Saturday, June 30, 2012

How do we move to the next level?

Lets face facts, focusing on the age groups alone does not make much sense in terms of return on investment as far as the perspective of the Nation goes. Let me try to reason out why.

Look at all the age group players now. I can assure you that many won't be there when they reach the end of their junior days ie. U20. In the age groups they are still experimenting, still learning. Seeing only parts of the whole that they will need to move to being in a position to challenge on the International arena for titles and the appropriate rating in the current International circuit.

Note: Their rating will be true for the time as they are fighting up the ladder. This is very different from those that got their rating from ancient history and have manipulated the retention of high numbers from playing in select tournaments etc.

And so the age group players, talented as they are, will drop out from attrition, change of priorities etc. So I hope we can see that it is only those that do well at the U20's that provide our best hope of return on investment. They have lasted the race. They are almost ready. So all we have to do it to pit them against the senior team. And then 2 things will happen.

One, the senior team gets current knowledge from the juniors fighting in todays world. And two, the juniors get to learn from the experience of the seniors. From this interaction we can move to the next level. Iron sharpen iron.

This seems to me to be the apparent truth.

But what are we seeing? When they get older, they are dropped (attacked). We send out players one at a time for junior events ie U20. We should be sending out a big contingent of juniors as well. Not just age groups.

And then we only allow one place from selection to join the senior team. Why are we protecting those that are outdated today? Why can't they be selected from healthy competition?

Why is MCF sabotaging the progress of Malaysian chess by supporting the people who attempts to "ban" our players without genuine grounds? Why are they rewarding those that spread lies, hate etc and use PR campaigns to get certain players in?

Why indeed unless they are being rewarded for work well done. So does this show collusion? What does all this show about the true agenda of MCF?

ps: At the time of writing I am informed by my sources that there is no official confirmation of players yet for the Olympiad. But there are rumours. So lets wait and see.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”

-Abraham Lincoln-

Paying you with your own coin- The covenant.

When you seek employment, you and your employer enter into a covenant, a bargain. You provide loyal and productive service and the employer gives you security of work etc. That also means that the employees must produce more than what the employer pays out in expenses or the situation becomes untenable and eventually insolvent. So say if the employees produce say RM10,000 in value of goods or services, the employer pays you a percentage of that value.

Ergo you are paid in your own coin.

When the citizens of a Country elect a government we also enter into a covenant. The citizens give their votes  and mandate in return for wise leadership and provision of security for us and our families etc. And the government also provides the framework to manage the Country's resources to give us development etc. For in truth the resources belong to the citizens and the government are elected trustees.

Ergo we are "paid" in our own coin.

So lets stop here for a little while. Both parties give to each other in accordance to the covenant or at least the perception of it or it doesn't work. If you feel the employer has broken the covenant you move to another employer or you try to be your own boss. If you feel the Government has not lived up to its covenant you cast your vote to the other fella in the hope that he/she does a better job.

Now that is the very basic ground rules of democracy that we have chosen to live by in our covenant with each other.


But let us look at the situation with MCF now. It's a strange animal. An NGO is more similar to a government than a private entity except that it doesnt have the wide powers of Government to change the rules. MCF was governed by ROS and it seems the new rules today is designed by COS.

The sources of funding are still the parents, the players and the sponsors. Everyone else is paid. And our covenant with MCF is that they manage the sport in a way that will grow the sport. Now we must remember that all the financial resources and assets of MCF belong to the members. The committee are merely trustees. Now I challenge you to find the committee's end of the covenant. Do they not only concentrate on doing tournaments to enrich themselves. Do they do anything else?

Ergo, they take our coin and then they take our coin and then they take even more coins. And they give us back nothing. A very one sided affair and yet they feel they have that right.

Isn't that what is happening? They cannot even protect our players; there are "no rules". There are tons of facts highlighted in this blog. They do not even provide training for our National players. They abandon the strong players after 16. And then they give representation of our Country to people of their choice without healthy competition and proper selection. Aren't we a sport?

And yet we see a few defending this system. This is the most twisted and distorted system and defies all democratic principles.

Now do you see our complaint? We have individually invested heavily in the players but they can "ban" without rhyme and reason. We try to provide an independent source of training using our own resources and they attack us. They do not do anything except take our coin over and over again. And yet they will not even allow us to try and take remedial action of our own as they say it makes them look bad.

What kind of perversion is this? Isn't it time we put a stop to it?

Monday, June 25, 2012

We need a wider perspective.

Ref: Here.

The points raised in that debate on facebook mentioned below was that I bring up non issues and that I make personal attacks. So lets use the first type of debate I mentioned below, the one that tries to see the truth. Now is there a difference with my approach from the one in the link above?

