1. Raymond Siew, a prolific blogger mentioned about idea of a match between Senior team and Junior “for the rights to Olympiad". This idea, according to Raymond, has been put forward by a parent of National Junior durung train ride to S'pore.
2. I am all in the favor for the match between Senior and Junior to take place. It will be a great tournament, full of suspense, predictions, good games etc. I bet it will be even bigger than 2009 Malaysian Master, a tournament in which resulted in 3 local IMs to cover it in their blogs. The publicity will be good for chess, the result will be good in measuring the progress of junior against senior etc.
3. But let’s not put the rights to Olympiad at stakes. If junior wins (which honestly I don’t think it will happen against full strength senior team). Are we going to send a full junior team? Not a good idea…who is going to decide the line up, provide experience/guidance or strategy? This is no MSSM. Not to mention the effect of low ratings to the team, low seeding, low respect from other teams (suddenly every team is extra determine and extra confident to score a win against lowly rated Malaysia).
4. For Olympiad, the best line up in my humble opinion consisted of the mix of Senior and Junior. Ideally 4-2 (4 seniors, 2 juniors) or 3-3 (3 seniors, 3 juniors) though Malaysia is very much capable and always producing 3-2-1 line up (3 seniors, 2 juniors and 1 tourist)
5. While I love to see the match between Junior and Senior to take place, I doubt it will ever happen (unless someone willing to put up some serious money in this match) since there is so much for senior to lose and so little for them (senior) to gain. Say Senior won with the margin of 11-9 (Senior got lucky, junior not feeling well…), or maybe a decisive 16-4 result (Senior only strong against Junior, how come they cannot score the same result against Indonesian Team?) Senior can never win but very real chances of losing. Remind me of a joke about negotiation between America and Russia…when Russian said”what mine is mine, what yours is negotiable”. “what juniors have is juniors to keep, what seniors have is at stake and to be decided”
6. Also the way/scenario this ‘challenge’ is presented.
a. Junior just scored/contributed a lion share in Malaysia’s victory against Singapore.
b. Raymond mentioned via various postings that “the Seniors are no longer fighting”, “senior lost the fire”, “throwing game”etc
c. Hence, the challenge between senior and junior to represent Malaysia at Olympiad.
This type of challenge is not sounds like chess at all. This type of challenge is more suitable to boxing (to demoralize opponent etc) and we all know what happen to boxers after the match…
7. Raymond’s idea of junior chess training is also not realistic. Put top juniors for 3 or 5 days, no trainer required, junior’s combined knowledge will be enough. This idea works for team sport such as football, volleyball etc but for chess ?!...Chess is very much an individual and intellectual game. Knowledge you have is yours alone and not to be shared. Say if junior a discovered a flaw in Mas’ najdorf, or Mok’s modern…I don’t think he will share it with others. The knowledge is his alone. To me chess training among team mate is more to create camaraderie or team spirit, not to share secret or show weaknesses (your team mate today might exploit it tomorrow).
If I am not mistaken Kasparov once required all member of his team to sign an agreement not to reveal the novelties discovered during the training etc. All knowledge is for Kasparov alone. My point is chess training, without trainer will not work. To expect junior players to pool all their knowledge and chess secrets for the benefit of all team members is, realistically, not going to happen.
8. To sum it up. I support this type of match to take place (with no Olympiad place at stake, too hasty to be determined from one match/tourney) but disagree in the way these challenge is being presented.