April 18, 2012

Chess and Statistics Part 1

I've wanted to talk about this for a long time, but I never really found myself the time, and when I did, I always ended up procrastinating and doing something else.

Nevertheless, I start simply by refuting a claim about the Elo rating system which many people already know to be false:

"A person's rating does not mean anything"

I can only say that anybody who finds the nerve to say something like this either:

1. has no understanding of the Elo rating system, or
2. has no understanding of statistics
(or both)

Some may recognise a version of that phrase being said by Raymond some time ago, but it is not limited to him, and he is definitely not the sole target of what is about to follow (I have better things to do!).

It is indeed unfortunate that I have also heard this nonsensical statement (or some less dire version of it) from chess players who I know and respect (though definitely not within the mathematical branch of statistics!), and I hope that by the end of this article, if you do read it, you find that a person's rating does indeed tell you a lot about the player.

To some, it seems incredibly trivial that this statement is clearly incorrect; but if one puts too much thought into it, it does indeed get confusing. Take the famous case of one person who Garry Kasparov, the highest rated player in the world, has a minus score against: Boris Gulko, who, in terms of rating, is relatively much weaker than Kasparov. The rating system is in jeopardy! Suddenly things are not so clear: we have to closely examine the workings of the Elo rating system.

Behind such a fallacious claim, to some extent, is the assumption that the Elo system assumes that the better player will always win. Also be reminded that the Elo system implies that the higher rated player is the better one. It then follows that if the lower rated player beats the higher rated player, the premise of the our rating system breaks down, because the outcome has contradicted the prediction of the system.

To anybody with a formal understanding of logic, it's clear that the fault in such an argument lies in the assumption, which is, in this case, of an assumption!

We need to go back to the foundations of the Elo rating system.

Rhetorical question: What is it?
Answer: It's a prediction model for the outcome of a game between two players (Note: not limited to chess!).

Next rhetorical question: How does it work?
Answer: Unfortunately this is rather complicated to be defined formally and understood at first glance.

A difficult part is assigning a rating to a player; we'll assume that the ratings given are in their "steady state", i.e. "appropriate". This will be the case after assigning a provisional rating and playing a large number of games, assuming the model is good. In a way, two key features of the model support each other: an appropriate rating and the prediction made. Strictly speaking, this is philosophically unsound, but in practice it is acceptable (real world example: money and goods/services; we are willing to exchange one for the other, even though fiat money doesn't have any intrinsic value).

We'll look at the basic ideas of how you compute your rating change:
1. Define the result of a game as we know it: 1 point to the winner, 0 to the loser and 0.5 each for a draw (interpretation: 1 point to be given away per game, 2 players fight for it).
2. Compute the rating difference between ourself and the opponent*. Then we plug this into a formula and get an expected value, denoted "We", which stands for "wins expected", strictly between 0 and 1. This is the model's prediction.
3. Note the actual outcome of the game, W: 1 for a win, 0.5 for a draw and 0 for a loss.
4. Calculate W-We, the difference between what actually happened and what was predicted**.
5. Multiply this by the K-factor which is defined by FIDE (30, 15 or 10). That's your rating change.

In a sense, you could think that your rating changes because the model made an "error" in predicting the outcome of your game (somewhat true, but this "error" is what makes the system work!).

Enough beating around the bush; we are starting to go off tangent here. Remember that the key point is the outcome that the Elo system predicts; in fact, steps 3,4 and 5 are irrelevant to our discussion.

The false claim that we started with essentially stems from the disapproval of step (2). From a statistical point of view, this is due to the unfamiliarity of the notion of an expected value. How can a number like 0.73 make any sense when the actual outcome can only produce 0, 0.5 or 1?
What does this mysterious number tell us?

Well, consider a coin toss. Biased coins aside, we can safely say that the chance of getting heads is just as likely as tails. Say we get a point for a head, and none for a tail. Then the expected value is given by 0.5. Yet, if we tossed a coin once, we can only score 1 or 0. But say we decide to toss the coin 6 times, and I ask you to tell me how many heads will turn up. You wouldn't bet your house on it, but if anything, it seems most probable that the magic number is 3. It may be 2, it may be 4, but most likely 3 (which we obtain by multiplying the expected value by the number of trials, i.e. 0.5*6). Unfortunately, by most likely, I mean there's a 31.25% chance of this happening. But that's still the lion's share of the probabilities; you can have anywhere between 0 and 6 heads, so the remaining 6 individual possibilities have to split 68.75% of probability among themselves. So you are very likely (notice I did not use the word "will"!) to get close to 3 heads: in fact, you'll get between 2 and 4 heads 78.125% of the time.