Let me try to argue my case here. I make my arguments using supporting reasons; I give you evidence by showing our results in International arenas and I have even attempted to predict certain outcomes of players based on my evaluation on the type of training they receive.

I then use actual examples from my own experience and try to explain the consequences of those actions if left unchecked. And I take you to the websites of those people who attack me or I will use their own statements to show why those attacks have no merit. As I have said before I do not cut and paste to try and distort perception.

So I hope it is now clearer what the difference is between a personal attack and one that uses examples with names.

In a nutshell, I use their own words and actions to show who they are. I merely act as a mirror. Ergo I do not try to paint a false picture about them.

Compare this with the argument presented above. He uses a dictionary and tries to define a term and then tries to attach the definition to me. On what basis? Which example? Where and what is the link to me? Simply throw names and hope one will stick? Clearer?

Now the other question remains. Why can't some people see the issues? Admittedly a lot of the arguments I have presented originate from the complaints of parents of National Juniors. So maybe that is the where the difference in perspective comes from. When we go outside, we start to compare systems. How are our competitors supported, how do the other Associations perform? What is the difference between their training and ours? Why are we slipping further and further behind?

The term we use for narrow perspectives is jaguh kampung. So I suggest that we take a wider perspective. We are in danger of not seeing the forest for the trees. That is why we need to have competitor analysis. Why we need to benchmark against our competitors. Their training methods versus ours. Their level of support versus ours. Then we can see where we really are.

Can we try that and then sit down and discuss rationally to find a way for us to go forward? Right now all our efforts is in just doing tournaments. Especially International tournaments where certain people make a lot of money. Is that all that we want or need? What about what our players need to succeed? Don't we want to see Malaysian success in the International arena?

The first step is to identify that we have a problem. That is where the wider perspective will help. Then we can debate how this can be solved. A chess analogy is that we must see the whole board. Not just the "attack" on the flank. We need to deeply understand the nature of the position. Are we winning or have we already lost?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

There are 2 types of debate.

Context. My thoughts after a short debate on facebook last night.

The first type is more akin to a discussion. We have identified the issues and we sit down to discuss what the cause of the problems are. We apply reasoning and provide our evidence to support it. We can disagree as to what the solution is and so we debate. I believe this is the true lesson from chess. It is the search for the truth of the subject matter.

And then we have the other type of debate where we must win at all cost. So we use name calling to divert attention, we invent lies, we purposely misinterpret. We deny evidence and we apply emotive manipulations rather than appeal to the intellect. This is called defensive argumentation. We deny all evidence that refutes what we want to be the truth. This is not chess.

Let me try to explain why. The first type of debate helps us to find solutions and the second type deny all solutions. We cannot improve because we cannot solve anything. Now some may mistakenly think that is chess (win/lose) but it is not. Lets look more carefully.

Chess is really a team game. We need the Associations to work properly. We need good managers, good trainers and good coaches. We need the first type of debate so that we can give the best to our players when they get to the table. We practice hard with each other in Malaysia so that we can excel overseas against our real competitors. That is where the real challenge is. That is where we play real chess. That is the true measure of whether we are improving or NOT.

If we can only use defensive argumentations and we defend the super glaring faults then we are not going to get anywhere good soon. The second type of arguments has also sometimes been described as denial or escapism.

Note: The issues brought up on my blog are not invented by me. These are the same issues discussed by parents and players in every single gathering. Perhaps the difference is that I talk about it in the open. I am not comfortable huddling in corridors and whispering. I prefer that we talk about it in the open and identify solutions that can take us forward. We are not discussing sensitive issues here. We are discussing chess. If we cannot even say out loud that the officials are not doing their jobs, that the players are not properly trained and that there are certain people trying to use the backdoors, then we are truly lost.

Chess is a sport. These discussions are held everywhere in sports. Sports is supposed to be apolitical. It's about excellence and healthy competition isn't it? Look at our TV ads for the Olympics. What about the current Euro football craze? What is the message there? We can only improve if we can identify and work on our weaknesses. And we must apply reasoning and healthy debate to do that. Can you not see that?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to unmake the bully in you.

When you see a bully, what do you see? I see someone who was a victim at some point in his/her life which has left a scar and a feeling of deep injustice. A person who feels bad about himself. This feeling deprives the individual of energy since energy can only be gotten when you feel good about yourself.

And so this person now bullies someone else to deprive that person of their energy and to fill his own empty tank. His feel good now comes from his sense of superiority. And he uses the tools of intimidation etc to get his way. But that is not true superiority and the feel good doesn't last since his source of energy comes from outside himself.

The feel good doesn't last because he still hasn't dealt with the issue/person that made him feel bad in the first place. He has merely transferred his anger to an innocent object. So there is no abatement. And so it goes on and on.

