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  1. #61
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    The problem goes far beyond merely female participation rates. Every time the Australian Championships is held you'll get maybe half of the nation's top male players (and often one or two of the top female players as well) competing. Yet now if this Australian Womens Championship is held, it will potentially have none of the top ten women in the country. If top female players supported the Women's Championship the way top male players support the Championship we would not be having this discussion, irrespective of the low participation rate of females generally. They don't, and I'm not sure that getting more women into chess (while a very important goal in itself) is alone going to make the Australian Womens Championship a credible event.

    If they really had to compete in order to get selection for overseas, they would have to play more.
    That's certainly one way to encourage participation - dangle an Olympiad or Zonal spot. I'd hope it could be less dramatic than that because in an ideal world, I'd prefer to have all selections based solely on merit as judged by the selectors, rather than on one-off qualifiers.

  2. #62
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    There are more important things to think about than this championships for sheilas. just can the whole comp/title.

    AR

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    That's certainly one way to encourage participation - dangle an Olympiad or Zonal spot. I'd hope it could be less dramatic than that because in an ideal world, I'd prefer to have all selections based solely on merit as judged by the selectors, rather than on one-off qualifiers.
    Selection entirely on merit has been the consistent attitude of the AWCL every time the ACF has considered changing the selection rules to encourage the leading players (both men and women) to play more games (eg minimum rated game requirements or participation in at least 1 Australian Champs/Open).
    The net result has been (specificaly for the Womens Olympiad Team), a group of strong but inactive players who pop their heads up every 2 years, get picked for the Olympiad team, and then retreat into inactivity when they pass through Australian customs. This, in my opinion, is a major factor in a generation of strong female players from the late 80's onwards, giving away the game as anything more than a social pasttime. Despite a solid group of late teens/early 20's female players who played in a substantial number of events, their path to greater reward was blocked by notion that Australia had to pick the "strongest" womens team, even if that meant picking players who hardly ever played locally. By the time this attitude had shifted even a little, a number of strong young female players had alradey dropped out.

  4. #64
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    The net result has been (specificaly for the Womens Olympiad Team), a group of strong but inactive players who pop their heads up every 2 years, get picked for the Olympiad team, and then retreat into inactivity when they pass through Australian customs.
    So why not set a criteria that to be eligible the candidates for selection must have played at least 'N' rated games over the previous 18 months in either State or National championships to be considered?

    I would hazard a guess that just about every other sport requires participants to be active on a regular basis in their local competitions in order to be eligible. Can anyone think of examples where this is not so?
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  5. #65
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    So why not set a criteria that to be eligible the candidates for selection must have played at least 'N' rated games over the previous 18 months in either State or National championships to be considered?

    I would hazard a guess that just about every other sport requires participants to be active on a regular basis in their local competitions in order to be eligible. Can anyone think of examples where this is not so?
    Part of the issue Frosty is that we only have about three or four women players rated over 2000 acf and then there is a drop off to the next set of female players.

    If we had ten female players over 2000, then activity clauses would not be needed as I am sure the active players would be chosen as they have more current form on the board and would be chosen by the selectors. Also the selectors would probably select the active players because they are at least playing in tournaments.

    Imagine the uproar and complaints from some chess circles if we send a group of 1600 acf rated females based on an activity clause alone.

  6. #66
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    The ACF had activity requirements for the Olympiad for many years - it never resulted in a weak team, only in forcing some of the top players to play a bit more.
    I still have no idea why the ACF dropped the rule about four years ago.
    The next National Conference could do worse than reintroduce the clause requiring, say, 40 ACF or FIDE rated non-rapid games over the two years prior to selection (games from the previous Olympiad not included).
    40 games in two years is not much - about three tournaments a year.
    It would be good to also have a rule requiring selected players to compete after selection (prior to the Olympiad), but that seems to be unenforceable.

    Ian

  7. #67
    Account Suspended jenni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by george
    The top female if she has not won a greater or equal prize will win $500 which equates to first prize in one of the three rating sections.
    This is a win-win situation. The organisers are unlikely to have to pay out any money (you would think Elena Sedina, who is seeded 4th would finish in the top 10), however it gives the Aussie girls something to aim for (and hope Sedina has a bad tournament and they have a good one).

  8. #68
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    i think it was Libby who made a comment about the breakdown of females players into adults and juniors. I went back to my list,removed one name from it as I think they are male, and using the resources I had on offer and a bit of educated and slightly less educated guess work came up with 90 active rated junior females and 64 rated active adult females.

