What did we do right?
On our arrival at Subic Bay, we were told that the Malaysian contingent had been transferred to another hotel away from the playing venue. However our Head of Contingent, Mr Yeap was having none of this. Just like Adzlin did for Asean last year, he told the contingent to put down their bags while he arm wrestled with the Hotel management. The entire contingent got to stay at the playing venue. A seemingly small victory but I think a significant one. I believe this contributed to our little ones who got placings.
Another thing we did right and a first as far as I know, is that the Head of contingent was present for every game and stood in the hall for the entire duration while our players fought their hearts out. He needs to be there in case any of our players got into trouble and need a witness who can intervene on their behalf.
So kudos to MCF for bringing a Head of delegation who was responsible and accountable to the players and sponsors. Mr Yeap has set a new benchmark for MCF officials.
Competitors analysis- The gap.
I focused more on the U14 to U18. I want to know why we dont do well after U12. Using the competitors analysis model we further developed during the SEA games selection, I proceeded to continue to measure the gap to try to get insights into ways to narrow it.
Here are some observations and analysis from the postmortem of mainly Mark's experience.
One thing that stood out more than anything else to me was the ability of the Indians to maximise their use of time to find deep strategies and their almost perfect execution of technique when the correct winning strategy is found. This is expressed by the way they manage their time. In one game with Jianwen, his opponent was on his 30 sec increment from move 18. This speaks of clear, sophisticated understanding and complex thinking as well as excellent impulse control.
This also speaks of well developed competitors analysis and models of engagement in different scenarios. To me this is very suggestive of the training modules we will need to have in order to move up the pecking order.
Another observation which I am currently attempting to address with our Thematics is familiarity with our openings. Mark played King Indians Defence for one game and it is clear to me that his understanding and practice of that opening is not deep enough for an International field.
As usual I shared with parents present as well as some of the players there. I was told by the parent of one of our protege's that our IM's do have a version of competitors analysis but this knowledge is not transmitted down. So we have lost a lot of knowledge expensively and painfully gained from our chess history. It is sad that we are now only beginning to put together a model from our current experience.
I am gratified that Sumant contacted me the moment I arrived back yesterday and asked for support for Asian Junior. So maybe we have something. Not as sophisticated as the Indians perhaps but I think it is better than sitting down whining and trying to shift the blame to MCF or other convenient targets.
Blame can only be apportioned to those who have and do not give. You cannot blame someone and ask them to give something they do not have. Clear enough?
Why do I say that? Look here. This pisses me off. Instead of passing down his experience, he tries to shift the blame again. It's OK Jimmy, you dont have to do anything constructive, we can find our own way. But dont try to shift the blame. That is unacceptable. If you cannot contribute, at least have the grace to shut up and stop putting down the juniors. You know very well that MCF do not have that expertise. So there is no need to rub salt into their wounds or to attack others who are trying to do something.
I am confident that by next year more juniors will qualify for the Olympiads. If you dont believe me, try out for that selection Jimmy. We are learning fast.
U12 shows we have the talent. U14 to U18 shows we do not have the training. You are not born with those skills that the Indians displayed. That needs to be correctly trained.