Saturday, March 30, 2013

On developing our Juniors and understanding strategy.

I have argued for a long time that Chess was not meant to be a game for "technicalists" but for commanders-in-chief, generals etc. Today lets use the concept of CEO's. Maybe that will make it clearer since we have new corporate boys in town. In corporate life we have the board which sets out the policies and the targets and the COO's who implements the operational side of the strategies ie the technicalists. And sandwiched between the board and the COO is the magical CEO aka the chess player. He is the guy/gal who makes things happen. The guy with the big picture, with the competitor analysis and the strategies.

And he is also the guy that was missing from MCF and which I hope will be the role that the new corporate guys can play. Chess is a powerful tool for the development of CEO's and the best way to use that tool is if our players can see it in practice from the decisions coming out of MCF. Ref: Here.

So let us go back to an analysis of Li Tian again. I use Li Tian as an example since he is used by his adult handlers to attack other Juniors. Ref: Here. Ergo adults who hide behind children to attack other children. So this is about them and their lack of understanding of strategy and not about Li Tian per se. I hope this is clear now.

There are 2 basic strategies that can be used. The one adopted by Jimmy/Peter is short term and flawed. Lets delimit what a stategy is before we go on.

A strategy cannot be based on wishful thinking and must only use factors within our control.

If we understand that then we can see that Li Tian has a huge problem in not being able to beat players around his band. Ref: Here. His drawish weapons have this effect on players around his band and on players much stronger. With players around his band, he does not have enough from his opening repertoire to fight for a win if his opponent is content with a draw. With the higher rated players he does have this advantage, if they want to beat Li Tian then they have to take a risk. And if they underestimate Li Tian, that creates a chance for a win for Li Tian. If you go back to the Olympiads, you will also see that Mok used this strategy against Van Wely to great effect by using marocxy bind.

So while this is a "strategy" of some limited use, the major flaw is that the win is not in our control. It must rely on the cooperation or from the mistake by the opponent.

So very obviously as we shall see, Li Tian simply does not have the weaponry to go for a GM run. He will soon hit a ceiling and with his big numbers will now enter a psychological trap. The same one our seniors are now in. Big numbers and wrong weaponry. Let us see why.

The proper way to develop the Juniors is to teach them how to win against opponents of their band and lower. So they are taught to play to win. And to do that well, they will lose many times. If you also look at the body of work that needs to be covered in learning to win, you will find that it is a huge huge volume. And Li Tian has bypassed all of that. So he has a huge gap in his knowledge. Learning to draw with drawish weapons is a tournament strategy and not chess per se. Drawing itself is an art and not so straight forward but it is much much easier learnt than playing to win.

And so it is only when you have all the neccessary weapons and strategies are you able to make a GM run.

This is why I say that Li Tian is not anymore of a prodigy when compared to our other top Juniors? In essence they went down different roads. And in my mind the other Juniors has the better strategy for the long haul. Much more difficult and takes a longer time. When you play to win then your numbers will take a hit. And so the other Juniors do not have those high numbers but I believe they will do better in a selection.

A hint. We know Li Tian has draw weapons that can withstand against a GM. A simple tournament strategy is not to fight for a win against him. You see drawish weapons is a double edged weapon. When he has the higher number then he needs to fight to win and take the risks. But Li Tian hasn't learnt how to win against his band yet has he?

So all are incomplete. But the other Juniors have a shorter journey to the GM run if given equal chances. It is much easier and much faster to learn how to draw later, than it is to learn how to win with big numbers later.

And so it is very very wrong to take away the places of Eng Chiam and Syazwan from the Olympiads. Jimmy and Peter, it is very wrong to hide behind a child like Li Tian to attack the other Juniors and to steal their places and their sponsorship.

When the top Juniors can win at will against players of their band, then and only then are we able to develop a real strategy. But Jimmy and Peter cannot see this because they think Chess is for the technicalists. It is not. It is meant to develop CEO's who understand strategies. That is basically why you are stuck Jimmy and Peter. So you guys should not be dictating strategies for MCF. You just don't understand too much.

I hope the corporate boys in MCF can see this better now. Use their methods and Malaysia will not get out of the rut we are in. We are in this rut because of their lack of understanding of strategy. And they want to repeat their own mistakes with Li Tian. Lets follow Li Tian's progress at Bangkok Open to see if what I say holds water.

There may be a win against a GM if Li Tian is underestimated (getting less likely) but he will flounder against players around his fighting strength and is content to draw. Ergo no strategy.

So let all the Juniors play in a proper selection and not claim anyone as the strongest before winning on the table. And even if they do win on the table, that only proves that they are the strongest for that tournament, for that year. The numbers they have now are only indicative of the journey they are undertaking currently. Long term or short term. To get our very own GM our strategy must be long term.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Arguments for a more representative selection to redress past abuses.

In my view the really big eye openers happened at the SEA games selection, the Olympiad and the last Penang Open.

When Sumant won his place on the senior squad by beating Mok and drawing with Yee Weng, the myths created about our IM's were shattered. The other big alarm bell was the performance of Zhuo Ren, just after being a Junior, at the Olympiads. He was clearly a whole class above Li Tian and Jimmy who were playing at around 2100 level there. Last but not least the results from Penang Open, ref: Here with games,  shows that there are new players who can fight if given a chance.

I believe all these events show us that we can see a totally new senior team if the selection criteria is wide enough. Over the years while our IM's were protected from competition, many players have moved forward. So clearly titles and ancient ratings even if they have played recently are no longer relevant. It takes very active play in strong open tournaments before the ratings become true again.

So this presents us with an opportunity to find out where we really stand today as a chess nation without self delusions. Without fear or favour. Lets get a solid realistic base so we can build on it. One cannot build on illusions.

It is my suggestion that the number of entries to the Malaysian Masters be larger at National Close. At least 6. Then the Top 4 from the "active list" if Peter puts up resistance to protect his cronies. After that, let the Masters be a double round robin. This will give us a very clear indication of who can still play chess in today's internet world. And then we build on this.

There is also no need for a President's or selection chair's choice as yet. We do not have anyone that is a prodigy at the moment. I will cover this topic next.

So hopefully the selection chair is still independent and he will be able to make the best possible decision in the interest of Malaysian chess after canvassing for opinions. Malaysian hopes for a vibrant chess community now rests on his shoulders.

Just do a mental count of the possible number of players who can challenge for a place on the senior Team today. Is the number not a lot larger than 3? So they all need a chance too. We should not be creating bottlenecks for the better players. We should open the door for change if we want to improve.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Another attempt by Jimmy to distort perception.

Ref: Here.

I wonder why Jimmy puts up this game of Li Tian's and then puts up the game that Mark lost on his site. Ref: Here. Why didn't he put up the game where Mark demolished his student at NJ? I also wonder why he has removed the shoutbox on his site?

I have argued many times that the Junior's chess is not complete. Actually they only begin to near completion from around 18yo onwards in Malaysia. But that is also the time some people try to kill them off so that they can never become a threat to the senior team. So that is our problem today. See my evaluation tomorrow.

So Jimmy, why not put down Li Tian's last game in the 9th round or that draw with the 1900? Games to download here. Why not do a comprehensive evaluation so that we can learn from past mistakes and then find the correct way to set out afresh with the new committee?

These distortions of perception does not do justice to the intelligence of the majority of the chess community. Isn't that why you delinked your shout box? Are they saying things you cannot bear to hear Jimmy?

So lets try a more balanced evaluation shall we tomorrow? I will write and you can comment on your site ok?

Comments on Chess X-Pose's "analysis".

Ref: Here.

I believe this "analysis" is not an analysis but an attempt to distort perception by hiding pertinent facts. And hiding is not X-pose yes? Please see these 2 references.

Here  and here.

Surely a very major issue that needs to be addressed in any analysis with integrity is to answer the question of who is allowed to vote? A simple mental maths problem would be if the previous committee was not allowed to vote then Encik Zuhri would have won by a landslide from the State Affiliates. Just subtract their numbers from 20. Encik Zuhri got 20 votes. What would the votes for the incumbent have been if the committee was not allowed to vote for the "committee"?

But as I have been saying the past few days, the chess community needs to move on from the AGM and find ways to work with the new committee so that past abuses will not reappear in this new committee. The genuine voices representing the dissatisfaction and grievances of the vast majority of the chess community needs to be recognised from the vote count. Not the voices of that very small minority with the hidden agendas that have stifled the growth of Malaysian chess for too many years.

An analogy would be if the government was to elect the government. Shouldn't it be the people that elects the government?

ps: Has anyone also wondered who gave Eddy the detailed breakdown on votes? Who would do that and for what reason? What would be Eddy's benefit from trying to distort the perception of the results of the AGM?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Orientation P5, Is MCF a business or an NGO?

