Friday, August 7, 2009

Crouching Tiger, Smiling Buddha

On Wednesday somebody reminded me that I had not had a post for days. This proves that at least one person reads my blog and secondly, he does not have a life. Are you actually counting the days between my blogs?

Chess is a boring game to the uninitiated. You cannot appreciate it unless you know the game. This is why chess will never become a spectator sport. Imagine an audience following the game. After long minutes of thought, one of the player reaches out and moves a piece. Both players sink back into deep thought. Maybe one of them (hopefully not the one on the move), gets up and takes a stroll to the loo (thats the toilet to you less refined types). Then repeat again and again until the handshake signalling the end of the game.

What is the casual observer to make of this? Man, I'm better off watching wrestling at home on my TV in the comfort of my living room.

We need to spice things up to get more sponsors (and money) into the game. Look at pro-wrestling. In the 70s and early 80s, what we got were two big guys slugging it out in the ring in a small town school gymnasium in the good old US of A. Then along came the World Wrestling Federation and turned wrestling around. Just watch Wrestle Mania and see how the thousands of people actually paying hard earned money to watch these wrestlers muck around in a square ring.

How did the WWF (its now called WWE) did it? It made the wrestlers larger than life, giving them outrageous ring names like Hulk Hogan, Brett "Hitman" Hart and many more. There is much more to it than a name, but its a good start and I think we can copy this trick :)

I'm going to take it upon myself to come up with some board names for some of our top players. Let's start with Ooi Chern Ee and Mok Tze Meng, who are going to meet tomorrow morning for their quarter final match for the 2009 Malaysian Masters.

Naturally the name must match some characteristics of the person. If you talk to Chern Ee he is always smiling, and just being the nice guy he is. For some reason, he reminds me of the statues of buddhas at the Kek Lok Si Temple in my home town on Penang Island. OK, I call him "Smiling Buddha" Ooi Chern Ee.

His opponent is more difficult to name. Mok reminds me of a cartoon tiger in a book called "Chess for Tigers". ( If you can still find it, get this book for a good laugh). The cartoonist drew this tiger with an impossibly slim middle. Now Mok has the slimmest abdomen area I have ever seen in a male and I think he really resembles the tiger in the book.

Mok is quite an enigma. Obviously he has the chess skills but never made his IM title. Not many people remember this, but he has been carrying one or two IM norms for some years but never succeeded to achieve the final one. For some time, he has been like a tiger in the shadows waiting for his moment in the limelight. His success in the recent Penang Open where he took the championship ahead of Mas and a GM, indicates he is ready to make his move. He is a crouching tiger ready to pounce on his victims. That's right, I give you ... *drum roll* ... Mok "Crouching Tiger" Tze Meng.

So will it be "Smiling Buddha" Ooi or Mok "Crouching Tiger" Tze Meng who will emerge victorious? Catch the action at DATCC tomorrow morning and Sunday at 9:00 AM or come back here for the results on Sunday.

Nuff said!


abdooss said...

I'll put my $$ on Ooi Chern Eee.. I modelled my Black games following his recommendations (in the STAR) in the 90's /early 2000.. In my opinion, Mok is more of a hustler - his games are more based on his fighting spirits..

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