Saturday, November 30, 2013

Training for National Junior and Penang Open.

I have mentioned in a post here that we started sparring with Paulo from the beginning of this year. So by the time we went to the chess camp in Batangas we had already played over a hundred games with FM Paulo. I believe this is an important part of the process before we attend the chess camp. Here.

The chess camp is where we are able to device an even more streamlined training program since we are already known to each other. During the sparring I was getting feedback from Norlito and Paulo. I then compared the feedback to what Mark thinks was his progress.

At the chess camp we are able to see even more nuances and then fine tune. To me chess camps are not places to introduce each other. Chess camps are for fine tune ups and then a new training regime is introduced.

So we have been training since Batangas under the new training regime from the camp. And Norlito, Paulo and Jayson has assisted in giving feedback during all of the rest of November.

Now I feel we are ready for the start of our tournament runs to test our training to the fullest. Have we dealt with all that we needed to deal with within the given time? Are we still on track for the final goal which is the National Close next year?

These are the questions that this interim run is meant to answer. Looking forward to National Junior. Leaving later this morning.

Our wish for National Junior. Here.

The difference lies in the training. Here.

Today's Contemplation.

What may look like a small act of courage is courage nevertheless. The important thing is to be willing to take a step forward.
   --  Dr. Daisaku Ikeda

Friday, November 29, 2013


Ref: Here.

FGM trainer and sparring partner now playing at his National Youth Championship. It's a single round robin event. Good luck Pau.

Note: Please see comment for games.

How to select a Chess Coach.

Before we look into this subject, lets see how a Coach and a trainer interact to get a better perspective. Their relationship revolves around a goal agreed between the Coach and the player. The trainer is the fountain of technical knowledge but it is the Coach that helps the player to unblock his mind and to reach for the stars ie the goal.

You know that mere knowledge is not enough. You may have the knowledge but you may lack the courage, the commitment, the drive. You need to have more than technical knowledge to compete succesfully in a tough field. You need to also know how to win relative to the goal you have set.

So if you agree with what I have said above, then the Coach will relate to the trainer in this way. He will engage the correct trainer to fill the knowledge gap that the player needs in order to achieve the goal agreed.

Look at it this way. You have limited resources and you have limited time. So without a realistic goal you are not going to get anywhere. Merely increasing your technical knowledge is not going to get you anywhere. Merely going to tournament after tournament is not going to get you anywhere if you do not have a clear goal; if you do not work on your weaknesses; if you do not manage your time well etc.

So when you look for a Coach, ask him/her this. What is the roadmap? What do I need to put in to arrive at my goal? What would I need to learn? Ref: Here.

An aside. Actually this is the very big problem we have in Malaysian chess. We have no goal. So we do not see how others are moving ahead of us at a very rapid pace. We celebrate a victory where the opponents sent their weakest players for exposure where we have fielded our veterans. Without a goal we will be still at the same place 30 years from now. But I have to admit that setting a goal can be frightening. It means our progress is measured. It means we have milestones and it means questions can be asked if the milestones are not reached. And so we harp on technical knowledge without a goal.

Then you can pay and pay and not get anywhere. And then they will tell you that your children haven't got the talent; that they haven't got what it takes. That is not true. It is the trainers who have been telling you this that are the ones who do not know what they are doing.

Ref: Here and here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How does learning blindfold chess improve your game?

Ref: Here.

I have made a few enquiries about this before from different sources but never got a convincing answer. So when Norlito suggested it at our chess camp in Batangas, we went for it. I wanted to see for myself if learning blindfold chess really improved your game or it was just a novelty.

This is what we found out. Lets pause a little. Let me ask you a question here so you can follow my reasoning better. Have you ever calculated variations in a particular position and then missed out a crucial one?

There are many reasons for this of course. But consider this. You have arrived at a position. You cannot touch your pieces or you have to move it. So what do you do?

Do you not play out the variations in your mind? Is that not an untrained form of blindfold chess? So our conclusion is yes, learning blindfold chess can improve your game.

