Thursday, January 30, 2014
These are the two most ingredients. Passion and curiosity. And then it must be tampered by courage and discipline. If you lose any of these then your journey will come to an early stop.
If you lose your passion because no matter how hard you work there is always someone taking your place via the back door then you will eventually give up and stop.
If you lose your curiosity and stop asking questions because they attack you when you try out new ideas then your journey will eventually stop too.
If you lose your courage then you will never develop the discipline to train. Because real training requires courage. To look at the things you are scared of and then to do the training to overcome it.
Like the ingredients to bake a cake. If you are missing the necessary ingredients the cake will collapse in the oven.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I think one of the great lessons of chess is in teaching us of the dangers of wrong assumptions. Many things look like, sound like but is not.
So let us examine motives today. It seems to me when I read the comments of many chess players, the underlying assumption is that the other party always has ulterior motives and so we read many hidden agendas into anything others say or do whether it is there or not. Ref: Here.
It appears to me that this conclusion can be easily assumed from the game of chess which is adversarial in nature. However if we reach this conclusion in every situation then this becomes a thinking trap.
Lets look at a normal discourse first to highlight this danger. In law, in business there is a concept called "in good faith". That basically means that the underlying assumption here is that there are no hidden agendas and everything is above board. Now this is a very important concept. Let us see why.
Actually that is the only way a partnering deal can be made. Do note this. The moment an hidden agenda is detected then good faith is lost and the situation quickly becomes confrontational (or defensive which is an inverse form of confrontation and with the same net effect).
And so to impugn ulterior motives is to destroy any possible chances of a genuine partnership. Can you now see this as another reason why chess can be a double edged sword?
Before we can impugn hidden motives, the situation must be taken through many tests. For the moment this assumption is made, the open discourse has come to an end.
To see this clearly we must see beyond the superficiality of the nature of chess and get to essence of the game ie make no assumptions till you have fully tested the situation.
As another exercise, try imagining how this "understanding" can affect your friendships, your relationships in the course of normal life. What happens to you and your mind if you think everyone you meet has ulterior motives before the fact?
Note: Chess is a great tool in learning how to compete especially if the other party has conclusively demonstrated their intent. But when that is not the case, then you would be better off learning from another tool. The ability to make that distinction is important as it can affect your entire life.
I was following an online debate when one of the commentators made what was deemed a speculative statement.
Note: What that means is that a statement is made without physical evidence. Much of cutting edge science is speculative in nature. That means the ideas are postulated as a hypothesis.
Now, in that debate, another commentator argued that if speculative statements must be made, it must at least be followed by the reasoning behind it.
I think this is very important for chess players to understand. There are many wild theories floating about and many dubious decisions made in Malaysian chess. At the very least it must be followed by the reasoning behind it.
Because we are a mind sport. And a mind sport is supposed to teach you how to think. And so wild theories and dubious decisions not backed by solid reasoning needs to be rejected if mental development is what we are after from our sport.
Thank you Steven for this article. This is what I was thinking when I read it.
A constant criticism I hear about chess players is that they are almost always confrontational. It is almost always win/lose for them. Maybe that is the nature of the game and probably that is also why not many of them do well in business.
So this article speaks to me on how the skills developed from chess can be powerful when it is combined with the skills learnt from the game of Bridge. Bridge teaches you how to partner in order to compete better. This is simply because business is also about having good partners for you cannot win in business all alone.
And provided you don't lose your confidence as is very possible under the constant mental onslaught that chess can bring, then you have a very powerful formula for success in business.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I think there is.
And it will come when MCF can behave professionally. That means no more side doors , back doors or biased selection for the crony/kangkung players. That means the efforts and sacrifices of ALL the players, parents and coaches within the chess community is respected. That also means the end of banning/sacking without grounds etc.
Gens Una Sumus. Ref: Here.
The key to this lies in the selection criteria.
ALL of the drama we see is to facilitate for the players who need the short cuts. And their supporters are parents who have no confidence in their children's abilities, trainers/coaches who have no confidence in their own abilities. Ref: Here.
And then the Officials exploit this to cari makan.
So once MCF is professional and fair to all then we will all move forward purely according to the effort we each put in.
It all starts by correcting the selection criteria. Focus on this and change will happen and our GM will come. And Malaysia will become a force in the chess world. We have the talent and we have the resources.
Caveat. So long as our strong players are not knocked out by the back door boys. So long as the resources do not disappear into a deep endless pit. We do not have enough resources for their greed.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Do read this again. Here.
My point is that before we can raise the standard of chess in Malaysia, we need to adopt a strong training culture. So let me relate some of my thinking and attempts at preparation here.
The first thing that comes to mind is that the training for blitz, standard and classical is different. And while you can develop some ideas in the laboratory of training, the best method to test the validity of the ideas is in actual competition. In the same or nearest time control.
And so on the assumption that National Close was going to be in June like last year and before, we had prepared to train and then to test the training and ideas at HD (Vietnam) in March and then KL Open in April before NC. Both are high level tournaments that will test our ideas and training to the fullest.
So you can imagine how the sudden change of timetable affected our training plans and need for testing before we enter the National Close. Now we must go and play on the fly which is bad all round.
But before you jump to the conclusion that it is about me or FGM, let me say that this affects all the players that are going to attempt a challenge at the National Close.
As a result of moving the date so far forward the standard is bound to drop all round and advantage given to those with prior knowledge. But the net effect will still be that the competition won't be as stiff during National Close in March as it would have been if it had been held in June. And this will impact on the overall quality of the games.
But what is done is done even as we now scramble to pare down and streamline our training and without the benefit of testing out the ideas before going to National Close since we had to cancel HD as the dates coincide.
I trust you can see how this will finally affect the overall standard of chess in Malaysia. If the culture of training is well inculcated then MCF would have ensured that all players are informed well in advance. A proper training should take about a year, given other constraints and priorities. Six months or so we thought, was going to cut it fine. But 6 weeks warning for THE NATIONAL EVENT?!! (Give or take for CNY).
That is of course if the goal is to raise the standard of chess in Malaysia. If the goal is that we are going to fight for medals, to raise our standing in the world circuit or to eventually get our own GM.
Iron sharpens iron. We need ALL our players to raise their standard before our GM will come. It is that simple.
Therefore I think the only thing left that we can still do now to try to raise the standard is to at least make sure that the selection criteria better serves the strongest players in Malaysia. And that would be to make the selection criteria top 8 from NC versus top 8 from active rating. Or a close variation. Straight from the top.
Or we will be sending a weak team to the Olympiads. Over to you MCF.
I read on facebook that some Countries are using chess to develop the character of their citizens. Lets examine that today. I have always said that chess is a doubled edged sword. It can be used to build or it can be used to tear down.
It can be used to build under the following conditions:
That the player is taught how to continue to think and reason under the pressures of intense competition. This is achieved by developing the winning mindset. And this is how it can be accomplished. Here. If this is done correctly, then our players will be taught how to find solutions despite the pressures.
And character is developed when they are able to do the right thing and come to the right solution inspite of the pressure to mentally cave in. To give in to their fears. In chess we have this opportunity to correct the thinking one move at a time, one game at a time and one tournament at the time. And when you can do that you develop your character.
For that is how character is defined and formed.
On the other hand chess can be used to tear down. As a result there is no ability to think, to reason and to find solutions. When that happens, this is the result. Here. When they lose the debate all they have is lies and slander. Threats and intimidation.
And that is the way to develop future gangsters and criminals.
Which type of chess would you choose for your children? Which type of chess builds character? Which type of chess do we need? That is the question before us today. And we get to choose before Feb 7. Before the criteria for NC is finalised. For the criteria will show us which type of chess Malaysia practices and will continue to practice.
Note: At the very least we should be given the space to practice the chess we want without being attacked. Ref: Here.
Thank you for your time.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Before I start, I want to thank James Ho for the new acronym. James, I accidentally deleted your comment. My apologies.
My coaching methods include developing the character of the player for I believe that without a strong character you cannot win in a competitive environment. So I train Mark not to agree to a draw. A draw must only be reached when both sides have run out of ideas to win. I have also referred to this as mental strength training in the past. To me chess is the ideal training round for this as the pressures to quit mentally is very very high.
Development via chess is about learning how to compete by RAISING YOUR GAME inspite of the outside pressures.
