Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What did we achieve with written selection?

It was an uphill battle arguing for written selection guidelines. A new and intense blog war started and accusations, misdirection and lies were flying everywhere. People were attacked and threatened. So was it worth it? What did we achieve?

I think the clearest success is seen in the coming alive of the local chess scene. Players are suddenly invigorated with the possibility of representing Malaysia if they put in the work and learn how to compete in healthier competition.

There is a big increase in the use of the internet as players find that there is a plethora of information there. And information at a much higher level than what is locally available. Players are also starting to use the latest tools for analysis.

We saw the return of the IM's in local events since there are no free rides anymore. And we also saw which ones are still fighting and which ones are not.

Selection broke the myth of high manufactured numbers versus true fighting strength. Well at least for most of us. I think some are still lagging behind. But this is an important point. If we now focus on learning how to win tournaments instead of manufacturing numbers, Malaysia will become a stronger chess nation. The reason is simple. You don't go out there with your fat number, cannot fight and hope to intimidate your opponents. It doesn't work that way. You don't go to International Tournaments and only play to increase your fide rating when you are fighting for your Country.

We send you out there to win for Malaysian honor. To fight with courage and dignity. If we have that we too will see our players taking down opponents 300 Elo points higher like what we have seen in Datmo and Kl Open.

That is what we achieved when we won the argument for selection. Certainly we have pissed a few people off. But was it worth it?

Note: We need to make distinctions here. SEA games is fighting for Malaysia, so is the Olympiads. The National Juniors are fighting for the Country when they fight in Asean, Asian etc. Datmo is a private event. Mok is going for a private event in Myanmar. There he is fighting for his GM norm. That is for his personal honor. Nothing wrong with that.

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