Part 4 and earlier here.

In the run up to the AGM and even before I have been canvassing for opinions on this topic. I believe that the opinions are split on this one. Actually there is a lot of confusion on how to run MCF as an NGO properly. Consider this. Since the committee is elected and the elected officials can have different motives, different levels of expertise, knowledge or understanding, it will be difficult to get cohesive decisions.

So there is a strong camp that believes MCF should be run as a business. Particularly since our dismal failure in developing Malaysian chess for the last 30 years. And this belief spans both camps at the AGM. So the jury is out on this one and the only authority that can settle this is COS.

However there is one topic that finds almost unanimous agreement. And that is the opinion that Jimmy and Peter are the two most most toxic and destructive forces in Malaysian chess and we would move forward much better without their influence. And so I would like to talk a little about this in the final orientation class into the Malaysian chess community.

In Jimmy's case, this man attacks any attempt to develop the Juniors. He feels threatened by the training of the Juniors by a GM. He feels threatened even by the private training of 3 of the top Juniors in Malaysia at that time. And he "had" the influence within MCF to even subvert selection to the Olympiads. His personal opinion is that Li Tian is the strongest Junior in Malaysia before the fact. But he resists the idea that an objective selection criteria is the best way to end the argument. And so he comes from the belief that his personal opinion is the final arbiter for the entire chess community. And this is unacceptable to us.

However he remains outside the official structure of MCF and so most of us will view him as a minor irritant at most if MCF is properly managed. And so the scrutiny of the new structure of MCF. The primary concern is for an MCF that governs well and in a manner that releases the energy within the chess community for growth.

The key sticking point is selection and the role of the sponsors within MCF. And this is where we are still having misgivings. We have created a selection chair and Peter is going around telling people what the selection criteria is. Somehow that doesn't seem correct. Shouldn't the selection criteria come out from the selection chair?

And so there is the continued misgivings that MCF has been hijacked yet again. Consider this. If it were not for the deal mentioned here,  there is no way that Peter will be able to get anywhere near MCF. And that is perhaps the setback of viewing MCF as a business. Without the KLCA swing, then even with all the "illegal" votes Encik Zuhri would have won hands down at the last AGM.

However KLCA does not have the respect of the chess community in Malaysia. Peter Long does not have the respect of the Malaysian or the International chess community. Ref: Here.

And so the opinion of one "State Affiliate" that has no support whatsoever may now heavily influence the new direction of MCF.

Still Peter is inside MCF now and Peter's style is well known to us. He gets his way just by being nastier than anyone else. He has no personal achievement worth mentioning as a trainer, organiser or as an official. And he is probably not even strong as a player either. He merely rides on the coat tail of others. And he is infamous here for banning without grounds in order to suppress any player stronger than the ones that is aligned to him.

And so this is what I believe will be the major stumbling block to re-engaging the entire chess community again after the tensions of the AGM. It's like a ticking time bomb. Peter's well known erratic personality now sets the tone in any possible future engagement with MCF.

I hope this concern from the general chess community is taken seriously by the new MCF. Even the Secretary of the State Affiliate that asked me to write this series mentioned Peter by name and nobody else. So this is a very serious concern. We urge MCF to reconsider his role. Even the post of technical chair for him is dubious. I cannot imagine anyone trying to bring up a complaint to him about suspect pairings in any tournament. There is still the unresolved, unreasonable issue about rating fees for private organisers etc that I am informed originated from Peter. So this man creates problems. And he also views his opinion as superior to any one else in the chess community including people who have achieved far more than him, just like Jimmy.

But like it or not, and I know both camps had people with strong opinions about excluding him, he is now inside MCF. And so this needs to be now managed in the interest of a vibrant chess community that will take on new challenges and growth. Lets leave the past of unchecked abuses behind by curtailing him.

This is the end of the series written by request.

Lets us build trust and unity between the new MCF and the rest of the chess community. Lets work together to achieve this from this point onwards.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Orientation P4, Who we are, what we want and how we can get there.

First part. Here.

Part 2. Here.

Part 3. Here.

Dear new MCF,

The chess community believes that you have taken some note of the fact that Encik Zuhri, a relatively new member of our community, would have won the AGM if not for some deft technical maneuvering. That this result represents the huge dissatisfaction with the way things were done before. However as a chess community with deeper insights into the nature of competition we do not begrudge you that win as the better player at the AGM. Encik Zuhri is arguably the parent that has invested the most into his son's development in chess. I also submit that FGM is representative of many of the concerns shared and Championed by him.

We assert that the strategy of the previous administration of sabotaging (with fraudulent selections, suspect games, suspect pairings in tournaments and banning without grounds) strong players in order to promote certain individuals is not developing chess but the converse. Malaysian chess can only be built by increasing internal competition and not by the removal of possible contenders by abusing the authority vested in our Associations.

On the surface it does look that you have taken note of our genuine and legitimate grievances with the new structure with chairs to look into the many areas that were neglected before. I understand this even includes the chair for "technical", discipline and tournaments. It is hoped that with this new oversight, abuses of power will be a thing of the past.

However we continue to concerned about the inclusion, albeit in positions of ostensibly less authority but nevertheless still operational, of certain individuals that have been responsible for those abuses in the past. (We are cognisant of the fact that there is a need for continuity and that it will take some time to  develop new talent).

So if we may, we would like to make a suggestion in the interim. That you also appoint a communications officer with access to the decision makers so that the chess community is able to bring legitimate issues to the committee for resolution should we encounter the same problems as in the past. This will do much to alleviate the current anxieties within the chess community and I trust that will also reduce the role of this blog.

We continue to emphasize that proper selection is the way forward. Allow for that and the tensions will reduce tremendously. Stop the back doors and make everyone fight for their place. Meritocracy. This is sports and politics should not enter this arena. We also submit that Malaysia today does not possess any player that deserves preferential treatment. The past policies have made them weak. All are beatable by strong outside contenders whether they possess titles or not; especially in todays internet world where information and knowledge is freely available.

We would also like you to recognise that many of the victims of all the dirty tricks in the past are not between equals. The large portion of the chess community are not participants in business but children. So they should NOT be treated as instruments of sabotage by "business adversaries". They are vulnerable children that we hope to develop into world beaters eventually; after a suitable period of incubation, training, learning and then correct exposure. So those adults who hide behind children to attack other children under their many guises should be brought into account if and when possible.

We hope that the vast majority of the chess community is recognised as your partners in developing chess and that those few individuals that have subverted chess for far too long is at least contained now.

Thank you for your time.

ps: I have written many analysis on Li Tian and you may like to go back on this blog to see them. Many of us do not think he will go much further for the reasons I have written on before. Please note that he drew with a 1900 at HD. He does not have the weaponry to go for a GM run. Put him in National Junior and see for yourself. I don't think we can be fairer than that.

Today's Contemplation.

Where there is order, there is responsibility. Are you a resource that may be drawn upon in times of others' needs and your own as well? There is a strength beyond our strength, giving strength to our strength.
   --  Howard Thurman

Please note the first line.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Orientation P3, the communication channels.

First part. Here.

Part 2. Here.

Communication. This is a huge topic and I am not even very sure how to start. But lets say communication starts from a mindset, preferably a winning mindset. Whether we take a partnering or an adversarial mindset in order to win. Whether we think of the development of our GM as a mere technical exercise or the development of the commander in chief. So all these factors will colour how we will communicate.

Let me state here that it is my belief that the GM will come from the development of the commander in chief. As a comparison we may perhaps look at our very own educational system and ask ourselves this question. Are we developing thinkers or are we developing robots? We may also ask this question of why, huge Malaysian projects have very often used foreign consultants who on paper at least are of a lower academic achievement than the Malaysians that work under them. So many examples to show that developing the winning mindset is much more important than mere technical knowledge.

We can see the failed Malaysian experiment of getting our own GM from the fear bound thinking of the previous leaderships, no matter how much money that had been put in. Mental Strength. That is what the GM run is all about. And we are exposing our kids to too much stress without the know how, just because a neighbouring Country can do it. But we don't have the know how or the culture. And MCF continues to rely on the input of technical people who are afraid of competition. People who comes up with a myriad of ways to avoid selection and to knock out possible contenders thus weakening us but still not providing a solution.

I have very serious doubts that their Li Tian campaign will work. Lets test him out here in a proper selection and see for ourselves. With the exposure that he has had, taken away from the stronger juniors at that time, he should just blow the juniors at NJ this year right out of the water, without blinking an eye right? This formula has been tried many times in the past without success. Will it work this time? Doing the same thing and expecting a different result?

