living and sleeping with the boys was sometimes frightening too. Many had violent histories and a lot of anger. And my work often left me so exhausted and late into the night that I would sleep in the hostel. It was in this pressure cooker that I had an epiphany. My epiphany was.... these boys internalised their pain. They self destructed with the use of drugs and their other criminal activities were but collateral damage from their need for drugs but not their essential core. Many were very decent and caring, sensitive people away from drugs. But they just didnt have the tools to handle the world.

On the other hand I sometimes meet people who to all intents and purposes look decent but there is something distinctly off about them. Their core is something else.

Lets use the anonymous bloggers, commentators, as a comparison since we have that as a common topic. They lie, twist the truth and slander. But they hide because they feel a sense of shame. Shame is still possible for them and I think its a good thing.

On the other hand there are those who scheme in the light, try to look just but they plan mayhem in a premeditated way. No shame. Have you met them?

Which is more dangerous? Can you tell the difference if you met one? Do you think being able to see through this illusion will help your chess? Can you see even a small link? Think competitors analysis.

Monday, February 7, 2011

SEA Games Selection Criteria please.



And here.

We have our National Close coming up. This is an excellent tournament for the selection process. Let us send a fighting team this time. Let this event also be an historic one for Malaysia. Let us turn the page on our past.

2 Games from Cento


Queens gambit accepted- Lessons from MSSM 2010


Thank you Sham. With this lesson, hopefully this years MSSM will be of a higher standard. A small step at a time.

How do psycho attacks work?

Pscho attacks are powerful simply because there is a basis for the attacks. That basis is your own fear. I call it imagined fears. The idea is to swamp your ability to reason.

It is very hard to build confidence. If your end game is not strong and you are missing chances to win because of that, then you must work on your end game etc.

If you are afraid of titles then you must look closely at their real level of chess, ie competitors analysis, and measure the skill gap.

You need to learn to reduce your fear and build your confidence. Then you can see. For a good example of imagined fears, go to Jimmy's site. They are all grouped there now. Do not be repelled by the ugliness. You must look because that is the way they get to you. If you can see past the psycho attacks you will see their fear.

Yes, it is them who are afraid. Can you see that? See the imagined fears there. They are spiralling, one thought tripping into the next. And they are trying to do the same to you.

I have said that psycho tricks work up to maybe the IM level. The GM comes from deep reasoning, from a deep understanding of chess.

This is what mind coaching is about. See past the fears. Stop your own mind from spiralling. When you can see their fear beneath the belligerence, then you can be less afraid. And your chess will improve. Good luck and all my best.

More on imagined fears. Here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nik Ahmad Farouqi is Kelantan Champ.

Well done Nik. All my best. Here.

Full results here.

Some ideas from Sifu.


You can pull a man out of the gutter...

But you cannot take the gutter out of him. Chess is a very revealing game. The pressure brings out the ugliness inside. The case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Percawi's comittee

An active chess Association based in KL. Congratulations to the new committee members. Here.

Haji Ibrahim retires.

Haji Ibrahim announced that he is retiring as Deputy President of MCF at yesterdays Cerdik Catur in Datcc after 30 years in chess. I want to take this opportunity to wish him well in all his future endeavours. Here.

ps: I just heard that Haji is still very much with us. His resignation has not been accepted yet. Confusing.

Ilhams views on chess.

What do you think? Here.

Moscow Open

Firey is all fired up about this tournament. Click here to see why.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2nd Cerdik Catur

A stonemaster story by CM Fadli. Fadli has created some controversy from his marketing style but to me, he is doing something. Well done Fadli.

And a big congratulations to the CHAMPION Muhd Syazwan Zulkifli.

Full results here.

Kelantan Closed.

I remember a time when the Perak players used to breathe a sigh of relief when the next round opponent was from Kelantan. But I think not anymore. They are really moving from strength to strength. A very inspiring thing to see and a good step forward for Malaysian chess. Read here.

What is really the real situation/issue?

Ref: Here.

We have an MCF that is slowly changing and with possibly even more changes to come if given enough right support. For the first time we have some clear selection criteria etc.

We have new people coming into chess who have made and are making solid and real contribution.

And then we have people who do nothing except attack. They undermine our succeses. They slander and lie. They try to blind you so you cannot see the strides that our chess is making. They put down our win against Singapore after 10 years. They attack all and sundry and then they try to say they are doing it for the good of chess. They have even brought out an IM to further confuse the gullible.

So what could possibly be their motive? What are the real issues? What is the current battle?

Lets us look more closely. We have our National Juniors around the band of about Fide 2000. We have our IM's around 2300 plus. That is about the level of the Singapore Juniors. Look at IM Goh's contribution back to chess in Singapore and look at our IM's contribution.

