Saturday, June 29, 2013

Syuen tournament tomorrow.

Ref: Here.

Will be playing at Syuen again tomorrow for the first time since I first organised a chess event there after asking my former boss, the owner of Syuen, for his support in 2009.

You need to take the cowboy out of you.

In the past whenever issues were brought up, MCF would be very reluctant to rectify the wrong doings. When there were unconstitutional sackings, they would close a blind eye. When there were banning without grounds, they would choose to be silent. When selection was subverted they will make don't know. When the selection criteria is substandard to facilitate washed out players, they will try to justify. When we say that the tournament was fixed, they will not investigate. When we say that Li Tian is not the strongest Junior and the other Juniors are being sabotaged and publicly attacked, they will send Li Tian to the Olympiads and the Zonals etc etc etc.

So it is not just Peter is it? He is probably the most toxic but it is not just him alone. Have you ever wondered why there is never any action despite the fact that the issues being brought forward is so blatantly and transparently unjust? Why the rule book is almost never used properly? They should know all these things shouldn't they. After all they lusted after the posts.

I think the reason is this. I think it is because that secretly they all want the same unfettered power to do all those things themselves. So their issues with Peter is probably more personal than principle based.

I agree with Peter's removal, he is just too toxic with almost no redeeeming features. And his sort of toxicity can spread like wild fire if left unchecked. Almost anything he touches or influences eventually turn to dust.

But the others are not pure either. If proper rules are followed, no official in the future will ever be able to abuse their power without challenge. So that is why they want Peter removed but not by using the rule book.

And that is why they speak to me. When I tell them to do it the proper way, they say I am trying to teach them how to suck sweets. So it seems to me that they want to use the power of this blog but without taking responsibility themselves. So it may seem that they want me to knock out Peter for them. Silly isn't it? The authority rests with them.

The solution is very simple. Get a resolution/motion to define the roles and responsibilities of each official. If Peter is that unmanageable then un-appoint him. It only needs a majority vote. And you are many. (The President can only appoint with the approval of the Council. Check the constitution.) Then define your own roles and responsibilities too. Use the rule book and use it fairly.

So this is my modified saying. You may be able to bring a cowboy into the Associations but only they can take the cowboy out of themselves.

I think we are now all sitting on a ticking time bomb. I tell them that all these new MACC, police reports is not good. I say that State Associations writing into COS about a fraudulent AGM is not good. I tell them that if there are even more reports from new people it may prove to be the tipping point. And I tell them that they may be a small step away from a legal challenge.

But I am told that they are not worried about that. They just want Peter out without using the rule book, without taking personal responsibility, without taking official responsibility or having accountability. And without transparency. What more can I say?

Friday, June 28, 2013

SS2 Chess tournament on July 20th and 21st. Age group and Open.

Get details here.

We just signed up to try to get in some extra practice before the Malaysian Chess Festival. See you guys there.

Some games from the Malaysian Masters.


An interesting article that may hold some meaning for us.

Ref: Here.

I am wondering if this article may hold some meaning for us. For instance, how did Peter get all that power without the authority of the full Council? He is just one man with the wrong portfolio. All authority comes from the full Council. It does not rest with any one individual. So the Council can spell out what he can or cannot do. They can say that the post of "Fide delegate", if there is even such a thing is only to answer emails from Fide, to keep the Council informed and that is all. That the technical Chair just gives technical input for the best tie breaks for any particular type of tournament and that is all.

So is it really Peter's fault after all? Ok, maybe a lot. But the big question is why is the whole Council powerless to prevent him usurping all the power and authority?

Do think about this MCF. I did try to explain this to a Council member. I tried to also explain why Peter cannot block anyone who wants to register their chess clubs in KL. It's all in the rules of COS including the appeal procedure.

And he told me not to teach MCF how to suck sweets. Then why ask me? Or is it possible that you guys need to learn how to suck sweets?

Or maybe you are just too afraid to take responsibility and looking for a scapegoat?

Just wondering out loud.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What we would like to see in the new MCF.

The AGM for all intents and purposes is over. The new Council of MCF has been tacitly accepted by the vast majority of the chess community. So what is the problem today?

The new Council need to recognise that they are there because of the deep displeasure within the chess community with the way things were run in the previous Council. This was very apparent from the voting during the AGM.

In the past all sorts of abuses ran unchecked and Malaysian chess was in deep decline as we have now seen so clearly from the Malaysian Masters. So we would like to see the new MCF take positive action to turn things around. In the past legitimate grievances were left unheard and problems allowed to fester till the rot set in.

I keep hearing that Peter is causing a lot of problems within MCF and the other Council members don't know how to deal with him. This is the type of indecisiveness that have kept us stagnant for so many years. Energy fretted away talking about taking action but nothing gets done. Energy misspent on trying to silence the voices that try to surface the problems so that it can be solved.

So get the issues solved. I feel some of the current issues can be solved if someone just takes the lead and sit down with the people with the problems. Just talk sincerely and without threats. Try it.

And get rid of the source of the problems within MCF. You just can't allow one man to attack everyone and try to stop any progress and private initiatives in KL and not expect more and more protests. That is not possible. And it will get much worse when he now tries to do that on a National scale.

I did try to tell you, didn't I, before the AGM? Go back and read again what I said during the run up. Did it not turn out as I said it would?

So get it right MCF. Do your job of governing the chess community in a fair, just and transparent way. That is all. And we will see Malaysian chess soar. We have the talent, we have the resources. So let us just end the bad practices and move on. Can you do it? Well you were elected in to do just that job.

We have seen in Aron Teh what 2 years of a proper training program instead of PR campaigns and back doors can do. We can see what a healthy competitive environment instead of trying to ban players stronger than the ones you can produce can do. We can see how 2 years of doing things properly trumps 30 plus years of rubbish. So we know the way. Now all we need now is the resolve to get there. So just get it done MCF.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A commentary on the final result of the Malaysian Masters and sucking sweets.

Ref: Here.

First off I would like to say that it was in very bad taste to put up the final ranking assuming that Aron had lost while the game was still in play.