The only way to unmake the bully; to feel good about yourself again is to face and defeat your original demon. If you were bullied into submission by someone then you must confront that person to find yourself again.

And that is the difficult part for that needs courage. Jimmy must face Dato and talk out the issues between them. Peter needs to find out why he fails again and again as a businessman and not look for the excuses/shortcuts. The trainers need to look at their methods to see how they can improve by benchmarking themselves against our foreign competitors. That is the only way to regain our self-esteem.

It cannot be achieved by bringing our own internal anguish to inflict it on someone else innocent of the crimes against us.

If we get to play for Malaysia without merit, we should decline. Not use that to justify the many times we ourselves have used undeserving shortcuts in our life to make us feel better. It doesn't work that way. Trust me.

We can only grow by facing the issues that affected us. Don't blame someone else for our problems. Then we can unmake the bully in us.

Today's contemplation.

The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing
-Edmund Burke

Friday, June 22, 2012

Best chess players in the business world.


The divide is now clearer, Ilham.

Ref: Here.

Now the divide is clearer.

On the one hand we have the players who go for a selection and prepares and fights for their rightful place. And on the other we have those that just do nothing and try to get in via the backdoor.

Who do you think is in the majority?

On the one hand we have a constitution that tells us that MCF belongs to all the members. And on the other hand we have those that try to grab power illegitimately. They rule without mandate and rob the Associations blind like it belongs to their mother.

Who do you think is in the majority?

More importantly who is in the right and who is in the wrong? Can you enlighten us Ilham?

But really it's ok. We already know. Thank you for stating your stand so clearly.

ps: Where is the evidence that they are better? Are you saying that our last Olympiad team is better or are you saying that the current Olympiad team is better?

MCF belongs to all of us.

Ref: Here.

Now we are coming to the crux of the matter. Jimmy reveals that he believes he is entitled to the backdoor. That he is more deserving than anyone else. Even if they have fought for their place; he only needs to make a side deal with the official/s.

Peter reveals his thinking that the Association officials should have absolute power. From this thinking it follows that he has no need to build strong players. He just needs to keep the back doors open as well as have the ability to "ban" players that could be stronger than those he can produce.

And that is the sickness and the rot. Actually MCF belongs to all of us. The officials are elected by us to represent OUR interests not theirs. They have no legitimacy without our consent. This is the mother of all cons.

MCF is an NGO. The officials are elected representatives. All the assets of MCF belong to us. The money that Fide gave belongs to us. The sponsorship by companies and individuals belong to us. It was asked for using our mandate.

Any misuse of money and authority is criminal breach of trust. We gave them our trust.

MCF does not exclusively belong to Jimmy and his mother, Peter or Greg. So all the stakeholders have a say. If we think they are not doing their job, we can speak out. They work for us. They are paid with our money or money raised using our names.

If they want more authority and power to then they should start their own private business and make their own stake in the real world of business. They cannot use our names by hiding in NGO's. If they ask for sponsorship using MCF letterhead or with MCF authority then they are using the powers that we vested in them.

MCF does not belong to the officials. It belongs to all of us. That is why we have elections to choose the leaders we want. That is why we have an AGM. It is clear and simple.

That is why they need threats, belligerence, lies, misdirection etc. So that you cannot see this very clear and simple truth.

ps: Btw I never said I am the better coach etc, my results are mine. I am just saying that you are lousy. Not the same thing. Ref: Here. And now we await the Olympiads for more evidence of your folly.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Olympian goals.

What is our goal for the Olympiads? Do we want to maintain our current position in world team ranking or move up? What is acceptable and unacceptable results?

After the event, will we have a postmortem? Was the goal realistic? What did we do right and what needs to be improved? Did all the team members perform to expectation? If not, why not?

If we don't have this, how will we know if the officials did their jobs properly or were there just for a holiday and for side deals. Was the training sufficient? Did the officials bungle because they got the players to stay in an igloo miles from the tournament hall and our players had to jog to the playing hall after trying to start a fire all night long with flints to cook their meals?

Were the players there to play chess or to sell books and make business deals?

And after a thorough and honest postmortem, do we put in place measures to improve on the next outing?

It all starts with MCF putting up on their blog now, what our Olympian goals are.

Note to MCF officials: We do not begrudge you a decent remuneration for any good job that you do. But we do begrudge you taking away all the money from the Associations to only benefit yourself and give us nothing in return. You are not working and you want to get paid. You are not working but you want ALL of the money.

We will be following the Olympiad closely. We want to see how you make decisions and whether you are fit to lead us.

And then you must do the same for all events where we fly the Malaysian flag.

You should not go to the Olympiads if you have not won your place.

