Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time for a short break.

I will take a short break till next week, Monday. I think a lot has happened in a short time and you will want some time to celebrate that fine run by our new NM Roshan Singh.

On Monday, I want to shift focus to the coming MCF AGM. From the information that I have, I think this will be the most important event in Malaysian chess ever.

Look at the officials we have now. Do you think they have a plan to take Malaysian chess to new heights? Well if I am right then after the AGM we will be stuck with them till they retire from old age or something similar. If I am right, they can never be removed again. So it's important you understand this.

Till Monday then. All my best.

ps: In the meantime, look at this version. Here. On Monday, I'll tell you what they don't want you to know.

Does this picture say anything?


NM Roshan- A FGM commentary.

Actually what have we all learnt from Roshan?

I hope his amazing run will add to the already strong body of evidence that ratings are not an accurate measure to predict results especially here in Malaysia. There are still too many distortions in our system.

I also hope that this has added more credibility to FGM's method of evaluation. I believe that I have shown that the weaponry does count.

Am I trying to put anyone down after the fact? I don't think so. I think you will find that I argued that Li Tian would have problems before the fact.

So what is my point? I think that if you go right back to the very beginning of this blog, the message has been consistent. We need a strong pool of talent for us to move to the next level. And we need more tough internal competition and correct training. So we cannot afford to knock out our own players using non chess criteria.

If we look carefully, we will see that a number of our older Juniors have been convinced that the big numbers are true. They have been "convinced" that the "Jimmy method" has validity. Of course his arguments is combined with intimidation and lies.

And when he vouched for Li Tian, a number believed him. And so they have been knocked out of the race by a Jedi mind trick and not by chess.

All of our older Juniors can make a come back. We need all their talent to develop our first GM. They just need to revisit and correct some previous wrong assumptions and raise their game. Li Tian can come back from this. He is still young. But his trainer needs to wake up to the new world instead of being stuck in 1986.

Nobody can play God and predict which Junior will come out on top. Just give them a chance to fight it out in healthy competition and not interfere. Roshan has proven he has the right tools for this level. But this is just the beginning. There are more levels to go.

We now know that Jimmy is not quite here anymore and needs to wake up. But what is still puzzling me is that Peter Long agreed with Jimmy to push for Li Tian as the strongest Junior before the fact. I know that at the time of Asian Youth last year, Roshan was with Peter.

So how come Peter didn't even know the strength of his own student? Why back another horse when you have a Champion in your own stable?

So I submit that their judgement; both Jimmy and Peter's are fundamentally flawed. So let none of us play God. Lets just have good healthy competition to show which method is more correct. On the table we will find the answers.

I hope this will also mean that more Juniors will come back. A little more tweaking and all will have a shot. Don't fall for all that rubbish they are spouting.

Look at competitor analysis and look at mental strength. That is the way forward. In chess the only accurate measure is on the table in healthy and clean competition. That is a big part of the beauty of the game. If you get it right, you win. If you believe in yourself and develop your judgement, you increase your chances.

Don't let them set that glass ceiling ever again for you. Don't let these small minded people define you. The final result rests with you and who you are.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Congratulations Roshan.


Incredible run. I hope you get the perfect 9. All my best.

The different routes: Learning to play to win first.

I prefer the route of learning to win first before you learn to draw. But this is a longer route. Lets see why.

When you play to win first, you would start off with different tools. You would choose tools as white and as black to give you the best chance to win. So you will be experimenting. You will be learning more about yourself and what your gifting is.

But you will also lose more times than you will do if you start off with fixed "drawish" weapons. It is higher tension games. This also trains your nerve and equally important judgement.

And yes, your rating will also take a hit for the simple reason you will crash many times and lose early on using this route.

So why would I encourage taking this route? I believe this is the route that bears the better fruit in the longer term. It is more akin to the GM runs that I have seen. You have better control of strategy when you can win with the weapon that gives you the best chances as both white and black, when you need to win, to make that run.

So now you understand why I am not in favour of starting out with "drawish" weapons at the outset. The popular method here is to play one opening till you are very familiar with that opening. Nothing wrong with that. But why choose "drawish" weapons to start out? So you don't lose in the beginning? So you have big rating numbers? Isn't that short term thinking?

Here is the trap. When you reach that high number and you only have "drawish" tools and a limited repertoire, you can be ambushed. It's only a question of time till we find the way to beat you. You are a sitting duck.

And when you have the higher numbers and you hit the ceiling with "drawish" tools and only then you realise you need winning weapons too, you will realise perhaps too late that that beautiful number that you have will take a massive hit till you too have the weapons to win at the higher levels still.

Upside down. You cannot have tournament strategy unless you have all the weapons you need to win and draw as the tournament requires to get to the goal that you have set. But you start off with winning tools first. Now why is this so hard to understand?

If you think you are right, so be it. But when I do it my way, you attack my players, you try to "ban" them. And now you even cry victim as bullies often do and sing accolades to yourself. Like I say, leave the kids out of this. Pick on someone your own size. Not quite liking it now I see. Not easy pickings as young children.

If you are as confident of your methods as I am confident in mine, then prove it on the table. There is no need for the blog war. This argument can only be settled on the table. Don't you think? Why so scared? This is just chess isn't it? Your thinking against mine. Your method against mine. No need to attack my players, no need to "ban".

When you try that you have already lost. That shows you do not have the confidence to meet my players on the table. So you need all those bags of tricks to try and win on the blogs etc. etc.

You should be relishing the chance to show how great you are on the table. You should even be giving my players free entry so you can shut me up for good by showing in the full glare of the public, just how lousy my methods are. So that's my tip to you since you are very slow on the uptake. Try it. It works if you are that superior.

ps: Come to think of it, you should also relish the chance to show your amazing superiority by dazzling us in selection. In fact you should insist on all the titled players competing to show us why you deserve to play for Malaysia instead of hiding behind that number. Now that is chess. So what are you guys talking about?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is it Ek Teong, Leong or Jimmy in Dubai 1986?

Ref: Here

I am confused. Here. If it was not Jimmy who won the best board, then it would show that he has taken credit from someone else by not correcting Ilham's first post. It would also show that this modus operandi has been used for a long time. It's best we get clarification from either Ilham or Jimmy.

ps: It is true Jimmy, I am more focussed on how to bring Malaysian chess forward in today's internet world than the past. I also see that today's generation of players is the result of the inputs of the last generation. Where everyone else is moving forward, there is a glass ceiling being set up here.

What does Roshan's win over Li Tian tell us?

Ref: Here.

I suggest it tells us that it is not about the ratings. In Malaysia there are some guided by going for ratings in tournaments. This is probably because the selection criteria still favours those with higher ratings. But those that go that route are not fighters.

We know that the Juniors improve in spurts, many are hampered from a solid run by exams and other commitments. So each year we see one pipping another. That is normal. That doesn't mean one is better than the other. Not yet.

We know that our IM's are not that strong from the last SEA games selection, from Kelantan Close, from Brunei and from a recent tournament where an IM won the best blogger prize.

Our IM's are weak because of a lack of competition. They rely on ratings gotten from history. And our Juniors are pushing against that glass ceiling. There are even other players coming up the ranks like Zaidan and now Ken Yew.

We also know that a problem with our Juniors is consistency. I suggest that this is because of 2 problems. One is mental toughness and the second is weaponry. If Li Tian had been playing white the results may have been different.

But make no mistake, the juniors are very close to taking over the mantle. As I have argued before, their experience in Asean, Youth and World tournaments have given them the methodology to win. But they don't have the luxury of uninterrupted runs because of studies.

But after 20, we pull the rug; after substantial investments have been poured into them. When they have more time to improve and pose a serious challenge we set the glass ceiling. The ideal selection for the Olympiads is one where all who want to go should compete for the place. This is good for all. The competition keeps both the IM's and the aspirants sharp.

Now what we are seeing is MCF trying to repair that shattered glass ceiling again for reasons best known to them. And for that same reason they are failing the chess community and failing the Nation.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A death blow to private organisers?

The massive influx of older players returning were I believe, a direct result of selection. For the first time it was no longer private reserve. Keep improving your chess and anyone has a shot at the senior team. And this was good for the private organisers too. Classical and other tournaments flourished.

What is going to happen to private organisers now if you are not tied to the apron strings of MCF. And what will happen to those that want to be independent and sever that apron string?

After 18, the chances reduce drastically from the already slim chance of making the National Junior squad. At below 20 there is only one place available for national representation as official player. After 20, it now looks like no point in improving. Almost zero chance.

Somebody at facebook said "NATO" to me. No Action, Talk Only. To which I replied, "DONT". Do Only No Think.