Please read this again. Here.  All the skills I have mentioned in that article is more highly developed in the corporate arena than in Malaysian chess today. And those are the skills we will also need in chess to grow. So the right corporate partners can propel Malaysian chess to ever greater heights.

But there is a huge divide between the current chess environment and the corporate boys. The question before us is if we can make this marriage work or will it end up in acrimony and filling for divorce. I have been studying the new structure in MCF according to the information I have received. There are serious defects. And I am trying to see if there are solutions. It is also too early to say if they have come in to build up chess or to raise their status and for their own egos. But there is now a very rich mix of knowledge and I believe the ingredients are there for us to make a powerful cake.

But to do that we need a clear understanding of who we are in chess today and where we want to go. We then need to see ourselves vis a vis the corporate boys. Who they are and where do they want to take us. Lets look at it a little deeper in the next part of this series.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Request to the development chair, MCF.

Dear Dato Sri Santhara

Allow me to first congratulate you for winning the Deputy President's post uncontested in the last AGM and also to welcome you on behalf of the Malaysian chess community into your first public post on the National level. I have also been informed that you now head the development chair and so I hope you will entertain this request from the Malaysian chess community.

This is with regard to the KL Open that you have organised for us in the last few years. Would it be possible that you to include an Open event so that our players are given the opportunity to lock horns with strong overseas players? It would not be necessary to give a Malaysian only prize money. The exposure alone will be sufficient for the development of our players. However it would be good if you can subsidise the entry fees for our fellow Malaysian chess enthusiasts. I thank you in advance for your kind consideration.

If I may be allowed another request, can you please also ensure that the banning without grounds is discontinued by Peter? For your further information, what Peter does is to request that all participants write in to him by email first before he sends out payment and other details. This is so that he is able to ignore certain emails and respond to others which in fact bans without technically banning. Perhaps you can look into this. In case you are not aware this practice happens only at KL Open and not in any other event in Malaysia.

It will also be good if KLCA also organises a KL Close, KL age group and maybe even a KL Junior event. This will be in aid for the development of KL players.

Thank you for your kind attention. All my best and may your leadership take Malaysian chess to ever greater heights.

Rapid and Blitz event in Kedah.

Ref: Here.

Wow, big event and big prize money. So we are going to check it out. See you guys there. Never been this far North before to play chess. Hope we won't get lost.

Request to MCF from parents going to Asean in Chiangmai

A few parents have been talking to me about the coming Asean games in Chiangmai in June and I have helped one young player in her preparations to go. A concern was raised about the high prices of the hotel charges for Asean events.

So please allow me to share my experience here as I shared with the parents. At the Asean games that I went to, I booked a room for myself while Mark shared the room with the other players at the official hotel. This was in Subic Bay. I later found out when we went to Subic Bay again for Asian Youth that the hotels in the surrounding area was much cheaper while comparable in standard although Mark still had to stay at the official hotel. I managed to cut my costs to about half of my Asean trip by doing that. I spent around RM10,000 for Asean. Please note that this was with the sponsorship of Air Asia at that time arranged by FGM.

I have heard from some friends at HD that it is not necessary to stay at the official hotel there as conditions imposed by the organisers unlike Asean.

It is hoped that the new MCF with the seasoned negotiating skills of the corporate boys onboard that they may be able to assist in negotiating better terms for the parents under the care of MCF.

Thank you for entertaining this request.

ps: For new parents who may not be aware of this, Asean is now open to all players wanting to participate. You do not need to be top 4 at NAG. The top 4 players are the official players but you can still participate as an independent player. Just apply to the new assistant secretary who I am informed is Greg. All my best.

Orientation Part 2.

First part. Here.

The clash of culture between the corporate boys in the past and the rest of the chess community may come from the different perceptions and expectations.

Please note that this series is inspired by and written at the request of the vast majority of the chess community and not from the players of the AGM.

The chess community notes that the AGM was actually won by us if not for the fact that, among other factors, even the vote of the assistant secretary, who is not a member of the committee, was allowed to be cast that allowed for a tie in the first round of voting. And also despite the vast outlay of money in sponsoring the rooms of the delegates as well as a big makan by the incumbent. So the current committee does not enjoy the full confidence of the chess community yet.

However we desire to build a bridge to a partnering culture now that you are our national leadership for the betterment of Malaysian chess in this attempt at dialogue by highlighting the following to you.

The most recent event that lead to this open revolt was the blatant manner that the Olympiad selection was subverted and that the players that represented Malaysia was determined by the sponsor and not by MCF in a proper selection criteria. This is a gross violation of our rights. The rationale behind this seems to come from the input of tainted technical advice by senior players or ex-players with private agendas.

The rest of the chess community believes that our own independent advisors of strong active GM's and IM's that have raised world class teams are of a much higher quality.

This insidious factor has lead to distortions in the development of our junior as well as senior players. Lets take for example Yeoh Li Tian. While nobody disputes that he is a strong Junior, he has not yet achieved even top 6 at National Junior before being tauted as strongest Junior and he was in fact beaten by 2 other Juniors at National Close before he was given the place at the Olympiads. So we contend that if this opportunity was not taken from the stronger Juniors at that time, then we may be seeing other Juniors doing well now in the International circuit. This preferential treatment also extended to being the only Malaysian Junior informed and allowed to go to the Zonals. This extra exposure over the rights of the other Juniors is causing unfair distortions.

We also assert that this distortion is further complemented by psychological attacks on the other Juniors on the blog of a senior player, ref: Here, and also that blatant discrimination of this nature acts as a major demotivating force to the development of chess in Malaysia.

We ask for urgent redress and remedy to this situation.

We also contend that the investments of parents are the mainstay of the chess community and that our contributions in total far outstrips the contributions of the sponsors so far and for that reason we find ourselves outraged by decisions without regard to this fact. Lets take for example this incident.

At Malaysia/Sing Jan1, 2011, where Malaysia won for the first time in 10 years against Singapore, Peter arrived on the second day having agreed previously to bring sponsorship to this event of RM1,500 as incentives for the players. While this was a good gesture by the sponsor, we found Peter's attempt to then flex his muscle by trying to change the terms of the incentive announced the day before at the last moment when Malaysia was trailing badly and we needed a big fight to come back, extremely insensitive. Consider the fact that each player and parent, individually, spent far more than that and we were a very large contingent of maybe 60 people, then that sort of arrogance is in very bad taste. And this event has further coloured the negative perceptions of the chess community.

When I last followed this, around a year after the event, the incentive had not even been paid. I am not sure of the current status.

These are but 2 examples among a host of other examples of different perceptions and expectations and it is our hope that the new committee will address these concerns.

Recent events have also further jarred confidence with Peter already trying to go over the head of the selection chair by imposing his conditions before their seats are even warm and we are concerned about the ramifications of this. Ref: Here. 

So there remains this divide from the perception of someone who has no clue of what an NGO is, coming from his experience in KLCA which is a very dysfunctional "State Affiliate", and the rest of us. It is our hope that with this series we can narrow the divide.

It is also our hope that you will recognise that the concerns raised on this blog represents the voice of the silent majority of the entire chess community as demonstrated by the genuine votes cast at the last AGM.

Therefore we request that the independence of the selection chair be respected and that you will provide that chair the protection that is necessary for it to function without bias.

Thank you for your time today. Part 3, communication channels, tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Li Tian wins R3 with games to download here.

Ref: Here.

It is a good idea for our stronger players to download the games so you have an idea of the different styles of play from our neighbouring Countries. Good luck in your chess.

Orientation classes for the new corporate boys in MCF.

Please read this first. Here.

There are many anxieties about the new "corporatisation" exercise of MCF and how this will impact on the rights of the State Affiliates after the last AGM. So I was asked yesterday by the Secretary of one State Affiliate to write on my views concerning this.

Let me say right off that it is not necessarily a bad thing provided the State Affiliates retain their right to elect a new committee should this exercise fail or we may find that we now have a dictatorship that cannot be removed.

Note: The need of the States to write in to COS remains. I am informed that 2 States have done so and another one is still thinking about it. I do not think that is sufficient. More States need to write in to express their concerns or it may come across as sour grapes writing in after a loss. 

The most important outcome that the States will need from COS is a ruling that says that the entire committee must step down at the AGM and the new committee is elected afresh by the States. This one factor alone will allow for transparency and accountability by the MCF committee. Without this it will be in essence a dictatorship. 

This was the major flaw in the strategy of the last campaign in not pre-empting the ruling from COS before the AGM and we are now left with the precedence created from this mistake. This one mistake will colour the future of the entire chess community as well as the status of MCF as an NGO. It now looks like and maybe even sound like an NGO but it may no longer be one. So this needs to be clarified with COS if you want to retain your rights. 

