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.

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