So of course, we prepare to win against Yit San and Li Tian. Read this. Here. JPEG, this is chess and learning how to compete is the purpose of the game. So how can this cause such foaming of the mouth in you guys? Isn't that already a given? Are we talking about the same game? Or are you saying you don't want to play without a deal?
Why does my coaching of our Juniors on how to compete create such fears in you? Here. Have you no faith in your own players or your training methods?
How does that warrant you trying to ban Mark, attack him and me with lies, innuendos and slander? How does that justify you guys from denying him the exposure he deserves as one of the top Juniors in Malaysia?
Li Tian has never won a Junior tournament or got a top placing; has never qualified from National Close. Yet he has been given the chance for multiple International tournaments as part of the senior squad etc on Malaysia's expense. And by taking the place of stronger Juniors/players without merit. So are we not allowed to ask those questions?
We did not ask to ban him. We asked that he qualifies just like everybody else.
My coaching methods may differ from theirs and I do not arrange for the back doors simply because I see chess as the training ground for Mark, for instance, when he goes into business later in life. In fact I have also taught him the game of Bridge as that game teaches him on how to partner to compete better. We are here to learn from anything that helps us improve.
So why is it that we are not allowed that space?
We do not try to ban you. We do not disrupt your deals apart from not agreeing to be a part of it. We do not even object when you use your own arbiter. That is your choice, your chosen path in life. You want to raise liars, so be it. You want to risk going to prison, so be it. That is your choice. And not for me to judge.
We merely ask for a fair selection criteria so that all is given a chance based on their chess skills alone. Including you guys.
So are we not allowed to make other choices? We choose to compete when we meet on the table. We choose to compete without cheating or depriving others of their rightful place.
So JPEG, the scandal is because you do not allow for anyone NOT to become like you. You try to make it a crime to be honest. You try to make asking for a clean selection a crime against Malaysian chess and healthy competition a dirty word.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Lets start today by stating a goal. A goal that should be obvious and beyond dispute. Lets say our goal is to find the strongest possible chess players we have to represent Malaysia. Lets say this is because we want medals, we want our own GM and we are tired of being trashed and relegated in the International circuit.
Are we agreed on that?
If yes, then let us examine one of the arguments presented by Jimmy and his backers that the active rating is an indication of fighting strength. Let us see if this premise holds water. Apart from the results of Jimmy that I have used to dispute this assumption, lets also try to reason this out. So the results have been submitted as evidence. Ref: Here. Agreed? Look to the other posts for the details.
Now let us try reasoning and logic. Would I be correct if I am to say that the Fide rating is related to the number of Fide tournaments you are given the opportunity to attend? If so then what happens to a strong player who does not have that exposure to give him a high rating? Does that make him a weaker player? Have you heard of players with no rating that can beat our "Masters"? Players from Indonesis, The Philippines etc.
Let us now try to see if the training strategy also affect rating numbers. If say the training strategy is to first learn how to win before you learn how to draw, would that also affect the numbers? To learn how to win, you can lose too. And that affects rating in the short term. But maybe the coach thinks that this is a very important lesson to learn for it will take you further in the longer term. Possible yes? Learning to draw would give you a higher rating in the shorter term but you may hit a wall later. Make sense?
So there are reasonable causes for a lower fide rating that has nothing to do with fighting strength.
Now if that makes sense and we want the strongest fighting players to represent Malaysia then the best tool we have should be a clean and fair selection. Yes?
So how did we lose our way? Is it possible that when the considerations are about "my chess friends", my chess academy, my cari makan etc etc then we may lose sight of the goal? Too many conflicting considerations yes?
I think that is what has happened to us. And they say that if we have lost our way, then the best thing to do is to go back to our starting goal.
And the starting goal is that we want the best possible players to represent Malaysia. And the best way to do that is to have a proper selection without fear or favour. Hence the criteria for National Close this year should be top 8 from NC vs top 8 from active list. Or a close variation. But straight down the line, yes?
Then we will win medals again, then we will have our own GM.
Note: To get a GM norm you need to fight above your rating. Ergo, you need to be a fighter well versed in the art of competition. It cannot be done just by showing your fat numbers and hoping your opponent will collapse from fright. Have you seen many high rated IM's that cannot get even one GM norm? The reason is probably because they fight for ratings and not fight to win.
Does that also make sense?
So we have a chance to change our direction during this coming NC. Is anyone willing to step up to the plate and fight for the progress of Malaysian chess within MCF? From our State Associations?
Lets get a good criteria for selection and close the back doors for good.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Reason 11. I think Sabah is still one of the most beautiful State in Malaysia.
Reason 12. And they are open minded and have a sense of humour.
And perhaps the most important reason of all, it's that they have enlightened and inspired leadership.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
What did you learn from that article? This is what I see. I don't think Tony is out to sabotage his opponents. I don't think he is thinking of manipulating the calender or to change the criteria so his Team wins.
I think what he is asking of his team is to improve enough to be able to compete with good chances first, and then the sponsorship will continue.
You know what else I see? I think a sponsor like him can do wonders for Malaysian chess. What do you think? But first we must stop our nonsense yes? First we must be able to raise our game so that a sponsor like him would be interested in our sport.
Does that make sense? And do you still think we are headed in the right direction?
Air Asia did sponsor us once through FGM to engage a GM to train our Juniors at subsidised fares for the players going to Asean and free air tickets for the parents and officials. But what did we do that made them stop the sponsorship?
You heard the man yes? You know what he wants. And all top sponsors want the same. But do you know what happened to us after Tony personally approved sponsoring chess via FGM?
My other sources tell me that the criteria has not been tabled and confirmed yet. It should be tabled on the 7th of Feb. So maybe we can still proceed like this. Lets use the text sent to me as a hypothetical exercise.
The text said that it will still be the top 3 from National close that will play in the Masters. So presumably the rest of the players at the Masters will be from the active list. And the top 5 qualify for the Olympiads. However lets not totally rely on the active list for January. Here. The numbers and positions can change by March. Lets just look at our past practices first to see if improvements can be made.
Do you remember the selection for the senior squad from the Masters last year? Were there mistakes made? Let me say where I think there is room for improvement. I think the most glaring mistake was that the players were not called strictly in order. I said Nicholas Chan was missed out for instance.
So if the same criteria is used this year, we need to make sure that the order of active players called for the Masters must be strictly followed. No jumping of names. The process must be transparent.
The second point is that 2 former National Masters were called for the Masters last year. Roshan and Zhuo Ren. I think there may be justifiable reason to call the immediate past National Master but not for the year before. Otherwise where does it end? And 2 years is a long time in chess. It should have been only Roshan last year. Zhuo Ren was slipped in. So for this year, only Aron Teh should be eligible.
Is this fairer?
That is purely on the administrative side.
Now lets look at this conceptually.
If you go to the active list you will see IM(k) Jimmy. Let's use him as an example since he is so loud. It says 2200 something. Top 10. But we know that Jimmy's fighting strength is only around 1900 to 2000 from his recent tournaments yes? From the last Olympiads, from the tournament in the Phillipines just before the Zonals last year and from the last Mal/Sing where he lost to IM Giam from Singapore who is a 1900 IM.
So the active list cannot be reflective of fighting chess ability. And we want fighters in the coming Olympiad right? Players who will train hard and fight hard for the honor of Malaysia. Yes?
And let us all also not forget that Jimmy lost to every single Junior at the last Masters. He only drew with Yee Wing and Tze Han. That means he only got one point.
From this example is it not reasonable to say that there are plenty of players from the National Close that is stronger than Jimmy? Stronger than a player from our top 10 active list. If that is the case, then why is he given the extra edge to stay on the team? Remember last year? Only the bottom 2 from the active list were knocked out for the senior squad ie Roshan and Jimmy. Jimmy being dead last.
Those that fight in National Close will have a much much much tougher time fighting players a lot lot lot stronger than kangkung Jimmy. So why give them only 3 places?
Why not top 8 from NC versus top 8 from the active list? Or a variation of that. But equal numbers both sides. All anyone is asking from MCF ie Malaysian Chess Federation is for a fair criteria that gives the strongest players a fighting chance to represent Malaysia.
Now isn't that a fair and reasonable request?
