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View Full Version : Queensland Team Championships - what a mess



Sheroff
12-12-2010, 10:53 PM
Funny thing happened when I went to play a few games of chess today at the Qld Teams chess finals - what was meant to be an enjoyable bit of Sunday chess turned into a very unpleasant day indeed.

Having arrived on time as I always do, ready to play for the team of which I am a Lifetime Member, I and all the other players were greeted with an hour and twenty minute delay in the start time, which occurred because the CAQ had to 'deliberate ' over whether certain members of Bullwinkle's team were eligible to play - many of the very same players who have been, according to the very same CAQ, quite eligible to play in the past.

There apparently has been much behind-the-scenes lobbying to make certain Bullwinkle players (strangely, it's only the stronger ones) ineligible to play in this event, even though this team has been a permanent (and might I say, refreshing) feature of Queensland chess teams play for well over a decade. Apparently the eligibility that was good enough for last year and a great many years before that, is now (magically) no longer adequate.

This isn't the World Championship. It's supposed to be a fun one-day tourney where people have an opportunity to play in a team environment, without, hopefully, the burden of being inflicted with time-consuming and unnecessary pedantic bureaucracy. Alas, it would seem not.

So, by the time I and whoever else on Bullinkle were officially declared ineligible to play in the Premier division, a decision then had to be made by Bullwinkle - to play as an intact and complete team in a lesser Division, (so at least we could maintain our status as a team), or to all turn around and go home in disgust. So, instead of getting some competition at my level, I had no option (since I wouldn't let my team down and go home) but to sit down against players lopsidedly rated below me, who also had to play against players rated lopsidedly above them. Grossly unfair to them, mind-numbingly boring for me.

I was never personally informed by the tournament director as to if or why I was ineligible. Of course, the delay in getting going meant the whole day was then overly long and drawn out, and not many players were afterwards in much shape to play the Qld Lightning, which finally got underway sometime during the summer sunset. The quality of chess in two tournaments therefore suffered, instead of just the one. Bravo.

My issue with the CAQ on this sad day for Queensland chess goes beyond whether or not certain Bullwinkle players were eligible - it is why it took them well over an hour to sort it out. If they had known I and/or others were ineligible, why could they not they have informed those individuals beforehand? They could have saved me a drive. If they had not known, why not? If they made the rules, don't they know what they are?? If for some reason the rules had changed since last year, why wasn't I informed that I would be ineligible? What made this year different from last, aside from the pathetic whining and lobbying of those teams who can apparently only defeat Bullwinkle by having them permanently removed from the competition through bureaucracy? The CAQ seemed to want to 'make a point', but the only point they made today was that whatever unfairness (if any) may or may not have been in place in the Qld teams tourney, it could certainly be made ten times worse by excluding players from the Division they intended to play in, and had been playing happily (and according to the CAQ themselves, eligibly) in for years.

Common sense took a real beating today, and my confidence in the CAQ is pretty much shot. Thanks for ruining what should have been a great day for me and for many other players. Your job is to encourage participation in chess and to promote the game in this state, not to decide that you and your bureaucracy are more important than the chess players themselves. If this is the best the CAQ can do, maybe I need to start playing in another state.

Kevin Casey

Patrick Byrom
13-12-2010, 12:46 AM
I am one of the CAQ people referred to above, and I would like to explain some of the background to what happened today at the QTC.

Firstly, I'm disappointed that there was no mention of the hard work that the CAQ Council has done in organising the event. About 60 players played today in the QTC, and that requires a fair amount of setting up and putting away, not to mention all the other organising. There were also 20 players in the Qld Lightning, which is not a bad tournout.

Yes, we did change the rules this year. We also spent a lot of time and effort informing everybody (including Bullwinkle) of this change, which was made about 6 months ago. The CAQ Newsletter of 11 September, which was emailed to all members (http://www.caq.org.au/CAQNewsletters/CAQ_Email_Newsletter_20.htm) contains all the entry requirements.

All clubs were sent a specific reminder several weeks ago to inform us of the players who might be playing for them. They didn't need to have definite names, only players who might play in the QTC. We received nothing from Bullwinkle until about a week before the event.

We then considered the list of names. Most were accepted for the Premier Division, but some weren't. I'm not going into detail about the selection process, but if you had asked me today, I would have explained it.

So we weren't deliberating over whether certain members of Bullwinkle were ineligible to play - we had already decided that, and informed Bullwinkle. What I don't understand is why Bullwinkle didn't inform you.

When Bullwinkle entered these players anyway, and informed us that they might withdraw from the Premier Division if they weren't accepted, naturally we spent a lot of time deciding if we should stick to our original decision, which did cause an unfortunate delay. Bullwinkle could have avoided this by entering a team of qualified players in the Premier Division, as the other clubs did.

Do you have evidence for this statement:

There apparently has been much behind-the-scenes lobbying to make certain Bullwinkle players (strangely, it's only the stronger ones) ineligible to playCheck the rules: If you or the other rejected player had played for Bullwinkle in the Interclub, you would have both qualified easily, so our rules can't be that strict.

My final comment is this. If you play in a CAQ competition, you play by the CAQ's rules. If you don't like them, we are a democracy - you can discuss them with the CAQ Council and try to change them. Or you can do the hard work yourself and organise your own interclub event, with your own rules. But complaining here isn't going to achieve anything.

Garrett
13-12-2010, 03:35 AM
I don't think the eligibility criteria for the QLD teams were too much of a secret.

They had been posted on the CAQ website for ages and I mentioned their existence in the new Qld Teams thread that I started here a few days ago.

The reason I was not there playing for Brisbane (or attempting to play for Brisbane and jumping up and down like a goose when I wasn't allowed) was because of these rules.

Perhaps Bullwinkle can discuss communication within their club on their next club night ?

Anyway - funny thing is I did not consider attempting to play second division due to possibility of too many lop-sided games. Would have been fun to turn up and play the Bullwinkle side.

Anyway - what were the results on the day ?

Desmond
13-12-2010, 09:11 AM
this team has been a permanent (and might I say, refreshing) feature of Queensland chess teams play for well over a decade.I agree. I think they should have been allowed to play.


Anyway - what were the results on the day ?Redcliffe won it, ahead of Gardiner Chess and Brisbane (I'm not sure of the final order).

nonsequitur
13-12-2010, 12:02 PM
OK, since Patrick seems to want to dump the blame for this onto Bullwinkle, let’s put the whole, sordid story on record.

The eligibility rules for the QCTC were changed for this year’s competition. As Patrick and Garvin say, plenty of notice of this was given.

On Monday 6 December Garvin sent out what can only be described as a shirty e-mail reminding those clubs who were yet to enter that this was the closing date for team nominations.

I was rather put off by the tone of this e-mail, since I had the date on the calendar and was fully intending to nominate our teams on time. I had sent messages to our club members and was waiting for the responses to come in. From the information to hand on the Monday I determined that we could field one Premier Division team of 6 players and probably 4 or 5 players in Second Division.

I communicated this information to Garvin. Now, this seems to have been an on-going sore point with him -- our supposed ‘lateness’ in entering. Mark Stokes (who has recently returned to the CAQ council) was even told that we entered ‘late’. Now, if by ‘late’ it is meant that we entered on the last day permissible, then yes, I suppose we were ‘late’. If the Council wished entries to have been received earlier, perhaps they should have considered making the closing date earlier?

Anyway, having stated our intention to field 2 teams, I began discussions with Garvin as to player eligibility. Again, this was done within the timeframe required. It might have been later than the Council would have liked, but I thought (logically, but perhaps erroneously) that they would prefer to consider players that might actually be a chance of playing rather than everyone who’s ever played chess for our club and who might call in at the last minute wishing to join the team. That is: we specifically waited until the last day so that we would have the clearest idea of who was likely to be available.

Now, to the eligibility rules.

This stems back, I suspect, to the Kings of Chess and their meteoric involvement in 2007. The Kings of Chess assembled a superstar team that swept the field in both of the CAQ’s official interclub competitions. They were an official club but didn’t really ‘feel’ like one.

Now, Bullwinkle’s attitude was, firstly: “Hey, this is great. Really strong opposition. We hope these guys stick around.” And secondly: “Hmmm, if they keep thrashing us like this then we’ll have to lift our game.”

