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  1. #1
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    Format and future of the Australian Open (sf Aus Open 2019)

    Quote Originally Posted by StokesyRedcliff View Post
    This is fantastic news Peter! I am already looking forward to playing in this event! After playing 9 games of chess starting at 2pm on Thursday December 27 and finishing with the round 9 game played at 2pm on Monday December 31, New Year's Eve in Melbourne could be almost as much fun as playing in the Australian Open Chess Championship or Australian Open Minor (U1600 ACF) Chess Championship. Thank-you to all at Box Hill Chess Club for putting this event on and good luck with everything! I hope this event is really well supported! I know that with you in the organizing committee of the Box Hill Chess Club Peter a very professional yet most welcoming atmosphere will be assured.

    PS I have heard that Jordanville Railway Station is just a 5 minute walk away from the venue at Ashwood!
    Some Interesting Developments .
    1) Major event (Aus Open) adjusts dates not to clash with a more minor event
    2) I believe (I stand to be corrected as I may be wrong) that this is the first time in a while (or ever?) that the Open championship is 9 rounds only and played over 5 days.
    3) 2019 Championship played ...in 2018.

    But it is indeed a lot of fun to play in Melbourne! Hoping for many visitors from QLD and other states to visit us for chess and more!
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  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    Some Interesting Developments .
    1) Major event (Aus Open) adjusts dates not to clash with a more minor event
    The reason for this being that the clash with the "more minor event" was discouraging anyone from bidding.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    Some Interesting Developments .
    1) Major event (Aus Open) adjusts dates not to clash with a more minor event
    2) I believe (I stand to be corrected as I may be wrong) that this is the first time in a while (or ever?) that the Open championship is 9 rounds only and played over 5 days.
    Is there a message that the Australian Open is approaching its use-by date? It used to serve the function that it was a major event in a similar format to the Australian Championship, but being open allowed more overseas players to enter, and was still the most prestigious event of the year. It's now taking the form of a glorified weekender not dissimilar in most respects to the Doeberl Cup, Hjorth Open and Gold Coast Open.

    If it turns out to be successful that may not be a bad thing, but if it doesn't work then it might be time to think about pulling the plug. The time freed could be used to stage the Championship annually, or just to space out other events that crowd that time of year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout View Post
    Is there a message that the Australian Open is approaching its use-by date? It used to serve the function that it was a major event in a similar format to the Australian Championship, but being open allowed more overseas players to enter, and was still the most prestigious event of the year. It's now taking the form of a glorified weekender not dissimilar in most respects to the Doeberl Cup, Hjorth Open and Gold Coast Open.

    If it turns out to be successful that may not be a bad thing, but if it doesn't work then it might be time to think about pulling the plug. The time freed could be used to stage the Championship annually, or just to space out other events that crowd that time of year.
    The message is indeed quite transparent.. In any case, when strong international players are available to play in ''closed'' champs - they are invited to participate anyway so having an ''Open'' championship'' just to have the internationals playing does not seem to be a requirement
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  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    In any case, when strong international players are available to play in ''closed'' champs - they are invited to participate anyway
    Not invariably. For instance if, say, 12 visiting GMs all wanted to play in the Champs we would not accept all of them because of the impact on the integrity of the title of awarding it to a player too far down the field. Also we have rejected some high-rated overseas players because they did not hold high enough titles.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 26-08-2018 at 12:31 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Not invariably. For instance if, say, 12 visiting GMs all wanted to play in the Champs we would not accept all of them because of the impact on the integrity of the title of awarding it to a player too far down the field. Also we have rejected some high-rated overseas players because they did not hold high enough titles.
    That's true, but there are now several other events where top players attend and norms are possible, so that imperative is no longer so great.

    One issue could be that the AO is exempt from the foreign players quota for norms (is this correct?) but with norms available and eventuating at other events this isn't quite as big a deal as it used to be.

    PS: If this is an ongoing discussion it might be a good idea to split it off so as not to distract from the 2019 tournament itself.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout View Post
    One issue could be that the AO is exempt from the foreign players quota for norms (is this correct?) but with norms available and eventuating at other events this isn't quite as big a deal as it used to be.
    Yes it is exempt. This year's event (despite the compressed schedule) is still eligible for norms, however for the GM title a player must obtain at least one norm in an event with at least 3 single-game days, which this year's Open doesn't count as.

    Also it is only exempt for players registered to federation AUS following the recent change, so it is not as attractive a norm opportunity for overseas players as it used to be.

