For a non chess playing parent like me, chess culture is bizarre. The hours spent on board and its pieces, and the many more hours devouring anything regarding chess for a chess enthusiast, I guess, is similar to a hobbyist or a collector, the desire to have the best and most desired item or in chess, to play the perfect beautiful game, that we can savour and show others.
It is with this desire that has driven the children at WYCC 2009, and the need to win, for themselves, their parents and their country. The results are mixed, disappointment with some, and an achievement for others. As a Malaysian team, we wished that the stronger representation with the likes of Aziz, Li Tian, Li Ting, Wei Hao, Eng Chiam, Capel, Edward and others; and that representation of the country is a function of ability and drive; not of family's affordability. I pray that one day there is recognition that the being the brightest, shiniest, fastest does not always mean towering buildings or speeding race cars, but imparting values of facing challenges, resolving problems and shaking hands when it is over.
“I had to make that sacrifice”, my son told me when he lost, and when I asked him why, he answered, “for the love of chess”. And then I understood.