So it makes sense for us to have more internal competition to raise everyones standard. But when the suggestion was made, all hell broke lose and some people got blind sided in this contention of ideas.

They say misery loves company. I postulate that the hidden motive is that some people who have given up the fight is trying to drag others down with them. So they tell the other IM's, its too late for you. You havent got it. They even try to poison their minds by twisting the truth about an innocent statement about parents heartache.

They put down the juniors and say your rating is abysmal...when I was your age....

The extent even goes to the point of trying to demoralise an entire contingent of Malaysian players because of the need to feel important.

It is hard for them to see success, hard for them to see others fight for they have lost their courage along the way. Their self esteem can now only be got by putting others down. Then they feel better about themselves.

So I say if the courage was lost on the table, go back to the table to reclaim it. But dont put others down because you cant.

Look at the evidence. IM Goh is fighting for GM at age 28. I am sure there are many many others. Dont listen to those lies. Get them to increase their skills so they can help the Juniors to the next level, get them to fight for their place to represent the Country. Let them rediscover the fire they had once upon a time by not allowing for the excuses, by not falling for the cheap tricks.

That is the real situation. We can further empower our change, our initial success, if we dont let them pull us down.

Yes Jimmy, talk is cheap. Let us see you doing something.

The real reason Jimmy and party is attacking FGM?

What is FGM about? I talked about mind coaching. I talked about understanding the self, being able to confront ones fears. Having courage, understanding, being able to see past the illusions, joining the dots.

I said that after 12 or when the players have been given the right tools to learn for themselves, technical begins to recede in importance ie technical trainers become more and more redundant and a coach becomes more important. The fight across the board is between 2 players. It is about their ability to think on the board, strategise, prepare and train, despite their fears.

Technical today can largely be found in books, videos and online programs etc.

All the technical Mark had via a face to face with a "technical coach" was a 2 hour private session with GM Ziaur Rahman and the 3 days training sponsored by Air Asia and FGM for Asean 2010. The rest is about me nurturing his desire to learn, nurturing his curiousity, teaching him to think for himself. In that 2 hour session, what we asked Ziaur for is the roadmap. What to do and what not to do. That was all.

More to that will be learning to defend his mind against psychological onslaught from others, to not let them steal his hopes and dreams for that is his petrol to get to where he wants to go in life. Learning what are useful thoughts in getting to where he wants to go and what thoughts will distract. What thoughts to have on the table and what thoughts not to have. To deal with his subconcious and unconcious fears.

So now you begin to see why my approach threatens some people. But they have no way of refuting my arguments. So they attack my partners, my sponsors, my son, my integrity and my dignity.

"I will only give you rest if you say that technical is king". I say prove it.

I say that by hidding in the dark and then saying I am scared is proof of the contrary. You only hide when you are scared. I say that attacking everything except the challenge I have given you will not distract me. I say rigged polls prove nothing. I say more anonymous sites may only swamp you with a lot of work but also prove nothing.

I say that only by teaching your students to think on the board will you prove something.

You take away their confidence from your own insecurities and fears and then you ask them to fight in the light of day. But they wont be able to do that. Why? Because they have become like you.

So stop hiding behind your title Jimmy and stop your support of venomous anonymous blogs. Be proud of your name, be proud of who you are. Own your words and thoughts. Dont hide behind anonymous bloggers and voices to say what you really want to say. They are but shadows. Forget the cheap tricks.

Todays Contemplation

Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.

-- Earl Nightingale (1921-1989)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Interview with IM Goh by Irene Kharisma

An IM still trying for GM at age 28. Also please note that he plays at his National Championship. That is equivalent to our National Close. Excellent sporting spirit.

Read here.

3 more games from Gibraltar.


A Chinese New Year Story of a foolish father.

Once upon a time in the Silver State, a young 12 year boy suddenly won the U12 State Chess Championship. He wasnt supposed to win but he didnt know that. From that day he made a lot of enemies in the State. This was the year 2005.

Information was kept away from him so he didnt know there were other competitions outside the State and all was done to knock him out in the State. Year after year. But he held on as a State player for 5 consecutive years and finally emerged as U18 Champion again in the State. This was the year 2009.

In 2009 a lot of things happened. He found out about the tournaments outside the State and was encouraged to play by a "new" official from the National Chess Federation. He also met a National Junior who was kind enough to go to his house and share from his resources and knowledge.

When he first went outside the State to play, his father was told by Chess Authorities in the State that it was useless to go outside. They are different, they say. Your son cannot win. But the foolish father still brought his son to play outside the Silver State. The results were bad at first. But the father remained foolish.

In 2010 this boy came in 4th at the National Age group and some said that it was fluke. Weak field etc. etc. That was in June of 2010.