For the Malaysian Chess Federation, I would say keeping the time for the standard anchor events around the same dates each year would help to foster a higher standard of chess in Malaysia. For the players/trainers/coaches it means that they can plan and schedule their training. For the parents that means they can arrange their budgets and plan for the tournament runs. For the event organisers that means they can plan for filler events to give additional tournament exposure for the competitors allowing for a higher level of competition.
All of these things combined will eventually lead to a higher standard of chess in Malaysia. This means that everyone is working towards the same goal.
However for the other MCF, "My Chess Friend's", a good way to keep it all within the family is to only tell a handful of "friends" that the event is pushed 3 months ahead for instance, so they can prepare ahead of time while the rest is caught with the wrong training schedule. Another good way is to also delay the announcement for the calender of events simultaneously. All of this together with the other "administrative tools" will help to keep it within the family.
It all depends on the aim I suppose. And it all depends on which "MCF" you are talking about. But both are good administrative habits towards different ends. On one end is the development of chess in Malaysia of course. And by development I mean raising the overall standard. Maybe you can guess what the other MCF's aim could be.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Thank you for the info but you do know that I can't use it yes? While I will keep your name confidential as agreed, I needed for you to take my call as I have to substantiate the information before I can put it in print.
I think that besides never condoning the use of blatant lies and slander, we still need to set the bar even higher. We should also be wary of only releasing partial information, unsubstantiated information since this does not lend to good and informed decision making.
I do share your concern, don't get me wrong. If what you say is true then the back door boys have got another good deal going. But I hope you can understand why I cannot use the information.
ps: Besides I also fail to understand why you can put down what you did on text but not talk about it on the phone?
Do read this again. Here.
I think if we can really make those habits our culture we will move ahead and get our GM in no time. Chess is a marathon and we never quit learning. It is not merely about the technical issues. It is also about the winning mindset. Chess is a mind sport.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
You don't need to call yourself Asia's best player, a Ferrari, Malaysia's strongest player etc if you are confident of yourself. We have eyes to see.
You don't need to attack the Juniors to keep your place on the senior squad if you are confident of your chess.
You don't need to find ways and means to ban players stronger than the ones you can develop if you are confident of your abilities as a trainer, as a coach.
You don't need to teach the children how to cheat, lie and slander if you are confident of their abilities. And yours too of course.
Think on this. When we say we want development what does it mean? Can development be brought about by keeping others below you by bullying, by cheating?
Or is development really this? We develop when we raise our game. We develop when we can cross the next hurdle by courage, discipline. By thinking, by reasoning out where the mistakes were. By improving.
Understanding this is really really really important since we keep asking for development, we keep asking for medals, we keep asking for our own GM.
Those things cannot come by keeping others down. Development does not come that way. Development can only come when we are able to raise our own game.
And that is why chess is the most amazing game to learn all of this. If we miss something, we won't progress. The game of chess can show us what we missed if we are able to analyse correctly. Read this again. Here.
If you do it right, it will build your confidence. There are no short cuts. If you do it right you do not need to bully children anymore. You do not need to risk going to jail because you do not know how to cari makan otherwise. Just improve yourself and your confidence will improve too.
Got it yet, Greg, Jimmy, Peter and Eddy?
I wrote about this real story in December last year. This is a player who used a negative experience to change his life.
These players could be damaged by the people they trusted to raise their game.
I hope those 2 examples can show you that you have a choice. You can even use negative experiences to turn your life around. But you must make that decision yourself. No one else can do that for you.
So what is your personal statement when you meet your adversary across the table? Should you not be saying, show me what you've got? Ref: Here. Should you not be saying to yourself, I trust in my ability. I trust my ability to work out the problems presented because I can think and I can reason.
And I can even think under pressure.
I trust in my training. I am as prepared as I possibly can. If I can, I will get you today. If not I will train harder, smarter and get you the next time. But I will learn and I will compete according to the rules. Ref: Here.
Now if you can say that with genuine confidence, will it not increase your chances for a medal? To eventually become a non kangkung Master?
Or do you think a non kangkung Master thinks like this? "I am going to inflate my numbers like a puffer fish. I hope he/she doesn't realise that I am really weak. I have not trained and heck I did not even compete to get my place on the squad. I will rely on my deals. I have arranged it all with Greg". Wink wink.
And like a broken record the kangkung Master keeps pointing to his "active" Fide rating. He keeps talking about rating inflation and how he is much stronger today than even his rating suggests. But he does not dare to compete for his place. He wants his PhD downloaded from the internet. And it comes with the (k) abbreviation.
Now do you understand why I think it is the opposite of what Ilham thinks? Ref: Here.
How can you compete if they have broken you psychologically? When you have lost your self belief. When they have taken it away from you? How can you compete when you take the short cuts? When you cannot win in a local selection but want to represent Malaysia Internationally. You have learnt nothing. You have not managed to overcome your fears. You have no disciplne. You have no real training in competition. When you have become a kangkung player.
And then you want to win against a tough opponent overseas? You want a medal? You want to be a GM?
Tell me how this can be done again? Maybe I missed something in the 10 years of listening to your excuses and lies.
You keep saying that I do not play chess. So it should be very easy for you guys to shut me up yes? After all your combined knowledge in chess must outstrip mine by a gazillion times. So lets just meet on the table at National Close k. This is your chance to showcase your total superiority and shut me up for good.
So I hope to see you IM(k) Jimmy, FM(K) Peter and Eddy. You can all come together and bring along your proteges too. We will meet you in open competition. In a clean and fair selection k.
We will practice healthy competition. We will not practice sabotage. We will not pre-agree results but you can make any deals you want between yourselves. You can even arrange for your own arbiter. Are those conditions fair enough for you? Let me know if you feel you need better conditions k.
Show me I am wrong. Talk is cheap.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Where is it?
For a game that they keep saying makes you smart, I am wondering where is the evidence to back up that slogan?
Surely they must realise by now that serious players plan their calender way ahead? I have said that these are the benefits of chess. Here.
So I am beginning to wonder if we are talking about the same game at all? MCF does stand for the Malaysian Chess Federation right? Surely what they are saying cannot be true? I have heard one say, MCF means "Money Comes First". A new one by Ilham is MCF means "My Chess Friends".
I am sure they must be wrong and those are just lies and slander. So there must be some sign of intelligence from the Federation of a game that makes you smart, no?
But really, where is the calender of events? Come on Greg, prove us wrong. Or prove us right.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
The Greg, Jimmy, Peter, Eddy (GJPE) Scandal.
Actually what is so offensive about the GJPE scandal? Let's examine this together.
The most offensive thing to me is that they allow no other space in Malaysian chess except for theirs. If you decide you want to learn from the game, train and then compete in healthy competition, they will attack you once you reach a level where you can potentially disrupt their deals. You either have to join them or they will find ways and means to get rid of you.
In normal society, some will decide that a life of crime is for them. But for most of us at least we can decide to live a normal law abiding life. We have that space. We can still do well in our jobs or do well in business by following the law.
But that is not the case in Malaysian chess. I have given you years and years of examples to show what they won't allow. Can you finally see that there is no way for you to succeed in chess in Malaysia without dealing with the GJPE Scandal?
It's their way or the highway. So you decide. Do you want to invest in a game where there is absolutely no future or do you want to take the game back from them.
Note: I hope you can see that their way does not work. It has been tried and tested for 30 plus years and it has failed.
Is chess something important for the development of your children? Ref: Here. Can chess contribute anything else to our Nation? Ref: Here.
Are those reasons enough to say enough is enough? We do not want the gangsters to rule in Malaysian chess, do we? I have made my decision. What about you?
A chess player from Johor asked me how Mark trains by himself. I told him that I design his training programs based on our competitor analysis. We determine the strategy, measure the gaps and then we structure the training to close that gap. Chess is an individual sport and each training program needs to be tailored individually to get to the next level.
And it all starts with this. Here. My investigation started from my observations during Mal/Sing 2010/11. I developed it a little more during the training for the SEA games selection 2011 which Sumant and Zhuo Ren attended. And I believe that there was a qualitative jump in understanding after our chess camp in November last year. Here.
Of course like Ilham says, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Ref: Here. And that is what we hope to do at National Close this year. I am curious to see if my evaluation is correct or not. So I am keen to meet the kangkung players. I just hope that Greg in his infinite wisdom for protecting his back door deals will not find a way to spirit all his kangkung players down a side door and then they end up at the Olympiads this year. Just like they did in the last Olympiads.