Playing and training in blindfold chess aids your tactical/positional vision by improving visualisation. 

So we are keen to bring this training to Malaysia. Remember, in the Philippines, even the street players can do this. So we need to catch up, no?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Choosing our heroes well.

Ref: Here.

Manny is a hero in The Philippines. And he is a strong supporter of chess there. When we choose a hero, his fighting spirit is also infused into us.

In Japan, they revere and celebrate even the losers of their titanic battles for they believe it is not the win or the loss that matters. It is the manner in which the fight was conducted that matters. Whether the fight was worthy of respect or not.

So who is your hero? I think who we choose speaks a lot about who we are.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Malaysia wins MAL/Sing 2013.

Pictures here.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised so I looked for some pics to see who did Singapore send to the event.

So Congratulations Malaysia.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

FGM's criteria for student selection.

Please go here to view our Vision and Philosophy.

Now please read this. Here. I wrote this in Feb 2009 and I started FGM Chess Academy in 2010. Yes, it has taken me a long time to finally figure out what it takes so that we too can see our Juniors/children shine on the International stage. I have made many mistakes along the way as I struggled to learn and it is now coming to the end of 2013.

But during this long journey, I knew this much. I will not compromise on standards. I will not work with people that do not believe in our children. And I will not take the short cuts. For me, taking the short cuts tantamount to me not believing in our children's gifting and it also means that I do not have the confidence in myself to find solutions. And to me that means I have already lost before the fight has even begun.

So FGM must remain true to it's Vision and Philosophy or it is nothing at all.

Note: I mentioned somewhere that I was speaking to Norlito for over a year. That is a true statement but not totally accurate. In fact we have been talking for over 2 years. I needed to know without any doubt that Norlito and his team shared my beliefs and dedication too or I would not have proceeded to invite him to join FGM. Ref: Here.

With that short history and synopsis, I would like to briefly introduce our selection criteria for student intake. We are a small team with proven track records. To stay true to our mission we cannot take many students and still maintain the quality of our training. So to be fair to us also, we will only take students that are committed to training. In the process of training under us we will also instruct you on goal setting etc. (As I have mentioned in my article from 2009 above).

Note: For the younger children we need to meet with the parents as they will be the cornerstone of the training regime.

The training modules will roughly be in 3 stages. Please refer to me for further detail. However I need to stress here that our training camps will be very small so that we can focus on the individual players needs and therefore the training camps are only for those that we feel are ready for International level competition. And so it is by invitation only. Ref: Here. I hope we are clear on this. That is the only way we can fulfill our mission.

Thank you for your past support, time and understanding.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” – Muhammad Ali

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

What we face may look insurmountable. But I learned something from all those years of training and competing. I learned something from all those sets and reps when I didn't think I could lift another ounce of weight. What I learned is that we are always stronger than we know.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

The difference lies in the training and the attitude towards training.

They have 18 GM's and we have none. Look at the training. Here. Look at how that training produced a top Asian and Asean Junior. Here.

Look at his attitude to training and competition. Here. Isn't that the way?

Note: When you trust your training, you dare to compete.

I think differences of opinions are normal and healthy when we are all trying to find the way to improve, to find solutions. So we debate, we analyse which way is better. But we apply reasoning.

But surely this cannot be the way. Here. Yes, it was Mark's training partner at that time that was attacked. Yes, that is the same player who has now joined FGM as a trainer and sparring partner for our players.

If we are not careful then this story may become a reality, if it is not already. Here.

Don't you think this may also be a reason for why Universities, our Government and serious sponsors may not support our sport? We are not going to go anywhere without a change in attitude towards training and improving the process for the selection of players. I had a discussion recently with an MOE official in Perak. (Directly after my Thematic event but before Philippines). He told me that his department will support development but not tournaments. So that is the way to get more support.

But what are we doing instead?

Monday, November 18, 2013


By what name shall I call a "sportsman" that want glories and titles without good works or the pain of training and wisdom without the price of learning?