    I think there is 4 main contenders to be considered the strongest female in Australia, Berezina-Feldman, Caoilli, Sorokina and Koshnitsky. A womens championship without at least a couple of these would be a bit second rate. A bit like if we had a Australian Championship without all of Rogers, Johansen, Smerdon, Zhao, Lane, Solomon and couple more.

    It is interesting of the women mentioned above, Berezina-Feldman and Sorokina are playing a tournament in January, the zonal in NZL starting January 30. Szuveges is also playing. I wonder whether this has had any impact on numbers.

  9. #69
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenni
    I think maybe the AWCL was a power in the past, but it doesn't seem to do much these days?

    I suspect Evelyn was very much a driving force behind this, but her health has not been good for the last couple of years and I think the organisation is fading.

    In the years that I have been involved the AWCL did a great job with the DD, but it doesn't seem to have too much of a profile besides that.

    I think we don't need anymore fragmentation of the chess scene. I am not sure that women working on their own in some little isolated pool is really what we want.

    As most people know I have always promoted girls only things as a way of nurturing and encouraging girls to become involved in chess and enjoying it. However I have also always believed passionately that it is only a stepping stone to full participation in the open competitions.

    So I believe that it should be the role of the ACF and state organisations to promote all development, including girls development. I really can't see how the AWCL would have much of a role in this.

    I am not really attacking the male organisers in Australia - just a bit cranky perhaps that the solution to a small womens's comp seemed to be to abandon women's chess, rather than do something about it (some of my best friends are male )
    I am more than a little puzzled by your line on the AWCL, Jenni, as it seems to me to be completely contrary to the view you take about junior chess. I see the AWCL, which is affiliated with the ACF as an associated body, to be the broad equivalent of the recently-established ACF Junior Subcomittee. Both bodies represent a special interest in Australian chess and have the ability to bring to the notice of the ACF Council special issues and considerations affecting their particular area. There are currently no women on the ACF Council so, without some input from outside, how is the ACF Council to know what the particular interests and problems of women's chess are - the very point you quite validly made about junior chess over the past year. It is no great reflection on Australian women chess players if they can't keep their own lobby group in good working order. I don't see the ACF being in a position to make any reasonable decisions about the Womens Championship or like matters without input of the kind to which I have referred. I certainly would not be encouraging the Council to do much if the only likely outcome was a burst of criticism from outsiders who had done nothing to provide the ACF with information on which to base its action.

    On the other hand I agree that fragmentation is not a good thing generally and I would not see special interest groups going beyond junior chess, womens' chess, chess for handicapped players (though there is no pressure of which I am aware for such a group so we can put it aside for now) and correspondence chess, already represented by the CCLA (an ACF affiliated associated body) and not really dealing with the same problems.

    Denis Jessop

  10. #70
    Account Suspended jenni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    I am more than a little puzzled by your line on the AWCL, Jenni, as it seems to me to be completely contrary to the view you take about junior chess. I see the AWCL, which is affiliated with the ACF as an associated body, to be the broad equivalent of the recently-established ACF Junior Subcomittee. Both bodies represent a special interest in Australian chess and have the ability to bring to the notice of the ACF Council special issues and considerations affecting their particular area. There are currently no women on the ACF Council so, without some input from outside, how is the ACF Council to know what the particular interests and problems of women's chess are - the very point you quite validly made about junior chess over the past year. It is no great reflection on Australian women chess players if they can't keep their own lobby group in good working order. I don't see the ACF being in a position to make any reasonable decisions about the Womens Championship or like matters without input of the kind to which I have referred. I certainly would not be encouraging the Council to do much if the only likely outcome was a burst of criticism from outsiders who had done nothing to provide the ACF with information on which to base its action.

    On the other hand I agree that fragmentation is not a good thing generally and I would not see special interest groups going beyond junior chess, womens' chess, chess for handicapped players (though there is no pressure of which I am aware for such a group so we can put it aside for now) and correspondence chess, already represented by the CCLA (an ACF affiliated associated body) and not really dealing with the same problems.

    Denis Jessop
    I am speaking from a base of ignorance here, because apart from organising the DD for many years and putting out a very interesting newsletter, I am not sure what the AWCL did.

    I suspect it did have a good role in female development in years past, but not in the period I have been involved in chess, (since 1996). of course you could argue that just the existence of the DD played a role in developing girls chess, but I suppose I see that more as a vehicle for providing opportunities for girls after the development initiative, rather than a major development tool in its own right.

    Before suggesting the ACF Junior sub-committee, I thought long and hard about just developing a national junior body that could pursue a junior agenda free of interference from the often rather annoying adult environment. However I came to the conclusion that it wasn't a very good idea - for all the reasons of divisiveness and fragmentation. We really want to establish close links between the adult and junior environments. We want juniors to be able to see pathways for the future and adults to have more understanding of the needs of the juniors.

