Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jimmy, that's not the complete story and Peter, that's a distortion.

Ref: Here.

If we can learn to ignore the venom, we can find some truths in the above post. This is just another one of Jimmy and friends typical avoidance of the real questions and psychological attacks in order to unsettle you and then slip in yet more poison. All this is of course to prevent you from seeing the actual facts. If you find his site too distasteful then lets just focus here on this statement of Jimmy's.

He says there that the Junior's journey is a 100 meter dash. Now is that the case? Lets examine that. Actually that has been the story for sometime in Malaysia. GM by 15 or you are all washed out. This has been said over and over again to our recently ex Juniors or older Juniors for many years now. And this has been a major factor in knocking out many of them.

But the facts say differently. There are players who make GM later in life. I believe a realistic target for Malaysians is in their late 20's given our local conditions. We simply do not have the expertise to do it any sooner here.

But say, Jimmy honestly believes it must be done by 15yo or they are all washed out and I do not. Does that give him the right to attack all and sundry that believes otherwise? Does that justify him attacking Zhuo Ren, Sumant and Mark? Does that justify him taking the place of Eng Chiam and Syazwan?

I admit he did give Zhuo Ren that place to the Olympiads. I can only assume its to try to compensate for the previous attack on him but isn't the damage already done? And was the place his to give in the first place?

Surely if he thinks he is right he can prove it on the board. If he or Peter can really do this then there is no need for the back door is there? Li Tian will just sweep all the other local players before him. Jimmy and Peter's student will be on all the top boards and we will all be lining up to join his classes because he has the secret formula.

Think about it, there is no need for PR campaigns or suspect pairings or suspect games. All will be done in the glare of the light for that will be the best possible publicity for them.

But I chose a different road. I organised the training for our Juniors by a GM. A top Asian GM that is still actively playing. So Jimmy, why did you attack this program if you are genuinely interested in developing the Juniors? There were a few young kids there, some even younger than Li Tian. So why did you not support this event since it will help them although you may think that the older kids there may be wasting their time? Isn't the complete story that you are afraid that this GM may expose you for a fraud and snake medicine seller?

So I find this story more plausible. Only your chosen one can be exposed to more knowledge. Anything or anyone else who wants to progress must be stopped. Especially if they threaten the place of the current senior players who cannot play anymore and is afraid of competition. So this is really the hype to keep you guys relevant. For you cannot really do it can you? Or you will be brandishing Li Tian at all the selections and hammering all and sundry who comes before him. But even that does not prove that you guys can still play. What a dilemma?

Isn't that the truth of the matter? Otherwise why the need to also ban Mark from KL Open without any grounds if you are not worried that your false methods may be exposed? I have my ways and you have yours and we decide who is right on the table. Healthy competition. Chessischess.

And Peter, in your comment to another post on Jimmy's site, that is such a lame attempt to put it all on Li Tian's shoulders. Of course Li Tian himself is above suspicion. Nobody thinks he fixed anything. So man up and face up to the fact that the suspicion is laid upon you. There is just too much suspicious circumstantial evidence that we need to have an investigation to clear the air.

Of course we are also interested in finding the enabler within MCF that allows you fellas to try to con the entire Malaysian chess public; if a Fide investigation does show game fixing. There have been too many victims for too many many years just because you guys want a free ride.

I just don't believe you guys can get a GM by 15yo. You are 50 plus and yet you haven't figured it out for yourselves and are afraid to compete anymore but you still want to take all of Malaysia down the same path with you. You do not even allow us to train or learn under under a real GM even if you say you think I can have no opinion because I do not "play chess". You need to attack all, my former partner and even the sponsors.

The real question is why are you so afraid of someone you say cannot play chess? Where were your players placed at NJ and why can't Li Tian beat Roshan, Eng Chiam and Syazwan here during NC? On what basis do you say that he is the strongest Junior and so can avoid selection and still play for the Country for non age group events?

Is making Li Tian a Jimmy and Peter clone good for him? That is of course a question only Chin Seng can answer. But his decision cannot be at the cost of every other player in Malaysia who believes in healthy competition.

Lets meet on the board and play chess. There is no need for the back doors is there? After all I only have one player left. And as you say he has stalled. Should be like stealing candy from a boy yes and you even get to keep the entrance fees? So why all this twisting and turning? See you guys at NC. Otherwise you may find that the joke is on you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I would like to thank Jimmy for highlighting Mark's weak game.

Ref: Here.

Thank you Jimmy for highlighting Mark's weak game at NJ although we have already taken note of it and working out the solution even as we speak. That is the point of the Junior's game isn't it? Gaps in their knowledge. But if they are to continue to work on their weaknesses they will continue to improve and one day soon be able to take on the senior players like Mas and Yee Weng in chess. Unless they are knocked out by the type of psychological attacks you are now famous for conducting, of course.

But out of curiosity I wonder why you didn't put up your own student's game with Mark or for that matter Peter's student? I do have those games with me but I wouldn't subject them to this sort of public attack. It is not my intention to embarrass anyone. So this begs the question of why I put up Li Tian's game doesn't it? And I will answer that question here. But let me first address some other minor points.

With regards to the Zonals, I wrote to Casto Abundo, the chief arbiter at the Zonals about entry requirements. He told me that the PSC Championship (where Kian Hwa played) was Open but the Zonals needs MCF's endorsement. So there is a contradiction in both Peter's and your assertion that the Zonals was Open too. So why that blatant lie? What are you trying to hide from the chess community?

Actually it is precisely because of the weaknesses I found in the few remaining lines that Mark plays that I decided not to apply for the endorsement from MCF. I felt the time would be better spent working out the kinks here.

So the question that was asked to you from one of your anonymous comments still stands.

So back to the Li Tian question. Firstly I never claimed Mark to be the strongest Junior. But I note his achievements accurately. He was NJ and U18 no.2 in 2010, NJ no.4 in 2011 and NJ no.6 in 2012. I am in no hurry for him to rush his chess. I am satisfied with his journey so far taking into consideration the realities of Junior chess where they have to balance many other priorities.

So why did I bring up Li Tian's game? You see, Li Tian's journey is very different. Li Tian's journey comes from a claim of strongest Junior without ever winning a Junior tournament. His journey is based on dubious numbers and an equally dubious PR campaign with dubious games.

His journey was made at this cost to the Malaysian chess community. In order to promote Li Tian, you attacked the National training for the Juniors given by FGM, you attacked my partner at the time, you attacked our sponsor. Li Tian's bypassing of selection was bought at the cost of you attacking Zhuo Ren, attacking Sumant and Mark all because we tried to provide training for SEA games selection. And Sumant actually had the audacity to win without your approval. Li Tian and you stole the place to the Olympiads from the players who did well at the Olympiad selection, Eng Chiam and Syazwan's place.

Now why is it important for me to bring up this topic apart from the fact I will not allow you or anybody else to steal Mark's dreams and aspirations from him? It is up to him to decide whether he wants to pursue chess or not. Not you or Peter.

So let me also tell you the current realities. A major hot topic now is that there is a racist agenda in selection. It was first raised after Li Tian's sponsorship to China and which I defended Li Tian against that accusation. But this accusation is becoming more and more widespread and strident since the Olympiads. So I try to show on my blog, that it is not racism. You simply attack anything or anyone red, white or yellow who stands in your way to the free trips playing for Malaysia. You and Peter attack anyone you feel may be an impediment to your chosen one's back door entry or may lose to in a real tournament.

Now this is a cost too heavy for our chess community to bear. More so now that some of Li Tian's tauted big wins are suspect and he cannot even stand against local players in selection but need the back doors. We want our children to be able to play chess and be selected to progress based on their chess understanding and not to be subjected to your politics. 

It is also my strong belief that if these accusations of racism is not addressed and a fair selection process introduced then ALL of us will face future repercussions created by you and your supporters actions.

And it is not easy Jimmy, try as I might to reason with them that this is not the case, some of them seem to apply your non ability to reason out this issue.

We all know that Li Tian is strong baring the times he plays openings he is not familiar with as we can also see from the Zonals just like most of our other top Juniors. Yes, I had a full SWOT briefing this morning. But this is the how the game is played isn't it? Normal stuff. We are just benchmarking ourselves against the "strongest" Junior in Malaysia.

And we also know that some of the Fide ratings in Malaysia are not accurate but cooked. We too have been invited to those sessions but we declined the invitation. I am happy with the number that best describes Mark's journey in Open and tough tournaments. I don't like artificial anything.

Fyi, I know that you and Mok were busy taking down Mark's games at NJ. So there is no need to say you got the games from "someone". I have no problems with that. In fact I took it as a compliment since the both of you spent 3 whole days there doing just that. Take whatever edge you need.

A last point. From the games Li Tian played at the Zonals, I think he will have a very tough time winning his place at selection to SEA games. Even from the last NJ and the tournament we recently played in Penang, the Juniors have moved up a few notches during the time we took our one year sabbatical for STPM. I think even the coaches in Penang will run rings around you and Peter should you "guys" ever dare to play in a selection again. Face facts, you guys are now dinosaurs. You are far far far behind the times. Let's meet at NC this year if you want to prove me wrong. Like I have said before, you can bring Peter, Mok and even Li Tian along this time so you guys can play tag team. I don't mind. It's just chess. Chessischess.

