How can we grow as a chess community? I think the answer is to help them succeed after U12. We need to see progress in U14, U16, U18 and U20. I agree we have problems with the older Juniors now. But this is where the associations, trainers and coaches can learn. Learn how to undo past mistakes so we dont do them again.
Look carefully. This is what happens when we send them out year after year unprepared. This is what happens when we tell them over and over again that they are not as good as our previous FM's, IM's. In Asian Youth a Junior player estimated that our IM's of yesteryear is probably playing at around 2200 in todays world. Does that estimation ring true? How can this evaluation be tested? There are huge implications if that assumption is correct.
When we set our eyes on doing well overseas, then that glass ceiling that is set in Malaysia will be broken. I asked Mark, "who is the player you most admire in Asian Youth"? Measure his strengths. Try to catch up with him or at least narrow the gap. If this can be done, you will be able to overtake the current level in Malaysia eventually. This goes the same for any of our players.
I told the players during the SEA games training in my home that you must be as well prepared as you can be for a major Tournament. That is the only way to maximise your learning. Go unprepared and you wont know if you lost because you didnt do your homework or because there is a real knowledge gap.
If we give up on the older Juniors now and keep going back to only the U12's we will never learn, we will never grow. The initiative to give training to the Juniors have been sabotaged by certain people. No more training sponsored by Air Asia. No more sponsored flights for parents and officials. And they are also now trying to sabotage the Thematics. I am sure that is because they are planning to offer something much better. Lets wait and see what their solution is. The clock is ticking.
We can only move to another level if we can identify what is blocking our progress and remove it one by one. I cannot see another way out of this trap. Have we learnt anything from the last 30 years? Where are our future FM's, IM's and that GM going to come from if we keep heading down this road and starting with the U12's again and again. We have been blessed with the raw material, the talent. Now how do we move forward?
Note: I see only Nabila surging forward now for Malaysian Chess. Well done girl. That is an example to follow.