Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Here I would like to state my views on some  of the more constructive comments made under the post HOW DID IT HAPPEN.

From Anon@May12, 11:59pm:

"As a chess parent, my children are very much into chess and competitions. We put our kids under the training of an outside chess school, and as with any commercialised chess schools, I feel that the trainers are more concerned about making $ and his livelihood, than about the general progress of our children's chess-playing skills.

If we feedback that our children are not 'improving', the coach would tell us that 'more lessons are required' or 'sign up for the holiday intensive chess lessons'. Hard to find any genuinely sincere and passionate chess school or trainer outside that is really concerned about the progress of a chess student, as it's really a good means to good steady income. Chess parents are seen as 'wealthy providers' for these chess schools, largely run by foreign talents....sigh..

I can't speak for the rest, but many of my students' parents will agree that when there is a need to stay longer than necessary to ensure that the student has understood the material, I have always done so.

As trainers we have to make a living, but there is also the moral aspect to ensure that we can deliver the goods as there's no quantifiable measure of progress (unlike the piano exams and tests) other than the student's performance in chess tournaments and their rating differences. Parents ought to have the right to choose the right trainers for their children and not feel threatened in any way to conform to any pressure to stick with someone if they know he/she cannot do the job. They can also discuss with the trainer to set some targets in order to audit the efficiency of the trainer's efforts.

Would really be good to start a nation-wide chess movement whereby the passionate chess seniors would guide the juniors, and spar with fellow seniors, and all playing chess with no hidden agenda, just out of pure love for this game. When that happens, I can really see the progress in our chess scene in Spore. "

If this parent has read my earlier posts " LETTER TO THE EDITOR" and "HAS ANYTHING CHANGED SINCE 1984?" I have already stressed the need for chess clubs outside of the schools to trive and provide the bridge between the older chess-playing adults and the younger children to interact, share ideas and experiences, most of all pass down good values.

So I have to disagree with AnonymousMay 13, 2012 8:40 PM when the author opined that so far there has been grouses but no constructive solutions given to improve the chess scene in Singapore for adults. I share the opinion that it is the onus of the SCF to rally all parties involved in chess in Singapore to provide the infrastructure, be it tournament halls, arbiters  and volunteers to promote chess-playing activities for all in Singapore. As one comment pointed out, the SCF has turned down opportunities presented and allowed the press to play on the division of ranks between chess organisers here. Could differences not be put aside in order for us to work together for the benefit of all chess-players ? 

Anon@May14 1:55pm writes:

Hi John,.

Why are the comments on your blog diverging to other areas?

Let's come home to the key issue of the 2 main characters : the writer Handjojo and the person he encountered, Ignatius Leong !

What is the latest development with regards to the whistle blower Peter Long ? 

I did not delete any comments from the thread even though it veered off topic because it is so rare to have passionate people finally opening up with pent-up emotions conveyed and I thank you all for speaking up. 

As to the 2, I will leave it to the readers after researching on Wikipedia or other sources to form their own opinion about them. Peter has categorically stated that he will have nothing to do with Mr Leong despite being a FIDE trainer. As I understand, Peter is currently collaborating with the Susan Polgar Academy and has already disassociated with the IntChessasia entity. 

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