Is this only the beginning of the reverse of our fortunes? Here.

So who is thinking through our chess policies? Any guesses? At one point it seemed like it was Peter Long. Now I think it may be more like the reality show, "My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss" 

Looks like its back to the age group tournaments again for numbers. And for that we can thank MSSM. What is the incentive now for the older players to improve? Will the trend for NC2012 continue?

Selection criteria after the fact.

Of course there will be a selection criteria. They can't send off a team without putting up some sort of criteria. But criteria after the fact is manipulation. Say I want someone to have a shot. Say if I want a bargaining chip to be able to pass to someone and say see I have given you a shot; then they will want criteria after the fact. If my horse wins, no problem. NM goes. If he is top 5, I will say top 6 for playoff etc.

And so politics enters chess. Now do you know why you are not Chief Arbiter Najib? Ref: Here. Or would you need more information?

Mere speculation or competitor analysis and profiling? What have we learnt from chess? We cannot see into the minds of the opponent so we need to learn to reason. We need some basis to predict what our opponents response to our opening will be. We need to "guess" what strategy he will employ. We need to know if there is a plan behind a seemingly harmless move.

The better your profiling, your competitor analysis, the more predictive it is.

So are all these moves because the "player" is dumb or is it because of a deeper plan? Does the plan benefit the chess players or is it only to secure the place of certain officials? That is the question isn't it?

To see the plan, if any, one needs to understand a little about the coming AGM and the new COS (Commisioner of Sports) regulations. I will tell you what I know after this posting. But in the meantime have a look at this. Here. This is one version.

After understanding COS, you will also understand why Greg supported the SEA games selection by telling all and sundry about what happened at the last Olympiad. Think about it. How would I know what to write about unless I was told by someone who was there? And you will also understand why he doesn't want a strong team for the coming Olympiad. Their performance is irrelevant. What is good for the players and the Country is not relevant.

Premeditation? Are we all just pawns in their political game? What happened to the quality of chess?

Coming post. MCF, the iron rice bowl.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Very well done Yinn Long!!


I like this boy. Plenty of fire. Keep it up.

Thematics and blindfold chess in the Philippines.

I have been exchanging ideas with a trainer friend in the Philippines for a while now. He just told me that they are adding thematics and blindfold chess as well. Isn't that fantastic? We can learn together.

Why are we so scared of asking questions and sharing? Shouldn't we be more afraid of not learning? Making the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different result?

Part 3 of the rise and fall....

Ref: Here.

I would like to see any Malaysian going for a GM run.

But this is partly how I would evaluate their chances. First I would see the company he keeps. As they say, "birds of the same feather flock together". I would also like to see how open their minds are to new ideas. His display of venom against any one who wants to explore new training methods, his orchestration of the attacks against an attempt to train the juniors before International competition etc. tells me more about who he is today.

His total intolerance to questions and his support of Peter's attempt to "ban" a National player because he did not like the questions of his father also speak volumes.

That and his training for SEA games by playing the Veterans of Malaysian Open speaks loudly.

There are many people who pretend at sophistication. I know many who display big books and speak smatterings to sound intelligent. But it's just an illusion.

Furthermore I see many of the anonymous comments as written by Jimmy himself. So I am concerned about the "Jimmy method" if this is the final product. As you know I send all my readers to him. I do not cut and paste or try to distort. So what is Jimmy showing us on his blog?

What do you think the Chess Community is seeing? As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

So very honestly I wouldn't hold my breathe or bet on this horse. The evidence shows me that he is a very bitter person way past his prime and hell bent on making sure no one surpasses his 1986 achievement. (Although that does not deserve the accolade of Asia's best or one of the best in my eyes.)

Note: Actually we see the "Jimmy method" reflected in almost every facet of our chess culture. Why do you think no one dared to ask about the criteria at NC2012? How can we progress in this climate?

NC2012- Chess makes our kids smart.

By that slogan, I'm assuming that you also become a smart young adult and then a successful and even smarter adult. I mean the slogan doesn't fly for me if you then become dimmer from fear instilled by our own people as a young adult and even dimmer still as an adult right? If that is the case, why play chess?

That was just my musing. After this I am going to do some speculating. Lets look at the field first. Here.

Now lets see a question raised on one of the blogs. Here.

So lets try to fix a few things now that we do know. It is known that FGM was partly instrumental in bringing in the first written selection for SEA games. This is a simple matter of evidence from the blogs and timelines. Both mine and others. The other main party was Greg.

I have told you in my past postings of the many hours I spent with Greg discussing this. The phone calls into the early mornings and the many face to face meetings. I have also said that while our objective was the same at that time, I suspected that our motives were different.

Lets now see how the Olympiad selection was conducted up to the players meeting last night. No written selection criteria despite the many appeals on this blog which was also emailed to the committee members of MCF. I have argued that selection was the key in releasing new energy into Malaysian chess.

Now from just what I have said so far, does it raise any questions in your mind? If so then why is it that there was no announcement of the criteria and no questions from the floor at the players meeting according to my feedback? I called a MCF committee member to enquire and even that person doesn't know. I called another parent of a National Junior and he says he heard "rumours" that it is like the SEA games selection but he is not sure. Does this sound right to you?

The picture in my head is that the decision making process is more akin to North Korea than a democracy. Was there a danger that anyone would have been brought in front of a firing squad without trial at the players meeting? Then why no questions?

Is this how we are making our kids smart?

My personal observation is that I see the fire dimming in our kids year by year. So now I ask you to observe for yourself. Look at the kids now. See the fire. What will they become when they grow up? What will their experience in chess teach them? What would be your conclusion if you were present at this players meeting? Would the kids still be the same/better/worse after a few years of chess under this leadership?

This is what we should be teaching. Here. This is what they may become under the MCF/Jimmy method. Here.

Isn't it obvious? How much more evidence would we need before we ask the right questions? This is chess. How do you think we will fare at the Olympiads if this is how we do things?

Saturday, May 26, 2012


In a few hours time, at the players meeting of NC2012, we should hear an announcement that will tell us whether Malaysia will go forward or we will continue to be beached whales on the shores.

The fact is none of our IM's can even make one GM run. They are trained wrong and we are using the wrong strategy. We cannot take competition out of chess and still hope to do well.

A player once told Mark sometime back that there was an IM with very high rating, among the top 100 at one point but could not make the GM norms. I tried to verify this just now but was not succesful. But lets assume there is truth in this for now as we are a little short of time.

If that is true, then he will probably have been using the MCF (Jimmy) method. Play select tournaments, increase the rating. A GM run is about mental strength and sharp weapons (which also takes mental strength to wield).

So we too can land at Normandy, but will we have the resolve to push forward? Will we have the right weapons?

30plus years have shown us that we do not have the right strategy, mindset or weaponry to move into the hinterland.

Btw, first on board one in a team event once does not justify the accolade of best player in Asia. There is team strategy. There is the possibility that the other Asian Nations have moved their best players to other boards for example. Ref: Here.

Having good selection criteria is but the first step. It's a long journey and we need to move in the right direction. So I hope we will hear good news in a few hours time on D-day. I hope that we will not leave our players on the beach to be hammered yet again.

But its up to you at the players meeting tonight to question if they do try to reverse selection. This is roughly what it should look like. Here.

Forget the Jimmy method. It does not work. In fact that way damages.

An interesting article.


Today's contemplation.

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.
   -- Kahlil Gibran

Friday, May 25, 2012

IM Goh secures second GM norm.


I think this is a fairly balanced discussion.


Que Sera Sera

And so I have finished presenting my arguments and it will be up to MCF to make that announcement that will either take us forward or leave us languishing behind while we wait for another opportunity like Mal/Sing to get the energy together to ask for change again. Hopefully it won't be another 10 year wait.

While we wait for NC2012, lets discuss this. I have been told by a few people that my approach is divisive. So lets debate this. OK, I have come to certain conclusions after being in business for many years and fighting many trench wars. I could be wrong. Maybe I too have been scarred by my experiences. But anyway this is my conclusion for you to judge for yourself.

When I make a business presentation and I believe that I have covered all my bases and the contract goes to someone else with what I think is an inferior proposal, I usually think there is another agenda.

I also think that most people make bad decisions when they are overwhelmed by strong emotions. So they are reactive. And sometimes this is because they have been misinformed. This is normal. So we just attempt to correct the information in a calm way and usually this is enough to change outcome after some time. This means they have a functioning conscience and the ability to reason.