In December of that year he almost became the National Junior Champion but still some people say he is a weak player. He came in 2nd. But his foolish father still believed in his son. And now this foolish father says to his son, set your eyes to Asean 2011. Do your best. There is no shame if you try your best.

What a foolish father this boy has. We better get rid of him. He is tearing chess in Malaysia down because the foolish father does not play chess and making us look bad.

ps: There has not been a National Junior from this Silver State in over 10 years. From the many peers and betters that started with this boy in the Silver State, none, NOT ONE, have lasted the race. And the father dared to ask why? Another foolishness. Video on foolishness. Here.

Maverick explained.

The next tournament at Datcc on the 27th Feb. We are also planning to go. Good event. See you there Salleh. Here.

Gibraltar Masters. (with addendum)

I am very grateful for the contribution by Firey Rook as he keeps us aprised of what is happening in the larger world of chess. He also puts up games for us to keep abreast of current develeopments. Thank you Sham. Here.

Another writer of note is Ilham. He has done some research which I think will help us put things in perspective. I request that he continues this research to see if there has been a recent GM in the over 20yo category. Anands quote seems to be a little too sweeping. Further investigation may show that the quote is not valid or said under a different context.

ps: I have added Susan Polgars site on my blog list. Perhaps we can have a look there and see if there is anyone making GM after 14yo. I wonder why this story persists in Malaysia and why we only focus on the U12? See here for a clue.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gibraltar Masters

Ruy Lopez, Berlin wall. The game Syakir used to win the final round against Mark Siew in the National Junior. Here.

ps: oops..was just informed by Mark that this is the exchange variation and not the Berlin wall.

An amazing video by Steve Jobs and promoted by Jimmy.

I found this video very inspiring and I hope this means that Jimmy has turned a corner. Note the end. It's about foolishness.

See for yourself. Amazing. Here.

Why do you attack Siew Fai and CM Fadli?

You attack FGM, then you attack MCF. Now you attack Siew Fai and CM Fadli. Dont you have anything better to do? Why dont you use your energy to do something useful? Do you think we are all so dumb that we cannot judge and evaluate for ourselves?

Leave them be. Focus on yourself and what you can do to help. Try the CNY Resolution.

ps: Jimmy, if I may make a suggestion. Why dont you add your name to Mok, Mas and Nicholas? I think you will feel better about yourself if you do. I say this sincerely.

Juniors vs Seniors Cancelled

After further discussion with Greg, we feel that focussing on NAG and National Close will be more productive for Malaysian Chess. I think that Datcc's initiative to get IM Mok and Mas as well as FM Nicholas Chan to play in their tournaments is the right step forward. Lets keep this up for Malaysian Chess. Good luck Najib in taking this off the runway. If each of us do our part, do what we can, our future will surely be brighter.

It takes two hands to clap (with addendum).

After reading Jimmy's analysis of what he thinks is the real situation, I cant help but wonder if he hopes that by throwing more mud at MCF he is helping to change our situation? By throwing more mud he can divert attention from his own role in the situation. Read here.

Without doubt we wish for more from MCF. A strong mission statement and the will to stand behind it. More credibility with the Malaysian Chess public so that when they issue a statement we will believe it. It is this lack of credibility that has lead to this ugly war on words on the blog. Think on it.

The Asean initiative was sanctioned by MCF and so they were in the best position to clarify. But they didnt. They chose to remain silent. My unconstitutional and unjust sacking from PICA.... apart from a letter to PICA this matter has been left hanging for over a year and RM 2 million of sponsorship is left just hanging. DKLS has been copied my post and they too are waiting to see if change can come in time. I have been given a dateline of end of May to revert with the situation resolved and MCF has been notified. So this is urgent.

MCF was also slandered by Rationality's posting and yet they seem to think that it is FGM's work to make the police report. That is the reason why we have not done so. We sponsored Asean and this was sanctioned by MCF. We believe that it is MCF's duty to protect the good name of the sponsors, to protect officials that try to do the right thing. They cannot wash their hands as the highest Authority in Malaysian Chess or this will lead to future sponsors shying away and future officials that will not stand up against injustices in the Associations.

But on the other hand, we must also learn to see the progress that has been made. We need to be fair in our evaluation. Acknowledge the things that are going right and make a stand on things that are not.

Jimmy was and is promoting sites that slander. That is wrong. These sites work on the principle that if we throw enough mud some of it will stick and the truth can be hidden. He thinks by the formation and promotion of more and more sites that tell lies he can silence FGM and intimidate those in MCF that want change.

But he is clever, he doesnt say it himself. He manipulates others. He incites. He promotes. He hides in the light behind a "host" of anonymous bloggers and voices. But of course what he promotes outside of his own blog is what he really thinks, who he really is.