Wouldn't you like to know how the kangkung players fare against the non kangkungs in an actual selection contest before they are sent to the Olympiads?
I would. I would like to see all the kangkung players at the National Close to decide this debate between me and IM(k) Jimmy, FM(k) Peter and Eddy.
Then maybe finally we can all have some peace and just go on developing our chess without them attacking us when we train for a selection, when we ask for our place based on our results and not side deals and back door negotiations.
Now wouldn't that be a great day for Malaysian chess? When it becomes all about chess and not about talking and making a deal with Greg.
Would you like to see that day too? If yes, then the selection criteria for National Close is important.
So start out with understanding what is your chess personality. When you are in a position to start to compete for a place on the squad, then the next step is competitor analysis to determine specific training.
Good luck in your chess.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
In Ilham's post, he implies that it is "unfortunate" that I did not allow Mark to become a kangkung player by following the footsteps of IM(k) Jimmy. By not learning to play for rating but learning how to play to win. By practicing most of the points brought up in this article. Here.
It is unfortunate for not caving in to the mental attacks, by not asking/begging Jimmy, Greg, PICA etc for the back door too. By preserving his integrity and dignity which I felt was even more important than chess.
To overcome the fact that he was "banned" from KL Open without grounds and still is. (Peter still cannot see our emails for application this year).
Unfortunate in Ilham's eyes but that is ok.
And so Mark will go to NC perhaps 300 points lower than his peers. And without the International exposure his peers have been getting via the back door over the last 2 years.
But that is ok also. We will still go and we will still fight and compete with what we have. If ever he manages to get a masters title whether FM, IM or anything else, I want his title not to have the (k) abreviation.
We will meet the kangkung players in healthy competition. That means we will not practice sabotage or use lies and slander. We will not pre-agree a result. And we will still play our best chess no matter who they use as the arbiter.
For I will still lay my bets on the non kangkung players any day in the longer run. For those that have struggled the hard way without taking anybody else's place by cheating. For those that only accept what they deserve and have worked hard to earn. That will take nothing more than that. Or accept anything less.
I believe it is merely a matter of time when the kangkung players will hit their wall. That is the lesson I have learnt from watching the journey of IM(k) Jimmy, FM(k) Peter and Eddy.
(Maybe Eddy is a bad example. Only a 1300 pretending to be a 1900 and claiming he taught Mark. But you get the point, yes?).
So do wait for this year's NC. It will of course be much more interesting and exciting if the selection criteria will not allow easy or side entry for the kangkung players. But that will of course be up to Greg. And if past practices are any indication, for example the last SEA games, the negotiations have already begun since this is also an Olympiad year.
Is the ability to introspect a higher skill in chess? The ability not to jump to conclusions; the ability to control those first impulses (fight or flight) till we have examined ALL angles in a balanced manner. The ability to engage the higher brain centers. To investigate first where our "adversaries" are coming from, why their statements/positions create such fears, discomfort in us. And from that introspection come to a well reasoned response. And then be able to communicate that response without fear or anxiety. Without anger or bitterness. To respond from understanding.
Is this a chess skill that we may need when we compete? Is this something we need to teach our players? Observe carefully when you are at your next competition. Your move.
Friday, January 17, 2014
I hope we can stop for a little while to think on this. It is right in front of our eyes if only we can see it. I have constantly lamented on the weak mental state of our senior male squad. And I have given many reasons why we are so weak there.
However in the past I have spoken about the fighting spirit of our girl's senior squad. I said that it was probably because we have much less politics there.
Now lets look at our para squad. I think there is a huge lesson here also. What is so special about them is that they have to overcome very very tough adversities to even play chess at all. They are also not molly coddled and that is why I think they are strong.
To even go to compete at all they are already mentally strong. And we can feel proud of that. Probably there is also little politics in para chess.
Those are the elements we need in our senior mens squad too if we want medals, if we want our own GM.
Less politics and less molly coddling till they stop playing for Malaysia long past their due dates via biased selection criteria and back door dealings. Or by knocking out other strong players by bannings etc.
Then the senior men's squad will fly too. And in turn that will lift the standard of chess across the board in Malaysia. Is it clearer now?
We have the resources and the talents. We just need to stop Jimmy's, Peter's and Eddy's agenda from further controlling Malaysian chess for the senior mens team.
Do note I said stopping their agenda and not banning them etc etc. There is a difference.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
We have officials that are fearful of letting go of the back doors because they won't know how to cari makan without it. They are fearful that they won't be able to command "respect" without the power to terrorise the parents and the players.
We have trainers, who are fearful that they are not good enough to get their players to a high level without the use of back doors and without the tools to attack players better than the ones they can produce.
We have parents who are fearful that their child is not good enough to make the squad without the back doors.
And Jimmy just simply exploits all this to keep playing for Malaysia long after his due date.
The answer if we apply simple reasoning is of course for the officials to learn real skills to help them cari makan legally. Much easier to do rather than risk going to prison. For the trainers to actually improve their skills. For the parents to learn how to help their children overcome adversities without cheating and to teach them the winning mindset.
So it appears we have reached a connundrum. Fear rejects reasoning. Look around you. With people under the influence, grip of fear, no amount of evidence, reasoning or persuasion can change their minds. They just cannot be reached. Their fear becomes their compulsion. There is nothing you can do to remove their fears. Only they can confront their own fears. And this they won't or can't do.
So quite obviously, to me at least, that what we really need is a new and strong leadership to overcome the impasse or Malaysian chess will not be able to prosper.
The new leadership need to be based on solving issues. The new leadership needs to be impartial. The new leadership need to make decisions without fear or favour.
Then our GM will come. Then the medals will flow in.
For our players merely mirror our leadership. Strong leaders, strong players. Weak leaders, weak players.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Recently I had a few people asking me to focus on writing about chess. Actually I have been writing about chess but they just cannot see it. Currently all they can see is some of the technical aspects.
So this is the problem. Right now we can see that almost all of our IM's are fighting around the range of 1900 to about 2200 in International circuits. So no matter how they twist and turn about rating inflations etc that is the reality based on actual performance against real competitors overseas. So in today's chess they may not even make FM. We saw Li Ting floundering against the 1600's in India when she is a 1900 here.
Our major problem is that we keep trying to bury our heads in the sand. The first step to raising our game is to accept current reality instead of hiding in self delusion. And as we can see that is a very difficult and painful process. But that is also part of chess.
Look here. This was posted by Marina Mahathir on her FB yesterday.
"Yesterday I had a visit by some students from a public university wanting to interview me for a paper they were doing. Lovely young people, well spoken, polite and neat. But the title of their paper was typical of many others I have come across before in that it had already made a conclusion about the problem they were studying. Thus their 'research' is only to support the conclusion which was probably handed to them by their lecturer. It's not their fault. I just hope I managed to put some doubt in their heads".
I trust she is describing the general state of our education system but that is also happening in Malaysian chess is it not?. Our lecturers are Jimmy, Peter and Eddy. They think healthy competition is a dirty word. And so we have become the laughing stock of our chess playing neighbours.
What I am saying is that we do not have to follow the main stream. What I am saying is that we can provide the lead to the questions that the whole of Malaysia is asking about our education system. We can be the source of solutions.
Why? Because we are a mind sport. Because we compete with our ability to think and reason. Ref: Here.
What we first need to do is to compare how we train versus our neighbours. That is what I did in my Phillippines trip last year. Ref: Here. And in that session it was so so so obvious that we are light years behind on even understanding what training is about.
But very honestly, even that is not really enough although it is a very necessary first step. For those are but the parts. Only a part of the game of chess.
The real game of chess only starts when we compete. When we go out and really compete after the correct training, we will see that chess is really about the winning mindset. About correct thinking under pressure. When we really compete we will also realise that it is not only about learning (which is where our current struggle to accept reality is, as described by Marina) but much much more about SPEED of learning etc etc.
So it looks like we have a very long journey ahead. But every journey starts with a single step. The big question before us is do we have the courage to take that first step. Our neighbours seem to be miles and miles ahead of us yes? They have continued to move while we were sleeping.
But if we can do that, I believe we will be able to bring very valuable contributions to our other task of Nation building.