Anyway, within this context, it is not wrong to say that it is the proportion of the total points you will get from the games played in the long run***. That is, the model predicts that, assuming neither player learns anything from the previous game, if your wins expected is 0.73, then if you played 100 games against each other, you're likely to score about 0.73*100=73 points. This is known as the law of large numbers.

(In fact, this is basically how rating changes are calculated: We don't look at each individual game, but rather overall score in a tournament; we look at your rating, the average rating of all your opponents, then your score against them. Interestingly, the rating change, in some way, is linear: you can calculate the change against each opponent individually, or look at the aggregate of all your opponents, and you get the same numbers. This allows people to calculate individual rating changes instead, which is in fact more common nowadays.)

In a nutshell, some people fail to grasp that a 73% chance of winning your game does not mean that you will win the game, which is when they lose faith in the Elo system.

This is where applied statistics becomes difficult to accept for some people: such a scenario where two players play a large number of games, learning nothing from the previous one, is imposible to create. So how do we know it's working? By empirical evidence! We check the predictions of the model against the actual outcomes:

Taken from ChessBase. The dots represent the actual outcomes and the line is the prediction. As far as the model is concerned, the basic shape is right, except that the line appears slightly too squashed inwards. Also, the horizontal lines are due to the difference between players ratings being limited to 400 when calculations are made, which apparently should be removed. So fundamentally, the model is good, it's just the case of changing a few numerical parameters. Applied statistics works!

*Interesting note: this implies that only the difference in rating matters; the model predicts the same outcome for a game between a 2600 and 2400, or a 2400 and 2200, which further implies that if the ratings of everybody in the world went down by 1000 points in the next rating list, essentially nothing will change!

**This number is always positive if you win, negative if you lose; if you draw, its positive if your rating is lower and negative if it's higher.

***If you're unhappy with this definition, here's a link to the Wikipedia page for a proper one; eat your heart out.

An important thing to remember is that applied statistics in the real world is essentially predictions. A good model makes correct predictions most of the time, and in fact there is no model that can predict everything in a system (in this case, the world of chess games). If there is, then the system would be deterministic, i.e. with no randomness, which we know cannot be the case (chess players can have lapses of concentration and off-days, neither of which we can see coming, at least not 100% of the time).

Needless to say, there is always room for improvement in the model, but sometimes this improvement requires the consideration of more variables, thus complicating the model. An example would be whether you played white or black, where statistics show that white is advantageous. Furthermore, as the absolute (not difference in) strength of the players fall, this advantage diminishes (compare white score in low level tournaments vs. high level tournaments), and we'll lose property (*) in doing so.

And never forget, ratings attempt to reflect your current strength, but changes in ratings are constrained. If a 2000 rated player improves his understanding of the game and is suddenly 100 points stronger, the model would see his performance in a tournament, and say, "Sorry, my prediction was erroneous, here's a positive W-We for you", and go on until it will eventually (not instantly!) be the case that he reaches 2100. Of course it works both ways: a rusty player will definitely play weaker than his "steady state" rating, which is why FIDE has an inactive list.

To conclude: A person's Elo rating is not an arbitrary 4-digit number, and sure as hell means more than nothing. Granted, it is not a magic number that determines the outcome of a game, but you can predict the outcome with a certain degree of certainty based on this number. Empirical evidence has shown that the Elo system is very good at making predictions in general, although there is undoubtedly still room for improvement. Consequently, since the predictions are good, it follows that ratings are indeed a good indicator of a player's strength.

Further reading: ChessBase's and Wikipedia's explanation of the Elo rating system.