Raymond Siew Facebook Nov 2013.

Minister want sports to be given priority in schools.

Ref: Here.

Will chess be a beneficiary of this "new" policy? Not according to this feedback. Here.

I believe the key issue lies in the selection of players to represent the Country. Are we sending out our best and strongest players well trained, well prepared and well supported? Or are we sending out players from the failed trainers? Ref: Here.

I am not even sure if it is what our chess community thinks that will be the determining factor. I think it is what MOE, NSC and the University thinks that will be the deciding factor. But I do think that if we make a clear stand on this, it will be a good first step.

And that is why I have argued so strongly for clear, unbiased written selection criteria. And clear implementation clean of manipulation. And this process must be open and transparent.

What is MCF doing to ensure that all our investments into our players and for the genuine development of chess is not washed down the drain?

See these posts to see how it can be if we get this right. Here. And Here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Today's Contemplation.

Master your past in the present, or your past will master your future.   -- Unknown

Sometimes I think that the state of our chess is in the decline it is in because we have been hammered so many times in the past and for so many many years by sending out our players untrained, unprepared and not properly supported that we have lost our self belief and confidence. So today we just go through the motions like zombies and send our players out in the same way. And so the past becomes the present. And the present creates our future.

So perhaps we do need to confront that past however unpalatable it may be so that we can do things differently in the present and have a different future.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mal/Sing 2013 is on.

Details here.

I think this will be an interesting event. Do follow. On Jan 1st 2011, we beat Singapore for the first time in 10 years. Question is did we learn something from that experience and have we developed further since then?

Carlsen vs Anand, a FGM take.

Ref: Here.

Although it is explained to me some of the technical aspects of the World Championship, I particularly follow the tremendous psychological battle taking place. I study what happens when decisions are fear based.

Just another perspective. Do you think that is just as important as the technical aspects? Does this matter in the fight for supremacy when the technical knowledge between the competitors is about on par? Does this have any relevance to where we are today in the chess world, I wonder?

Friday, November 15, 2013

FGM's wish for our National Junior Championship 2013.

It is our hope and wish that as many strong Juniors as possible will play in this event. And that this event will be fought cleanly in healthy competition with no untoward incident.

You may wonder why we make such a wish and so I will try to explain it clearer here. And I hope you will try to follow my reasoning. You see, for us to have our own strong players who can hold their heads up in International tournament and win honors for Malaysia we need clean competition.

That is the only way. If we practice what is implied in this story, here, our GM won't come. We will only be producing more weak players. The short cuts, the back doors don't work. You will need at least a deal in every other tournament and you will need to prop up those players in perpetuity. So let them compete to build them up.

FGM wants to be tested. We want to know if our training camp is any good. Ref: Here. And if we fall short then we want to know what we must fix in order to improve. And for that to happen we need a clean contest for accurate evaluation. That is all. If we look at chess as a medium in which we can gauge our personal development then chess becomes a powerful tool for progress.

And so the stronger the field, the better the test will be. It's that simple.

A short note to MCF. I am sure you are now aware of a recent International incident which involved the President of The Philippines Chess Federation, The President of the Indonesian Chess Federation as well as the Secretary General of Fide concerning the harassment of a 15 year old boy by one of our arbiters. I think that was another embarrassment to Malaysia that we could have done without. So I am sure you must have taken steps to ensure this never happens again. But in case it slipped your collective attention, this is just a friendly reminder.

All my best for Malaysian chess.

Today's Contemplation.

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
   --  John Lubbock (1834-1913)

Note: I think you will find that this applies on the board too.

Memory of past conversations.

In particular the memory of past conversations with a certain individual in MCF.

Just before the last AGM, I recall we had a conversation where you explained to me that it was all about the pursuit and retention of power. Yes, I can dig that. I may even understand and appreciate what you were saying. I am not that slow.

