Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What is the future of Malaysian chess? (Part 3)

Read Part 1 and Part 2

Last month, Dato' Tan invited all interested parties to a meeting at the Dato’ Arthur Tan Chess Centre. Each participant was given an opportunity to talk. Some talked about their frustrations with the local chess scene and difficulties with certain officials, some had suggestions on improving chess.

Here I wish to present as well as expound further on what I said during this meeting.

Chess is very structured organization internationally. We have the world body which is FIDE. Each country have their own national federation which will represent that country as a member of FIDE. Each country can have only one federation recognized by FIDE. Otherwise it will be chaos.

In Malaysia, the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) is the body that represents the country in FIDE. There are other non-national organizations that represent specific interest areas that can be affiliated to FIDE. Examples are the IBCA (International Braille Chess Association) and ICCF (International Correspondence Chess Federation).

Just like FIDE, MCF have affiliates and these are the state bodies such as Chess Association of Selangor and Penang Chess Associations. Individuals are not represented in MCF so for example to attend a meeting, you have to be a representative of one of the state bodies.

It is very clear that Malaysian chess is tied to the MCF.

One can only get ratings, titles through the MCF which makes the applications (and payments) to FIDE. If you hold a rated tournament, you have to depend on MCF (and its officials) to submit your results for ratings and title considerations. If you achieve a title requirement, you have to depend on the MCF (and its officials) to make the application so that you can be conferred the title.

What is less clear is that every chess player, organizer, coach, chess parent, in fact anybody that have anything to do with chess in this country is directly or indirectly affected by the actions or inactions of the MCF.

The Malaysian Chess Federation has the moral responsibility to assist everyone who is involved in chess in this country. If a coach or trainer requires an official letter to enable him/her to approach schools to set up chess classes, they should not be denied unless there is good reason for doing so. This is a good thing for chess, to popularize the game amongs school children. If regulation is required, set up the course/seminars/certification to ensure all coaches/trainers have the proper credentials.

The MCF exists for Malaysian chess's sake not the other way round. It has a duty to see that Malaysian chess flourishes and achieve the heights that it may be capable of. If it cannot or will not do this, then there is no need for a Malaysian Chess Federation.


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