Tuesday, 18 February 2014

How to Enter the KL Open

(The KLCA team before our underperforming team mate Sumant's unforgivable defection to Selangor! - we of course have forgiven him and welcome him to play in the KL Open!)

It is unfortunate this year is an Olympiad year so most of our top players have already told me they needed to save their leave to try and qualify (National Closed and/or Malaysian Masters) and then to be able to actually go (and they worry of having to find more time off work should there be centralised training).

We are however trying to work with the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) to see how the younger players still in school might be able to play but even so, there is both MSSM and National Closed in March and National Age Groups in April too!

But let me be clear that we have never refused a proper and qualified entry. I have only (and perhaps too often) had to turn away really desirable players when I could not pay them the professional fee expected or to give them the conditions they needed to financially ease their participation. We have also had on occasion had to limit the number of lowly rated and unrated players so that others playing would have a fair chance to make title norms.

So let me now state what our position is regarding participation:

1. It is not a right unless you are a registered player with KLCA in good standing and we also take the position you cannot be in a fight with other organisers and certainly not with the Malaysian Chess Federation (MCF) and any of its other state membership.
2. Can also get MCF to ask for you if you are indeed a national player, in the past we have even waived entry fees for such requests when a case is made.
3. But end of the day, just follow the rules: you have to enter yourself and it pays to be nice (I believe that is the norm when someone wants something), so write in politely (my email is peter@thefidetrainer.com), then it is really hard to refuse and we might even try to go out out of our way to find a way.
4. To badmouth, demand, and then running to others to make an exception? That makes it quite impossible.

The chess community is small, whether locally, regionally or globally, and so I have accepted many entries via Facebook, E-Mail, even SMS, on good faith from people with good track records and/or with standing in chess (ex top player, official, current national player, foreign international titled player, etc.). The fact that many chessplayers have such difficulty filling up entry forms is another story altogether!

But after doing this for over 25 years and being involved in over 150 international and national events of every type imaginable, I know only too well (as do my equally experienced arbiter colleagues) where there will likely be trouble and it is clearly our responsibility to preempt where possible and that has applied even to many other country "superstars" in multi-sport events where the World Chess Federation (FIDE) does not have the biggest say! Of course the measures taken to protect the integrity of an event and to ensure a good experience for the participants are many and varied.

On this note, I am of course remembering to happily accept the new and of course completely welcome entries of six more players, two local young talents in Fong Yit San (current National Junior Champion) and his older brother Fong Yit Ho, our first Singapore entry in Cyrus Low, IM Moulthun Ly from Australia, returning Kazakhstan IM Kirill Kuderinov and GM John Paul Gomez of the Philippines.