Sunday, October 6, 2013


Everybody wants to be a professional in their own chosen field. Footballer wants to be a professional footballer, hair stylist wants to be a professional hair stylist...even killer (assassin) also wants to be known as professional killer (who wants to be known as amateur killer?) because being professional  in chosen field means excellence quality, reliable, superior and etcetera. Where as amateur portray incompetent, unreliable, inferior workmanship etc.

Hence everybody wants to be a professional or wants a service of professional. 

Ask ourselves whether we want an amateur doctor or professional doctor to perform our heart surgery. The answer is obvious.

But funny when it comes to chess, only few wants to be a professional chess player.  Only few wants to devote one's life to chess and sadly many that did that...regret it after few years.

Reason is crystal clear...minus world’s top 20 is just not here.

Not before, not now and most probably not in the future too...sad.

All this talks reminds me of GM Ken Rogoff, US chess player in 1970’s, at 15, drop out from high school to be a full time chess player. He went to Yugoslavia in order to improve himself further (even though at that time he already among strongest chess player in USA after Fischer and easily in the world’s top 40) but suddenly he totally abandoned chess, studied Economics and now he is a world famous Economic Professor. He is among rare few that correctly predicted US subprime financial crisis few years back.

He said it is not easy to leave chess because chess is very addictive. (Totally agreed)...and once he has decided to leave chess, he totally leave chess.

And now according to him, he always received letters from World Top chess players seeking advice on how to quit chess...(Wonder who?)

But what he did is an extreme decision (Totally abandoned chess). I cannot do that...

So i guess for me maybe it is not a bad idea to be an amateur player, like most of people around me...average in chess, average in life.

Well for me, I used to dream of being a chess professional (Ok, please don’t laugh) myself because i love chess so much...i love to play chess, i love to be surrounded by chess players, i love to study chess, The ‘Kedai Aziz’ simple words i just went crazy over chess. Yeah, ‘addict’ is just the correct word to describe my relationship with chess and at that time i am just willing to lead a very frugal lifestyle just as long as i could satisfy my ‘addiction’.

Once I even seriously consider to drop out from University so that i could be a chess pro (crazy, right?) but i did not dare to do that (... and not because of fear about my future but more towards fear to my father’s backlash)

Now fast forward twenty years to 2013, here i am... chess amateur... and to be frank i like my status now since i could enjoy the benefits of both worlds....I am enjoying a stable income from work and enjoying pleasure of playing chess during weekend or as and when i feel like playing.

Heaven...! :)

But amateur chess is not all rosy...nowadays amateur chess is not without its problems or pitfalls...when we are playing terribly (we are selling our game), when our phone rang during game (we throw away game) and should we are playing fantastically (we are cheating).

Hmm, not easy to be an amateur chess player....


  1. The Problems - IMHO, if there are cheats out there, they are the minorities..
    I'm more concerned with the management - what are they doing about it (if any cheating case was complained) ??

  2. Whooa...this is a very serious issue here!

    The problems with cheating issue (if it ever happened in Malaysia) is it has never been proven, no official report, no official investigations. All are hearsay (but interesting hearsay!)

    But if there is one case being reported (after through investigations), it will be interesting to see what MCF will do about it.....

  3. Ilham,
    U forgot the time a few players were suspended for a few months for agreeing to draw their games.. When was that? 90s? 2000s?

  4. Hi abdooss, are right
    Many years ago few players were suspended for fixing their game.

    Guess it is, in Dicken's words, the best of times and the worst of times for Malaysian chess.

    Worst of times because Malaysian players are being caught of times because MCF is not hesitate to take the correct, hard, action without fear...