Tuesday, 30 June 2015

There Will Be A KL Open & Juniors In 2015

I am very happy that the KLCA post Dato' Sri Dr. Edmund Santhara-Peter Long era is already off to a good start with the new KLCA having had their first council meeting and already informing MCF of their intention to organise a revamped KL Open & Juniors - proving conclusively that while too many in MCF are without shame in clinging on to power despite making zero contributions other than imposing on parents and state affiliates for their living, I at least have once again walked the talk by stepping aside and this has allowed others the opportunity to shine.

The new KLCA is very much its own animal but as I have constantly sought advice from Dato' Sri, I am of course asked my opinion on technical matters and in fact I only have a heads up over knowing early about the KL Open & Juniors simply because I was asked today to be the Chief Arbiter so that I could use the event to pass on my experience.

Instead of a KL International Open where previously year in year out I managed to put together a top class field on a shoe string budget only to be embarrassed when our local players were simply unable to compete with the foreign professionals, KLCA is not even going the downgrade route that the Selangor Open necessarily has done or to pretend to have the aspirations of actually quite similar Penang or Johor Opens.

KLCA has instead decided to do a two day Rapid, and it will be FIDE rated subject to some in MCF not playing their usual games because when the idea was first mooted to the Hon. Secretary who called them the day after I announced I was quitting, I have now understood there was first an attempt to threaten about various legalities including alleged arrears, then a refusal to agree to or offer suitable dates, and finally it ending with an offer to do it together! (Seriously Gregory Lau, are all your tricks the same to be repeated day in day out? Thank God I no longer anymore have to deal with your kind!).

The KL Open & Juniors will celebrate Merdeka Day (for foreign readers of my blog, that is Malaysia's Independence Day) and so will be held on 30 & 31 August 2015 with a guaranteed prize fund of RM 10,000 (thanks to Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific) including a RM 3,000 first prize in the Open!

No doubt details will soon be at www.klchess.blogspot.com but I seem to remember the entry fee structure to be something like RM 30 for KLCA members and RM 60 for non-KLCA members and USD 50 for foreigners in the Open and a very token RM 10 for KLCA members and RM 20 for non-KLCA members in the Juniors. There will be no exceptions for titled or highly rated players as it is a Rapid, and my advice to KLCA will be to close entries at least a week before to avoid all sorts of organisational challenges as a result of accepting entries on the day itself!     

Friday, 26 June 2015

Young Talent HPE Program

Now that I have quit all posts and official involvement in the local chess scene I have time to do a Young Talent HPE (High Performance Excellence) Program that so many have asked for in the last year or so.

I will be starting in KL and probably do something in Penang and then offer the same in the region.

This is not going to be something which will normally be in conflict with a student's existing training arrangements as it should be complementary and to get it out to everyone who is interested I will be working with other trainers/academies.

For KL it will be 30 sessions over the course of a year, two to three hours each time, done on selected weekends and also camps taking advantage of both public and school holiday breaks, and designed to accommodate both national type and international school terms as well as the dates of the major national and international competitions.

While the ideal target group is the under elevens ready and able to work independently, this has to be a multi-year program (three to five years), and the topics will be appropriate to whatever age and strength provided they already have the basics - this is not a beginner course or even post beginner course - as it is then a question of what level of the subject materials are appropriate as the biggest challenge really for older kids is changing what they have learnt or are already doing.

My focus will therefore be in primarily introducing the methods together with the needed content and then to reinforce learning while developing the right habits for the student in analysis sessions.

The program will begin from July 2015 with input and progress monitoring from targeted tournaments beginning with the Malaysian Open/Festival in September, the Penang and/or Johor Opens in December, National Age Groups likely in February/March and of course the ASEAN+ Age Groups in March/April 2016.

Singapore Team Report on the ASEAN+ Age Group Championships

Singapore Team Report on the Asian Schools Championships

Why Vietnam is Successful at the ASEAN+ Age Groups?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Time To Move On: From 1 July 2015 It Will Be All My Best For The Malaysian Chess As You All Choose It To Be!

26 May 2015

The Hon. Secretary
Kuala Lumpur Chess Association


Dear Amirul,

I hereby tender my resignation as KLCA President.

Regretfully I will not be able to see out my two year term and so apologise in advance for leaving after convincing so many to join the committee to support chess.

Hopefully the rest would want to continue and I understand fully if the decision is made instead to close down KLCA as I too find engaging so many in the local chess community, especially those interested in MCF, to be an absolute waste of time given we always had completely opposite agendas.

I have never been interested in chess office and as my formal retirement age comes closer it is time I followed my own chess priorities.

These are to work with a group of talented young players, facilitate the setting up of national development projects, and to visit and help friends in their events.  

Maybe KLCA if it continues would also want the first I can contribute a little, with Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific I certainly have the opportunity for the second, and for sure I am starting to seriously do the third now!

Best wishes!

Thank you


Malay Mail Online: Chess in Malaysia: A Headlong Rush Towards Mediocrity

Monday, 15 June 2015

Was I Too Harsh?

From the table above, some facts simply jump out as follows:

1. Let's start by ignoring Seniors 50 as Ismail has consistently done well as veteran but he hardly represents any sort of future for Malaysian chess.

2. We had three players highly regarded locally seeded in the top ten, in fact first, sixth and sixth but in the end they were 29th, 33rd and 40th. In short highly overrated in both our assessment (not mine) and their FIDE rating.

3. Only three with 4.5/9 made a 50% score.

4. The number of games lost was simply staggering and some had scores so bad (including one with zero) one can only wonder how MCF allowed them to play except it is well known that published selection policy does not count for anything with the idiots and incompetents (and crook?) that run Malaysian chess.     

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Mediocre... Again. Should I be Surprised?

Some of our self proclaimed "superstars" are present at the 16th ASEAN+ Age-Group Chess Championships 2015 being held in Singapore while others have, in hindsight, perhaps more cleverly opted for the MSSM Championships being held concurrently.

The chart above shows our almost complete failure with one round to go and while parents cannot be blamed for what they do to (or not do for) their children, I find it laughable that the appointed MCF VP cum Treasurer representing Sabah with her self styled "Biro Catur Wanita" and boasting a 1647 FIDE rating is here with actual hopes for what she thinks are our best girl talent.