Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Interesting Poll

Appreciate the humor here.  Go and vote if you have not done so.


siew fai said...


(On hindsight, looking at how toxic the situation has become, I should have asked for a longer period!)
I have good news and bad news; the good news is I have not received a rejection as yet, but the bad news is that the green light to spend RM1 million on chess is way overdue!)

Suddenly, while the decision hangs on the balance, I had become “an interested party” to the on-going “all-out-feud” between the four of you! If only there is a way I can diffuse it for the good of the Malaysian Chess Community.

I had always maintained the stand that Chess is bigger than anyone of us, regardless. It is a game fit for Kings and paupers; and yet why are we standing by when four grown-up adults trying to “hijack it from the Malaysian chess community” by threats of police reports and lawsuits?!
I must confess that I am ill-equipped to arbitrate especially when all information is not made available. But I can share “some experience” when the merits of the issue rest on “one particular case of sponsorship went astray”. Hope it will help!

Sometime ago, I was fortunate to have access to a generous sponsor whose instruction was the simplest of all; organise one simultaneous chess match in each state and FTs in record breaking fashion (get the local “captain of industry” to sponsor any amount and he will take up the balance of the cost with or without his company images included) . To put money where his mouth is, he placed a large order of collapsible tables (that meet the simul requirement on minimum walking distance) to be trucked and ship across the width and breadth of Malaysia.

Many would have remembered the KL66 and Seremban88 simul performed by CM Collin Madhavan. And the promise made by the sponsor in a press conference that we will see the World Record broken on Malaysian soil! That statement created a ripple in an overseas blog which I have to stand in to put the record straight among the International chess community (“the sponsor is a non-chess playing person and does not know what are the challenges involved in doing a World Record and should not be held responsible for his statement”)

What lesson do we learn from it?
1) Moral Hazard – It is always a joy to secure a sponsor but we must always be very careful to ensure we do not let our sponsor cross into “moral hazard grounds”. “A promise” in a business world is liken as gold and failure to hold that promise can ruin a whole empire. Safe-guide your sponsor from entering moral hazard ground and is prepared to extricate immediately if drawn into it unintentionally.
2) Moral Responsibility – It then become the moral responsibility of that the person who sells the ideas and secured the sponsorship to ensure the image and goodwill of the sponsor is defended at all times; perceived, imagined, or “any situations deemed impairing the image of the sponsor”.
3) Sponsorship or Partnership – The person that secure and now front for the sponsors must be very well aware of the thin line between “sponsorship” and “partnership”. Never (never, never ever) cross this thin line for an easy going “Win-Win” formula will become an entangling “Lose-Lose” nightmare. If it has changed into a partnership as the sponsorship progresses, identify it as such and call a spade a spade!
4) Benefits of the doubts – Communicate (and more communication with all parties; friendly or otherwise). Always err on the safe side and draw no undue attention (Example of wrong language used; to “throw-a-game” when the hand-phone rings as compare to “have-a-game-forfeited” for an oversight do make a world of difference)

siew fai said...

With the above statement made, can I now try to be as neutral as possible? To maintain neutrality is a task deemed extremely difficult but I will still have to try...

a) As I remembered then, when one parent of a chess player bring up the issue of a “sponsorship” that was “too good to be true” and seek my view on having his child signing-up, I clearly give him the liberty to decide on his own as “I personally will not touch it with a ten-foot pole (even though I do not know nor have any run-in with the person whom is organising it). The parent walks away without asking me the reason behind that statement.
b) Few weeks later, he came back and said that MCF has endorsed it and what is my view? I had given him the same answer! Again he did not ask for the basis of that statement.
c) Hindsight is always 20-20! But how could I have seen the “messy entanglement” since last year?
d) It all rhythm with what I have written above.
e) Dear Raymond, “in his zest to do something he perceive to be good for chess has made some elementary opening errors” and “our unforgiving chess fraternity had not given him any benefit of the doubts”.
f) If it is a true sponsorship, it’s free. If “any monetary payment is due”, it had crossed over in a “bundled-service-provider” territory aka “partnership” and Raymond “should have paid a “legally-binding” One Ringgit Malaysia for each ticket provided and build his plans around it.
g) As in chess, a simple flaw in an opening move can be terminal, true too is in the real world. Is it so wrong when some chess players “smell a rat” and “attack it repeatedly? Where are Raymond’s friends or counsels to lend him a hand and diffuse the crises?
h) And to made matter worse, we are unfortunate to be in an unforgiving world.
i) I will never accuse Raymond of deceit on this account but that of an error of judgement, failing to see he has moved from his past “multi-million ringgit commercial ventures” environment into a “of public interest domain” framework that he is very unfamiliar with.
j) GENTLEMEN! You guys definitely need to take this off line and settle this affair in the most amicable way. Hijacking the “Malaysian Chess Community” of its clean, beneficial and joyful Chess is definitely not the way forward.

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