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.