Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Cheap Tricks in Chess?

I think it's pathetic that my first post on this blog is with regard to Raymond Siew (i.e. stuff that other bloggers have shot down countless times), but it seems like this is going to be the trending topic for the next few weeks, and hey, we all have to start somewhere, don't we?

Just so we're clear, the following is copy-pasted from the so-called First GM blog, with what I have to say in bold:

Remember the question raised below. That is the issue.

I guess this is the question you're referring to:

One party asks a question where the opposition has no answer ie winning on the board. The other party throws all sorts of distractions hoping to divert from answering that question.

It's nice to see you using another analogy from a game you can't play. But the problem here is, what do you mean by winning on the board? By itself, it is a disgusting analogy, but you can be forgiven for that.

A good piece of advice: If you want to get your point across, stop using analogies to chess. How do you expect to be understood through an analogy of a game which you don't understand yourself?

Now if you go to any tournament, speak to most players and parents, they will agree. So we have the winning argument. We are winning on the board. So now how?

That's nice. Have you been to a social event before? You would find that those who truly agree with you will continue the conversation in detail, and most likely criticize some flaws in your point, because they truly see your point. Those who don't would just agree and change the topic of conversation, or just avoid you. Only very few people would actually disagree with you in such small talk.

You know, if you keep citing support from outside the online chess community, then perhaps you should consider publishing a weekly journal and distributing it, because your blog in the online world is obviously not garnering much support from the online community.

Now if we can stay focussed and not sabotage ourselves then we can win.

The question is should players who have not played competitively for a period be automatically selected for representation of the Country?

No. In agreement with you at this point.

If not, then what is the solution? We have SEA games this year. Dont you think we need to at least debate this question now?

The solution is already half the way there. Players are selected through the Malaysian Masters tournament. The flaw is that the eligibility is tough, starting with the fact that this tournament is a knockout with 8 players. One way to qualify is by finishing in the top 2 in the National Championship.

But it's not a perfect world. If the Malaysian Masters was a Swiss tournament, players' strategies change. The solid "draw with black and win with white strategy" only works in matches. What if it was a round-robin? Then there exists the possibility of match-fixing (which has happened before in Olympiad selections, but having no proof of this, let's say that it's only a possibility) which could be exercised if the Malaysian Masters was a round-robin. So we're back to square one: a knockout match-based system.
But having a knockout tournament does hold a major flaw, in that it only finds the best player in the field.

Perhaps an improvement is not to be made in the tournament structure, but in the choice of players for the tournament itself. Maybe Mas, Nicholas, Mok, Edward, Evan, Tariq, Yee Weng and Chern Ee don't deserve to play in the Malaysian Masters. Picking players based on their overall performance seems like a good option. Maybe even better is basing the participants of the Malaysian Championship on their overall performance. But in practice, not everyone takes chess as their first priority. Having said so, that does not mean that they do not deserve to play for the country. The fact of the matter is, it's just a matter of chance. Almost nobody makes chess their first priority. Who in their right mind, given that nobody here is above 2400 except Mas and probably Mok, chooses chess over work? Or SPM/PMR/UPSR?

Furthermore, "good performance" is very subjective. Does a player who wins 2 tournaments but plays crap in 10 others perform better than one who wins the only tournament(of the same standard as the other guy) that he plays that year?

Having said so, the system is definitely far from perfect, e.g. since qualifying in the Olympiad by winning the National Championship is somewhat easier than winning the Malaysian Masters.

MCF did make a sad call last year to put Peter Long into the team. However, in their defence, it was a last resort. They had little time, and MCF being MCF, who could they pick in such a short period of time, and with what criteria?

This is an ever persistent problem; no system is perfect. Magnus Carlsen pulled out of the FIDE WC cycle in protest of the system. The point is that even the world championship is flawed. It's not practical to expect a perfect selection system for the national team. Having said that, it can be improved, and this is one thing which I can agree with you.

So what do you propose? And be specific. We need a detailed solution. A vague one is useless, anybody can come up with that.

Here comes the cheap tricks. First they distort the the point of the parents having heartache when they hear about the stories of what happened in the Olympiad. Of course the investigation should now be if the stories are true or not, isnt it?

What happened in the Olympiad? Fixed games?

What investigation do you want? It's easy to establish if it was true or not.

Then they add a little slander. Go to the poll, its on chess ninja's blog. The poll is about whether I have a case to sue? Another misdirection. Who said sue? Go back to what I said.

Nice to see that you were hiding your cards on this one. When you make a threat, alleging libel, 99.999999% of the time, there is a lawsuit involved, with the plaintiff intending to sue for damages. Well, it's nice of you are part of the 0.000001% prepared to go through all the trouble; making a police report, writing a letter to MCMC and spend some money, just to expose 2 people and getting them and a third guy to "apologize".

Now that I think of it, you declare that you never intended to press charges. What does this mean? Did you have nothing better to do with your time and money and decided to "haiyah, give you guys chance la", or were you just bluffing all along?

Now if the poll is about the point I raised which is who is Chess Ninja and who is Rationality?