So I will stick to my own evaluation. There is no need for all that garbage comments on my site. Like you said Jimmy, you have many sites that vent your rabid bitterness. Say it there. And I will say my piece here, on my own site.

Jimmy, you are only empowering the sickness in our chess by closing your eyes to all the good that is happening. And all you do is attack. I have asked you many times before, give suggestions to improve. Do something to help us improve. You are part of the problem. It takes 2 hands to clap.

Look deeply inside yourself Jimmy and try to change. Try the CNY resolution.

Note: Air Asia did their National Service by providing the aircraft to bring our people home from Egypt. Air Asia did their National Service by helping FGM provide training for our players. Now if Jimmy and his gang had anything to say about the aircraft going to Jeddah, what do you think will be their spin on it? (Go to his site and see for yourself.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CNY Resolution

Earlier it was Yeap Eng Chiam who was the wonder kid. Eng Chiam our next GM! Today it is Li Tian, our wonder kid. And then we build a hype around them till they are past 12.... then we look for another U12...if we remain consistent to our history.


"Today I will say that I will struggle with the names of all those I have used in the past to build chess. I will struggle with them by increasing my skills so that I can continue to help them grow after 12 and not look for the easy way out. I will not build roadblocks to getting proper sponsorships to help them grow from strength to strength.

Today I realise that together with technical we also need a winning mindset. Today I will acknowledge the evidence that I know deep down inside me to be true.

Today I will also acknowledge that it is not over for any of our seniors who choose to continue to fight. It is not over till the fat lady sings or I am 6 feet under.

Today I pledge my support to all who will fight to achieve the highest accolade in chess for they have expressed courage on the board. I will express my courage by not tearing down others from my own pettiness but by giving support and suggestions for improvement."

We started 1.1.2011 well. We can make this pledge on every festival from now so we remember, Malaysia Boleh.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Remembering 1st Jan 2011

On that day Malaysian Chess beat Singapore for the first time in 10 years and it was powered by our Juniors.

Read here. (Serious in Singapore)

Happy CNY

Happy Chinese New Year. Have a happy holiday all.

The Filter

Ref: Here.

I went back to working as an Optician a few years back for a brief period. I remember on my first day the branch manager tried to change my prescription because the company did not have the one I prescribed in stock. I resisted that attempt. Then later I was told to prescribe glasses for everyone whether they required spectacles or not. Again I resisted that attempt. But I soon realised that I was the only Optician in the company that stood firm in the believe that the patients welfare was my professional responsibility.

That is why I am a qualified professional and that was why the Optical Act was enacted. To protect the eyesight of the population. And the first time I allow my professional integrity to be compromised, then I have failed the public.

Ilham, I went through the accusations with you before I introduced you to the parent. I did not brief the parent before the introduction and I purposely was not present when the parent spoke to you. My point is that we have a responsibility as a blogger to tell the truth. That is of course just my opinion. So you had an opportunity to find out the truth.

I do not want to put words in your mouth. But perhaps you are not your own Captain afterall. You have allowed yourself to be tricked by the people who promote lies and slander. And you have become their instrument, unwittingly.

Ilham, dont you think you should have filtered the truth from the lies as a blogger? Dont do this for me. Do this for yourself and for the game you say you love. It is hard to build but easy to destroy.

All my best to you Ilham and have a good holiday.

Survivor vs Apprentice.

A penny dropped when I was talking to potential sponsors the night before Renegade. This phenomena is happening in other sports too. From what has been written in the shout boxes, paranoid comments in this blog about me getting too influential and my sudden sacking from PICA, it seems the person who can bring in sponsors have a lot of clout. Funny how it didnt occur to me before. I suppose its the difference between Corporate and NGO think. I saw that Chess needed sponsorship and I went out to get it.

Survivor. The game where you knock out everyone else. Was watching it Sunday night. Hmmm, but there is a logic to it. Knock out everyone and get the one million dollars prize money. But what is happening in Chess regarding sponsorship? Knock out the ones who can bring in sponsors and no one gets anything. Why? Because the ones who try to knock out the other cannot get any sponsors.

Just fear of the truth and thinking about the truth. So they spread the hate and the bitterness in the guise of something else. They do this because of their own inadequacies and nothing else. There is no noble reason. Dare to look deeply and you will see.

Apprentice. The game where you cooperate to reach an objective. This is already difficult enough as we can see from the series. But there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

You will see what you want to see. So there are those who will slander, distort etc. And we will make excuses for them because of who we are. But it is curious isnt it? Because directly after hiding from the truth, we sit down and cry....WHY NO SPONSORS?


Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

-- Buddha