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    The poor state of governance nationally became clear this week when the Australian Chess Federation anointed a small Melbourne tournament as the official Australian Open. The Canterbury Summer Swiss, held during the gap between Christmas and New Year, is well established as a pleasant warm-tournament before the national championship. However the organisers probably never expected to be rescuing the ACF from their own ineptitude by renaming the event the Australian Open.
    Have to completely agree with Ian Rogers here from the local paper, also think it's silly that the 2019 Australian Open will be played entirely in 2018.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThebeJohnston View Post
    Have to completely agree with Ian Rogers here from the local paper, also think it's silly that the 2019 Australian Open will be played entirely in 2018.
    Agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    The reason for this being that the clash with the "more minor event" was discouraging anyone from bidding.
    also not too sure why "more minor event" is in abbreviations when I think Baron's criticism is very valid, I think Australian Championship/Aus Open should be given absolute priority over any tournament, especially newer tournaments.
    The fact that it's been changed to 5 days and not even in the correct year seems like a very backwards decision by ACF to accommodate other tournaments that most of Australia's strongest players can't even attend!

  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    What actually happened was as follows:

    * As of its 22 July meeting the ACF had received no bids for the Open.

    * The ACF had had feedback indicating that prospective bidders were put off by the potential clash with the Oceania Youth but that a bid may be possible if the usual date requirements were relaxed.

    * The ACF decided to relax the date requirements - not in order to indicate that any bid under relaxed requirements would necessarily be accepted, but just to ensure it would be considered.

    * This relaxation of the date requirements was published in the July newsletter, in the following terms:

    There is still no formal bid on the table for the Australian Open 2019. Council approved a motion to give in-principle approval to changing the dates and format to avoid clashing with the Oceania Youth and Junior and to encourage bidders wishing to bid on that basis to submit bids as soon as possible. For instance, a shorter event running between Christmas and New Year can be considered. This does not necessarily mean the format will be changed, rather that Council wishes potential bidders to know that bids involving a change in format won’t be automatically rejected.

    * A bid from CV on behalf of Box Hill to host the Australian Open from Dec 27-31 was received and after discussion was approved by the ACF Council by email vote on 16 Aug 2018, at which stage there had been no further bids and no further expressions of interest.

    * The Box Hill bid, although for dates similar to those used for the Summer Swiss event, is for a larger scale event, anticipating more entries and including a Minor, and running for nine rounds instead of seven. Thus it is rather inaccurate to say that an existing event has been "anointed".

    I didn't vote on the motion to approve the bid, but I would like those criticising the decision to explain what they would have done instead in the same circumstances. I'm also not sure why this is a "governance" issue as opposed to a case of someone not liking the decision.

  12. #12
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThebeJohnston View Post
    also not too sure why "more minor event" is in abbreviations when I think Baron's criticism is very valid, I think Australian Championship/Aus Open should be given absolute priority over any tournament, especially newer tournaments.
    The fact that it's been changed to 5 days and not even in the correct year seems like a very backwards decision by ACF to accommodate other tournaments that most of Australia's strongest players can't even attend!
    I put "more minor event" in quotes because while I would prefer that soft-title fests (even conditional ones) not even exist, it seems that not everyone shares my position.

    I would have strongly opposed shortening the event because of the Oceania Junior clash if we'd had a bid on the table for a longer event. The fact is it was already August and we didn't.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    What actually happened was as follows:

    * As of its 22 July meeting the ACF had received no bids for the Open.

    * The ACF had had feedback indicating that prospective bidders were put off by the potential clash with the Oceania Youth but that a bid may be possible if the usual date requirements were relaxed.

    * The ACF decided to relax the date requirements - not in order to indicate that any bid under relaxed requirements would necessarily be accepted, but just to ensure it would be considered.

    * This relaxation of the date requirements was published in the July newsletter, in the following terms:

    There is still no formal bid on the table for the Australian Open 2019. Council approved a motion to give in-principle approval to changing the dates and format to avoid clashing with the Oceania Youth and Junior and to encourage bidders wishing to bid on that basis to submit bids as soon as possible. For instance, a shorter event running between Christmas and New Year can be considered. This does not necessarily mean the format will be changed, rather that Council wishes potential bidders to know that bids involving a change in format won’t be automatically rejected.

    * A bid from CV on behalf of Box Hill to host the Australian Open from Dec 27-31 was received and after discussion was approved by the ACF Council by email vote on 16 Aug 2018, at which stage there had been no further bids and no further expressions of interest.

    * The Box Hill bid, although for dates similar to those used for the Summer Swiss event, is for a larger scale event, anticipating more entries and including a Minor, and running for nine rounds instead of seven. Thus it is rather inaccurate to say that an existing event has been "anointed".

