Saturday, July 30, 2011


When you go to a chess tournament, what do you experience? In the main there is a lot of bonhomie, back slapping, tea tarik sessions and dialogues. Everything that is discussed on the blogs are talked about in groups there.

In real life the malevolence we see on the blogs are not visible. Najib did raise a concern and a valid one in my opinion. If someone were to visit the blogs would what they see be a true representation of who we are?

I have been getting some feedback from friends who are following the debate. We strongly suspect that it is a very few people who are writing again and again. Congratulating themselves, talking to themselves, issuing threats etc. There are a few of them, no doubt about that, but they are not many.

When I asked for feedback about who is asking people not to support FGM, I was consoled that it was not the officials in MCF. This is important. MCF should not be partial. They need to weigh the issues and give a ruling. And they are guided by the constitution.

So who are these MCF wannabe's? And why dont we feel their presence in tournaments? Why do they need to try and inflate their numbers under a myriad pseudonyms and anonymous comments. What is their objective and what are their motives?

They do not represent the majority. That is obvious. But they have had small successes in influencing a few more people. I think the blogs should represent who we are. I think it's a problem that a few can affect the culture on the blogs simply because they appear everywhere and are belligerent.

Think on this. If they have the numbers and the influence they claim to have, we would feel their presence in real life. The environment will reflect their true numbers. And they will not need to hide. The space they have on the blogs are a distortion. And in my opinion, a distortion that needs to be corrected.


You may have noticed that I keep bringing up Mal/Sing. Does that mean that I don't like Singapore? Rubbing salt into their wounds? Actually no, I have good friends there. They understand that I say this in good spirit. It is to remind us of our achievement internationally. For those are rare in Malaysian chess.

In an International tournament the Malaysian players will band together to help one another. They need to do this or be outclassed. I have seen this with the Juniors. In Asean and Asian Youth (I hear it's not the same with the senior squad). But the end result is usually quite predictable.

Let us look at FGM's vision again. Here.

I stated this when we formed FGM and I have not moved from this. It is not an empty slogan. That culture is the culture that will take us global.

I wish I could package the spirit on that train ride back from Singapore and let you experience it. It was a powerful moment. The parents and the players forgot all the divides on that train. We were all one. And we celebrated that success.

So we need victory to rekindle that spirit. Or was it that spirit that gave us the victory? Or both.

Friday, July 29, 2011

If you want to beat Singapore......

Tell them to play chess. :)

On Jan 1, 2011 the Malaysian Tigers took the Singaporean Lions in chess for the first time in 10 years. And we can do it again on our home ground at the next outing if we remember this.

If your sunshine wants far outstrip your cold morning desire, have a talk with yourself. Then have a lot more talks with yourself. Convince number one that you can succeed--and you will succeed. If you don't believe in you, why should anyone else?

-- Tom Hopkins

The trouble FGM caused.

Let us count the ways.

1. FGM conducted a training program for our Juniors going to Asean in 2010. This is arguably the first sponsored and heavily subsidised training for the Juniors before an International Tournament.

2. FGM and its allied blogs made a call requesting MCF to have written selection criteria. The call was based on hearsay that our players did not perform well at the Olympiads. Stories of them not wanting to play but wanting to make business contacts, sell books and of course the now famous case of a game lost because of a handphone ringing. FGM's argument was that if there were any basis to this hearsay and also assuming that MCF has the inside track then we are justified in asking to open up the selection to hungrier players that want a shot. This call succeeded. No more handpicked players.

3. FGM compounded its trouble making by training another Junior who qualified for the SEA games selection. This Junior made it into the Senior squad and will now represent Malaysia.

4. FGM organised Thematic tournaments which is designed to help our stronger players. The Thematics work around the concepts of competitor analysis which FGM argue needs to be the basis and cornerstone of a good training program. And this again was sponsored by new corporate players in chess.

5. FGM sponsored the coverage of the Asian Youth.

Each activity of FGM was followed by virulent attacks on the blogs. Supporters of FGM were warned not to support.

Note: The feedback I have received is that these people are not in MCF.

So what is the method? These people are aware that corporate sponsors get into the game to enhance their reputation and not have their company drawn into controversy. And so a new lie is born everyday. Why would they want to do that? We are crying out for sponsors. The burden the parents have been carrying to develop our National players have been begging for some relief.

What could be the motive? I got my first clue the day Mark was Champion in MSSPK for the U12. Suddenly he made so many enemies. Every year there were new impediments, new traps to knock him out. But he surmounted each hurdle. And now he is National number 2 for U18 and U20.

I am now convinced that there are forces that back certain players to win. And if you are not under that umbrella then watch out. Within this context the attacks start to make sense.

Yes, Chin Seng, it is now quite transparent. It took me a long time to see. But now that I do, I also see I have no choice but to find my own umbrella. But not to worry too much. All I want is a fair shot. Lets just meet at the table and play chess. Lets keep the competition healthy and with fair rules.

In all our years of competition, we have never broken the rules. Many of you know Mark. I think you would be hard pressed to find a boy or girl who conducts himself/herself with more decorum.

And so they need to bring out that one incident in Singapore, where I had a public disagreement with Peter. But I feel that was justified. We finally won against Singapore. And they are trying to use this incident to "ban" Mark.

Actually nothing official out yet. Just no replies to many emails. So I too am curious how this drama will play out. But again my point is this. What does my tete-a-tete with Peter have to do with Mark??

So really, where is the real problem and who are the real trouble makers? Why are they so afraid of healthy competition? This is chess. It is about competition! Sure, back you own horse. No problems there but surely sabotaging and undermining with lies and slander is not in the spirit of the game.

They say that I am causing trouble. Maybe. But the real question is trouble for whom? But trying to use the Peter incident is really scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dear Chin Seng

Yes, I agree it is getting more transparent. In the jungle you need an umbrella. Otherwise it's hard to survive. I remember a time when many parents were up in arms over Li Tian's sponsorship by Dato Tan. Many were saying it was unfair. At that time I defended Li Tian's right to private sponsorship.

That is just the way things are at the moment. Each parent tries to get the sponsorship they can get. And if you work harder and smarter or have more contacts then you get more sponsorship. And it is also up to the sponsors who they want to sponsor. That is their right too.

Perhaps there were grounds for objection in the way it was presented but in the main I saw nothing wrong.

But I think we always had an unspoken understanding among the parents of National Juniors. Whatever it is we let the boys/girls fight it out on the table without intervention from "political" forces. Fair and healthy competition.

Has FGM's training for the Asean Juniors and the Thematics offended you in anyway? Or could it be my spoutings of competitor analysis? I am curious. What could it be that has caused you offence?

Fiduciary rights.