And if even that is not enough for you, you can choose the arbiter too. You know who I mean. I don't mind. Chessischess.

Or are you hoping to swindle the same free entries for SEA games again this year, without having to play selection and with the use of The President's choice?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is the PR campaign backfiring? Lets look at it this way.

Lets try this as a thinking exercise.

Lets assume that both Fide and MCF has done an open and proper investigation and have found all our concerns unfounded. We can all heave a sigh of relief and the questions of whether our kids are being given a fair shake or not is finally abated.

Now if the above does happen then we will find ourselves in this scenario. We can now ask this question.

We all saw Li Tian's amazing run last year. Beating GM's and IM's like they have gone out of fashion. Then we can also say that he must have wacked Mok at Datmo and Jimmy was almost invisible there as he was so far down I lost count. And Li Tian even outstripped Mas at Penang Open. That is quite an achievement for such a young boy.

And so the thinking then goes like this. But he was beaten by Roshan, Eng Chiam and Syazwan at NC 2012. Their wins must must have been so convincing that even the buletin was not allowed to come out. Now does this not beg the question that most of the senior team (ie Mok and Jimmy) must now be considered defunct? Doesn't it follow that we should be looking at a brand new senior team given Li Tian's results and that our past practice of giving the IM's here free entry or partially free for that one time for SEA games 2011, to representing Malaysia should now be scrapped?

Seriously, we need new blood or we will disappear off the face of the chess world. I was looking for Eng Chiams's name for NAG but I could not find it. He is still 17 plus and so still eligible. Could it be that we have totally demotivated him from playing? Could it be that we have lost him because of a PR campaign? We need to think deeply on this if we still want to say we want our own GM. How can it be achieved if we knock out our own strong players in favour of suspect games and a PR campaign?

So these are the questions. Are they reasonable? Don't you think that MCF should at least clear the air?

And if it is a PR campaign, then at the very least it shows Jimmy and Peter needs to be removed from the senior team permanently for the simple reason that this must be one of the stupidest PR campaign in history. 

But how are we to know which is which unless Fide and/or MCF investigates? I don't think we can call for a royal enquiry to get the evidence for this can we?

Please note: The above is just an exercise in imagination but the request for investigation is genuine so we can know for sure.

Is there something wrong with the pairings at the Zonal?

Here.

An anonymous comment highlighted this to me. It was also asserted that the player paired against Li Tian is a chess teacher in Malaysia. I have no knowledge if this assertion is true or not but I hope that both Fide and MCF can look into this. None of us can act on suspicion alone except those authorities. All we can do is to point out what we think may be irregularities and present it as circumstantial evidence. I hope there will be an investigation at least to clear the air. Can there be Malaysian pride if there is suspicion of our success? I know all Malaysian chess lovers will cheer our heros if we believe they have won in a fair fight.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Is this the benchmark for our players?

I am glad that Chin Seng has said what he has said here. This clears the air for me. So Chin Seng has clearly admitted to being part of this charade.

Let us remind ourselves that playing in the National Close was the advertised criteria for selection to the Olympiad. And not one of the players from that tournament made it to the Olympiad since Li Tian was the Presidents choice. So much for MCF's criteria even when written.

Now lets look at this point also. I have clearly stated that my suspicion lies with Peter. Read post below. But it is Chin Seng that is diverting the attention back to Li Tian. So now my question to you Chin Seng is this........ I can sort of understand if I really bend my mind, why you have opened the back doors for your son and in order to do so condoned them attacking Zhuo Ren, Sumant and Mark. In that case all I can say is that you are just a very selfish person unable to see other parents or players pain in Malaysia coming from your actions. It just seems to say that you think that Li Tian is better and more deserving than anyone else.

But this is the real question. By now diverting the attention back to Li Tian does it not say that it is actually not even Li Tian that you are concerned about. You can read. I said suspicion on Peter. And you say Li Tian. Now doesn't it look like you don't even care about your own son? Doesn't it look that it is just about your own ego and you do not care who you hurt AT ALL. So what kind of man are you Chin Seng?

MCF has put up Jimmy as our model player. And now they seem to have also put up Li Tian as the model for all Malaysian youths to follow. I have shown the game from Brunei in my past post and I have shown the game from the Zonals. Jimmy then comes along and gives us his evaluation as though if our model senior player says so, all of Malaysia will go blind and cannot see the actual quality of the games.

You see, the purpose of models is for all our players to emulate. To benchmark against. So we need to be proud of them. We need to see that they at least put up a good fight. Win or lose. If they fight we can be proud of them. Then Malaysians will feel the pride of being mental warriors through them for we are all part of the Malaysian chess community. We gave it our all and we stood tall. We may lose today but we will come back again and again till we win in fair and healthy competition.

So of course we are all interested when Jimmy plays or not play. So of course we are interested to see Li Tian's games. We all want to learn from our strongest Junior. MCF and you have put them up as our models. We all want to see our Ferrari race and run rings around the opponents. Isn't that what you wanted too when you allowed all those things to be said about Li Tian or CHIN SENG's SON when all that PR circus was running? Sad to say we did not see a Ferrari. When he ran we saw a kup chai and we are also not convinced with the games that we do see of CHIN SENG's SON either. Why don't you just show us his games from NC2012 along with the advertising blurb too?

Sad to say, Jimmy does not make the cut but I have always thought that Li Tian may have a chance if he can get out from under the game those failures are playing. But with you now revealing yourself as who you really are I can now see that he really has no chance at all. I really have no words to describe someone like you. But it is far worse than Jimmy or Peter. They wouldn't give a toss about burning Li Tian. After all who is he to them? So what are you really? Is there anything worse than a father who subjects his own son to this charade? For what? How long do you think you can fool all of Malaysia? Can he avoid local competition or only play in select competition in today's world like Jimmy did in the past? You must be crazy to think you can get away with this in today's internet world.

So Chin Seng, do try to think. Aren't you the one that is responsible for all the anger directed towards your son now? Are you totally oblivious to what so many people are saying about the way he is selected?

All I wanted to say is that fair selection from now will defuse the anger over the fraudulent Olympiad selection. (Are you now trying for a repeat performance for SEA games this year? Are you now trying to rob another fellow Malaysian chess player of yet another place?) You see, suspect games in foreign tournaments do not cut it for us. You want to play for Malaysia, then you compete with Malaysians. We do not want to hear about what you did in foreign lands behind closed doors. Show us here what CHIN SENG's son is about or do you feel that all of us Malaysians are beneath even your contempt.

Can you not even see that suspect games embarrasses all Malaysians? Especially when even the Fide Secretary has suspicion. Especially when it concerns our model player, Malaysia's strongest Junior, as acclaimed by you and your couple of friends but not from any results from any tournament that can give that acclaim. Or are you really that far gone? Can you not even see you are setting up your own son up to be shot down? Why so stupid? Do it fairly and no one will say a word.

How can he be the strongest when he got hammered by 2 Juniors, Roshan and Eng Chiam in NC2012? Which National Junior Championship did Li Tian win?  Do you really think all of us are as stupid as Peter and Jimmy and all you have to do is to arrange to hide the NC2012 Buletin?

All I wanted to say is if Li Tian is that strong he will naturally win his place. PR or no PR campaign.

All I wanted to say is even if the intention is to promote Li Tian, nobody has a problem with that but we have big big problems when you attack our children in order to do so. There you have crossed the big fat line. And you will see that ALL decent parents will defend their children when they are unfairly attacked. But you have no clue what I am talking about do you?

Note: The incident referred to by Chin Seng and his 2 friends occurred during NJ2010 when Mark attempted to put in a false result to the arbiter during the play off. I was outside at the time and the floor arbiter was Marcus Yeoh. When I walked in I saw Mark with Marcus talking and asked what had happened. Marcus told me and I said he did the right thing to point out to Mark that it was wrong to falsify the results. And I thanked him for that. In all my years in tournaments with Mark I have never known him to try anything like that, before or since. But I still said that it took courage for him to admit to his mistake. This was accepted by all the officials there including Ustaz Rahman and Greg. Isn't that what parents and officials are supposed to do? To correct our young ones so that they learn that dishonesty is not correct? That by giving in a false result they are depriving someone else of their right placing?

In that same tournament we saw that Li Tian did not do well because he drew too many rounds and was low down in the placings. And I saw that Chin Seng was very upset with Li Tians results and his anger extended even to me on that day. But I always thought he would get over it as this is just how tournaments go and once Li Tian has corrected the flaws in his game he would progress again. But Chin Seng's decision was not to play another Junior again since 2010. Li Tian was then soundly beaten in NC2012 by 3 other players. So how does Chin Seng compare that one small incident and allowed it to be twisted into stories of me that had done the "fixing"?

