As we all know , our local hero - IM Mashafizul Helmi ( photo right) is trying all his best to achieve the GM norm and the title by competing in tournaments all over the world ( Indonesia, Philipines, Switzerland, Hungary, UAE , India, Singapore, Australia) . His employer - Petronas give him support by giving him one and half year paid leave to acheive that mission .
During the MCF GM Tournament, i asked him ( tru facebook ) whether he will play in
The 3rd President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Cup International Chess Tournament which is also the first leg of the Asia-Pacific Pro Tour 2008/9 which will start from 6 – 13, September 2008, Manila, Philippines . Mas reply that he most probably will not play in that tournament. He told that his father is actually not well and he played in DATMO 2008 and MCF GM not in great form because he is a bit exhausted after the europe tournaments) . Under normal circumstances he would have skipped those tournaments, but because of the arrangements had been made long before he and everybody knew about his father's condition, he played on. Another thing i believe, he probably would not dissapoint all Malaysia chess fan who must be eager to see their local hero playing in his home turf. That's a sacrifiece that every sportsman have to made which sometimes, we don't know. Even his father wanted him to play in DATMO and MCF GM Tournament which i think is the main reason why Mas played on.
His father was diagnosed with liver cancer about two weeks ago and Mas said that in a few days time they will know either his father would need to gone trough an operation or other options .
I personally feel that Mas has made a correct desicion by playing in those tournaments ( DATMO and MCF) because i knew his father who is the most important man behind Mas succes would certainly encourage Mas to play. I still remember when Mas is still a kid when his father bring him to tournaments all over the country to develop his son great talents. I still remember someone told me long ago that when Mas is still a kid, they have to sleep in a mosque during the tournaments to save cost. His father has done many greats sacrifiece for his son and i think his investment is not a waste , Mas now is succesful in his career - his finish his degree in UK and work as an engineer with Petronas, but of course he will be more happy if Mas get the GM title.
Mas did thanks to me for supporting him in his quest and i strongly believe he is strong enough to overcome all the challenge and do his best to pursue the elusive GM norms title.
As Mashafizul said - Malaysia(MAS) Boleh!