This is really what chess is about my friend. So stop hiding and open your eyes.
The huge potential of chess is that we can be at the forefront of Nation building by building thinkers, if we get it right. We are a mind sport, remember?
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The year was 2011. Sumant and Zhuo Ren came to my house to train for the SEA games selection with Mark and me. Sumant had been with me for almost 2 years by then and it was Zhuo Ren's first time. Zhuo Ren was curious about the methods I used to help Mark get the number 2 place at the previous National Junior and Mark beat Zhuo Ren in that event.
Admittedly my knowledge was not as complete as it is today but I did know this much even then. You need to train and then you need to compete. During that time I was talking a lot about mental strength on my blog and I was beginning my explorations into the use of competitor analysis as a training tool.
And then I made a "mistake". I posted on my blog that Sumant and Zhuo Ren were training for SEA games selection at my house. Just that simple statement. I did not say that I developed Zhuo Ren. That was Mok. I merely said that they were training.
And then all hell broke loose.
Question. What was so wrong with that post that Zhuo Ren was attacked the moment he went home and then forced to write an email attacking me on Jimmy's blog?
Zhuo Ren did not win in that selection but Sumant did.
Another question. What was so wrong when Sumant won that selection and became the first Malaysian Junior to enter the senior squad via selection? Why did they attack him so viciously on the blogs and other places till finally he too attacked me publicly? Where is Sumant today? Has he left chess?
We need answers to those questions if we are to progress? Are they trying to tell us that the only way permissible is via the back doors? Are they saying that we are not even allowed to train to win in a clean and fair selection?
Is this how we are going to win medals overseas and get our own GM?
Is it the plan of MCF to negotiate our way into getting a GM? If so, then why don't we all stop training in chess and learn the art of negotiation instead? It would be more relevant no? Why waste time? Lets cancel selection altogether and we all learn negotiation.
Perhaps this is another art we can also master if negotiations fails. We can learn to attack all the other players overseas via our blogs and psycho them all into losing to our players. That may also be relevant work.
Another idea is to have our arbiters become experts in fixing tournaments via swiss manager. That way we can ensure that the pairings are in our favour.
Some PR work would also not be amiss. We just need some games overseas to promote our players. Then they will look strong at least. That may win us some games if done cleverly. So PR studies could also be a way forward.
But there is absolutely no need for us to have selection, learn to play chess or learn to compete for our place in the current regime. Think about it. We have wasted so much time already trying to do that.
Lets just focus on what brings results and forget selection. Agree MCF?
Another idea just popped in my head. Maybe we can just buy a GM, U think? Bravo MCF. Have you made enough money for that yet?
Actually if you think about it, it is not the players fault. With maybe the exception of Jimmy. (Peter doesn't count as a player).
Li Tian is so talented that without any interference he would have made it on his own. Why did they send him out before he was ready? He needed to work out how to win in Malaysia first. How to win in national level selection. And that was the real job of his trainers. But look at him now when you next see him. Does he still look like a winner or does he look like he won't last the race? So who's fault was that?
Is what they did to Li Tian a step towards a GM or a step towards creating kangkung players like Jimmy? We need to see this clearly.
What about Yit San, Zhuo Ren and Sumant? They are all strong chess players. But now maybe were strong chess players. What did they do to them when they were taught how to lie and slander in order to help their fixers get them a spot in the squad? Remember most of the pressure to do this happened when they were still kids. So what chance did they have? Today they are all adults and so the next generation is born that will become our Jimmy's of the future.
Back door players who practice sabotage instead of chess.
The funny thing is that it is all happening right in front of us. They don't even bother to hide. They are so confident that nobody can withstand the onslaught of the dynamic trio, Jimmy, Peter and Eddy. They are all beyond any form of censure because they are protected by the powers that be.
And so this is Malaysian chess. And we want our own GM. But we don't have the courage to point out the mistakes for fear that they will attack our children too. And then we hope they can play strong chess. Boggles the mind yes?
Do you really think deep down inside that what they did to Li Tian, Zhuo Ren, Sumant and Yit San is the correct way? In the meantime what has happened to all the other strong players who just wanted to play and learn from chess?
Please think about this.
What is so wrong with healthy competition and clean selection as the steps towards our GM that have them foaming in the mouth every time I mention it? Ref: Here.
Monday, January 13, 2014
When we ask questions like how come the National Close is announced as the selection criteria for the Olympiads and none of the winners there were allowed to go, MCF needs to answer instead of keeping quiet. Is it because the sponsors for the event only wanted to promote certain players? If so what gives them that right?
When we ask why Li Tian was allowed to go to the Olympiads as well as the Asian Zonals (and no other top Junior given that opportunity) although he has not won in any qualifying selection, then MCF needs to explain. (In fact he lost to all top 3 players at National Close).
When we ask why decisions were made based on suspect overseas tournaments instead of local selection then MCF needs to investigate the officials involved in that decision and those that took part in that scam.
Etc. etc. etc.
This is simply because we need to reward those players who work hard at improving their chess and not those that have easy entries and think they are going for a holiday when flying the Malaysian flag.
This is simply because we are a mind sport where our primary tool is the ability to think and reason.
So how can we use intimidation, lies and slander instead of being able to give good intelligent explanations?
When someone brings up a question or an issue, then the authorities need to explain. Not set Jimmy, Peter and Eddy to attack. What Jimmy, Peter and Eddy need to learn is to offer reasoned suggestions or a better solution.
Not use intimidation, lies and slander and then teach the children to do the same.
Why are we not supporting the players that work and train hard? Why only support the cronies although they cannot play chess anymore? Is it because of the sponsors?
Then why can't we get better sponsors that can sponsor without interfering in the selection? Is it because they fear getting involved in the nastiness of Jimmy, Peter and Eddy? Player, Official and Parent. Is it because no decent corporate entity will enter an arena to see their reputation sullied by all that mud slinging and disreputable practices?
Question. Is the price of your support of the back door boys coming at the cost of developing strong players by sponsors/trainers/coaches/officials that will not support the back doors?
How can we possibly go out and fight for medals and honors using players that do not even dare to compete at home? Boggles the mind yes? And they keep using the slogan, chess makes you smart.
Selection must be conducted without fear or favour. Sponsorship must be blind so long as the selection criteria is fair and the tournament clean.
And of course the same thing applies to the State Associations as well.
Just get this right and our GM will come in no time. It's that simple. We have everything else.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
In a way I am glad you put up that last line after my post that I have applied to enroll Mark for KL Open this year. So now we can have this conversation to see if we are on the same page for what that means.
Lets start with your process for enrollment. Why do you need for players/parents to write in to you first? The transparent process is to just put up the bank account details and for us to pay into the account. And if the Association believes there are grounds not to allow that player entry then a written reason is given stating what those grounds are. And we can challenge those grounds if we feel it is not justified. That is in line with natural justice and it's even stated in the COS Constitution.
Note: Purely private events operate under different rules.
Please allow me the use of some hearsay here as it may shed some light and perhaps guide this enquiry as to why you do that. In 2009, I was talking to some people at the KL Open that year. They told me that some strong players won't play at your events and that there is a sort of a boycott. Since I didn't really know you then, I didn't put much weightage to that sort of talk. But I have to admit that I was a little shocked at your behaviour there where you abused both players and parents. You do remember that incident with Zuhri yes etc? However I put it down to stress then. You are just a person with little emotional control.
Then this happened to Mark in the following tournament. Ref: Here. So I made further enquiries from your former students to ask if this was normal behaviour for you? And I was told that you have "banned" players that you didn't like in the past.
So this was starting to form a pattern. You use KLCA events to grind your personal axes or to vent your frustration for your failings as a trainer. In my case it was probably because of the incident between us during Mal/Sing 2010. And you wanted to take it out on Mark.
That probably just mean that you not only lack emotional control but you are unprofessional too.
However on even closer examination I see that you also take credit for work not done by you? Actually which of those players did KLCA develop? Lik Zhang was developed by Colin, Zhuo Ren by Mok etc. Merely allowing them to play in a tournament does not constitute development. All it shows is that you have subverted the Association to only allow entry to "your" select players as a way to make you or Polgar seem relevant.