January 16, 2011

Re: FGM banned from all MCF events

It's so nice of you to only implicitly make a reference to me in your post with your attempt of (humourous? I hope not) irony attached to it, but anyway, the only thing I have to add is; it's not my fault that you used the wrong word. "Throwing a game" implies a deliberate action. The miscommunication caused is not due to an incorrect interpretation on my part, but by your use of such condemning phrases, ironically, "out of context". But fine. Let's forget this. Maybe it is my fault that you didn't know what it meant to "throw a game", since you obviously don't. So okay, maybe I'm sorry.

But above all, you are nothing more than a hypocrite. You are the one spinning stories. Peter Long was giving suggestions. He was not objecting the idea of the incentive. He's the one who facilitated it in the first place. You obviously forget that Peter Long was largely responsible for Edmund Santhara's entry into the Malaysian chess, who, in case you don't know, is the one funding the incentives. Do you think he came all the way from KL to play 1 game in a friendly match (which, for irrelevant reasons, is not exactly at the top of his list of priorities), and to object the incentives put forward by a man whom he introduced to Malaysian chess?

Peter Long may be a controversial man. Some think he causes unnecessary noise, and some think he contributes to Malaysian chess. I personally think he's in the latter, but that's just a normative statement. But many things say that he's a far better person than you. Let's go down this list:

1. He set up a chess academy in KL; the first of it's kind in Malaysia, at least among the widely known ones. He brought in international trainers, certified by FIDE along with a curriculum, tried and tested from the ASEAN Chess Academy. His students included Edward Lee and Kaushal Khandhar, two players who you love to mention in your posts at every opportunity. Within a year of training, they showed significant progress. Today, it most caters to the slightly lower levels because the higher levels were unprofitable, i.e. the high-level trainers were too expensive to keep, and there were insufficient high-level students.

You, on the other hand, set up an academy which just followed the bandwagon after Intchess was set up in Malaysia. You so arrogantly named it like it was going to produce the first Malaysian GM, and proceeded to hire local coaches. Not that they are lousy, but if you think a 2000-rated player is going to train a player into GM-hood, you're terribly wrong. Which notable national players were, at any point in time, students of your academy? And by that, I'm talking about finishing with a top 3 ranking in the National Age-Group, and being offered the chance to represent the country.

2. He has organized huge tournaments in Malaysia; some ASEAN junior team tournament a few years back, and the annual KL Open, which you yourself have been to.

What have you done? Perhaps some small tournaments, one of which included a frenzy of drama (at least that's how you make it out to be), which nobody outside Perak knows, nor cares about. If you have organized an international tournament before, how many people know about it? I don't. And what response did you get, if any?

3. His Elo, if you know what that is, is at least twice of the most I project yours to be, though I don't think we'll ever know.

4. He has played in a chess tournament more than zero times. You, on the other hand, have yet to press the "start" button on a digital clock, or wind an analogue one. In fact, you are the only person in Malaysia who talks about competitive chess and tries to be heard, but with zero technical knowledge yourself. "Practice what you preach"?

5. He has balls. He dares to single out anybody whom he dislikes, and even more so, to do it under his true identity. Even I don't dare to do that. You only go half the way; you say it's someone without disclosing names, but leaving enough clues so that others would know who he is, while hoping that you've left some reasonable doubt to make yourself look pretty.

6. Read the third paragraph.

I am not a spokesman for Peter Long; my point is that he has done many things, and yet many do not immediately see him as a contributor to Malaysian chess. You, on the other hand, have done nothing, and you see yourself spearheading "change".

There are so many other things that show your hypocrisy; you talk about people behaving like gangsters, inappropriate outbursts at the wrong place; yet, being part of the Malaysian contingent of a friendly match in Singapore, you are the one who practically shouted at a man just because he opened his mouth, which you so nicely mentioned explicitly. It does not take a shrink to know that this caused a lot of discomfort during the meeting. Are you proud of this?

You wonder why nobody talks about the outburst of that man in MAS-SIN. First off, I don't understand why you're not on his side. He was being totally unreasonable, just like you! Secondly, there was only one mention of it on Hairul's blog. The rest was just people on the shoutbox. And yes, I think it's sad that nobody mentioned you unreasonably shouting at Peter on their blog. You had to mention it yourself!

In case you didn't realize, the reason why you have have heard some people talking about that outburst guy, but not the Peter Long one...well, you should ask that man whether he heard others talk about him. Hint: Probably not. You don't hear people talking about you shouting at Peter Long, because they don't want you to know that they're talking about you, as they fear it gets them into muddy waters with you. Bravo on that too, Uncle Raymond. Please don't shout at me.

