Is Li Tian that strong? Aren't you curious? His tauted strength was seen from the last Malaysia Open, private tournaments. We dont get to meet him. He plays in the age groups in a different category. In the last National Junior Li Tian didn't make it to the play offs.
Actually I was hoping that Mark would meet Li Tian at the last National Junior but that didn't happen. Instead he met Lim Zhuo Ren and Mark beat him. Lim Zhuo Ren is the current National Junior Master as well as the current National Master.
I didnt think Mark was ready to lift the National Junior title at that time. He was too far behind on his technical development. I was surprised that Mark even got as far as he did. He was losing every opening fight but fought back from just sheer grit.
I hoped Mark would meet Li Tian not because I thought Mark was stronger than him last year in December but to get a measure. A measure so we can get to take the fight to him on the table this year. This coming National Junior.
So since last month, I got him a GM to bring his technical skills up to par.
Every parent thinks his child is good. We are all biased to some extent. We don't really know who is better. So we congratulate each other's child for any achievement they accomplish. All we hope for is a fair fight, a level field. That has been the unspoken agreement among parents of National Juniors. We have all paid our dues. Does that agreement still hold?
We do not begrudge the sponsorships any one parent can get. That is just the way things are and we have learned to live with it. But let us at least use the chessboard to determine the outcome of who is better. With fair rules.
Would you like to see a fair fight between Lim Zhuo Ren, Sumant, Nabil, Syakir, Mark Siew and Yeoh Li Tian? And who knows? In a fair fight maybe someone else will come and blow them all away. Isnt that the way forward? Isnt that what chess is all about?
So will it be Yeoh Li Tian vs Mark Siew this National Junior? Or will it be none of the above? Will we see the chance of a Perakian holding the National Junior Master title and the chance of a Perakian being National Master again or will other intervening factors come into play?
Note: The Malaysian Open and private tournaments are not the best determinants. I think the best tournament to find the strongest junior is the National Junior since all the juniors will be fighting one another in that one tournament.