However I have come across some people in my life who are malicious. They do the things they do not because they are misinformed or just got angry and lost their bearings for a little while. There are some people who do harm out of premeditation. In law it is also recognised that there are such people.

So lets come back to the idea of unity in the chess community. I think it is possible for the vast majority of the chess community to work together. We just need to clear up some misconceptions. We just need to talk.

Now this NC2012 will present a unique opportunity to see if my conclusions about certain malicious people is correct or not. Now to see clearly you need to determine for yourself if there are people who will still do damaging things even when all the facts are known. Premeditation.

So I propose this. All my recent postings over the last month or so were also sent to the MCF committee members that I have emails to. And I have the emails of the major players. So if the announcement at the start of NC2012 doesn't make sense, then ask them questions.

Most of my arguments have been presented so you and all relevant decision makers have heard from all sides. Ask them questions and see for yourself if they have considered the best for Malaysian chess or if there is some other agenda.

I could be wrong. Maybe it's just that I do not know how to present well. Actually what I have said on my blog has also been articulated many times over many meals, drinks etc and over many years. And mostly done in a cordial spirit.

I have taken a lot of pain to make sure I am not misunderstood. So I see the attacks as malicious and coordinated by a few. And I see hidden agendas and hidden hands. I don't really believe it anymore when they say they do it for the love of chess. But thats just me after 8 years plus of experience in Chess.

But judge for yourself. Ask them and then look them in the eye. See if they are genuine or if they are trying to take you for a ride. If you reach the same conclusion as I did after asking all the questions you need to ask, then it will be up to all of us to demand for change. This can only be done if we discard our apathy. This is all legal and within our rights. So why not just speak up? That is the only way change will come.

But I hope it won't come to that. I hope there is still some vestige of wisdom left in MCF.

Que Sera Sera.

The ticking mind bomb.

The type of conversations you have on the outside is a reflection of the conversations you have with yourself.

If you have been set goals you cannot achieve, if you are not taught how to reach your goal, if you are sent to represent the Country without proper training and support and then expect or is expected to perform, then eventually your "self" talk becomes like this. Here.

So there is a big difference between confidence and a defence of the ego. It may look the same and to some sound the same but it is not the same. The defence of the ego is usually characterised by belligerence, intimidation, manipulation, lies etc. This is simply because their mind is unable to accept the truth. There is no confidence in their reasoning so they need to resort to deflection, misdirection.

This is the actual cause of stress. Not hard work.

We see this every time we play chess. At a certain level of stress all minds break down with the evidence of scrambled reasoning, memory loss etc.

For you cannot lie to yourself. You know when you haven't done the training. You know deep down when you are not good enough, when you are insufficiently prepared.

And so we will bring that mindset to the tournaments and the pressures will mount and then the mind bomb explodes.

We know this and yet we do this to our own players. We intimidate them, their parents and we use rejection to send them messages. And so over the years more and more fears are added till they also cannot despite having more "technical", more knowledge over time.

I submit that this is the major reason why we do not have a GM. Too much fear instead of insufficient technical. Our players are injected with so much fear that they start to breakdown in yearly increments . Haven't we seen that? Are we not seeing that right before our very eyes?

And yet we want to bury our heads and deny the overwhelming evidence gathered over 30plus long years. But at the same time we want them to perform great feats. We want that GM. But we keep injecting more and more fears into them. Is it a wonder they start to break down as they get older? Stop this and the GM will come.

Note: We expect this from our opponents. Intimidation etc. In fact that is not a problem. That can even be incorporated into the mind games. So the damage do not come from there. The damage only comes when the sabotage comes from within. Think on it.

Confidence can only be bought by achievement. And we see real confidence in real humility. Here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! 

Rudyard Kipling

Part 2 of the rise and fall...

Part 1 Here.

Part 2 Here.

However considerable his past achievements were, I do not believe it excuses the destructive role he plays today. There are many who have had much tougher lives but grew from it instead of succumbing to their trials and tribulations. I hope he will be more remembered for the achievements you are writing about Ilham, rather than the new pages he continues to write each day now.

Today we are much more aware of how manipulation works and somehow I don't think his attempts to rationalise his way out is going to work. It's a different world today. Look around you.

However it has been a good read. I look forward to part 3.

You have a choice.

Either learn the higher path of reasoning or learn the way of the gangsters. Without rules. Intimidation, ridicule, belligerence, mud slinging and lies. Ergo, fear of the truth.

Which way Malaysian chess will go will be up to you. Which way do you think will lead us to success in the Olympiad? What is chess trying to teach us. This or this?

Which road will lead us to that GM?

You can choose.

Proposal to MCF.

I hope this proposal will be considered objectively.

I believe it is still possible to continue the forward momentum that we now have. This is what I propose. Still use the top 8 or 10 from the National Close for a round robin with the top rated players in Malaysia. Presumably the IM's. Say top 4 from ratings?

This round robin is important. The players from National Close would have to determine the right strategy for an Open competition. And then they have to learn how to prepare for known opponents in the round robin. This is also practice for the Olympiad.

No one from outside these group should be allowed parachute in. The top 4 or top 6 from the round robin gets to go to the Olympiad. No additional inclusions like we saw in SEA games.

This will send a powerful message to our players. Stay current and stay sharp or you are out. Lets keep our focus towards the future. Then we will see Malaysian magic.

In today's internet world there is no place you can run from the chess fans. Wherever you play there will be chess fans following. And the game does show the level of the players maturity and thinking. Our results also reflect on the level of support and training; the effectiveness of the Federation. All this will show up at the Olympiad.

So for now, lets learn from Chong Wei and Nichol David. When they play they carry the hopes and aspirations of the Country. So they have to accept that. If we send mentally toughened players out to play eventually we too may be able to contribute to Malaysian Sport by showing them the winning mindset. Afterall we are the most popular mind sport in Malaysia.

So we should be in front of the curve. Not lagging far behind.

For that to happen, we also need to properly train our players before they go. I am assuming that we still have the big surplus from Asian Amateur and Melaka. So use the money wisely. Use it for Malaysian Chess. There should be enough not only for the training but also to sponsor or heavily subsidise the trip.

Better late than never. There is still time to put up a forward thinking written selection criteria.

Do this and you can go up that podium in your finery and make all your proclamations with pride and dignity.

All my best

How quickly we forget.

Does anyone still remember what it was like after the last Olympiad? When they came back accusations were flying everywhere. Who screwed up etc.etc.

Do you remember our chess scene before SEA games selection? Was it even a fraction as lively as it is now? So what was the tipping point?

I submit that the tipping point was on that train ride back from Mal/Sing Jan 2011. Not too long ago. On that train ride everyone was upbeat because we just won after 10 long years. And the parents shared. And we talked about selection. From there a small seed was planted and when we got back the movement to ask for selection had begun.

Did we not see a tremendous upsurge in energy since selection was brought in? Did we not see the rise in numbers of participants in tournaments as a direct result of having selection? But they forget. They now think Malaysian chess was revived out of a vacuum.

Now I submit that if we had lost, the conversation on the train would have been very different. So what am I saying? I am saying we need success to unite the Malaysian chess community. We can have the conversation after the last Olympiad or we can have the conversation after Mal/Sing.

The talk after victory and the talk after defeat is very different.

We now have some initiative and forward momentum. But as we know from chess, that can very quickly go up in smoke from a misstep.

Mal/Sing was partly an accident. Just the right confluence of energy and perhaps some mistakes from the opposite side. So to go forward we need a plan. And a plan needs energy to move.

What I am also saying is if we reverse selection now, we will lose that energy. We will lose momentum and lose the opportunity. Think about it MCF. It is not too late to reverse this mistake. It's still before the move. The move is completed at the start of NC 2012. There is still time to make a power move, a power decision.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So why are the juniors so special?

Because they are not yet defined. They are still a blank sheet of paper till we write on it.

So some actually think they are supposed to win when they face the IMs. They actually think they are supposed to improve their chess and train. But when they win selection fairly their victory is not celebrated. Instead they are told that they have made enemies and they see the forces that did not want them to win attacking them.

When they are juniors, we split them up into Perak, Selangor, Kelantan, Sabah etc. But what I saw at Mal/Sing 2011 on the trip back by train, after the historic win, were Malaysians.

There were no Chinese, Indian, Malays. There was only Nabil, Syakir, Alia, Mark, Eng Chiam, Kaushal etc etc.

And then we tell them that their achievement was nothing. 

The juniors are undefined, their potential is limitless. Until we limit them. Until we tell them they are all washed out by 14. Until we tell them they cannot try until they too have the fat numbers. But we know they cannot get that today. So we have limited them.