Sadly, the Kings of Chess seem to have disappeared from the scene, but they seem to have left behind (in some circles) a lingering suspicion as to the legitimacy of any strong team that enters the interclub.

Fast-forward to last year’s QCTC. Having yet again put a team together, Bullwinkle was hit by two withdrawals the night before the event. Keen not to let everyone else down (our players and opposition players alike) by pulling out, we frantically rang around to scrape up two replacements. The only available players turned out to be Brian Thomas and Moulthun Ly.

Now, Brian is a Redcliffe player. We were very happy to have him along, and will be happy for him to play for Bullwinkle in any future match that doesn’t involve Redcliffe. The reason he played for us in the 2009 QCTC was that Redcliffe were unable to field a team.

Moulthun had previously represented the Kings of Chess, and had never played for Bullwinkle. However, he was already strongly connected to the club. (Firstly through Kieron Olm-Milligan from his junior days at the Carindale club, then through David Smerdon and Roland Schmaltz. Last, but not least, there was the UQ connection. Club Bullwinkle was founded in the mid-nineties by myself and Konrad Uebel back in our UQ days and over the years has drawn together many, many UQ students. Moulthun was the latest.) People may have seen Moulthun as a ‘ring-in’, but he wasn’t, and isn’t. He has represented the club since the QCTC last year and will continue to do so. He has no allegiance to any other club. (And indeed was recognised under this year’s rules as being eligible for Bullwinkle.)

But yes, the rules were changed to ensure that all players representing a club were ‘genuine’ representatives.

The criteria to be fulfilled (any player needing to meet 2 out of 4 of these):

1. to be a financial member of the club
2. to be a life member of the club
3. to have played in this year’s CAQ Interclub Championship
4. to have played X number of games (what was it? 6?) at a club tournament this year

For those who don’t know, Club Bullwinkle exists for three main purposes: to play interclub chess; to play transfer and blitz chess; to socialise.

Hence, meeting criterion (4) was difficult for most of our players. We don’t have club tournaments every year (although we do play a lot of transfer!) and not many of our players are active at other clubs. We exist, indeed, partly to provide an avenue whereby players who don’t like to attend a weekly club can still play a bit and keep in touch with the chess world.

As to criterion (3): a number of our players participated in the Interclub Championship earlier this year. In fact, Bullwinkle fielded 2 of the 4 teams that entered.

Criterion (2): constitutionally, all our players are life members. The CAQ did not like this. It was, they felt, against the ‘spirit’ of life membership. To their credit, though, they recognised its validity.

Criterion (1): financial membership. Yes, a bit of a sticking point, and more on this later. Having forgotten about the token membership system that Nik Stawski inaugurated some years ago, I thought that it would be necessary to apply for ‘special consideration’ for some of our players.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATION. Yes. The rules for the QCTC stated that, should players not be able to meet 2 out of the 4 criteria, they could apply to the Council for ‘Special Consideration’, the aim of which was to establish that these players were, indeed, genuine representatives of the club. THERE WAS NOTHING WRITTEN AS TO HOW THE COUNCIL WOULD MAKE THIS DETERMINATION.

Not even knowing who was on the CAQ Council (it’s not well-advertised on the website), I conducted a lengthy exchange of e-mails with Garvin. In particular, we were seeking to determine the eligibility (under ‘special consideration’) of Peter Evans, Kieron Olm-Milligan and Kevin Casey, all of whom had expressed their desire to play.

In presenting a case for these players, I detailed their history of playing interclub matches for Bullwinkle. For those who are interested:

Kevin Casey played for us in the 2009 and 2008 QCTC events, having been introduced to the club through his protégé and blitz sparring partner, David Smerdon. Kevin is in no way associated with any other club.

Peter Evans played for Bullwinkle on 7 separate occasions from 1999-2005, having been introduced to the club via his brother David and club stalwart Andrew Meldrum. Peter is in no way associated with any other club.

Kieron Olm-Milligan played 36 games for Bullwinkle between 2003 and 2009, having been introduced to the club through coach Nik Stawski. Kieron is in no way associated with any other club.

Garvin, after initial discussions with the mysterious and unnamed Council, suggested to me that Peter’s association with the club was questionable, since he had played ‘only’ 7 games, none of them very recently. I replied that Peter hadn’t played any chess recently and that any chess he had played was with us. Though asking the Council to consider him, I did indicate that Peter would probably play in the Second Division anyway. (I was rather assuming at this point that Kieron and Kevin would be deemed eligible.)

Garvin, having discussed the matter further with Council, suggested that ‘friendly’ interclub matches shouldn’t have any bearing on a player’s association with their club, and asked me to provide information as to the players’ involvement with CAQ-approved events. I told him that this information would be very time-consuming to dig out, and furthermore that the Council’s stance was quite peculiar. We were, after all, trying to establish how involved people were WITH OUR CLUB, not WITH THE CAQ.

Garvin also indicated to me the Council’s feeling that it was ‘an unfair advantage’ to Bullwinkle to consider players based on the number of interclub games they’d played, because other clubs didn’t play as much as Bullwinkle.

I replied: (1) that other clubs could play as much interclub chess as they wanted; (2), that excluding interclub participation from the criteria seemed odd, given that we were trying to field teams for an interclub competition; and (3) that we were, in any case, applying for ‘special consideration’ over and above a set of rules that seemed specifically tailored for clubs that met weekly. The fact that we needed to do this, ipso facto, meant that we had no ‘unfair advantage’.

Our discussions having reached a standstill, Garvin and the rest of the Council retired to reach a verdict.

On Friday afternoon at about 4 o’clock (note the delay of several days), Garvin sent an e-mail informing me of the Council’s decision. Our players that met Criteria 2 and 3 were eligible. Two other players (Kieran Lyons and Jonathan Humphrey, who we can only assume met Criteria 2 and 4), were also eligible. But as to the players for whom we had asked ‘special consideration’...

It was the Council’s decision that they ‘would not consider’ players who were not CAQ members at the time of application.

Would not consider.

Now, this seems to have been a point of some misunderstanding. Taking this purely on a literal level, it seemed to me that the Council had, over the course of 3 or 4 days, come to the decision that they would not hear our case SOLELY BECAUSE THE PLAYERS IN QUESTION WERE YET TO JOIN THE CAQ.

Yes, you have to be a member of the CAQ to play in the QCTC. Everyone who was not a member would join up on the day. Common practice. But, to be a member EVEN TO BE CONSIDERED? This seemed like madness.

I pointed this out to Garvin. He wrote back and told me I was mis-stating the Council’s position. He then re-stated it in exactly the same words as he had previously.

On Sunday morning we learnt the nature of the misunderstanding. When the Council said they ‘would not consider’ players who hadn’t joined the CAQ prior to making the application, what they meant was that they HAD CONSIDERED BUT HAD RULED THE PLAYERS INELIGIBLE -- on the grounds that they weren’t CAQ members at the time of making the application.

So it seems I mis-inferred the intent of Garvin’s words; and I must admit that it never even occurred to me that the question of whether a player was a LEGITIMATE REPRESENTATIVE OF OUR CLUB could be in any way influenced by whether or not they were CAQ members as of Monday 6 December.

But perhaps this wasn’t the real issue. During discussions on Sunday, it was agreed that the Council had ruled against our 3 players, not for this reason alone, but for different reasons. That is, certain members of the Council had each had their own, particular reason to dismiss the application. Only one reason had been stated prior to Sunday (and I believe I’m right in saying that it was Garvin’s) but there were other reasons that the Council kept to themselves. We learned these on Sunday morning.

So, who made the decision? Who was on the Council?

The CAQ Council is: Garvin Gray; Patrick Byrom; Gail Young; Jim Rogers; Mark Stokes.

Jim Rogers was, we are led to believe, beyond contact throughout, and played no part in discussions.

Mark Stokes has only recently rejoined the Council, and, it would seem, was only brought into the debate quite late in the piece.

Gail Young was involved via e-mail, and via phone on Sunday.

And why were we there on Sunday? Either Garvin or Patrick (I would have to re-read their posts) has suggested that the Council had already made its decision regarding Kevin Casey and that we should have told him before he turned up.

This is interesting. Let’s explore that.