How does that compare to him now openly and publicly trying to cheat the entire chess community? How does a father openly encourage cheating and dishonesty and then use that one incident to publicly attack Mark over and over again since then to justify cheating on the scale that is now openly perpetuated. How twisted must you be to do this?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Only a pawn in their game.

Jimmy and Peter's response to my last post is a timely reminder of the problems we have before us. Here.

Please note that it is a very toxic site but I think that if we cannot see past their modus operandi then we may be in stall for another 30 years of oblivion. So brace yourself while reading their response before we try to carefully dissect what is happening here.

Now I have always maintained that I wish Li Tian well. Does this still hold true after my last post? Let us try to see this clearly. In my posting below did I say that Li Tian fixed the games? Have I not always said that it is his adult handlers that I am suspicious of? And have I not mentioned in the past that parents can be intimidated to do very strange things in Malaysian chess?

So I do not think that Li Tian fixed his games. If anything the suspicion must lie with his handlers. Now why would I say so? What evidence do I have? No solid evidence right? As I have also said before, solid evidence can only be gotten with the authority of Fide or MCF. Solid evidence needs to be presented at the AGM of MCF like the accounts for instance.

But we do have loads of circumstantial evidence. Now apart from the suspect games, can we say that the people who think they can represent Malaysia through a fraudulent selection may have little compunction about fixing matches? Can we say that the people who influenced Zhuo Ren into writing that nasty email, the people who attacked Sumant after he won his selection for SEA games may have the mind set to also fix games?

I have suggested in one of my past postings that it is possible for a deal to be made behind closed doors between players or in this case maybe on behalf of the player without even his knowledge. All of these things have been speculated for sometime now. There were even allegations that they were fixing the pairings during the last Datmo when Li Tian met Mok on the last round. And I have even written about it and suggested ways that an audit can be done.

All of these things have been brought up but the authorities have yet to act. And when they do act it is to try and intimidate the innocent people like they have done to Megat for example.

I also can't understand Peter's allegations that I have affected Li Tian's game in the Zonals. My blog is not on the Malaysian chess portal and only my readers come here to see my opinions on current matters. Also in all the time I have been with the players during tournaments we have never had the time to look at blogs as we have been too busy preparing or resting.

So how would Li Tian know about it unless Peter told him? And besides, shouldn't Peter have clarified to Li Tian that he has nothing to worry about in case he misunderstood by explaining that it is "Uncle Peter" that I am suspicious of. How not to suspect a trainer who bans without grounds players better than the ones he can produce? It seems to be consistent with his nature?

Honestly I have not seen any real concern that both Jimmy and Peter have shown for anyone outside of themselves and their desperate attempts to cling to relevance, power and influence.

Funnily enough this case could be upset down. Don't they know how much anger and resentment is now directed towards Li Tian because of the way they have done things? If you recall, I had defended Li Tian over the sponsorship to China amidst much rancour. I know how volatile things are and how much anger is just below the surface. People are so angry that I am even attacked when I congratulated MCF on a good calender. Here.

Think about it. One of the big problems we need to contain is this misdirected anger. Why do you think I said this? Here.

Actually it is them that are putting Li Tian in the firing line and in possible harms way. But in their selfish ambitions they cannot even see that. Look at how they treat everyone else. Don't you have enough examples? Now why would you think Li Tian is any different to them. He is only a pawn in their game.

Is it clearer now?

And they use the type of attack that you see on Jimmy's blog so very very few people would dare to question them openly. So it's a ticking time bomb. And we are seeing the same tactics applied in the fight going into AGM. I hear new stories almost everyday and if even half of it is true then this could also be an election gimmick. But those stories are for later. And the pawn they are willing to sacrifice are the players. If I read the game correctly, ultimately both Peter and Jimmy would be sacrificed too. As far as I am concerned I believe they will both deserve it. But Li Tian is just another innocent.

So yes there is suspicion of match fixing. And it looks to me that Peter may be involved. It is my hope that Fide will look into this since even the Secretary is of the opinion that the games are suspicious in his reply email to me.

In conclusion let me say this very clearly. I would like to see Li Tian play in a clean and fair selection with clear criteria and celebrate any wins he has without the suspicion of fixed games and without back door entries. For that to remain unresolved will sully the reputation of Malaysian chess. This is very important to defuse the growing anger within the Malaysian chess community.

If he is as strong as they claim then he will not need those crutches and will be able to prove it on the table. The same goes for every other chess player in Malaysia. This is also for the personal dignity of all our players.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What happens when we remove reasoning from chess?

We want to build bridges. Ref: Here.

It is not much fun to see the parents huddled in corners feeling helpless to change anything that they see as wrong. It is not much fun to hear the players complaining of unfair practices on the side but unable to bring the issues up to organisers/arbiters for fear of being victimised.

But for issues to be resolved we need to be able to reason with them and then see action taken to address the problems. It's either that or we may see the frustrations and anger continuing to build.

So what is happening with the Li Tian PR campaign? After the games in Brunei and Melaka, I asked a few people who are strong chess players to evaluate the games. And one of them is the Secretary of Fide. He came back to me to say that the games are suspect.

We all know Li Tian to be a strong Malaysian chess player but the big question is if he is as strong as they claim? So what is happening? What are they doing to him?

I wonder if you have noticed as I have, that a number of our senior players have high Fide ratings but don't dare to play anymore. I first noticed that in Perak and then later on the National level. If you look carefully you will see that they will either play at Veterans or Team events where they can shift the blame or they will register in the Open events and then pull out giving various "reasons". Now we need to understand why this is so in order to stop this happening in the future. I think the reason is that they are not strong anymore because they have moved down the wrong path. They play to fatten their Fide ratings only since selection is based on "ratings" and so they only choose tournaments where they can do that.

And even those are getting fewer and fewer.

Why do you think they did not release the Malaysian Close 2012 buletin after Li Tian lost 3 games and was still Presidents choice for the Olympiads? How did Jimmy manage to go despite being one of the weaker seniors we have, even in rating terms? Shifting goal posts no?

So will Li Tian follow the path of those failed seniors? Are they really interested in developing him or will he become another casualty of the game of egos they are really playing. Will Li Tian eventually become another Jimmy or Peter? So the players who do dare to fight and win in clean and open selection are attacked. And even those that they "support" may not end up well.

Isn't it just the weak protecting the weak? And if you are not weak, you will eventually be if you embrace their culture. For in actuality there isn't even a real criteria. It all gets manipulated just so these same people represent the Country whether that can play chess or Not.

Can we realistically expect Fide to take action? Well Ignatius is aware of what is happening and he himself said the games were suspect. But this is a Malaysian problem no? In a better world maybe Fide would look into this but for now we have to take care of ourselves.

The power to make changes are with the State Affiliates. And that power is expressed in the form of resolutions. So I hope a lot of thought is now being put into them. I think it should be very apparent now that we will be unable to reach the "Sharifahs" with reason. We need to either vote them out and/or curb their arbitrary powers to destroy Malaysian chess and our strong players.

Stop the nonsense and have ALL our players compete in healthy competition for selection and I guarantee you our GM will come soon. We have amazing talents if we do not allow them to be destroyed the way they have been for years. Reason this out. Is that not so?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

If "Sharifah" was allowed to conduct the AGM and selection.

Let's do a little exercise in imagination today. Lets say that Sharifah was to conduct both the AGM of MCF as well as the selection of our National players to compete in International tournaments. What do you think will be the likely scenario?

Lets talk a little about Sharifah here first. This person is seen by people of all political divides to be a delusional person and have been disavowed by almost all of Malaysian society. But she may still find refuge in Malaysian chess.

So if Sharifah was to conduct the AGM, would she be able to listen to the concerns of Malaysian parents or of the players or the State Affiliates? How would we talk to her? How would she respond if we were to try to present the facts? She can say she "forgives" us for trying to bring up the facts but she won't feel we deserve an apology if she does something wrong.

And who would Sharifah choose to represent the Country? Who would she give her galaxy notebook to? Personally I would have laid my bets on Bawani or someone like her to win us some honours. I see the fighting spirit in her and I see her quiet dignity and self respect. But she won't get the galaxy notebook.

At a time where we have one of our last bastions to keep a tool that can teach the thinking skills to develop our children into world beaters when many have lost confidence in our educational system, we may find that Sharifah has taken over Malaysian chess.

My question is why would we welcome her to our community when everybody else thinks she is a destructive force and not welcomed?

How do the State Affiliates feel on this? How would the State win honours after all the hard work to develop their players? 15 State Affiliates and only a few places. And the good ones would want their Champions to be given a chance to compete but Sharifah will not give them the notebooks. Sharifah will probably say wait for your turn.

Is Sharifah capable of fixing the matches/selection? That is an interesting question no? Does Sharifah know right from wrong?

And in that way our chess will be lost for another 30 years. The Bawani's will be knocked out and those that clapped will be given the notebooks. And then the clappers will be asked to go out and fight. Is that not the story? Is that story now not playing again right before your eyes?

Note: This story has nothing to do with the players. This story is about Sharifah and how she may mold our future generations.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Go, Li Tian go. Asian Zonals.

Follow it here.

