Thursday, January 23, 2014

The hypothetical criteria for Olympiads.

Ref: Here.

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?

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