Once at a meeting in KL, you told me you are a brilliant strategist. I can see that too. You seem to have outmaneuvered many within the Council. You even seem to have managed to get those who were voted in on the program of change to knock each other out of the Council. Now you have the helm again. So you have proven your point. You are indeed brilliant as a strategist. They just have the remaining posts but you have the power. Clever.

So from your position of strength, I hope you won't mind if I make a small observation here. I have noticed this since we first talked in 2009, that you seem to agree with everyone. So when I was concerned about the state of development of chess in Malaysia, you would agree. When things are said about the abuse of power you would agree too. Sometimes it seems to me that you agree with everything and everyone and in your conversations you can agree with very contradictory things all in one breath.

That is the gift of a "politician". Depending on where they are, they are able to say the things they think the audience wants to hear. That is indeed a supreme gift. The ability to say many things and nothing at all. And so you have also mastered deflection and misinformation. In addition to the old skills like selective threats and intimidation when there are no witnesses etc.

So it is all about politics, the pursuit and retention of power. And nothing else. I can see that much more clearly now.

And what we talked about in 2009, to bring in development etc is lost in time. You even agreed with me during Mal/Sing Jan 1st 2011 that the crop of senior players we had then were all washed out.

But I still wonder, maybe because I am a little slow, are you not also only slowly digging your own grave too? There are still many people who really want to see development. Not just the "talk". They want to see strong players coming out of Malaysia. They want to see our own GM. Not one made in China but one that is homegrown. One made by our own effort because they deeply and truly believe Malaysia Boleh.

What about them? Don't you think we can do it? Do you think you can hammer them all into the ground? But you are the supreme strategist. So I am sure you have figured out the way to deal with that too.

Just wondering while having my morning coffee.

ps: Just in case you think I am out of touch, there are still people telling me what you are doing. So yes, I can see you are trying something. But somehow I still think you may be missing the point. But that's just me k.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Final word on Li Ting's run in India.

Ref: Here.

Do you see something wrong with Li Ting's run? Ref: Here.

I have been saying this for years and years now but it keeps falling on deaf ears. I have tremendous respect for all our top girls. I think they have more "balls" than many of our guys. But however talented they are, they need to be properly trained before we send them into the ring. They need to be shown the way to win. If we keep sending out our fighters unarmed(or with the wrong weapons),untrained, unprepared and with the wrong support and they keep getting hammered and hammered and hammered, again and again and again, they will be damaged. No two ways about it.

Now why can't MCF see that? And after all these years and after seeing so many of our once strong players fall by the wayside?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with our players. They are as talented and as gifted as any in this region. In this world. We have the talent and the resources to build regional Champions as a starting point. Ref: Here.

But in which direction is MCF taking us? Doesn't it make your heart bleed to see such roaring fires slowly dimmed by sheer neglect and stupidity? MCF is the custodian of our gifted children. But either they can't see that or they don't want to see that.

Today's contemplation.

Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it, piece by piece - by thought, by choice, courage, and determination.

   --  Matt Labrum

Note: To play strong chess, I think you need both talent and character. And character is the byproduct of correct and tough training. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why does FGM do what they do?

Ref: Here.

Over the many years in Malaysian chess, I have seen many talented children with amazing gifts. Then year on year I see them become more and more damaged. I strongly believe that many of the players that we taut as strong today may not go much further. Their journey is not true. Look at Paulo's journey here. This looks like the correct way to me.

As a parent I did not bring my child into chess to see my child damaged. I brought him into chess so that he can develop into someone who can succeed in a competitive and globalised world. This is what I wanted Mark to learn from chess. Here.

So yes it angers me. I don't hide that fact. I feel angry when these people take away the hopes and dreams of our children. It angers me when they want to force our children to become like them.

And so I have strived to keep FGM alive despite all the obstacles they have thrown in my path. Just so that there remains an alternative for those that want what I want for their children too.

Story: The last refuge of a failed trainer.

