24 March 2012

National Closed 2012 in May

Malaysians thrive on rumours and gossip, our ‘khabar angin’ and ‘surat layang’. No less engaging are the ‘dramas’ or ‘sandiwara’,  and ‘wayang kulit’ or ‘shadow play’ being acted out and narrated in front of us. Ohhh! I love rumours and gossip as much as the next guy.

However, there is a limit when the rumours and gossip turn vicious. When it involves unsubstantiated allegations, , fiction and outright lies to assassinate characters and destroy reputations over perceived slights, and just for the purpose of ‘getting even’, it crossses the bounds of civility and acceptability. We may not be able to stop the perpetrators but we, the targeted audience, can play our part by not giving any attention or just ignore outright these unhealthy rumours and gossip.

Indulging the vicious rumours is like watching a porn movie. The morally or spiritually inclined may believe it is bad for the spirit (or is that the soul?), but it still requires some will power to pull away from that stuff.

Instead, if we love rumours and gossip so much, let’s limit ourselves to rumours and gossip that are harmless or just pure fun where innocents don’t get hurt. Better still, we can start our own rumours and gossip of the harmless kind. I’ll do my bit here by starting a mill of chess rumours.

National Closed 2012
Heyyy! This is Olympiad year. The Olympiad is less than 6 months away. The National Closed is a channel for hopeful Malaysian chess players to get into the Olympiad team and you might even get an (almost) all expenses paid trip to Europe (subject to the elusive sponsor appearing). Play well enough so the team gets into the top 80 and you will even come home a hero. After all, no.80 placing would tie the best Malaysian result in almost 8 years.

[Begin Rumour] The 2012 National Closed was slated for end-March in Terengganu in the tentative ‘MCF 2012 Calendar’. Anyone with half a brain would know by now that that date is dead as a duck in the water. My source tells me that the National Closed has been rescheduled to end-May, coinciding with the first week of the May/June school holidays. Where? Probably in old Kay-el. I’d venture it'd be at the trusty and dependable place located at the Wilayah Kompleks car park. You know where... But then, if a generous sponsor appears, we might still have it at a 5-star hotel or better still at a seaside resort with all expenses paid (plus travelling and daily allowance) for all participants.

Well…, we can always dream.

Prestige returns to National Closed?
The source also says that the National Closed final ranking would be the primary criterion for selection to the Olympiad team. Hopefully, that is true and is not subject to one condition after another and a series of ifs here and ifs there, and play-offs. And if the play-off result is not ‘satisfactory’ to ..... (you –know-who), then have another play-off, and another play-off, and another play-off …  until the ‘right’ player(s) qualify.

And the source whose name must not be mentioned, also says that to improve the quality of the event and selection, maybe a minimum National Rating will be required for eligibility. Wow!  If that goes through, some lost prestige and standard would return to the National Closed. Now if the MCF Council or some 'Supremo' with even greater 'power' would just quickly approve the proposals.
[End Rumour]

I am really looking forward to the official MCF announcement of the National Closed dates and clear Olympiad selection criteria. I can then start preparing in earnest to qualify to go for my first Olympiad event. Not as an official to fill up a 'vacant' player slot because no other qualified Malaysian player wants to go for an all-expenses paid trip to Europe (or is it Asia?), but as a player qualified on merit. I love going through the front door. 4th place in National Closed should do it and I qualify for Champions Leag... I mean Olympiad team.

I am happy to go as 5th board. Hopefully, Board 1 to Board 4 play so well that I don't need to play so I can enjoy the holid....err trip. Go collect a few autographs and take a few photographs of (and with) some Super GMs and maybe even rub their shoulders a little bit.

Who knows? I might just get a 20-game GM Norm in good old Turkey, but then I have to play at least 9 games??!!. Aiyahh..., cannot decide, enjoy the holiday on 5th board... or go whack a few GMs to get that GM norm. So confusing.

I am told that Turkey is somewhere between Europe and Asia or is it somewhere in the Middle of the East? Rumour has it that people cannot decide whether that place is in Europe or Asia. Never mind. I’ll look up the atlas after I qualify for the Malaysian team.   [Still dreaming]

Dream, dream dream, and I have you...
In my arms, whenever I want you
All I have to do is dreaaaam.
Dream on! I’m dreaming my life away....

Heck, can somebody help me with the lyrics!


  1. Lyrics wise...maybe Ilham will step in.

    Geography wise...Turkey straddles both Asia and Europe.

    Chess wise...I am also eyeing that 5th spot. Hand off now.

    Selection wise...we must have written selection..we must have written selection...we must have written selection. Ok my hand got tired typing.

  2. Sorry Jimmy, IMs are not allowed on Malaysia Board 5. You just make sure to do your job properly on Board 4 so I don't have to 'lok cheong'.

    And thanks for the geography lesson. I didn't know the meaning of the word 'straddle' you used so I looked up my my trusty Concise Oxford Dictionary. I got a shock when I read that it means -
    '1. v.i. Take or be in attitude with legs wide apart, (of legs) be wide apart'

    We have to be careful here. I have already used porn movies to illustrate a point, and of loving the front door. And now you talk about straddling. The title of this blog may X-Pose but not that kind of X.

  3. you have a dictionary starts with CON...., you should already be suspicious of its contents.

    straddle - to sit or stand with a leg on each side of something.

    ok, maybe the imagery is not quite right for a chess blog.

    Thank god, you got your spelling correct, otherwise the title could be worse - imagine you could have ended up with Chest X-pose.

  4. I get it, I mean the meaning of 'straddle'. Don't worry, I won't ask you where the boundary between Asia and Europe is. We better not start a discussion of tectonic plate movements and merits of the expanding earth theory. Let's retain the chessness of this blog.

    As to your other interesting point or was it two points, we can always dreeaam of the chest when not thinking about chess. But also let's stop here lest some people think we're a couple of dirty old men.