Where is your age group for KL? Where is your KL Juniors? What is your basis for selecting KL players? You try to take from the successes of others without giving them any credit and without doing any work yourself. Now isn't that politics Peter?
Isn't this starting to look like you are using KLCA only to further Polgar? Why can't Polgar develop her own players to compete in a selection?
From the look of things Peter you are the one playing with politics and if I may add not very well too? Can't you see that by doing all that you are doing Raja Nazrin a great disservice? He has lent his name to KL Open not to have it dragged into your personal issues.
You are also doing your President a great disservice. He is relying on you to make the event a success for the benefit of Malaysian chess and not to isolate KLCA further and further from the rest of the chess community with each subsequent event.
So what are you really doing Peter? And you even use the big "we" in your last sentence? Do you have consensus on your stand? Somehow I don't think you do. I think you are just borrowing their names to try to enhance your reputation. But that doesn't work either Peter. Your reputation is yours and yours alone to build or to destroy.
Maybe you have a good explanation for your behaviour over all these years. Maybe I am wrong. Perhaps you can explain clearer when we meet.
If we can agree on what no politics means, I am sure we will get along just fine.
All my best for 2014, Peter.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Have you ever wondered why simple concepts like healthy competition, clean and fair selection, no banning of players without justifiable grounds, no sacking of officials without justifiable grounds, due process and a fair hearing, is so difficult to take root in Malaysian chess?
Is it so difficult to accept that your place on the National squad should be based on your chess skills and not back door dealings and manufactured numbers? Is it so difficult to understand that your success as a Coach/Trainer should be based on your knowledge, skills and proven results and NOT because you control entry via the Associations?
Is it so difficult to understand that you should be elected into office based on your good works and not by manipulation of the AGM and the issuing of threats?
Etc. etc. etc.
The above are all apparent truths and apparent wisdom.
Yet their response to any of the above will be twisting and turning, lies and slander. Their response is intimidation or banning.
I have suggested that we take the politics out of chess. We take politics out of sports. There needs to be a line to stop the insanity. We have become a mind sport without the ability to think or reason. This is simply because politics is about the preservation of power and protection of "priviledges". Even to the extent of removing the rights of others. And so it is not about development.
Please think on this.
Now do you know why the real issues have been ignored? Why we are in decline as a chess Nation? Why they need to attack our gifted and talented players in order to promote theirs? It is because of politics. Nothing more and nothing less. So what happens to the chess? What happens to the strong players that others develop? From the States, from other coaches and trainers that do not condone the back doors because it breeds weak players. What happens to them if the back door players and their supporters get their way?
How will our GM come under our current conditions?
Friday, January 10, 2014
I was heavily involved with the last AGM and attended meetings all over the place although I did not take sides or ask for office but tried to explain on the issues that I believed was responsible for our rut. Maybe in the end that pissed off both camps and also why MCF is still the same today even after the AGM since nobody wanted to seriously consider or understand the issues. All they wanted was to use the reach of this blog and my personal relationships to swing votes for them.
This is what I thought at that time and it is still my believe today. For a proper change we need to understand what the issues are that is stopping Malaysian chess from progressing or we will just be replacing names and nothing else will change.
So really, what are we struggling to change? Calling for an EGM will take up a lot of people's time and energy. What is the point unless there is something better to offer? Picketing just from anger and frustration is insufficient.
I have been suggesting that we focus on healthy competition and clean and fair selection. That is something concrete, at least in my mind. So is that what we are going to get if the EGM is to come about?
I will add here that the Associations must also be disallowed from "banning" players without grounds as well as sacking officials without grounds and due process. That is also something concrete.
Why do I propose those issues as well? That is simply because those are also the ways that allow for the back doors. To either allow entry of crony players or to stop other strong players from getting the exposure they need to develop. And of course it also allows for the simple removal, without the need to justify, of officials in the Associations that are in the way of the back doors and other funny practices.
So while I am not opposed to a peaceful assembly to properly articulate genuine concerns, although it is not quite my style, I hope the organisers of the picket will at least consider the points I have raised.
Let's not have an EGM just for EGM's sake. Lets really try to make a difference this time. Already I am seeing that some of the people who have signed on for the picket are the same people who practice all the things that have stopped our progress. There is a danger that they will just use this as an opportunity to get back into MCF again.
So the issues need to be clear before new energy is poured into getting an EGM. And we also need to see the team that will deliver on the promises before the EGM yes?
If we cry wolf too many times nobody will listen when finally real change can be had. All the good people will be just too tired to move or fedup from the lack of clear leadership.
Thank you for your consideration.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Wow! I guess more and more people are saying enough is enough. I personally think we all need a space, especially in sports, where our children can find a safe environment to develop themselves without being terrorised by gangsters protecting their back doors and using MCF or the State Associations to promote only their own crony players.
So if you feel strongly too, visit this page to see what this is about. Here.
Addendum: Looks like the event has been cancelled. The link above is no longer calling for the picket.
I just signed up Mark for KL Open last night. I hear Jimmy will be there. That is good.
And I hope that there will be a bulletin of games for the event.
I also hope that Jimmy doesn't pull out at the last minute like he did for Penang Open recently. And I hope that Peter will be able to see my email for registration this time although he missed seeing the application and multiple reminders the last time we applied.
After all he has made an announcement welcoming me into KLCA and with thanks too. Ref: Here. So I hope this is the beginning of a new culture for Malaysian chess.
See you guys there Peter and Jimmy, in healthy competition.
All my best.
Good luck Terengganu. It does sound like healthy competition in action. Healthy competition builds while the other type tears down.
It is also my hope that when Terengganu does produce a National level player capable of winning his/her place on the National squad, that the situation in Malaysian chess would be one where the better player wins their place through clean and fair selection and the back doors will be a thing of the past.
Many States are also pulling out the stops and moving their chess ahead. This is good for Malaysia so long as progress is about chess and not deal making. This is simply because there are really not enough places for the deals and also because with the deals we will be sending out a weak Team. Real chess players and real deal makers. And sometimes only deal makers.
ps: I am tied up with administrative work for the time being and so Part 2 of what is chess designed to teach us, will have to come out later.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
If we really observe carefully, then what we have been doing is not what chess is about. Think about it. We have our local "experts" telling us what chess is about and they do not allow any other expression or they attack you.
And they have been in control for many many many years now. So lets look carefully at what have become of them. Let us look carefully at where Malaysian chess is now. Look here.
So can we finally say that something is wrong? Can we admit today that Jimmy, Peter and Eddy and their backers have taken us to Timbaktu? Before we go on let us look at their methods first.
They believe that chess is about sabotage and so they use the associated tools. And they think people like silent ninja is a blessing to chess, something to be proud of. Ref: Here. That is their version of "competition". And so they have knocked out everyone that can be a threat, a better chess player, by controlling the back doors and the use of intimidation, lies and slander.
On the other hand, I have tried to say that chess is designed to help us develop Generals, CEO's etc. And I also say that there are rules of conduct that the civilised world acknowledges. That means we must progress without cheating or risk going to prison later in life from their understanding of chess.
So chess needs to create an environment where we teach our young, where we guide our young to compete without cheating. And we can only do that by example.
Therefore I have proposed that chess is about healthy competition and clean selection. Healthy competition says it is about learning and self improvement and not sabotage. That means we learn, we measure the gaps, we train to narrow the gaps and then we compete. Clean selection in healthy competition means that yes, we are friends but when I meet you on the board, I will not pre-agree the results and I will compete to see where my knowledge ends and what I have to do to improve for the next time.
So this is the fight of ideas within the Malaysian chess community today. The fight for a strong Malaysian Team versus those that want to continue the back door entries without being able to play chess. And why not? Their way has taken us nowhere. Why don't we try something new? And why should we allow them to intimidate us into not daring to try?
Simply put. If Jimmy, Peter and Eddy are right, then we will be right at the top of the chess rating charts today. That's what happens when you get it right. Till next week then.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Please read this first. Here.
In a way Peter is right. In my years in chess I have found the most amazing and intelligent kids. And so many of them it is very difficult to list. From Sumant, Zhuo Ren, Syakir, Nabil, Eng Chiam etc etc etc.
I haven't talked much about the girls simply because my interaction with them is limited and I don't really know their game. But I have been very impressed with Nabila, Najiha, Camelia, Li Ting etc etc. from what I can see.