FGM and all Malaysian chess players are rooting for you.

Note: It is my sincere hope that this anger over selection is not inadvertently diverted to Li Tian personally. The issue of fair selection is for the benefit of ALL Malaysian chess players without prejudice. And this question must be directed to MCF alone as the authority for chess in Malaysia.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Sharifah's of Malaysian chess.

Ref: Here.

So Sharifah wants to forgive Bawani. Obviously she does not think she has done anything wrong. What has happened to her sense of values?

I was thinking about a conversation I had with a former Perak player on facebook recently. She told me that many youths are terrified of the authorities. I didn't respond directly to that statement but I have been thinking about it since.

Let me now recollect an incident at a Perak chess tournament. A young girl had won her game with good chances to become Perak Champ that year. She was surrounded by her teachers who forced her to declare her game was a draw. So it was obvious to her at that time that this was wrong and she cried her heart out. Now these same teachers will also be the people who will correct her in school if she breaks any rules.

Lets pause here. Right has become wrong before. And the same people now enforces what is right. Isn't that confusing? What is the message? Isn't it saying that there is no right and wrong unless the people in authority say it is so? So how do we develop a sense of moral values in our kids this way?

Can they now not eventually grow into another Sharifah where everything becomes muddled if that is not corrected?

Why am I talking about this now? I just got some feedback that things have now moved to making threats of police reports going into the AGM. But the funny thing is that the person making the threat has no basis. Somebody asked for an update from COS. That information is public. It is not protected by OSA. So what did he do wrong when he requested for the latest information to make informed decisions? Doesn't this MCF guy know that making a false police report is in itself a crime?

I was going to talk about the roles the committee members can play so that we have an effective MCF. Then I was going to talk about a way that may be a compromise so no party needs to land up in jail and put MCF in jeopardy of being delisted. But I think that may be one step too far into the murky future.

For now I think we still need to deeply think about what is right and what is wrong. What are we doing to our kids with an MCF that does not know what is right from what is wrong?

Would it too far a stretch to say that we have a number of Sharifah's in Malaysian chess? Lets make up our minds about this first before we go any further.

Think about this. What are we injecting into our kids when we use authority and fear to distort right from wrong? And with each exposure, with each tournament are our players not getting more and more fearful? Then how can we expect them to make tough decisions on the board based on their own judgement alone?

We have taken away their ability to evaluate. So lets get this right first before we talk about getting a GM. All of us know that selection is the way forward but we cannot even get this decision accepted. All our energies are taken away by a drama that does not have the players welfare in mind. Can we not see that?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Final results- PSC Cup Phillipines.

Here.

I think our local hero Kian Hwa did relatively well, don't you? Can you help but wonder where some of our "top" seniors will be ranked in a field like this? Do you think giving them the back doors to represent the Country is a good thing? Is the self opinion that they are Ferrari's one that is based on reality or self delusion?

Why do you think they need to attack the training of our Juniors? Why do they need to attack our own Juniors the way they do?

Are these valid questions? Should these questions be asked at the AGM?

What happens when you love illusions more than reality.

We all have ideals. The ideal woman, the ideal man; the ideal player, IM, GM; the perfect game; the perfect MCF, the perfect President; the perfect Santa Claus and the perfect selection criteria.

But what happens when reality falls short of the ideals? What happens when the woman/man is not perfect because the idea is to teach you how to accept imperfections so you may better yourself? What happens if the idea is to help you improve your communication skills?

What happens if you find that the perfect game is not perfect and the idea is that you continue to improve your understanding?

What happens if MCF is not perfect, the President is not perfect, even Santa Claus is not perfect? What happens if the selection criteria is not perfect?

Do we now start the hard work of looking for the answers on how to improve? Or do we now learn the art of creating illusions? We can continue to "believe" we are Ferrari's. And then we lash out, distort, lie and deceive to make them believe this illusion on pain of retribution.

But there is another technique isn't there? We can go back into carefully sanitised memories where there can still be the perfect world and then go there to live. We still get to avoid the hard work of learning to improve. And if we will do that well enough we can become totally delusional and not be in this world anymore except perhaps physically.

However reality still exists. The world is still moving on. Our chess is still sliding further and further behind all the rest. And you are still a kup chai.

Actually it is best that we leave you in your self made delusory world. Unfortunately we cannot because you insist on making our children into your image or you attack them. You are angry because you do not want to wake up and so you lash out. But we cannot allow you to keep our children in your never never land where you are still a "Ferrari". We want our children to progress and live in the real world.

Friday, January 18, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 7- The tricks.

To anticipate the tricks we need to know a little about organisational tactics to prevent change of status quo. So let us go back to my days in PICA. Ref: Here. Lets see what we can learn from my experience there.

The first thing I observed about the AGM there is that they always have a tournament on the same day. The idea of course is to rush through the AGM since the participants are eager to play. I suppose the same results can be achieved by a good makan.

Now, is that a problem? Think about it. 30 years and we still do not have a clear Vision. 30 years and we are still unclear about the rules, the role of the committee members etc etc.

Lets use a chess analogy here. We are supposed to be playing classical chess. Study deeply the position and see the best way forward etc etc. But instead we play blitz. Play by pattern. And what is the pattern we have been used to for 30 years? Yes, one that doesn't work and so we are in deep decline.

So lets have a good AGM. Lets not rush this. Lets see what is wrong and find ways to fix this. Lets play classical chess and not blitz. What is the rush?

What else can we learn from my time in PICA? Lets look at the only postmortem that I remember us ever having. After the event which I thought had serious flaws I was surprised that the postmortem was just about members praising each other. There were no efforts to look at how to improve. So that was the culture there. To improve we need to look at our weaknesses and that is not easy if we cannot set aside our egos. We see this at the National level too. Over time we see people claiming to be Ferrari's when they are not. People thinking they can raise GMs when they have not even managed to train U8's successfully etc etc.

But we need to look at things realistically or else we cannot improve. Too much empty praise leads to self delusion.

And so the other trick will be to attack you personally. To make it very painful for you to raise issues to discuss or to pin point shortcomings. Only false praise is acceptable "discussion" to them.

And then there are the technical tricks. The old committee under ROS will say that they have one vote each. Actually they do not. The constitution only gives the votes to committee members voted in under COS regulations. The first AGM is to vote in the first COS committee. See the constitution again. Here. If you are in doubt, clarify with COS. Better still, invite an officer from COS to witness the AGM.

So what else can they do? They can also not give you clear guidelines on how to submit your resolutions. Why do you think that may be so? With the resolutions you can limit their powers. With the resolutions you can give instructions that they have to follow. With the resolutions you regain your position as boss of MCF. Now why do you think they will give up the authority they have stolen from you with only the use of gentle persuasion? What does the evidence say? This is only a fraction of the powers duly vested in you as the State Affiliates at the AGM. Here.

There is one more trick I can think of right now. This happened during the PICA AGM 2009. The voting was by secret ballot. Now this is what the AGM can also decide on. Open voting or closed. The AGM is the highest authority so don't let them tell you otherwise. Anyway this was what I think happened during the PICA AGM. I went in with the belief that we had the votes to win. And then the voting was done by secret ballot. And I lost by one vote. I have always wondered if some people who were supposed to be in Team B actually voted the other way. What they really wanted was just a foot into the committee. Food for thought yes? So in retrospect I think it would have been better if the voting was open. At least then we know who stands where especially if they are going to be voted into the same committee, don't you think?

And so status quo can be kept in many ways. So stay vigilant. All we want is an improved MCF that can lead us on the road to success again. So please keep that in mind.

In my next post I will talk more about the committee positions and the skill sets needed to advance us further.

Note: This is just my experience for what it's worth and you can choose to use it or not. But I hope you do. Lets not repeat past mistakes if it's at all possible. So do look at this as my personal postmortem freely given to you with no conditions or expectation. Use whatever you think is useful for the benefit of Malaysian chess. See you again soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Marina on building bridges.

Ref: Here.

We can only build bridges if we have general agreement on important issues. Then we can sit down to trash out the details by trying to understand each other's perspective better to bridge the divide.

We cannot build bridges if the other party says that Malaysian chess is doing very very well and is completely impervious to overwhelming evidence to the contrary. There is no bridge for communication.

We cannot build bridges if we keep shouting other opinions down and keep using intimidation as a tool. We cannot build bridges if you have no solutions to an unacceptable situation but no one else is allowed to say anything contrary to your "truths".

And we cannot build bridges if you have hidden agendas.

For bridges can be built only if trust is also simultaneously developed.

Susan Polgar on cheating.

Here.

Yes, we have tons of circumstantial evidence and I suppose there will be tons of statistical evidence too from our 30 years of floundering in the dark if anyone bothers to do the stats. So here is another circumstantial evidence. Here. Why is an International chess personality so interested in the Philippines to follow in such detail their progress and not us? Didn't we once teach China? Some of us are so scared to see the evidence that they bury their heads in the sand and invent fairy tales about our Juniors instead of looking at their own roles in our backward slide.

Why are we using our National resources to develop others instead of our own players etc etc etc?