The debate continues. Ref: Here.

Amazing. Everything is reduced to friend, friend.

Lets talk about fiduciary rights today. In any venture many people contribute to its success. And everyone has rights. But it is not easy to quantify. One measure that is used to throw some light is called fiduciary rights ie the quantum of financial outlay in any venture.

Lets take the case of developing a National Player. Who are involved? Arguably the Associations, sponsors, organisers, trainers, coaches, parents and the players themselves. Each have rights. So lets use this fiduciary measure to try to quantify.

The law is not very lenient to businesses since they are deemed to have measured their sponsorship vs their returns before sponsoring. We can also roughly say the trainers, coaches, organisers have been paid for services rendered.

So where does the money come from to develop our National players? Who pays for the overseas tournaments, the trainers, coaches etc? Sponsors and parents thats who. Now if the case was that the Associations brought in the sponsorships, the weightage shifts. But there are still rights apportioned in each case.

In the Malaysian scenario, the vast bulk of the money comes from the parents. Some have more sponsorship than others. But in the main, it is also the parents that go out to get the sponsorship. So again the weightage remains with the parents. Actually many parents pay out of their own pockets.

So we can argue that the major investor is in fact the parents.

Let us use an example here. Lets take the last Mal/Sing. The sponsor came up with RM1,500 worth of incentives to be shared by all the players. In this case this was arranged by the Federation. How much do you think each parent spent? I am not saying that the sponsors have no rights. I am just saying things must be looked at in a measured and balanced way.

Throw in Asean, Asian youth, Asian Junior, World Youth and World Junior and the picture changes again. Who pays for the trips, the training? Who puts their heart into the training to represent the Country?

So I submit that Organisers do not have carte blanche. And I believe this should be put to the test. An appeal should be submitted to MCF. I trust that MCF will stay true to its first article. It is our right to appeal. Why is that equated to being a trouble maker? Trouble for whom? This is a just and legal due process.

We are not playing marbles here. There is a heavy financial outlay which needs to be respected too. So do follow the argument in the debate. Dont allow yourself to be side tracked by the misdirection and belligerence etc etc.

ps: If a case involves a Perak player, it is also our right to bring the case up to our Regent.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2 Schools of thought.

It seems to me that there are 2 major schools of thought regarding the development of our chess players. Some will point to the singular focus and genius of the tortured souls of the great chess masters and say that is the way. And so the system works. You just have to survive the jungle.

I on the other hand think that the intense pressure generated by chess tournaments is in itself sufficient. There is no need to add to this. So the direction should be for healthy competition. Fair rules.

So how would we know if healthy competition works or not if every time this subject or anything related is brought up it is attacked in a hundred twisted ways? What does our past evidence show us? No need to look outside of Malaysia, I think. Different conditions. Interesting isn't it?

How to avoid blunders.

Visualisation. Here.

Call by the Regent of Perak.


Monday, July 25, 2011

A bad mistake.

In fact even the parents are traumatised. There is a sense of helplessness that we cannot do anything to change things. That is why Jimmy thought he can spread lies and slander against FGM with impunity. Crazy distortions of our program for the Juniors at Asean 2010 were launched directly after our first initiative. And the attacks have not stopped since then. They are so used to hammering people who cannot fight back. Parents, players etc.

But wait. Who is FGM? FGM is a registered business in Malaysia. FGM is not Raymond Siew. As a business entity involved with chess, FGM can form partnerships and business alliances. As a business, FGM has the right to conduct its business in peace without attacks from lies and slander.

FGM is a recognised organiser by MCF from the moment FGM conducted the Asean training. And Raymond Siew is a recognised mind coach by MCF. And FGM has a track record of proven projects in Malaysia.

FGM is not without resources and can defend itself against attacks. And so when FGM lodges a complaint it will be recognised and acted on.

Jimmy says that FGM cannot raise the issues to our partners and relevant authorities. Well Jimmy you are wrong. But not to worry Jimmy and friends. The Authorities are not stupid. Our partners are not stupid. FGM will also be placed on the same weighing scale together with you. And if you can substantiate your claims you will be vindicated and FGM unmasked. That is what you want too right, Jimmy?

But this time Jimmy and friends, you are not taking on helpless people. A bad mistake Jimmy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The effect of traumas on the players.

What trauma does is it sears that memory into the person. That memory becomes more vivid than other memories.

Lets take the example of that girl who was forced to take that draw. She had set her heart on being State Champion that year and she came prepared to fight. On paper she stood a good chance.

I remember that moment vividly too. I was standing outside the hall when I saw her coming out in tears. I asked her what happened and she told me. Now I ask you this question. In the years to come, will she remember this moment more vividly than her past victories? Add a few more injustices like this and what do you think will be her memories of chess? Will she quit altogether?

Chess is an intense game. It is highly competitive. So we are to expect that right? Lets think on this. If you lose fairly do you experience the same trauma? You don't, do you? It needs to be accompanied by an act of injustice.

Sometimes it could be unreasonable expectations. Not properly trained and pushed to get medals. And then you get unfairly vilified. It all adds up.

The million dollar question I want to ask now is do you think the perpetrators of these actions are aware of the traumas they inflict on the children? The power to terrorise. If not then why would they want the power to arbitrarily reject without grounds? I hope you will observe carefully from now if you don't know this answer.

A clue: I ban you because you beat my daughter to the post of President in the school chess club. I ban you because I do not like your father. I ban you because I do not like your trainer. I ban you because you left my chess school.

They are bullies. They want power over the helpless. And this has to stop if we want our children to grow strong in chess. New rulings need to be put in place or we will lose another generation of players.

Note: Unfortunately it is always our best and smartest that get this treatment. They want the control over our strongest players and they cannot get it any other way.

This is a quirk of memory. Test it yourself. Do you remember the traumas more than your victories? So lets stop this. Lets have proper rules. Without arbitrary rules to terrorise our players they will need to find new ways to attract players. Ways like increasing their skills perhaps. Whether they do or not is up to them. But we need to stop the traumas they inflict.

An aside: Jimmy, one more question to you. Do you remember the times you were hoping that Dato will give you a chance when he had his eyes on someone else? Didn't you wish you were just given a fair shot? Now why are you supporting the arbitrary banning of players? You should know better right?

The frog and the scorpion. (new note at bottom)

What is the moral of that story? The scorpion will always stay true to its nature. A few of you have asked me why I bother with people like Jimmy and his "friends"? The answer is because there are too few that can see their venom. And this makes them very dangerous.

