Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What is the future of Malaysian chess? (Part 4)

You might want to read Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 first to get the thought continuity.

In year 2000, I took part in a discussion on the chess malaysia groups on Yahoo Groups. The discussion centred on when Malaysia would get its first grandmaster. Most of us especially me, were very optimistic and thought that Mas was almost on the verge of breaking through and it was a matter of a couple more years. It has been ten years and we are still talking about the first GM.

Why is it important to have a Malaysian grandmaster? Currently the chess base (not Chessbase the software, mind you) in Malaysia is fairly small. The base needs to expand to a certain size and the talents will start appearing. Think of it as critical mass which is defined as "An amount or level needed for a specific result or new action to occur". With the achievement of a first grandmaster, everyone, especially children have a hero to look up to (and as a Whitney Houston song goes, I believe children are our future). This will generate more interest in the game and the base will naturally expand. Critical mass again sets in, the cycle repeats, and the rest is history.

I already argued that it is the responsibility of the Malaysian Chess Federation to promote the game. Thus far, the MCF has only shown interest to continue what it is doing.

There is a saying "If you never set any goals, you will never know any failures". OK, there is no such saying, I just made it up. Sounds good though, so just be sure to quote my name when you use this :)

I might suggest that the MCF has never known any failures for thirty-six years (if you don't understand this number it means you forgot to read Part 2). Does it still want to continue on the same road for the next thirty-six?

Ok, I know the previous paragraph is rather unfair, but I'm trying to hammer a point home here :)

Some of you reading this might think that criticism is easy. Some feathers might get ruffled. What I'm trying to do is to tell you that there is a problem and we should start working on a solution. If there are some who are unhappy with what I have to say, so be it.

The time for action is not ten years ago nor ten years in the future, but now. If we start now, we could be seeing some results in five years. If we are lucky.


Ramone said...

The utmost important,paramount issue in nature is to have national support for chess,particularly from the government. Take a look at Russia.They were dominating world chess since world war 2 until bobby fisher unseated Boris Spassky.They have karpov and other fantastic pool of talents.Chess were their political propaganda for 20 years(Im not saying that Najib should follow in their footsteps) Why?
Because the players get all the support they could ever ask for.We need to have immensely powerful support from the gov to nationalise chess,using it as a tool in a child's education.Our grand flaw now is that the gov dont give 2 hoods and ignores the relevance of chess to prepare my generation in the ever dynamic global competitiveness.

As I have said,the first thing that the MCF has to do is to gain proper recognition from the gov as the nations top chess body and our edu minister should take note on how other foreign gov use chess to flousrish their young bloods. No wonder they have ppl with the title GM and where is our GM??????!!!!! You can answer it.

After accumulating and strengthening the backbone of gov support,next up on our recipe of success is establishing a national chess academy(preffably one in every state) to recognize and absorb fresh pool of talents-we need young bloods to carry our jalur gemilang. No doubts that IM Mas,IM Mok,Im Lim,etc have contributed alot but we should not depend too much on them.

Thirdly, after pulling in fresh talents,exposure should be the only word you are looking at in this paragraph. Throw them overseas.Play FIDE rated events.You know why I am saying this so I need not provide further elaborations.

Chess in SPM? Why not? After all I memorise my bio,sejarah,moral,chem and vomit it out during exams. I dont even understand what I am learning.My teacher says application is important. WHAT??!! Really? All I did was memorise.Oh yea..i did "apply" a few concepts in my bio but I MEMORISED the application that was from the book.Great. That is the problem with our education system. Its busted.Its all about how much you can memorise. Imagine chess is in SPM.They throw in a Ruy Lopex mainline then suddenly the games deviates out of textbook theory. Oh Oh Im in trouble..since I have been memorising openings, I cant answer the SPM question on why that out-of-the-text-book move was played. In the end I get D and cry behind my mums skirt cuz I din bother understanding it and most importantly, APPLYING IT. This is one important virtue in life.


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