Saturday, August 24, 2013

The purpose of the Thematics.

When I first came into the chess scene, I saw something in our chess culture that I felt could be improved on. Let me give you an example to show what I mean. At the recent Malaysian Open, Greg asked me why I didn't send Mark to HD and Bangkok Open this year. What I told him was that I felt Mark wasn't ready at that time for that level of competition yet. So what we did was to go through our new repertoire and played at local tournaments to beta test it here first.

My thinking goes like this. Why spend so much money going overseas when we have not properly tested out our strategies and trained at home yet? Why go out to get bad results at the higher age group categories or Open tournaments?

That was why I formed FGM. To provide the training that we will need before we send our boys and girls out to compete. And so I offered the training by a GM for our National Juniors before Asean in the past and I started on the Thematics. Ref: Here.

Another word for the Thematics is a training tournament. You play the tournament not to win the prize money but to learn. By taking away the prize money except for the Champion, it is my hope that the players will use the tournament to learn and to experiment with new ideas. Then we go to competitive tournaments to win. Make sense?

I realise that this is a little anti-culture for us but I hope this spirit of learning and experimentation will take root in our chess culture. And after we have trained, we go out to win. Yes?

So this coming Thematics will be on mainline French. This opening is very instructive to learning the control of squares. Please note that I can only take 60 players and they will be split into 2 categories. Approximately below 1600 National rating and above 1600. Basically they will be split based on playing strength. This is so that the players will have a good work out.

The Thematics are meant for the competitive players and the serious amateurs. I will also be putting out a basic package on the French defence so that all the players will come with a good knowledge of French Defence before we play the training games.

By playing 10 rounds of the same opening as white and black, we will have a grounding that will be difficult to achieve via just a trainer/student scenario and so will speed up your development much faster than other methods. This is simply because different players will play the French differently. After the 10 rounds I suspect you would have learnt more then 2 years of playing in normal tournaments. All over a weekend.

If this tournament receives good response and the idea of proper training before competitive tournaments takes root, then FGM will endeavour to bring more of these types of training tournaments to you.

I do not know what the response will be now that we have a better chess climate but I have had good feedback from parents recently when I spoke to them about this. So if you are concerned about missing out, you can write in to me earlier before the prospectus is out.

All my best for Malaysian chess. May we go out in the future and kick butts.

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