Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SEA games selection

Covered here.

We are rooting for Sumant. I hope his training with us will take him to the top 4. All my best Sumant. Stay focussed, stay strong.

Selangor Open & Asian Youth

It's a good thing that the Selangor Open is about 2 weeks from Asian Youth. This gives us a chance to practice and test our lines before going to Subic Bay. It will be our first Asian Youth and so we dont really know what to expect. But we will go as well prepared as we can be.

See you Thursday evening.

FGM Thematic Tournament covered CHZ.in


Asian Cities in Jakarta

Covered here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bridge, the mental game of partnership.


Today's Contemplation.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

-- Voltaire (1694-1778)

Report from FGM Thematic

Although this was a different type of event from the normal tournaments, we sucessfully launched it. Jax was the only participant that has played a thematic before. At the start of the tournament I gave a short talk on competitor analysis and its relationship to Thematics. I could see that the ideas presented were quite new to the participants.

There are tournaments for selection, prize money and rating but a tournament purely to learn was novel. So through out the 2 days I kept hearing about who won and who lost to "weaker" opponents. Parents were calling up, visiting to see if their child was winning. So I made sure I spent time to explain that in FGM Thematics I am not interested in winning or losing. Apart from the Champion, I just want to know what the players have learned. So I want them to take risks, play new lines, play into the opponents lines to see how strong they really are etc.etc.

At the end of the 2 days I asked for feedback. Everyone had a good time and the feedback was positive. I closed with a repeat of the first morning talk but now using examples from the Thematic itself. And I finally saw the light of understanding in the eyes of the participants.

And there is a unanimous request for Dragon next.

Anyway its back to talking to the sponsors again to see what is the next step forward. Will keep you guys informed.

Coverage here and here and here.

PS: International Coverage here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Registration for FGM Thematic.

I am leaving for KL today so please sms or call me or Jax to register. My number is 0165117308 and Jax's is 0133232280.

Registration is still open. You can follow the event at our dedicated site. The first board games will be posted there. Here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sumant continues training for SEA games selection.

Sumant is back in training with FGM. Healthy competition; I believe that is the key to bringing up Malaysian Chess.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More information on FGM Thematic.

The starting out position for the Ruy Lopez is set up so that you will not be able to avoid the main lines. The reason is that we believe most learning can be derived there.

There have been a few other questions about the tournament so let me answer some of them here. This event is not national rated and there are no placings apart from the Champion simply because we do not want that to be a roadblock to experimentation and learning. Nobody will know how you did in the Tournament apart from the Champion so you are free to try out new ideas.

As I have said before you need to play some tournaments just to learn new things so that you can win in the tournaments that count. And there is a lot of learning from the Ruy Lopez. Look at it this way. You get to play 10 rounds of one opening in a strong field.

At the end of that 10 rounds you have stress tested that opening. This is also good for players who are normally play d4. Use this to test your open game strength. This is important for your overall development.

I have also shared my competitor analysis with Jax Tham and Sumant. Both have said they have learned something from it. I will also share this at the Thematic.

All my best in your chess development.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thematic Tournament

This is the starting position for the Ruy Lopez Thematic. Here.

Thank you Andrew.

FGM response to NM Lim Zhuo Ren

Ref: Here.

Dear Zhuo Ren

I have just returned from KL this evening and as you know I have been there since Saturday morning. So I am rather surprised to hear that I have deleted your comments on my blog. I only heard about your email this morning and called you to find out what the issues were. You first denied writing anything and when pressed you said you posted your email on my blog. I checked later in the morning but there is nothing there. In fact I only found your email on Jimmy's site. So its rather puzzling to me that you do not even know where you posted your comments.

But assuming it was a cyber glitch and your emails on my blog did get deleted by a ghost; I wonder why you didnt just call me to say you have changed your mind? There was no compulsion for you to fill in the enrolment form to join FGM.

You told me that you are not attacking me this morning but dont you think that email on Jimmy's site is an attack? So let me clarify a few things here. First of all it was you who called me to ask if you can join with Sumant who was coming to my house for training.

And your enrolment with FGM has no bearing to us taking away any credit from Mok or your parents. My post was merely a statement of enrolment and the training at my home. Are you now saying that you did not fill in the form and/or you did not attend the training? Or you are not proud to be a member of FGM? Then why sign up? Why is this subject even brought up?

You joined FGM after hearing about my intended program to support national players in FGM with air tickets to tournaments and also my intention to try to arrange scholarships for those FGM players who do our Country proud by winning medals among other initiatives being planned.

FGM's sponsors are with us without knowing who you are and have been with us well before you attended my training as my guest (on your request) and well before you enrolled. So how are you helping Malaysian Chess to get sponsors again?

It is FGM that is giving support to players from our business contacts and not the other way round. Are you really that conceited to think that your title carries that much weight in the corporate arena?