But the hard evidence is coming now isn't it. Ref: Here. So readers, what do you think will happen to the evidence at the AGM? Do we have a leader that will use it to say enough is enough and let us pull ourselves out of this rut?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PSC Cup with games.

Here.

Fellow Malaysian Kian Hwa is not doing well. But we salute the fighting spirit.

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 6- The accounts.

Part 5. Here.

Everything else we have been discussing to this point has essentially been the internal affairs of chess. The rule and play book has been given by COS. So whether or not you put up your hands when the rules have been broken will be up to you and the rest of the chess community. The ultimate authority has been given to the State Affiliates at the AGM. All other authority flows from there. The committee is there to serve on behalf of the State Affiliates and only has the amount of authority as the affiliates allow them. The COS only comes in when the rules have been broken.

So if the States do not use the authority given to them, who is to be blamed? 

And therein lies the problem. After so many years of existence, there is no clear understanding of roles. I believe this is the model that works. MCF is a regulatory body first and foremost. The role of specialised training is best left to the private academies, trainers and coaches. MCF is there to make sure that there is a level playing field and that all parties obey the rules. The role of high level tournaments is best left to private organisers. MCF is there to ensure that those tournaments benefits our Nation and is in alignment with our strategic vision (and MCF can collect a premium from those organisers depending on the role it plays in those tournaments).

Then we will have specialisation. Then we can compete. But right now MCF uses it's authority to sabotage non crony Academies, trainers and coaches. MCF uses its authority to sabotage private organisers that are outside it's small crony network. MCF subverts selection. And then MCF uses its authority to punish those who complain simply by encouraging the Sharifah type behaviour among its cronies. In Malaysian chess we call it the Jimmy method and instead of galaxy notebooks they get to play for Malaysia at the Olympiads and be the "trainer" for the women's team etc etc.

So that is MCF now. But what about the rest of us? Did you see the rest of Malaysia standing up to that Sharifah person? So why didn't we stand up for Sumant, Zhuo Ren, Mark etc etc etc when they were so viciously attacked publicly? This is a big question we need to ask ourselves. Why didn't anybody stand up when the selection for the Olympiad was fraudulent?

When we have the answer to these questions and we also find the solutions then our GM will come. And only then. For ultimately won't we have the MCF we deserve?

So now to the accounts. What has been the problem to date over allegations of money missing from MCF? We have tons of circumstantial but no hard evidence right? So if we cannot get hard evidence then how do we involve MACC, the police etc etc?

Are you following what I am saying so far? So what is so different now? What is so special about the AGM? You see, at the AGM the evidence will come to you. We don't need to run around. The evidence will come to us. They have to present the accounts. And the accounts will be presented to their bosses. And bosses can question. So at the AGM the State Affiliates can question about Asian Amateur, about Melaka. In fact about virtually anything. And the committee has to answer truthfully. You can ask for the structure of the deals. Who was authorised to negotiate? Where did that authority come from? Who got paid what? Who were the sponsors? Where was the money banked into? All these things you can ask.

And if you are not convinced, you can put it to the vote. Now this is the whammy. If even one State Affiliate objects and the voting is open, what do you think will happen? So it is very very unlikely that any State Affiliate will vote for a flawed accounts. Why? Because if they do, they may find themselves under investigation by MACC too if anyone reports. The AGM is the highest authority. All that is needed is one honest and fearless State Affiliate. So why worry about what certain people are doing now?

So those are the steps before we even talk about involving MACC etc. First get the evidence from the AGM. It will have to come to you. Just be prepared for that. But I hope it will not come to involving MACC.

That is why I ask those people doing those funny things to play nice. Attacking impulsively thinking that you can intimidate all into silence is not mature chess. You need to stop using the Jimmy method. It has been proven not to work after 30 years of dismal failure. You are only making your bosses more angry. Weigh out the odds and realise that it is best you try to negotiate for a compromise.

Personally I think that offering to pay back the money that you were not authorised to take is a good solution. I have heard this echoed by other State Affiliates.

There still remains the possibility that some dirty tricks can still happen to bury the issues or subvert the plans to improve. I have been hearing new stories about plans within the plans etc. What to do? They are chess players afterall. So I will also cover what those tricks may be and what may be a good compromise if we do want to end up with MCF being deregistered by not handling this with maturity and wisdom. In later series coming soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reflection.

I am unbelievably heartened by how the youths and enlightened people of Malaysia have stood up to be counted for Bawani. I hope this spirit will soon enter Malaysian chess and we can protect and nurture our amazingly talented chess players from similar abuses. It has been going on for far too long.

This is a good article.

Ref: Here.

And then we have the type shown by Sharifah Zohra Jabeen all over the internet. Ref: Here. and here.

And then we have our own similar "personalities" in Malaysian chess. Ref: Here.

What kind of MCF do we want?

I know I said that I will write about the upcoming presentation of accounts at the AGM yesterday but I felt we should explore this idea first. The accounts is not going anywhere.

So what kind of MCF do we want? But even before that, what kind of President do we want for MCF? Do we want a President that only gives us a few fish from time to time? Do we want a President that gives us fish all the time so we don't have to do anything at all? Or do we want a President who will support programs that teach us how to fish?

I think we need to be very clear on this before we can proceed. What kind of leader that can take us to where we want to go? What happens if we get a new President and then find that nothing has changed but the list of cronies? Just different names doing the same thing.

Personally I prefer a President that will be fair to all, will follow the rules and apply it in the right places. I prefer a President that will be open to new ideas to improve. I prefer a President that will engender a vibrant climate for Malaysian chess. I hear some say that I am an idealist but I don't think that is very accurate. Yes, I do have ideals but I hope it is always grounded in reality.

That is why I also ask for the activation of the State Affiliates at the AGM. I hope there will be debates. I hope that the voting will be open so we know who stands where on all the many issues facing us in the struggle to improve Malaysian chess. Checks and balances. Ref: Here.

That's all for today. I will try to follow this with the continuation of the series tomorrow if time permits. I just wanted to say this first.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday musings.

Ref: Here.

I have always wondered why certain people cannot seem to understand that it is all about improving MCF or improving Malaysian chess standards. So lets examine this concept a little on this lazy Sunday. Lets say we support a good idea when we hear it, no matter where it comes from and then try to implement it, won't the end result be improvement?

But on the other hand we support a good idea only when it comes from our camp and we do not dare to criticize a bad idea because it comes from our camp, then aren't we doing this? Aren't we putting one leg on the accelerator and the other on the brakes? And doesn't it become a lot worse when our camp generates close to none or only a very very few good ideas? Then we just have the brakes since the ideas are coming from the other side.

Is that what is happening to Malaysian chess today? Is that why we keep spinning on the same spot? And if the rest are moving forward then aren't we going backwards relatively?

I really want to talk more about how the other Countries are producing GM's. Over the years a few foreigners have shared with me and I think some of those ideas can be implemented here.

But what is our reality today? You see, there is no point talking about these things until we can figure out why some of our own people are sabotaging our own Juniors, our own players and find a way to stop them from doing this again. There is no point talking about ideas to improve when the money keeps disappearing.

We need to take our legs off the brakes.

So until we learn to accept good ideas or good work no matter where it comes from, then there is no way forward. Until they can allow people apart from their cronies to contribute and not try to intimidate or sabotage others just because they have no ideas of their own we cannot move forward.

So first things first. Bring back selection, stop the abuses. That is the need of the day. Don't reward the rule breakers. Censure them. I think you can now see clearly it is not about FGM.

An innocent Treasurer is attacked. Parents in the MCF committee are attacked. Whole State Associations are attacked. Anyone who wants to suggest improvement is attacked.

Is that not the case? Is it not the case that it is a very small handful of people that have kept the entire community of chess players in Malaysia from progressing for all these years?

Isn't that why they try to heap on themselves all those false praises like calling themselves Ferrari's etc etc and attack you so venomously when you try to raise any real issues or win a selection to the senior squad when you have been warned to wait your turn?

But even then, can we not give a genuine praise when a good calender comes out. It's just a calender. We praise that although we know that a calender is just a calender with pretty pages so long as the sabotage continues.

But still it is a good calender. So let us be grateful for that at least and work harder to make sure that something tangible comes out of that calender. If we criticize even that then won't we become just like them? Where black becomes white and vice versa.

Then it becomes about hate and not improvement anymore.

Go, Kian Hwa go.

PSC Championship in the Phillipines. Here. Starts tomorrow. Do follow if you can.

We have our own intrepid Malaysian fighting to be a GM. Is that a ridiculous statement to make? I wonder. Is there a chance when you keep fighting to continuously improve? It may be small yes? Even very very small. But what is the chance if you don't even dare to fight anymore but go around putting others down or making cheap excuses?

What would our chances become if we can stop the self sabotage of Malaysian chess by certain people?

So go, Kian Hwa go, FGM and all Malaysian chess lovers roots for you. Show us the way player no.46. We are there with you in spirit.

Today's Contemplation.

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.
       
   --  Joan Didion

Friday, January 11, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 5- The method.

Please read this again. This is important. Here.

