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.

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