    I suppose I see the AWCL as closer to a separate national junior body than an ACF sub-committee. While it is affiliated to the ACF, it seems to exist in a world of its own - apart from input from Evelyn of course. I am sure when she speaks the adults listen! No doubt it does play an important role in advising on female chess issues. (Also what is going to happen when Evelyn goes? Alreday her lessened involvement seems to have had an impact on the organisation. Of course another person might take over, but there is no natural successor at the moment).

    I viewed the ACF Junior sub-committee as a way of allowing the ACF to make informed policy decision with respect to junior matters, as well as creating a body that had a vested interest in creating a national focus for junior development.

    There is no reason why the AWCL couldn't be a similar body, I just haven't seen it doing so while I have been involved. I am sure in the past it probably did, so maybe you have a different perspective of the organisation.

    I wuld hope that one of the things that the Junior sub-committtee would do would be to look at development of girls chess and I think this fits more naturally with the Junior sub-committee and the state organisations than the AWCL.

    The ACF has to do something about getting more adults to keep playing and I think the women not playing is just a more extreme case of the same problem, so it would make sense to look at both problems and come up with effective strategies.

    I guess I am a bit of a centralist - while I think the work can be done by different bodies - state organisations, junior organisations, women's organisations, there needs to be an overall plan and controlling body, allowing continuity and direction. Also it concerns me that if we have a body that has its main focus on a girls only competiton, we are not really looking at pathways into the mainstream chess environment.

    So I am sure the AWCL does have a role to play in advising the ACF on women's needs in chess, but I think serious girls development is going to need to be more integrated with general junior development and not split off into yet another body.
    Last edited by jenni; 23-12-2004 at 11:03 PM.

  11. #71
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenni
    I am speaking from a base of ignorance here, because apart from organising the DD for many years and putting out a very interesting newsletter, I am not sure what the AWCL did.

    I suspect it did have a good role in female development in years past, but not in the period I have been involved in chess, (since 1996). of course you could argue that just the existence of the DD played a role in developing girls chess, but I suppose I see that more as a vehicle for providing opportunities for girls after the development initiative, rather than a major development tool in its own right.

    Before suggesting the ACF Junior sub-committee, I thought long and hard about just developing a national junior body that could pursue a junior agenda free of interference from the often rather annoying adult environment. However I came to the conclusion that it wasn't a very good idea - for all the reasons of divisiveness and fragmentation. We really want to establish close links between the adult and junior environments. We want juniors to be able to see pathways for the future and adults to have more understanding of the needs of the juniors.

    I suppose I see the AWCL as closer to a separate national junior body than an ACF sub-committee. While it is affiliated to the ACF, it seems to exist in a world of its own - apart from input from Evelyn of course. I am sure when she speaks the adults listen! No doubt it does play an important role in advising on female chess issues. (Also what is going to happen when Evelyn goes? Alreday her lessened involvement seems to have had an impact on the organisation. Of course another person might take over, but there is no natural successor at the moment).

    I viewed the ACF Junior sub-committee as a way of allowing the ACF to make informed policy decision with respect to junior matters, as well as creating a body that had a vested interest in creating a national focus for junior development.

    There is no reason why the AWCL couldn't be a similar body, I just haven't seen it doing so while I have been involved. I am sure in the past it probably did, so maybe you have a different perspective of the organisation.

    I wuld hope that one of the things that the Junior sub-committtee would do would be to look at development of girls chess and I think this fits more naturally with the Junior sub-committee and the state organisations than the AWCL.

    The ACF has to do something about getting more adults to keep playing and I think the women not playing is just a more extreme case of the same problem, so it would make sense to look at both problems and come up with effective strategies.

    I guess I am a bit of a centralist - while I think the work can be done by different bodies - state organisations, junior organisations, women's organisations, there needs to be an overall plan and controlling body, allowing continuity and direction. Also it concerns me that if we ahve a body that has its main focus on a girsl only competiton, we are not really looking at pathways into the mainstream chess environment.

    So I am sure the AWCL does have a role to play in advising the ACF on women's needs in chess, but I think serious girls development is going to need to be more integrated with general junior development and not split off into yet another body.
    I think that we are probably in general agreement about the appropriate approach to this matter. I do not see it as appropriate for the AWCL to operate independently of the ACF in administering chess in Australia for women just as I see it as best for the ACF to have responsibility for the oversight of junior chess development.

    If the AWCL is not able to rejuvenate itself, some other approach to the problems of women's chess may be needed. In any case, as the DD is an Australian national women's teams event, perhaps the ACF should oversee it anyway, say, run by the AWCL for the ACF if the AWCL is alive enough.