Let me recall a couple of stories here. One is of a PICA official who is particularly venomous. He is perhaps the most responsible for all the fixing that went on in the past. One day he called his own daughter to the stage after she did badly in a tournament. The purpose was to embarrass her in public. But the funny thing was everyone around me started making excuses for him. You do not criticise in Perak. The culture is set by too many years of abuse of power. I pointed out to them that this was not an isolated incident. He has done this type of thing so many many times. And yet they did not want to see.

The other was that girl who set her heart in being State Champion. She was forced to accept a draw even though she had won her game. I took up the case but her parents asked me to drop it. They were afraid of being victimised again. But what about the girl? What has happened to her hopes and dreams? How will this affect her later in life?

Many of you think that this happens only in the backwaters and cannot happen in KL. I don't agree. Look again at the Lim Zhuo Ren case. This is real. Everyone wants to train a Champion. Many do it for their ego. But can a Champion be made from intimidation? Why don't the trainers raise a Champion by increasing their skills?

So now you know their methods and hopefully you can see their true motives. Note: In KL they just change methods. The motives remain the same.

I submit that Malaysia is not short of talent. The vast majority is destroyed by people like Jimmy and friends. Talented children are normally precocious. They are full of life. Watch what happens to them over the years. Look out for their methods and see their motives.

Many parents of our current Juniors who are doing well just keep them away from people like that. They circle the wagon. But that is also not enough. They need resources which are normally beyond their individual ability. So we are currently in a no win situation.

This is my conclusion after many years of observation. Any attempt to improve will be sabotaged by these people. Even a training program for the Juniors for Asean. These people are pathological liars and they don't care who they hurt.

So I see no alternative. They wont leave you alone as some wish, if you lie low. They will only leave you alone if you lie so low that you cannot achieve your goals ie when they have broken you.

So we are all being held ransom. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. They abuse you and then say they are doing it for your own good. Look at what Peter said to Jimmy. Can you think of a less deserving organiser? Many of you know him. Here.

What we need are good rulings from MCF, good organisers, good trainers, coaches, players and sponsors. They will not allow this. So I say let us make a stand so the good ones will stay. Tell them what we expect to be the bounds of acceptable behaviour. Enough is enough.

If we dont make a stand we will be here for another 30 years. MCF needs to make a ruling. The lies from Jimmy's blogs are so transparent. Do this and we can progress. The evidence is now irrefutable. Do this for our kids and our future GM. The sabotage has gone on long enough.

Kill off their fighting spirit by abuses and intimidation and no amount of technical will make them Champions. Wake up, open your eyes.

Note: I will be leaving the Jimmy topic after this. I think what I wanted to demonstrate has been done and further pursuit of this subject will not be productive. So now I will focus on our project first gm which I have mentioned previously and I will be submitting my formal complaint on Jimmy first. I do hope more of you will come forward and present evidence on Peter Long. When we have sufficient evidence, I will also submit that. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What did we learn from the selection criteria?

Do you remember? There was a big call on the blogs by respected bloggers. Do you also remember what Jimmy's allies were also doing at that time? We wanted a written selection criteria and they didn't. And they were saying MCF this and MCF that. But what happened? We got it right?

There is a lesson here. MCF does listen. Maybe not at the timing that we want or all that we want but they do listen if we bring our case to them in a reasonable manner. Now they are again saying that MCF wont act. MCF this and MCF that.

Don't listen to them. If you are fed up of Peter Long playing God, if you are fed up of the lies and slander by Jimmy and friends then tell the MCF officials you see or you know this. But be patient. Let us get the proof and then let us present it properly.

Oh and yes Jimmy, about your point on ego. Why do you jump to the conclusion that I am trying to drag Marina into my "personal crusade"? Do you really think you are that important? Aren't you getting a little paranoid here? You are losing it man, try to get a handle k? I am just talking to old friends that I haven't met in over 10 years k.

Now that I have reported what I am doing to you, do I have your permission to carry on?

Hmmmmm, but then I could be couldn't I? Sorry, on second thoughts maybe you should be paranoid. Guilty conscience does that you know. Too many lies. The smart ones have spread their lies in the dark. But you chose to be visible. Wonder why you did that?

But then again don't worry too much k, I don't stab people in the dark. That is your style.

ps: In reply to your last 2 postings; then I have to call it a day and start working on my project as well as my official complaint about you k.

First thing is that the very first written selection was posted by FGM from an email privately written to us. Go back and check the history. This has even been acknowledged by Greg.

And of course I know it is not just you. Just the few people like you. Why are you twisting so desperately? Cant you read? It's been repeated enough times. :)

It is about the issues. You represent lies and slander. And your lies have affected FGM and our sponsors. And so you must be held accountable. I am sure you can defend the postings you propagate yes?

You did say you are going to unmask me right? That's the important part isnt it? Are you going to try and twist out of that too? The point you dont seem able to grasp is that we need the proper authorities to make rulings. Otherwise its just coffee shop talk. You say this and I say that.

Havent you already wasted enough of your time on this? I have.

Honestly I hope they take away your IM title. You have badly misused that title. The recent incident with one of our youths have convinced me of that.

Pure speculation.

Amazing back pedal and further twisting. Now see the convoluted reasoning here.

Jimmy and friends really think we are all stupid. So just to speculate a little here. What do you think are their motives? And why do most of them hide? In competitor analysis we not only have to learn their methods but also the why's ie the motive behind the actions. Then we begin to understand. Since I can't open up Jimmy's brain and see inside, let us speculate here.

Why would Jimmy go to such lengths as to conjure up so many anonymous sites with so many different names with the express purpose of attacking FGM? Why would they need to attack one young boy who has just turned 18yo.

Jimmy has said I am a nobody. Yet he spends his free time learning how to do a video. A good one too. For your entertainment here it is again. Here. Between the video making, coordination of his anonymous bloggers as well as comments on the shout boxes, does he have a life left??

I got my first clue when Mark was Champion at MSSPK the first time he entered. I was new to chess so I didn't know many things. This was in 2005. Suddenly I noticed that a few people were very angry. I couldn't even get his Champions cert until I finally went to Unit Sukan after chasing around for 6 months. From 2005 till 2009, almost every trick under the sun was thrown at this young boy and still he managed to stay in the Perak team for 5 consecutive years. Finally emerging as U18 Champion in Perak again in 2009. An almost unheard of achievement. In 2010 he made the National squad.

To answer your question Jimmy and to ask you a few of my own. We made it to the National squad despite the odds. Yes I know Marina and family and yes I know the Perak Royal family. We have been friends for many years. And yes I am talking to them now. I have fought our battles and our achievements are our own and we got to where we are without any help. Can you say the same? So you can speculate why I am talking to them only now. Question: Anyway what concern is it of yours when old friends talk to each other? What are you so afraid of that I will say? You stand behind your truth right?

