One of the things I feel trainers should do is to play from time to time (and of course while no longer playing with ambition it is still necessary that the level of tournament would be challenging).
After all the objective is to "keep your hand" as I have said before in an earlier post http://thefidetrainer.blogspot.com/2009/02/keeping-your-hand.html and to understand better what the current competitive environment is like so as to be able to do a better job with your students.
Well, as much I would like to play the KL Open (most convenient), I am the organiser so that is fairly unrealistic if I wanted it to be a useful exercise!
One idea I had was to play in the Thailand Open and perhaps one or two others every year (Unfortunately not the Malaysian Open as I find that the participants pretty much the same each year) but now that the KL Open has started a partnership with the Bangkok Chess Club to do our events back to back I was not sure I would be able to get away so soon after my event ended.
So when the opportunity to play Chennai came along I jumped despite our latest professional chess player and newly minted International Master Lim Yee Weng (who was playing both New Delhi and Chennai) telling me after he finished New Delhi that the players he had met were talented and under rated (and he did play 11 of them round after round!).
Yes, Yee Weng is a young man and still ambitious while I am now the opposite, so book a ticket I did and luckily (I thought) I already had a multiple entry visa from my earlier visit to Kolkata helping out at the Asian Team Championship.
But it was not to be. I arrived in Chennai and was refused entry. Apparently the Indian government had in the last two or three weeks changed their regulations regarding multiple entry visas and if I were to return to India within two months I had to apply for a re-entry permit (which I was allowed to do so at the Chennai airport immigration but which was then rejected!) and so, very politely but firmly, I was deported back home on the nearest available flight to horror of Indian Chess Federation officials, the embarrassment of Malaysia Airline staff and ultimately the amazement and amusement of a very sympathetic Malaysian immigration!
After 12 hours total of flying to and fro overnight I don't see myself doing this again in a hurry so looks like I will just be playing a game or two at the coming Malaysia-Singapore Match in February for now and then will have to revisit the possibility of the Thailand Open!