And so we see a previously 1900 in May becoming second in the Malaysian Masters. What does this say about how he is trained in China versus how our players are training? Ref: Here. When we first met Aron in 2011 he was around 1800.

What does this also tell us about the ratings of some of our senior players? What is the rating of the bottom player? The one that keeps knocking our Juniors as they struggled to fight in the new chess world and saying that they are all washed out.

And finally what does it say of our selection criteria? Can you now see that there were much more deserving players that should have been there instead of Jimmy? Ref: Here.

Now I would like to present you with a question. How is it that a non chess player like myself can see all this years ago when the so called "experts" were not able to see it? Did I not say that some of our IM's ratings were not genuine? Did I not say that Li Tian was not the strongest Junior? Did I not try to reason it out here logically? Even if I don't play the game myself, what they were saying just didn't make sense.

Am I smarter than them then? No, I don't think so. I think it is simply because I do not have a hidden agenda. And so I can say things as I see it.

So we need MCF to carefully examine how we are setting our direction. MCF may also need to recognise the very real possibility that they do not know how to suck sweets after all. This is the problem. Here. Please deal with it. You wanted the national office. You wanted the posts. So now you have the authority and the responsibility. Stop shifting the blame and get your act together. But first of all please remove Peter from office. He was appointed. Un-appoint him

Let him go back into private business, as an organiser or as a trainer it doesn't matter. The market will deal with him. But first remove his poison from MCF. Also please look into KLCA. Is it really a State Association? You are MCF with the authority and responsibility to right the wrongs. All the rest of us can do is to try and highlight the problems to you. So don't just keep trying to shoot the messenger. Learn how to suck sweets.

Results of Malaysian Masters.

Details here.

I hope this result will show conclusively who knows something about chess and who are just empty vessels trying to put others down. I sure hope Peter has nothing to do with the training of our Malaysian senior squad. Unless he wows us all at the Malaysian chess Festival of course. But what do you think are the odds of that happening? However do read this again. Here.

ps: hmmmm, what happened in the last round between Aron and Ronnie?

Looks like they are still playing but R9 ranking is out.  :)

Some comments on Peter's comments.

Ref: Here.

Hi Peter,

I wonder if Tiviakov or Jimmy is older? I also wonder why is it that you seem totally incapable of an honest comment? Isn't Jimmy just another victim of too many back doors for National representation? Isn't it also true that both him and you are just totally out of touch with today's chess?

Both you and Jimmy slammed all our Juniors recently while promoting Li Tian and now you just talk like nothing happened. So what do you guys really know about chess? Stop making excuses Peter and start doing things the proper way. So are you going to turn up at the Malaysian Chess Festival in the Standard Open category or are you still going to hide behind other people and young boys and girls?

Who did you actually train Peter? Just because a few of our young players have mistakenly gone under you or were influenced by you for a short spell does not mean that you brought them up. Those are 2 very different things.

You are so good at putting others down Peter. So Man up and show us that you can still play chess and know what you are talking about. Ref: Here. Play at the Malaysian Chess Festival. Whatever you say, at least Jimmy went back to the table. What is your saving grace? Or are you just too fear ridden?

There is only one real problem in MCF, just ONE.

Ref: Here.

Lets take this example for instance. Here. Lets look at the faulty selection criteria, lets look at the back doors. Lets look at why the training by a GM was attacked. Lets look at why the Thematics was sabotaged.

As I said, I have been hearing a lot of stories recently about what is going on in MCF. Let me tell you some of it here. There is complaint that KLCA/Peter is trying to block the formation of chess clubs in the KL area.  There is complaint that that new rules about national rating is being used to control private organisers unfairly.

Go back and think about all the complaints in the past about MCF. The PR campaigns to select National players etc etc.

There is only one cause isn't there? Just one. MCF/State Associations is supposed to govern. To promote the sport as WELL as to provide a conducive and fair environment for all within the chess community. And that also includes the PRIVATE ORGANISERS.

So what is that one problem? Isn't it the root cause that trainers, organisers etc, have gone into the Associations to use their power to curb competition? And if you look deeper, which type of trainers and organisers? Are they not the ones that cannot do well in open competition and on a level playing field?

Look back. All our major problems come from this one area. They cannot train and so they need the PR campaigns, the "fixed" tournaments. They need to prop up weak players to lend themselves some semblance of legitimacy. They need to attack strong organisers so that their weak events is not shown up as failures.

All we need to do to progress is to stop these weak people from using the power vested in MCF to attack their competitors. If they want to succeed too then they must also learn how to train the correct way, how to organise events that gets support. They must not allowed to ban/sabotage those that are doing the heavy lifting, doing it the right way.

Think about it. How can it be that people with no ideas on how to improve be given the power to stop all good initiatives? Isn't that why we have not only stalled but moving backwards?

Actually, as I have explained to a MCF Council member, all the rules have been laid out by COS. You can even rewrite the Constitution to put in better guidelines subject to COS approval. No single member of the Council has more power then what is given by the full Council.

So we know the problem don't we?

The big big big quesion is why are the Council members not using the rule book to bring those errant people in line? Why need an EGM as is now being discussed? Even the President only has casting vote. I have even contended that elected Council Members have more authority then appointed one. The authority of elected members come from the States. Appointed ones are only functionary to serve a job on behalf of the elected Council and have only powers circumscribed by the Council.

The solution in my mind is simple. It is all there in the rule book, the Constitution. The possible complication that may arise is just because the people that want other people removed so that they now become in charge instead of the other. But that will also not be rule based if the rule book is not used right? Isn't that why none of the rules have been used? Examine yourselves and your real intent (niat) carefully my friends.

Are you really for the development of Malaysian Chess or do you really just want to be the next Peter Long? Are you afraid to use the rule book because once the rules are established then nobody can ever be Peter Long again?

Is that why you got angry with me when I told you this?

Thank you for your time in discussing this topic with me.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How did Aron Teh get so strong in such a short time?

Aron was only a 1900 plus in May, just before National Close. And he is a 2100 now and has just beaten Mas. So how did he get so strong?