Having been, shall we say, gobsmacked, by the Council’s belated ruling on Friday afternoon, I discussed the matter in some depth at Bullwinkle’s AGM that night. Nik Stawski volunteered to make a few calls, and reminded me of the token membership system that he had implemented some years previously.

Nik phoned Garvin on Saturday and made him aware of this. (That is, that all Bullwinkle members are actually financial, and pay a token amount each year, which the club promptly waives.) Garvin thanked him for this information and said he would discuss it with the rest of Council.

Nik contacted Garvin later in the day to see if a decision had been reached. Were our players eligible under Criteria 1 and 2?

Garvin told him that it was ‘all too much trouble’ and that WE SHOULD TURN UP ON SUNDAY MORNING AND DISCUSS IT THEN.

Now, turning up to discuss it WITHOUT OUR PLAYERS (such as Kevin Casey) would make little sense. If we turned up to discuss it and had our players ruled eligible then we would then have to forfeit, not having our team present. Obviously, when turning up, as requested, we would bring our team with us.

Naturally, we told our players of the stance the Council had taken, and also of the possibility that we might all have to play in Second Division. (On Friday, and again on Saturday, we raised this possibility with Council.) Kevin, like everyone else not on Council, made the mistake of assuming that a reasonable decision would be made.

OK, to Sunday morning.

We arrived for registration on Sunday morning and were told that the Council did not recognise our financial membership system. This was an entirely arbitrary decision on their part. Our financial membership system is legal. Yes, it is token. Yes, it goes against what the Council wanted. But it is legitimate and should have been recognised. Our club does not have a venue per se. (We meet at each other’s houses or at the Three Monkeys Cafe.) There seems no need to charge people a large amount of money to join each year.

Why did the Council reject our financial membership system? They just did. There was no discussion of this (although it is what we were told would be discussed) and there was no reason given.

So, why didn’t we just turn around and go home? That would have allowed the tournament to start on time, after all.

Well, we didn’t do that because we felt it was a bit unjust. It felt as if the Council wanted to exclude us from the competition and was finding a reason to do so.

Now, full credit here to Mark Stokes. Mark is a very reasonable man and does an enormous amount of work for the Redcliffe Chess Club and for Queensland Chess in general. Mark wanted us to play and did everything in his power to convince the rest of the Council that we should be allowed to do so. Mark was, it would seem, out-voted.

Since we were there, we asked the Council to clear up the matter of the ‘Special Consideration’ appeal. This was when it emerged that CAQ membership (or lack thereof) was Garvin’s objection. Patrick’s objection was something else entirely. [We do not know what Gail Young’s objection was. Jim, remember, wasn’t involved, and Mark had no objection.]

Patrick’s objection focussed on Kieron Olm-Milligan. We did not even get around to debating Peter Evans or Kevin Casey. (That, Kevin, is why they didn’t tell you.) The entire, drawn-out saga was about whether or not Kieron is legitimately a Bullwinkle player.

36 interclub games over 7 years. That speaks for itself, surely?

But no. Patrick’s position was that Kieron had not been active within the club RECENTLY. (2009 not being considered ‘recent’, it would seem.) The QCTC, Patrick maintained, was only for players who were CURRENTLY active within their club.

“So what are you saying?” I asked. “If John Alkin wanted to play for Brisbane Club, you would have told him that he wasn’t a proper Brisbane Club player?”

“That’s right,” Patrick confirmed. (And it was re-iterated that Leo Wilkinson wasn’t deemed eligible to play for Redcliffe.)

“That’s utter madness.” I said.

Then Patrick said: “Look, I don’t like the rules, but we have to abide by them.”

Again, interesting. ‘Special consideration’ is not a rule. It’s an interpretation and the entry form lists no guidelines by which the Council make it. The question of eligibility under the ‘special consideration’ exemption is not a rule at all. It is nothing more or less than THE WHIM OF THE COUNCIL.

I suggested as much to Patrick, and he agreed.

So, we had the situation where Patrick, although not ‘liking’ the rules (ie. whim of the council) felt himself bound to abide by them. That is, abide by his own whim.

All of Bullwinkle was stunned; not least, Kieron when he was told that Council didn’t consider him a legitimate representative of his own club.

“That’s our ruling,” the Council told us. “We’re not going to change it, so Bullwinkle has to decide what it’s going to do.”

We were invited to field two lowly-rated but technically eligible players in Premier Division and to play Kevin Casey and Kieron Olm-Milligan in Second Division.

Bullwinkle convened its own discussion. This lasted approximately 1 minute.

Our decision was this:

(1) That it would be unfair to our Second Division players to drag them into Premier Division based solely on the whim of the Council. NOT ON THE RULES OF THE COMPETITION, LET IT BE NOTED. We fielded legitimate entries under the rules. The Council chose not to recognise them.

(2) That it would be unfair on those who had made the effort to attend (having been promised a ‘discussion’ and the ‘sorting out’ of our entries) to just send them home without playing.

(3) That the CAQ had no right to determine any player’s eligibility for the ‘special consideration’ exemption based solely on Patrick Byrom’s ideas of what constitutes an active club player.

[And a quick aside here: Why was Patrick Byrom eligible to play for Brisbane Club? He is, presumably a life member. He is, presumably, a financial member. He played in the Interclub Championship earlier this year -- 1 game for Bullwinkle, the Brisbane Club being unable to field a team -- but does not play weekly tournaments at all. Hence, his right to play for the Brisbane Club has nothing to do with ‘activity’; merely with life membership and financial membership, under which categories our 3 players were ruled ineligible.]

(4) That if Kieron (and by extension, Peter and Kevin) were not considered genuine club representatives by the Council, then none of us were, and that it would therefore be against the intent of the Council’s rulings for ANY OF US to play in Premier Division.

As such, we all played in Second Division (for which there are no Club requirements at all).

Except for Craig Stewart, who went home in disgust; and Kieron, who was too inscrutable to openly express any contempt he might be feeling.

As an interesting aside, Ben Lazarus (another player for whom we’d requested a ruling from Council) turned up looking to play for Bullwinkle. Under Council policy he also was ineligible, despite having played for us in the Interclub Championship last year, and despite his connection through David Smerdon and UQ. Ben ultimately played for The Gap in Second Division -- because this was the only way he could play AGAINST the Bullwinkle players (Kevin Casey, Moulthun Ly, Bruce Williams) and so have a decent game. There were, of course, plenty of players in Premier Division who would have liked to play against Ben (or Moulthun or Kevin or Bruce), but they weren’t given the chance.

Or a say.

Bullwinkle has fielded interclub teams in all but 1 CAQ-organised interclub competition since 1994. If there have been multiple divisions, we have usually fielded a team in each. Sometimes we have fielded more than 1 team in a division. During the years that the CAQ hasn’t organised any interclub competitions, we have organised our own. Additionally, we have organised many friendly interclub matches against other clubs.

Since 1994 Bullwinkle has played 127 long matches and 62 rapid matches (not including yesterday’s debacle). We have fully supported interclub chess in and around Brisbane.

What happened yesterday was ridiculous. Nobody questions that. But let it not be said that it was of our making. This was the CAQ’s mess (as Kevin Casey so eloquently wrote in his post) and the CAQ has done nothing throughout but enhance its reputation for officiousness and pointless, illogical bloody-mindedness.

As of yesterday afternoon we were all hoping to put the matter behind us. Some of us even thought that Council might recognise that it had erred and perhaps even offer some sort of apology -- if not to us then at least to the Brisbane, Redcliffe and Gold Coast players who were denied the opportunity to play in the 2 evenly matched divisions that were assembled and ready to play on Sunday morning.

(Premier Division was ultimately run as a 3-team double round robin with 1 team having a bye each round. Second Division was dominated -- both numerically and in terms of ratings -- by the large, top-heavy Bullwinkle team. Redcliffe finished first in Premier Division but would have liked not only to play 2 more matches but also to fully test their strength. Bullwinkle finished first in Second Division by a considerable margin. So skewed were the results, indeed, that Ben Lazarus, playing by himself as ‘The Gap’, finished third.)

But no. Garvin and Patrick have already displayed their belief that they did no wrong, and that this is all somehow Bullwinkle’s fault. [Again, it should be noted that the extent of Gail Young’s involvement is unclear; that Jim Rogers was not involved; and that Mark Stokes was at all times positive and reasonable.]

