Thursday, August 16, 2018

Another letter from Kaushal

An anonymous reader forwarded me this letter, again from Kaushal (he is persistent is he not?). There is  more detail which was not brought up before.
I understand that Li Tian was offered and declined. The others I have no knowledge.

Dear YB Dato’ Zahidi Bin Zainul Abidin,
I am writing this letter to seek clarifications on the selection of a team of five (5) individuals to represent Malaysia in the 43rd Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia due to take place on 23rd of September 2018 to 6th of October 2018.
The individuals who are selected are as below:
1.    CM Fong Yit San (2108)
2.    FM Lim Zhuo Ren (2166)
3.    Lye Lik Zang (2345)
4.    Mukhriez Shah Mahmood Shah (1821)
5.    CM Zaidan Zulkipli (2203)
Based on the selection criteria that has been circulated prior to Malaysian Chess Championship 2018, the qualification will be based on
“7. The Olympiad Qualifiers from this competition 
7.1. Champion of the 2018 Malaysian Chess Championship shall automatically qualify himself into the Malaysian Team for representing the Federation at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad 2018 in Batumi, Georgia.
7.2. The second and the third place shall also qualify themselves as the candidates in the Team. The remaining spots shall remain as the President’s choice.”
– Rules and Regulation of MCF-UPSI Malaysian Chess Championship 2018.
Based on these criteria above, our current National Champion, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are chosen, Fong Yit San, Lim Zhuo Ren, and Lye Lik Zang respectively. And, the remaining two players, Mukhriez Shah and Zaidan Zulkipli are your choices. I assume, your decision was made with the suggestions and input from others and/or MCF Selection Committee. From MCF’s Official website, the selection committee comprises of Lim Tse Pin and Sophian A. Yusof.
Firstly, in my opinion, Zaidan Zulkipli is a skilled player with a FIDE rating of over 2200. However, the exact criteria or reason used to select your Vice-President remains a mystery to me. There are seven (7) other players (excluding those who have already qualified) who are higher rated than Zaidan on Malaysian FIDE Rating list. 
These players are as follows: 1. Yeoh Li Tian (2497), 2. Nicholas Chan (2377), 3. Mas Hafizulhelmi (2318), 4. Aron Teh Eu Wen (2286), 5. Wong Yinn Long (2243), 6. Dilwen Ding Tze How (2222), and 7. Chan Kim Yew (2215)
In order to pick Zaidan purely on skill or rating merits, one must have needed to invite all of the above seven (7) players, and they all must have had rejected in order to offer Zaidan a place in our Malaysian Team.
My question is, had all of the other seven players been offered a spot for Oympiad before Zaidan? had they all rejected the offer? was Zaidan chosen due the fact that he is your strongest MCF committee member? who had suggested Zaidan first? what was the exact reason Zaidan had been offered the spot if it is not based on rating?
Secondly, the choice of including Mukhriez Shah in the team, who finished 18th place in the recent Malaysia Chess Championship is a bigger mystery to most of us. I fail to see any logic or reasoning behind choosing a player who has a rating of 1821, and is not even ranked in the top 100 in our country, to represent Malaysia in the most prestigious team event in the world!
Furthermore, I have a revelation to make in this letter. I had heard rumours of Mukhriez Shah was going to be chosen for Olympiad few weeks in advance to Malaysian Chess Championship 2018. At that period, it seemed to me like a silly rumour and a joke, but it came true.
My question is, how is it possible, that Mukhriez Shah was chosen even before we crowned our National Champion? When did the selection committee meet to discuss on candidates of president's choice? Don’t we have any other better candidate? had you considered anyone else from the top 100 Malaysia FIDE Rating list? had you considered former NM Kamal Abdullah who had finished 4th in Malaysian Chess Championship 2018? who had suggested Mukhriez Shah first? was Mukhriez Shah’s father Mahmood Shah (who is your MCF Advisor) part of the selection committee? what is the exact criteria and reason of Mukhriez Shah's selection?
The signal that MCF gives to our chess community is of nepotism and favouritism, where if you are an MCF Committee or are related to one, you are more likely to be given a spot to abroad. Also note, that MCF Treasurer, Haslindah Ruslan is the women’ team captain and Nik Ahmad Farouqi, a committee member, is the men’s captain which only reaffirms my point
Based on this above issue, and other scandals such as (i) lack of accountability by certain officials (ii) the breach of trust, commitment and contract by MCF which had failed until now to ratified National Scholastic Championship 2017 (http://malaysiachess.com/blog.php?p=79) despite advertised and taken entrance fee as a FIDE Standard tournament, and (iii) what about those scandals where even police reports have been made? were there any proper investigations? were there any follow-up actions? The feeling I get when I think about how MCF runs its affairs is of corruption, favouritism, nepotism, shameful, dishonest, and the list goes on.
As an official of a body, you are answerable to your members. Our chess community and I await your reply with specific answers to my questions above which are in bold.
I sincerely urge you to clean up your committee and be as transparent as possible to our small chess community.
Lead us to a better future. Lead us in this new Malaysia.
Note: I would also like to state in the matter of public interest and conflict of interests, Sophian A Yusof and Kwai Keong Chan (KK Chan) had separately initiated a defamation lawsuit against me regarding the skirt-scandal fiasco, however, the former had withdrawn his case but the latter's lawsuit is still ongoing. Furthermore, I would add that I do not have any personal problems and get along well with Mukhriez, Zaidan, Nik Farouqi and Haslindah Ruslan. I had been urged by many parents, players and coaches to pen this letter on their behalf, and my only agenda in writing this letter is to ensure we have a clean, open and fair chess community. 
Sincerely,
Kaushal Khandhar
+6 016-5590455