But lets talk a little about the post above. The one thing they all have in common is an intense desire to win. And I said that was an opportunity to teach them many things. But there is also a flip side. There is also the opportunity to damage them.
So chess is a double edged sword. If they are taught how to succeed and how to win without having to cheat then they will become towering individuals that our Nation can be proud of.
But it is also so so easy for them to go the other way. And that is why I say some of the trainers have failed them. Instead of teaching them how to succeed they take them down the short cuts.
Over the years I have seen how some of them have changed. From vibrant confident young people to something I cannot quite recognise.
That is the only reason why I keep FGM alive. I cannot change the culture established by the back door people alone but I can try to offer the players an alternative or at least they know an alternative way exists. That they all don't all have to become like Jimmy, Peter or Eddy in order to progress.
I see they have brought up the subject of NJ 2010. Ref: Here. That is a complex story that I won't get into here. I think it should suffice when I say that the kids need guidance. It is not easy in that highly charged competitive environment. And chess can help build their character if the adults around them keep them in line in a fair and judicious manner. And I will also say that I was not present at the incident but Mark explained it to me. All in all I am proud of his actions. It must have been so easy to take the short cuts. Do ask me when you see me. I am happy to talk about it if only as a precautionary story. Hint. Do you remember what they did to Zhuo Ren and Sumant?
So let me conclude by saying this. There are many many intelligent boys and girls in chess. And they will all join the work force and become members of our society. For the good of the Country or not.
And these are no ordinary kids mind you. So they can do tremendous good or tremendous harm.
Let me leave you with what I think may be a nightmare scenario. At least in my mind. Can you imagine our Country seeded by people, by clones of Jimmy, Peter and Eddy? You have been to Jimmy's site. Would you like to live in their world? Where they establish the rules and determine the culture? We can change that in Malaysian chess at least yes? There are only a handful of them but they come in many anonymous guises.
They are out to force our talented children to conform to their image. That is the purpose of the back door strategists. Join us to join the squad. But even that is also mostly a lie. Try healthy competition and ask for clean selection and we will hammer you. The kids learn all that when they are broken before they can "join" the senior team and then they in turn transfer that lesson to another environment.
That can happen if we are not careful and take steps to protect our very gifted and talented kids. So this is something I don't think we can look away from. This is very important. We need to change that culture for all of us to have a better future.
Thank you for your time.
And I mean this blog of course. Now why would I say that? Think of this. When you play chess against a tough opponent he will try all kinds of tricks to confuse you, to intimidate you etc.
So what mental arsenal must you have? Yes, you must be able to see the real position without flinching.
So I kid you not. If you can read this blog, you can also play strong chess. Treat this as a training ground. Can you tell the lies from the truth? Does intimidation send your mind reeling?
If it does, the same thing will happen on the board, on the table. Good luck.
Are you ready to play strong chess? This is the training test. Go here. Tell me what you see. Then come back here and read the posts you missed in a calm manner.
This is a truism demonstrated in every chess game. Fear cripples your creativity. In fact fear can even totally shut down your mind no matter how much knowledge you may have ie technical.
Now if we hold that statement to be true then it logically follows that those that use the back doors instead of competing for their place also comes from fear. And so they cannot be strong. They may steal other's places and get more exposure but eventually they will crash. The only way out for them would be to somehow manage to fix the whole world so that players from other Countries will also let them win without competing. Apart from a few flukes of course. But your journey cannot be based on flukes and hope. "I hope the other player crashes and I win".
The true journey can only begin when you have measured the gap, train to narrow it and then come up with good strategies to increase your percentage chances.
And you need the winning mindset too, you need to know how to win and you also need to learn things like stress management etc. But while you compete. Not instead of competing.
That is quite apparent if we can see clearly without fear.
So lets us also try to see why we have not been able to see that healthy competition and clean selection is the only way to raise the Malaysian game. Some have said greed from some officials and I have talked about the false self esteem that they get from the parents grovelling for a place for their children because that is the only way available to get into the squad or they set Jimmy, Peter and Eddy on you.
Ok. The officials first. Isn't it also fear that stops them from improving? There are decent and legal ways to earn a living if they have good skills that the market place wants. But they are afraid that if they lose the back doors then they will also lose the "easy" money. For do they not risk going to jail? Isn't that also fear of learning? Fear of change.
And of course Jimmy, Peter and Eddy rely on fear to keep you from seeing clearly what is happening. So many many years of examples and yet no one dares to stand up to them. Why? They are exploiting the parents fears for their children. Actually we know what they are doing but we are afraid of what they will do to our children if we dare to object.
So this is my reasoning. If they manage to frighten Mark out of trying his best to achieve his goals, from fulfilling his hopes and dream without cheating then they would have succeeded. If that happens then no amount of education ie technical will help him succeed later in life.
It is that simple. And I didn't bring Mark into chess to learn how to fail. You see, in life, if our children ever strive for big things, for ambitious things, there will always be obstacles. So what we need to teach them is how to overcome those obstacles. And the answer can never be by giving up. By allowing small people to steal their hopes and dreams.
You need to learn the proper way to fight back against unfair practices. To develop your character you must also not join them and learn how to steal from other people too.
Are you getting me now? What FGM is all about? So really people like Jimmy, Peter and Eddy are not really relevant. They are mere representation of the people that your children will meet later in life. They are only there to show us the tricks that can be used to keep you down, to keep your children down. So practice how to overcome those things here in chess.
Learn how to see clearly without fear, teach the children how to overcome obstacles without lies, cheating. threats and intimidation while they are still young. And we show them by example. I guarantee you that the lessons of life as an adult will be much tougher. If you want to amount to anything I mean.
All that including overcoming your fears actually comes before creativity. Without that, your creativity would have been crushed out of you before you even had a chance to start out on your journey of life.
Thank you for your time.
What is the point of a selection criteria if you are punished because you train to fight for a place in healthy competition?
We experienced that in Perak. Mark represented Perak for 5 straight years and for 5 straight years they tried all sorts of hanky panky to knock him out. Even to the extent of sending only him back to change his jeans in the middle of his game when others with jeans were allowed to play on.
Both Zhou Ren and Sumant were attacked because they had the audacity to train to try and win the SEA games selection in 2011.
When Li Tian did not win the National Close in 2012, they changed the criteria and brought him in via the back door. Not only him but Zhou Ren as well. Nobody who played and ranked in National Close which was the selection criteria for Olympiads were sent.
And now you see that even at the Masters they can mysteriously miss your name, like what they did to Nicholas.
So is it safe to conclude that if you try to win at selection they will set Jimmy, Peter and Eddy on you?
The selection criteria is only for show. And don't you dare try to compete or raise noise about unfairness or they will punish you.
If you stay silent or be supportive then they will offer you a consolation prize like in Mal/Sing this year. They gave Eng Chiam a spot for keeping quiet about missing the Olympiad. They gave Sumant a spot for attacking me publicly. Simply because they know that they have washed those players out already.
(Not sure if Syazwan was offered a place at Mal/Sing this year. He was also a ranked winner at National Close 2012).
Of course the cronies are given automatic spots. So Jimmy and Li Tian played too. But notice this. Both of them did not win in a selection or in the rankings. And Jimmy even lost to Giam, a 1900 IM from Singapore.
This is the lesson. The deal makers play for the Country. Not those who try to win selection. This happens in States like Perak too. If you keep quiet and not protest even though you are entitled to play then they will throw you some crumbs.
Isn't that how the strong players are killed off and the weaklings and deal makers get in?
If you go back to Jimmy's link you will see one of the last anonymous comment that hits the nail on the head. Ref: Here. Don't you dare protest or your child will be punished.
So lets think about this clearly here. Treat this as a chess position. The question here is why should asking for healthy competition ie we train to fight for a place in selection or asking for clean criteria in selection be so threatening to Jimmy, Peter and Eddy?
Second question. What method are they using to throw you off the scent?
After all, I have never asked for them to be banned while they kept screaming for Mark to be banned. And Peter actually "banned" him. All I have said is we will compete at selection by playing chess. We will not pre-agree results. We would like a fair selection criteria that cannot be manipulated.
So what is so so wrong about that? We want a strong Malaysian Team do we not?