The correct formula is 1 and 4. One for MCF and 4 for all the other players. And even then there is a caveat. The Presidents choice must only be used in very special circumstances and for the right reasons.

In the past Associations have wielded executive privilege under the following conditions. If a very strong player was unavailable for good reasons like if he/she was overseas representing the Country at the time of selection for instance.

I think there is a good reason for the President to exercise his choice in the case of this year's Olympiad. The players who fought at the selection for the Olympiad at NC2012 is not experienced enough. So they will need guidance at the event. And I think Yee Weng is the person who can give that guidance. But that is only my opinion. The point is that the considerations must be one for the good of the entire team and not arbitrary or political.

But the only other ones who should go are those that fought at the selection. They have honestly earned their place.

We hear speeches and we see on the blogs people who talk about no parachuting in; about principles. Now is the time for them to show us the action that follow those words.

So players, do not accept the place if you are not the one President's choice. You will be taking the place of a fellow player who have earned his place. Don't let them divide and rule you. The correct way is to go down the line of winners at NC2012 for 4 places and one for the Presidents choice.

Note: Rating is not a true indicator in Malaysia. Go back and look at all the results in recent tournaments. Go back and read all the predictions by our "technical experts". They have been wrong over and over again. They are spinning stories because they know how to manufacture numbers and have the PR to promote those that they want. The best way to find our fighters are from those that have fought. Not the backdoor artists. If you cannot be bothered to fight here, you will not be a fighter there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

13th Asean age group results.


The medal tally is at the bottom.

Are we even slipping further behind in International age group events? Why would that be? Don't we have the largest number of tournaments in the region? When would it be the right time to see the real situation and do something about it? When we are dead last and cannot slip any further behind anymore?

What is our much vaunted CTEP programs and Chess University producing? Is MCF doing something to stop the slide or are they preoccupied with more important events?

Maybe that is why we see the struts. They have a secret program that our players don't know about yet that will soon produce results to astound us all.

Note: Size of contingent matters too. China may have only sent 1 player for instance. But do look at the type of training offered by Singapore as a simple comparison with our own approach. Where and what is our preparation? Where is our will to win? Is our only goal making money and free holiday for officials?

What will happen to our talented kids over time if they keep getting hammered? Is it because the others are better or is it because we have let them down by sending them out time and time again without proper training? Who's responsibility is that? Look at the Singapore example again.

Painting the right picture- Marina Mahathir


Without the right picture we will be looking for the wrong solutions. If we believe their lies that our kids are all washed out by 15, we will be looking for the wrong solutions. If we believe that Greg and friends own MCF and can use the money to benefit themselves exclusively, we cannot see the solution in front of us.

If we believe that we only deserve one place in the Olympiad and surrender 4 places to the "selection committee" of MCF, that is also the wrong picture. That will mean we believe our contributions which support the whole system means nothing and that the people who are making a living from our money is more important than us and our children. Isn't that obviously the wrong picture?

Think on it. It's the same as chess. If you have the wrong picture, you will use the wrong plan.

Read this again. Here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Friendship through healthy competition.

Sports has historically been a unifying factor after the politicians and entrenched selfish interests have made a mess of people relationship.

I remember being intrigued by the Chinese sports slogan of friendship first and competition second many years ago when China was still seeking International acceptance.

There was an event during WW1 when the german and allied forces called for a short break from the fighting to have a football game on Christmas day before resuming fighting after.

I remember the strong Malaysian spirit after winning Mal/Sing 2011.

All these events transcended pettiness and empty slogans. That's what sports can do. In the midst of cheering for our team we forget our differences and we become one. And we need a win to see the smiles all round.

That is why we need to keep politics out of chess. We need to close all the backdoors; we need to stop the political appointees. Only selection from healthy competition.

We need to send out strong junior teams ie U20's and not just age group teams. The U20's are the closest we have to progress.

Note: Right now we are sending them out one at a time if we send them out at all for junior events. That is wrong. We only focus on the younger age group events because that is where the trainers and organisers make money. That is a major reason why we are slipping further and further behind Internationally.

After sending out strong junior teams, we then pit the juniors against the senior team to fight for their places. Iron sharpen iron and we will eventually be strong. But this will not happen overnight. We have been sleeping for too long. We have been misguided for too long.

We have allowed the PR campaigns and false indicators to determine selection for too long. And we have abandoned or knocked out those that are able to reach the next level from the time they have the skills and knowledge to challenge for the next level.

Keep politics out of chess and we can see that too. What happened at the last Olympiad? What is happening now?

The old Chinese slogan was not quite right. We need competition but healthy competition. Not the Jimmy Liew and friends type. Not the "don't try to win or you'll make enemies"; not the I will ban you because you are too strong and not the I will attack you if you go to anyone else to try another method.