An open letter from Kaushal

Open Letter to President of Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) and Selection Committee

Dear Dato' Zahidi and other committee members,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mr. Hamid Majid on his appointment as MCF Secretary and I sincerely hope you would take the matter below with the utmost importance and urgency.

In view of the recent public outcry of the selection of Zaidan Zulkipli and Mukhriez Shah as the representative of Malaysia to the Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia, you have the following two (2) options at your disposal.

1. Defend your choice of both players, provide detailed answers to the exact criteria and reasoning behind the choice to include Zaidan and Mukhriez in the Olympiad team.

2. Correct your mistake, by replacing both players with other suitable and more deserving candidates who are chosen based on his merits over the board.

Please note, although we have crossed the deadline of registration of players, Olympiad organisers allows a change in players until 23rd of August 2018 for a penalty of  €100 each player.

Our chess community and I eagerly await your reply and decision.

Regards,
Kaushal Khandhar
0165590455

Monday, August 13, 2018

Reply (sort of) from the appointed captain of Men's Team


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim..

Apa khabar IM Jimmy yang dihormati,

Berdasarkan open letter dari IM Jimmy Liew, saya nak ucapkan terima kasih kepada MCF kerana beri peluang kepada saya sebagai kapten Malaysia ke Olympiad kali ini. 

Perlantikan sebagai kapten sebenarnya mengejutkan kerana saya sendiri tidak menawarkan diri tetapi apabila ditawarkan, saya menerima dengan penuh tanggungjawab dan berjanji akan memberikan yang terbaik. 

Secara peribadi, saya berpengalaman ke Olympiad di Norway sebagai kapten negara dan pada edisi tersebut Malaysia mendapat kedudukan yang agak baik berbanding starting ranking. Untuk pemilihan pemain kali ini juga kita mempunyai line up yang stabil dan juga mengambilkira jangka masa panjang untuk pendedahan kepada pemain2 muda catur negara. Saya percaya pasukan negara akan dapat menunjukkan prestasi yang membanggakan di Kejohanan Olympiad akan datang kerana akan memberikan komitmen terhadap persediaan sebelum kejohanan ini.

Saya tidak ingin mengulas mengenai keputusan pasukan negara pada edisi lalu dan bagaimana pemain2 tersebut terpilih mewakili negara walaupun ada yang tidak menyertai kejohanan kebangsaan pada tahun tersebut. Apa yang saya harapkan adalah sokongan peminat2 catur di negara Malaysia supaya kami dapat memberi aksi terbaik. 

Janganlah tanam sifat bermusuhan memandangkan komuniti catur kita ini kecil sahaja.. bukan kita tidak beri peluang pada pemain2 yang kuat di masa lalu tetapi result agak mengecewakan. Jadi kalau peminat memandang pasukan kali ini sebagai tidak hebat, mungkin ianya lebih baik kerana dengan kurang tekanan, kami mungkin beraksi dengan lebih baik!

Pesanan dan harapan saya kepada peminat catur Malaysia, kalau tiada apa yang baik untuk diperkatakan, lebih baik diam kerana takut mengganggu persediaan pemain. Nama pemain telah didaftar dan kami fokus dan memerlukan sokongan semua. Saya harap pemain2 saya tidak diganggu dengan isu2 sebegini lagi.

Sekian , terima kasih!
“Maju Sukan Untuk Negara”

Nik Farouqi
Sent from my iPhone

For the benefit of foreign readers, I translate as best I can.


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim ..