I recall a conversation with Aron's mum during National Junior 2011. She described Aron's training in China to me and I wrote about it here. And it sounded very much like the Thematics FGM was trying to organise in Malaysia. However the Thematics did not take off in Malaysia. Instead it was attacked. Instead it was sabotaged. I still remember talking with some of the people who are in MCF today. I tried to explain the merits of the training tournaments that the Thematics can bring to our players. But they said I didn't know what I was talking about.

And now Peter wants to move against the Malaysian Chess Festival. So what are these guys doing in MCF? How can MCF be used to sabotage Malaysian chess instead of building it by supporting private initiatives. That is the very big question before us today.

I have been talking myself hoarse for the past 3 years. Somebody said that I am trying to teach MCF how to suck sweets. Jimmy Liew and Peter Long is the God of Malaysian chess and I know nothing.

So where is Jimmy Liew now at the Malaysian Masters? Where was he at the recent Asian Continental? Ref: Here.

Why is it that Peter is afraid to play chess anymore? Will he dare to take up the challenge that FGM threw at him at the Malaysian chess Festival? Ref: Here.

If they knew how to suck sweets then wouldn't we be getting better results? If they know how to suck sweets then I wouldn't need to write this blog for the last 3 years. Isn't what I have been saying happening right before your eyes now?

Not only they don't build, they destroy anything others try to build. And they do not know how to suck sweets do they? I wrote about Aron Teh's training after NJ2011. I tried to implement that. I tried to train our Juniors with a GM. This is what the trainer of the strongest Junior in the Philippines today said about my methods. Please see comments here.

But Jimmy is Asia's best, a Ferrari and Peter says only he knows about chess. Are they not the biggest joke?
The other question is why were we so easily duped? So do we not deserve the MCF we have? Ref: Here.

Big big big question. What do you think would have happened to Aron Teh if he had been in Malaysia and got influenced by Jimmy or Peter? Do you know of any player that was promoted by these two in Malaysia? What happened? This is a serious question.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Aron Teh beats Mas

It's on facebook but I don't have the details. (Details added later. See link below.)

Surely now questions must be asked about how we are training our players? Surely questions must now be asked about how we are selecting our players? Surely we are not going to sleep another 30 years and continue to allow selection by PR campaigns and back doors by people with vested interests? How long more will we allow the rot to continue? How long more are we going to allow these people to sabotage our players by taking away competition and putting in banning without grounds?

Peter, please do Malaysian chess a big big favour and resign from MCF. Pray tell us again what has Fide Rating in Malaysia got to do with fighting spirit when it is not earned in Open Tournaments? Ref: Here. What is the results here telling us?

What more can I say? Care to come to the Malaysian Chess Festival and play in the Open standard category to try and save whatever shred of credibility you have left? If any? Ref: Here.

Why is it that any player start to fail the moment they become associated with you? Have you thought about that Peter?

We need to learn to see what lies beneath the surface.

Is this the Malaysian Masters or is it something else?

Ref: Here.

If you can think of any players who may be doing well at the Malaysian "Masters", then maybe something is wrong with the selection criteria yes? Then the question must be why aren't they there isn't it? What is your opinion? Can MCF come up with a better and fairer selection criteria for the sake of Malaysian chess? Ref: Here. Just wondering out loud.

What is right about the Malaysian Chess Festival?

Feedback is coming in thick and thin about the latest happenings in MCF. Peter, and I hear a couple of others as well, are causing more and more problems in MCF. There is so much new information that I need to break it up into parts to analyse the full implications.

Remember I said we need to understand the issues or we may end up electing the wrong officials? Well we also need to understand the real issues so we can make a stand on the issues that take us forward instead of mistakenly supporting the ones that take us backwards.

So lets us first deal with the story of Peter trying to block the Malaysian Chess Festival. We all know that Hamid has left MCF and is now a private organiser. I have said in the past that I think Hamid is possibly one of the best organisers we have for International events. We also know that the fee for this year's Malaysian Chess Festival has gone up and payable in USD or it's equivalent. But I believe it is comparable to other regional International events.

Now the big question. Is that a good thing or not a good thing?

I think a major confusion lies between the role of MCF/State Associations and the role of private organisers. I have argued in the past that their roles are not the same and should be recognised as such. MCF and State Associations are NGO's and as such is non profit and is there to serve the chess community at large. Private organisers are there to bring in added value and is a for profit body.

Consider this. Malaysian Chess Festival brings in top flight International players and hosted in a top hotel? Why can they not make money out of it? They are there to serve the players who are trying to fight in International circuits. How much would we have to pay to travel overseas in order to get that level of competition for the players that wants to compete on an International stage?

So why can't we allow our own private organisers make the money that other overseas orgainsers are allowed to make and which we pay without complaint? So long as they bring in added value, right? Private organisers' survival is based on market forces. Does that make sense?

Question. If we don't allow this, will we ever have an organiser that can bring in big competition like Bangkok Open, like HD in Vietnam?

So this is very short sighted and not in the interest of Malaysian Chess to try and block this event. However to clarify further, Peter was succesfully blocked on this attempt and that is the correct decision.

But I want to go further. I want to now look at what KLCA is doing. Private organisers are for profits and they take the risks of not making money after all their investments. But what about KL Masters? It's a State Association event is it not? It is an NGO is it not? So is it not their role to first and foremost serve the chess community in KL? Should the Malaysian "Masters" not have been an MCF affair in it's entirety if at all? Is the current format not confusing? Who are the beneficiaries ultimately?

Think about this. There are many other implications to this action which I will cover in the next few days.

All my best for Malaysian chess. May we go forward and forward. But lets understand where the mistakes are first. Lets see the big picture and then see what takes us forward and what keeps players who cannot play chess anymore on the senior National squad.

ps: Note to Hamid. I think you are heading in the right direction and I think you deserve to make the right returns for your risks and effort. However I think the Malaysian chess community may appreciate a small discount for local players if you are able. But this is for your consideration and decision alone and no one has the right to make such a demand. 

All my best in the event. I wish you every success.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Results of Johore Open.

Ref: Here.

What do you think of the results? Our locals are lagging behind?