If a trainer is confident of his player, his knowledge, his skills then I think he would want a fair contest. Why? Because that is the only true way to test himself, if he is really good or not? The only true way to improve when or if he comes out short is by having an accurate measure so he knows where the shortcomings are. So he will not condone fixing.

But on the other hand, what would be the last refuge of a failed trainer? Lets sit down and think a little about this. Let's imagine and fantasize a little. So this is just a story, a fantasy. It is not true in Malaysian chess.

In this fantasy land of our minds, what would the failed trainer do? Hmmmmm, tough one yes? But maybe if we really stretch our minds this may be the answer for them. They will want to look at swiss manager to learn how to manipulate pairings for instance yes?

What else? Maybe develop tag teams you think? So they can pass each other points so that no matter what, one of the trainer's player will end up on top. Then the trainer can "shine".

What do you think so far? Even in fantasy stories we need to stay within the realm of possibilities. That is the formula for great fantasy, sci-fi best sellers etc.

So how about they now invade and take over the Chess Associations so that they cannot be penalised in case there are complaints? Maybe yes? Hmmmmm.... There is also the additional perk of slipping their own players in by coming out with biased criteria, tie-breaks, play offs etc etc.

Pause. If that was to happen, then what if other people catch on? What if say the Universities stop recognising their certs? Ref: Here. Big problem in this storyline. Every fantasy story needs a good ending yes?

Hold on, the conclusion is coming to me.

What about if all these new skills of the failed trainer is now used to export the expertise overseas to neighbouring Countries? Sound ok? Afterall there must also be failed trainers there. Surely they must also need arbiters to help them fix things there too? And we have "developed" the "expertise".

Now we can have positive ROI. :) Those trainers will now be contributing to our foreign exchange reserves.

And so on that happy note we can now end this fantasy story. Think this story may sell?

Note: Please read trainer and arbiter interchangeably for this story.

The writing above is pure fiction and has no resemblance to reality. This is just a pure mental exercise in imagination as chess players are wont to do.

A side note: This just came to me. Question. What else do failed trainers do? Do they not now pass on their failure disease to their players? If the players now believe they need fixing to play, then what happens to their confidence? Is the positive foreign exchange enough compensation for all the damage done? Hmmmmm, maybe I need to work on this storyline a little more.....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Great Quote.

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort.

General discourse on Coaches and trainers.

"There are no bad players. There are only bad trainers". 

Norlito stated this to me as we were discussing my trip to The Philippines. And he asked for my opinion on this before he agreed to meet. It appeared to me that he wanted an emphatic answer from me with no fluff. I said I agreed with him.

But let me expand on this topic today since this was also much discussed during my French Defence Thematic. Allow me to first define what I mean by Coaches and trainers. To me trainers are those that teach some technical aspect of the game. For instance I would use a different trainer for different openings. I would use another trainer for middle game tactical training and yet another for positional or end game studies. All depending on where their competence lies.

Here is another illustration. During the FGM chess camp, here, while we were doing competitor analysis, Norlito would look at existing weapons/openings in the players repertoire to find the flaws and the way to win from there. On the other hand, I would look for the weaknesses in the opponents arsenal and gaps in his/her knowledge etc and suggest we play there. Even if it is new to us too. All we need to do is to do the training to attack their weaknesses.

So I would further define the Coach as the person who determines the correct strategy and mindset to win on the battlefield and the trainer does the necessary training in the classroom. It is a collaborative effort. Ref: Here.

That is how I define it anyway.

There was yet another parent with a National Junior who spoke to me during UPSI. Ref: Here. He asked me why so many of our players have weakened over time. My answer to him that day was one word attitude.

Today I would add something else. Today I would say...and bad trainers.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Some thoughts of Li Ting's run in India.

Ref: Here.

Greg asked me during Malaysian Open this year why I didn't send Mark to HD Bank in Vietnam and Bangkok Open this year. I answered that it was because I felt Mark wasn't ready yet. Fresh out of STPM and a year and a half lay off from competition he needed a lot of work before he can be fighting fit again.