    As for its being the ACF's responsibility to bring more adults into chess or to see that ex-juniors keep on playing, I'm not so sure. Though favouring an active role for the ACF in such matters, I see the rejection of the ACF Commission proposal, which I supported, and the failure of anyone to second my proposals for Chess Co-ordinators at the April Council meeting as indicators that the prevailing view is for the ACF to stick to things that are National in character in that they are better, or necessarily, to be done by the ACF than by the States. We therefore need to see what the States can do about this matter. I distinguish this from, say, junior development such as is as undertaken by the NECG program where a national approach seems more appropriate.

    Denis Jessop

  12. #72
    CC International Master Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    As for its being the ACF's responsibility to bring more adults into chess or to see that ex-juniors keep on playing, I'm not so sure. Though favouring an active role for the ACF in such matters, I see the rejection of the ACF Commission proposal, which I supported, and the failure of anyone to second my proposals for Chess Co-ordinators at the April Council meeting as indicators that the prevailing view is for the ACF to stick to things that are National in character in that they are better, or necessarily, to be done by the ACF than by the States. We therefore need to see what the States can do about this matter. I distinguish this from, say, junior development such as is as undertaken by the NECG program where a national approach seems more appropriate.

    Denis Jessop
    Surely its the only way to go, a centrally co-ordinated as exists in most other sporting bodies and most chess associations in other countries. If the States see development as their preserve, there should be some onus on the States to deliver, otherwise all we have is gridlock. Don't give up on the ideal Dennis, let it be the stamp of your Presidency. Who were the fools that voted against it? They should be dragged over the coals and flogged!
    Last edited by David_Richards; 23-12-2004 at 10:35 PM.
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  13. #73
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    Part of the issue Frosty is that we only have about three or four women players rated over 2000 acf and then there is a drop off to the next set of female players.
    Actually there are currently six over 2000 with ! or !! ratings - Caoili, Berezina, Sorokina, Nguyen, Eriksson, Dekic. Bill could perhaps tell us how many 2000+ females are active-listed with blank or ? ratings, if any.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rogers
    The ACF had activity requirements for the Olympiad for many years - it never resulted in a weak team, only in forcing some of the top players to play a bit more.
    I still have no idea why the ACF dropped the rule about four years ago.
    The next National Conference could do worse than reintroduce the clause requiring, say, 40 ACF or FIDE rated non-rapid games over the two years prior to selection (games from the previous Olympiad not included).
    Prior to its deletion the requirement was 20 games. I'm still confused about the exact events surrounding the dropping of the criterion and I was on Council at the time so I'm not sure what anyone else is expected to make of it. However, it would have been reinstated this time except that the reinstatement would have come too close to the selections to be fair to those players struggling to make the cut. It's not on the notice for Conference but it is on a list of draft reforms I'm working on and when it was last raised at Council there was support for reinstating it before the next Olympiad. Certainly having very inactive players apply does not make things easy for the selectors.

    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    The net result has been (specificaly for the Womens Olympiad Team), a group of strong but inactive players who pop their heads up every 2 years, get picked for the Olympiad team, and then retreat into inactivity when they pass through Australian customs. This, in my opinion, is a major factor in a generation of strong female players from the late 80's onwards, giving away the game as anything more than a social pasttime. Despite a solid group of late teens/early 20's female players who played in a substantial number of events, their path to greater reward was blocked by notion that Australia had to pick the "strongest" womens team, even if that meant picking players who hardly ever played locally. By the time this attitude had shifted even a little, a number of strong young female players had alradey dropped out.
    I wonder how great the effect of criteria in deterring players who otherwise rarely play locally from applying actually is. Or are you suggesting that annoyance with these players getting into the team so easily was a factor?

  14. #74
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Actually there are currently six over 2000 with ! or !! ratings - Caoili, Berezina, Sorokina, Nguyen, Eriksson, Dekic. Bill could perhaps tell us how many 2000+ females are active-listed with blank or ? ratings, if any.
    The only other active player over 2000 is Koshnitsky (2216 ).

    Even if you include inactives you only gain another 4:
    2282?? Nutu-Gajic, Daniela [WGM]
    2160?? Vasilevska, Tatiana
    2148?? Aladjova-Wills, Katrin [WFM]
    2021? Rozycki, Edyta

  15. #75
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    WE have to do something about Australian chessplaying ladies/girls

    I think it is very important to do something about womens chess in this country,by the way in 2008 Chess Olympiad in Germany will be four playing boards not three as it was this year.I do have some ideas...

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