Hopefully, this posting (if anyone has had the fortitude to slog their way through it) has set the record straight, or at least stated the Bullwinkle position.

We are a strong, thriving, legitimate club dedicated to interclub chess (as well as blitz and transfer). We will continue to play friendly matches (we already have one pencilled in versus Redcliffe -- Thanks, Mark!) but have become supremely disillusioned with the CAQ Council and the events they run.

Yes, Patrick and Garvin, thank you for the time and effort you put into organising things. I notice, though, in asking for that recognition, that you made no corresponding recognition of OUR EFFORT in putting teams together, or of that of the other clubs.

The CAQ did not ask any of the clubs what THEY thought was reasonable.

The CAQ and its Council should act in the interests and according to the wishes of its members, not stick small-mindedly (nay, pettily) to its own, somewhat hard to fathom interpretation of ‘how things should be’.

I could be wrong, but I seem to have noticed an ever-dwindling participation of clubs in the CAQ-run interclub events. There is a reason for that and it is not, I believe, anything to do with the clubs themselves.

Jacob Edwards (on behalf of the Bullwinkle Chess Club)

nonsequitur
13-12-2010, 02:17 PM
The reason I was not there playing for Brisbane (or attempting to play for Brisbane and jumping up and down like a goose when I wasn't allowed) was because of these rules.



Dear Garrett, Regina Edwards here, representing my personal point of view.

If you read Jacob's thread (under the same alias) you will realise this ridiculous mess occurred not because Bullwinkle (openly) objected to the rules but because, although we were trying to enter players under the 'special consideration' clause as outlined on the online entry form, these players were not, in the end, 'considered', let alone 'specially'. And let it also be clear we kept the players in question fully informed of the situation as it developed. The communication problem lies not within our club but with trying to communicate rationally with the CAQ, somewhat futilely I might add (this also detailed in full in Jacob's post).
:wall:


This mention of 'rules' and alluding to our 'jumping up and down like geese' has somewhat ruffled _my_ feathers... Garrett.

You see, what has occurred in the small and relatively speaking, insignificant world of chess is symptomatic of what in recent decades has been insidiously at play in society at large.

We have a lot of 'rules' in this country - many of them utterly ridiculous and immoral (I am happy to mention some of these if you like) And where there is room for interpretation within a rule, it is ridiculous to twist it against common sense rather than for the outcome which is in everyone's best interest.

If you were ineligible under the criteria (as our players arguably were) but a genuine club representative, you should have applied for and been granted special consideration.

As should have anyone else who would have liked to play for their club and felt unfairly excluded.

But herein lies the fundamental problem, with this issue and society at large. More and more people just accept 'rules' as handed down from 'rule makers'. (Worse, they allow themselves to be hard done by even within the scope of those rules.)

These rule makers, although saddled with the responsibility and labour involved in running the country (or chess in Queensland) are nevertheless often misguided and make poor decisions which are not in the best interests of the people they are supposed to represent.

But hey, they are not Gods, they are mere, mere mortals and we could forgive them their folly.

As I said, _they_ are not the fundamental problem. The problem is that society has become really passive and just accepts things as those in positions of power slowly twist this world into something beyond recognition.

If all the clubs had stood up to the CAQ, or even taken an interest, the Council would not have been able to get away with the decisions they made.

So we will continue to jump up and down like geese because to us, mostly humble law abiding citizens, there is something more important than 'rules'; and that is: what is right.

We should have, and could have, been playing in Premier Division. It sounds like you should have, and could have, too. The only difference is that we tried.

Regina Edwards

Basil
13-12-2010, 03:10 PM
Well this is fun!

EpicEffects
13-12-2010, 03:20 PM
Incidentally, is Jonathan Humphrey currently a CAQ member? Since he was deemed eligible to play for Bullwinkle one could only assume so, but according to the most recent rating list he has played no games. Furthermore, his rating has a '?' suggesting an unreliable rating, which in turn suggests inactivity from rated games for some time.

Decisions appear rather inconsistent, especially when one considers that certain players (as mentioned in the above posts) were not considered, with the reasoning that they were not CAQ members. Yet other players not seeking "special consideration" were entitled to simply pay their CAQ fee on the day (e.g. Peter Evans). One would at least expect that when being required to apply for special consideration you could at least have, in advance, some idea of what criteria need to be fulfilled.

Seems as though the "rules" which were so doggedly followed by the CAQ are frightfully full of holes in many respects.

Desmond
13-12-2010, 03:44 PM
As I said, _they_ are not the fundamental problem. The problem is that society has become really passive and just accepts things as those in positions of power slowly twist this world into something beyond recognition.

If all the clubs had stood up to the CAQ, or even taken an interest, the Council would not have been able to get away with the decisions they made.
Hi Regina, welcome to chesschat.

Perhaps you're right and the other clubs and players should have done more. Knowing what I knew then (which is less than I know now - thanks to the above posts), I don't know exactly what could have been done differently. I think that the team captains had a decent representation in the discussion - Pat from BCC and Mark from CRCC. I'm not sure if a Gardiner person was involved.

Anyway my hope is that Bullwinkle continues to participate in these things and that we don't have a repeat of this *mess*.

Brian Thomas

Kevin Bonham
13-12-2010, 04:51 PM
Premier Division was ultimately run as a 3-team double round robin with 1 team having a bye each round.

A very minor point compared to all the other matters being discussed on here but a bye in a 3-team double round robin is avoidable provided the teams each have even numbers of players. The only costs are that you can't use "match points" and that in some games a player plays against an adjacent board numbered player from another team rather than their own. Actually the latter is an advantage rather than a cost in a way because each player plays 4 others not just 2.

As the way to do it may not be widely known and may be useful to others facing a similar crisis I am going to post it in Arbiters Corner and edit a link to it into this post when I have done so.

Link: http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=12645

Patrick Byrom
13-12-2010, 04:53 PM
Thanks to Jacob and Regina for their posts. I'm not going to comment on everything they said, but I would like to clarify a few points.

I'm not posting here as a representative of the CAQ, of course.

I don't think that everything that happened was Bullwinkle's fault - there were things that the CAQ Council could have done better. And I am grateful to the clubs that organise teams (I organise teams as well). But the original post implied that the CAQ had done everything wrong - there was no recognition of the hard work the organisers put in.

Contact details for the CAQ Council are on the CAQ website. But Garvin is our Tournament Organiser, so he is the main person in team discussions.

If clubs want to influence policy, they should come to our AGM. If they can't attend, they can submit motions. The AGM was held on December 4, and no objections to the QTC rules were raised. And the Council was re-elected by the members (as represented by their club delegates). The complete list of re-elected Councillors is contained in the AGM minutes, which was emailed to Bullwinkle. The minutes are also on our website.

Or they can contact us. I email Bullwinkle regular minutes, and Garvin sends members a regular Newsletter, so it should be fairly obvious who to complain to. No objections to the QTC rules were received by me or Garvin before December 6 from Bullwinkle or anyone else (that I'm aware of).


If all the clubs had stood up to the CAQ, or even taken an interest, the Council would not have been able to get away with the decisions they made.
I agree with Regina - if complaints had been received earlier, then the policy might have been changed. But complaining about the rules just before the deadline for team entries is not a good idea. :wall:

I'm not going to discuss the details of the rules, and why certain players didn't qualify - different people will have different, but equally valid, interpretations of the rules. Jacob is completely incorrect about the reason why the rules were brought in; but I'm not going to discuss internal Council decision-making here. However, I can assure you that the Council definitely did spend a lot of time and energy discussing which Bullwinkle players should be given special consideration.

My recollection of our conversation is different from Jacob's, but as there are no records, I'm not going argue about it.


Again, interesting. ‘Special consideration’ is not a rule. It’s an interpretation and the entry form lists no guidelines by which the Council make it. The question of eligibility under the ‘special consideration’ exemption is not a rule at all. It is nothing more or less than THE WHIM OF THE COUNCIL.
I suggested as much to Patrick, and he agreed.
So, we had the situation where Patrick, although not ‘liking’ the rules (ie. whim of the council) felt himself bound to abide by them. That is, abide by his own whim.
It was not a 'whim' (not a word I would have used) of course, but a majority Council decision as a result of a democratic vote - which I, and all other CAQ members, have to abide by. Referees and arbiters have to interpret rules all the time, so I don't see the problem.