So we started out the year checking that he has the right weapons to win against lower rated players, win or draw against players of his level and also the weapons to take the fight to the higher rated and titled players. And then we tested those weapons in local competitions. Then we went to a chess camp to refine them and solve other knotty problems that still persist.

For me that is good investment. And not only that, I do not field my fighters in significant, expensive, overseas tournaments unless I know they are ready. That they have a chance to win or to go to the next level.

But much much more than that, I do not want to risk damage to my fighters by sending them to fight a field not properly armed, unprepared and untested.

I think that is my strongest objection to what some trainers are doing to their players here. Why go for World, Asian when you cannot even fight at home or in Asean? Why risk the damage to their psyche and fighting spirit when they are hammered and hammered, again and again and again and they have no replies, no answers.

But they say I do not know anything about chess. And I say they know nothing about developing strong players.

Insights from The Philippines and the coming Mal/Sing.

Ref: Here.

There were many new revelations for me when we trained in The Philippines. One was the way they trained. We are no slow coaches when it comes to training but their pace was not something we were used to. When we were flagging, they were still fresh and going strong.

And it seems everyone plays chess there. And even the player on the streets with no Fide rating is capable of beating GM's. Blindfold chess is played on the streets. Amazing.

So what is the secret?

I think one of the reasons why they work so hard and so smart is because strong chess players get scholarships to schools and Universities. And I mean full scholarships. And strong players get a monthly stipend from the Government or schools to play chess.

So it seems obvious to me that before we can try to emulate some of those conditions, it is important that the Government and the Universities must first trust the selection process of the Chess Federation.

And it is in the selection process that we may find we have a stumbling block. For an example, look at the selection criteria for the mens senior squad this year. It is biased towards those who have fat ratings. But what would the Government and Universities want? I think they would want strong players who can bring them honors rather than fat numbers which may not be true. So this could be a contradiction in terms of desired goals and outcomes between them and MCF. It looks like MCF is there to select players from the trainers camp within MCF and all the rest want strong players.

On 1.1.2011 we beat Singapore in the Mal/Sing match for the first time in 10 years. I hear on the 23rd of this month we are having a rematch. So have we learnt anything from our tournament experiences? I understand Singapore has a strong training program because they want to win. But what have we been doing all this time instead?

So lets wait for the results k. Lets see again and again and again what happens if we still don't get our act together. Question. Do you think the selection process for Mal/Sing will affect outcome? Does anyone care if we have been trained to win or should we just rely on luck and hope?

Or shall we all just focus on another International tournament outside the Country and try to forget what is happening here? We do seem to have a few choices here yes?

National Junior 2013- List of players.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

FGM's new "motto"


Wow! Is this true?

Ref: Here.

Crazy isn't it when even a Minister has problems asking for an investigation?

My question is if it's the same for MCF? Is it possible that when we report abuses to MCF they punish the players instead? Can't be true right? What do you think? But if it may be a yes, then what can we do about it? Who can we go to?

Or is there no more hope for the game of chess in Malaysia for Malaysians? Hmmmmm.....

So how about our own GM? Maybe we can buy one from outside, you think? After we have killed off our local talent.....

A new concern was raised at UPSI on MCF (Money Comes First)

We left for Manila directly after UPSI and so I decided to sit on the new revelations till I had more time to think about what was "revealed".

It is during tournaments that parents, especially those who have National Juniors as children, will sit down and compare notes on their latest dealings with MCF. So some of this sharing is old news but there were some new accusations levied during UPSI.

One parent with National Juniors as children said that MCF is the acronym for "money comes first". So I laughed at his creativity and asked him what he meant? According to him, it seems certain parents pay "contributions" to certain trainers inside MCF to ensure that their children always qualify no matter what the selection criteria was. This is new to me but somehow I wasn't shocked by this statement.

