Monday, November 11, 2013
Insights from The Philippines and the coming Mal/Sing.
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?