Now, these juniors will one day be our future leaders. And we keep telling them that they Tak Boleh.

So let me define the glass ceiling in another way that may be more useful for us. Let me say that the glass ceiling is formed when unlimited potential is confined by limited minds. Or in french, when big brains are controlled by no brains.

So if we want that GM, if we want Malaysia to stand tall in the International arena, we have to put big brains at the top of MCF. Then we will progress.

"Broken" IMs

Sometime back an IM spoke to me and said that even if you have many IM norms, like he did, you need MCF to submit those norms or you cannot be an IM.

Now this is from the horses mouth but how can we prove this? Ask MCF?

If what he says is true, then the plot thickens. If that is true, you cannot even be an IM unless you kowtow to very small people. And I don't think that is right. It should be about your chess. If you are good then you should play for the Country. That is chess and that is how we will get our own GM.

So if that is true, then the implication is enormous. You don't only need to be an IM but a "broken" IM to play for Malaysia.

But this could only be hearsay. So how can we find out what the truth is? So the only step I can think of is to write to Fide. So I will send this post to Ignatius Leong for his feedback. I want to know if you can become an IM or a GM if you do not kowtow to small people in MCF.

Why? I didn't bring my son into chess so that he can be broken. I brought him into chess because I want him to learn that he can be the best he can be by improving his chess. And then I want him to apply those lessons to business. I did not bring my son into chess to be stopped by a glass ceiling.

I want him to be a global Malaysian. Is that also why you have brought your child into chess? I will post Ignatius's reply if any on this blog. Actually silence is also an answer.

All my best.

The Olympiad glass ceiling.

It's now getting clearer how the glass ceiling is being set. We all saw how strong our IM's really are haven't we over the last year. And we know that unless you were supported years before you cannot have the fat numbers they have today. But you cannot get to play with them and compete for a place to represent the Country.

So how will Malaysia progress? Even if you become strong and can beat the IMs, you will not have the number since theirs is gotten from history during the ice age, before the internet. And they have learnt how to protect their number.

And so the fat numbers will go to represent Malaysia once again. And we will all sit here and watch the cartoon show yet again. And then some will criticize and we will hear the defence and excuses yet again. And all will be wasted energy.

The issue should have been looked into and a plan and decision made before we go. That's chess. We do the planning and make the necessary decisions before we play.

As the saying goes, nasi dah jadi bubur. But we will get to enjoy the Malaysian past time at least. We can do all that mud slinging, tell more lies and have a really good time doing it.

But Malaysian chess will slip further and further behind. One year plus of intense activity is not enough. Tournaments alone is not enough.

Go below again to see the further expanded list. The highest rated player is Li Tian. So are we able to deduce what the criteria already is?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NC2012- The list expands.


Note: I notice that the State of Perak is missing from the invitation. I think this is unfair. So can I propose this to MCF. Mark will not be able to play this year because of STPM. Can we propose Fadzil Nayan, Fong Yit San or Fong Yit Ho? These guys have raised the flag for our State many times this year. So they deserve an invitation.

Here's another link from facebook. Here.

ps: Thank you MCF for taking action. Latest is Perak has been added. But why no Fadzil? I thought he is the strongest.

The Vision, the goal and the Deal.

If you train in the martial arts you are taught to punch through the target and not at the target. There is a reason for this. Lets see what this means in chess.

If your target is to be National Master or National Junior Master then that goal is too short term. You are trying to punch at the target. And that is also the trap. Why do I say that? You have now made room for the deal.

Now you may need the stronger players to give way to you if you lose your confidence; if your support system is not strong enough.You may need certain trainers or officials to pave the way. And so you can be intimidated and possibly broken. And they know this. So they will attack your weakest link if they cannot get to you. Can you see this? I have seen Champions fall that way.

But if your goal, if your target is further. Say if your target is to be a GM, then you have to look further. You start to look at competitor analysis, you start to look for new ideas to improve, you start to train. You have no time for the deal and cannot be intimidated.

And funnily, if you do that you also increase your chance at the National titles. Can you see that?

Actually that is also the way forward for Malaysian chess too. We need to benchmark against our foreign competitors. And we start at the Asean level, then Asian and finally the World.

If we do that we won't have time to fight among ourselves. Too much work. And we will be stronger as a chess Nation. Is that what MCF is doing?

Use the spirit of the Juniors.

When Sumant first came to my house and told me he didn't know how to improve it was a revelation. After all he had spent a few months in India under a GM the year before. The first revelation is that he was beyond the level of the trainers in Malaysia. There is nothing here that they can teach him anymore. The second revelation is that he is not yet at the stage where a GM is useful.

This we found out for ourselves too. Mark was also under the care of a GM abeit online. And much of the lessons the GM had to teach was too far advanced. You see, at the GM level they have already done all the basics we have yet to do.

All the things that FGM has tried to do is to fill the gap on the technical level. And for that I use peer training. That is a much underestimated tool but a very powerful one.

Now consider this. Zhuo Ren and Sumant would not have come to me for the SEA games training if they felt that I was not giving value. Sumant had been with us for nearly 2 years and he is a very intelligent person. He would have left much earlier if I was wasting his time.

All the juniors who have made it to U16 or U18 level in Asean, Asian or World are beyond the level of our trainers. They can in fact replace many of them. But they are also not at the GM level.

What they need is to toughen their minds after years of abuse. What they need is to learn discipline and to apply all that they know to winning competitions. That is what competitor analysis does. It squeezes knowledge that you actually have but don't know you have and it forces you to apply it to winning a tournament and not a game. And that requires training. Here.

So what are we telling them now so publicly? They are very close to taking the lead in the Country if we do not puncture them. We are saying to them that if you try to improve by exploring new knowledge, we will hammer you. We will ridicule you in public, we will "ban" you. And after 20 we will close all the doors. All of you will have to fight for is one place while we keep the backdoor open to those who have the fat numbers and the deal.

It doesn't matter if you are now stronger than the fat numbers or will be soon. The door is shut. And you will not make it by improving your chess. The only way in after 20 is by making a deal with us.

As you can see over the last year or so. We will sabotage any attempt for improvement. And what is MCF doing about it?

So the juniors have it right. They can improve by sharing among themselves. And they can improve if they understand this. Read here

But they and anyone else not so junior who dares to compete need the door to be opened. Need to be assured that if they train to win they will not be publicly humiliated or their parents attacked. Now isn't that apparent that this is happening now?

Give them the chance and in a few years time we will have a fighting team. A fighting Malaysia.

Correction. Sumant went to an IM in India. Not a GM.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Zulkiply Zaidan, New kid on the block.

Ref: Here.

Need I say anymore? Lets give the new blood a chance.

Monday evening musings.

So after the Olympiad selection National Close, are you going to go up on the podium and tell us all how much you love chess? Talk about no parachutists as I heard was the speech given at the Selangor AGM. Are you going to be dressed up in all your finery? Will you be able to say that you have done your best for Malaysian chess; that you have made all those sacrifices for chess?

Will you be able to stand tall and look us in the eye when you say all these things? What do you think we will be thinking? Is that what you want?

Is this the list of players?

Ref: Here.

5 each? Mens and Ladies? Put out the criteria early. Let us know how many places we are fighting for? Many have trained hard since the SEA games selection. Give the players a chance to have a clean fight without back doors. Chess is a competitive sport. Let the competition begin. Then we will see progress. Forget your deals. Do this for the Country.

Tournament Strategy and Selection criteria.

Ref: Here.

Where is the criteria MCF?

Recently we saw a perfect 9 score in the Selangor Open from a foreign IM. The ultimate Champion. A Champion's run is different from other runs. Why do I say that?

A Champion's run is based on an assessment of the field and the conviction that his/her weaponry is superior in all aspects. And that means accurate competitor analysis.

Let me also say that a selection tournament to represent the Country is also not an ordinary tournament. It is a tournament to assess if the weaponry that you have is sufficient for you to be the best in the Country. And that is not the same as the Asean level, the Asian level or World level. But it is a start. It allows us to assess at the Country level.

Let us see what a normal run is like before we too can make Champion runs.

So lets use the last SEA games as an example. If the criteria is top 10 or top 8, you will need to assess yourself against the possible field. If it is open to all including beginners then you will probably need slightly different weaponry. You will probably need more win/lose weaponry or you may drop below the points needed to make the cut. Top 10 is different and top 8 is again different, depending on the field.

Example. Caveat. I think Li Tian can make top 8 in NC even with the weaponry I have seen recently but it won't be so straight forward. So I hope he will bring new ones to NC2012. Best of luck Li Tian.

