Last year the KLCA organised a KL Young Talent Championship targeting the U-19, U-11, and U-13 age-groups from which winners were invited to participate in a year round training program faciliated by Polgar Chess Asia.
Ultimately a few conclusions had to drawn as follows:
1. From the selection perspective, there is a big difference between the winner, a top three finisher and those making up the top ten so when many of the top finishers were not eligible, opted out (or more could not attend regularly), the program was reduced to trying to address knowledge gaps and a big differences in strength amongst participants.
2. In terms of trainer-student relationship (and of course we knew this but had to give it a go), the fact is that when a child is already 12 or 13 years old and an active participant in local (even international) competitions, there was little we could do to engage them effectively except perhaps unless on a one to one basis and that approach was outside the scope and objectives of the program.
3. And when looking at having a team which could work together as a cohesive unit - critical for participants to improve by taking a longer view and to push each other – this never happened for all the usual reasons, from being “kiasu” to having vested interests to even wanting to believe one’s own publicity!
So this year the KLCA will used the KL Rapid Grand Prix as a whole as a basis from which those who fall into U-9 and U-11 age categories can bring attention to their talent and if also committed KLCA members, can apply for training and sponsorship in the 2010/2011 program.
Of course I, as the Program Director, will facilitate the application process (via email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for eligibility and qualification) but their progress in the program (if accepted) will be overseen by a committee made up of various stakeholders from KLCA and MSSKL.