You talk about people having to pay excessively to represent the country. You probably thought that you were making a major contribution by getting AirAsia to sponsor tickets to the ASEAN Age-Group in 2010. You did nothing. Participants had to pay the money they would save on air tickets in exchange for "training", and when there weren't as many players as you hoped for [SLANDER! Deleted], you opened the "training" to anyone willing to pay 30% of what the representatives forked out. [SLANDER! Deleted]. [SLANDER! Deleted]. [SLANDER! Deleted]. You have so much the nerve to talk about preserving the welfare of the Malaysian contingent.

You further demonstrate your lack of knowledge in chess. "You cannot shout at your opponent and then say you cannot play that line or else I lose. You cannot shut your mind to reasoning and then hope to win.". That is the most stupid analogy I have ever seen. You will obviously disagree, for reasons that have been mentioned countless times. But anyone with a rating above 1200, and possibly below, will notice that your little analogy is "not even wrong". You talk so much about learning "life lessons" from a game you can't play.

There are people who think you need to be fixed? No, people think you need to shut up. Or at least learn en passant. That's a start. Then learn the proper way to say it.

You are so arrogant; most people unconsciously do their best to avoid having to apologise. I am no exception. But the biggest problem lies in people who think they are perfect, and make no mistakes. This is you. You misuse the term "throwing a game", and then blame me (and Jimmy prior to that) for not understanding what you said, despite the fact that your sentence structure was so bad that you mentioned a phone ringing, and throwing a game like it was two different things. You find it so difficult to even just say that you used the wrong word, and if you did, then you could have at least managed to follow up by calling me some fancy synonym of "stupid" for not being able to differentiate a vocabulary slip and a serious accusation. Actually, I wonder if you really meant what everyone thought you did, and you're just saying this now to cover your ass.

You are so afraid to name names; you don't even mention me, an anonymous blogger, explicitly. You're not trying to hide/"protect" their identities (if you were, you're an idiot. Unless you were the only witness, the truth gets out there sooner or later). How do you expect to create change in the local chess scene, when you are so fearful of naming those who you see as negative? In your own words, how do you intend to "eliminate the cancer", mein F├╝rher?

You are useless. You do nothing but talk shit about a new MCF, and what "we"(you) would want. We're not idiots. We know what we want. We don't need someone like you to tell us what is best for the country, Comrade Raymond.

What kind of "new MCF" were you hoping for? I myself have always wanted one, but frankly, a new MCF being founded under the influence of a man who knows no further than the rules (I hope!) of the game is not the type which I envision.

You are still here. You've made it clear with your attention grab at MAS-SIN. You are also an idiot. You've made that clear by updating your blog.

P/S: Your current job involves making money from chess, i.e. "taking shelter in chess" as well. And you once charged kids RM1000 for a 3-day training session.

PP/S: I find it incredibly amusing and somehow frustratingly unintelligent, at the vegetative level, of you when every response you make of me involves accusing me of lying without any reference or questioning of the credibility of what I said about you. Instead you incoherently continue to rattle off the same thing you say in every post you make, albeit with different words.

Yes, delete the comments! Censor all those who oppress you! Silence those who go against you, and soon the motherland shall be glorious! Have you started to remove the faces of those who oppose you from photos yet? Yes, Premier Raymond, keep order in our glorious nation, exterminate the non-people!

January 9, 2011

Malaysia throwing a game at the Olympiad?

Someone told me that recently, Raymond Siew posted something on his blog. This post does not address the main subject of the post (because frankly I'm not really sure on what it's about, especially since the content doesn't seem to relate much to the title. Yet, there are parts of his post that I have to agree with. Whatever. I'm not interested in those parts.). What I'm addressing is his scorching accusation of "[A player] throwing a game [in the Olympiad]". While I don't think it's good policy to attack a not-so-relevant minor detail of someone's "comment", those 3 words carry serious weight with them, especially in the context of the Olympiad while representing Malaysia. There is a huge difference between attacking a player for losing a game by accident, and losing on purpose. Sadly, he did not specify whether his accusation was onto a single player, or the whole team, so I'm not sure on how to carry out my attack.