Does your brain work? By starting a poll on who is who, I'm assuming you mean to poll: Is Chess Ninja A)Mas Hafizul B) Mok Tze-Meng C,D,E,F, etc. Well, that is a pretty stupid thing to do. You can only have so many choices on a poll. A poll has a small, finite number of choices.

What do you think the outcome would now be? Do you want to know who they are? That was the issue.

Is this a rhetorical question? Because I sure as hell don't know the answer.

[OK, now I see what you mean. You're asking to poll if people want to know who the Chess Ninja and Rationality is. You really need to work on your written communication skills. Well, of course they do. Everyone wants to know the identity of an anonymous person. Superman/Batman, you name it. But what does this have to do with anything? It's not even relevant to your point. A realistic poll would be to ask whether people think that the Chess Ninja and Rationality are talking nonsense, which in turn means that they should be closed, and you have so kindly cited that the majority want this without reference in your posts.

There's a poll for this. It doesn't mean that they want Rationality and the Chess Ninja gone, but it sure as hell means that they want you gone more than them.]

So a few members have now fallen for the cheap tricks. The numbers are whittled down.

You're being vague again. What are you talking about?

Remember the issue still is do we want players to represent the Country after a long time out of competitive play.

If they fulfill the selection criteria and prove that they are able to, then why not? And I make the assumption (because of your vagueness) that you are referring to Peter Long and Gregory Lau only , because as far as I know every other player who represented Malaysia has been active in tournaments. Well, Greg is not someone which could be removed from the team for irrelevant reasons. Peter Long...well, he was a last resort. Who else could have been picked?

Also, given the scenario, this has only happened once. Not that I'm saying this should happen again
, but you talk like this is an ongoing problem.

So they bring up the PICA issue. Let us distract even more people.

The PICA issue was only cited, once or twice. And then it was never made part of the argument. There was no elaboration. If someone did mention it and make a fuss out of it, do point it out.

The PICA issue has been brought before MCF. They are the highest Authority in Malaysian Chess. Would I bring it up to them if I have something to hide?

You bring things upon yourself. The PICA issue is unrelated. Yet, why are you telling us more about it?

A few other minor cheap tricks were tried. I wont insult your intelligence by going through them all. You are chess players. You can work things out.

Sadly, chess players are not mind readers, contrary to what many may think. What minor cheap tricks are you referring to? And if they were minor, why do you even bother to mention them?

So who are these people? Why do they need to use this tactics?

What tactic(s)?

Why use threats and intimidation if they have the winning argument and the winning number?

Isn't this you? Aren't you the blogger that is threatening to expose their identities? And intimidating them by threatening to lodge a police report?

Think on this. Who would object to this case? Who is affected and what is their true number?

Now you are learning to see past the cheap tricks. If you can see past these ruses, I promise you will be a stronger chess player. You have the winning game. Now convert.

Blah blah blah. More improvement advice from you.

ps: I've just been told by an IT guy that the poll can be fixed. What a waste of time.

You show even more of your technological incompetence. Of course the poll can be fixed. Just clear your cookies and refresh the page. But who is so jobless to do that? What's the point? We don't need to tell the online chess community that you're full of shit. We know that. The poll was to tell you that you're full of shit.

Your citations of support are no better. Perhaps you can argue that you need not say who gave you their kind words of support, since they only matter to you. In a way, the poll only matters to us. That the online chess community wants you gone. By the way, the guys who vote on the online poll are likely to be chess players who actually have an idea on what's going on. What about your supporters?

P/S: Jimmy Liew's votes went from 4 to 15 within a half hour in the shut-up poll. Go figure what that means. And just in case you're wondering, I started that poll.

Do you know what your problem is? The thing is, sometimes you are capable of coming up with a valid point. But every time you do or say something stupid (which, sadly, happens very often), you lose credibility. Your posts are already boring walls of text (Here's a fact: We don't have the time to read through your average of 4 posts in a day. We have lives.), and many of them are just irrelevant, some of them quotes, which is fine for personal blogs. But if you wish to be heard and taken seriously, you need to keep to the point. Nobody cares about your quote of the day or whatever . And when you say things that destroy your credibility, nobody is going to bother looking through your valid points when you do come up with one, because people are just to think, "Oh, just another word of crap coming from the guy who keeps talking shit."

And you need to be clear in what you say. Withholding elaborations to your point does not help the issue. Maybe you can spend more of your time elaborating the topic than talking about things off-topic.

It's nice to be an active blogger. But if you intend to propagate what you have to say through other people's minds, you need to cut the crap, and keep it short and simple. For example, I can't find your proposed solution to this problem of representing the country. Or rather, I'm not willing to wade through your last 100 posts, and hopefully find it somewhere there.

I have quoted your entire post, and answered every part of it. If you tell me that I'm trying to make the diversion, then I think it's clear that the problem lies in you.

And to sign off, it's safe to say that I'm definitely not going to get a warm reaction from you. After everything you have to say to me, I only ask you to remember:

Propose your solution the the current problem. And don't be vague.


  1. looks like the chess community is still taken hostage with one more blog into the fray.

    certainly makes life more difficult for me and the sponsors...