Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Captain's" report with excuses.


The first point is of course that this is not the Malaysian team but Jimmy's team. That was a bogus selection and they slipped in the back door. I then asked Jimmy to play at Datmo before the Olympiad so that at least he got a true bearing of his level of play which I did not feel reflected IM strength. Don't you think that was a helpful suggestion?

True enough he bombed at Datmo individual rapid. And we even went along in case he got scared of the light. He didn't win against anybody strong at the Olympiads and in fact he lost to weaker players thus bringing the team result down. So aren't we lucky he didn't play board 2? If he had, Zhuo Ren would not have gotten his title and norm.

As for Li Tian, I was a little suspicious of his results at Datmo as I saw him losing badly against the "unrated" Indian player and then somehow he got a draw. Then his last round pairing with Mok also raised some suspicion in my mind. That was why I asked for the audit. Ref: Here. So I wasn't too surprised that he couldn't perform at the Olympiad.

If anything, this Olympiad proved to me that my judgement of Zhuo Ren, Sumant and Mark being the perfect training partners was correct; if they could manage to work together. Their combined technical knowledge together with mental training would prepare them well for a GM run. But that was not to be as you guys saw how both Zhuo Ren and Sumant were attacked.

So my conclusion is that Zhuo Ren made it inspite of Jimmy and not because of Jimmy. I have said for more than a year back that our juniors will beat our IM's soon. Did I not say that? Think back, Jimmy was saying Li Tian is the strongest, Peter was saying Li Tian is the strongest. I told Zhuo Ren that he could beat the IM's at SEA games selection training. It's was just that his mental strength was lacking at that time.

Coming back to Jimmy's claim of preparing Zhuo Ren mentally, I find that a little hard to buy. If Jimmy was mentally strong, he would not have needed the back door. His judgement of Li Tian was off the mark and he has no focus or concentration. When I am in a tournament, I do not even have the time to read the blogs. I am always focused on the performance of my players, watching for cracks in their mental armoury etc.

I would even go as far as to say that Jimmy is a textbook example of mental weakness from the way he has conducted himself over the last 2 years on his blog and elsewhere. You cannot intimidate another person from forming an opinion of you based on your own words and actions. 

You just need to believe in yourself, focus on the job at hand and ignore what others think. Personal results; that changes minds. That is also the sign of mental strength. And he has clearly shown that he does not possess that. If just my opinion can affect him so badly then he is by definition mentally weak. And if he doesn't have it, how can he teach it to anyone else?

Jimmy thinks he is a Ferrari, I think he is a kup chai. So what's the big deal? I am entitled to form my own conclusions based on my own yardsticks. If he is so desperate to change opinions then prove it on the board. Then it will be clear for all to see. For it is on the board that is proving me right at the moment. That is the only judge and jury all chess players will accept. In fact he should support the audit just to clear the air. Mental strength. Nothing to hide. It's just reality. Having to hide from reality is another sign of mental weakness.

ps: Question: Was the goal set after the event? Can you set a goal when you have no clue what the real fighting strength of your players are at the time of the tournament? Is that a valid question?

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