Only from healthy competition can we have friendship. Backdoors and political appointees cause strife and anger. But we can all accept someone who has earned their place by playing fighting chess in a proper selection tournament. And we will cheer this Malaysian team, win or lose. Win better.

So can this be our new chess slogan?

Friendship through healthy competition.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don't talk back.
   --  W.K. Hope

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coaching- Some tips for parents.


I became a chess coach because I couldn't find a trainer here that inspired my confidence. What I wanted was to see my son growing in confidence and curiosity. But what I saw was the dimming of once vibrant kids year after year as a result of the way we teach chess and treat our players. If you see the same thing too, then try coaching your own child. I did it and I like the results so far.

4 and 1 Formula for Olympiad team.

I heard some feedback that Roshan has declined going to this year's Olympiad but I cannot get any feedback on who is actually going. Nobody seems to know. Even MCF officials not in the "selection committee". What's the big secret? Singapore has already announced their team. Actually who is in the selection committee of MCF? Is there one or is it just smoke and mirrors to hide one man's decision.

Anyway these are my musings today. Let's see.

The parents pay for their kids participating in International events like Asean and other age group events. And the price we pay is high as this is a cash cow for the organisers. The parents even pay for the officials going in the form of sponsorship like what FGM did or from management fees charged by MCF. The parents pay for the training for their child by sending them to the different trainers we have in Malaysia and elsewhere.

The players and parents pay for the tournaments by supporting MCF events.

So we fund the entire system.

MCF uses their NGO status to get outside sponsors and pay themselves although the Association don't belong to them but to all the members of parents and players. And even then most of the sponsors come from the parents and players contacts.

Think about it. Do they return any of the benefits to us like training our players before we send them out? What happens to the surplus from International events where they got local and Fide sponsorship as well as tournament fees? So actually what does MCF contribute?

And what do they do instead? They chop off the feet of the older juniors by only sending one player to junior events. (ie U20) thereby ensuring that those who can challenge the senior team and bring progress to Malaysian chess is crippled after gaining all the experience and knowledge. Why? So they can start the hype for the younger players all over again and so that they make money from filled classes of starry eyed youngsters?

Is that a fairly balanced summation?

So is that why the people who are paying and contributing get to fight for only one place, and the people being paid by us get to choose 4 places? (And now that Roshan has declined, 5 places?) Ref: Here.

And now it's even top secret who the players are. The people we are paying is keeping important information from us. The people we are paying is telling us that they are more important than all of us, the entire chess community, by a ratio of 4:1. Are all of us, who pay for everything, only deserving of only the crumbs that they discard?

Today's Contemplation.

Life is too short to waste. Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action.
   --  David J. Schwartz

Friday, June 15, 2012

I really like this post by Prof Bajunid.


Today's Contemplation.

Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.
   --  Oprah Winfrey

Our problem is that after 16, we start to abandon our players so that they have no chance to compete at the senior level. Lets look at the evidence. Where are our older juniors now? 

Make no mistake, this will also happen to the younger players when they too become older. They make money from the Age groups. That is the game. They know that money is made by building the hype for the younger players. This is the trainers game. 

Also they cannot help once the players are ready to move forward. So they are knocked off and the focus goes back to the age group players. Making money again. They don't care about raising the game in Malaysia do they?

Isn't that obvious now?

We need a goal to raise the level of our seniors. And that starts with proper selection with our older juniors and over 20's competing. And we need to focus on that to give it energy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Today's Contemplation.

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.

   --  John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

If they have to hide the Olympiad team?

Ref: Here.

If they have to hide selection criteria, it shows there is hanky panky. If they have to silence a voice of dissent it shows there is hanky panky and in actuality drives more readers to his site because people like to know what you are hiding from them. (Especially if the dissent is reasonable and well argued).

If they need to hide the Malaysian chess squad from the Malaysian chess public, it shows there is hanky panky.

It is known that there are many other interests in selection. Some want it to win votes and allegiance, some want their child/player to get in the backdoor, some just want to play God and show how superior they are from the rest of us mere mortals.

In chess we do have a way to get rid of most biasness. A proper selection criteria based on a proper selection tournament. Then we take the politics out of chess. Then Malaysian chess advances.

Can you see better now why the current system and MCF committee needs to be changed? And why proper rules need to be put in. This has been how they managed to kill off many of our best players in the past. Favoritism. (It's only the weak players that need favoritism, need manufactured numbers).

But let me define favoritism further here to get a clearer picture. Favoritism means arbitrary selection among the deserving players. Let us use NC2012 for an example. It means the top 4. They are all deserving. They all fought hard and after winning, their place can be taken away because someone else has a "deal".

