It has been more than 2 months that I have started back at work. Whilst I can't say that I am enjoying it, this seems to be the more favorable move forward that I have to be contented with. Further, there are some quarters who are "happy" to see me leave the scene. They put up a smiling face (with a knife tucked behind their back) and tell me "It is good that you are back at work" and "It is for your own good to earn a living!". Either they care too much for my well being or they can now eliminate one "opposition" from their list. I would like to think that it was for the former.
Perhaps these people are envious of what I have done or, they think they can do better by shutting me down. Or they think that I am too influential because I am often seen in blogs, events, Facebook, etc. I think they must have mistaken me for the other Najib - the one whose father is Razak *LOL* Or, maybe they think that I am a bad influence to the sports... Did I sell games? Use bad words? Ban players from entering my event?
Or maybe they think I am making too much money! Ha ha ha... that will be joke of the century! How much money can a man make doing chess?
I was away from chess from 1991 to about 2003 as I was stationed in JB. Chess had to take a back seat (and eventually was left in the trunk of the car) as there were not many events being held in the southern capital. I was also contented with my own little world and own little "amusing adventure" in my hometown. With growing up kids to take care of, a small family business to attend to, surrounded by old friends and close family member, I did not miss chess at all. And it stayed like that for a rather long time.
In fact, when I returned to KL in 2000 to work, I remained away from chess until late 2003 when I decided to make a come back - after making some "spicy" comments about Malaysian chess in the Yahoo group. I think my comments are still there - feel free to read it. I was like the Raymond Siew that we have today with one significant difference - I actually play chess! *smile*
So, am I a bad influence to the chess community? Or, did I siphon a lot of money from chess? Or, do people out there think that I make tonnes of money from chess? Maybe I should start driving a Porsche Cayman and start living in condo penthouse somewhere in the heart of KL from tomorrow onwards!
But seriously, how much money can a man make organizing chess events? Does any of our chess organizers driving Mercedes and BMW? Or Porsche? Or Ferrari maybe? I don't think so.... Maybe its not fair to compare with those high end sports car so lets go down a bit..... Err, any of them driving Nissan Fair Lady? Or Accord? Or Peugeot? Heck.... Most of us are driving good old Protons and Perodua. Some don't even have cars! So what is the big deal if someone - like me, organize events and earn some money once in a while? What is wrong earning money doing things that I like and making a living out of it?
Events are like projects i.e. like national events which comes once in a span of 2 to 3 months. For International events, we did the last FIDE event back in 2007 (or was it 2006?) based on that scale, the span of doing International event is almost 5 years once! So, am I asking "free money" i.e. sitting down doing nothing and let the event runs by itself? Am I stealing money from chess player's pocket? Am I stealing events from other organizers? I had spent money and time preparing numerous working paper but only one or two that actually managed to materialize so, when one does happen, is it wrong for me to make some money (or try to make....) to "cover" some of the losses that I experienced elsewhere?
For 2011, I was on my own and Dato Tan had the generosity to allow me to use DATCC as my base. On top of that, there were 5 contributors who chipped in to help me maintain DATCC and to them, my sincere thanks for all the help that all of you have rendered - no need to mention names as I had promised they would all remain anonymous. After 1 year at DATCC, I thought I could buy the purple Lamborghini that I want, the dream Kawasaki Ninja, a Rolex watch and a Bungalow on top of a hill, but alas, the profit fell short. Given another year at DATCC, I would probably be able to start buying the car sticker for the purple Lamborghini.... But, I managed to be able to pay all the "normal" bills that I have to pay (with the help of my wife) the monthly installment for my old Proton, my phone bills (used mostly to reach out to other chess players and promoting events), still using my 16 year old watch (seriously! I had this watch since 1995) and upkeep the rental to my small house somewhere at the edge of town. But the most important thing was... I was happy! Happy doing what I did - going to work when I want, mostly on weekends, and help to "invigorate" the local chess scene - as one parent put it. On the chess "business" side, some events make money and some events did not - as they say it, you win some and lose some.
My reason for doing the Melaka event was because I was involved in the original proposal. It was only right that I continue with what I had started. I had attended a few meetings in Melaka and after all the "investment spent" to redo the paper, traveling up and down PLUS highway, cracking my head at night to prepare the budget, it was only fair to continue what I had started. The initial idea for Melaka Festival started before the Malaysian Chess Festival in August, so it has been there for a while. When I pointed out to someone that I had spent quite a bit of money traveling to other cities to present budgets and proposals to "convince" sponsors or organizers but it failed, I was asked to consider that as "lost investment". So, now that I am halfway to getting the Melaka event a reality, can I deem it as a "gained investment". And if I do get a profit from it, maybe I can start putting the down payment for bungalow in Hartamas. So, once the Melaka event is over, all of you can come to my open house somewhere in Hartamas Heights... Don't worry - I won't be nasty, I will invite everyone ..... But in all of it all, I am just happy that the event is looking to materialize really soon. The joy is to see something dreamed and for it to become a reality.
Anyway, I am doing all that I am doing now because I LOVE the game. I am passionate about chess and how to help improve the level of the game in the country. If some people think that I am doing it for power, money and control, then they better have their head examined.