There has been no truth to any of the lies and slander that Jimmy and friends have been spreading. But they tried hard. Why?

Could it be because a boy from "backward" Perak with a non playing father has got to National number 2 in not only the U18 but the U20 as well? And this boy's father spouts strange mumblings like mental strength, fighting spirit and a even stranger term called competitor analysis.

And this boy didn't get any training from the established technical "wisdoms" in Malaysia apart from a little training from Ziaur Rahman during Asean in 2010. It is now known that this boy has begun new classes with a GM. So I speculate that Jimmy and friends are afraid. Afraid of this one boy from a "nobody" father.

And since they cannot knock this boy or his father out with all their tried and tested dirty methods; they invent lies and slander, they now try to ban him from competitions. Luckily not all are like Jimmy and friends. Or Malaysia will have no hope of progressing.

Incidentally Jimmy, I did not directly equate your actions to Peter's. Surprisingly I surmised that from his non answer to my emails all by myself. Plus also some phone calls to MCF officials to follow up on this case since June. Hate to disappoint you here.

But then I am just speculating here. Healthy competition Jimmy. Learn to play chess and we'll meet you and your friends across the table. No more dirty tricks. If you have the confidence that is. Lies are the cowards way out. Learn to face the truth.

ps: Another question Jimmy. Why do you need so "many" anonymous bloggers/commentators to defend your stance? Doesn't it get confusing? Isn't there too many funny pseudonyms to remember? Why don't you just play chess and let us see how strong you really are? Take a break. Have a kit kat. Play chess. Just a passing thought.

Why is the current National U18 and U20 number 2 banned from KL Open?

Ref: Here.

Are there any justifiable grounds? Why are you afraid to answer the emails that I sent to you on the the 18th and 21st of June and reminded on the 3rd, 14th and 19th of July, Peter?

Why are you banning a Perak player from this event? Is the Patron of KL Masters/Open, the Regent of Perak aware of this ban?

For your information, Mark, Munirah and Puteri were the first 3 players from Perak to represent Malaysia in over 10 years. And that is only because we fought for the recognition and support of NAG during my time in PICA. And Mark is currently the only Perakian in the National Squad. And he is the only one that has made it 2 years running.

So what is your reason Peter? Please refer to your own comment in Jimmy's blog and then answer that question. Thank you for your time.

Note: We are not asking for free entry. We applied to be given information on the fees and banking details.

Trouble Makers unmasked.

I think it is time to identify who the real the trouble makers are and time action is taken.

Every thing that has been mentioned on this blog has been twisted by Jimmy and friends and the reputation of FGM and its sponsors have been sullied. From the mention of "parents heartache" over hearing about the incidences at the last Olympiad, FGM's training of the National Juniors to Asean etc, Jimmy and friends have spread lies and slander.

Jimmy has always hid behind anonymous bloggers and pretending to be impartial. But he has now revealed himself for who he truly is. Ref: Here.

He has now declared that he wants to unmask me. That is fine with me. I have nothing to hide. I invite the readers here to find one article from all my postings where I have unjustifiably brought up an incident. Have a look and see if I have sullied anyone's reputation or have I raised questions and asked for investigation by rightful authorities into funny going ons? Jimmy's post now tells us that he is not impartial but has in fact been orchestrating the attacks on FGM and its sponsors. Every accusation by him has been answered. I have published our letter to Air Asia, published the accounts etc.etc.etc. and yet there has not been any retraction or apology.

That post by Jimmy is a big mistake. Now we can tie him and his intentions directly to the attacks. FGM will now issue a formal complaint to MCF as well as FIDE.

As this post suggests in the comments, ref: here, attacks against organisers and sponsors is viewed seriously. I also submit that he has sullied the International Master title that he carries and he is a disgrace to our chess community.

Deliberate lies, distortions and slander cannot be allowed to continue without challenge.

As for the KL Open case with Peter Long, I see he has been following the debate on Jimmy's site. Ref: Here. On Jimmy's shout box, it has been suggested that Mark is the only case. I dont think so. It has been reported to me by a couple of Juniors that Peter does this habitually. He bans the Juniors from playing at his tournaments when they leave his chess school etc. So its the use of intimidation. You cannot even freely choose who you want as your trainer. I have also heard that he banned Wesley Soh's father from a tournament in the Philippines. And that may be just the tip of the iceberg. I have heard so many negative things about him from organisers in the Phillipines, Singapore and Sri Langka. I will be writing in to them to gather information to again lodge complaints with MCF and FIDE.

I invite any one who is reading this post to write in to me if you have ever experienced any unfair treatment by Peter Long. I will compile all the evidence together and submit it to the relevant authorities.

These bullies need to be disciplined. It has been going on for too long. The authorities need to act for the betterment of Chess.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Closing dates for Malaysia Open events.

The closing date(s) for the Chess Festival is as follows:

8th IGB Dato’ Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship
6th AmBank Malaysia Chess Challenge
2nd KLK Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng International Seniors Open
01 August 2011

2nd Swensen’s Age-Group Rapid Chess Championship
2nd Merdeka Individual Rapid Open Chess Championship
31st ASTRO Merdeka Rapid Open Team Chess Championship
15 August 2011

Please pay before due dates.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Isn't it getting clearer?

I am glad Jimmy is coming out and stating his stand. This makes things much clearer.

He says on his video that I do not know what I am talking about. And yet FGM is working together with a strong and still competing Grandmaster. So we may have technical insights he does not have. Ref: Here.

He now makes a stand for arbitrary rules by organisers. So what really is his motive?

I think we can see clearer now why he conducted the attacks on FGM's training for our National Juniors via anonymous bloggers. The first training of its kind for our Juniors.

This may also explain why there were attempts to boycott the Thematics despite its benefits to our stronger players.

Does this also explain why Lim Zhuo Ren was attacked until he broke down and wrote that email when his only "offence" was to have a look see if the training we were providing is beneficial or not? And he made the fatal mistake of signing up with us.

There was also the flurry of activity on Jimmy's allied blogs to counter the attempts of us asking MCF to have written selection criteria. But MCF stood firm and acknowledged our requests.

And now again there is another very "strong" attempt to stop MCF from looking at the abuse of authority from certain organisers. They are again telling MCF what they should or should not do.

Isnt it getting clearer now? What does this signify if not tyranny? What is it that Jimmy and friends are so afraid of? So really, who are the trouble makers? Who is putting up the roadblocks to improvements.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jimmy's opinion on organisers rights.

Ref: Here.

I am glad Jimmy is surfacing more and more and not hiding behind anonymous bloggers. This is good. His stance is open and now we can evaluate. My point is what does my disagreements with Peter have to do with Mark's eligibility as a National Junior to play in any local tournament? He has never infringed on any rules.

