Saturday, March 1, 2014

Teamwork and Team events.

Since the USM team event is going on today, this may be a good time to investigate this. Now depending whether the event is match point or game point the strategies will differ. But lets use match point today for an illustration. In match point play, depending on the goal of the team, sometimes players are asked to take a hit for the team. Sometimes a player is required to win above his class. So an accurate evaluation of team strength vis-a-vis the other teams is essential to establish realistic goals. Are you a Champion team or is the best you can hope for is a placement? And the Captain evaluate chances round by round.

But I am not going into the technical aspects today. For that you can consult with the many technical experts around us. Today I would rather explore the concept of teamwork.

Now for a team to work, every member of that team has to function. They need to fulfill their role or the team breaks down. A good model can be found in football. I see many comments on Man U on FB.

So the first prerequisite of a team is that you cannot pass the ball when it is your responsibility. When you have the best chances to affect outcome. Each must carry their own burden or the team fails. Agreed?

And now we come back to chess. Did you see from the last Olympiad that we didn't have a team? Everyone was either trying to achieve a norm for themselves or not playing for fear of losing rating. Nobody was playing for Malaysia in the team event. And the captain was totally useless. We can see this clearly when it is football yes? Now lets us try to see it where it matters to us. In chess.

In chess, the role of the players is to train and play good chess. The role of the managers, trainers and coaches is to assist and to prepare the players. The role of the officials is to facilitate this by carrying out their responsibility. The role of the State Associations is to develop their own players. The role of our Open Classical Fide events is to develop Malaysian players since MCF is involved. The role of the organisers is to keep their tournaments clean. 

But what are some of our officials doing instead? And then they finger point. So all I am saying is to fulfill your job responsibility wherever you are on the totem pole and then we become a team. Then we become a better team if we work at it. Then we become a Champion team. But it all starts with you. Pointing the finger and then not fulfilling your individual responsibility and role is what got us into this mess in the first place. Agree?

The point is each has a role. And your job is to perform your role well. That is being part of a team.

Do your job. And stop making excuses. Or worse, deflect from your own shortcomings by attacking the Fide President, attacking other players, trainers and coaches because you cannot develop even one strong player yourself or play strong chess anymore etc etc etc.

A team is created and bound by a common vision and brought to success by a strong and commited leadership.

Note: It may become more obvious when we use the football analogy to see that the role of the manager/coach is also to protest when the rules have been infringed and their players have been unfairly dealt with.

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