I was recently reminded that I haven’t posted in many days (I think I was misinformed on the exact number). Unfortunately there hasn’t been much going on that is post-worthy as I prefer posting about geek-worthy stuff rather than personal stuff. Here’s something of some interest though.
Following Singapore’s (disappointing?) performance at the Causeway tournament, Michael has decreed that Singapore needs to send its best 5 next year, or risk getting booted out of the tournament. The current top 5 in Singapore are Hubert, Marcus, me, Benjamin (not a member currently) and Marlon. As Marcus, Benjamin (who may not be counted in if he does not play regularly) and I are going for National Service next year, it seems very unlikely that we will send our top 5 next year, unless there are major rating shifts.
Personally, I wish for there to be a Singaporean team next year. If I cannot make it for the Premier division next year, and if Michael is insistent on kicking Singapore out if we cannot send our top 5 rated, I will be willing to drop out of the top 5 just for us to have a team. On the other hand, I wish to qualify for the WSC next year (of course going there is another issue) and I am not sure if both ends can be achieved at the same time, especially since I will not be very free for tournaments once I enlist.
I have also heard from several sources that Michael intends to confirm the Causeway teams by the end of this year. If he were to confirm a Singaporean team that would probably mean we’d have to ensure we’d send our top 5. If that is the case, I do not see how that is possible for Singapore to confirm its team. More than half of the current team probably cannot confirm their attendance until sometime after June (optimistically speaking) and anyway our qualifying period ends sometime after June as well. If we are made to confirm our teams, I believe we can only come up with a haphazard pick which will probably see many shifts.
On another note, I believe Michael’s quest to create the “most competitive” tournament in the world is likely to alienate many who have stayed faithful to the competition throughout its early years. Making the tournament longer because “international players want more games” is something that will make some local players shy away from playing, because it is extremely tiring and time consuming to play in the tournament (even the Open!). Kicking out the last performing team has also not been very useful in increasing the competitiveness of the field – the previous two Causeways failed to meet my expectations in terms of competitiveness (I wonder why Ferdy was called to play in Premier instead of Martus, or indeed any of the top finishers at the Open). Anyway kicking out teams just means getting the best players from their team to play – India getting kicked out means Akshay (Gulf? India?) and Sherwin play in an international team, whereas Philippines getting kicked out just means Marlon plays for Singapore and Odette plays in an international team. If Singapore gets kicked out it probably means Hubert/ Cheah/ Tony/ Marcus/ Marlon etc etc get to play in an international team.
I believe Michael’s criterion (or initial criterion, haven’t heard updates – it’s something to do with a few players performing well at the Open) about requalifying a team for Premier division is way out for some countries which cannot afford the travel expense. I wouldn’t expect India to send a whole lot of players to play in the Open. Anyway Michael has apparently promised India a team for Causeway 2009 – hopefully he isn’t kicking Singapore because of that! I think it is difficult for the Causeway to attract players from all over the world simply because of the distance (and also because it still trails the WSC in grandeur and recognition).
Anyway Michael’s latest demands of the Singaporean team have proven to be somewhat unreasonable – we’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.