My early intense interaction with Greg started at an interesting juncture of events. This was the year 2009. I had just tried to bring in written selection to PICA. I experienced first hand the very strong resistance from parents that felt that their child was entitled with angry phone calls in the night. I experienced very strong reaction from the committee of PICA, even from the people that got into the committee on my ticket.
Selection touches on a very sensitive nerve. It touches on the ability of officials, parents and certain Mr Fix it players to play God. I want my player in no matter what their ability is, no matter if they are perceived to be from another State etc.
And Greg was the brand new Secretary of MCF. So I shared a lot with him of my recent experience and I encouraged him to do the same at the National Level hopefully with better results than I got. So with the experience of one attempt to guide us, we worked together to bring written selection into the national level.
And it succeeded to a degree. The written criteria for juniors was brought in without too much obstacle. At the senior level it was a different ball game.
So why did it subsequently fail? Why was selection introduced for SEA games and then withdrawn from the Olympiad?
Here you will need to allow me some speculation as I cannot see inside Greg's head. For me it was not just about introducing the written criteria, it was also about the culture. You saw for yourself what happened when I tried to train the juniors for Asean 2010. Jimmy came up with anonymous blog after anonymous blog to attack the training all over the net. And venom and lies were spewed all over the place and Greg had the facts. So I appealed to him to use the power he had in MCF to issue a correction but he never did.
An aside: Recently we have seen a few people hurling new abuses at me who claim to be morally just about the Olympiad Team even though this team was fraudulently formed. But they were totally silent when the training was attacked, when the juniors were attacked before SEA games. So I do not think their new venom comes from any moral conviction or there would have been consistency.
So what do I mean by the culture? I think every parent/mother knows about positive enforcement. We reward those that train hard. We reward those with good chess etc. We do not reward those that lies, manipulate results, try to ban players without justification etc.
Without changing the culture any small gains we may have will be quickly reversed at the first opportunity.
Very basic, but Greg could not see that. I think there are many reasons for that but I will not go into it here. Stop and think for a while. What do you think the qualities of a Secretary should be? Especially a Secretary with the all encompassing powers that Greg has.
The shift in Greg's position was noted by me around the time of SEA games too. At final selection, I suddenly saw his inclusion of 2 people outside the pre-qualified list. A small corruption perhaps. Ref: Here. And then at Asian Amateur he was fully turned. He went back to his past cronies. Threats and then temptation. Yes, Greg was equally attacked over the Asean training. And then there was the really big money seen at Asian Amateur. Temptation.
Note to Greg: You see Greg, they won't take you back. I tried to tell you. You touched on their holy grail. You brought in selection and showed the entire chess community how weak our IM's are. They are now falling like flies. They will never forgive you for that. And now even the one that you gave that free holiday to at the Olympiads is working to get rid of you. Why do you think he worked so hard to make sure that he broke and controlled 4 out of the 5 players going to the Olympiad? He has you over a barrel now hasn't he, despite all the power you have. And Hamid and Peter has the big tournaments. And they all want you out. You should have thought this through better. You shouldn't have pulled back, you should have followed through.
Coming soon: Alarming revelation brought to me about the possibility of manipulation of pairing using Swiss Manager. I am now verifying it before I release the information. Thank you Yatz, my reply to you got responses from my readers. If this information is true, then many tournaments can now be brought into question. Btw the Secretary of Fide, besides the other people I have mentioned, is also copied on my posts.