Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Get Paid to Play?

Jimmy said something about how some senior players should be paid appearance fees to play. There may be some merit to that, but I must say that I can't agree with such additional broad-based preferential treatment. There is already the incentive where FIDE rated players are given free entry, and also how the top 8 players being eligible to represent the country. On top of that, there is also the prize money offered. Granted, it is not much, but since when do chess players in Malaysia feel like they are entitled to high prize monies?

Jimmy is right to say that there is too much to lose, and too little to gain. Nonetheless, being a strong believer of the incentive-based system, I also doubt that urging seniors to do some "national service" will do the trick.

However, I think paying appearance fees for the IMs to play would not be a bad idea. I must say that I am utterly disappointed that both Mas and Mok were given automatic spots to play. It is not that I feel they are not qualified to play for Malaysia, but "forcing" them to play for their spot would certainly encourage a more competitive culture in Malaysian chess. In fact, any of the IMs that we have are welcome.

I just don't think that NMs should be paid, despite the fact that some of them are actually hard-earned. Perhaps the defending champion can be paid an appearance fee, but most certainly not all the past NMs. Please rethink the incentive system so that all players would know what behavior is rewarded and what behavior is "punished". Incentives should be exclusive and be performance-based.


  1. When I said "pay", I meant those high rated players e.g above 2300 not NMs. The main reason they dont play is they do not want to lose rating here which is quite easy to do.

    I dont know if NC is rated (I think yes), For example I lost some rating points in the NC and will drop below 2300.

  2. Yeap, there's such a huge rating gap. Nicholas Chan easily won last year's Selangor Open but still ended up losing some Elo points

  3. As for players above 2300, you can count them with the fingers of 1 hand. Maybe chosen local players,and foreigners, can be contracted to play a certain number of events for monetary reward or a certain place in the Olympiad/Asean/zonal events.

    As it is many "strong" unknown players have low FIDE ratings due to inadequate exposure and are very likely to snatch points from established players. It is then a risky business for even IMs to play them. That is the main reason very few NMs play again in the nationals so much so that the National is a re-run of the MSSM. It is no surprise that the National champ is a junior who has just won the MSSM title, just like last year.