You keep hearing this comment from Jimmy, Peter, Irwan and Alen. All small timers who shares the common trait of being unable to learn and who says that you cannot have an opinion in chess unless you are a chess player. This is a trap that have retarded theirs and our growth. Lets see why?
I first heard this after I had already developed Mark as the U12 Champion of Perak. They said I must start to play the game myself at a higher level before I can guide Mark further. This didn't make sense to me on many levels. This is what I thought. My focus is in developing Mark. Now why would I want to spend time learning chess myself when there are already better technical trainers? First of all it's a waste of time. Why don't I use the other skills and knowledge that I already have and then just find a good technical trainer? Much faster route yes?
This means that I have to rely on my skill at differentiating the bull shitters from the genuine articles. So after checking out the available trainers in Malaysia, I decided to use online resources. A major difference I found with the foreign trainers was that they encouraged different ways to solving problems. And as Mark developed I changed trainers to develop different aspects of his game. With that method, he became No.2 in the National Juniors and No. 2 in the U18 national age group. All around 2 years after we started playing outside of Perak.
Now why do I say that this attitude that only chess players can have opinions on chess is probably the main reason why we don't have a GM?
Consider this conversation I had with a friend when I first got into Contracting. The discussion was on whether we were contractors or in the business of contracting? What is the difference? A contractor is basically a technician. eg. plumber, painter, electrician etc. They know the technical aspects of one trade. And they usually claim to be the experts in it. And so as people in the business of contracting we learnt to ask many plumbers the same question till we got to the truth of the matter. And so on. What we are looking at from the business aspect is to build a structure. And that involves many different skills including finance etc.
Note: What we don't do is to try and learn everything ourselves like these stupid people have suggested. If we did that we would never ever have got anything done. But what can I say, there are stupid technicalists who thinks they know everything.
And what is MCF involved in? Yes, that is right. They are in the "business" of developing strong players. And for that they also need many skills.
Look at what has happened to Jimmy and Peter today? Because of their inability to accept or learn new skills, they are today somewhere between U12 and U16 in world standard and I may even be complimenting them here.
So it is important to understand that MCF is in the "business" of development and so new skills are necessary to raise the standards in Malaysia. The problem we now have is of the technical people hiding the flaws of the technical people that have stopped our progress.
Use this analogy. In football, what skills are needed to develop a strong team? Can we have just players? Furthermore we do not even have good examples for players here. If that is the case isn't it better that we learn from technical people outside who have succeeded overseas?
Putting Jimmy up as an example for our kids to emulate is to glorify failure. He does not even have the grace to acknowledge that FGM has raised a National Junior and coached a Junior into the senior team. All he has achieved as a trainer is via the back doors. And judging from his performance at the Olympiad he can't even play anymore. And you saw how Peter performed at World Youth as a trainer. He tries to blame his player even before he went. We really don't need people like this.
Find out from those who have succeeded and those that are still trying to improve. We learn from them and we learn how to succeed too. Where are we now compared to the days when we taught China? And who lead us to this terrible place that we are in now? And they have succeeded in keeping us backwards because they cannot learn, cannot accept real results from others in a different discipline who have raised strong players. Which strong players do you know of that have been coached by non playing Coaches?
Jimmy, Peter and a few others seem stuck in a time warp where they can only hear "technical" voices. It is just too narrow and so they have lost touch with the realities of International competition. It has even reached the stage where he thinks playing at the Veterans is sufficient practice to compete in SEA games. It has reached the stage that he can only aim for the back door and seem totally impervious to how he did at the Olympiad. This is the result of the limited "purely" technical dreamers who have lost touch with competitive reality.
All Jimmy and Peter continues to say like a mantra is that they have 30 years over my "2" years in chess. Isn't it very stupid to highlight that? Surely the follow on question must now be why can't you produce strong players that goes in via the front door then? And for Peter, why don't you back the player first and then take him to new heights? You said Roshan will come in around 50 he came in 70 plus. It's a reflection on you Peter not Roshan. Why can't you see that? You took our National Champion who you didn't even recognise and then you let him down very very badly. Deal with it.
Another very obvious reality that these mantra specialists have missed is of course I do work in consultation with good technicalists when I need to. Just not those 2 who cannot grasp anything beyond their nose. But they want to control our chess.
So bring in new expertise into MCF and get rid of the deadwood. And the GM will come. Do think on this if you don't want us to be slipping further and further behind. In another few years, Jimmy will probably not be able to compete with the U8's of the world but he may still be trying to slip into the Malaysian squad yet again via the back door.