(1) That it would be unfair to our Second Division players to drag them into Premier Division based solely on the whim of the Council. NOT ON THE RULES OF THE COMPETITION, LET IT BE NOTED. We fielded legitimate entries under the rules. The Council chose not to recognise them.
(3) That the CAQ had no right to determine any player’s eligibility for the ‘special consideration’ exemption based solely on Patrick Byrom’s ideas of what constitutes an active club player.
Bullwinkle obviously doesn't agree with our interpretations of the rules, which is their right. But it is a CAQ competition, so it is the responsibility of the Council to interpret the rules, which is what we did.

Rule (A) of the eligibility criteria states:
A) Be a financial member of the club they are wanting to represent before November 1st 2010.
If said club does not have formal financial membership i.e. membership is free or club has no formal members, then move on to criterion (B)
The second part of the rule disqualifies (in my opinion) the Bullwinkle membership scheme.

Jacob agrees that the CAQ Council ruled certain players ineligible on Friday. A further issue was then raised by Bullwinkle on Saturday, which the CAQ Council agreed to consider on Sunday - that is what caused the delay. This is where more time would have been helpful.


What happened yesterday was ridiculous. Nobody questions that. But let it not be said that it was of our making. This was the CAQ’s mess
Jacob, do you think that Bullwinkle has ANY responsibilty for what happened yesterday? CAQ decisions contributed to the problem, but so did Bullwinkle decisions.


[And a quick aside here: Why was Patrick Byrom eligible to play for Brisbane Club?]
Because I'm a BCC Life Member, and I've been President of the BCC for over 10 years - not to mention the fact that I've played for the club in every QTC.


The CAQ did not ask any of the clubs what THEY thought was reasonable.
Players don't generally get to vote on the rules of a competition.

Could I suggest that Bullwinkle should perhaps wait and see what the rules are next year before deciding what to do - the rules may change. I certainly hope that they choose to play in the CAQ team competitions next year.

ER
13-12-2010, 05:03 PM
Well this is fun!
Not gonna be so funny (for Arsen and his mob) after the Old Trafford game tonight! ;)

Hey Howie, closely followed by Boris and Garrett, you are the most Laconic Queenslander I 've ever seen! (in this thread) The ^ published stuff will get me through the festive season thanks! :)
Anxiously awaiting Garvinator's report on the matter though! :P

BTW did you play in any of the teams?

I like Bullwinkles because they were the El Cheapo bookshop at Melbourne Uni, where you could find better and cheaper books than the established one frequented by Michael Baron and all those other poshy characters! :P

nonsequitur
13-12-2010, 06:47 PM
Thanks to Jacob and Regina for their posts. I'm not going to comment on everything they said, but I would like to clarify a few points.


Thanks, Patrick.

Jacob here. (Hope everyone's keeping up with Regina and I sharing this alias.) I'd just like to clarify a few things too.



Garvin is our Tournament Organiser, so he is the main person in team discussions.

But presumably ALL of the Council (Mark? Gail? Apparently not Jim?) were privy to and took part in discussions made regarding the applications for 'special consideration' that we submitted on Monday?



But complaining about the rules just before the deadline for team entries is not a good idea.

Again, I'd like to stress that, although disagreeing with the rules, our complaint is with their implementation / interpretation. Obviously, we could not disagree with this until it became manifest.



However, I can assure you that the Council definitely did spend a lot of time and energy discussing which Bullwinkle players should be given special consideration.

I, for one, would like the upshot of those discussions to be made public. I'm still not entirely clear on why Kevin, Peter and Kieron were ruled not to be genuine representatives of Bullwinkle. Was it (a) as Garvin said on Sunday, because they did not join the CAQ before last Monday, or (b) as you said on Sunday, because they haven't been active enough in the last year? (Bearing in mind that there is already a criterion for activity during the year.)

Also, I'd like your honest opinion (and anyone else's, for that matter) as to whether either of these are legitimate reasons. Yes, the Council and everyone else have to abide by its rulings (hence Sunday's outcome), but the rulings still have to be made in the first place.



Rule (A) of the eligibility criteria states:
A) Be a financial member of the club they are wanting to represent before November 1st 2010.
If said club does not have formal financial membership i.e. membership is free or club has no formal members, then move on to criterion (B)
The second part of the rule disqualifies (in my opinion) the Bullwinkle membership scheme.

Is this an opinion shared by the rest of Council? I heard something to the effect that Graeme Gardiner once entered a team based on token $1 membership that was waived by the club. (Apologies, Graeme, if this is incorrect.)

Is it your opinion that the Bullwinkle membership system is ineligible ACCORDING TO THE LETTER OF THE REGULATIONS, or merely IN SPIRIT?



Jacob agrees that the CAQ Council ruled certain players ineligible on Friday.

I agree that, in hindsight, that this is what the Council did. I maintain most strongly, however, that the words 'The Council have decided not to consider players' in no way implies this! Our belief, until Garvin clarified his position on Sunday morning, was that the CAQ was (because of the lack of CAQ membership), refusing to consider our application.

Am I the only one who takes that meaning out of the wording? (Other Bullwinkle people need not reply, since we've already discussed this at length.)

And again, I really have to ask: even if we accept that the Council dismissed our application, on Friday, for the reason of our players not being CAQ members as of last Monday... is that a remotely valid reason for declaring them not to be genuine representatives of the club?



Jacob, do you think that Bullwinkle has ANY responsibilty for what happened yesterday? CAQ decisions contributed to the problem, but so did Bullwinkle decisions.

Absolutely.

1. By our nature, being a club that doesn't meet weekly and doesn't see some of its members for months at a time, communication can be slow. At the time, I thought it was the right thing to do to give our players as long as possible to respond. If I could do it all again, I would have entered one Second Division team, earlier, and left it at that.

2. My biggest mistake was taking on the submitting of our entries without detailed discussion with our office-bearers (Williams, Stawski, et. al) or proper reference to our constitution. Had I remembered the membership system that Nik instituted back in the day, we could have entered without any recourse to the 'Special Consideration' clause and some of Sunday's debate could have been held earlier. (Still fruitlessly, I suspect, but earlier.)

3. Also, it seems, I was overly-optimistic about the outcome of Council's discussions. When I asked Kevin, Kieron and Peter to play, I did warn them about the need (as I saw it) to apply for 'special consideration'. Given how much a part of the club they are, however, I did not envisage the problems that arose. Had I done so, and stressed these potential difficulties more forcefully, I might have scared them sufficiently that they wouldn't have volunteered in the first place. The makeup of our team would then have been simpler, smaller, weaker, but lacking in controversy.



Because I'm a BCC Life Member, and I've been President of the BCC for over 10 years - not to mention the fact that I've played for the club in every QTC.

Life membership is one of the criteria. Presidency is not, nor is having played for the club in previous years -- isn't that precisely your point regarding Kieron and (presumably) Kevin?



Could I suggest that Bullwinkle should perhaps wait and see what the rules are next year before deciding what to do - the rules may change. I certainly hope that they choose to play in the CAQ team competitions next year.

I can only speak for myself on that one. I won't be organising any teams. Other people might. Who knows?

In closing, I would like to thank you, Patrick, as well as Garvin and the other Council members, for the work you do for Qld chess. I served on the Council myself for some time and appreciate that it is time-consuming, boring and largely thankless work.

I wish you well in putting together next year's interclub events.

Jacob Edwards

Patrick Byrom
13-12-2010, 07:48 PM
Thanks again for your reply, Jacob. I understand Bullwinkle's position much better now, even if I generally don't agree with it.

But I don't think that there would be any point in my replying further. It would be better for you, or someone else from the club, to discuss these issues with the entire CAQ Council.

I will comment on one final issue. Having been BCC President for 10 years doesn't automatically qualify me to play for Brisbane (although it might be proof of insanity) - but it is an excellent argument that I am indeed a genuine Brisbane Club player.


In closing, I would like to thank you, Patrick, as well as Garvin and the other Council members, for the work you do for Qld chess. I served on the Council myself for some time and appreciate that it is time-consuming, boring and largely thankless work.
I wish you well in putting together next year's interclub events.