,

Based on open letter from IM Jimmy Liew, I would like to thank MCF for giving me the opportunity to be Malaysian captain to this Olympiad.


I was surprised to be appointed as captain  because I did not offer myself but when offered, I accept with full responsibility and promise to give the best.

Personally, I have experience in the Olympiad in Norway as a captain and in that edition Malaysia got a pretty good position compared to starting ranking. For the selection of players this time we also have a stable line-up and also takes a long time to expose the players of the young chess country. I believe the national team will be able to perform well in the upcoming Olympiad Championship as it will give commitment to preparations before the tournament.

I did not want to comment on the decision of the national team in the last edition and how the players were selected to represent the country despite some who did not participate in the national championship that year. What I'm hoping is the support of chess fans in Malaysia so we can do the best.

Do not plant hostility as our chess community is small .. it is not we did not give a chance to past strong players but the results are a bit disappointing. So if fans look at the team this time as not great, maybe it's better because with less pressure, we might even do better!

My message and hopes to Malaysian chess fans, if there is nothing good to say, it's better to be silent for fear of disturbing players' preparation. The player's name have been registered and we are focused and need all support. I hope my players are not bothered with these issues anymore.



My reply below.


Nik,

Your reply is misleading and does not address the real issue. 

1. The question was how the choice of Zaidan and Mukhriez was made. I presume the President did not pick their names out of a hat and he has his valid reasons. It should not be too difficult to state them.

2. How strong or weak the previous team was and their results are totally irrelevant to this issue.

3. It is not my intention to do any damage to the team. I do wish any Malaysian team the best in the competition.

4. FYI, I have received many praises, publicly and privately, for having the courage to bring up this matter, which nobody dared to do for fear of repercussions.

IM Jimmy Liew


Readers can draw their own conclusions. On the point of not lobbying, I believe the posts of captain, head of delegation and FIDE Delegate have always being lobbied. But when they start inserting themselves into the players area, the line is crossed.





Sunday, August 12, 2018

Open letter to President of Malaysian Chess Federation


Open letter to the President of Malaysian Chess Federation

Dear YB Dato’ Zahidi Bin Zainul Abidin,

I am writing this letter on the selection of the Malaysian team to the 43rd Batumi Open Chess Olympiad, the premier team event, due to take place in September 2018.

The team composition are:

 

1
CM
Fong Yit San
2108
MAS
0,0
2
FM
Lim Zhuo Ren
2166
MAS
0,0
3
Lye Lik Zang
2345
MAS
0,0
4
Mahmood Shah Mukhriez Shah
1821
MAS
0,0
5
CM
Zulkipli Zaidan
2203
MAS
0,0

 

The first three are the qualifiers from the Malaysian Championship. I presume the next two players are your choice, probably with input from others. The selection of Mukhriez Shah and Zulkipli Zaidan raises questions.

I think Zaidan is a competent player as reflected in his FIDE rating of 2203 even though he is not very active over the chess board. However, your choice of your Vice-President of the MCF into the team needs to be based on very strong credentials over the chess board.

The signal that is sent is that MCF committee have good chances of being sent abroad as team officials as a reward for their “hard work”. This will encourage the wrong people to start vying for positions in the chess federation. I note that MCF Treasurer, Haslindah Ruslan is the women’ team captain and Nik Ahmad Farouqi, a committee member, is the men’s captain which seem to prove my point.

The choice of Mukhriez Shah is even more questionable. He finished in 18th place in the Malaysian Championship. His current FIDE rating is 1821 which puts him outside the top 100 Malaysian rated players. A player who is not even ranked in the top 100 is representing us at the most prestigious team event in the world! I hope to get your reply on how this is remotely possible. Were there no other suitable candidates?

I look forward to your reply. I can be contacted below.

Note: This letter has been emailed to all the MCF members as listed in the website of the Malaysian Chess Federation.

Sincerely,

IM Jimmy Liew Chee Meng

Mobile: 019-6571628

Email: cmliew@gmail.com

Cc:

YM. Mej (K) Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah Bin Raja Hussin,Deputy President MCF

CM Dr. Zaidan Bin Zulkipli,Vice-President

IA Lim Tse Pin, Vice-President

FI Muammar Julkarnain, Vice-President

FA,FI Sophian Bin A.Yusuf, General Secretary

FI Haslindah Binti Ruslan, Treasurer

Zuraihah Binti Wazir, Committee Member

FI Muhammad Firdaus Bin Ismail, Committee Member

AGM,FI Nik Ahmad Farouqi Bin Nik Abdul Aziz, Committee Member

FA,FI Yeap Joo Hock, Committee Member

IA Steven Cheong, Committee Member