Another parent present who also has a National Junior child added this in a separate conversation but also at the same event, UPSI. This man may have even more credibility as far as MCF is concerned, (although I have known the first parent a long time and know him to be a man of integrity), since he is also ex MCF. What he said was that certain players are already pre-selected and they will find ways and means to distort the criteria so that who they want will get selected. And lets not even talk about match fixing.

I think this is quite apparent. See here. So actually we know all this or at least we are no longer shocked by these actions. So really there is no incentive to train hard and be good at chess for chess's sake if things remain the same.

However I continue to develop FGM although I realise that strong players who are not in their camp or if the allegation is true, do not pay "contributions" are sidelined, simply because chess can teach you the skills that you can use later in life. And especially in a globalised world. So that is why I still do it.

But something else the first parent said raised my antenna and got me concerned. He said that there is a University that has stopped recognising chess achievements for their co-curricular considerations for scholarship. Now this has deep implications. Apparently news has reached MOE that any tom dick or harry can play for Malaysia and so representation of the Country in chess is a farce and is not recognised as a proper basis for scholarship unlike other sports.

Since the first parent is from MOE, I put some weightage to his statement and decided to post this so that somebody in MCF can investigate to help the parents who have invested a lot of money developing their children's chess so that they will not have invested in vain since the certs may not mean anything if this is true and the situation worsens.

Development should come first. We may be becoming a laughing stock and the parents that have contributed to this by facilitating the back doors have to also take responsibility for this if the allegations are true.

Is there nobody left in MCF that takes office for the love of chess? What happened to all that talk and promises of change during the last AGM and directly after?

Isn't it the final straw when our players are not even recognised by a University anymore because they now know that many did not get there on merit? If we don't stop the rot, what will happen if more and more Universities take the same stand?

So come on MCF, it should be development comes first not money comes first. At least not money made this way. I hope MCF will investigate and allay our concerns over these new allegations. Over to you MCF.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Li Ting off to a good start in India.

Ref: Here.

We are proud of you Li Ting. Go, go, go.

I have always admired the strong fighting spirit and the healthy competition among our top girls. I think the main reason for this is because there is not much politics in our girl's chess. And so they actually learn to focus on the game.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Norlito Bersamina joins FGM as Technical Consultant and Chief trainer.

Although Mark and Paulo have been sparring partners since the start of the year and I have been talking to Norlito for more than a year now and found that our philosophy on chess development are really in sync from our correspondence, I was interested to see what would happen when we finally meet in person and have an honest, no holds barred detailed discussion on the strategies I have used to develop Mark and the ones Norlito has used to develop Paulo into an FM in today's extremely competitive International chess of the computer age.

Paulo's chess journey is also very different from the ones that is commonly advocated by some trainers in Malaysia. Paulo doesn't avoid any competition. He has played in Asean and Asian tournaments continuosly to gauge his true strength among his peers. He also fights in his own National Junior selections yearly to be declared Champion, winning 15 rounds out of 15 or 18 rounds out of 18 recently for that honour. That means he has All the weapons to defeat All competitors rated below him as well as weapons to fight other FM's, IM's and GM's. This is what I also want for Mark; the complete mental warrior not afraid to compete. See Paulo's achievements to date. Here.

And so we had the FGM chess camp in Batangas. (More later with pictures and descriptions).

Of particular interest to me was comparing the methods I have used as a non chess playing strategist in developing Mark so far via competitor analysis and Norlito's own training methods and approach as a chess technicalist. 

So we discussed and compared notes on our differing methods for 7 whole days right up to the last day to 3am until I left for the airport at 4am. The conclusion we reached was that both methods have merit and are actually complementary and so we have spent a lot of time devising new combined training methods for our competing juniors so that they too can reach world class. Norlito is also be borrowing a page or two from my methods for his further development of Paulo and in return he gave Mark the most comprehensive and toughest training, Mark has ever experienced in our very first FGM chess camp.

So we are keen to try out the new skills at our coming National Junior on the 1st of December in Johor.

All my best for Malaysian chess. More details here.

More details will be forthcoming at FGM Chess Academy blog. Here.