Wednesday, April 14, 2010

MSSD Chess In Selangor

In Selangor, there are 10 districts namely (i) Hulu Selangor (HS), (II) Hulu Langat (HL), (iii) Kuala Selangor (KS), (iv) Kuala Langat (KL), (v) Sabak Bernam (SB), (vi) Petaling Utama (PU), (vii) Petaling Perdana, (viii) Sepang (SP), (ix) Gombak (GB), and (x) Klang (KG).

Unlike KL, the geographical location between districts are far apart. It is not possible for any trainer to cover more than 5 districts on a regular basis (Special projects not counted). As for myself, I have students from 3 districts who have qualified themselves into the MSS Selangor Final which is currently ongoing from 12th (Arrival) to 15th April (Departure) at Sabak Bernam. The 7-round event is played on 13th and 14th April.

To qualify oneself from hot districts like PP, PU, KG, KS for Boys Category, and PP, KL, SP for Girls Category into MSS Selangor Final is an uphill battle for all participants. These districts either have too many good players competing against one another or have too many players taking part at district level (more than 130pax per category) where qualifying into top 4 is like striking all 7 numbers correctly in a lottery ticket, that alone is not enought if a person wants to claim the jackpot of super 1st prize where the 8th number must be correct too. Each correct number indicates each winning round.

The scenario mentioned above did actually happen in this year PP U-12 Boys edition. PP has many strong players and was reported to have 158 players vying for the top 4 position. A boy (D) won 6 rounds in a row and drew round 7 with the other boy (M) who also has a perfect score after 6 rounds. With the 7 rounds result, it looks like both players have sealed their place in top 4 BUT a twist just happened. D was pitted against another strong player (T) who had lost a round in the process. Unfortunately, D lost this game. While, M continues his form with another win to lead the field by 1/2 point over T and several other players who have 7 points.

The irony thing was at least 2 players who score 7 points actually had lost to D in the first 6 rounds and never meet with M or T in any of the 8 rounds. Just imagine if this is a 8-round competition, D will be eliminated from top 4 placing. Will this be a fair result?

Lets examine the 9th round, D was practically exhausted after battling the two strongest players in the field at Rd 7 and Rd 8. He salvaged a draw from a losing position in this round and got 7 points alongside with another 8 to 12 players (Final result was never published, so no one knows how many students got 7 points. Since, I too have other students who scored 7 points who did not make it into top 10 list. My guess was around 10 pax). He was rewarded with a 4th place finishing (No. 1 among the list of 7 pointers due to Bucholtz scoring), however he could easily missed it if other players (among them, is another student of mine, N, who finished at 7th place by losing the last round. N could finished 4th if he drew his last round and push D into 5th placing) were smart enough to fix a draw in their last game and pipped him by 1/2 point. There goes his chance of representing PP in the MSS Selangor Final. Luckily, this fixing thing never happen and the 3 strongest players in PP qualify. At the point of writing, all three of them are having 2 points from 3 rounds in MSS Selangor Final. From other reliable sources, the bigger boys in U18 (PP) were smart enough to draw the last round between themselves to qualify into top 4, and thus eliminating other boys in the process.

How can this problem be solved?
The Organiser must have enough rounds e.g. 158 players must have 8 rounds to get Champion accurately, 9 rounds to get top 2 placing accurately, 10 rounds to get top 3 placing accurately, and 11 rounds to get all top 4 placing accurately. This translate to Min. Round (8) + 3 which is also the ideal number of rounds for below 256 pax.