    I didn't vote on the motion to approve the bid, but I would like those criticising the decision to explain what they would have done instead in the same circumstances. I'm also not sure why this is a "governance" issue as opposed to a case of someone not liking the decision.
    I think there is a range of unrelated issues here:
    1) should Open be continued rather than ''closed''?
    2) If next time the only bid will be a 3 days weekender, should it be considered?
    3) when planning the ''minor'' event - wasn't the potential clash with the Australian (and possible NZ championships considered)? If not, does it mean that Oceanian chess governing body (whatever it is) is not collaborating with the Aus and NZ chess Federations? I understand that in Europe there are so many different federations and all are hard to please - but in our part of the world - excuse my political incorrectness … but We (and NZ) are the Oceania

    4) I think its important that we view the situation that occurred as an opportunity to review calendar/events management rather than to criticize the ACF for awarding the tournament to Box Hill. As evident from Kevin's post - ACF did not have much of a choice with one and only bid coming. That is why, may be its good to be proactive rather than reactive and plan future events accordingly.

    5) On a ''totally unrelated yet somehow related note'' - if Oceanian events are gaining ''weight'' and are becoming more significant - it is good time to consider more team events
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    What actually happened was as follows:

    * As of its 22 July meeting the ACF had received no bids for the Open.

    * The ACF had had feedback indicating that prospective bidders were put off by the potential clash with the Oceania Youth but that a bid may be possible if the usual date requirements were relaxed.

    * The ACF decided to relax the date requirements - not in order to indicate that any bid under relaxed requirements would necessarily be accepted, but just to ensure it would be considered.

    * This relaxation of the date requirements was published in the July newsletter, in the following terms:

    There is still no formal bid on the table for the Australian Open 2019. Council approved a motion to give in-principle approval to changing the dates and format to avoid clashing with the Oceania Youth and Junior and to encourage bidders wishing to bid on that basis to submit bids as soon as possible. For instance, a shorter event running between Christmas and New Year can be considered. This does not necessarily mean the format will be changed, rather that Council wishes potential bidders to know that bids involving a change in format won’t be automatically rejected.

    * A bid from CV on behalf of Box Hill to host the Australian Open from Dec 27-31 was received and after discussion was approved by the ACF Council by email vote on 16 Aug 2018, at which stage there had been no further bids and no further expressions of interest.

    * The Box Hill bid, although for dates similar to those used for the Summer Swiss event, is for a larger scale event, anticipating more entries and including a Minor, and running for nine rounds instead of seven. Thus it is rather inaccurate to say that an existing event has been "anointed".

    I didn't vote on the motion to approve the bid, but I would like those criticising the decision to explain what they would have done instead in the same circumstances. I'm also not sure why this is a "governance" issue as opposed to a case of someone not liking the decision.
    This is certainly a governance issue. When the ACF had received no bids for the Australian Open by, say, October 2017, they should have actively spruiked for them in January 2018, contacting potential organisers. The venue for the Open and the Championship should be known a year ahead, as the AJCL always tried to do with the Australian Junior and JETS. Instead the ACF waits for bids to come to them, other tournaments muscle in on their preferred dates and then the ACF wonders why nobody bids.

    This organisational ineptitude enables the ACF to say "We had no choice. We had to cut two rounds off the Australian Open. We had to announce it only four months before it started. There was only one bid."

    Of course compared to the ACF's handling of applications and selections for international junior events throughout this year, the cut-down Australian Open is a major achievement for the ACF. Unless there was a deliberate policy to make sure as few juniors as possible found out about the international possibilities and if they did were to be discouraged from going, the ACF's handling of that issue in 2018 should, even in a volunteer organisation, have led to apologies and resignations.

  15. #15
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron View Post
    I think there is a range of unrelated issues here:
    1) should Open be continued rather than ''closed''?
    I think this is a valid question and Ian Rout made some good points on it before. Having a (more or less) closed national championship every two years rather than every year is somewhat odd and among other things reduces the value of the event as a qualification drawcard for state championships.

    2) If next time the only bid will be a 3 days weekender, should it be considered?
    It shouldn't be as then, among other things, such an event would be unavailable for norms. It would be preferable even in such a case to find some other way of awarding the Open title at some other time of year.

    3) when planning the ''minor'' event - wasn't the potential clash with the Australian (and possible NZ championships considered)?
    I don't know because as far as I'm aware the ACF had no input into that discussion. I know it was announced here in March. Australia is still not a member of the Oceania Chess Confederation because of a range of unresolved issues (including incorporation) that there was expected to be progress on some time ago but for whatever reason there's been no further movement from the OCC end.

    I strongly suspect the dates would still have clashed.

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