If the tournament is rated at say 1900 and above plus National Juniors or past National Juniors, again your weaponry will need to be different for you to make the cut.

Now I haven't gone deeply into competitor analysis yet but allow me to say that generally in a very big and open field you need to rely more on your strengths.

But say you do make the cut and now get into the round robin. The fight for the top 4 or top 6. Then you will need to rely more on taking the fight to their weaknesses. 

Are you still following?

Now also understand that this is the same thinking process of competitor analysis for global competition in business. This is the lesson for our fighters when they go out into the world and the same thinking process when/if they want to do a GM run.

And to do that well we need to practice this process over and over again to develop the necessary judgement. And also to inculcate the discipline of training before tournaments.

So selection criteria must come out early. If possible the players list also out early. Then we are developing a thinking sport. A mind sport. If we can do this we will have our own Champions too in the nearer future.

So is MCF failing us in this regard? Are we expected to go to NC2012 and then just hope to win? Against what benchmark, against what field? What strategy do we need? Top 8, top 10? Is there a rating limit?

Or is everyone fighting for just one place in clean competition and for the rest we do side deals? If so then tell us what the deal is? What are the conditions? How do we get into the deal too? Join your chess school/academy/university? Have a vote at AGM? Spell out your conditions. Go to your special Fide fattening tournaments? What?

And isn't this our Olympiad selection? Isn't this the most prestigious tournament that Malaysia regularly send players to? Are we developing the next tier of players or are we waiting for the current seniors to fall asleep on the tournament table from old age?

What are you doing MCF? Are we going to the Olympiad and hope to have the success of 1986 or have you given up?

Or is there another agenda instead of doing your best for the Country?

Or is only a select few given the criteria early and the rest surprised on the day or the day before?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

PM says to seize opportunities.

Ref: Here.

And this is what we can learn from chess. Here. A big part of doing business globally is understanding competitor analysis. And you get a big head start in this from understanding tournament strategy. Tomorrow I will explain further why criteria for the Olympiads is important and why MCF is failing us by not putting the criteria out early. See you tomorrow.

Olympiad criteria.

This happens. Here.

Not in the best spirit of sportsmanship but it happens. And its not even a mind sport. But notice this. It's from the opponent. It should not come from our own team. So why are they so proud of intimidating our own juniors? Why do they try to shut the door to our juniors trying to be the best that they can be? Why try to protect outdated/inflated numbers and outdated players and still focus on 1986? That is the past. What will our future be? Doesn't that start from the decision we make today?

So what will be the criteria be for the Olympiads? This is the announcement from MCF. Here. Anyone see the criteria for the Olympiads? Would it be announced on the day itself? Is that right for such a major event?

Singapore at Asian Nations.


Are we slipping further and further behind under current MCF leadership? We beat Singapore in Jan 2011 after 10 long years. When will we do it again? Do we want to do it again? What can we do to improve our chances?

Tournament Strategy, Part 2.

Ref: Here and here.

Where is the problem with the term Tournament strategy? The weaponry can be found soon enough if we sit down and really look at it. We did that for SEA games training with good results although it was not perfect. But I am confident that we will eventually get more and more correct with enough proper selection tournaments.

The problem is within the term strategy. Now this is a term not easily understood. So let me try to use an analogy. Did you see "The last Samurai" with Tom Cruise? In the movie there was a situation where the new untrained Japanese army with riffles were asked to withold firing until the charging Samurais were very near. In their panic, they fired early in the first encounter and were decimated.

From here we can see that the strategy may be correct but you need to be trained to execute the strategy. Now this is where the real problem is as I have found while training the Juniors. Chess in tournaments and chess in high levels bring a lot of stress. The higher the level, the higher the stress. I am sure you can agree with that.

Now at high levels of stress, the untrained mind breaks down. They forget the strategy, they abandon their strategy in their fear. So a major part of  FGM training is stress management. What is the point of doing all that analysis when you cannot remember the training, cannot remember the strategy or ditch the strategy at the first sign of a problem?

So examine my methods. You will often see me at the tournaments where my players are playing. Now what do I do? I observe. I look at the mental state of my players. I remind them what our agreed strategy is in between rounds. I examine if the decision made by my players to change strategy is based on sound reasoning or based on fear.

But I can only do that in between rounds. Once the clock has started I have to trust that their training is adequate. That they can still think and make good decisions on the board despite the stress level. So I teach problem solving and decision making too.

Now can you understand why I am not in favour of trainers who use intimidation on their own players? That is the job of the opponent. The job of the coach is to support the player. To keep their mind on the strategy and to manage the stress to prevent it from reaching tipping point.

So the biggest enemy to any player is a trainer/coach without emotional control. They implant more fear into the players instead of helping. And there is already so much stress the players have to handle. They then belittle the players after they have crashed because the trainer and training was lousy.

That is the worst sort of betrayal in my eyes. The enemy from within. The players do not need that. They need to face the opponents in front of them and not attacks from what is supposed to be a part of their team.

If that happens enough times, the players are finally broken. And I seriously think that is what happened to Jimmy. And then it spreads.

The rise and fall of Jimmy Liew.

Ref: Here.

Note: My dispute with Jimmy is not personal but based on principle. After many attempts to reach him I finally concluded that he was too damaged to be able to reason with. Nevertheless every iota of achievement must be duly accorded to him. However he is also accountable for all the damage he has done.

So let us follow this story to see how Jimmy went from his greatest heights to attacking a training program for the juniors, to attacking the juniors themselves. Why he trains for SEA games by playing in the Veterans of Malaysia Open?

We need to open our eyes to this; to understand how we are failing our players so that we are able to make changes to ensure that this never happens to anyone of our players ever again.

As I have often said, chess is a double edged sword. It can build if taught and used correctly. But it can also tear down.

Cautionary note: The Author, Ilham is a die hard Jimmy fan and may not be objective in this matter. I have had the experience of introducing him to a parent that benefited from the Asean junior training program so that he can learn the truth about it from the lies that were spread by Jimmy's blog/s. However he came from the interview just saying that the parent was "nice".

Still if you read with discernment you will understand more of what is wrong with our chess leadership.

It is still my sincerest hope that Jimmy can wake up and see where the damage to him has really come from and not hit out at innocents from his anger and rage. That is a very important step to recovery.

ps: My next posting, Tournament Strategy, Part 2 may offer a further clue to the answers.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Asian Nations Cup.

Ref: Here.

One day we too will see a strong Malaysian Team at this event.

More coverage here.

Tournament strategy.

Your playing tools need to aid your tournament strategy. So you can either play for rating or you can play to win a tournament. Different strategy. Different tools.

Your end goal matters too. To train to be a GM eventually or to be National Champ. Again different strategy and different tools. And so different type of training.

But I am getting a little ahead of myself. Lets establish this fact first. To be Champ or to have a shot at being Champ you must win a tournament and not just a game. You won't get there if you beat a GM and then lose to a rank beginner. Or draw with too many lower rated players. Think about it. Use as many examples as you need in your mind from past experience.

This was a debate we had too during the FGM SEA games training. Are we agreed here? Can I move on?

So to win a tournament you need broadly 2 things. One mental strength. You cannot lose focus, lose your courage and lose a game you shouldn't lose. And two, you need the tools to win when you need to win ie against weaker players and win/draw weapons against higher rated players. Ref: Here.

Are we still agreed? This will not be easy for some to understand. Especially for those that come from trainers who can only teach certain openings. They will tell you that their weapon can win all battles as well as win the war. So take your time to understand this.

I will talk more tomorrow.

ps: Do send this and the post below to your friends you think is going to NC 2012. Or just those you think is interested. As Arbiter Najib says, sharing is caring.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Most of the work is done before you even get to the table.

Over the next few days I will share with you the basic method that has brought an unknown player from Perak to National Age group U18 number 2 and National Junior number 2 in 2010 in about 11/2 years and National Junior number 5 last year. The same method that helped another Junior break into the senior squad in a proper selection for SEA games.

This will be my contribution to my readers and the fighters that will be at our National Close 2012 which has been announced as the criteria for the Olympiads although details are not out yet. I wish all of you the very best. Fight hard but fight clean as the officer and gentlemen/women that you are or will be in the future.

Let me start by telling you that openings have no meaning. Why? It has no meaning unless you know who you are. It has no meaning unless you know who your opponent is. And it has no meaning unless you factor in the time control you are playing in.

The basic premise is this. Everyone is gifted differently. So if you are a natural attacker, having defensive weaponry is a misfit. There are also those born with photographic memory, the born calculators, the conceptual  thinkers, the natural defensive players. Are you starting to see what I mean? So the game of chess also helps you to discover who you are.