My issue with Peter was over my rebuke during the Mal/Sing event. Peter wanted to change the announced incentives given to the players on the first day. Yes, Dato Santara was the sponsor and yes also that he has rights as to how he wants to disburse the incentive. But this should have been done before the announcement on the first day. Peter should have aired his displeasure with MCF officials behind the scene. And not on the second day when we were fighting to make a come back. And not during the briefing to players on the second day. Ref: Here.

What does this issue imply? If a parent, manager, coach, trainer disagree with any organiser, then this means that their player can be victimised. This is a bad culture. We saw this in PICA and the ill effects on the State. I dont think this is the culture we want on a National scale. By and large tournaments are getting better managed today. So the KL Open is a throw back to the bad old days.

Trouble maker is also a question of perspective. Some may say that it is Jimmy and Peter who are the trouble makers. So should they be banned from tournaments? There may be justifiable grounds. I think the propagation of lies and slander is a serious offence. I think abuse of power and arbitrary sackings are serious matters. So who should have a say in this matter so it is not subjectively decided?

I think this is an MCF matter and they should look into this and refer back to their objectives in their constitution. There is article 4(b) to consider too. Ref: Here.

Note: I have raised this issue not because we want to play in KL Open. I have raised this case as a matter of principle. As a matter of right and wrong. Players and parents have rights too. It cannot be left to the fancy of organisers or we will have mayhem. I ban your players because I do not like you or your parent or your trainer. And you do the same. Crazy thinking.

Our players need to be protected from dirty politics. Their job is to play their hearts out and bring back honour to Malaysia. And not to be held at the mercy of arbitrary "rules".

Another post by Marina.


Is this the same affliction we have in chess? After Jimmy's last attempt to stop me from writing on my own blog, I sent Marina the links and she SMSed me back and said no worries. She is attacked on her own blog by people like that too.

Ref: Here.

And here.


There will be reduced activity on this blog as I need to focus on our next project. We have had many meetings over the last few week and many more meetings scheduled. The project we are trying to launch is called Project First GM. This idea is a private initiative to find a way to support the parents and players by helping them subsidise the costs of training and tournaments.

I hope I have the skill to put this together. There is a lot of corporate interest but it is getting a little complex. :)

I have given Greg of MCF an outline of what we are trying to achieve and he has verbally supported the attempt.

All my best in your chess and I hope you will remember to support issues and not people. I wish you the courage to make this stand.

Fire on board.

Yeoh Li Tian vs Kamluddin. Here.

I have always been a big fan of Li Tian and have written about him in the past. I am glad to see him back and fighting. And I hope he will continue to thrill us with his chess for many more years to come.

But today I want to shift the focus to the people behind him. His parents. I have an inkling of what they must have gone through to bring this boy up to be the strong player that he is today. The heavy sacrifice of time and money. The costs of overseas tournaments.

There are a few relief's to this burden. One of them is when we have International Tournaments on our own shores. This reduces the costs and give us a small respite.

That is why local organisers cannot be allowed to play God. There must be good grounds for the exclusion of any player. And the reasons cannot be the organiser does not like the parent/trainer of a player. Ref: Here.

Article 4 of the constitution of MCF states that:

The objects of the Federation are:

b) To uphold the Laws of Chess as adopted and published by The Federation Internationale Des Echecs from time to time.

c) To adopt, vary and publish rules, regulations, bye-laws and conditions for the management of Chess Tournaments, competitors and other events played under the jurisdiction of the Federation and to take all such steps as shall be deemed necessary for enforcing such Rules, Regulations, Bye-Laws and Conditions.

We each need to do our part. The KL Open/Masters is a good event and should be supported. But it should also be regulated. Parents, Coaches, Trainers, Associations and Organisers need to work hand in hand. Then we will see progress. I hope MCF will look into this. This will be an important milestone for Malaysian Chess.

PS: This story is not about Li Tian or any one particular player. This is about all players(parents/trainer) and an ordered environment where so long as the player follows the rules, they are accorded a level playing field without favoritism or victimisation. Also ref: Here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today's Contemplation.

Don't wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.

-- Jim Rohn

No work activity

In Physics, work is measured by effort followed by movement. If there is no movement, no work was done.

That is why we need milestones, measures to tell us if there is any work done. If we do not achieve any milestones, it tells us that our efforts are misplaced.

Proper guidelines for selection, guidelines for organisers are milestones. Competitor analysis are measures. And competitor analysis should not only be applied to players local and overseas. It should also be applied to training methods, mindset and morale.

We should also have a base measurement of where we are now. Just how strong or weak we really are. And the gap we need to fill.

Then our work will have meaning, our activity will bring results. All the above gives us direction and indicates where our efforts is best placed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An example of half full; Mal/Sing revisited.

I don't remember exact numbers but in essence this is what took place.

In a 2 day event, Malaysia was badly trailing Singapore by 17 points (I think) by the end of the first day. And the entire contingent was demoralised. That evening I took Mark and Sumant out for tea tarik. This is what I said to them. It is easy to be demoralised and get sucked in by the negativity. We do not know with any certainty what will happen tomorrow but there is one thing you can control. Your own game and your own mind. Do not allow the environment to affect you. Rest well and prepare your mind for tomorrow's battle. This is mental strength. It's not over till the fat lady sings.

In my heart I hoped they will serve as an example to the rest. Never know. It may help a few others to fight too.

When I went back that evening I urged the other players (mainly the older juniors) to rest early and to their credit they did.

Many parents were also up in arms because they did not agree to the line up. Neither did I. Mark was not fielded on the second day. And so we had a few discussions on the matter. I argued that this was not the time to be divided. We need to support the strategy that MCF has put in place. There are too many unknowns. We do not know Singapore's line up and so we cannot say with any certainty what the right strategy is. But this we know. If we fight among ourselves now, our negativity will infect our players. So in the absence of detailed knowledge, let us just look at things half full. Lets stop the in-fighting and cooperate. We can postmortem after the event.

I urged the players who were not playing to help the ones who are, to prepare despite their own personal disappointments.

Situations are complex; who is to tell in the moment what factors are the ones that can tip the balance with so many unknowns. One negative incident can undo all the work that was done to prop up the morale, the fighting spirit of the entire contingent.

In this one case, the balance of forces were tipped to the positive. We won against Singapore for the first time in 10 years and on their own ground because enough saw the cup half full than half empty that day. We finally pipped Singapore by 3 points. This was on Jan 1st, 2011. The day the event ended and hopefully a new beginning for us.

Half full Reality.

This is one of the key tenets to building lasting partnerships. The beginning of any partnership is to establish the reality of a venture. This helps to manage expectations and facilitate good planning. And so all relevant factors must be weighed and measured and the goal agreed.

