Friday, February 11, 2011

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.

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