Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Pot Calling the Washing Machine Black

Let me first declare that I am not an interested party to any of this laundry-airing that is going on. Which is why I can say that I will be able to provide a more objective analysis on things.

For context, read Eddy Fong's email.

No matter how I read Raymond's reply, I just can't help but notice the big elephant in the room. Raymond kept emphasizing on the fact that Sumant's name was not in the list. As part of a selection committee, is it not their role to bring in any qualified player up for consideration? While Raymond may pretend to claim that he does not want to pick his favorite, but the truth of the matter is, he is also biased when he chooses not to bring in a qualified player for consideration.

Does he really believe that Sumant is not qualified to represent Perak? He is trying to shift the blame to the Perak committee. But let us all not forget that Raymond is the head of the selection committee and as the head, he is supposed to lead the discussion and choose the best players to represent Perak.

So from my understanding, here is his main reason why he did not bring up Sumant's name for selection.

People told him Sumant is not from Perak

Any one with any cow sense to read the National Closed rules know that in order to represent the state, you must be either born in, residing in, or working in the state. Furthermore, as I said, the big elephant in the room was that Sumant was ALLOWED to play in the Perak Closed. If Sumant was not from Perak, why the heck was he allowed to play in the Perak Closed? By virtue of the fact that he is allowed to play, he definitely is qualified to represent Perak. Why was this not brought up by the stupid head of the selection committee who claims to be so good at thinking? Isn't it the job of the head of the selection committee to bring up names for consideration? No one is asking him to select Sumant. What is wrong by bringing in the name to be considered by the whole committee? It shows ill-intent by virtue of the fact that he intentionally left out the name.

Let me postulate a couple of reasons. The committee already had four names. The committee only had room to select four players. If Raymond had decided to bring in another strong player, it would mean that they would have to kick out one player. And based on the "understood and long-standing" criteria, the selection was supposed to be based on merit, by using the Perak Closed results. If that was used, it would mean that Mark would have been relegated to 5th place and could possibly not be selected at all. Given such a possible conflict of interest, Raymond should have recused himself from the selection committee instead, since he is all about taking the moral high ground of walking out the room and what not.

Raymond himself is also a strong advocate of "selection by merit". I did not know when "loyalty" was included as a criteria to represent a state or country. Granted, playing strength should not be the ONLY criteria, but it should be a main one. I fancy the day I am selected to represent Malaysia in whatever tournament just because I have always paid out of my own pocket playing for Malaysia.

The joke of the year is that the selection criteria used was "number of FIDE-rated tournaments played". A criteria cleverly designed such that Mark would be an easy number one pick. Given that this is the case, the committee should have forced Raymond to recuse himself as he was the one who chose the selection criteria and based upon the criteria he chose, his son was the number one pick. Anyone can see how absurd this is.

The selection criteria was arbitrarily crafted and most definitely not "written". But should it not be based on results? Can you imagine a beginner who just started chess and played five rated tournaments and scored zero points? Would Raymond have insisted on using that very same criteria? Isn't it obvious that results should be used, instead of number of tournaments played?

All I can say is, when you talk from ass, shit comes out.


  1. Selection will be based on how many times you play in FIDE rated tourney...sorry Ninja i beg to differ but i like this idea, lurvvv the idea...hope MCF follow this...the only way for me (and maybe my daughters too)to represent Malaysia in chess olympiad!;)

  2. We are entering the Twilight Zone.

  3. Ilham, given you were his "favourite" sometime back, the selection criterion shall be "Father who has 2 chess-playing daughters". If there are other contenders, narrow that down to those with names Ilham :-)