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  1. #31
    CC FIDE Master Keong Ang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Wastney View Post
    "Defaulting to selecting the strongest players is pointless"

    Really? I thought this was the point of a national team? Do you propose selecting weaker players in the hope they later improve? Then when they become the strongest players, replace them and keep repeating the process until we get good enough to win the Olympiad? Or pick all untitled players in the aim of picking up as many titles, then replace then with the next batch of untitled players. I think you have the mistaken belief that the councils and selectors have the power to improve the level of NZ chess simply by being clever with their selection policy. The NZCF can do many things to improve the level of chess in NZ, but selection policies although it costs NZCF nothing, isn't in itself doing anything - just pretending to. If the NZCF put forward the policy "We do not want to select the strongest players", or "we don't want to select titled players". If the level of NZ chess is so low, then surely these talented players waiting in the wings have such an easy task taking over the no-hopers already at the top. So why not just let them do just that so they feel they earn their spot on merit?

    "Also, selection is expected to be heavily influenced by performance during NZ Open 2016".

    But isn't this a pointless default as well? Maybe the best method is everyone that enters the NZ Open goes into a lottery for an Olympiad place (sort of like it is for the NZ title!). In the future I see the ChessChat people debating "no, no...he is too high rated" or "he already has an IM title, so don't waste a spot on him".

    Anyway, my two cents worth...
    When sitting at the NZCF Council meeting, I could have picked the 5 players for the Open team and 5 players in the Women's team from the numerous applicants in less than a minute. Especially when it is a simple case of picking the strongest players. There would be no need for selectors etc.

    However there is a growing camp that challenges this idea of sending the strongest possible team. Mainly due to the thought that even a team with the best NZL players would just keep dropping down the standings anyway. Linked to accepting the thought that the level of chess in NZ is so low. So the goal is shifted to making use of the Olympiad to obtain maximum benefit for chess in NZ domestically. Broadly defined as keeping it as a reward for those who are active local chess players. As usual with such lobby groups, I don't think they have thought through the ramifications.

    It is already reflected in the automatic place to the NZ Champion (by tiebreak if necessary) through NZ Open 2016. The highest official NZCF tournament counts ahead of everything else. It also fits in with the idea that the NZ Champion is deemed strong enough to represent NZ.
    IA Keong Ang



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  2. #32
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    This is quite mysterious, since while it implies that the clearly strongest players as judged on rating and national champs performance are to be picked, it doesn't make it clear whether the "additional criteria" that may be used are strictly strength-related or can concern other objectives such as title-chasing, development, team harmony (etc).
    Indeed the additional criteria seem to only apply as a tie-breaking mechanism for the last one or two spots in the team. But in the absence of other information it would seem the selection panel is free to decide post hoc what constitutes these additional criteria.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #33
    CC FIDE Master Keong Ang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    I agree with Scott and picking the strongest team is not a pointless default but the only way to approach national selection. I find it weird if it is true that the NZCF has no instructions to selectors that specify some other aim than picking the strongest team.
    In the past NZCF had previously given selectors instructions on criteria that prevent picking only the strongest players. It is when no instructions are given that selectors default to picking the strongest team.
    Sometimes it was not NZCF that gave the instructions, but the applicants!
    eg. if X is going to be in the team, selection would be declined (x4) type applications. Effectively meaning a team cannot be formed unless X was not selected.
    Thankfully this is not going to be a problem now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Offering an automatic spot to the highest placed NZer in the NZ Open is a corruption of the process since what is happening there is that a spot on the national team is donated by the selection process to the organisers of the NZ Open as a means to publicise their tournament. The NZ Open gets a boost and the NZ Olympiad team selectors have one less spot to allocated based on what they perceive as merit. Provided enough strong NZers compete the cost to the Olympiad team is minimised but I think it is worthwhile recognising what is going on. It is more about getting more locals to play in the NZ Open then it is about picking the strongest team for the Olympiad.
    The "NZCF president-elect" is the organiser of the NZ Open and it is the highest official tournament of the NZCF. Taking advantage of the Olympiad to coerce applicants to play should have been blatantly obvious since the NZ Open was publicised in early 2015...
    IA Keong Ang



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  4. #34
    CC FIDE Master Keong Ang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Indeed the additional criteria seem to only apply as a tie-breaking mechanism for the last one or two spots in the team. But in the absence of other information it would seem the selection panel is free to decide post hoc what constitutes these additional criteria.
    Actually the selectors "recommend" and the NZCF Council decides. Decision making power had not been delegated to the selectors. Of course it is convenient to simply agree with the selectors.
    Makes for a system of incredible flexibility with little accountability.
    IA Keong Ang



    "The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." Abraham Lincoln

  5. #35
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Wastney View Post
    "Defaulting to selecting the strongest players is pointless"

    Really? I thought this was the point of a national team? Do you propose selecting weaker players in the hope they later improve? Then when they become the strongest players, replace them and keep repeating the process until we get good enough to win the Olympiad? Or pick all untitled players in the aim of picking up as many titles, then replace then with the next batch of untitled players. I think you have the mistaken belief that the councils and selectors have the power to improve the level of NZ chess simply by being clever with their selection policy. The NZCF can do many things to improve the level of chess in NZ, but selection policies although it costs NZCF nothing, isn't in itself doing anything - just pretending to. If the NZCF put forward the policy "We do not want to select the strongest players", or "we don't want to select titled players".
    You're right above of course, with some good reductio ad absurdum arguments against the apparent current policy.