Sometimes I wonder if what we really like is just to complain. Maybe the developed culture is to whisper in corners after so many years of frustration and failure. And if we don't have that then we won't know what to do with our time at tournaments.

I have said many times that the Secretary is just the Secretary. He has no special powers. He only has those funny powers because we have been unable or cannot be bothered to limit his authority in the main committee. Well, we still have the AGM don't we?

Now why do a few of you still think that we will get selection etc if we ask him nicely? He has been winning big time. He knows all the power is with you but he is playing you like a fiddle and laughing all the way to the bank. So what made you think he is going to give away his big win just because you don't know the rules and cannot put up your hands to call for the arbiter. If you do not put up your hand in the tournament when the rules have been broken then they tell you that you are not very smart and deserve to lose, do they not? So how is this any different?

So what is the method to effect change if we can stop hitting out at ghosts and decide to focus our energies?

Write out and prepare your resolutions to be passed at the AGM. The AGM is the highest decision making body in MCF. All you need is a proposal that is seconded by another State Affiliate and the issue must be discussed and called to a vote. And if passed by the majority then the resolution is adopted and it is binding on the committee. 

This is such a big topic that I am going to dwell on this. So lets look at a few examples. No, let us look at many examples.

I hear that there is a State Association who's subscription to MCF is not being accepted because the reason given is that the matter must be referred to COS. So what is the problem? Get that down in writing and then write to COS yourself. That is pure rubbish. This is not within COS jurisdiction. They just don't want you at the AGM because they know you have a few difficult questions they don't want to answer. Get that recorded in COS just for later. You will see why at the end of this series. They cannot stop you from going to the AGM can they? Why? You have at least 2 other State Affiliate who can put in a motion (resolution) to have this issue as the first order of discussion. The AGM can decide to overrule the committee and put you back in. That is the power of the AGM. It is the highest decision making body in MCF. So why worry? But do go along with the subscription. It can be accepted there and then by instruction from the delegates.

I hear that there is confusion in another State because they are told that there are two Associations registered with COS. I don't think that is true but you can check can't you? Write in to COS to clarify. Why rely on this man's word. I think he is just playing with you because he is afraid that you may not vote his way. It looks like just another Jimmy type U12 psycho trick to me but what is the harm in checking with COS and putting it on their record?

If you are worried about back door selection, then get a resolution passed that says something like the top 10 from National Close must be eligible for selection for SEA games, for the Olympiad. The AGM has that power. The AGM can set the criteria. The committee is bound by that decision.

If you want more Fide tournaments in Malaysia, then put in a resolution. Do you know you can even instruct the committee to discuss with the organisers of KL Open to have an Open Tournament on top of the U16 and Invitational? Why? Because you are MCF. You the State Affiliates collectively are the boss. KL Open cannot get their event Fide rated without playing ball with you. Why let them have events that do not benefit Malaysia? You, at the AGM have the power to decide.

In fact, if you want you can even put in a resolution to call into question the legitimacy of KLCA as an affiliate. You can even do that if you feel that KL needs the support of a genuine Association. Can you see how vast your powers are? You can define what State Affiliates should do. Eg. Age Group, State Championships etc. Make him work for KL. Why give him a free ride and then talk rubbish? You can instruct the committee to discipline him if he tries his banning nonsense again. Show him we do not condone his anti-Nationalistic and bullying ways.

So why do we need to run around like a chicken without a head and worry needlessly? At the last count the Associations that want change outnumber the Associations that want status quo. And I think after this post even more will start to understand that they do not need to kow tow to those people anymore. Why accept their scraps when they are the boss and can direct.

There is also no need to worry about that funny disciplinary letter to Megat. I am told that it's just about insubordination, not attending meetings etc. This is just to intimidate him in case he talks. You can question it at the AGM and censure the person issuing the letter if you feel that is not correct. More on this later.

Are you getting the drift now? I have said a lot this week. So I am going to stop here. On Monday I will talk about the accounts and what you can do. That is a time bomb and if it is not carefully managed can explode in our faces. I will try to suggest a way out for all but in the meantime I would like to ask for those involved not to inflame things further. People do not make good decisions when they are angry. We know that from chess. So do stop the childish games or you may finally find yourselves wearing prison garments. You are just one small step away from achieving that. It may even be too late to turn events around now but I am an optimist. But this is just my personal opinion and so you can choose to ignore it.

But the powers of the Associations collectively at the AGM to make decisions is not an opinion. It's a fact.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 4- The solution.

The Constitution. Here.

Part 3- Here.

Have you ever wondered why they don't want you to know the Constitution of MCF? Why they bluff and say it is protected by OSA? Why they tell you not to read this blog because it is all my personal opinion? Is the Constitution of MCF my opinion? Why the psycho attacks like rabid dogs and then say that they "love" chess?

What they really want to do is to deny you knowing what the rules are. A chess analogy is that they have the Fide Regulations and you don't and then during the game they keep bullshitting you that you have lost the game and then they cheat their way to victory because you do not know the rules. This is very apparent and I am sure you know that. So I only say this because I want them to know that we know who and what they really are.

In part 3, I said this.

And the root of the problem lies in understanding that MCF is first and foremost a regulatory body governing all chess activities in Malaysia.

From here we can see that we need a good team on the committee of MCF. A team that also has the knowledge of good governance. So the State Affiliates will need to vote wisely if we don't want the same rubbish for the next 30 years. If we have a good team, we will reverse our back slide into oblivion. So a lot of thought has to be put into this.

The other thing we can infer from this is that we need a President that respects the rules. A President that will direct action against the rule breakers and not the innocent and not against the real investors in chess. I think it is now very obvious that it is the parents who make the heavy investments day in, day out. All the rest in the chess industry is paid by us. The other sponsors only come in sporadically.

It is the real chess players that make the heavy investments, day in, day out by learning how to improve in the game and not the back door boys. It is the State Associations that support MCF with State level activities, year in, year out. It is the private academies, good trainers and organisers that support MCF with higher value content and events, year in, year out.

And so ALL who contribute must be respected. MCF's true function is to protect the rights of all members of the chess community. Right now certain cronies can attack anyone and everyone they want to with the support of certain people within MCF. Those cronies are given more and more rewards the more rabid their attacks become. This has to stop. And we need a President that can direct this on a day to day basis.

Why do I say day to day only?

Go and look at the Constitution of MCF again. Who does it say is the highest decision body in chess? Yes, that is right. The AGM. This means that collectively all the State Associations can overrule the entire committee of MCF. Anyone, including the President. So once a year we have the true bosses of chess come together. And they have huge powers if they understand the rules.

We will talk more about this later. For now, let us understand the structure better. MCF controls all of chess in Malaysia. And MCF in turn is controlled by papa. And papa is COS. So if you don't get satisfaction on the rules, go to papa. Papa does not know the technicalities of chess like Swiss Manager etc. But papa knows when the rules have been infringed. And this is papa's number. Here. And what papa says is that anybody can write to him. Yes, anybody in the chess community. You don't need a post. You can write in if you are a parent, you can write in if you are a player. And you can write in even if you are just one State Association.

And then we have MACC. They are there to act when we have corruption in an NGO that involves money.

So all this is there. So when do we use which? This is what I suggest the steps are for the State Affiliates at least. Collectively you are the bosses of Malaysian chess. You are stronger than the committee. You can direct the committee to do what you want. You can censure and you can reject what they propose. You can sack and you can elect a new committee. And you have this power once a year at the AGM.

Next in Part 5. What the bosses can do and why the real bosses don't have to worry about all the sabotage, creative accounting and funny disciplinary actions coming from a few individuals in the MCF committee currently. They are just wasting their time. So just let them do that. Know the rules and know what you can do. And we will have change. And the GM will come.

So my friend, ref: here, we can stop hitting out at each other in our frustration. Lets stop wasting our energy and do what can really effect change. Then when we meet, we do not have to whisper in corners of Tournament halls anymore, worried that the gangsters will attack our children if they see us talking. Why should we cower to the gangsters? They are the ones doing the wrong. They are the ones who should be whispering in the dark corners where they belong. That is the open environment where our children will prosper and thrive. Them cowering and not us. And if the gangsters really do cross the line, put them in prison as we shall see later in this series, can happen very soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chess: Cheating scandal in Croatia.

Ref: Here.

I saw this on one of our local chess communities hosted on facebook titled in Malay, "What's the point of sporting events if we only think of cheating?"

Indeed that is the big big question. I look at sports as the means for us to improve ourselves by way of healthy competition. And to have healthy competition we must all play within the rules.

However on my blog, I try to investigate a wider issue apart from just the game itself. I try to ask the questions of what happens when the Chess Federation itself does not apply the rule book. If this is endemic, then I ask us to see further if this will also foster the culture of cheating by the players.

What happens if the players cannot progress by playing good chess? What happens if the selection is fraudulent and non deserving players get in via the back doors etc etc? What happens when the players are attacked when they win selection fairly and they see their attackers getting rewards instead of censure? Is there now pressure for them to cheat too if they want to progress?