This is what I see. Progress. Our boys and girls are in the fight. It is only a question of time when they will improve. We have to pay a temporary price. But that price is much cheaper then going overseas to compete right? So we need more events like this that gives all our boys and girls top flight competition and exposure. More and more organisers are giving us that value.

Can you now see why I am also critical of what Peter is doing as an organiser? Where is the benefit to Malaysian chess in his events?

Very well done Johore. Keep it up.

Now all we need is a decent selection criteria and we will see Malaysia fly. Ref: Here.

Can you see that too?

Winning is a pleasure eh Raymond?

A friend of mine said that to me on facebook after she won a construction contract. I didn't say more at the time as I am fairly sure I am not in the same space I was in during my construction days. Let me try to explain. Of course there is great pleasure in winning and a big congratulations are in order for success. In fact I would even say that it is essential to win often to keep the fighting spirit alive. But today I would add a few more caveats.

I think the journey in my thinking sort of started during the training for SEA games 2011 in my house. In that discussion I became more aware of the need of not taking something that doesn't belong to you as part of the winning experience. That discussion resolved around arranged draws and the implications to the other players in the tournament. Today I am still ambivalent about that as I have seen situations where it is difficult to make a judgement if you look at both sides of the argument.

However I have drawn very firm lines about cheating, about using the back door, suspect selection criteria and PR campaigns instead of competition to select our players.

Very honestly I don't think there is any reason to congratulate a "winner" under those circumstances. I think those practices are the major reason why we have regressed as a Chess Nation for all these years.

Do think about this. Do you feel any pride when you "win" like that? Does it bolster your confidence when you compete overseas without the crutches of preferential treatment? Is winning under those circumstances a pleasure or is it really a curse?

Winning should be about your self improvement, that you have crossed another line in your development. That your chess is getting better and better. What do you achieve when you succeed under false pretenses?

I believe this is something both Jimmy and Peter need to think deeply about. Where are they today after all those years of back doors? Can they even play strong chess anymore or will they continue to need to arrange for new crutches to stay in the game? That is the question before us today isn't it?

We get the MCF we deserve.

Someone argued on facebook that it is the fault of the State Associations for electing certain officials into MCF. On the surface this may seem to make sense. To attempt to see if there is a deeper underlying issue let me recount a conversation I had with an MCF Council member. He told me that the players themselves need to do something to change things in MCF. This is what he said. There is a system of chess clubs who then become members of the State Associations under COS. So it is the chess clubs who elect the State officials and the State officials who elect the National officials into MCF.

So do you see how it all works?

Actually it all comes down to the players themselves. So they need to understand the issues. What must be done to take Malaysia to the next level and what won't. And then they need to organise themselves into chess clubs and elect in good officials in the State Associations. And then those good officials elect in a strong and powerful MCF.

Don't you think it is funny that this was explained to me by an MCF Council member? Why do you think he did that? Could it be that he is out numbered in MCF and so he cannot change things?

Without understanding the issues you may elect in the wrong officials. And without organising into chess clubs you have no voice.

Ultimately it is very easy to point fingers and blame someone else so it is easier to believe the lies than to take personal responsibility.

For instance, many of us have been fighting for a clean and fair selection process. No back doors for anybody. But Peter can turn this into about "some parents" that want special favours for their child. Ref: Here. There is no one that I know that have asked for that. So he tries to make it seem that it is the parents fault and then pretends to be for the betterment of Malaysian chess himself. But who is it really that have conducted the PR campaigns for national selection? Who is facilitating the back doors? Who comes up with distorted selection criteria for the senior team? Who has been doing the banning without grounds?

It is very easy to see through his lies but very few dare to call him on it. Why? Could it be because that deep down inside we know that he is there because of us? Because we all did nothing except point fingers at one another. And then he slipped in through the back door.

I propose that if the players really want change then follow the COS process. Understand the issues, form your own chess clubs and apply for membership with your State Association. Then elect in good officials that can represent you at the next MCF AGM.

Wouldn't that be a better way instead of us only complaining all the time? Could this be the time for solid action? For change, now? What do you think?

Is that the way for us to get the MCF we deserve? Do we deserve better? Lets look at ourselves first. Lets ask ourselves that question first. If we are deserving of a better MCF or NOT.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FGM requests Peter Long to play at Malaysian Chess Festival in the Open Standard Chess category.

Ref: Here.

Dear Peter,

I see you keep using your supposed ability to play strong chess as a way of shooting down everybody else in the chess community. But so far all we have seen is your inability to train up strong Juniors and the very dubious chess selection criteria for the senior Team. Ref: Here.

The big question is do you really even know how to play high level chess today?

You have lost a lot of credibility with almost the entire chess community. Even the events you organise seem to be shrinking year after year and is of no real benefit to Malaysian chess as a whole. Usually I would just say you deserve what you get but since you are in MCF, I think I need to speak up again. You see, your loss of credibility directly affects the credibility of MCF too. So you are a source of problems to MCF which serves the entire chess community.

I think you owe it to MCF to play at the Malaysian Chess Festival to show us all that you are indeed a strong player that still understands the current competitive environment in world chess. Then you may be more believable in all your funny assertions.

We have already seen what happens to an IM who is afraid to compete anymore and tries to hide behind young boys to attack others. Maybe you are just the same. There is room for that suspicion you think?

Mark and I will also keep you company at the Malaysian Chess Festival at the Standard event so you will at least have one "easy" point. Jimmy has tried a few times but he has not been able to reach the level to play with us yet. I am sure you will fare better. Ask Jimmy to come along too. The more the merrier yes Peter?

See you there Peter. If you don't turn up, may I suggest you stop talking like you know anything about real chess to people who are still in the game and quit MCF. Go somewhere you can do no more harm to Malaysian chess.

Thank you for entertaining my request Peter. I am sure you will be able to see the reasonableness of this request under the current circumstances and in view of your post in the above link.

All my best and good luck at the event.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DYTM Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters. Full results R1-R5

Ref: Here.

Good luck Mas!

New World Park Chess Tournament in Penang on July 7th.

Ref: Here.