    Australia on the other hand is open about the requirement to select the strongest team, which is one reason there is transparency and widespread acceptance of the fairness of the team selections.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Wastney View Post
    If the level of NZ chess is so low, then surely these talented players waiting in the wings have such an easy task taking over the no-hopers already at the top. So why not just let them do just that so they feel they earn their spot on merit?
    That's one thing I couldn't understand about criticism of the last team's selection. If other players would have been better, how come they have not even come close to proving it over the board against those who were selected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Wastney View Post
    "Also, selection is expected to be heavily influenced by performance during NZ Open 2016".

    But isn't this a pointless default as well? Maybe the best method is everyone that enters the NZ Open goes into a lottery for an Olympiad place (sort of like it is for the NZ title!).
    Well, it would look odd if the current national champion were not on the national team. Chess-political considerations had that result in the widely panned selection for the 1990 team.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Wastney View Post
    In the future I see the ChessChat people debating "no, no...he is too high rated" or "he already has an IM title, so don't waste a spot on him".
    Good grief. Never mind the further loss of credibility as the Kiwi team slips lower on the Olympic ranking than it would need to if the strongest were selected.

    Anyway, my two cents worth...
    You're too modest, as someone ranked #4 in the current FIDE list and #5 in the latest NZCF list. If you applied and were not selected, there would be something very wrong.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  6. #36
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keong Ang View Post
    Actually the selectors "recommend" and the NZCF Council decides. Decision making power had not been delegated to the selectors. Of course it is convenient to simply agree with the selectors.
    Makes for a system of incredible flexibility with little accountability.
    Maybe they should be called recommenders.
    meep meep

  7. #37
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keong Ang View Post
    Actually the selectors "recommend" and the NZCF Council decides. Decision making power had not been delegated to the selectors. Of course it is convenient to simply agree with the selectors.
    Makes for a system of incredible flexibility with little accountability.
    Nice to see you healthy, happy and smiling at the MCC Keong. Best wishes for Christmas and new year for you and family!
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  8. #38
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    Releasing names of applicants would arguably be a breach of the Privacy Act, so that's a good reason not to disclose names other than the team when selected. If individuals want to disclose that they have applied, so be it, but NZCF probably shouldn't.

    Selection criteria are set by Council with much input from AGMs. Strength is important, but the #1 criterion, even if it's never considered as such, is the ability to pay for the trip.
    IA Craig Hall

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  9. #39
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig_Hall View Post
    Releasing names of applicants would arguably be a breach of the Privacy Act, so that's a good reason not to disclose names other than the team when selected. If individuals want to disclose that they have applied, so be it, but NZCF probably shouldn't.
    On a quick reading of the NZ Privacy Act this could very well be true. However, if true, it is easily avoided by making a condition of application that an applicant consents to having the fact that they have applied published.

    The NZ Privacy Act seems rather more encompassing than the Australian one, which does not apply to the vast majority of clubs and non-profits. Until 2013 the ACF by-laws contained a requirement that the provisional selections (ie prior to possible appeals) be published in every medium in which a call for applications was made. This has been removed, so that in theory the ACF might now officially publish only the selected players, though in 2014 the full results were published after the resolution of all appeals, and the names of all applicants were published following the close of applications.

    In the past the ACF has also sometimes published the candidates' supporting statements and list of results supplied by candidates to the selectors for public scrutiny and comment. This is no longer done mainly for logistic reasons. We did have a few curly moments with this system, including one in which a candidate wanted their supporting statement to be confidential and one in which a candidate's supporting statement was clearly defamatory.

  10. #40
    CC Candidate Master slyall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    On a quick reading of the NZ Privacy Act this could very well be true. However, if true, it is easily avoided by making a condition of application that an applicant consents to having the fact that they have applied published.
    This isn't the case with NZ. Wrt pushing the actual application the current application form states:

    The completed form will remain confidential to the NZCF selection panel and Olympiad 2016 organising committee

    so it definitely won't be happening this year.

  11. #41
    CC FIDE Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyall View Post
    This isn't the case with NZ. Wrt pushing the actual application the current application form states:

    The completed form will remain confidential to the NZCF selection panel and Olympiad 2016 organising committee

    so it definitely won't be happening this year.
    So how is the NZCA Council allowed to see who has applied?
    Still searching for Bobby Fischer....
    and fighting against those humourless bureaucrats who are forever lost in the minutiae.

  12. #42
    CC FIDE Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig_Hall View Post
    Strength is important, but the #1 criterion, even if it's never considered as such, is the ability to pay for the trip.
    And that price, is about 2400 NZD at the moment.
    Once a Kiwi, Always a Kiwi.

  13. #43
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    Is Baku offering any financial help like Tromso did in 2014 to teams that are far away like NZ and Australia.

  14. #44
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisBurns View Post
    Is Baku offering any financial help like Tromso did in 2014 to teams that are far away like NZ and Australia.
    Did NZ get any of that in the end? Australia applied but we didn't get any, probably because we're in too high a development band.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Did NZ get any of that in the end? Australia applied but we didn't get any, probably because we're in too high a development band.
    Don't know, probably another piece of top secret information.

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