Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let's be brutally honest.

Ref: Here.

Let's be brutally honest. The vast majority of chess players enter the circuit because of co-curriculum needs, certificates for university entry, scholarships and sponsorships etc. Very very few do it because they are going for a GM run. Of the lot of our top players perhaps only Fong Yit San has made that total commitment. He has sacrificed his education after SPM in a do or die attempt while the rest will probably find other pursuits in life that they believe will be more rewarding.

That is our reality. But let's stop here for a little while to reflect on this before we continue.

Let me try to explain why I brought Mark into chess to illustrate my point. It was purely for him to develop his thinking skills. The thinking skills I believed he will need in a globalised world. And so I used chess to inculcate these lessons. Here.

But there is more. I also wanted him to develop good values, to be able to trust himself, his thinking and never to take the short cuts no matter how tempting it may look. I use the chess analogy of the poisoned pawn in my explanations to him. Take the short cuts and that means you do not trust in your ability and skills. And chess provided that personal training because the higher up you go, the greater the pressure and the stronger the temptation to take the easy way out. I believe understanding this will hold him in good stead in his future business life. Follow the rules and do not cheat. Or you may end up in prison in a rule based world. (And if you want to be in International business). Think and develop within the rules. Be creative within the rules but never break them. To do all that is also called character building.

And so he will be entering University soon. And I think chess has helped to prepare him for that next stage of his journey in life.

Let me now come back to our chess culture and my assertion that only Fong Yit San is prepared to try and committed for the distance. For him to do that he needs to have the mindset and mental strength to back it, in his arsenal, besides only having mere technical. If he accepts a point he does not deserve here in Malaysia, then he too will have accepted the poisoned pawn which will work against him later.

If he wants to go out there and fight people who are not afraid of challenges then he must first win all the Malaysians here without a crutch. Only then will he have the fortitude to face the world stage.

But what about the rest of our chess players? What will they learn from their time in chess? How will just studying the technical aspects which they will never use in their other pursuits help them? They would have taken much from chess if they have learnt at least this. Here again. They would have taken out even more if they went on to develop their understanding of competitor analysis. Why? Because that too has real world application in business.

In conclusion, we have not only failed the vast majority of chess players because of our narrow mindedness, we have probably failed those that want to become world beaters because our officials are not doing their jobs. They only seek posts for their vanity and egos when what they need to do is to stop the match fixing and to find the funds for the development of our players. So who have we helped? Who has our chess helped to make smarter. Nobody? Wasn't this the same way we "developed" the previous lot kangkung players who now cannot play high level chess? Think on it. Can you take on the world if you cannot even win here without a crutch?

The 2 persons mentioned in my post below is none other than the selection chair and his deputy. Shame on you. What kind of example are you guys setting for our players. You do not even have the courage to think for yourself and to make the right decisions. Fear. If you are that fearful, get out of chess. It's a game to develop men and not for small boys.

The real journey in chess is about raising our skills and knowledge. Not about learning sabotage, short cuts, gaining unearned points, back stabbing and writing anonymous poison letters/blogs. And not about using the players/kids as scapegoats and proxies in a "war" you have no courage to engage in yourself.

Thank you for your time and consideration in reading this post.

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