Isn't that fantastic? Many don't have an idea of the answer to this question even late in life. But chess can start answering this question for you very early in life.

If you do it right.

So this is the problem for many players in Malaysia who goes to trainers who can only teach their favourite opening. If you are lucky you will be taught the correct opening for your personality type and gifting. If not you will be lumbered with a tool that does not fit you. And you will stall eventually.

The first step in FGM is to profile you. What would be the right tool for you. This understanding will also later form the basis of competitor analysis. Can you accept what I have said so far? If you can, then come back tomorrow and I will explain further.

All my best.

Thank you Ng6 for the clarification.

Ref: Here.

What I am still a little confused about is whether Mamak Chess is associated with Mamak Gang at all. I somehow don't feel they are. I know Saprin, Kamaluddin and Che Hassan. And I have deep respect for them. I learnt much about composure from seeing Kamaluddin in battle and Che Hassan has helped Mark in his chess many many times.

Although I have only met Zulkiply briefly a few times I have always thought of him as a very well brought up young man. And I don't think these guys can easily be fooled.

So I find it very hard to see them lending their names to such a cheap stunt as that pulled by Mamak Chess.

I think anonymous bloggers are very dangerous. Maybe it's an idea not to allow them on the chess portal. There is zero accountability and they are being used to spread a lot of lies and confusion. If you have anything to say why hide?

Note: Ng6 is a known blogger Razali Hamzah.

The Juniors can do it again for Olympiad team.

And the not so junior. Remember our strategy was to go for the IM's at SEA games training? And not lose to anyone ranked lower than you. Go back and read the series again if you cannot remember.

We got the strategy right for Sumant. He found the weapons to draw with Yee Weng and beat Mok. And then he won his place in the senior squad.

Li Tian and Nik Farouqi has found a way to beat Mas. And I see Zulkiply Zaidan as a serious up and coming player.

Personally I think the best chance will go to Edward Lee if he is present and he plays fully prepared. But many others too will have good chances. Kelantan and Sabah is also growing in strength and depth. All we need is a few more proper selections to see major changes in the senior squad lineup.

But let me share this. This is important. Have you ever noticed that a player can win against a strong opponent and then lose to a weaker one. This can come from a variety of reasons related to mental strength. But it can also come from having the wrong weapon for the wrong opponent. Ref: Here. So you need an array of weapons. And those weapons need to be fully tested before you can use it effectively.

That was the purpose of FGM's thematics. That was also the focus of FGM's SEA games training. We got it right for Yee Weng and Mok. But we did not get it right for Jimmy at that time. We did not train to win/draw against Mas. And so we trained our new weapons for the agreed strategy within the timeframe we had. And then we went for the selection.

You can do it too. You can breakthrough the glass ceiling. It has been proven. This year I will be a spectator but I hope to see a serious fight.

Btw, I think we will have a similar selection structure for the Olympiads as we had for SEA games. We just need to be careful of the parachutists. Why do I say that? I think it will be very dangerous for MCF to try and change it now. The selection has been too well publicised. If they mess with it there may be a big price to pay at the AGM. So start training.

Sumant, you have a chance too if you can find the discipline. Train as you did when you were with us. I don't know if Zhuo Ren will be present too but I hope he will take the result from SEA games to heart. They can be beaten. You just need to find back your self belief. Look back.

I wish all the fighters good luck at NC 2012.

You must not accept one place for all of you if MCF is crazy enough to try that again.

Read this again. Here.

ps: I also hope to see Nicholas Chan, Ronnie Lim etc. back in the fight. Now that would really be something special. I may even come all the way just to experience this epic.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Evening musings.

I even publicize your blogs for you. I don't cut and paste. I don't want my readers to miss any juicy bits about why FGM is so lousy that you do not have the confidence to meet my players on the board. Why you must attack my players and their parents. So I send all my readers to you. And you do not do the same for me. But that is ok by me.

I don't even ask for commision from your advertising revenue for this service. I appreciate you. I appreciate you revealing your thinking to me. I appreciate you opening so many doors to subjects I wouldn't and couldn't have opened without your kind assistance.

You have helped me and my readers greatly in understanding the Malaysian chess scene. I thank you for this. So why are you so angry with me? I couldn't have done this without your help.

Why so much fear? I don't even know how to play chess as you say. You have all the advantage don't you?

Can you help me out with this Jimmy?

How do you know when you have lost in chess?

You have lost when you use belligerence. You have lost when you use intimidation. You have lost when you cut and paste select lines to manipulate opinion. You have lost when you write your own anonymous postings. See here for examples. Here. There is plenty more if you continue to read further on this blog as well as the satellite blogs.

You have lost when you deflect, misdirect and lie. You have lost when you claim to have large numbers when what you are actually doing is working overtime to create new anonymous blogs and comments. See here.

Am I still talking about chess?

Yes. Here's why. When you go to the Olympiads and you meet the English team again, you will have no answers. What are you going to do against the cold hard wall of deep reasoning and superior training. Will the Jimmy method win the day or will it flounder against this wall?

What are you going to do? Change the rules? Shout at them? Ban them? Lie and tell the arbiter that the fella stole your queen that should be sitting there? Sweep the pieces onto the floor? Which weapon from "Jimmy's methods" will you use to win the day? Tell them you have superior numbers so they better resign? Tell them you didn't know this was the Olympiad and can we replay the game again because you weren't serious the first time?

This is what we should be doing. Here. Send our best team forward. Train them well, toughen their minds. Do competitor analysis. That should be our focus now and our answer to the Olympiad. Face our opponents squarely. Without fear. We too learn to reason deeply, we too train as hard.

For if we do not do this, we have already lost. Chess.

So are we going to try Jimmy's childish method. It only works to around 12 plus. After that you are only fat numbers lead to the slaughter.

But isn't that the problem. They do not even know when they have lost do they? They are that far gone. Even after they have been checkmated, they blink their eyes and try to lie their way out. Is that what we want to teach our players? Do we still hold up the Jimmy method as our pride and joy?

Or do we want to go to the Olympiads to fight. To fight with pride and honour for the Nation.

It all starts with proper selection. Here again.

Note: The term Jimmy method applies to a collection of behaviour by different people who chooses to continue to bury their heads in the sand. They include the people who tell you you are all washed out by 14, the ones that try to ban players without rhyme or reason etc etc. I think the term is apt because it also shows most visibly what happens to the player after he has been hammered for years without proper training and support.

Are we failing the Nation?

They keep trying to say that I do not know anything about chess. Maybe its them that have lost their way. Lets examine this today. What is the game of chess? Is it about forward thinking, decision making? Is it about the decision making process, the state of your mind before making a decision or is it about nit picking and doing "postmortems"?

Let me use an analogy here. If you learn chess the correct way you should be attempting to look at the issues surrounding the building of the Highland Towers. Looking ahead, anticipating problems. And putting up a building that is safe. You would have considered that railroad pilings may not be suitable in that area.

Note: I do not use this example lightly. I lost 2 friends in the incident.

If you learn chess the Jimmy way, you would probably be there after the building has collapsed and then be nit picking and shifting the blame.

The way you are trained in chess will determine the way you look at things. As I have said before, not all will become chess masters or want to become GM's. But all can benefit from correct chess training.

Note: The road to that GM also comes from correct decision making and not the "Jimmy" postmortem route. Look carefully and see what his method has done to him.

Which Architect or Engineer will you trust? The one that is trained in thinking skills and decision making or the one that comes and tell you why the building has collapsed after it has collapsed?

I am interested in your thoughts/emotional state before you make the decision to move. A lousy teacher will tell you what to think. A good teacher questions your thinking. Ergo, the mind coach. Look at this again. Here.

So lets look at this type of thinking here. Ref: Here. Have you heard of Rip Van Winkle? The man fell asleep and woke up many years later and found life had passed him by. Here we see the thinking of a chess player who is still trying to find the answers to a game long since passed instead of trying to win the game in front of him.

What are the issue before us today? Selection and the MCF AGM. Both are critical issues.

This is what we should be looking at. Here.

And we should be looking at it before we crash at the Olympiad. Now isn't that how real chess should be played?

Or do you think his methods work? Ref: Here. If you read back further on his blog you will see postmortems galore. He will tell you why Dubai 1986 where he played was the best ever. He will postmortem the last Olympiad. He will postmortem games.

But hey, we have Fritz. And Fritz is much better than you Jimmy. And so we don't need you to tell us why the building collapsed after the incident. But you cannot even look at issues can you? You are too well trained at making excuses, deflection, misdirection, lies etc. That is how your learnt your version of chess. And now you cannot face reality.