If you cannot get ahead because of your chess then why not join them and hope to get one of those very few slots if you ask very nicely. Maybe one day when they retire, it will become your turn if you do that.

What happens if you are a State Association with a promising player but you also see this happening? Will the State be under pressure to also play the "politics" to give their player a chance? But how many slots and how many State Associations are there? So is that method really feasible or is it just an illusion? You may be "forced" to "cheat" but you can never win. Do the maths. There are now at least 10 State Associations registered with MCF under COS regulations with another 5 waiting for recognition. How many places are there in the senior slots for SEA games, for the Olympiad? So why bother to raise the standard your State players at all? Can you get the back door deal? And it doesn't work by rotation does it?

Is that what Team A was talking about here? Maybe that was what they meant. They can fix the State selection but the politics at the National level is just too complex for them to handle. Too many people chasing too few places and no "senior" player has retired from old age yet. And even when they cannot play chess anymore, they are still sent. Is that what happened in the past and still happening today?

Who then is ultimately responsible for the cheating? Is it still only the players or Both the players and the Federation? Or is it just the Federation that carries the ultimate blame?

If the Federation ignores or manipulates their own play book ie. The Constitution, is that also cheating? If so then what is the role of Fide? Who can write in to them? What can they do if they see a whole Country of chess players subjected to that sort of cheating, match fixing etc?

And so we see the players not doing well primarily because of this. And in Malaysia, some "seniors" put the blame on the Juniors for the failure and with all sorts of funny psychological attacks to take away their self esteem. But aren't those attacks really trying to hide something much more sinister?

Do continue reading my series on how to build a strong MCF. I hear more and more stories almost everyday as we are approaching the AGM. Now I hear that whole States are being sabotaged because of the vote count. Can you imagine that? Instead of improving MCF, now it seems that the effort is to stop the States that don't like what is going on from voting.

But still that is just another distraction from my series. In part 4,  I will start to examine real solutions.

Monday, January 7, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 3.

Ref: Here.

Without doubt, there is a lot of anger regarding MCF. But like I said earlier we keep hitting out at the wrong target. What we need to do is to focus our energies on where the changes are needed. And that is the purpose of this series. So hold your anger. This is chess. Angry phone calls and hitting out at one another is wasted energy. Blindly charging like a bull into the china shop is wasting energy. Whispering and discussing in the corridors of tournament halls year in, year out is wasting energy. Follow this series. At the end I will suggest where our energies need to be focused on so we can have real change and not waste our energies anymore. Be patient. Let us study the "position" together. Let us think and analyse. Remember, this is chess.

What is the problem? It's because we cannot be heard right? When we complain about sabotage of the Juniors training coming from MCF, they ignore us. When we ask why is it that Jimmy can attack anyone he wants, from the junior program to attacking the players themselves, they ignore us. When we ask how can you select Jimmy without selection over all the other players who are much better than him, they ignore us. When we ask why is it that Peter can ban without grounds they ignore us etc etc etc.

When we ask where has the money in MCF gone to, they issue disciplinary action letter to the Treasurer who even the other committee members of MCF themselves have said is not responsible. Words were actually uttered that it is known who has actually taken the money.

And then they say that the Constitution of MCF is protected by the Official Secrets Act. What? Yes, you heard correctly. Protected by OSA.

The Constitution of MCF is the rule book, the play book governing the relations between all parties within the Chess Community. Saying that the Constitution of MCF is protected by the OSA is like saying that the Fide Regulations is protected by the OSA and the players do not need to know the rules before they play Tournament Chess.

So how did it get this crazy? Why is it that all our legitimate issues are ignored but they acknowledge Jimmy's ridiculous and fraudulent claims? Ref: Here.

In fact when we do try to raise real issues, we are faced with threats and gangster type behaviour. They try to shout us down. They call us dogs, mad man etc etc.etc.

That is really the issue isn't it. But my friend, we cannot jump at everything from the date of NAG or to all the other many many minor issues. Why bother? We already know that they will ignore any real issues. So what we really need to do is to get to the root of the problem, isn't it?

And the root of the problem lies in understanding that MCF is first and foremost a regulatory body governing all chess activities in Malaysia.

And if we understand this deeply, we will see that who we elect into committee positions is important. Don't you think we need people who understands governance? Or do you think we need only half starved, half baked trainers and chess players? Think of the management of football for instance. Only players to run the industry?

Are you starting to see why the abuses continue without end? Why do you think the money is disappearing? I heard that MCF had a meeting yesterday to go over the accounts and I heard that some key committee members did not attend. Why attend to be shouted at and then ignored? Why attend when there is no effort to deal with real issues that can make a difference to Malaysian chess? So this is a big big problem. This can explode in all our faces.

Next. Lets explore what the solutions may be in Part 4.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I got an angry phone call last night.

A good friend of mine called me last night and accused me of being a turn coat for having congratulated MCF for what looks like a promising calender. Apparently that is the consensus he arrived at after talking with another close friend of mine. He now accuses me of being aligned to Greg.

Now why is this? When did I do an about turn? What is the struggle that FGM's been engaged in?

I spoke up about the sabotage of the training of the Juniors for Asean 2010 that appeared to have originated from within MCF. I spoke up about the abuse of selection criteria where players outside the criteria were brought into the play off. I spoke up on the reversal of selection for last year's Olympiad. And I spoke up about the need for money to not disappear from MCF.

It's has always been about issues. It has always been what is good for Malaysian chess. I have never said that I hated Greg or Hamid or Jimmy or Peter. Yes, I have used their actions as examples so that we may learn from it. But what if any good is done by Greg or Hamid or Jimmy or Peter? Isn't that what we want? Right is right and wrong is wrong. We encourage the right actions and we criticise the wrong ones.

If you go back to all my writing I believe you will find that when they do something good, I give it equal weightage. Surely the point is to do what we can to improve MCF so that our players are given the best chance to do better in the International arena.

And so I have given support to the people that have echoed those issues in the committee of MCF. Does that mean that I like one person better than another? Very frankly I am fond of Greg and Hamid but I will oppose any action that I feel is not correct. It's about right and wrong. It's not about hate.

I want to see Jimmy back on the saddle and fighting for his place on the senior squad but I will oppose his attempts to get in via the back door. And I will direct people to his site to show how he had attacked the Juniors. And to show how he crosses all boundaries of decency by attacking my son. Have I ever brought his family into the equation? It's about his actions that have and still are damaging Malaysian chess while pretending to do otherwise.

I want to see Peter become a better trainer if it's at all possible. Why? Because we need good trainers for us to get out of the rut we are in. But I will oppose and expose the fact that he is abusing an entire State Association and using the banning of players stronger than what he can produce to hide his deep weaknesses. It's about the right way and the wrong way to succeed.

I have even made appeals to all the parties concerned to talk nice within MCF. Why? Because while we should be struggling about issues on how to improve and not sweep it under the carpet we still need to try to talk nice for after the struggle we are still on the same team. After this struggle we will still be Team Malaysia versus the others on the International arena, isn't it?

This also applies to our chess players. If you have won your place in healthy competition then there is a greater chance that the players will work together in a team event overseas, there is a greater chance that they will share knowledge to fight players who have better support and training from their Federation overseas. There is a greater chance because there will be less ill feelings.

I saw the spirit of our Juniors in NJ2010 among the 6 players during the play off. That spirit of 1Malaysia is to be cherished. I saw that spirit after we beat Singapore in Jan 2011 among the parents and players on the train ride back. But how quickly we forget.

What am I saying? I am saying that dirty tricks do not foster this spirit. We foster this spirit when we work together to succeed. We foster this spirit when we know that every member on the team deserves to be there.

And our aim should be to repeat those conditions where we have seen success rather than the failures that we see when we use what I call the "Jimmy method".

So if MCF now genuinely supports the issues, should we not also support them too?

So FGM salutes the members of the committee that have stood up against many verbal abuses and sabotage to continue speaking up. And FGM equally salutes those that have been responsible for many of the bad decisions to now have the courage to correct things so that all chess players in Malaysia have a chance to succeed by playing good chess and not by learning how to use the back doors.

If you think about it, I am sure there are still people who will oppose any change for the better, selection etc. So a new dynamics is forming slowly within MCF because of this struggle on the real issues. We should encourage this shift. Lets encourage those that support improvement and lets continue to oppose those that only want to manipulate MCF for their selfish gains.

So once again. Well done MCF for a good calender. I hope you will also have selection for the next Olympiad as well. And I hope that you will have good selection criteria and not "fixed" ones to allow a non fighting team to represent Malaysia again. And I hope you can stick to the selection criteria this time and not import players from outside it like you did for the last SEA games.

But that is the struggle for the next step. For now we at least have selection again.

All my best to Malaysian chess for the year of change, 2013.

So my friend, if Greg does something good, do we still oppose him? Then it's not about the issue, is it? That's the type of mindless opposition we see on Jimmy's blog that we have all been so critical of. And if we do that too, then won't we become just like him? Hate filled and mindless. Then where is the change?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Changes in MCF- Competition is good.

Here.