Thanks for your kind words and support, Jacob. I know that organising teams often isn't much fun either. Even if you don't organise the team, hopefully you'll continue to play.

nonsequitur
13-12-2010, 08:13 PM
Hi Regina, welcome to chesschat.


Hello Brian,



I don't know exactly what could have been done differently. I think that the team captains had a decent representation in the discussion - Pat from BCC and Mark from CRCC. I'm not sure if a Gardiner person was involved.


No one from Gardiner chess was involved in Sunday's discussions. Players from Bullwinkle, Redcliffe and Brisbane Club were all affected by the exclusion of players. Perhaps Gold Coast too, I'm not sure. I don't know how many clubs applied for special consideration for their players, or what the outcome was, if any. If other clubs did apply and were excluded just as arbitrarily as ours, then it would have been unfair to include the Bullwinkle players on Sunday.

Back to the discussions and what could have been done. Mark Stokes said he didn't like the rules and voted against enforcing them in his capacity as a council member. Patrick also said he didn't like the rules. We didn't like the rules, so at least three of the four clubs didn't. (At least four out of five if you include Ben Lazarus as The Gap.)

Perhaps there needs to be more communication between chess players, who can put forward their points of view to members of other clubs, either directly or via the respective club presidents.

I don't see how the CAQ could justify enforcing its own arbitrary rules if it received complaints from _all_ the clubs affected. Given how inflexible and (from our perspective) unreasonable the CAQ was towards Bullwinkle, it may have necessitated banding together and boycotting the competition. But surely then it would have been a choice between having a competition or not having one, the former clearly being the better outcome.

It all sounds very dramatic I know. But I am not envisaging marching, chanting and burning banners, the sort of gung ho rebellion associated with political oppression.

It would have worked with calm rational discussion. Perhaps Pat is right. Once clubs found their players in danger of being excluded, they (us included) should probably have expressed their discontent to the CAQ and asked that this be passed on to other clubs for debate.

Perhaps also the CAQ was misleading in suggesting that clubs could apply for special consideration. It is still a mystery to us what criteria would have given grounds for a successful application.

Regina Edwards

Basil
13-12-2010, 08:46 PM
BTW did you play in any of the teams?
Not this year or last year and perhaps not the year before - I can't recall. I haven't lifted a pawn in incompetence anger for about six months due to work commitments.

antichrist
14-12-2010, 12:29 AM
It is a certainly sad state of affairs when players turn up to play, but arbitration on their participation, is left until the day and goes against them.

Stating that the clubs did not object before the AGM etc does not hold up because players could not have expected tough decisions.

Some people in power in chess- for reasons I cannot understand - want to be tough when everything is only voluntary, a game, and inclusiveness is the order of the day. Everywhere players drift in and out of activity but still consider themselves members of that club.

Regina's explanation is entirely reasonable. Shame on admin.

Garvinator
28-02-2011, 11:25 AM
After the extremely disappointing and somewhat bizarre performance perpetrated on a roomful of chess players at the recent Queensland Teams Championships by the common-sense-challenged CAQ hierarchy, it was great to experience a positive, professionally run event.

Perhaps the lads at the top of the CAQ food chain could take lessons from you and Graeme Gardiner on how to move chess forward in this state, instead of finding new and innovative ways to put obstacles in its path.

Kevin Casey,

Since you have seen fit to keep peddling this mis-information, I will reply.

Council was willing to let the matter go, but since mis-information is still being peddled, council will respond 'soon' formally to all of Bullwinkle to try and give at least our full version of events, from right back in 2008 when the format for 2010 was started to present day.

Have you considered for at least one second that it was not CAQ's fault, or at least that most of the 'fault' did not lay with CAQ?

CAQ made its decision and informed Bullwinkle on the Thursday night before QCTC.

Bullwinkle could have accepted CAQ's decision then and got on with forming a team and complying with CAQ's decision. They instead chose to tender further information and considering the short time from of when that information was tendered, CAQ decided to allow further discussion of the matter on Sunday morning.

All the new information could have been tendered originally. Why it was not is a mystery?

When we allowed this discussion, CAQ thought that Bullwinkle would turn up at about 8:30am or so to discuss the matter, not after 9:30am with the competition starting at 10am. That seems rather odd behaviour and choice. Turn up at the last minute to discuss a sensitive issue :hmm:

It should certainly be noted that you have chosen to NEVER communicate with CAQ council at all, but instead all you do is take cheap shots at council on a bulletin board.

If you are actually interested in a calm, decent discussion, rather than just taking easy pot shots on an internet forum, feel free to email me at president@caq.org.au. I will then add the rest of council in and you can address your concerns directly to council.

Perhaps that way you might hear a different versions of events, rather than the version that I am sure you have heard so far from one side. You will probably then be aware of information that can never be disclosed on a public internet forum

Then you can decide after hearing both sides of the story who is most at 'fault'.

Garvin Gray
CAQ President

Sheroff
28-02-2011, 04:29 PM
Garvin,

I, as well as Bullwinkle, the other clubs involved, and the Qld chess community as a whole, eagerly await your 'formal response' to Bullwinkle on this issue. It also pleases me that you have finally decided to comment, given the gravity of the situation. "Council was willing to let the matter go" indeed - I'll bet you were, given that it has raised so many serious questions about your leadership. Alas, chess players have long memories, and if you were hoping this would all just fade away, you were unduly hopeful.

As for my interest or lack thereof in a 'calm, decent discussion' with CAQ Council, I believe Bullwinkle and even your own fellow Council member tried that out on the morning of the tournament, but the 'rational discussion' approach didn't seem to work out too well for them, as I recall.

Please understand I harbour no personal ill will toward either you or Patrick. I have participated in tournaments run by you before without major incident, and believe you have a satisfactory level of competence in many areas of tournament direction and chess administration. I am also willing to concede that you may have some info I don't, and that some of this cannot/should not be offered up on a chat forum. So, being a fair man, I will reserve final judgement until you have presented the formal defense of your actions to Bullwinkle - maybe they'll let me read it. If it transpires, as you suggest, that it is not your (and Patrick's) fault, then certainly I wish you very well in the chess world, and apologise for any inconvenience. If your explanation is, however, as feeble and confused as Patrick's response to Mr. Edward's account of events on this forum (which I have no reason not to believe), then I would strongly suggest resignation from your current CAQ Council positions (and any others that may become available in the future) as your wisest option.

In regard to my 'constant cheap shots' at CAQ on this issue, I am pretty sure I have brought it up publicly only twice (on this forum, once the day it happened, and in yesterday's post, when, as an aside, I noted the huge gap between a well-run tournament and a complete disaster). I also may have mentioned it briefly in a private email to Suncoast organizers, only to preface my query to them as to whether either you or Patrick were involved in any way in the running of it, before I entered.

In forty years of tournament play all over the world, I've never seen such a fiasco. If you have an explanation, I'm all ears, and until then I will happily reserve all further comment on the matter until I hear your 'side of the story' when you present it to Bullwinkle.

In the meantime, unfortunately, I personally don't feel I can trust you or Patrick to perform at a level of competence/objectivity I can rely on, and I will therefore not be participating in any more events personally run by either of you (including, unfortunately, the Peninsula Open - sorry Mark!).

Further, in the event that your explanation of events at the Qld Teams Championships proves woefully inadequate and you still refuse to remove yourself from the CAQ, I will permanently resign my CAQ membership thereafter, and play no more CAQ-run chess in this state.

Please take your time with the formal response to Bullwinkle, Garvin. You'll want to get it right, son.

Cheers,

Kevin Casey

Basil
28-02-2011, 05:06 PM
Kevin, your invasion of [the Powell Suncoast open thread] is a disgrace. It was the not the place.

As to the process of your disagreement, wherever you placed it, your concession that you may not be in full possession of the facts at the same time as the condescending abuse you are dishing out is well out of order.

Pull your head in and delete your negative and misplaced jibes. I have a lot of time for (and experience with) all the protagonsists involved in the issue. I can assure you your commentary is unwanted and unhelpful by all concerned.

Garvinator
28-02-2011, 06:29 PM
Kevin,

There is a major difference betwen being a bunch of individuals replying on a bulletin board of any sort and being a state council representative. I am sure you are actually aware of this, but you seem to not be showing much grasp of this.