However this must now be the exercise of the individual committees of the State Affiliates. As for the rest of the chess community we must continue to move on. I hope I have made myself clear on this.

Now lets go back to the article in the link above. I have always maintained that the right corporate participation is a good thing for Malaysian chess. The proviso being that they recognise that chess is a very powerful tool for the development of our children in these days of intense global competition and that they have not come into chess just for status and their egos. This remains to be seen.

The major problem we faced within the chess community was that we were ruled by very small minded, fear ridden cowboy type people with gangster like characteristics. What we needed was to be governed with proper and fair rules by people with a powerful Vision of what chess can do to develop our extremely talented and gifted children. Chess has the potential to develop future global corporate leaders if used in the correct way.

Furthermore, it was obvious that the old committee did not have the core skills or competency for proper governance and so we saw the extreme psychological attacks by very sick and damaged people on our young minds as well as the abuse of power to kill off competition without us having recourse to any remedy.

Having said all that there is still a major cultural divide between corporate players and the successful running of an NGO. I hope that I will be able to bridge that gap with my experience in and insights into both environments, if I am allowed, so that we can have a smooth transition.

And so this orientation exercise is important.

Continuation in part 2. The Orientation proper.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Games by Li Tian at HD.


Please refresh the page again for the second game.

A cautionary note to the selection committee chair of MCF.

Dear Selection Chair, MCF,

Please excuse me for raising this note from my experience as the former selection chair in PICA and I hope you will allow me my say in the same spirit that I convey this message to you. Ref. comments here.

As far as I know, Peter is the technical chair and has no say in selection. The selection chair is Encik Ghalam Sani who I have heard good things about but not sure if we have actually met.

One of the major problems that we have faced in chess is the interference of sponsors into the selection process. If this is allowed to continue then there are other sponsors who will be less inclined to participate as well as the continued unhappiness within the chess community.

It is my opinion that the best way to manage this is that the selection process is held firmly within the ambit of the selection chair which must resist all outside or inside pressures towards biasness. Of course this will be very difficult without sufficient support from within the committee but I believe that will be the best way forward for the entire chess community.

So our hopes for fair play will now rest on your broad shoulders. The selection committee chair is the hottest seat there is within a Chess Association so I wish you enough support to hold your ground.

I would also like to add this suggestion with your permission. Perhaps the allotment for National Close pre-qualification for the Malaysian Masters can be increased. There are many strong players who are no longer very active because of the back door practices of the past. So maybe the "active" list based on ratings can be shortened to encourage them to come back actively into chess if sufficient time is given for them to dust off the cobwebs.

It is also my opinion that there is no need at the present moment to have a President's or selection chairman's choice as announced on Jimmy's blog by Peter. You can reserve that right for future occasions as and when the need arises in your best judgement as our selection chair.

If some or all of those suggestions meets your considered approval and the criteria come out early then I believe we will have the most exciting National Close of all time for Malaysia and will announce to the whole wide world that Malaysia is truly back and we mean serious business.

May I also highlight this post to you. Here. Thank you for allowing me this short note to you, Encik Ghalam.

Congratulations Li Tian for beating GM Nyugen Ngoc

Results here.

Very well done indeed.

I hope that his adult handlers can learn from this. There is no need for the back doors or taking the places of others via a fraudulent selection if you are any good. You need to have confidence in your own players and let them win in the proper manner. Hopefully he is still too young to realise what his adult handlers have exposed him to and won't be damaged by the backlash from the chess community. Do it the proper way and all of Malaysia will celebrate his success.

I hope that the new MCF committee will also stop Jimmy's game of riding on Li Tian's coat tail into future representation for Malaysia like he did in the last Olympiad and played at the level of a 2100. Jimmy did not qualify under rating criteria and bypassed the top players in the Country. Jimmy has to learn to grow up and win his own tournaments to play for Malaysia.

I also hope that the awareness is raised that all the top Juniors must be given equal opportunity to play at the Zonals or play at Asian Juniors, Olympiad, SEA games etc according to proper published criteria. Perhaps a sponsorship program of the nature mentioned in bold can also be considered. Here.

So a big congratulations again Li Tian.

This is a good sign.

Ref: Here.

This is always a good sign when you are playing chess. When your opponents start to fume and call you names and is unable to reason anymore, you know you are winning. Jimmy knows his days are numbered. He now actually has to play chess if ever wants to represent Malaysia again. Will he dare to use the 6 places for active "IM's" which I am sure Peter will try his utmost to arrange for, over the authority of the new selection chair, Encik Ghalam Sani from Terengganu? Will Jimmy have the guts to compete again?

I hope this will encourage all the chess players that have been knocked out by his venom in the past to come back to play chess again. Let's leave Jimmy behind in the dustbin of history. Very very few people will now remember what he ever did in the very very distant past.

This will now be his legacy for us. Chess is a double edged sword. We need to look after the mental well being of our players or they can end up like Jimmy and Peter; the living casualty of very badly thought out development plans for our players.

The AGM is just another chess game.

Over the last few days there has been a lot of anger expressed over the conduct of the AGM. And I have heard from both sides of the divide. So how should we view this? This is my personal view. Lets read this again first. Here.

We are one people, yes? And we went into the AGM and proved that we are the vast majority of dissatisfied stakeholders of the chess community from the vote count, did we not? But the challenge was beaten down and the arbiters have been called in to rule on the outcome. And so it is now left for them to give their ruling or not. The game is over.

If we are to do a proper postmortem we may find this lesson to learn. It is better to fix the rules of the game before we play and not after the game has been lost. This is chess and we are chess people yes? And real chess people can learn. That is why we all love this beautiful game. Chess is about competitor analysis, about forward thinking, about decision making. Postmortems are good but it does not win games. Winning mindsets wins games.

So as in a proper chess game, we should now extend our hands and congratulate the opponent after the "defeat" should we not? You are the better player for this round and for this tournament. Yes?

That was for the players in the AGM. What about for the rest of us stakeholders? Did we gain anything? What was the desired outcome for the rest of us? Did we not get to highlight the corruption of the last MCF committee? Did we not show that our children are being publicly attacked? Did we not show that they were using the authority and power of their positions in MCF to attack competition from all other organisers, coaches and trainers? Did we not show that Jimmy, Peter and Greg were working in tandem to fix selection for the senior squad? Did we not show that our Juniors are being sabotaged to make way for their chosen one? Etc.etc. etc.

Did we not show that Chess had been controlled by some very toxic people that have no respect for all our contributions and sacrifices?

So while the arbiters are deciding, what should we do? Well, I am trying to get as much information as possible into the inner workings of the new committee. From what I have learned so far, they have some good "new" people and they have retained some of the toxic people in what seems to be ostensibly less harmful positions. So on the surface it does look like we have been listened to.

However I still see some problems in the new paradigm shift. Very briefly, it seems that the new structure is very corporate in nature and MCF is an NGO and not a business. That may prove to be a future problem. So in the chess spirit of Gen Una Sumus, I will now focus on the debate towards our future as a chess community in what I hope will be a constructive manner although I must warn you that I will still call a spade a spade. But the new players are big boys who have been through the trenches of corporate warfare. So their skins should be thicker.

Note: I am not abandoning the players that have lost in the AGM but that game is now over and we must now respect the rulings of the arbiter if and when it comes out.

So for FGM at least, I will now focus on making sure that the gains we have so painfully struggled for as the Malaysian chess community on the whole, is further strengthened and not eroded over time. I learnt this lesson the hard way from PICA. Winning the AGM is not the end. For the chess players in the winning new committee this is just the opening gambit. The rest of the chess game will continue within the committee.

So all my best to the new committee of MCF. I hope you will be able to take the criticism and suggestions that will come from this blog from time to time.

Congratulations. You are now all public figures and you will need to learn to function as one.

Thank you readers for your time spent here on my blog. I also want to thank all those people who have encouraged me and fed me with information so that I was able to participate meaningfully in this very long and drawn out struggle to bring improvements to the Malaysian chess scene. We now know conclusively that we are the vast majority within the chess community, do we not? So lets not go back to whispering in dark corners anymore.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Malaysian Masters.

Read this first. Here.

Malaysian Masters details here.

Aren't you guys excited? We get to see our own homegrown Masters at play here too. Our Malaysian Ferrari has been following the London Classics and is sure to show us a few powder moves. And Peter wants to showcase our strongest Junior here too. Ref: Here. This is going to be very exciting.

I have another idea Peter that will be sure to draw huge crowds to this event. Why don't you play too and show us why you think we are all stupid? Great yes? You don't have to shout on the sidelines anymore. You don't have to call our Juniors weak anymore. Now you can give us a live demonstration.