And so now we risk Syazwan and Eng Chiam if they are not chosen. Would they fight as hard next year? Will they prepare knowing that even if they win, their place can go to someone with the deal; someone with a PR campaign. This is not chess. How many players have we lost this way over the years?

If we go further we can also see that that manufactured rating is not a criteria, titles is not a proper criteria. They may be rusty, not current and just playing lousy that year due to other reasons. Or they may just have a bad attitude and think they deserve to play just because of a title and treat the Olympiad as a holiday.

That is why I say that if they cannot bother to fight in selection and show us they mean business then we are better off without them.

ps: If Li Tian does leap frog Syazwan and Eng Chiam, then I think Chin Seng should not accept or risk losing entirely any credibility he has left with the chess community. This is different from Dato Tan's sponsorship to China. That was your private affair.

This time you will be showing your arrogance in thinking you can grab from someone's mouth what they have earned honestly.

MCF belongs to all the chess players and not the private reserve of a few deal makers. Improve your chess and accept your loss graciously. The results simply show you are not good enough yet. Go back and practice. And maybe get a better trainer and a good mind coach. A PR manager is not the way. You are simply not there yet.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Should Li Tian be allowed to leap frog?

Tomorrow we will be submitting the names for our Olympiad team. So while we wait for the result of the deliberation of the selection committee, I am wondering this. Should Li Tian be allowed to leap frog Syazwan and Eng Chiam based on this result submitted as part of the evidence that he is better. Here. Judge for yourself.

What about the result of his 3 losses at NC2012 to the top 3? Can we also submit in evidence and argue that despite the private sponsorship to China and training by Jimmy, he is not strong enough to beat 3 local players without that type of backing? Would that show that these boys are actually a lot stronger and with greater potential because they fought with a "handicap"? What do we put on the weighing scale to consider?

So is selection for the Olympiad based on a PR campaign and suspect results from certain tournaments or objective evaluation to find our strongest players?

Lets wait and see what the deliberations from our technical experts turn out.

The Singaporean Olympiad team.


Have we got a plan to take us forward? Any training for our guys? A 5 year plan? A 5 month plan? A 5 day plan? Anything at all? Or simply bantai and hope? Is there anything we can learn from our neighbours to improve?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today's Contemplation.

All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.
   --  Nike Ad

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.
   --  Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Role of arbiters.

Ref: Here.

I hope our arbiters take note. There is a lot of room for improvement here. Players too need to read this to know your rights.

This is a rigged vote.

Ref: Here.

Why is Eng Chiam's name not included? He beat Li Tian. Get rid of your God complex based on your own deep insecurities.

ps: We also know that this voting can be manipulated from past experience. So no need to try.

pps: Thank you for adding Eng Chiam.

Change but for the right reasons.

I am very troubled by recent feedback. There is intense activity in the run up to the MCF AGM. In the scramble for votes, the case of Dato Tan sponsoring Li Tian to China is brought up yet again as evidence of racism in MCF.

I strongly think this is wrong. Let me explain why. This is what I see. Chess actually shows that there is no weak/strong race in Malaysia. Chess is a very strong refutation to race politics.

I wish I can bring you back to that train ride back after Mal/Sing 2011. There was no race. Only Malaysians. We won because we worked together.

I was very proud to hear that Yee Weng helped Nabila at SEA games. And that is one of the reasons why I prefer him to Captain the team.

Mark's own journey was aided by the help of Sumant, Zhuo Ren, Roshan, Nabil, Syakir, Edward Lee, Kaushal, Jianwen and Che Hassan. They all shared with one another and they all improved because of that.

There are many reasons to contest the President's post but racism is not one of them. Let me return to the Dato/Li Tian case again to see if we can bury this issue permanently. Dato is the Honorary President. That means he has no executive power. So therefore the sponsorship for Li Tian is a private affair. I may agree that it was insensitive but there was nothing wrong done legally.

If Dato had raised the money by using an MCF letterhead and then gave the sponsorship to his personal choice, then he is totally in the wrong. But if he raised the money privately among his friends or used his own money then he is within his rights.

An aside: Just like if you bought a licence plate with your own money. But you cannot buy MCF1 with association money and not be questioned by any member of the chess community.

So I appeal to the contestants. Don't bring racism into the picture. There are plenty of real issues to show the incompetence of the current committee. Money funneled out, favoritism in selection based on politics and not chess. So many many issues.

So don't bring an imaginary issue in. We need to solve real problems to bring us forward, not bring in a new imaginary problem and create another mess. We are all Malaysians and we only want a proper structure and fair rules to progress. We want to see a Malaysian GM. We will celebrate anyone who makes it together with all those that have contributed.

The major issue before us today is what is MCF's contribution? They want to take and take from all of us and they give us nothing back in return except grief. That is the problem. Focus on that.

