Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Competition; doing the best with the hand you are dealt.

Ref: Here.

We seem to be only celebrating the individual success of a few of our players. Is that the only perspective? No doubt those players did the best with the hand they were dealt and should be congratulated for that effort. But is that all? Haven't we missed something?

The Olympiad is not an individual event, it's a team event. So how should it be evaluated?

The hand dealt to MCF was much bigger. They had the total resources of all the top players in Malaysia. From the perspective of management of the event, it was a failure. The selection for the men's team was fraudulent. So MCF did not use the full resources of the hand it was dealt

A proper selection followed by training would have done much more to foster team spirit. Nothing like comrades who have struggled together in healthy competition to build trust. We know from even games like football that a team is not just many individuals. So how does that affect chess?

Lets say, if the team Captain evaluated that Malaysia has 1 1/2 points for almost certainty against another team, should the remaining players play win/lose high risk games or play win/draw type games. Lose and we risk relegation.

On the converse, if we have only one almost certain point, should the remaining team members go for broke and take high risk to secure a win? Of course the decision process is complex. But that is the basis of team strategy. That is when you are playing for the glory of Malaysia and not for individual glory.

Individual glory for individual events. Team and Malaysian glory when you are playing team for Malaysia. In a team event we are showcasing Malaysian Chess and not kup chai Liew or any other individual. 

In certain scenarios a player may be asked to take high risks for Malaysia when he could have easily secured a draw. Or a player may be asked to take a draw when there is a 50/50 chance for win. So the question is. Did our players play for Malaysia or play for themselves? I think the answer is obvious.

From that perspective the Olympiad was also a failure. We could have done much better. Isn't that the more balanced evaluation. Credit where credit is due and shortcomings must be pointed out to the Federation responsible. We need balanced evaluations to progress. Not whitewashing

MCF is not a new Federation. They should have learnt this by now.

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