A real chess player would be looking at the coming selection, trying to find solutions. Trying to get our best team out there. Trying the set realistic goals. Looking at how to train our players before we send them out. For that is real chess.

So are we failing the Nation? Which set of thinkers are we building up? How MCF deals with selection will give us a strong clue of what our chess is like. Is it the Rip Van Winkle type or the lets just nit pick and deflect and hopefully no one will notice that the Olympiad has come and gone. And then Jimmy will postmortem type?

So which type of chess would you rather learn? The one that helps you determine the best play before the move, that is part of your plan. The decision made without anxiety or fear but carefully considered before the tournament and before each move during the game;

Or the Jimmy type where he tells you or "tries" to tell you where you went wrong after you have lost.

FGM says we look at selection before we send a useless team out. So lets look at this carefully and then make our decision as strong chess players. One well trained in the mind sport. Here.

Or have we been paralysed from being able to think, to make decisions? And we still say chess makes our kids smart? Lets demonstrate that if it is true. Lets make a power decision on selection before the move.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why so desperate? Why so weak?

You have already intimidated my players and their parents. I only have one player left. You have Jimmy Liew, Peter Long, Greg etc.etc.etc.etc. You have the entire chess community to find players from now. So why can't you just meet us on the chess board? Why do you need to resort to all sorts of unsavoury manner to knock us out?

You should welcome the opportunity to prove me wrong on the table yes? Why ban?

Suggestion. You can have classes on how to beat Mark Siew. Put all your brains together. You can play tag team and nobody will know. Isn't that less desperate than what you are doing now?

I invite you to my training classes. I don't keep my secrets from you. I even publisize on my blog my thoughts and my training methods.

And you have a 30 year headstart. I am just learning and still continuing to learn.

And we are also unable to train this year because Mark has STPM. What more do you want? How much more advantage do you need?

So why so desperate? Why so weak?

And then you want to take on giants overseas? You strut and you talk big. But you cannot find a way to beat a non playing chess coach on our own shores without the use of twisted rules and official power? Is this really the level of chess you have?

ps: Just for Jimmy. The you I use is the collective you. You included. Clearer now? Ref: Here.

Reply to Mamak Chess again.

Ref: Here.

Thank you for your clarification. Perhaps it would be good for you to say who you are. Normally I do not engage anonymous people but I have made it an exception in your case since you bring up a much debated issue long after the debate has been completed.

And I also see that you may be trying to deflect from 2 very important issues before us today. And those are the issues of selection and the upcoming MCF AGM.

This begs the question if you are trying to part of the solution or part of the problem.

As far as I know Mamak gang is part of the Kelantan group and so I asked about it since you also use part of their name in your blog. Why ask racial questions? Have I not stood on issues irrespective of race? Do I keep quiet if the case is about Jimmy or Greg? So please do not muddy the water anymore.

We need to focus on issues that affect all Malaysians. We are talking about right and wrong. We are talking about decisions that can take us forward and decisions that will keep us lost for another 30 years. And we are talking about chess.

So I will say a little more. Sumant had been training with us for some time already. Nearly 2 years. And if you had followed closely, he never denied this right until Malaysian Open 2011. And that was only when his mother could no longer take the attacks on her son.

And so you cannot see the power of intimidation. In finality we saw that the intimidation also came from MCF. I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Logically, can it be that Sumant came to train Mark for SEA games selection? Mark was not in the selection.

If you look even closer you will see that Jun Feng was not on the list of qualifiers. But Greg stopped at Jun Feng and then brought in someone from the outside the criteria.

A piece of new information. Both the boys signed an enrollment form to join FGM which I still have. But this has always been my stand. I never allow my players to go against their parents. So if the mother objects, it is case closed for me as far as them being my students. But I can still talk about my training. Can you understand the difference?

As for Zhuo Ren, that was his first time with us. So he joined and then he changed his mind. That is OK. But you do not see that it can also be intimidation. If you follow the timeline, his email to Jimmy came directly after going home from my place. So mere hours apart. Doesn't this suggest that there is the possibility that he may have been used for just that purpose? We cannot see into anyone's mind but we can learn to reason.

But all this is water under the bridge. We cannot change the past but we can still make decisions today that can change our future. I still believe that the boys will one day tell the truth. But this cannot be from my instigation. This must be because they feel and believe that that is the right thing to do. In my eyes, that will also be the day they become men and true Champions.

So you have my answer Mamak Chess. If you want to engage me further then please state your name. For all I know you could be the same anonymous person that writes on Jimmy's blog. And I think most of it is him anyway. Does this make sense? Is that logik?

ps: I think the best way to settle this debate is to stop the intimidation of parents and players; have proper selection and stop the attempts at banning. Then we will see if FGM's methods are rubbish or not. No need to debate anymore. Let the chess board decide. Is that logik too Mamak Chess? Do you support this solution? Don't you want that chance to show my methods do not work? And from a non chess player but one who knows how to think? Don't you want the chance to prove me wrong in the only way all chess players can accept? On the board.

A very good way to start is if you support good selection criteria. Maybe you have a method, maybe somebody else has a better method. But the only way to prove it is on the board. Isn't that also logik? So can we see your next posting as one that supports the refutation of FGM on the chess board instead of all this mud slinging? Do you agree? Please see below.

How can we improve on the selection process? Ref: SEA games.

SEA games selection was a step in the right direction. But it was far from perfect. The top 10 playoff sounds about right but we have to look closer at the detailing.

For one the National Close cannot be open to beginners. So there must be a cap. Say 1900 Fide rating and perhaps National Juniors or former National Juniors. Why? This limit improves the quality of the results as it affects the tie breaks. I hope this fact is obvious. Another way to look at this is that without that criteria any new player can say that they are going for Olympiad selection which sounds a little off don't you think?

So there should be a Challengers event for the rest.

Another glaring problem that arose during the last National Close is players walking out of the tournament before completion. This again affect the results of the players tie breaks. So a ruling about walkouts should be part of the criteria too.

Note: This happened to one of  my players.

We cannot use ratings alone as part of the selection process. We saw this at the last Olympiad where we had players who had not played a Fide Tournament in years (around 10 I'm told) representing the Country based on "ratings". I have also argued that until our players play chess to improve their game as apposed to just gaining in Fide points from select tournaments, then rating is also not a true mark of skill. Ref: Here.

Don't we want the very best to represent the Country?

Then let them fight it out in a clean and fair competition. If you cannot be bothered to show up for the event, should we now open a back door for you? If you are too scared to fight it out for it may expose your weakness of not having sharp weapons then isn't this the perfect training ground for you to learn to have sharp weapons before you try to represent the Country?

So all these steps can be made to improve the selection process.

But we also need to look at the enforcement of the criteria itself. At SEA games selection we had the situation where a trainer brought in his own player from outside the criteria and then brought in someone else from an unknown criteria. We need firm and well thought out criteria. I believe that going down the list is the correct way. If any member of the top 10 is unable to go for the round robin then go down the list till we get the 10. But no one who was not present should be allowed to parachute in.

This will make the selection clean and avoid conflict of interests. There may be other suggestions to improve on the selection process and I hope this will be properly discussed within MCF.

Selection is the way forward. Selection should not become a political tool to bring in your friends and allies to the detriment of the Country. Playing for Malaysia should not become a holiday event. It's a privilege and not the right of a select few. The Olympiad is a team event. Bring in the sightseers and the team will not function.

So this debate cannot be won on the blogs with sleek PR campaigns and mud slinging. This debate can only be settled on the table with a chessboard and with proper rules.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reply to Mamak Chess.

Ref: Here.

I think this is a very one sided posting. I have answered to all of the quotes you have used. A fair discussion is one that you also show my replies to the relevant quotes. Do you do your chess training in the same manner? Or do you look at all sides of an argument before you make up your mind?

So my question to you is does chess in Malaysia make our kids smart or have we gone terribly wrong somewhere? Going with your example of reasoning my conclusion must be we have lost our way.

So if you don't mind, I won't bother with replying you in the future. I prefer to talk about the coming selection criteria for the Olympiads and the possible challenge for the top post of MCF.

I think we are now at a cross road. What we do about these 2 issues will determine whether we progress or we loose many more years defending something that is so obviously wrong. In my mind at least.

Btw, you have yet to reply to this query of mine. Ref: Here. The answer to this question may help us understand if you are in fact bought or you are just unable to reason.

Thank you for your time and sudden interest in this case. But it has already been debated and concluded by many some time back.

What did we learn from SEA games selection? Part 2.