Mislead a partner and the partnership will flounder on rocks further down the road.

The percentage chance of success is not always high in every venture. Each venture comes with its own risks. And the estimation of success only becomes easier when there are previous known examples with similar variables.

So lets use the example of finding the first GM in Malaysia here. What is the reality? What are the forces that will aid us in that direction? And what are the forces of reaction?

An aside: I wrote some articles called "Force field analysis" previously. You can search for them. In the main, I think its still accurate.

Back to finding that first GM. This journey is particularly difficult in Malaysia because there are still many known unknowns not properly investigated. And added to this are the unknown unknowns. What does the unknown unknowns mean? Well an example is we still do not have a clear picture of what today's chess is all about. To this end FGM has engaged the services of a trusted strong and still playing GM. This helps us in analysing the technical issues. This is a known unknown. But we have different conditions from the ones that this GM come from. So we cannot assume all things are the same. And so as we travel down that road we will still find that there are things we didn't know that we didn't know. The unknown unknown.

So what does chess teach us to do under these circumstances. A difficult position to assess. I believe it tells us that we continue to see the glass half full and to continue to strike out towards the win. I believe that it also tells us we need to frustrate the plans of the opponent that can cause us to lose until the conditions for our plans to win can be established.

Note: A win here is our first GM and the opponent here are the issues that take us backwards. Remember, issues not people.

An exciting journey, a difficult reality. But seeing it half full will give us the energy to do this journey. And if we remain grounded on reality, we can accomplish this. Many many Nations (richer and poorer) have succeeded, so why can't we?

But first we have to find the right partners, agree on the realities, agree on the issues that will take us forward and the issues that wont. And then we all need to see the glass half full.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In honour of a father.


I know the son.

Good video by Jimmy


Yes, I am "only" the manager and Coach to my players. I hope this means that Jimmy will be going to the Malaysian Open. I think a good way for us to progress is to measure the current strength of our old IM's. This will help us break out from the glass ceiling. See here.

It is good that Jimmy has made a stand on this issue. I believe every good player needs a good manager, trainer and coach and he now states that only the players should have a say. Two schools of thought. And finally declared. So now we can compare. See you at Malaysian Open Jimmy. Good luck.

ps: I stated somewhere that we believe that our current IM's are playing at around the 2200 level in today's chess. But let me put a caveat here. The possible exception is Mas Hafizul. This is just the opinion of the people I have talked to. Malaysian Open is a good test to see if this opinion has any credit. And since Jimmy has openly said that he wants to "unmask" me as a fraud, I am sure he will relish this opportunity at the Malaysian Open to do so. Ref: Here.

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

Yesterday I had an animated discussion about taking away the place of a deserving player. We also talked about why written selection criteria and why proper guidelines for Organisers is important. These are the tangible manifestation of recognition so nobody can play God.

But there are also the intangibles. Giving due recognition for work well done. Respecting the contributions of others.

Sabotage is in fact stealing from others. Asking for boycotts of events without grounds, trying to steal the contacts of others etc.

I had another conversation with someone in the Malaysian Chess scene yesterday and another one with a Singaporean the night before. The conclusions both reached is that the Malaysian chess scene is mired by sabotage. So the good people eventually leave.

Actually that is what they want. They want those that can contribute to leave so they can continue to rule chess in their image. This is our history. Can this be changed? If there is no change can we progress? So think on this. Stick to the issues. Support the ones that take us forward. We need the good ones to stay.

Another reminder.


Reminder from an old post.


Friday, July 15, 2011


I just had an interesting discussion with Greg. Apparently there is the perception that FGM condones favoritism in chess. This perception was formed because of certain happenings during MSSM. So let me state clearly here. FGM is only in control of FGM activities. We cannot stop parents from acting on their own. There will never be favoritism practiced in FGM activities. I will not allow it. The authorities for MSSM is MOE.

Evil revisited

Is there such a thing as an evil person? I suspect this may be one of the biggest question we need an answer to, before we can see the world clearer. I was reminded of this question when I chatted with a Junior recently. This is a question I have wrestled with for most of my life. To say someone is evil is a big thing and I do not want to jump to false conclusions.

I have seen good people do bad things and "bad" people do good things. People who do bad things in the heat of the moment and regret later. People who do bad things because of pressure from poverty, or demands from a higher authority. So many many reasons. People are so complex. Which is why I always advocate supporting issues. Support when they are right and not support when they are wrong. If you support one person unthinkingly then right and wrong goes out the window.

But back to evil. Is there such a thing? I got a lot clearer on the issue when a friend got me a book from the UK 2 years ago. It's called "people of the lie" by M Scott Peck. He was a clinical psychiatrist and he studied this subject deeply. He also authored the book "The road less Travelled".

So what did he say? He postulated that there are a very few people who do evil for its own sake. There is no pressure from outside, poverty or otherwise. They are not in the throes of an emotional upheaval and doing something out of character. They do evil calculatingly. And he gave many clinical examples.

So 2 years back I got a little clearer on this question. Then I remembered that in law there is a distinction between premeditation and crimes of passion. So this question was asked by legal thinkers too.

I believe that we need to make this distinction in our lives too. It helps us see things clearer. With evil people, there is no amount of evidence you can present to change their minds. You cannot appeal to their sense of right and wrong. Their conscience is badly atrophied. Lies and distortions are their stock in trade. Dont run from this question. Seeing this clearly may save you one day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In reply to Jimmy.

Ref: Here.

If they charge thee with falsehood, say: "My work to me, and yours to you! Ye are free from responsibility for what I do, and I for what ye do!"

-- Qur'an, Jonah, Surah 10:41

I wonder what it is to Jimmy that Marina allows me to use her articles? Is he now saying we should have consulted him first? Does he really think he has achieved that status?

ps: Jimmy, I have just reluctantly informed Marina and sent her the relevant links from both my blog and yours. This is not the impression of chess that I wanted to give her and I think that is also the point that Najib raised. I hope your concerns are now alleviated and you can now let this matter rest.

Tan Sri Lee Loy Seng results.

With cross table this time. I hope this is an indication that they have turned a corner. Here.

How to avoid blunders.


National Rating July 2011


Is it KL Open or KL Invitational?

Ref: Here.

Corruption isnt always about money. In fact it starts with a corruption of morals, values and soul first. It starts when you think you can play both Judge and Jury.

Organisers do have a right to eject players on valid grounds; if the player has a proven history of cheating for example. Lets take the case of the Malaysian Open. The banking-in details are given. The fee is paid and so a valid contract is established. So the organiser then has to give grounds for the ejection of any player. And the grounds cannot be I do not like the players trainer or parent.