I hope what we are seeing is a new and improved MCF with their latest calender. It even looks like they have brought back selection. Finally, Malaysia is going to be sending fighting teams and not the back door artists. I am super confident that we will be seeing a brand new senior team soon and the kup chai's will just be a past and sad footnote in Malaysian chess history. Well done MCF. It looks like they are not going to just sit down and get overrun by a new team. Healthy competition. That is the way.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 2.

Part 1. Here.

I postulated a question in Part 1. I asked what happens if a half baked trainer was to also control a State Association? MCF is only as strong as the sum of its parts ie the State Affiliates. Lets go back to the constitution again. Here. It is very clearly stated here that MCF is the governing body of Chess in Malaysia. What is not so explicitly stated is that the State Affiliates are the governing bodies for the States. In fact the States has a similar structure to MCF. They are in turn populated by chess clubs.

So lets now use an extreme example of what happens to a State Affiliate when it is controlled by a half baked trainer. Lets use KLCA as that extreme example to illustrate this. KLCA is supposed to develop chess in KL. So they should be looking at age group events for KL, KL Championship etc. But what does it do? It runs a once a year private International event that caters primarily to foreigners and with very little local participation. And Peter runs a "Chess University".

So let me relate an event that happened in 2011. There was an initiative by the PT of KL (MSSM) to send a team of KL players to Asian City in Indonesia. Upon arrival in Indonesia they were told that they needed a letter from the State Affiliate to enter the team. I am informed that Peter rejected this and finally the team had to be registered under Putra Jaya.

Let us study the implication of this action. This is a private initiative and the team was already in Indonesia. What is the actual job of KLCA? Isn't it to develop chess in KL? But they haven't done anything. No KL team because no KL age group or KL Championship tournaments. Who's fault is that? So what moral or indeed legal justification can Peter have not to support this private initiative?

And then there is the famous incident of him trying to ban Mark, a national player, without any grounds from his KL Open.

How did this come about? To see this clearer lets go back to the National Junior again. Ref : Here. Yes, Mark did play with both Jimmy's and Peter's players. And he beat them both. So what am I saying? If you add their combined experience in chess they have 60 plus years to my 2, according to them. Does this say that I am a good coach? No it doesn't. I am sure there are much better coaches than me and I am still learning. But I think this very conclusively proves what lousy trainers they are. Truly lousy beyond words.

So how did they get so lousy? This is what I think. The lousy trainers hide behind State Affiliates because they fear competition. So they ban players better than what they can produce and they sabotage any private initiatives from other trainers, coaches or organisers.

So this is a very real and present danger to the development of chess in Malaysia. KL is left without the support of its State Affiliate. The only way to progress as a chess player in KL is via Peter and his "University" it seems. And if you don't want the results his players get you are pretty much sunk.

That is another reason why Peter writes his desperate letters to train National Juniors after they have already been developed by others. That is also why he tries to claim their success as his own. And that is to camouflage his own failure as a trainer.

So how did he get so bad? I believe this is because that instead of improving his skills he relies on the abuse of the State Associations by using the methods mentioned above to try to succeed. So this is bad for him as a trainer and it is bad for KL. Lose/lose. So he started out half baked and he remains half baked today because of that.

But it is interesting to note that MCF did not censure him for subverting an entire State Association or the banning of a National Junior without grounds. MCF is supposed to develop chess in Malaysia and so they need to use the disciplinary powers vested in them for the right reasons. But what do they do with it instead?

This is a problem isn't it? The whole of KL knocked out. And they are a vital component of MCF. Iron sharpen iron. That is how our GM will come. Not via back doors as the results from Penang showed us. Ref: Here.

So what are the lessons we can learn from this? In part 3 coming up.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 1.

Ref: Here.

The overall consensus is that MCF has failed us. You will get that consensus if you talk to people but that may not be the perception if you visit the blogs. There you will find a few people with vested interests that will still defend MCF. If you visit Jimmy's blog you will see anonymous comments that paint a different picture. It is long known that most of those comments are written by Jimmy himself. So it's a game of distorting perception.

I have heard ideas ranging from bringing in a million dollars, changing the President, sacking one or two individuals, doing things with a pure heart, starting another Federation etc etc etc. I think this is a problem for us. We all want change but we cannot agree what needs changing and so despite our overwhelming numbers all our energies are dissipated moving in many different directions and those few people that is actively destroying chess in Malaysia can continue what they are doing simply because although they are very few in numbers, they can work in coordinated collusion.

So I am going to attempt an accurate evaluation here in the hope that we can agree on where the problem is and so concentrate our energies into dealing with the right things.

So let me go back to some relevant experiences in PICA. What I will do is to state the event and observation and then try to draw some conclusions. And I will be doing that throughout my narration. And then I will finally give some suggestions as to how we can make effective change.

Ok. Back to PICA. In 2009, I contested for the post of President. I did not covet the post but I was really fed up with the way they were fixing the selection of State players etc. And I did not have a clue of what I was getting myself into.

So I had a sort of a team. Call us Team B. And the incumbents were Team A. Team B was aggressive and wanted change. And Team A wanted status quo. In the final composition we were fairly balanced in numbers and authority. And so began the problems. Team B members were pushing for an Academy and wanted Perak to have its own GM. And so I said to them, lets be realistic. Lets go to KL and other places to see what training at a high level really means. Lets see the level of competition there before we embark on something so ambitious. You see none of the Team B members have been out of Perak to compete before. And I had only just started going out to see the wider world of Malaysian chess.

Team A said that it was impossible for Perakians to compete against the likes of KL, Selangor etc. And so we were stuck arguing and blocking each other. So what is my point? There are a few as I will explain more later. But the first point is:

A State Association is populated by amateurs. Anybody can be elected with all sorts of varying experience and understanding. You need to work with whoever is in the committee whether they have realistic ideas or not. Whether they are defeatist or not. That is the nature of an NGO. And in the following year those members can be voted out and new committee members voted in.

Let us try to deeply understand this. You see the actual role of the State Association is to regulate the chess activities in the State. Not to form an Academy. I realised this much later. State Associations just do not have the expertise to start an Academy. That knowledge is too specialised.

So what should they be doing? Isn't it grass root work? Age group events, State Championships. They are manned by volunteers.

Are you starting to see a problem here? What happens when a trainer who is half baked forms an Academy that is also the State Associations Academy? What if there are also other independent trainers in the State? Can you see that this now becomes a conflict of interest?

Now if you reflect back to what has been happening at the National level over the past few years can you draw some parallels?

More in P2 tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Another Tournament in Kedah.

Here.

How do we build a strong MCF so we can get our own GM.

Happy New Year to all in the chess community. I spent a part of yesterday doing some quiet reflection and I hope you have done the same.

The last year 2 years have been tumultuous ever since we had our first selection for the senior team for SEA games (and slightly before). Suddenly we are able to see that not all is as we have been told. Our IM's are not like the IM's in other places.

We have devised systems to avoid competition and to get fat Fide numbers while they have learnt to fight and climb in strong fields.

Just look at the field in Singapore during their National Championship. Question. Why did they allow foreigners to play? Iron sharpen iron. So they want to forge ahead. I am told that after our 2010 victory over Singapore we have been unable to arrange another Mal/Sing friendly again. I am also told that Singapore went to China to play instead. So maybe this shows that they want to pull ahead. Iron sharpen iron.

But what have we done during the same period? Meeting after meeting in MCF and still no minutes have been produced. We reversed selection. The accounts is in a mess. They are writing disciplinary demand letters to someone who is probably innocent.

We have allowed them to attack our Juniors and attack attempts to train them in the most vicious ways all over the blogs and instead of reprimand the attackers receive more "projects". And they have tried to silence FGM in a coordinated way.

Does that very roughly sum up our activities during the period under consideration? Have we really done anything to improve or reverse our backward slide? Have our projects benefited our players or have they enriched only a very few pockets?

An so many are now questioning. And I have heard many "solutions" proposed during this time. I am also going to make some proposals. But I will do it this way. I will go back to the parts in order to draw some lessons of what is happening at the MCF level. I will do this because I believe the parts join into the whole.

And so from tomorrow I will revisit the relevant parts of my experience in PICA and I will also attempt some analysis of KLCA from the information I have. After I have done that I will suggest some solutions that I think may improve our current situation or at least put us in a position where we can try to catch up with the rest. I am not sure if we will be able to totally reverse the 30 plus years of regression from when we were teaching China. But I do hope that it is at least a start to getting us out of the mess we are in.

I like to think that 2013 will be a year of change. But we can change in 2 directions. We can become worse. Not too difficult I think as there are still a few more Countries that are worse that us. Or we can become better. But that will be probably be a more painful process. It will be up to us. MCF's AGM is coming soon. Hopefully we will be in time to see what is really ailing Malaysian chess and to do something when the AGM comes.

I really believe Malaysia Boleh is not just a slogan. Or else I will not be writing this blog. I have seen our talented and gifted children. And I believe in them. But they will need help from concerned adults before they can shine. So we need to think this through to find the solutions for them.

Till tomorrow then.