First off let me congratulate FM Ronnie Lim, Li Tian and Ng Tze Han for that fine run and making us proud to be Malaysian chess players.
Now for the harder stuff. What is the value of a "M"? To me all it says is that you were strong at one time in history. Apart from that it doesn't mean much. If it means as much as what Jimmy says then our own hero Jun Feng would not be just below GM Bitoon. I am sure that somewhere in the tournament Jun Feng could have found another half point if he looks back, all else remaining constant.
So it should be clear from the results that iron sharpens iron. We need the players representing our Country to go through tough selection to stay sharp or they will soon lose their competitive edge. We all need to wake up from the spell Jimmy has been casting on us to get to go to the Olympiad this year.
Now for Li Tian's fine run. Please note I am not against Li Tian. I have always thought highly of him as a chess player. I am just not in favour of how his advisers are managing his success.
This is what I think. I looked at Eng Chiams run too. What is happening to him? Obviously Li Tian is benefiting from his exposure at the Olympiad but there is more than just that. He also took with him the energy from being selected instead of Eng Chiam and others. I cannot help wondering if Eng Chiam had been given that energy from his strong run at National Close, would he have done better at Penang Open too?
If Sumant did not withdraw from NC 2012 in the mistaken belief that he stood a better chance of being selected if he did not compete, would our history now be different? What was he taught not to do when he won his place at SEA games in a fair and open competition by MCF and Jimmy?
So the question now is, if it is about the juniors chess or is it about politics that determines their traction?
So to me Li Tians achievement today must now be tainted. To me what this says about his advisers is that they think Li Tian is more important than any of the other kids. That someone else's sacrifice and work means nothing to them. That some other persons child means nothing to them. This is not good. This is pure arrogance. I think the malay word for this type of action, zalim, may be more descriptive.
Li Tian is a fine player so why don't they just believe in him and let him get selected on merit? He does not need to win in this way. Let the table decide.
So I hope he will be present at NJ to stake his claim as the strongest Junior in Malaysia. Win there and no one will say otherwise. He will be the strongest Junior for the year. And then the following year the table will decide again.
Isn't that a better way than the back doors and PR campaigns and taking away from the rights of your fellow players. I don't think this has happened because Li Tian lacks the skills or the confidence. I think this happened because it is his adult advisers who lacks the confidence in their own abilities.