Correction. Michael is secretary of development committee.

Mr Yeap just called me to correct the information. He is in fact the Secretary of the development committee under Dato Sri Santhara as well as the treasurer of MCF. My apologies. The actual Secretary of MCF is Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah bin Raja Hussin.

Congratulations Micheal Yeap as new Secretary of MCF.

I just received information that Eng Chiam's father, Michael Yeap is the new Secretary of MCF. I was at Asian Youth with Mr Yeap in 2011 where he was the head of contingent. I must say that he was the only MCF official that was in the tournament hall looking after the players during the entire duration of the tournament. He is a conscientious man who cares for the players. So well done MCF in giving us somebody of quality.

Congratulations again Micheal.

Well done Peter for good behaviour so far.

Ref: Here.

Something here. I don't want to pour cold water on this since it is a step forward. Top 3 from NC. Hmmmm, and no banning without grounds? I'm impressed. Good response to impending COS enquiry. Keep it up.

Next will be developing KLCA yes? Or is that your private cari makan turf?

Li Tian, the game changer?

Ref: Here.

Now it is getting clearer why Jimmy was so threatened by the combined training of Zhuo Ren, Sumant and Mark. Why he was so threatened by the training of the Juniors by a GM. Why both Zhuo Ren and Sumant had to be openly attacked till they denied the training at FGM. Why Peter needed to ban Mark at KL Open without grounds.

Why they needed to announce fat numbers and Li Tian as the strongest Junior before the fact. Why they then took Eng Chiam and Syazwan's place at the Olympiads. Why Li Tian was quietly sent to the Zonals while Greg refused Sumant even a chance to play at Asian Juniors this year.

This is my speculation. Maybe they realise that the seniors can't cut it anymore. Ref: Here. So they need a new Champion since after all the seniors are all washed out.

My question now is will there be a selection to spot light their new Champion? Maybe at NJ this year?

I am not so sure. Even with the combined knowledge of Mok, Jimmy and Peter, they were unable to raise him to top 6 at NJ. Despite all that support and sponsorship they still can't do that. They needed to also sabotage all the other Juniors that have a chance to compete with him. So they don't look very confident to me. They may even still be having nightmares remembering that I trained Sumant to beat Mok and draw with Yee Weng for SEA games selection.

So what do you think? A switch in strategy from fat numbers to an actual chess game on the board for Li Tian at least? Do they have the guts? Will it be a selection where FGM will send in their last player, Mark Siew or will they bypass the selection all together? I suppose part of that decision will hinge on Li Tian's performance at HD.

Whichever the case FGM will look forward to a selection and pitch our skills and knowledge against the full might of MCF, Li Tian's sponsors and the top senior players in Malaysia according to Fide rules. Tai chi and nail bending is allowed. That cannot be stopped. That is not in the Fide handbook. Ref: Here.

So see you at National Junior Li Tian, if your handlers have any confidence in you. I have full confidence in my last remaining player playing chess according to Fide rules.

I appreciate Peter's honesty.

While looking at the picture of the MCF meeting below, I was wondering about the qualities of the 2 aspirants for the Secretary's post. And I came to a rather startling conclusion that there is no real difference between them in substance, just in style. Let me explain why?

Peter is very forthright and perhaps we don't appreciate enough this quality. He forms a State Association but he doesn't bother about a KL Close or Age group or Junior event. Why bother? He doesn't need all those things. You just have to join his University and then he decides. It's simple. It's just for him to make money. He is very honest about it. He isn't bothered about doing events for the benefit of Malaysians. Why worry about Malaysian participation? Why worry at all? We are all losers here. And besides if there is anyone who can threaten one of his student's places on the winning podium then he will just ban them. And if he becomes Secretary of MCF he can now do it on a National level.

So maybe that is better.

With Greg, we are sometimes confused. He has good silat but aims for and achieves the same ends as Peter. With Greg he has many excuses. He doesn't answer phone calls, emails etc. He leaves "instructions" that are not followed and so it's always the other persons fault.

So Peter will be a breathe of fresh air. No more pusing pusing pusing anymore. Now MCF will just openly become a business with a succession plan. Ref: Here. Why do we even need the State Affiliates? The main committee now has enough votes created by precedence to forever shut out the Affiliates into nothing more than mere spectators to have some tea tarik with from time to time.

That is of course if there is no COS ruling to annul the last AGM.

So maybe that is the wake up call we need. Why bother to invest time, effort and money in chess anymore? All we have to do is to remain on the good side of Peter and all things will come our way. So much simpler. Even for the Olympiads and SEA games. At least we can sigh with relief that we won't have to play in a fraudulent selection anymore. There is no need with Peter. Just join Peter's University or attend his training programs to play for KL, play for Malaysia. He is honest.

My only caution would be to warn you of his mercurial personality changes when you deal with him. And that was even before he has all this power and authority.

So good luck Malaysian chess. All my best.

ps: Btw, organisers in KL, better start raising your entry fees. If the story is correct then you may have to start paying KLCA bunga emas. What am I saying? Maybe it will be organisers throughout Malaysia. The good thing of course is that we will getting the truth for once. Peter is honest. Just like Chin Seng is humble.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

MCF meeting today.

Ref: Here.

I am told that the meeting today was to discuss their response to the letters sent by the State Affiliates to COS. I am a little curious here. Are the people sitting in on the meeting the people that were elected into the committee?

Li Tian plays for Malaysia at HD in Vietnam.

Ref: Here.

Good luck Li Tian.

With the experience from the Olympiads, Zonals and HD, you should be able to stake your claim at National Junior this year as Malaysia's undisputed strongest Junior.

My only other comment is that it would have looked better as well as be a better win for Li Tian, should he take the crown this year, if Sumant had been given the chance to play at Asian Junior by the powers that be as this is his last year as a Junior. Not to mention the loss of Eng Chiam and Syazwan's place at the Olympiad. And the fact that Li Tian was the only Junior asked to go to the Zonals as far as I know. Now it may look a little fixed.

Relooking at MCF's strategy for development.

Lets try to get some context first.

Olympiad 2010. Greg had just returned from the Olympiad and working together we had successfully implemented written selection for NAG and he was still gung ho. He then told me of the going on's at the Olympiads. How the really bad attitude of the senior players there resulted in such a disgraceful performance. He described the scene of players wanting to do business deals, sell books and not wanting to play etc.

Mal/Sing Jan 1st 2011. Greg and I were having tea tarik and he told me about how many of our senior players cannot cut it anymore giving me names, including Mas and Mok, and the results of the tournaments they played in.

And then he put in written selection for SEA games 2011. And after the fall out he reversed his position.

The point is that it is known that our senior players don't have what it takes anymore. And that is why some felt so threatened of the training by a fighting GM for our Juniors to the point of attempting to sabotage it. That is why they responded to Sumant winning the SEA games selection by rejecting him in the Malaysian squad team event at Datmo and included Mok who was knocked out by Sumant. The message is clear. Don't try to win on the board or we will hammer you. And this time even Greg has joined in the fray. Ref: Here.

Now can you understand why they only harp on fat numbers? This is simply because they have the means to manufacture it. Not convinved yet? Then also look at why they cannot play at selection. Why do they avoid NC and NJ? That is their way. Use the numbers to avoid competition. If they play and lose the spell is broken. Look at the results of the local tournaments if there is a strong field. Ref: Here. And how did Jimmy do at the last Olympiads?

Now lets look at the system in a neighbouring Country. Ref: Here. See the bold section. You see there is a major difference. They have to play in selection. If they don't do well overseas they are pulled back for repairs. Then they have to prove themselves again in strong local tournaments before they are allowed to go out on sponsorship once more.

In Malaysia they play in Veterans, play in select tournaments, flash fat numbers etc. Anything to avoid selection.

That is wrong and there is no way around this MCF. Today we can all follow the games around the world. So implement a proper system. My assertion is that there are no seniors in the Malaysian squad today that deserves a bye (preselection) anymore. So all of them must play in an Open field at NC. Sumant has shown us this at the last SEA games selection. So don't hammer him. Appreciate that he is just helping us to wake up from our slumber. We have many strong players today if we give them a chance.

Now lets talk about Li Tian's and Zhuo Ren's back door into the Olympiads. Is that a good thing? What is the message here? Don't try to win in selection for senior squad and we will give you a place. We don't want anyone from the outside playing on the Malaysian Team that can report on our business deals and book selling etc.

(But we can see your games on the internet. There is no place to hide.)

Do you share my concern that if Li Tian goes down that road, then we will just see another Jimmy and Peter over time? So let him play at NJ. Let him earn his stripes. Then when he wins we can all call him the strongest junior. Not from PR campaigns and demonstration games. That doesn't count. And it is also tainted if others are sabotaged for him to achieve that success.