Just signed up for Syuen in Ipoh on June 30th, here, and will also be going to Penang for New World event. See you guys there.

A comparative study would be good.

Ref: Here.

When I saw this I wondered if we would be better served with a comparative study with another contingent of approximately the same size. This is simply because if we want to get ahead we need an accurate evaluation and postmortem relative to the effort of our neighbours to see if we are really improving or not? To see what else needs further attention. A one sided picture may unintentionally cause us to have misconceptions of where we really stand today.

Pretty much like just looking at our game and missing the opponents better moves and plan. Something like playing fantastic chess game against a very weak opponent and then using that as a basis to enter the Masters.

Wouldn't that be good, be better? To see our real position accurately? Just wondering aloud.

Observations and learning from Langkawi.

I think one of the most glaring observation from Langkawi is that Malaysian chess has gone up a lot in the last couple of years. Almost gone are the days of a few easy wins in many tournaments. With the advent of the internet many players are at least strong in the normal lines they play. So this again begets the question in my mind if some of our senior players are competent anymore.

We were lucky to room with Nelson Villeneuva and I asked him about how they did selection over in the Philippines. This is what he told me. I can't remember the detail of the second level selection process but this is the gist.

There is an open tournament where all non titled players compete. The top 30 gets to play at the Masters level where they compete with IM's, FM's and NM's. Here the detail is a little fuzzy but I think the top 10 then moves on to compete with the GM's.

And then the top 6 gets to represent Phillipines at the Olympiads. I see their system as all about chess with no respect for titles if you cannot compete anymore. And everyone has a fair shake. Even if you have no rating but play strong chess.

How does this compare with our current system?

I am not sure if you remember this but I wrote earlier that their Juniors compete for 15 rounds, Standard time to earn the right to play in Asean.

My belief is that if we even adopt some of those measures and stop trying to have selection to preserve those that cannot compete anymore then we will see an almost immediate improvement in our ability to compete overseas. Just that alone can change our fortunes. We have many strong players but we have also created a bottleneck. Remove that and we will see Malaysia truly boleh.

Can you see that too?

Congratulations Jianwen and Nitya.

A big congratulations to the both of you for making it into the Masters and qualifying for the Malaysian Senior Team. All the best.

Asean age group 2013, Medal winners.

Details here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

KL Masters- First round pairing.


Good luck IM Mas Hafizul. Dare to fight, dare to win.

Schedule here.

CAS Allegro on July 7th.

Details: Here.

Asean- My thots after the final round.

2 golds from the U12 Open and a few more medals from the lower age group boys and girls I believe. I think we are all very familiar with the stories by now. We have strong Juniors at the lower age groups. This is what I wrote about Li Tian in 2010. Here.

But what happens to them when they grow older? I have been saying for years now that we must close off the back doors and stop the PR campaigns that facilitate the cop out from competition. We need the boys to follow the girl's example. Here.

That is the only way for them to build their fighting spirit till they are finally ready for that GM run. We want our boys to become MEN. And not to become like Jimmy or Peter. We need them to stop looking for the short cuts.

That is the way we are going to get our GM and/or WGM. Iron sharpen iron.

In your opinion, do you think Li Tian may have been damaged by their methods? Is he the same boy today that he was in 2010? Do we want this to happen to all subsequent generation of younger Juniors too?

What we need to do is to stop the dramas and then find ways and means to nurture our young fighting talent.

Asean- Congratulations Amier and De Juan for Gold in the U12.

Ref: Here.

A special mention for Amier for winning against his last round and previously undefeated opponent from China. Very well done boys.

Asean-U12 girls. Munajjah with chances for Gold.

Ref: Here.

Good luck Princess!

Asean-U14 girls. Nitya with chances for Gold.

Ref: Here.

Go girl go.

Asean- U12 Open. Amier and De Juan with chances for Gold.

Ref: Here.

This round will be telling. Good luck boys.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We need to end the dramas so we can find the space to think about how we can move forward again.

Have you ever wondered why we are not only stuck but moving backwards relative to our neighbours? Dramas are fear based. Consider this. Why are some people bringing up the issue of Mok to attack Peter? We have struggled hard as a community to bring in selection. And now certain people are using the pervasive intense dislike of Peter to find support to reverse our tiny step forward. Why this terrible need to return to the back doors?

Fear. Fear that their players are not good enough to work through the problems on how to win within the rules and on the board. Fear that they have no solutions and are out of date. Fear that our neighbours are better than we are. Fear of hard work because we are now so far behind it will take massive efforts to move forward again. And so they need dramas to deflect from facing the real issues.

Why do you think Peter and Jimmy only talk about their ratings and some ancient achievement as "evidence" that they know something about chess? Fear. Fear that they cannot compete in today's world. Fear that they are becoming irrelevant in Malaysian chess. So they need to build up an illusion. They need to find ways and means to knock out their nearest competitors which are the older Juniors, young adults and heck even the older ones that have been playing in open tournaments. And so they come up with "select selection". Irrelevancies like the Malaysian "Masters".

And so the people who want to get rid of Peter to bring Mok back in is just as fear ridden aren't they? Peter and Jimmy is fear ridden; Mok is unable to compete to win his place in even a "select selection" for whatever reasons. And so the infection spreads. And we have never ending fear based dramas.

The funny thing is that chess as a game demonstrates perhaps more clearly than any other vehicle that fear destroys your thinking. You need to sit down, look closely at the position, engage your thinking faculties and not knee jerk fear responses to find the way forward.

If more of us can do that and we can move away from our fear based dramas then our chess will improve. And we can also be world beaters. First things first. Get rid of the back doors. Close that door and keep it shut. Stop finding ways to get back to square one. That will simply mean we have learnt nothing from our nearly 3 years of struggle to improve, to change for the better.

Lets go out and take our place in the world again. Lets go out with our heads held high again. Forget about those people who need to hide their heads in the sand. They are irrelevant and only a distraction if we engage them. They will disappear in time. They already are starting to.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thot of the day.

If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.
~Lucius Annaeus~

If Peter is right then support him.

