Friday, March 5, 2010

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

For too long, our chess has been taking a stroll through the wilderness. It is time we get back onto the highway and it is time for the leadership to show the way. After five parts of analysing the chess scene and MCF, I would like to put forward some suggestions now.

At the DATCC meeting in January, I outlined three fronts that MCF should tackle. They are money, organization and people and goal setting.

Let us face the facts, without money nothing can be done. MCF has always been weak in this area. Don't blame MCF, it is hard to ask for money when you do not have the results to show. Nobody will put money into something that show no returns.

Perhaps MCF should set up a fund and appoint a suitable person to manage it. This person should also be tasked to find ways to generate revenue back into the fund and to stretch it as far as possible. The fund will be used to finance the projects required to achieve the goals set.

The fund will require a willing sponsor to start it with the seed money.

Organization and People
Currently most of the work rests on the shoulders of one or two person. There is a general feeling that these persons control everything. This can be solved by setting sub-committees to be set up to manage the following areas:
Development and Training
Appoint a Chief Coach and two or more Assistant Coaches. They will be responsible for two squads, here I will just call them "A" and "B" team. The coaches will pick suitable candidates for the two squads. The objective of "B" team is to progress into the "A" team. The objective of the "A" team is to progress to replace the current senior players.

Although age is not really a factor, I think that the "B" team will mostly (at least in the first year) consists of junior players aged fourteen and below. Progression will be based on the evaluation of the coaches which will be carried out yearly. Players may be dropped out of the squads if they do not show sufficient improvement. This is to ensure a competitive environment and also that those who do not have the required talent and capabilities make way for fresh blood.

Frankly there is a lot of planning and execution in this area.

This committee will come up with the criterias and select our players for various events. I think there should be at least three person in this committee to avoid decisions being seen as biased. The decisions should be in writing and published on MCF web-site (if there is one).

Goal Setting
I already talked about this in Part 4 but it is worth repeating. If we do not start setting our goals we will never get out of the wilderness.

Do we want to achieve a first grandmaster? A champion in the World Youth Championships? Introduce chess in schools? Start planning now and put the programs in place to support our chess talents.

Sometimes I think it is very difficult because all three areas require the other two to be ready almost at the same time. If there is money but no proper organization and people in place, nothing will happen. If you have the money and organization but nobody has the vision (goals), nothing will happen either. And finally, you can have thought out the goals you want to achieve,got all the right people together, but without the money it is just a lot of people sharing some dreams.


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