In KL Open, Peter asks you to email him first so he can weed out people he does not like. Judge and Jury. No banking details are given and so no fee can be paid and no contract established. I therefore submit that this makes the tournament an invitational and not an open. If that is the case the name KL Open is misleading. I hope MCF will look into this case.

Let me give you an example. There was a girl called Ainaa Shafeenaz in Perak. A former State player. Her only fault was that she won the Presidency of her school chess club over the daughter of a PICA official. For that reason she was asked to leave a PICA tournament with the official citing organisers priviledge. That is not a valid reason. If we want our chess to progress this sort of corruption cannot be allowed anymore.

Call it KL invitational and the organisers can allow whoever they want. Then they will be within their rights.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The power of a parents love for their child.

I didnt go to Bersih; I dont like the idea of being locked up or bashed up. But I can identify a little with Marina here. When we see our child abused and unfairly treated we need to do something. I tried reasoning and appealing to their sense of fairness till I was blue in the face. Then I saw it was not only about my child, it was about any strong player that may upset their plans. And then I saw strong players being knocked down one by one. And not in chess but by the use of dirty tricks. So it became a question of not who can build a stronger player but how I can sabotage his player so that my weak one can win. The glass ceiling story.

Finally I was attacked; no matter what I contributed. They belittle my small contribution, try to hide it and they inflate their small to almost negligible ones, if any at all.

In fact in the main I believe they destroy more than they build. So its a negative sum.

Read this about Marina. Here.

I felt much the same way when I said enough is enough.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Visit to PICA's tournament at Syuen.

We decided to take a short break from training for the Malaysian Open and go and visit the PICA tournament. I think its been about 2 years since I last attended one of their tournaments. It was good to see so many Perak players again. Some of the kids have grown. Wow! And the old timers are still there.

The first thing I have to report is that PICA now uses swiss manager but that is a minor point. The major impression is a new atmosphere in the tournaments. I did not experience the oppressive atmosphere that used to pervade PICA tournaments of yesteryear from the arbitrary eviction of players because an official don't like them and all the other shenanigans that used to go on.

Some of the people that used to abuse their powers are still present but they no longer seem in control anymore. In fact they seemed very shrunken today.

This is good for Perak Chess. I hope this healthier PICA continue to grow from strength to strength. And I hope they will not easily forget past mistakes so it does not rear its ugly head again.

As for my unconstitutional sacking? Well that is something I still hope will addressed at some point. It remains a black mark in their history.

Thinking 101

The first step to finding a solution to any problem is to first isolate all relevant factors that can impact on outcome. And then we must look at it. All of it.

Then we have to weigh and measure and prioritise. And then we must act with courage in the direction of the solution.

In short that is also called decision making. That is how our GM will come and so that needs to be how we train our players.

As I have said before, in chess it is almost all imagined fears that stop us from progressing. It is a mental sport and so we must first free the mind.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

When is it personal?

The words personal attack, character assassination has been bandied about in our chess circle. So lets try to define those terms. If there is clarity on this then things cannot get so twisted around.

A personal attack is one where no matter what one person says it is attacked. There is no merit based decisions. No judgement and no reasoning. These are hate based decisions.

So if that person does a training program to support the juniors, we will invent lies and slander. If he talks about competitor analysis we will find ways to distort the message. If he does a Thematic that is beneficial to the stronger players we will ask for a boycott. Even when we know he is doing the right thing.

One organiser/association/player can make every transgression, to the point of going against its own constitution/rules and we will close a blind eye and we will book another for the most minor infractions.

Personal attacks are not issue based. It operates via the use of fear and unreasonable attacks on a person irrespective of right and wrong.

Character Assassination. Now we may name a person. Is that character assassination? Is it character assassination if we say this person did this wrong thing. But if he does the right thing we equally give him the credit. Or is it really issue based with examples? Both good and bad.

Think on this and see where personal attacks are made and where justifiable criticism is made. We have plenty of examples.

Personal attacks and character assassinations are usually made to silence the truth.

Relearning how to see the truth.

Seeing the truth has never been an easy thing. The first step is learning how to reason. How to look at the facts without adding or subtracting. How to weigh and measure the order of importance of relevant factors. In fact even identifying what is relevant and what is irrelevant in differing scenarios is not easy.

And then there is the question of how things work. Do it one way and no result is forthcoming. Do it another and you get better results. And there are also long term and short term goals. Too many knee jerk short term reactions take us nowhere.

All these decisions are further complicated by strong emotions. There is the spirit of things ie the essence and there is the illusions created by strong emotions.

A GM recently told me that he asked a super GM what is the one thing that separates chess players. And he was told, its decision making.

Our players need to be able to make decisions over the board. And they will be doing this alone. They need to be able to raise their hands and ask for the arbiter. So they will need courage. And they will also need to be able to reason out their case in a way that can be understood. So they will need communication skills.

They need to learn to see the truth that lies behind a position despite all the illusions, intimidations that are thrown at them by their opponents. And then they need to learn how to be decisive and take the appropriate action. That is chess.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Some tips on improving your chess.


Today's Contemplation.

There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man's whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue.

-- Hagakure

Competitor analysis is a high level tool.

As well as the Thematics. Those are tools you use when you are competing for titles and medals. The use of these tools helps bring us to another level. These tools take us away from the "hit and miss" level and "hope" we get a medal mentality.

We will discover more and more tools when we focus on the U14, U16, U18 and U20. When we do that we will be able to see our past mistakes as well as see what else we will need to move forward. But we wont find them if we continue to only look at the U12.

What is accomplished when we do a lot of competitor analysis is we will begin to build models. The type of player we are playing against, whether our current arsenal is sufficient or not etc.etc.etc. And these models can then be subsequently used even in Swiss tournaments as a test of our assumptions. We just need to factor in time and relook at how it impacts on the model.

This is a break from the hobbyists level. Nothing wrong about playing chess as a hobby. But for those that want to move ahead we will need more tools. Hit and miss are not for the professionals.

Thursday Musings.

Over the last 8 years I have been challenged many times to a chess duel. Once even by a chess "master" during a simul. He was shouting at a player during the player's turn to move and counting down aloud and flustering the player. I was standing on the side and "marvelling" at the master's chess skills when he looked up and challenged me to play. Why do you think he did that? What is the underlying assumption?

It seems to me that a few people think that only strong chess players can have a say on how/what things are said or done in the chess community. The stronger you are in chess as a player ie the higher your FIDE rating, (whether currently accurate or not), the bigger your say should be.

One or two of them reluctantly give me the credit for bringing up a player who is currently both National U18 and U20 No.2 without myself being a strong chess player but substantially focusing on mental strength instead.