I am hearing chatter that there is opposition to the exclusion of Mok from the coming Olympiads. We need to move away from personalities and focus on issues if we are to progress. Peter and Jimmy were wrong to promote Li Tian the way they did. By taking away the rightful and legitimate places of the other players as announced in the selection criteria for the last Olympiad.

But the new selection criteria is out and presumably thoroughly debated within MCF and accepted by us all. So if Mok chose not to participate in the selection then Mok should be out. I know there is intense dislike for both Peter and Jimmy for what they did and how they tried to fool us. But when Peter is right should we not support him on this one issue?

Isn't that the way to progress? Look, if Peter is shot down because of this then what? Do we return to the back doors again? Personally I don't think Peter is the right man for MCF but this is not the way. Do things for the right motive. The motive should be for the progress of Malaysian chess and not personal vendettas.

Asean- My thots going into R7.

Ref: Here.

As I look at the results, I can't help but wonder if we are thinking through our participation in overseas tournaments enough. Can we hope to do well if we don't go better prepared? Is there not something we can learn from how the other National Associations prepare and select? Is it possible that if we cut out the dramas of National representation by PR campaigns and who talks the most delusional like "I am a Ferrari", I am Asia's best etc etc, we may find more energy to focus on the work that needs to be done.

I have always felt that the older Juniors should not be abandoned but further supported in regional tournaments. Why you may ask? A simple reason. They have spent many many years going through what the younger Juniors are doing now. And so they have a level of expertise that those Juniors will need. And this expertise can be passed on simply because they still play in tournaments.

But we have continually lost them by either neglect or sabotage. (Take your pick of answers. Both works.) And so their pool of knowledge disappears and then we start again. What is really needed is their further development isn't it? The seniors don't play locally often but they want to represent the Country. They already have a system to stay in the game without having to compete in Open competition.

Note: The new selection criteria for the senior team is a small start but I feel it is not enough to turn things around. Everyone else is moving forward much much faster. Ref: Here.

I am fairly sure it won't take more than 5 minutes of thinking followed by determined action for MCF to change all this if they so choose to make Malaysia a chess power house again. But it will take time to undo the damage wrought by those few. Why not start now? Why not work for the day when we will be cheering our Malaysian players fighting on the top boards again?

Is that just an empty dream on my part? A silly wish? Or do those guys out there really have something we just don't have?

I think it is our system. And systems can be corrected. I think it is because of a lack of good leadership. What do you think? Are our players lacking in talent? Lacking in fighting spirit?

Or are they just lacking in proper support and leadership? Which is it? We need to break out of the old way of thinking. It does not work and has not worked in 30 plus years.

Age group Team event in Kuala Selangor on 6th July.

Details here.

This event is organised by a parent of our National players. Do support.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Tournament for the U12's.

Details here.

Check it out. It's good for the kids to build confidence by playing with their peers. This gives a good benchmark for when they play Open Tournaments. Enjoy.

Congratulations Nik Farouqi and DATCC.


May you go from strength to strength in developing Malaysian chess. All the very best in your endeavours.

Are our girls mentally tougher than our boys? If so why?

Ref: Here.

I still think about this from time to time. What did our girls show us that day? And why can't the boys do the same? I think there are many possible answers to this question but for today I will focus on the role of politics in our chess.

There isn't much politics in the girl's chess but we see so much in the boy's chess. In the boy's chess we find the number manufacturers, the PR boys and the thugs. Selection is via those processes. And so we have senior players who are not mentally strong or have been severely damaged.

Look here again. Here. Li Tian cannot now go to Asean because he will be exposed. How can you go around beating Super GM's and GM's and then lose at Asean when there isn't even a GM there? Will he not then become an International laughing stock? Now that he has played at our NC and sees where he truly stand in chess, will he not be at least a little confused? What damage has been done to him? And who did this to him? Don't they know that you cannot hide in chess anymore like those days? Go and play at NJ Li Tian, put this behind you and win it the proper way. And stay away from Jimmy and Peter.

We need to remove their poisonous influence from the boy's chess or they will never become MEN. Wake up MCF and put a stop to this. Stop those guys from making Malaysian chess an International laughing stock. We have strong players here so use them and develop the rest. Can you help us to put an end to this cartoon show?

Langkawi, here we come!

Details here.

Just signed up for Langkawi. Should be interesting since we have never been there before. See you guys there.

Asean- Steady as she goes Nitya.


Keep steady, they are sweating more then you....

Asean- Lye Lik Zang with full points and on top table.


Good luck. You are not alone.

Are we developing our older Juniors? If not, what is happening?

Ref: Here.

I have asked these questions before but not many people could see my arguments then. So lets look at this again. There is consensus that we have very talented younger Juniors. But somehow after they turn 16 or so, we are suddenly told that they are not talented anymore and support is then withdrawn and a new wonder boy is found.

I have always found it very short sighted even if that was true. Why? Because it takes a lot of effort to develop Juniors to reach the next level. And that level is to take their place in the senior squad so that we are able to mount challenges overseas. But we don't do that do we? We pull the rug from under their feet just when they are reaching a level of expertise to mount a challenge for the senior squad.

Who was given the place to play at the Olympiad and the Zonals? On what basis? It is so so clear now after National Close. The Juniors that can beat Li Tian are Roshan, Eng Chiam, Yit San and Aron Teh. And they are not as high rated as Li Tian. And they do not take down and swot Super GM's and GM's like they were flies.

So what is happening? Why must our older Juniors be actively put down in order to promote Li Tian?

I can think of 2 possible reasons.

One would be to preserve the current senior squad by removing possible contenders. To continue to send players like Jimmy out to get results like this. Ref: Here. I have already mentioned that our training partner is Bersamina Paulo. He was there too. Check out his results compared to Jimmy's. So we have a gauge of Jimmy's true chess ability today. And Jimmy is now given a "protected" position to continue in the senior squad at the "Masters" playoff.

The second reason I can think of is to get sponsorship under false pretenses. And to do that they have to put all the other Juniors down. What do you call conscious efforts like that? What do you call people like that?