What does NM mean today if the field there is weak? We want all the seniors to play at NC before they are allowed to play for the Country. A proper selection. Then if they stop playing they fall behind and someone else will take their place. Iron sharpen iron.

So what is the use of Mas's development program given at the AGM if all these issues are not addressed. Is it really the answer that we will only develop our kids until Junior level? Towards the end of your Junior days, we will sabotage you or ban you so you will never be given the chance to overtake the seniors? Is that your development plan MCF?

That all of the chess community have to wait upon the retirement of the seniors. The seniors do not have to compete. They will still play for the Country so long as they are able to manufacture fat numbers. Isn't that the plan to developing a fat number industry and not a plan to developing strong Malaysian chess players and the future Malaysian GM?

So Greg, you knew all this back in 2010 and 2011. You had a good plan going. We were getting stronger. So what if Jimmy and Peter feels threatened? MCF's plan for development must be for all Malaysian chess players. If those 2 or any other senior does not make the cut and cannot play strong chess anymore then they cannot be shown the back door in again. MCF does not belong to them. MCF belongs to Malaysia. That is why we fly our flag when our players go out.

Why the change in direction in 2012 Olympiad, back to the days and ways of failure? What happened after SEA games selection Greg? What happened to make you change your mind to the point you are now even actively sabotaging our own Juniors? Why couldn't Sumant go to Asian Junior?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

FGM comments on Peter's post.

Ref: Here.

Dear Peter,

Your interpretation of why you are only invited as a lowly match arbiter by ACF is interesting. That means a floor arbiter right? You assume that there is a back door and that only speaks of your own paradigm. May I present you with another possible interpretation?

I wonder if you have noted that its part of a martial arts event in Korea. Is it possible that the organisers are looking for people with fighting spirit to reflect positively on their event? So maybe they are telling you that they have little respect for you. Have you ever considered that it may be about who you are rather than the back doors? Maybe they don't respect back door artists and people who bans without grounds. Maybe they just don't trust you to do a good job.

Even here within the Malaysian chess community we are confused as to who actually trained Li Tian. Did you play a part or are you just riding on his parade? Can I make a suggestion here? Why don't you focus on bringing up KLCA and show us what you can do at the State level first before you aspire for National posts?

And if people can see that you can do a good job without banning players stronger than the ones you can produce maybe they will give you a shot at National and then International exposure. You think?

As a trainer why don't you focus on Roshan? Develop your own players instead of borrowing from the work of others. We look forward to meeting your players as well as Li Tian at National Junior. If your player/s win that may help to lift up your image a little as a trainer.

And if you still want to be known as a strong chess player, may I suggest National Close? Come and dazzle us with your chess knowledge Peter. Don't do a Jimmy. Nobody believes in him anymore. We will also come along to keep you guys company and hope that you may teach us a thing or two on chess. Do try to bring Jimmy along too if he is not too nervous.

Push for National Close and National Juniors to publish the bulletins as well as the cross tables so the whole world can see your accomplishments. You can do your tai chi demonstration or nail bending demonstration or both if you feel the need. Ref: Here. But win is on the board by Fide rules. Agreed?

I think that will do a lot more for you and Jimmy to regain some respect here and within the International Chess community as well. You see Peter, we are very worried that you may embarrass us the way you are going about things now and so we certainly don't want you anywhere near MCF. Do it on the outside first. Show us your fighting spirit on the chess board in Malaysia first. Bring up KLCA first. Bring up your own players first. We suspect you are all mouth and no knowledge. We suspect you and Jimmy are very scared of competition. And chess is about competition is it not? Prove us wrong. I have shown you how it can be done if you accept my suggestions. So see you guys there ok?

Thank you for your time Peter. Have a good day.

This is not the way to treat our Juniors, MCF.

Ref: Here. What happened to you after SEA games Greg?

I was just told that Sumant contacted Greg to inform him that he was interested to go to Asian Juniors. Apparently Greg avoided his calls after that. Why is this? I was also told that Mas presented a development program at the AGM on behalf of Tan Sri. So what is the truth of the matter? Are they trying to develop Malaysian chess or is it the opposite that is happening? This sounds like an undevelopment program to me.

Lets see.

Lets say that the organisers at Asian Juniors only alloted one place for official players and that goes to the National Junior Champion. Sumant should still be able to go as an additional player although he will not have any dicounts if the Champion, Yit San decides to go too. So why is MCF not allowing this despite the fact that it is his parents that are paying. Many Countries send big contingents to develop their Juniors. Why not Malaysia? What is the game plan here to develop Malaysian chess?

On the converse, we saw Li Tian going to the Zonals quietly without MCF making a general call to our National Juniors to participate. In this day and age of the internet it is so simple to do that.

Can it be right for MCF to actively "sabotage" other Juniors in order to develop Li Tian? This is what I have been saying. This is very wrong. If there are private sponsors who want to sponsor Li Tian, that is ok. Sponsor him if you believe in him. It's your money. Spend it as you will. But you cannot remove the rights of the rest of Malaysia just to promote him.

Li Tian has never made top 6 in National Junior whereas Sumant is the only Junior who has won his place on the senior National squad via selection.

If Li Tian is any good then let his sponsor pay for his trips around the world. No problem with us. But do not sabotage our other players. With that kind of sponsorship and support Li Tian should breeze past our other Juniors at National Junior without having to sabotage others.

SEA games and the Olympiad also belongs to the Country and not to them. How can that be stolen from all of us? Let Li Tian, Jimmy, Peter play in the many many tournaments around the world if they can get the private sponsors. For Malaysian events there must be selection. Surely that makes sense.

Greg, if you are unable to appreciate this and be fair to our players and the investments of the parents then maybe you shouldn't return to MCF as the Secretary. The Malaysian chess community will be satisfied with a Secretary that may not have your organising skills but at least will not do harm to our real players.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Isn't this an apparent truth?

If we are unable to do away with AGM fixing, then we would also very unlikely be able to do away with match fixing. Isn't it one and the same? So I hope all of you that have asked for our own Malaysian GM will think on this. Look back and see the painful lessons of what has happened to many of our once strong players over time. Now they don't even dare to play in a selection despite calling themselves Ferrari's etc.

Do we want to continue making the same mistake over and over again while we keep hoping for our own Malaysian GM? Sports is about competition. The AGM is about competition. Chess is about competition.

What happens if it's the loser who takes the crown? Do we celebrate this? We need to decide on this as a community before we can move on.

Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is a compromise possible?

I was informed that Dato Tan requested for a meeting with Zuhri yesterday. No, I do not know what transpired at that private meeting but I will hazard a guess. It seems apparent to me that Zuhri actually have the largest support from the States but he has been knocked out by the maneuverings. That can mean big trouble if there is no compromise. So how should we look at this if we truly have the interests of Malaysian chess at heart?

This is my personal perspective and views. 

When we play cards it is better to play with a full deck rather than half a deck. My opinion is that the Tan Sri and Greg team actually brought Malaysian chess to greater heights and Zuhri has the know how and interest to bring fiduciary sense to MCF. So that will be my dream team if they are able to work together. What I am saying here is that TS and Greg holds approximately half the deck and Zuhri holds the other half.

But that is now in the past or is it? Lets relook at the situation again.

How did things get so messed up? It appears to me that the old system was terribly flawed. Lets go back in time to around 2009 directly after I was sacked from PICA after trying to implement selection there. I met up with Greg who was newly appointed then and I shared my experiences of the difficulties to get any proper selection criteria implemented with the many forces against who wanted the old privilege system.

Putting in proper selection erodes the personal power of committee members and threatens the players who are used to getting the back doors. Over time the back door player's skills erode and they fear selection and challenge from upcoming players. And so a sophisticated way of knocking out potential challengers evolved. And Malaysian chess have had nearly 30 years of perfecting this system.

But Greg as the new secretary then was gung ho and wanted to make a difference. And so together we devised a way to get written selection into MCF with me working on the outside and getting the support of bloggers, parents etc while he worked within MCF against the old stalwarts as well as certain senior players who can't compete anymore. And we succeeded in getting written selection for NAG in 2010. The first written selection published for NAG actually first appeared on FGM blog as a way of pre-empting resistance from within the committee. We weathered the storm and it was allowed through since the senior players were not affected. But still it was a wedge into breaking the old system. That was in 2010.

In 2011, Greg on his own implemented the selection system for SEA games and all hell broke lose after Sumant, a Junior, training with FGM, won selection by beating Mok and drawing with Yee Weng after Jimmy had been preparing the ground for the Li Tian campaign by saying our Juniors were all washed out. And we saw our 2nd blog war. The first being the training of the Juniors going to Asean 2010 by a GM organised by us at FGM. 