Now of course, the most obvious argument is the lack of evidence. But I'm not writing this just to point that out. Anybody with a brain larger than a peanut knows that. Besides, most thrown games are hard to prove, since even grandmasters can blunder their queens or mate in 1 move(think Deep Fritz-Kramnik in 2006). Unless you do something so stupid, like replay a very nice-looking game from your database.

So let's give Raymond Siew that, and allow such an accusation without proof. Now, ask yourself this incredibly simple question:


Raymond, you have defied mankind's understanding of the human brain by converting whatever that's left of the "reasoning" part of your brain into "talk more about a game that I can barely play" brain matter. Either that or you just lost the ability to think logically.

Let me break it down for you: There are 2 types of countries relative to Malaysia: stronger and weaker/roughly equal in terms of strength.

The stronger countries don't need to fix games with Malaysia. Unless they suddenly happen to be losing, and by then it's not really possible to fix a deal(perhaps you imagined the players saying "$300 for a draw!" and pressing their clocks, and their opponents replying with "$225 and its a deal!" and pressing their clocks.).

Then there's the other two. What do these countries want to fix games with Malaysia for? There's too much to lose for something that has little value. Ranking in the Olympiad gauges where a country stands, and nothing else(unless that ranking is has a medal attached to it). Why would a team pay off another to improve their ranking from, say, 120 to 80? It's false progress if it wasn't earned, and they'd be bluffing themselves.

Now you also need to consider the fact that if a weak team wants to pay off an opponent, they're just going to get knocked off the next round, and their final ranking won't change much if they carried out the deed with more than 1 or 2 rounds to go, unless they managed to continuously bribe their opponents. So maybe they can just buy the last round match? Well, Malaysia won that round.

Perhaps it was just 2 individuals conspiring for a gain in rating? Again, there are better places to do such things. Such as individual tournaments, where the consequences of getting caught are not as serious, and there is actually a chance of winning.

So there's 2 possibilities to a lost game in the Olympiad; perhaps it was a completely fixed game, choreographed so that a game gets thrown after 2 hours of pretend-hard-thinking, so that the opposing team can advance, only to lose the next round to an opponent who will most likely not accept a bribe. And they do this in the Olympiad because most people don't think anyone dares to fix a game, so they make a bluff and do it anyway, because they want to improve their final ranking, or maybe they just want to let the world know that they beat a Malaysian player. The second possibility is that our player just blundered.

Occam's Razor: It could be the first, but isn't it much easier for it to be the second?

If anyone bothered to read Raymond's blog entries and my comments on them, you might remember that my last post was my vow to never visit his blog again. I had a good reason for that: this post. I've wasted my time writing a long article to debunk an incredibly stupid idea from our friend here.

December 23, 2010

Commitment Fees?

The guys at MCF have really outdone themselves this time. Rather than overcharging us with ridiculous exchange rates, they've taken the next step and called the recent RM100-per-participant in the 2010 MAS-SIN match a "commitment fee". I could argue it's a step in the other direction as they could just call it a "management fee", but I guess they think it looks less like a scam if it was a "commitment fee".

Really, guys? You must think we are a nation of idiots (Sadly, we have been proven to be exploitable, with 101 people taking part. That's RM10,100). What warrants this ridiculous fee? At the last MAS-SIN we had in Singapore, in 2007, seriously, how many did not show up? If I recall correctly, maybe a few. 5, perhaps? Does this justify taking RM10k off a hundred people?

Now, one (just MCF) might argue that it is to deter people from signing up but not showing up. I call bullshit. There are two reasons for this:

First off, MCF made it crystal clear that nobody will be getting their RM100 back. If that was the case, it would be called a deposit, and MCF being MCF, would only give refunds if they grossly implied it. Here, it's the opposite. Being called a fee, we're obviously not going to see our RM100 again. It's like "paying" bail (which is the case in some countries, but you and I both know that I don't mean them). If the point of the RM100 is to make sure we lose RM100 for nothing if we don't come, then the RM100 should be refunded if we do show up. That is non-negotiable.