The question today is if you think this underlying assumption is realistic or even helpful. Look around and see how successful organisations are run. Just take a couple of minutes and think on this. Are they making any sense? Is looking at issues from just the players perspective sufficient? Or does it take more skill sets, more different perspectives?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Top players in Malaysia.

Women. Here.

Men. Here.

I like this one by Marina too.

The part I like best is the comment that implies that if we are seen acknowledging and then solving our problems, we may actually be more inviting to sponsors/investors. Rather than "trying" to hide all the faults. Would doing this bring us closer to that GM or further away? Here.

Dont get this wrong.

When you are seeking to partner you look for their strengths; when you want to defeat an opponent you look for their weaknesses. But if you only look for weaknesses alone in everyone then all you'll ever find are opponents everywhere.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Arbiters training is a good thing if....

Ref: Here and here.

If we remember some past lessons. Soon after joining PICA, I did the same thing. I organised a joint training for Perak arbiters in swiss manager conducted by Uztaz Rahman and Greg Lau. Over 20 people participated. It was the first joint PICA/MCF and Unit Sukan event.

But soon after the training, I noticed that none of the new arbiters were given a chance to arbiter an event. In fact directly after, the then new President started to arbiter as well. I didn't think that was his job. Only the old guards were even allowed near the arbiters table. This lead me to speculate that arbiters is the hub of fixed matches. I also wondered why PICA subsequently drop swiss manager and reverted back to swiss perfect? Could the answer be that swiss manager is more difficult to manipulate? Ah, the mysteries of chess. Maybe the new graduates will have some answers. No new arbiters were created from the event I organised as far as I know. What a waste of time and effort.

This event is a good thing if the new arbiters now go out and arbitrate/organise new events. Then there is growth. MCF should ensure that the new ones are given the opportunity to practice what they have learnt. Mix the old and the new so there are check and balances. Is that a good suggestion?

I wish the new batch every success. That this time all that effort will give us forward traction.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Psychology 101

It seems painfully obvious to me that if we keep sending our players out to play without adequate preparation and unrealistic expectations over and over again, they will soon lose their shine.

If they dont have the mental training to handle the incredible levels of stress, they will eventually search for ways out. Finding excuses and inventing creative stories.

This is a natural process when faced with repeated defeats and no real solution in sight and we are dealing with very smart people here.

For our "solution" each time is to look at the technical mistakes. Time and time again. And as the players continue to deteriorate, we hammer them harder thus enforcing the trauma. We continually insult them by calling them lowly players etc. thinking we can shame them into performing better.

But hey, they are already having problems handling the stress? Psychology 101 tells you that the simple answer is to teach them how to cope. Adding more stresses on them only compounds the problem.

But the answer also cannot be to let them run away from the stress. Stress is unavoidable in a competitive environment. The answer lies in our self talk. How we manage our internal stresses. For only that is within our control.

Today's Contemplation.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unrealistic Expectations.

Every time our Juniors go out to play in International Tournaments, we have a few ring side commentators on our blogs. They will vilify our players. Why so few medals? Beating Singapore? Don't dream....and when we do.....its no big deal, just fluke etc etc.

Why is this wrong? They play Judge and Jury. Walk a mile in the players shoes? The question that is avoided is do they have the correct training to get those medals? How big is the gap and how can we close it? AND, how long will it take for us to get there given our current projections? We don't have any of that, do we? But yet we still demand medals.

And then we hammer them if they don't give it to us. That is unrealistic expectations.

I can only imagine what the Seniors could have gone through in our earlier history. Is it a wonder they are where they are now?

Note: I personally think those anonymous and not so anonymous bloggers and commentators are a very few in numbers. But they are so vocal, so belligerent and intimidating that they pervade our entire chess atmosphere simply because they appear everywhere.

Some rule of thumb on Coaching.

Pressure can build and pressure can damage. Too little pressure and the player is not able to achieve his full potential. Too much pressure and it can lead to trauma. So there is always a fine line we must be careful not to cross.

Have you heard stories of players that have been so traumatised that they quit chess? I have. Chess is very very intense. And most children are not yet equipped to handle those levels of pressure. That is why postmortems are very important if only to ensure that the player is not damaged. It's not only the technical.

If this is done properly, the player will play each subsequent tournament with equal vigour. That is the trick.

So this means the player must be properly prepared mentally, properly trained. He is realistic in his expectations. This means that there must be accurate measures. If not he will return from each tournament a little more damaged and eventually he will lose the will to fight.

Fragile talent can easily be destroyed. We must be watchful.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How do we get a measure?

See this first. Here.

Collectively we all want to get our first GM. Who will it be? So many unknowns. I think one of the very first steps must be to get a measure of the current situation. We will have a better idea of what we are up against if we can measure the gap between our U14, U16, U18 and U20 with our counterparts in Asean first and then Asian.

Measure the gap and then find the training we need to close that gap. We find it very difficult to do that. We keep focusing on the U12. That is avoidance. That is denial. Lets focus on the older age group and compare them to the players outside. But the moment we look at that and get a sense of the gap we may experience some fear. Reality check. We as a chess community need to face that fear to find the solutions.

And bashing the older juniors and calling them names is not productive. When we look at the older juniors we need to ask this question. What happened to the vibrant boy/girl that we all knew and admired when they were U12? Could we have done something to help keep the fighting spirit in them? And if we could have, what would it have been?

That is getting the measure. That is one step forward. Maybe not tangible yet but its a beginning.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chan Mun Fye


Malaysians at the World Junior.

The next International Outing. Here.

Competitor Analysis by Ilham.

With my comments below. Here.

Friday Musings

Part of my talk at the last Thematic was on handling stress. This is what I said. Stress in tournaments are unavoidable. Tournaments are stressful; one of your opponents aim will be to pile on the pressure. Those conditions cannot be changed and are largely beyond your control. What is in your control is your self talk, how you manage your internal stress. At a certain amount of pressure everybody cracks, disassembles. By managing your internal stress you can keep the level of stress from tipping over.

This brings up another point for reflection today. I first presented this argument to the PICA committee. They said I was writing negative things about the organisation, presumably bringing stress to them. So I said this. Do something good and I will write about that. I am not about disparaging PICA. But I will not stay silent if I see fixed matches, unfair practices. Hence the onus here is the other way. We can change those bad practices. And trying to silence people from saying that those practices is wrong is unreasonable and destructive.

So what I am saying is that Officials, Organisers, Parents and bloggers can and should point out the bad practices if there are any. We should not go out looking for them but we should voice out if we see them practiced. For this can be changed.

The players on the other hand cannot do much once they are in the tournament. Change what we can change for the better. Then we can grow and move forward.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Isnt it Jimmy?