So yes, we faced heavy resistance but we felt it was worth it if it brought improvement.

But something changed after that. And for the Olympiads 2012 we saw a total reversal in Greg's position. We saw the fraudulent selection. The question is why? Again this is my personal opinion. The pressures were rising and Jimmy controls the senior players and Peter feared losing relevance in the Malaysian scene as he was failing badly in virtually every aspect of his chess career. And somehow they were able to reach Greg. I suspect the major cause stems from the fact he is not paid and has insufficient independent income. It had been a very hard battle and both of us were attacked incessantly. I am not making excuses for Greg. I am merely trying to understand the turn of events.

What are the pressures on the MCF Secretary who does a job few people appreciate and which is damn hard and then not get paid? Not only that but he is constantly attacked from all sides with very little emotional or psychological support.

And then Zuhri stepped in and proposed that he would find a way to pay the Secretary. I thought then we had a possible solution to this dilemma.

But questions on the accounts touched raw nerves. And then it lead to heated words being exchanged. And that eventually lead to the Presidential challenge with Zuhri getting the majority support from the States who are also all fed up with the situation.

I see the system from the previous administration that is at fault and if we can all sit down then there must be a way out for all who truly want us to improve Malaysian chess and find a way to reach a compromise.

There should NOT be a succession plan as described by Peter. Here. This simply means that they have privately decided behind the backs and over the rights of the State Affiliates. MCF is an NGO and not a business. MCF belongs to all of us and not just to Peter. My personal opinion is that KLCA should focus on bringing KL up as a proper State Association before they have National aspirations. This smacks of the culture of back doors all again.

And we want to move from that right? We don't want to hear anymore stories of our senior players going overseas representing Malayisa, to sell books, make business contacts and not want to play chess, handphone ringing etc. We don't want to see Juniors promoted to represent Malaysia by PR campaigns and not by winning on the board here. We don't want to hear of bannings without grounds. We want Malaysian chess to be strong yes? If that is what we want then this AGM is very badly flawed and will probably take us backwards.

All of us have paid a heavy price investing in chess including FGM. So it is my fervent hope that sense will prevail and that Dato can use whatever influence he has to help correct this flawed AGM and move us forward and not backwards anymore.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is this technically correct?

A few more questions have been raised about the voting. Apart from the question of whether the previous committee members were allowed to vote, the issue now raised is whether it is possible for even those committee members that managed to get into a State Association in time to be a delegate can vote?

Lets take PICA for instance. When I was still in the committee, according to the Constitution then, it was explicitly stated that new members have to be a member of good standing for at least 6 months before they are allowed to vote or stand for office.

The logic behind that clause is that people should not simply join Associations just for office. The idea is that they must be genuine members that are looking to at least participate in the Association before they are given those rights. Makes sense to me.

If that is the stand of COS too then the voting will be invalid. I wonder how COS will rule on this.

Police report made by Fadli as posted on facebook.


MCF's AGM, it's not over- A FGM commentary.

It's not over. As news trickle out of what took place at the AGM it looks like the fight is very much still on. Yesterday a top organiser in Malaysia Fadli, made a police and MACC report which he announced on facebook. I am also informed that a few States will be following suit with reports to Ministry of Sports and COS. So what happened?

Let us look at a very basic principle we can learn from every chess tournament if we want to. Every true chess player will accept the result on the board if the game was won according to the rules. And this is chess. I believe this turn of events mark a new dawn for Malaysian chess. Malaysian chess is saying that it is no longer acceptable to win by thuggery and PR campaigns.

From what I have been informed, it seems that the old Main committee from ROS days, got their votes. Ref: Here. When there were objections from the floor they were shouted down and reason went out of the window. So the issues never got an airing and the affected parties are now calling for the arbiter.

A new issue has also been brought up. Ref: Here. The Presidency can only go to the party who commands the respect of the majority of the affiliates or there will be permanent unrest. So not only did the incumbent not have the majority as we witnessed the tie from the first count of 20/20. A tie created by extra illegal votes as well as the swing of KLCA to the incumbent for a deal.

Read this on the second paragraph. Here. News is spreading that the incumbent is to step down after 6 months and hand over to his deputy according to the deal.

Now does it make sense that a President that does not have the support of the majority of the States now hand over the reign to his deputy who only commands one State vote? And Peter proudly announced that on his blog. So dumb. And he wants to be our new Secretary. 

In fact my feedback is that the one greatest fear for Malaysian chess which has unanimous support (apart from Jimmy and his handful of match fixing friends) is that Peter must never get into MCF or Malaysian chess will be dead. So this deal will erode further the little support from the few States that the incumbent President currently enjoys. It looks like they may have been duped into opening the door for Peter.

And so the opportunity for us to move forward in strength is now going into a complicated middle game with unclear positions. But I give odds to Zuhri's majority camp in this fight back. After all his son is a KL Chess Champion and we can expect no less from his son's Sifu.

In a very short space of time Malaysian chess has seen two firsts. The first direct fight for the Presidency and also the first report to the police, MACC, Ministry of Sports and COS. Is this a good thing? As far as I can see the rules are being followed by Zuhri's camp. He fought in a sporting and gentlemanly manner and they tore up the rule book and brought in the thugs. So personally I think it's a good thing not to accept that result and to call in the arbiters.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Results from USM and message to our Juniors and not so Junior.


We are happy to return to training again after having to slow down in 2011 and virtually stopping in 2012 for STPM. We feel that losing to Villaneuva and drawing with the top seed Tze Han at USM shows that we are improving again. This year we will strive to continue to close the technical gap between us and the top players in the Country. Hopefully we will be in time for National Close but I hope we will be much better prepared for NJ this year.

As I have said before, there is no rush. I think the realistic age for our top Juniors to aim for that GM title is around their late 20's. It's a very big body of work and it is just not realistic for Malaysians to try to get there by 15yo given the state of our chess knowledge as well as the chess climate in Malaysia currently. Ref: Here.

Our Juniors have to balance many things and some years they can progress faster and others they have to slow down or even stop tournaments completely. So I hope more of our older Juniors and those just past Junior category will come back to play. You are all very close to the standards of our current IM's. Don't get disheartened by the story above. YOU ARE NOT ALL WASHED OUT. THEY ARE.

Those are lies just to protect their places on the senior squad. Come back to play. We need all of you to contribute back to the pool of knowledge. Iron sharpen iron. Then our GM will come. It's still an Open race.

FGM seeks clarification for concerns raised by the chess community.

It is my feedback from every chess player that I have spoken to without exception that proper selection is the key to progress of Malaysian chess standards. And to achieve that without loopholes we also have to look at the peripheral tools of attacks and intimidation on the blogs etc as well as banning without proper grounds. The other possible major loophole is match fixing in tournaments via manipulation of swiss manager. It is hoped that MCF will look into any serious allegations of this.

The other major concern is sabotage by using the powers of the positions in MCF to kill off competition by other Organisers, Trainers and Coaches. I think that is best expressed by Najib's (SomeDaysLikeThese) comments here. We should allow market forces to determine the success or failure on any enterprise. That is the only way for us to develop strong organisers, trainers and coaches. Using MCF to hammer the more successful parties will only ensure the survival of the weakest.

On selection.

The criteria for selection should come out early as this will allow the players to start planning their preparation. This is especially so for the senior squad. Allow me to share my concerns. It has been FGM's experience that not only does the criteria not come out early but it sometimes come out after the selection. This obviously allows for manipulation as the criteria can now be changed to suit who has the deal to go via the back door.

Right now it looks like there are people like these who wants a return of the old privileged days when they were allowed to play for Malaysia without contest. Ref: Here. Sounds a little like Li Tian is the strongest Junior when he has never even made top 6 at NJ right? Doesn't this situation look familiar? Isn't this reminiscent of the time when Sumant won his place at SEA games after training with us and beating Mok and drawing with Yee Weng. The attacks on him conducted via Jimmy's blog was extremely vicious and eventually lead to the Li Tian campaign.

Given Peter's close relationship with Jimmy and the new Deputy President, can I seek this clarification?

Does the post tauting Mas as the strongest player in Malaysia herald a stance that it is not permissible for any player to attempt to beat him in any selection on the threat of a repeat of the history we have seen by attacks on the blogs and bannings etc. If that is the case, then perhaps it would be good if Peter puts out a list on who we cannot train to beat in any selection. For at FGM, when we train, we train to beat anyone we have the skills to beat and who appears in the selection.

So to be fair to us and to the other players, perhaps you can tell us early who is in the current list of players we must NOT train to beat so that we can make informed decisions on whether we should continue to invest money, time and effort to further training.