In fact I told you FGM evaluates on 4 criteria. Talent, Technical Ability, Attitude and Mental Strength. So your title means little to us. Even IM's mean little to us if they do not pass the 4 criteria.

I am still not totally convinced that you have returned our goodwill with this ungracious attack. But if you did then you are not the material we are looking for. FGM will not sponsor a player to get negative feedback from the training or tournament they went to. Attitude. And without good attitude you cannot develop mental strength. We have spoken on this at length.

I think you have been mislead and ill used. Think on it. I hope those who have influenced you can now provide you with the support that you will need to progress. If not they will have damaged you from this action. Learn to see clearly who these "friends" really are.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dedicated site for FGM Thematics

The link to follow the event live. Here.

Air Asia has also come in as a sponsor. Do follow the event if you cannot be there in person.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NM Lim Zhuo Ren and Sumant Subramaniam enrols with FGM

NM Lim Zhuo Ren and Sumant Subramaniam enrols with FGM and is currently under training for SEA games selection.

Why Thematic Tournaments?

Both GM Ziaur Rahman and GM Wen Yang told me that you cannot be a strong player if you avoid mainline theories. There is a lot of knowledge about the game of chess itself if you play mainline. More than that it's also about learning first in order to win later. And that means playing for the love of the game, learning, and not just for prize money or placing in all tournaments.

FGM's Ruy Lopez tournament is structured just for that. That is why the prize money and trophy is only given to the Champion. That is his reward for taking out his kung fu and playing his best Ruy Lopez so that the rest of the participants can benefit from his learning.

You are encouraged to experiment and learn in our Thematics. So read up, try out new ideas and with this new learning you will have a better chance of winning in more important tournaments. That is the way to grow. At the tournament I will also be talking about competitor analysis and strategy.

Both Sumant and NM Lim Zhuo Ren are now training in my house and developing a deeper understanding in this.

So see you at our Thematic Tournament where I will also share this knowledge with you.

All my best in your chess development.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011



FGM Thematic Tournament.

The dates are the same. We have moved the venue to Taylors University thanks to their kind sponsorship. Please note its on the 23rd and 24th of this month. More details will follow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We all have to start with ourselves. It is time to walk the talk. Take the journey of making very difficult decisions. Start removing things from your life that are not filling your cup and adding things that bring joy in to your life.

-- Lisa Hammond

Monday, April 4, 2011

A conversation.

I hear you. You want to be GM. And you want to be GM the easy way. You dont want to work hard, you dont want to commit to tough training and deep introspection. You want things to stay the same but you want that GM norm. You dont want change.

What can I say? If I tell you that its possible the way you want it, it'd be a lie.

European Individual with games


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Definition of cowardice.

"When his duty is to face danger and he flees, it is cowardice."

Mahatma Gandhi

Today's Contemplation

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life...Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

-- Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple Computers

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pictures of Fide event at Excel


Register for Selangor Open


Apples and oranges

I always shudder a little inside when I see some articles saying that it needs talent to become a GM. I'm not saying that you dont but the articles are generally not convincing. The analysis is reduced to very simple mathematics which seem to deny the complexities involved.

I come from the school of thought where almost anyone can become GM if you have "average" intelligence. It is well known in neurology that we are all only using a very tiny portion of our brain and it is often asked what would happen if we are to, if we can, increase that capacity by even a few percent.

Besides, what is intelligence? There are so many kinds.

Look at it this way. The very beginning of competitor analysis is to examine where our strengths and weaknesses (latent talents first) are. Not the opponents but ourself. For everything is relative and it is the understanding of the measure that gives us insights to the correct weapon, training, to use. I have given previous examples but here it is again. What do you play when you assess that your opponent is better in open positions than you are and that is your strength too? What lines do you choose if he has better knowledge in end games than you have? What do you do if he is a stronger calculator, intuitive player, than you are?

And so the correct evaluation of our personality and playing profiles need to be established at the onset.

There also seem to be some confusion between training and talent. A trained player versus a talented player. The question here is if the trainer cannot see the difference between apples and oranges, is there a danger of incorrect evaluation?

I believe if more is not understood by the trainer the false conclusion of you do not have the talent to be GM, will be often used to describe the failures. But isnt the failure more in the skill and knowledge of the trainer than the player in this instance?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Musings on "technical" viewpoints.

I try to compare this view with my perception of what it takes to make those 3 GM norms. Here.

From what I can see of IM Goh's battle to get that one GM norm, here, I feel that the author has missed the point. Can that GM norm be measured purely from a mathematical angle? Or is it one where strength of character counts more; the intangibles count more? Now Goh just has to repeat that feat 2 more times. Read his description closely.

An interesting debate indeed. Why dont we observe more closely at the next tournament and decide for ourselves?

Oh yes, a few more questions. Is this type of fortitude something one is born with or does it need to be nurtured and developed over many many tough tournaments. Also can the reverse happen? Can the fighting spirit get eroded? If so how would it happen?


Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one.

-- Thomas Carlyle