The second point is the punchline: Players are allowed to pay the commitment fee on the day of departure, i.e. when they're already quite obviously committed. I can only imagine someone arriving in KL Sentral with all his luggage at 7:00a.m. on the 30th of December, paying the fee, and then changing his mind and deciding to go back home at 7:15a.m...or maybe get on the train, go to Singapore and decide not to partake, and ride the next train home. That image cracks me up.

I think you guys should have just called it a management fee. At least that way you're only insulting our ability to estimate the cost of "management".

November 22, 2010

It's on!

So the Malay "Open" is on!

A tournament meant exclusively for the race that makes up more than half of the chess playing community anyway!

Malaysian chess is now at reaching a peak!

Maybe I'm just repeating myself. Whatever. Good day!

P/S: What a high level, prestigious event! They encourage strong participation by waiving the entrance fee for IMs/WIMs/FMs! Also known as Mas Hafizulhelmi.

November 2, 2010

Just a thought

I wonder whether it is possible to appreciate something without truly understanding the nature of it. Hypothetically, if someone with no knowledge of astrophysics said that he was fascinated by the appearance of a constellation, nebulae, comets and whatnot in the night sky, and called the universe a beautiful, majestic creation of God, does he understand what he is saying? Would he still say the same if he knew what it was like to be near a black hole? Or that you would likely be vaporized if you came within 100 million km of any living sun without protection? Or that outside the planet, without a multi-million dollar suit, your lungs would almost instantaneously collapse, and at the same time you would turn to ice due to the nearly 300 degrees of temperature difference? These are the not-so-heavenly characteristics of the place in the universe that some of us may refer to as "the heavens".

My question is: Is it actually possible for anyone to truly appreciate anything, considering that by "backward extension", it is unlikely that we fully understand anything? History has shown that the second part is quite true: we have had evolution, or advancements in knowledge, but a more humble way to say it is, "Oops; looks like the previous school of thought was wrong". Examples are abundant: mercury was proven to be deadly to life--a few thousand years after some ancient civilizations treated it like a freaking fountain of youth. Earth was believed to be flat; it was also believed to be the center of the universe; but again, centuries later, it was shown that Earth is just another planet in the vast universe. Newton's laws of physics, which completely revolutionized the world of physics, were proven to be inaccurate only almost 300 years after their introduction. There are very few, if any, "permanent postulates". Even today, there exist branches of mathematics where -1 is not considered to be less than 0.

It even shows up in chess; look at the classical, romantic schools--and then the hyper-modern school, both of which are polar opposites of the other. The ultra-ultramodern in the future might even show that the best opening does exist, and it's called 1.d3; in an even more distant future, if humans still exist, and somehow miraculously figure out a way to solve chess, the conclusion might be that a forced win exists for white if he plays 1.a3 on the first move, while black wins in other cases.

To say that this is not possible only demonstrates ignorance. What is so special about us, that our theories and ideology are exempt from being corrected in the future? Our technological advancements are about as good as the introduction of electricity: a big milestone of the century, but that doesn't bring absolute perfection to human knowledge.

However, one thing is that old, outdated knowledge, logically, has almost never prevailed over its modern, updated counterpart. That means, our knowledge does advance. It is still far from absolute accuracy, but it is closer than what we had previously thought to be true.

So I wonder, if all this is true (and to me, it does look so), it would imply that nobody can say that they truly understand what they are talking about; in fact, they can only claim to understand something better than others, but to say that they truly understand something is impossible. The sad thing is that it is so often that I see people talking as if they are in the latter case. The manifestation of pride and ego...

Just a thought. Not trying to polarize your thinking(not directly at least), but just propagating a thought that I(and maybe some others too) have had for as long as I can remember.

It's slightly quiet in the Malaysian chess scene right now, at least as far as I know, so I'm sorry if I disappointed you with another not-so-chess-relevant article. Just kidding, I'm not. If you didn't like this article, let me know what you think in the comments section.

October 11, 2010

A parody of chess blogs

Rationality: Well, it looks like it's a new fad in Malaysian chess blogs to poke fun at other blogs, so I'm gonna do one because I'm probably better at it than most of you.

First GM: I think Mas should have played on against that 2700 English GM. He has to break through that psychological fear. The mind plays an important role in chess.