Are these issues not the most pressing to tackle if we really want Malaysia to progress? So can we stop all the side shows that will only distract us from developing Malaysian chess? Come on MCF, get your act together. Our neighbours are busy developing their players. Why are you allowing us to go further backwards?

Asean- NM Roshan 1/2 point of front runners!


Steady as she goes Roshan. Steady.....

Congratulations Syakir!


All my best young man.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Asean- Sim Jia Ru with 2 points going into R3



Asean- Nitya with 2 points going into R3.



Asean-Lye Lik Zang with 2 points going into R3.



Asean- Amier Hamzah and Teh De Juan with 2 points going into R3.

Ref: Here.


Thot of the day.

We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old. 

What is our current reality Malaysian chess?

Ref: Here.

In Malaysia most of our development effort is centered around the parents. We are the ones that scour around to find whatever resources we can to develop our children. Some of us will use local trainers, visiting trainers and so on. I use the internet mainly to find resources.

Recently over the last couple of months, we were blessed with getting Paulo Bersamina as a training partner and his dad Norlito, a Fide trainer, for second opinions. Ref: Here. And so we get the results we get.

On the other hand we have the Peter Long/Jimmy axis which tells us that we have no strong Juniors apart from Li Tian. And we are given demonstrations of how he eats Super GM's and GM's for breakfast. But then he is unable to beat our top Juniors in Malaysia that are only rated around Fide 2000.

But still we only send out a player like Jimmy for Asian Continental who was on the last board in R9 but not our "weak" Juniors. Look at the criteria here. Over 2200. Question. Does this raise any suspicions? So Jimmy qualifies and Li Tian qualifies. None of our other top Juniors qualify because they are only 2000 plus although proven time and again that they are stronger than Li Tian. So no exposure for them unlike other Countries with a development program for their top Juniors.

But if Li Tian cannot beat our other top Juniors here, does it add weight to the possibility that he is really only 2000 plus too? Furthermore he is even higher rated than Jimmy. Does that mean that Jimmy is really only 2000 plus too?

Does this point to manufactured numbers? Does this mean that the criteria to Asian Continental was actually meant to exclude other top Juniors under false pretences? Questions have been asked by my overseas friends. Why doesn't Li Tian play at Asean? There are also no super GM's or GM's there so he should wipe the field; similar to the arguments I applied here. Easiest path to an IM I'm told. So why not indeed?

There are so many questions we need to ask and we need those answers before Malaysian chess can progress. Who is looking into those hard questions?

Note: We need to question the motives of Jimmy/Peter in doing what they did. Were they trying to help Li Tian and were just misguided because they are no longer in touch with current realities or are there more sinister motives? That is what you my readers will have to decide for yourself. Read this here.

Clearly individual efforts by just the parents alone is insufficient looking at where we are today relative to our neighbours. But then we also cannot trust the strategies brought forward by Jimmy and Peter. And Peter is in MCF and he seems to have a huge say in selection criteria.

This is a conundrum is it not? Don't we need MCF to look into this? But how will this be possible when daily there are new issues coming out from parents, who are the current mainstay of Malaysian chess? And we are also hearing of new police reports from private organisers.

This is our reality today. Face up to it. Lets solve all these man created problems so we can really tackle the issues that matter. Is Malaysian chess not falling into a sink hole right before our eyes? And are we so blind that we cannot even see this? Is this the mentality we are teaching our players too? Do follow our results at Asean.

We need to sit down and think. Then we need to sit down and talk. Then we need the talk to be followed by action. Then we need the right action to solve the right issues. (And not create more problems). Isn't that chess too? The investigation into how Malaysian chess can win?

Thank you for your time.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Asean Standard in Round 1.

Ref: Here.

Our previous NM Roshan is playing U20 Open. Good luck boys and girls. Fight like Tigers. Go go go.

Weekend self reflection.

After the last MCF AGM, I suggested that it was time to move on and work with the new Committee to bring improvements to Malaysian chess. I believe that there are some Council members that are trying to change our very negative culture and I wanted to give them as much space as possible to bring in positive change. Change doesn't come overnight and it takes time and effort. And change also needs support as well as space.

How would this support look like? I think it will look like this. That positive actions are encouraged and negative ones discouraged. That the projects done by Council members that are building Malaysian chess is supported. That sponsorship is given for the right reasons etc. etc.

Those Council members that have the courage to make a stand needs the encouragement of the chess community or they too will soon puncture and we will go back to the old days or worse.

So from Selangor Open to the National Close I have heard a lot of stories. I have heard complaints and I have heard of positive efforts to improve.

More and more issues have been raised again recently. So maybe it is time for some self examination. Are some of the issues caused by ourselves? Maybe we can learn to bring our points across more clearly and without threats or anger. Maybe we also need to understand that some of the people in MCF needs money to run. Maybe MCF needs to understand that others too need to find funding to support their children in chess; that private organisers outside of MCF also need to survive. Maybe?

Why is this self reflection neccessary? Lets look at this principle from chess. We need to learn how to make big problems smaller and small problems go away. What happens when we make all small problems bigger and bigger till everything explodes? Isn't that how we lose in chess? So will this be how Malaysian chess will be defeated?

Question. Are we not all one? Can there be a strong MCF with a weak chess community? Can there be a strong chess community with a weak MCF?

What are the bigger issues now? Look at Asean. Where are the older Juniors? U18, U20? Common sense will tell us that with their disapperance this will mean there will be no fresh talent to the senior squad who can take Malaysia to the next level. This means we will continue to see senior players going to International Tournaments playing the last board in the final round and then encouraged not to play their best by an MCF Council member. Isn't this an issue that really needs addressing?

So don't we need to bring down the temperature and solve small communication issues so that there is energy to take on the bigger ones like building Malaysian chess?

Does this make sense?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Is Ismail Ahmad disqualified? How can this happen?

Ref: Here.

I was informed on facebook that Ismail Ahmad has been disqualified on the grounds of age. I just couldn't believe the news and so went to chess results to check. How oh how can this happen? What an embarrassment to the Country. The thought that comes to my mind is that we need to learn the rules and apply it fairly. Can it be that we are so out of synch with the rest of the world because we view rules differently?