So by all means go for your votes. That is the democratic process but use the right reasons.

I hope you all will consider this appeal seriously.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Olympiad Dream Team.

This is one view. Here.

I am in general agreement. However my personal view for Presidents choice is Yee Weng. These are my reasons. Yee Weng's game is the closest we have to a modern game and preparation and he has given a good account of himself in his recent International outings for Malaysia. He is also a stable personality and not selfish in sharing.

I think we need to look to the Juniors/not so Junior now for that GM and Yee Weng will be a good Captain that can give proper guidance and provide a strong anchor for them.

If there is a 6th place under President's choice, then I think Nabil deserves a place too. My personal feeling is that with a little guidance and some minor tweaking he too will become a powerful force.

Perhaps an official can sacrifice their place to Nabil for the good of Malaysian chess. We should use this opportunity to start building for a new and winning future.

ps: Actually in certain scenarios Li Tian is a powerful addition. His drawish weapons is good to fight GM's. Roshan's win/lose weaponry may not fire too well at higher levels. But that will be for the Captain to strategise at the front line. A heavy responsibility but I think Yee Weng will deliver.

Sacrifice after being trapped- A FGM commentary.

Very often, all they have to do is to trap and break you once to finish you off. 

As the saying goes, once a horse is broken, it can be ridden by any rider.

If they cause you to make a public attack against your conscience you have entered that trap. If you accept their promise for your child/sibling a backdoor entry, you have entered that trap. If they pay you money to vote in a certain way you have entered the trap etc etc.

Why? Because to get out of that trap you now need to come clean. And that is not easy for many chess players  I know. But lets see how the poison spreads from here if you don't. You now have to defend that lie. So you have to learn how to rationalise, justify, make excuses and tell more lies to defend that first lie.

After sufficient time you even start to believe that lie. 

That now becomes the way you habitually think. And you will apply that thinking to your chess too. It is inevitable. And after awhile your chess will also become a lie.

But you don't have to let that one mistake define you for the rest of your life. Chess teaches us a way out. You can correct that mistake. Admit that mistake first to someone close that you trust. That is enough. That is the first step back to regaining your integrity and dignity. And then try to make what restitution that you can to correct that first mistake when you are able.

It's a sacrifice to breakout of that trap. But it's a worthwhile sacrifice in my mind. Better that than to remain trapped for life. Having to twist and lie every time the subject is brought up. And better than watching your chess go down the tube because now you cannot face the truth.

Olympiad Criteria- Rumour hot off the press.

A little bird told me that the selection criteria has been emailed out to be tabled for ratification on June 10th by the committee of MCF.

The rumour is that the current NM is eligible together with 2 other criteria. The Presidents choice and ratings. Since this is just a rumour as I do not have a copy of the criteria, lets just consider this as a story.

In this story, the Presidents choice is really Greg's choice and a trainers choice. Lets face facts, the current President has no clue who to choose. Ratings is also really a political choice. Look at the last SEA games criteria. The player that got in based on ratings was actually very low down on the rating scale. It's very easy for the person  choosing according to ratings to miss a few names till he gets to the name he wants.

And our culture is not to make waves, not to question and so the players chosen will be fait accompli. In this story it is also interchangeable; Presidents choice and ratings are interchangeable. Both can be political appointments or trainers choice or Secretary's choice. Many hats. Which choice will bring in more votes at the next MCF AGM? Tough. All in the hands of one lonely man to decide. 1 place from selection and 4 on his strained shoulders. Such a burden.

Does this sound right to you? Lets help the man out. I think NM Roshan is the only one deserving to go. So I hope someone in the committee will stand up for the real players. This criteria should not be passed. This is not chess and not a happy story.

Ref: Here.

Does this proposal make more sense? Here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

COS- The Iron Rice Bowl. Part 1.


We live in a highly competitive world and the major struggle today is in finding the better idea, the better solution. And in our collective wisdom we believe that the democratic process is the way forward. For that to happen we need to have better communication, better and higher quality debates without the use of intimidation and lies.

Chess is a good simulation. We have the highly competitive conditions but without the real world consequences of failure. So in my mind it is good practice ground for our kids before they enter the real world.

But what are we seeing in our chess today? We have seen 30 plus years of slipping further and further behind but we do not even allow our kids to explore new chess ideas without being attacked. We do not allow our officials to discuss new ideas without sacking them devoid of any grounds. Any healthy debate need proper structure and rules.

Now this is the problem. If we cannot achieve proper structure and process in chess where the problems are much smaller than in the real world, then our chances of solving real world issues would be that much slimmer.

MCF under ROS.