Over the years certain seniors have discovered how to get to represent the Country without a fight. Without even training. As we heard in the last Olympiad, it has become a holiday for them. All they need is fat numbers which they have spent a lot of time figuring out how to achieve from select tournaments.

And how not to play in certain tournaments that will expose their true strength.

In fact until SEA games selection they rarely even play in the Country.

Now understand this. This is what made them weak over the years. And now some of them want our current juniors to join this "elite" crowd with their methods.

And so they needed to attack the players who were training, who dare to take the fight to them. But the attack is not on the chess board. The attack is from their blogs, from whisperings that we will drop you from the squad, from rejection from the Team, from "banning".

They are crying, become like us or we will break you. Go for the fat numbers. Read all about it. "How to play for the Country without selection?" No real chess needed. Psycho 101 by Jimmy Liew.

Did we not see that from the SEA games selection? If they are really that strong, it will be a walk in the park for them to win selection isn't it?

And so from the 3 IM's that got through selection, we see Mas and Yee Weng back in the fight. Playing strong tournaments. Isn't that good? And we saw Jimmy playing in the Veterans at Malaysian Open as per his "book" on how to get fat numbers.

So can we now see that very soon we will see a change in the senior squad. Those that fight will continue to grow and have good chances to represent the Country. And those that have given up will be gone soon.

All we need is a few more years of proper selection. And then we will be sending strong fighting players to represent Malaysia in the senior team. Players that are current, players who train and who fight. Players that can make Malaysia proud.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Congrats Evan.


What did we learn from SEA games selection? Part 1.

If we get selection right, we will move forward. 

Now lets understand this first. Being able to control selection is why many have gone into associations. That is why it is very difficult to get proper selection criteria. Everyone wants to be able to influence that decision.

And so we see the funny PR campaigns, the inclusion of trainers pupils from outside the criteria and the "political appointees".

But what did we learn from SEA games selection? Did we not see that the senior squad are not as strong as they want us to believe? Did we not see that ratings cannot be the basis for Malaysia?

Why? Our ratings are not from hard fought battles in an open and strong field. Our ratings are not current. We have the culture of playing select tournaments to boost rating and not playing fighting chess. All these factors distort the results.

Do you see that tremendous energy has been released by SEA games selection? When Sumant made the senior squad, what did he show us? Did he not show us that the internet is a game changer in today's scenario? Remember we got the line to fight Mok from a friend overseas. Did he not show us that with proper competitor analysis and correct training, many players are in a position to replace the senior squad in a fair fight. Are you one of those that worked hard in improving your chess over the last year?

Lets look at it from this perspective. Once you are over 20 and was a National Junior, you could possibly be 1,2 or 3 years away from having a shot at the senior squad. But you will need a selection to be able to prove your worth.

In the past, only the current National Master has the chance. And even that not every time. And then they use ratings. So lets use the Olympiad as an example. Some say 6 places available. So there is one place for the entire chess community to fight for. And 5 places for the people in the associations to barter with. Does this sound right to you?

It is not about your chess is it? After 20, the decision is political. So it doesn't matter if you are now stronger than the senior team players. Your chances to play for Malaysia are now almost zero. I will explain more in my next few posts.

Please help me to forward this post to people that may be interested. I think we need to understand why Malaysian chess has almost disappeared from the International circuit. At least for the senior team.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Opportunity and Opportunists.

When you have a good plan, you look for or try to create opportunities to forward that plan. That is chess yes?

Or does it look like this?

You have no plan, no ideas and no direction. So you try to fish in troubled waters or you create trouble and hope for an opportunity to make some gain. So you grab at any "opportunity" since you don't know what you want apart from short term gain. In chess the terminology is poisoned pawn.

The people with those traits are usually the ones that try to steal other peoples ideas or work. And they use deflection and misdirection to keep the truth from you. Ergo opportunists.

Which way will take us forward? Which is real chess?

Can you tell the difference between leaders/mental warriors who look for opportunities and opportunists?

Why the candidate President's speech is important.

Chess has taught us that we will not get ahead without a plan. And plans are from the head. So we need to hear what the plan is so we will also have fighting players at tournaments like this. Here.

It is also important so that we can hold the President to his Vision, to his promise. But if the President just "parachutes" into the post while we are all sleeping, then he can say I promised you nothing. And then we will have nothing.

A good culture is that the full committee in all the affiliates meet to determine where the State stands on the election. What the State wants from MCF. This stand should be representative of what the entire State want and not from the views of one man/woman. Then the delegate to MCF's AGM is authorised to vote in the interest of the State.

An aside: In the case of KLCA, maybe Peter can have a chat with himself. Otherwise KL will not be properly represented.

For without this meeting, where would the authority come from?

Ideally the discussion should not look like this too. See comments here. A popular slogan we use is that chess makes our kids smart. So we should be showing off what we advertise. Intelligent problem solving and not the mud slinging that have kept us backward for so many years.

With a plan headed by intelligent people and with the amazing talent that Malaysia is blessed with, we will become an unstoppable force in the International chess arena and be an example to the Nation on how we can get ahead by joining a thinking sport.

And all this will start with the Presidents speech.

National Close, a question.

Are we having selections for the Olympiad? Has anyone seen the written criteria? Are we improving from last years criteria? Or is it just based on last years criteria or it's all hearsay?

Note: Last year the top 10 had a selection play off.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Marina's post.

Ref: Here.

This poses an interesting question for us in chess doesn't it? When we face illegal sackings, when we hear of match fixing; when we see hate postings on the blogs, who do we go to? And when we ask these questions to our officials what happens?

What happens when we ask where has the money gone to? Do they show us the accounts to allay our concerns?

Where do we go for a fair and impartial ruling?

We are a mind sport. Why so backward? These questions are being asked throughout Malaysia.

And we expect these people to lead us to the summit, to show us the way?

On Parents and Associations.

A friend contacted me to ask if I wasn't a bit harsh in my comments on parents. Ref: Here.

Maybe. But is it truthful? Let me put it this way. I am sharing my experience. I wish someone had done the same for me before I got involved in PICA. That was a very unpleasant experience. The point is this. Most parents are relatively new. And so most parents go into the associations without knowing the history. And so after my postings, I hope more will go in with their eyes open.

A committee is about legal collective responsibility. The actions of a few affect all.

Let me share more from my PICA experience here. At the time of the meeting with DKLS that was also attended by Dato Tan, I informed both Dato and the President of PICA that I wanted to resign from the committee of PICA. I told Dato this because he asked me to handle the KLK money on behalf of the association.

My concern was that I was kept in the dark about many things in the committee and I did not want to be held responsible for the action of others. When I was in PICA, they were fond of saying that we must work at a team. But we weren't functioning as a team. Many side decisions were made in the dark.

For instance, once the money is banked in, I have no control on disbursements.

So how can I be held legally responsible for that?

At that time I said on the side of the meeting that I wanted to leave. So really there was no reason to sack me. But Dato had asked me to handle the KLK money; DKLS was my contact.

Therefore I think the sacking was done because they were worried that the money won't go to them when I leave. Does that make sense? So they would prefer to try to destroy my reputation rather than pitch for it themselves. I never tried to block them. In fact I arranged for the meeting.

That is why no reason was given for the sacking. I think they would be very hard pressed to show cause.

So parents and people new in committees, I hope you now know some of the things that can happen. Keep your eyes open. If it can happen in PICA, it can also happen elsewhere.

And going back to Mamak's point about me "hating" Greg because he did not solve my sacking issue. Actually I only kept Greg informed because I wanted to know how MCF would handle an illegal sacking since he was a relatively new Secretary at that time. It is important to know the character of the person you are dealing with.

If you look back, you will see that I have worked with him many times since the sacking. So there is no hate on my side. I was only seeking to understand.

Another inaccuracy is that I never blamed Mok. Ref: Here. Look back. I have always put the responsibility squarely on Jimmy. He is the person responsible for the posting of the lies.

But back to the main point again. There is a lot of chatter about involving MACC in Malaysian chess. And this is not from me but from independent others. All committee members will be held accountable whether you are involved or not. Ask to see the constitution. You cannot plead ignorance of the law. Once you take the position the law will make the assumption that you are involved.

So for those already in the committees, it is your right to ask for the accounts. That right is vested in the constitution of the Association. And you are legally responsible for exercising that right. Open your eyes. Don't become an innocent victim.

In this context, I don't think my comments on parents is too harsh.

It's actually the converse. Parents may be the only independent force on the committee if they wake up. All the rest are probably too entrenched in our 30 plus year system.

ps: Fyi, Dato Tan is kept apprised of my postings when he is referenced.