This is important to FGM and I am sure to other good trainers and coaches too. There have been new requests for FGM to train players and I would like to be able to explain clearly the cans and cannots of Malaysian chess to the parents that want to invest in their childs training. If say Li Tian is on that list, then at least I can tell the parents honestly that I can assist in all others except training to beat Li Tian for if you try you will be attacked by Jimmy and party with the sanction of MCF. If it's Mas, Jimmy etc on the senior's list of players you must not try to beat, I can inform them of the same. Then it will be their decision whether they want to invest in a future in chess or not. I think this is an important declaration in all fairness in view of the large sums involved over time.

On approved Organisers, trainers and coaches.

It was FGM's assumption when I started that any legally registered company that provide chess services was allowed to give proposals and to function without prejudice within the chess community. In this I found myself sadly mistaken. It would be good if MCF also puts out a list of approved institutions by MCF other than those by Peter or Jimmy, if any, so that the chess community will know which events/training they can support and which ones they will find sabotaged. I think this is also fair as there are still some of us who labour under the illusion that it is the quality of our services that matter.

I hope some clarification will be forthcoming soon.

There is just one more minor point. Ref: Here. It would also be good that MCF shows us the procedure to raise issues for potential resolution. There is a strong impression within the chess community that Jimmy is the go to person for fixes of all sorts. Some clarification will help so I can direct the people who come and talk to me about issues befalling them in chess. I can then tell them with certainty that the man to see to solve all problems with MCF is Jimmy. That will save us all a lot of time and aggravation.

So until I hear otherwise, we will continue to train for selection without fear or favour. And I will continue to write this blog in the same manner as well.

All my best to MCF and for the future of Malaysian chess. May we grow from strength to strength.

Thank you for listening.

FGM wishes to congratulate the new committee members of MCF.

FGM wishes to congratulate the new committee members of MCF for winning their posts after a hard fought contest. It is hoped that the voices of a very large segment of the Malaysian chess community is heard and that the new committee will address the many issues brought up.

May Malaysian chess reverse the terrible backslide we have witnessed from the many abuses within the system for many years now and that we go from strength to strength from this day forward.

Friday, March 8, 2013



It is very important that those with the legal authority to settle the issue of the accounts, which is the state Affiliates, makes those decisions. If the decisions are made by those without the authority ie the recently inflated, previous ROS committee, then this issue can be challenged again and this saga may not end.

All my best to Malaysian chess. May Monday be the new dawn where we will truly begin the fight back to bringing Malaysian chess back into the International arena where we belong, with our heads held high.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The 2 possible futures for Malaysian chess.

There is the general wisdom that there is no place for politics in sports and I can't agree more. Politics in any form is destructive for that sport. Let me try to see if I can explain it this way. Chess is chess and the more time you spend on understanding the different aspects of the game the better your chess becomes.

What happens when the back door comes in is that players start to focus on tai chi, nail bending and fat numbers. Why? That is simply the way to get to represent the Country with only minimal chess. This way you can bypass selection via a PR campaign with collusion from within MCF. If anyone questions, then you first try tai chi, if that doesn't work you do a nail bending or shouting exercise. Ref: Here. If all fails you ban.

So lets work out the percentages here. To get as good as Jimmy and Peter can we say that they need to spend at least 70% of their time working on those back door techniques? So what happens to their chess?

Look, those are players from before the internet. Those days as told to me by strong coaches, all you need was a secret latest book on chess that nobody else has and you can be king. Today is a different world. Today the knowledge abounds everywhere on the net. It has become a game of who can learn and then who can learn faster.

Jimmy and Peter have long lost their edge and is now spending almost all of their time making sure no one can take their places on the senior squad via the back doors. To our shame they seem to have supporters from inside MCF aiding them. And Peter himself is still trying for that last ditch attempt into MCF. It's do or die.

And so that is the politics.

On the other hand we can have this future. You have heard me describe Mal/Sing 2011. You heard me tell the stories of how many parents worked together to motivate the players to go all out to win after trailing very badly on the first day. There was no race or politics. We were team Malaysia apart from yet another sad incident caused by Peter. Despite that we prevailed and we won the day. On the train journey back you should see the spirit onboard. Kids that I have rarely heard speak were talking animatedly. Parents shared openly. There were no Malays, Chinese or Indians on that train. Only Malaysians that struggled and worked together to achieve victory for our Nation.

That is the glimpse of another future that we have the opportunity to create from this coming AGM.

But the train arrived in KL and then we read the stories on Jimmy's blog saying our victory was a sham. And we all came back down to earth. Back to the politics in our chess.

We can reject that "Vision" of Peter, Jimmy and their supporters in MCF at the AGM who say our Juniors are lousy. We can believe that we have the players that can succeed in International chess if they don't get knocked out here by the politics.

So we can have 2 possible futures. One is where we have the chance to repeat the Mal/Sing experience and the other is where we go back to talking and whispering in corridors afraid that we will be seen talking together and then our children victimised.

Which future we will have is now in the hands of the State delegates at the AGM this Sunday.

In the meantime Mark and I will be travelling tomorrow to play chess at USM Penang where we are keen to try out new ideas on the board in preparation for NC and NJ this year. See you guys there.

The Serenity prayer.

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Presidential race- A FGM Commentary Pt. 2

The latest feedback is that Peter has pulled out of the direct race and is now looking for a deal just for entry into MCF after realising that he will have zero support apart from himself. Questions were raised about how his KL Open is faring compared to other tournaments in the region like the upcoming HD tournament in Vietnam and Bangkok Open. Both events are drawing huge crowds while KL Open seems to be getting smaller and smaller with negligible local support. And he wants to take over MCF and make it in his image. Delusional. Peter's old sins are catching up with him and he now realises that nobody supports or wants to deal with him despite all his offerings. So will he succeed in getting a back door deal when anyone associated with him will carry a serious liability? Well we'll know Sunday when it has to all come out.

But what is wrong with that picture? Personally I think it is just wheeling and dealing for posts but without thinking about what is best for Malaysian chess or what they are able to contribute. How about we look at the tasks that needs to be done and then finding the right people for the right posts so that MCF has all the skill sets to take us forward?

So I hope we can do this without anger and with the intention to build and not getting revenge etc. If we are successful then we can leave the failure behind and move forward. Isn't that better? If there are future injustices then at least we will have an MCF that can fairly judge for all within the chess community.

I argued here that we should be lenient to Greg because whatever has been said and done he does have good organising abilities that will be hard to replace. In a company his position will be akin to a COO (Chief Operating Officer). His job will be to run things around the Country according to the Vision of the President and the policies set by the AGM and the committee. So while important his job is NOT at the highest decision making position.

So lets look at the position of the President. I have heard people say that he must be able to bring in money and sponsorship. I disagree. That is a bonus but that is not absolutely necessary. Actually many people can bring in sponsors and that should be encouraged. The problem Malaysian chess faces is that many sponsorships are sabotaged.

So I feel the key factor we need in the President is the ability to direct correct action so that Malaysian chess is a conducive place for investors and players alike. It is my believe that Malaysian Chess has fallen to the terrible low we are in today where we have a 2100 IM attacking anyone and sundry and a 1900 FM looking to take over National Chess is because no rules have been enforceable. MCF just looks away from the abuses and is itself party to a fraudulent selection amongst other accusations levied against it.

Having one of our key tournaments questioned by players as to having had suspect pairings etc and having nothing done is also very damaging to our reputation as a good destination for chess by International players. All these things including a good development program so that real chess players can advance as opposed to back door dealers is crucial to our future success.

And all that conducting is done by the President. He directs what needs attention and what can be ignored. He also directs the Secretary.

That is the key crucial position. As I said I am not partisan. So I suggest that the State delegates debate the issues first before election of officials. Then ask the people who are vying for the position of President how they propose those issues can be solved when they get into power. From there the delegates will be in a better position to see which candidate really cares about developing Malaysian chess and which one wants the position from a deal but have no interest in our development.

A cautionary note. I was talking to the President of a State Association recently and he expressed his interest in developing his State first. I think we need to look at this in another way. A good MCF will do far more to develop the State than anything the State can do by themselves. Look at the current situation. What can you do if the national policy is to get their fingers on the pie? So this has to be stopped at source. In fact I suggest that the States offer their very best people on the MCF committee to support a President that wants to develop Malaysian chess. He cannot do it on his own and he cannot rely on the many deadwood in the current committee. I hear some of them have not even opened their mouth in MCF committee meetings to contribute or otherwise in years. So why stay on?

Please think about this and we can have an AGM where we will emerge with a chess structure which says we are back and we mean business and that truly says Malaysia Boleh.