Under the ROS system, all the members belong to the State Affiliate directly. And the State Affiliates collectively vote in the committee of MCF. In this system the members have a say. If the members feel that the officials are not functioning properly, they can be voted out by the members directly in the AGM of the State Affiliate. This is a healthy system which encourages both the members and the officials to stay awake if they want progress. Check and balance and healthy competition. And then the State officials go to vote for the National officials that they want.

Just like how we should choose our players. So there can be challenges. Different ideas and different methodology can be tested. If it doesn't work, then it can be replaced by fresh blood, fresh ideas.

It's also selection, not only of players but also for the officials who have fallen asleep or is no longer working for the chess community but for themselves. So healthy challenges should be encouraged.

We didnt join chess to teach our children to be samseng, I'm sure. We came into chess to make them smart isn't it? To reason out issues, to discuss, not to be intimidated nor to bash up someone because they see things differently.

We allow healthy competition to weed out the weaker ideas isn't it?

Next. MCF under COS. I hope to show that this system could be designed so that once a lousy official is voted in, he/she cannot be removed. It may be designed so that we have another 30 plus years of slipping even further behind or until the official retires from boredom or something similar. Institutionalised no new ideas or fresh blood and no competition. Just like our chess currently.

Question: The game of chess is designed so that the better idea wins. So why are our organisations being structured differently? And why is our chess culture so against new and modern ideas? Is that the way to the GM?

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's a question of belief.

No matter what you say verbally, it's what you believe deep down that is more revealing. If you believe that Malaysia has the talent to go for that GM run, you will have an action plan to take us forward; if you think you have what it takes you will train.

If you think we cannot, you may see what I think is now happening to Malaysian chess.

Lets go back to some basic definitions again. The cup half full or half empty. That is a question of interpretation of reality. I have argued that if you see the cup half full, you will search for the possibilities to take us forward. If you see the cup half empty, then you are more likely to give up. Positive thinking vs negative thinking.

But there is a strong caveat. Both perspectives above is based in reality and accepting of the established facts.

This is very different from burying your head in the sand and refusing to see reality at all. Delusional thinking. There is nothing positive or negative about that. You are just in la la land. Show a delusional person a half full cup and he will say it's empty for instance. Zero judgement. So where are we now? That is the question isn't it?

Positive, Negative or Delusional?

So lets look at this article and see if we can debate this sensibly. Here. I will comment on the second half which talks about State affiliates and MCF. And I will talk about the National players. Juniors and Seniors. Peter says that chess players don't care about politics.

I think it seems like he doesn't want us to care about politics but he definitely cares about politics. Otherwise why KLCA?

Let me use my own example here briefly. When we wanted to try to get to National level, I was told by the President of our then State affiliate that Perak players has no chance. So no State support. In fact the very opposite. So we financed our own way. And it was a hefty investment in time and money but we finally made it.

We know that there is politics and there are zero rules to defend the players. Organisers like Peter "tries to ban" players out of prejudice. And we have seen many more examples including from MCF during SEA games. Arbitrary selection for the last Olympiad which saw 2 players playing for Malaysia that haven't played a Fide tournament in around 10 years. Politics. NC2012 as selection for Olympiad. Politics again? See next post.

So is saying there is politics, positive/negative and is saying there is no politics, delusional?


1. Why would the investors who have supported and paid for the training of the National players now want to give MCF or the State affiliates, with no rules and no contribution, a controlling say of their players?

2. Why would we possibly want to place our trust in someone who has delusional thinking, faulty judgement, gives us false information and can only act selfishly?

3.Why would we who believe in the players to put in the time and money where our mouth is, hand over control to people who do not even believe in our own players and their potential? Where is your development plan MCF? Was it what we saw at NC2012?

Note: It seems to me that MCF is also taking the same attitude vis-a-vis Malaysia's International position as my former State affilate took regarding National position. That is we Tak Boleh.

So why try to control something you didn't believe in, in the first place? Why try to control after we have developed them at our own expense and you have not only not contributed but actively hindered?

Next. COS, our rights and legitimate interests up in smoke?

Friday, June 1, 2012

My motivation for telling you about COS on Monday.

Informed choice. We can choose by doing something about it or we can choose by doing nothing. Actually we usually have the leadership we deserve. But there is an important caveat to choosing. We must know the correct information.

Some say that I am trying to change the leadership. How can I do that? That is not what I do. I am not running for office. I have no interest in running for office. I don't even endorse any party. All I am saying is that we need to know what is happening so we can make informed choices.

And after the AGM, since we will know enough to ask more questions before, I hope we will be able to live with our choice without having to huddle in corners and complain about this or that. We will already know that we could have done something before the milk was spilled or before nasi jadi bubur.

See you again, Monday. Have a good weekend.

Congratulations WNM Najiha.

Congratulations Najiha; WNM 2012 Year of the dragon.