First GM: That's a lousy parody of me. Here's how it should be done:

First GM: Hey guys, I have an idea, I think I know why we are still in the same spot after 30 years. I think we have damaged our spirit. I think that may be a clue to why we dont do well after U12. It's about imagined fears. It's about the inner child. It's about us neglecting the other 3 parts of the components of chess.

Jimmy: We have covered this over 10 years ago.

First GM: Really? Sheesh, I only finished this work a few years ago. Even the American war veterans Association wrote in to learn more about it. Wah! you really advanced man. Sorry about that. But can I still write about it so others can also learn? They may not have the same resource as you have.

Jimmy: Stick to what you know. This is Malaysian chess. Here we only look at technical.

First GM: But hey, NJ just said maybe even all of his loses not due to technical.

Rationality: Let me demonstrate how we strong chess players think. Let me analyse Mas's, draw.

First GM: Great! But what about Qe3?......(Confusion, some back peddling).

Chess Ninja: Hey guys, you are missing the point. It's about Hamid. He is a grandmaster you know. I know even though I am blind folded....(In case you missed that, that means I can play blind folded chess).

First GM: Did anyone of you even read before you threw out what I am saying?

Jimmy, Rationality and chess ninja: Cannot read lah. Read means must acknowledge you are on to something.

Jimmy: Dubai our best Olympiad.

First GM: We have nothing to lose. Any of you guys got a suggestion? None of you are engaging the information.

Jimmy, Rationality: No. Dont want to listen. We are closing our ears. We like complaining. Who wants solutions? Besides if anyone listens to you, we wont look "terror" anymore.

Jimmy: Damn it! Did anyone check out Dubai?

First GM: What is the point? That is in the past. We are looking for solutions in the here and now.

Terminator: Raymond Siew is a liar. Listen to me. I know even though I am hiding behind a pseudonym. Please believe me. I may be a crook, a criminal but ignore that. I am working with someone in MCF and PICA. See, I can say these things. So I must be in the know.

First GM: Hey man. Show yourself. I am sure you are a credible source of information. It is tough on this blog. Even when the evidence is shown people are still slow to engage. These are chess people. They are thinkers. So show yourself. Present your credentials and the evidence. I wish you luck. Do a good job. Then you will be the best terminator you can be.

Jimmy and Rationality: We have had enough. We are going to strike you off our blog roll.

Chess Ninja: I'm telling you guys its Hamid. Blame it on Hamid.

Terminator: Lets attack the women and children guys. We know that Raymond gets upset when we attack the children. We saw it in Perak. That is his weak chink. His Achilles heel. Why dont you guys do that and I'll take it to the next level. I'll attack the women. Trust me guys. This will work. We need to shut him up. He is making us look bad.

Ilham: We are the champions, my friend. And we'll keep on fighting to the end.....

First GM: Sheesh, and all I said was examine the evidence. You have tried technical only and you have not got far. In fact you are still in the same spot. Hasnt anyone noticed that?

The unknown: Hey guys try NLP. They are the experts not this Raymond Siew guy. I dont know how to read. This is the "penultimate" opinion. But believe me. I too need to hide because otherwise you will know that I dont know anything.

First GM: The noise level going up. Now someone who can just about identify the letters NLP has joined the fray.

Chess Ninja: It's Hamid I tell you. He is a grandmaster, he can do funny things. I saw that through my blind fold.

First GM: Hey this is starting to sound like what went on inside my mind while I was writing my inner child work. Why my mind resisted me and tried to prevent me from growing up. Thanks guys, you are the best. Thank you for helping me see this. So if you are right, this work can also be applied to the chess community. All this noise is because you guys dont want to grow up. Hmmmmmm

Ninja, look at the tricks applied over these years, if it was Hamid that is. There are no new ideas. It is the same trick over and over again. No accounts, use your fears against you, smear their good name etc. If Hamid was all that smart, he would have brought us to the next level. Stop fighting this demon. Let it go. A GM has many many ideas. So go out and find some more ideas. Stop this stuck tape. He is no grandmaster. We have been stupid. And there is a world of difference between the 2 conclusions.

Think about it. If we can be fooled by the same tricks again and again by a not so clever guy, then where are we really?

Jimmy: Hey check out Dubai please....I'll give you a clue. See who was on the team.

Ilham: We will we will rock you.........

