Friday, 28 May 2010

The Old Man’s Last Hurrah?


Our Dato Tan has been, for good or bad, synonymous with Malaysian chess for half of his life, almost 40 years now, and is many things but in his last few years has clearly taken on the role of being a not always self appointed Messiah.

By facilitating sponsorship of DATMO he has continued his long involvement, then saved the Malaysian Chess Federation from deregistration (and his Hamid from perhaps much more serious problems), and finally with having DATCC (albeit still in a carpark), local chess players (as few as we sadly are) have somewhere to go to to play chess (maybe we should also thank Najib for successfully creating the “content” and keep it relevant).

Now Dato Tan has looked to make himself even more relevant again by jumping onboard the Karpov (American?) bandwagon.

I fully support change in FIDE as 15 years is much too long for any one leader let along the near 40 years as in our case but the jury is really out as to whether Karpov now backed by Kasparov together with a whole bunch of rich people largely associated with him is going to be any better ( than the Kirsan led largely incumbent team (not unsurprisingly Ignatius Leong has already jumped ship – either because he is not wanted or because he is as always looking out for a better deal for himself) so let’s hope that this time all of Malaysia benefits and not just one or a few select individuals.

Over to you Dato’!  

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Back to Chennai


In the last couple of years it seems that I have been making an annual visit to Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India!

Last time around it was for a couple of hours due to a misunderstanding over a multiple entry tourist visa but this time around I have an entry visa as coach of the Malaysian players playing at the Asian Junior Championships from 14-24 June 2010.

For the boys that is 16 year old current National Champion Evan Capel and 11 year old Nur Najiha Azman Hisham will be accompanied by her higher ranked sibling, 13 year old Nur Nabila Azman Hisham.


Unfortunately due to a combination of school exams followed by the MSSM (National Schools) Championship Finals just before I have no time to prepare these young talents and they will also be up against much more experienced and significantly stronger players than  the age group events they are used to.

The Azman Hisham girls will find it particularly tough as they will be significantly younger than most (if not all) the other participants.

I will do my best of course but my focus will be to get to know their play and to try and show them the way forward by using this event as an invaluable learning experience.