For CAQ to draft a formal response we need to get the full council members together and sort out what to put in the letter. Our first meeting after 2010 QCTC was middle February.

So now we are in the process of doing that, which takes time.

I do not think your latest shot at me is helpful in the slightest and I certainly second Captain's reply to you.

To answer only one of your points. I did not reply because I do not engage in trial by bulletin board. They have a major habit of just becoming flame wars. This is what this is descending into. I offered you the opportunity to address council personally, but you have instead decided that attacking council and myself personally in this forum. How does your conduct help the situation?

I would rather deal with serious issues with proper processes.

It is highly likely that eventually CAQ will be calling a face to face meeting with all members of Bullwinkle.

MIRKO
28-02-2011, 09:11 PM
First Egypt then Libiya now CAQ.

Sheroff
01-04-2011, 11:04 AM
This week (March 30, 2011) I received a letter from the President of the CAQ, Garvin Gray, giving the CAQ’s version of events that occurred at the 2010 Queensland Team Championships. For those unfamiliar with this saga, please refer to the ‘Queensland Teams Championships – what a mess’ thread currently on page 2 of this forum’s ‘Australian Chess’ section. [threads merged - mod]

Firstly, I want to thank Garvin and the rest of the relevant CAQ Council for getting the letter written, and sending it out. It takes some work to do this, and the effort has not gone unnoticed. There were a lot of frustrated, perplexed, disgruntled and disillusioned chess players out there after this tournament, and I appreciate the effort the CAQ has taken to help, as best they can, with a clarification of their position.

The Queensland Teams Championship is a great concept, and I have been pleased to be a part of it. I have been equally pleased to represent the Bullwinkle Club, a club that, to me, typifies all that is good about chess in Queensland. They are friendly, encouraging, enthusiastic, and a great bunch of folks. And, contrary to what Gray/Byrom have attempted to suggest, their ability to communicate clearly to their members is just fine, in my experience.

My personal position on this whole matter is simple. The success or failure of any tournament rests, ultimately, on the Tournament Director and those persons making official decisions regarding the running of that tournament. I was just one of many players from various clubs who showed up in good faith, ready to play for their usual team in their usual division, as we had done without drama in previous years. A great many of us left at day’s end seriously disheartened and quite astounded. Suffice to say it may be years before the QLD Teams Championship recovers from this, if it ever does (perhaps under new management). This is a real shame, since I know for many players, it has been a favourite and much anticipated event on the calendar.

Over-the-board chess has plenty of competition for attention out there – online chess sites, family/work commitments, social networking and all the rest. Being a chess administrator in the 21st century isn’t easy. I get that. But it is precisely because people are more time-poor and distracted by other things that an all-out effort needs to be made to attract them, and to remove as many restrictive elements as possible to allow them to play. In Queensland, a great many people have done a splendid job at various times over the years doing exactly that - some on Council, some not. The clubs in this state are fantastic. I commented not long ago personally to Graeme Gardiner how impressed I was with all that he accomplishes on a daily basis at Gardiner Chess. His professional, supportive environment (and that of Amir’s down at the Kings of Chess Club in Surfers) is, in my view, the main reason Junior Chess is so incredibly strong in that part of our state. I have enjoyed very positive experiences playing at The Gap, Logan, Suncoast and Toowoomba clubs over the years as well.

Much of the focus in the aftermath of the Teams tourney has been on the interpretation and/or method of implementation of the rules. What has not been so clearly explained is why the rules were changed in the first place. What did Council feel was wrong with the previous rules pre-2010? Also, who specifically within Council instigated the 2010 rule change? Who originally brought the idea up and urged that it be brought to a vote?

I have re-read Jacob Edwards’ summation of events at this tournament, and also thoroughly examined the CAQ letter’s official version of events. I have concluded that nothing in the CAQ’s explanation refutes or discounts Jacob’s thorough and well-presented chronological account. In light of this, and the fact that I have personally lost all confidence in the leadership of my State Chess Council, I hereby cancel my CAQ membership, effective immediately. I have lost all faith in the current regime, and will play no more CAQ-controlled chess in this state under it. As someone who loves chess, this is not a decision I have taken lightly, but I simply cannot endorse what I no longer believe in.

It astonishes me that those who ran this event have offered no apology to the clubs/players adversely affected or, to my knowledge, showed a hint of remorse at what transpired. On the subject of dispersion of blame, I feel compelled to remind Gray/Byrom of the following:

Who concocted the rule changes that created all the problems? You did.

Who was responsible for the preparations leading up to the tournament, communications with clubs regarding the tournament, the running of the tournament itself, and the decision-making that occurred during the tournament? You were.


Cheers,
Kevin Casey

Garvinator
01-04-2011, 11:31 AM
Kevin, under the CAQ constitution, to resign your CAQ membership:


10. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

10.1 A club or member may resign from the Association at any time by giving notice in writing to the Secretary. Such resignation
shall take effect at the time such notice is received by the Secretary, unless a later date is specified in the notice when it shall
take effect on that later date.

so you need to send an email to Pat Byrom at secretary@caq.org.au and state that you are terminating your CAQ membership.

That is the only way a person can terminate their CAQ membership.

Garvin Gray
CAQ President

Garvinator
01-04-2011, 11:37 AM
Kevin has been offered a formal in person meeting with CAQ council, along with the rest of Bullwinkle players who were involved in the 2010 QCTC.

It appears that Kevin is declining that opportunity. For a person claiming to have major issues with CAQ council members and the process involved, it seems strange to not take that opportunity.

Instead, Kevin comes back on here and lists a whole series of repeated gripes he has with council and council processes.

It is hard not to come to the conclusion that Kevin is only doing this to grandstand and convince the bulletin board folk of the 'rightness' of his position, rather than to attempt to actually formally resolve his grievances.

Kevin, you were one of the people CAQ really wanted to attend that meeting, since you have been the most vocal in your criticism of CAQ council. It is disappointing in the extreme that it seems you will not be attending, but instead are taking, what I consider the soft option, of walking away.

That is your option of course to walk away, but if you are truly interested in a productive discussion, then attend the meeting that CAQ council has offered you and list your grievances and engage in a constructive discussion.

Sheroff
01-04-2011, 12:07 PM
Thank you for your reply, Garvin. I'll get that email off to Patrick immediately.

Cheers,

Kevin Casey

Oepty
01-04-2011, 12:33 PM
This is sad, I don't know who is right and who is wrong, but it is sad. I hope this can be resolved.
Scott

Allan Menham
01-04-2011, 02:34 PM
This is sad, I don't know who is right and who is wrong, but it is sad. I hope this can be resolved.
Scott

Just a query. Can a person be a member of the NSW Chess Association or another state association and still play in CAQ approved tournaments?

Just wondering:uhoh:

ChessGuru
01-04-2011, 02:58 PM
Kevin,

I sympathise with you ..... I read the CAQ email newsletters and shudder.

I love the bit where Garvin quotes you the rules about how to withdraw your membership properly. :) That's great...

One day there might be change... you want join me on the ACF executive next year and try to change top-down?

Cheers,
David

Desmond
01-04-2011, 03:32 PM
Just a query. Can a person be a member of the NSW Chess Association or another state association and still play in CAQ approved tournaments?

Just wondering:uhoh:
Yes of course; NSW players play in Qld events all the time and vice versa.

The question is whether NSWCA would accept the membership application of a Qld resident.

MichaelBaron
01-04-2011, 04:28 PM
Yes of course; NSW players play in Qld events all the time and vice versa.

The question is whether NSWCA would accept the membership application of a Qld resident.

I see no reason why such an application would be rejected

antichrist
01-04-2011, 04:34 PM
there may be some rule that must reside within a 100 kms (for eg) of the border - but that may only apply to foreign clubs.

should they be treated humanely like boat refugees

Desmond
01-04-2011, 04:35 PM
I see no reason why such an application would be rejected
Would you like to have 10 seconds to think about it (sale of the century style)?

antichrist
01-04-2011, 04:41 PM
Would you like to have 10 seconds to think about it (sale of the century style)?


He is obviously not very good at lightning

ER
01-04-2011, 11:11 PM
Yes of course; NSW players play in Qld events all the time and vice versa.

The question is whether NSWCA would accept the membership application of a Qld resident.