Whatever it is we need to get this solved or Malaysian chess will not be able to progress. MCF, over to you. How do you intend to solve this so it can never ever happen again?

From facebook. What do you think?

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that... ~MFQ

Go Yinn Long go.

Ref: Here.

Another one of our kids that I think can go far. Another kid with the tiger in his tank.

De Zen in the running.

Ref: Here.

De Zen in the running and Munajjah with an outside chance.

Yes Nitya yes, go for it!

Ref: Here.

She is another fierce fighter that makes us proud.

Go Ismail go.

Ref: Here.

I like Ismail Ahmad. No fanfare and no excuses but he goes with the tiger in his tank. Excellent man to showcase fighting Malaysia.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our boys and girls at Asean 2013.

Ref: Here.

Good luck boys and girls and also a special good luck to old tiger Sarjan Ismail in the Veterans. Make us proud.

Note: Asean is now an open event and anyone who wishes to play can apply to go via MCF.

Other blog coverage. Here.

Does this evaluation apply to our chess as well?

Ref: Here.

I have always felt that chess as a mental sport can do much to help our Country answer the questions raised in that article above. But don't you get the impression that we may be even further behind the rest of the Country in waking up to the awareness that something is not quite right and need fixing? Why do you think that may be so if what I say is also your observation?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How does tough open selection build mental strength?

Ref: Here.

I have said many times that mental strength trumps technical knowledge. And I have said that if you lose your self belief then all the technical in the world won't take you any further. And I have also said that building your self confidence is harder and more elusive than merely gaining technical knowledge. I have also talked about setting realistic goals within realistic time frames.

They are all connected.

But let us just focus on that decision by Nabila and Najiha for today. What has that achieved? We are seeing a lot of chatter about self destruction among certain players on our chess blogs. So why does this phenomena happen? Question. Would there be conflict in a young boy's mind if he is going out there and "knocking out" Super GM's and GM's like they were flies and then can't beat much much much lower rated players at home? What is the casualty in this dilemna? Is it not self confidence?

Also what happens when you have taken away the place of other players better than you? Do you not build up shame and guilt? Guilt some people try to explain away in very off hand ways?

Does this not affect mental strength? Doubt that you are not the strongest. Guilt because you have taken something that does not belong to you. How can that be resolved? Can you now escape into self delusion? And does self delusion help your chess?

But when you know you are the best. You have been tested in a tough and open selection and not found wanting, will you not go out with your head held high and with strong fighting spirit? Will the Malaysian team be stronger or weaker when every member of that team knows that every player there is the very best there is in the Country and no one is taking a free ride?

Can we think about this without over-reacting and freaking out? After all this is just a question; an idea. And we are a mental sport. Can we be strong in a mental sport if we are afraid of questions and ideas?

Another question if I may. Who do you think is responsible for taking away the self confidence of those players mentioned on the blogs? Who are the ones making up cheap excuses to remain relevant and continue representing the Country but cannot perform anymore and who are the ones facilitating the back doors with all sorts of devious ways?

Just another question for a mental sport.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lessons from National Close.

I was told at National Close that Nabila and Najiha elected to play in the tournament rather than take the pre-selected spot at the "Masters". When I heard the news I knew that this was a momentous decision although I did not see the full implications at once. What was obvious was that they had risked their places by taking part in an open selection.

So I asked their dad and mum. They explained that if the both of them are indeed Champions then they need to show it on the table. I think we all already know that they are Champions and so maybe it is more important that our girl Champions know this deep in their hearts too. That they are no fakes.

One word. Respect.

But there is a deeper and more far reaching implication. When we send our strongest fighters out to represent Malaysia and they don't do well, this begs a legitimate question if MCF or the Country is doing enough for them? Doesn't it?

Lets take the case of the men as a counterpoint. I mentioned to one parent that it is possible that Jimmy may not even make top 3 in this field. The parent answered that he definitely won't make the cut in this field. So what is the point? Doubt. When we send out the men, there will still be some doubt that some of them may not deserve the place. And so we will hear the normal story and finger pointing that the players are not committed, they are mentally weak etc. etc.

So will this affect sponsorship? Can the men's team also say that we are sending out the strongest fighters and so the legitimate question can be asked if they don't do well? Is MCF or the Country doing enough to support our toughest fighters?

My feeling is that if such a question were asked of the men's team then the authorities and sponsors can turn around and say, we have done enough. It is just that the players are mentally weak; they are all washed out by 15 etc etc etc.

Does that make any sense?

Let me end here by leaving you with that question and saying to the men, boys and girls who were disappointed with their results. I always say there is no such thing as a bad tournament if you do this. Find out what you did wrong and work to improve yourself. If you do this each and every time eventually you too will succeed. Don't be impatient and don't be afraid to ask the hard questions.

What you must not do is to try to put down others or try to use the backdoors. That way you have learnt nothing. It is always about you and what you have put into your game.

Does that make sense?

My belief is that if we can all learn from the examples of Nabila and Najiha, then our first Malaysian GM, WGM won't be far behind.

All my very best in your chess.

Today's Contemplation.

If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.

   --  Brian Tracy

Ref: Here.

Congratulations to our winners of National Close.

Ref: Here.

To the boys.

Congratulations to Aron Teh for slugging it out with Jianwen even though the endgame was drawn to become the undisputed Champion and National Master in the toughest National Close that I have seen and maybe ever in Malaysian history. And a big thank you from the Malaysian chess community for demonstrating to many of us again that fighting spirit trumps technical knowledge.

Congratulations to Yit San for showing your detractors that you are undisputably the strongest boys Junior for the year 2013.

And congratulations to Jianwen and Syazwan for making the playoff for 3rd place. Syazwan, prepare well and fight hard to win that place on the National squad that was taken away from you at the last Olympiad. Show them that you deserve that place by right of result on the table and not by PR campaigns. Good luck to the both of you. May the best mental fighter win.

To the girls.

A big congratulations to Harimau Nabila, Singa Najiha and Puteri. Powerful display of fighting spirit. And for the rest in the playoff for 4th place, good luck and may the force be with you.