First GM: Chess is a mind sport. Check out the mind. If you make a dumb mistake because of the chatter, technical wont help. If you stop fighting because of a failure in courage, technical wont help. Look at the evidence. Our strongest chess minds are even afraid to engage in new information. That is where we have gone wrong. The mind is often called the last frontier. Some even argue it holds more complexity than outer space. It is much much much much bigger than the 64 square puzzle. Still the mind and those puzzles will reveal itself. Stop running away. Focus on the problem.

First GM:[Propaganda tone, enacted by Rationality] I hope you also realize that I did not include GilaChess, Hairulov, Ilham because they are not among the blogs which I intend to attack. I just gave Ilham one line so that it won't be so obvious that the whole point of my parody was just to attack 3 people, and sort of halfway attack a 4th. [End of propaganda tone. Reset to impersonation tone]. Now, having said that, I sincerely hope that the situation that we are facing now in Malaysian chess is crystal clear to every one of you now. You see, when bloggers who have a rather high tendency to speak negatively, such as Jimmy and Rationality, our minds will narrow. We will become pessimistic. Then we also have people like Terminator, who are the cancer within our minds, whom must be eliminated from Malaysian chess. Please read all of my previous posts. Understand that all this is important to our development in chess. I'm going to tell you about my experience I've had as a mind coach, and tell you how it is fully applicable in chess. Focus on improving as a player. It is alright if not everyone knows about what is going on at the administrative level. What matters is that some 100 people know, and that's good enough. These people care, you care. Having said that, I'm going to write out a 3-part story about something that happened between me and PICA for everyone to read, because it is very important that everyone knows what happened. I was abused, and then fooled. Everyone should know the true story, and what really happened. Now, I'm planning to organize a trip to this year's ASEAN tournament. The air tickets will be sponsored by AirAsia, but you must pay an extra RM1000 to attend training to prepare you for the tournament. It is strongly recommended, although my previous sentence suggests that you don't really have a choice. It is no point going to a tournament completely unprepared, because it defeats its purpose. Back on topic, it is important to know that chess is more than just technicalities. It is about the mind. When playing, the body should stay completely still. Don't walk around or make unnecessary movements, because it is the mind that is at work. It does not matter if you have been sitting at the table for 3 hours, and blood has been pooling in your legs. [Propaganda tone again, despite that I've forgotten to include this phrase numerous times in this paragraph:] No, I do not realize that every 99.99% of the chess players in the world this, and the top players are not from that remaining 0.01%. [Back to impersonation tone:] As I was saying, you may notice that many people like to challenge my views. Just because I have zero technical knowledge on chess, it does not bar me from making in-depth suggestions regarding the game which are usually related to technicalities [Damn! That tone keeps coming out without being asked!]. Some people like to make these vicious attacks against me. These attacks come from a traumatised mind. One of the reasons I find it so difficult to counsel people like these is because they, the patient, fight back. It's also imperative that everybody understands that by this, I am implying that I know everything that I talk about, and have never been wrong in a single one of my 400 posts. Everyone who thinks otherwise is wrong.[Alright, you know what, I'm not giving any more 'propagandic' tone warnings]. Yes, I may contradict everything I say [I stress that this is actually true. Please challenge me if you feel like it, and I'll show you 5 contradictory posts (because I don't have the time to find the other 95+. I've wasted an hour of my life writing this post, and if there's anything I could wish for, it's that I could have it back)]. Back onto my subject of discussion, remember that when, given a situation, it is important to join the dots. In doing so, dsfbljbuwyrnjkh9632t472qfasfalkmdklaf sdgfbawlhr sdfblkjbaqiekaf465s6 65sdg5646s5g4sd te65sd4ge5t4 sdfgshihiushf9e89sdnf sdjfjksdfsagfagodasho jksjakjfhasukfidsfasudasdnklasdas;ldaskdwopriawf safasfuiwer7878asdjhdaskjnokthatsenough.

YOU ACTUALLY READ UP TO THIS POINT?! I'm disappointed in you, and probably myself for failing to get the point across.(Just so we're clear, the parody is itself the unnecessarily elaborate, dense wall of boring text which you're not supposed to be willing to read)

Message to all the bloggers whom I made fun of in this post: Stick to your serious tone. You sound funnier when you're not trying to crack jokes.