For the last three months or so I have played tournament Chess in both QLD (where I met Boris and his beautiful family twice:) ) and NSW. I can assure you that Victorians are treated with extreme kindness (regardless :P) and hospitality (regardless again :P)!!! I look forward to see you all soon!

MichaelBaron
01-04-2011, 11:26 PM
Would you like to have 10 seconds to think about it (sale of the century style)?
No

Desmond
02-04-2011, 06:27 AM
For the last three months or so I have played tournament Chess in both QLD (where I met Boris and his beautiful family twice:) ) and NSW. I can assure you that Victorians are treated with extreme kindness (regardless :P) and hospitality (regardless again :P)!!! I look forward to see you all soon!
Yep we take all sorts up here; even Victorians. :lol:

Desmond
02-04-2011, 06:36 AM
No
OK. We had the drumroll, but no *ping* at the end.

The state associations exist to cater for chess in the specific state.

CAQ Constitution:

1.2 The Association shall be the recognised governing body for the organised sport of chess in the State of Queensland and
shall consist of such affiliated clubs and such individual chess players in the State of Queensland as join the Association as
hereinafter provided.

NSWCA Constitution:

2. I. I.To encourage, promote, maintain and control the playing of Chess in the State of New South Wales by:

CV Constitution:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSES
The purposes of Chess Victoria Incorporated are:-

1. to foster and control the game of chess in Victoria;

(my boldings)
Do I need to go on? It's obvious, at least to most people, why a state association might not accept the application of a chess player from another state. Perhaps they may make an exception, but obviously it would be an exception, not the rule.

Garvinator
02-04-2011, 08:54 AM
Do I need to go on? It's obvious, at least to most people, why a state association might not accept the application of a chess player from another state. Perhaps they may make an exception, but obviously it would be an exception, not the rule.CAQ does accept membership applications for people who live far interstate and that is perfectly allowed under the CAQ constitution.

What interstate people can not do is win Qld titles, unless they have been living in Qld for more than 90 days prior to the title event.

MichaelBaron
02-04-2011, 10:13 AM
OK. We had the drumroll, but no *ping* at the end.

The state associations exist to cater for chess in the specific state.

CAQ Constitution:

1.2 The Association shall be the recognised governing body for the organised sport of chess in the State of Queensland and
shall consist of such affiliated clubs and such individual chess players in the State of Queensland as join the Association as
hereinafter provided.

NSWCA Constitution:

2. I. I.To encourage, promote, maintain and control the playing of Chess in the State of New South Wales by:

CV Constitution:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSES
The purposes of Chess Victoria Incorporated are:-

1. to foster and control the game of chess in Victoria;

(my boldings)
Do I need to go on? It's obvious, at least to most people, why a state association might not accept the application of a chess player from another state. Perhaps they may make an exception, but obviously it would be an exception, not the rule.

You can have all kinds of funny rules but any common sense suggests that if you willing to pay a membership in an organisation) it will not be rejected unless there is a particular reason to do so (e.g. criminal record but then again for chess players - its not an issue). In Victoria i am a member of MCC I am not a member of anything else. I can also come and play at various events (e.g. MCC open) without even being a member of the club. So if for some reason unknown to me I decide to give some money to CV and join..why not take it? There may be some funny rules in place that ''everyone has to be a member of...'' in Qld. Chess organisations are known to be making funny rules.

MichaelBaron
02-04-2011, 10:15 AM
What interstate people can not do is win Qld titles, unless they have been living in Qld for more than 90 days prior to the title event.

Well, this makes sense! As for the state/national/continental title part - one obviously has to be a resident.

Basil
02-04-2011, 11:24 AM
In Victoria i am a member of MCC I am not a member of anything else. I can also come and play at various events (e.g. MCC open) without even being a member of the club. So if for some reason unknown to me I decide to give some money to CV and join..why not take it? There may be some funny rules in place that ''everyone has to be a member of...'' in Qld. Chess organisations are known to be making funny rules.
One difference is that M. Baron is a subset of MCC and the state of Victoria. You are not a subset/ eligible of the state of QLD. You may as well ask for membership to the Scottish Horseracing Federation. You are familiar with boundaries and jursidictions prevalent throughout the world in a plethora of various workings aren't you?

As for the obligations/ terms of those memberships (for ratings or other benefits), that is a separate issue. If you want to make any cases advocating/ destroying the various status quos in various states, just make sure you don't trip over a double standard that you conversely defend in relation to Cordover's rights/ obligations/ best practice/ need to earn/ retain control yada yada yada. Advance notice: You (and countless other dills) will fall foul of the double standard.

Desmond
02-04-2011, 03:44 PM
You can have all kinds of funny rules but any common sense suggests that if you willing to pay a membership in an organisation) it will not be rejected unless there is a particular reason to do so As above, membership of one state association pretty much means you can compete in the other states' (your non-home) events without having to join every state body. Kind of like mutually exclusive; if I join CAQ one year, I don't need to join the ACT to play in Doeberl, NSWCA to play SIO, and so on. If I'm NSWCA and I receive the application of a Qld resident who plays in Qld, then I should be suspicious - why is the player joining NSWCA and not CAQ? I don't think the default position would be to rubber stamp such applications at all.

Not to mention the "cutting the neighbour's grass" factor; if I only have to join 1 state association, and if I can join any one, why not join the cheapest? Heck maybe SA is cheapest this year, off my membership goes that way. Next year it's home to Qld. The over to WA. And so on. I don't think any state association will want to encourage this sort of thing.

Kevin Bonham
02-04-2011, 07:30 PM
You can have all kinds of funny rules but any common sense suggests that if you willing to pay a membership in an organisation) it will not be rejected unless there is a particular reason to do so (e.g. criminal record but then again for chess players - its not an issue).

Or e.g. being an interloper from interstate who lacks any valid reason to associate with the organisation.


So if for some reason unknown to me I decide to give some money to CV and join..why not take it?

That suggests you don't know much about CV since CV has an indirect membership system - individuals can't directly join it.

William AS
02-04-2011, 08:03 PM
As above, membership of one state association pretty much means you can compete in the other states' (your non-home) events without having to join every state body. Kind of like mutually exclusive; if I join CAQ one year, I don't need to join the ACT to play in Doeberl, NSWCA to play SIO, and so on. If I'm NSWCA and I receive the application of a Qld resident who plays in Qld, then I should be suspicious - why is the player joining NSWCA and not CAQ? I don't think the default position would be to rubber stamp such applications at all.

Not to mention the "cutting the neighbour's grass" factor; if I only have to join 1 state association, and if I can join any one, why not join the cheapest? Heck maybe SA is cheapest this year, off my membership goes that way. Next year it's home to Qld. The over to WA. And so on. I don't think any state association will want to encourage this sort of thing.

SA is definately the cheapest this year and every other year as well, our membership fee is $1 a year! :D We make up for this by charging a playing fee of $5 a day [juniors $2.50], basically user pays and players who want to play in only one or two tournaments a year are not discouraged by a high membership fee. :cool: There is also no longer problems with people cheating :rolleyes: on membership. Before you all rush to join SACA, it must be said that we would usually not register residents of other states as SACA members. For $1 it is not worth the hassle. :eek:

Kevin Bonham
02-04-2011, 10:55 PM
[SIZE="2"][B]SA is definately the cheapest this year and every other year as well, our membership fee is $1 a year! :D

TCA membership is free to all actively rated Tasmanian players. Current rate for anyone else is $7/year.

ER
02-04-2011, 11:01 PM
TCA membership is free to all actively rated Tasmanian players. Current rate for anyone else is $7/year.

lol beat that Bill! :owned: :lol:

William AS
03-04-2011, 10:30 PM
TCA membership is free to all actively rated Tasmanian players. Current rate for anyone else is $7/year.



lol beat that Bill! :owned: :lol:

Oops! Forgot Tasmania :wall: , also forgot Victoria and ACT do not have individual membership.

SACA requires tournament entrants to be a member of a state chess association :hmm: .
Perhaps we should charge Vic and ACT players entering our events a $1 SACA membership fee? :uhoh: ;) .

Ian Rout
04-04-2011, 09:55 AM
Oops! Forgot Tasmania :wall: , also forgot Victoria and ACT do not have individual membership.
.
ACT had individual membership last time I joined (which was earlier this year).