(In fact I keep asking them to tell us which tournaments they will be in and we will also go there to compete with them. In fact I even told them that if they cannot afford the fee to join, to apply to me and I will consider subsidising them. And I have made that request many times).
Lets get this done for 2014. Lets bring in clean selection at least. And we will see a strong Malaysian team and the coming of our GM. But we must fight for it. They won't give it to us. They rely on misinformation, threats, lies and slander to win.
You must be stronger than that. You must be real chess players. Don't accept the crumbs. It is poisoned. It is designed to rob you of your pride and dignity. You cannot play strong chess without it. Only take your place when you have won fairly on the table. Your place should never be gotten from sabotage instead of chess.
Friday, January 3, 2014
We keep learning and we keep trying. We keep fighting to improve ourselves. A few years ago I suggested to MCF that they do some competitor analysis by comparing what we know to what our neighbours know when they travel. Look at their training structure and training methods. Look at their organisational structure compared to ours.
Then we try to improve. A little better. Step by step.
This is not the way. Ref: Here.
And this is also not the way. Here.
They chose to bury their heads in the sand while our neighbours got better and better. That means they don't even have the confidence to take a measure. And then they take offence because FGM and some players do that and try to improve. And all they can do is fix the back doors.
I have travelled to Singapore to see how they train. I went to the Philippines to see how they train. Although my studies are not complete at least I can already see some ways to improve.
What is so offensive about that until they can sack me without grounds instead of allowing me to resign gracefully? And then attack both me and my son publicly by spreading lies and slander?
What is so offensive about healthy competition?
But of course they know this. If we take the measures, if we train hard and improve then we will want the right to compete for a place. We will not negotiate for a place and we will not pre-agree any results. And that may mean that they cannot allow their cronies free entry into the squad anymore. There may be an upset. Then they cannot cari makan and Malaysia may finally have a Team that can fight instead of embarrassing us overseas.
This is now 2014 MCF. It is now 5 years since I have spoken to you about this. Since 2009 right Greg? What have you learnt in that time? I hear you have now passed on Li Ting to Peter to coach. I think it's a big mistake but you are a big boy. And she is your student. So that is your prerogative.
But surely we can have clean selection by now don't you think? I hear you are going around saying that I don't play chess and so I don't know what I am talking about. That is fine. But you do right? So surely you must be able to see from here that the active list is flawed. Ref: Here. What is Eddy Fong's playing strength and what is his rating? What is Jimmy's playing strength? What does this say about the active list?
Don't wait another 5 years Greg. Do it for Malaysia now. Do you still remember what we talked about in 2009? In 2010 during and after Mal/Sing? I have gone on and done those things Greg. What have you done to improve things during this time?
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Peter let me share a deep secret that will change your fortune as a Coach forever. I hope you can keep this between us. You see Peter I had a glimpse of your methods when we shared a room with one of your students during Asian Youth 2011. Peter, you may not know this since you haven't played competitive chess for a long long time and you are a little disconnected but during a tournament the players are really under a lot of stress. Their opponents are trying their damndest to beat them. What a coach should not do is to call up and hurl abuses at the student during this time. You are adding to the stress. And this finally breaks the student. Then they start to drop games. In fact this trauma may even have lasting effect.
Simply put. You cannot hope to terrorise your players into playing good chess. It just doesn't work.
The training should have been done a long time back. During the tournament all the coach can do is to hope that the training sticks. That the coach has done a good job and covered all the bases. And maybe add a little encouragement or a reminder here and there. That is all. Frustrating as that may be as I have found. But that also means you have to learn a little emotional self control first yes, Peter?
Ok. That was the secret. Now you know all that I know. Good luck.
One other thing Peter, let me tell you a little more about what happens to players that have been broken. They simply stop being strong. They suffer from "mysterious" losses. I think you know the players I am talking about. The ones that were used publicly as pawns to tell lies and to slander. The good friends that you are talking about. Just like you, Jimmy and Eddy yes?
Oh yeah, one other thing before I forget. When you need the crutches of the back doors you also cannot be strong. The use of the back doors is already an admission that you are weak, that you lack self respect and self confidence. Also by using the back doors, they don't understand what it means to struggle for a place on the squad. And the coach doesn't learn what he doesn't know to help his player win in a real tournament. Easy entry and then they make the mistake of thinking that playing for the Country is a holiday. Get what I mean?
You now have the secret Peter. Please do not share this with anyone. FGM does not need any real competitors k. So this is just to help you cari makan. Thank you Peter. I know you can be trusted to keep my secret a secret. Now only 2 of us in all of Malaysian chess know this. Wink wink.
ps: Now there should be no more need to write sob story emails to parents of National Juniors saying that you have changed and begging them for their child to be taught by you again, is there?
Happy 2014 Peter.
Playing for the Country or even playing for the State is the highest honor we can bestow to a real chess player. And a real chess player wins that honor by training and fighting hard for his place. It is that simple.
But in Malaysia it is not they who are honored. It is people like Jimmy, Peter and Eddy ("Player", Official and Parent). At least by MCF if no one else. They tell us that they "play chess" and so only they can speak with authority. They forget that many chess players in Malaysia and Internationally are developed by non chess playing parents. And that is a fact.
And so they shut out all other voices with that statement by being so vicious that very few dare to stand up to them and so they get their way.
So today lets have a good look at who these people are that dare not fight in a selection but want the back doors to see if we should listen to them instead of real chess players or those that have developed real chess players. Both counts right? By virtue of real achievement.
Lets start with Eddy Fong who claims that he taught Mark. This is his result from Penang Open Here.
Look at his rating. It is "active". He walked out when he realised that people can see that he really can't play chess at all. Real chess players would have stuck it out knowing that by walking out they would be unfair to their opponents who are still fighting because it affects their tie breaks. I think they deserve more respect than Eddy Fong, don't u think? At least they fought in the tournament. At least they didn't give up.
Now lets talk about Jimmy. Jimmy represented Malaysia in the last Olympiad without selection. And he was hammered there by 1900's. This was his result for the Asian Continental. Here. Even 2000 rated players were doing much better than him and he nearly came out dead last. And he got into the Malaysian Masters on the strength of the active list after that result. And he lost to all the Juniors there. So that result is not a fluke. He was dead last at the Masters. MCF knows this and they know his rating is not representative of his playing ability. And yet MCF chose to open up the side doors for him and not for a real player like Nicholas Chan. And even with that kind of edge Jimmy failed to make the squad. Then he tried negotiations.
This is the man who has been shouting down anyone who points out that the active list is flawed by claiming that he is a Ferrari, Asia's best player etc etc. He only tells us that his high rating is valid because he knows how to get it even if he cannot play strong chess.
And Peter doesn't even have the guts to play in a Fide classical event. So there is not much to say about him. And he hasn't even developed a strong player himself. All he does is talk down about other people's work hoping that would create the illusion that he knows something. Or else he promotes the work of others hoping that you think he actually played a part.
So what right do these people have to judge real players and the people that developed them. Real players who study chess, learn from chess, train hard and then COMPETE.
So those guys are not real chess players. And so even if we go by their maxim that only chess players can talk about chess, they fail even by their own yardstick. If you cannot compete then keep quiet, if you cannot develop strong players yourself then don't comment about the players of others.
And don't you guys dare play play with representing Malaysia. You have no right. Chess does not belong to you guys.
Chess belongs to the real chess players and the people who have developed them. That right must be earned, must be won. And you only know the back doors.
By not having a clean selection criteria, MCF, you are betraying our Country. You are betraying all real chess players in this Country.
We need to hold the people in MCF who have been responsible for the decline of Malaysian chess accountable. We need to hold the parents and so called players who have manipulated the criteria for their benefit responsible and accountable.
We need to change our culture so that we only respect players who train hard and then dare to put themselves in tough competition to win honors. Not condone corrupt officials, thieves and gangsters. That is the only way to progress.
And this applies to the States too of course.
Ps: Jimmy and Peter. Who are you guys to talk about which tournaments warrant being called as playing for the Country? Those Juniors got that right by fighting in real tournaments. You only have the back doors so I would shut up if I was you. Ref: Here.
Jimmy, why don't you play in more open chess tournaments like what our Juniors do and reveal your real rating. Peter why don't you play in a classical tournament to show us what you really know about chess. Eddy, don't bother playing. We already know your level so please don't embarrass us or yourself anymore.