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  1. #1
    CC Candidate Master slyall's Avatar
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    Congress avoiding weekends?

    What is up with Congress in 2019 and 2020 avoiding weekends?

    Starting the 11-day events on a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday means that people need to take 9 days of annual leave off. Whereas if they started on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday working people would only have to take 7 days of leave.

    2019 was squashed by the Junior but does anyone know the reason for the 2020 dates?

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Tony Dowden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyall View Post
    What is up with Congress in 2019 and 2020 avoiding weekends?

    Starting the 11-day events on a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday means that people need to take 9 days of annual leave off. Whereas if they started on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday working people would only have to take 7 days of leave.

    ... does anyone know the reason for the 2020 dates?
    Good question Simon.
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  3. #3
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    Good question Simon. For the working class, it's also often harder to take annual leave later in January rather than earlier, as mid to late January is often when employers want people back to work.

  4. #4
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    The Congress dates are affected by the George Trundle tournaments which are being held from January 4th to 12th. A better option may have been to run Congress from January 4th (Sat) to 14th (Tue) and then the Trundles from January 16th (Thu) to 24th (Fri). Mike Steadman and Bob Smith are the tournament organisers so they should be asked about the scheduling.
    Once a Kiwi, Always a Kiwi.

  5. #5
    CC Candidate Master slyall's Avatar
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    and now I see that the 2020 North Island Champs is going to be just 7 rounds from Sunday to Saturday. 5 days off work for just one game a day.

    Contrast this with the 2019 South Island champs that got 9 rounds in from Saturday to Thursday with just 1 round on the start and finish days so people could fly in and out.

    Obviously targeting the " I'm getting too old to play two games a day " set.
    Last edited by slyall; 24-12-2019 at 01:22 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyall View Post
    and now I see that the 2020 North Island Champs is going to be just 7 rounds from Sunday to Saturday. 5 days off work for just one game a day.

    Contrast this with the 2019 South Island champs that got 9 rounds in from Saturday to Thursday with just 1 round on the start and finish days so people could fly in and out.

    Obviously targeting the " I'm getting too old to play two games a day " set.
    Well it has been spiced up with the 2 Blitz tournaments which would clash with the 2 rounds per day.

  7. #7
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    North Island dates were set based on venue availability and Auckland traffic at traditional times. I had more leeway for Hanmer because there were no other events to work around.
    IA Craig Hall

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  8. #8
    CC Candidate Master slyall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig_Hall View Post
    North Island dates were set based on venue availability and Auckland traffic at traditional times. I had more leeway for Hanmer because there were no other events to work around.
    A 10am start will avoid the worst of the traffic but having a venue that doesn't allow for two events per day doesn't seem like a good idea.

    I note that the NZCF President has expressed his concern about "low numbers participating in some traditional events" just in the last few days. I feel that one reason for this is the low amount of "chess per dollar" that many of the current events deliver, others point towards lack of quality overseas players or low-quality venues. I know we can never please everybody but it seems the percentage we are pleasing has dropped.

    Perhaps a survey could be done (with an aim to capture as many active NZ players as possible) asking them what sort of tournaments they are after and likely to participate in. Perhaps various tournament options could be given (price, location, schedule, etc) and people asked how likely they would be to enter each.

    Currently the Open and Major Open at Congress have just 63 players between them, while this will hopefully increase a bit before the start I think we should be aiming at something closer to 100.

  9. #9
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    Every tournament is a survey in its own right - it's reasonably obvious what people want from what they play in.

    The obvious answer to numbers in the NZCF events is to run them in Auckland or to find $30,000 sponsorship for Congress.

    Most NZCF events also present issues in that they have a Rapid attached to them, so that has to be part of the planning, and will usually take at least one weekend day. Looking at the numbers, I don't know that anything other than the North Island is struggling that much, but since I'm on my phone, will have to leave analysis to another day.
    IA Craig Hall

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyall View Post
    Perhaps a survey could be done (with an aim to capture as many active NZ players as possible) asking them what sort of tournaments they are after and likely to participate in. Perhaps various tournament options could be given (price, location, schedule, etc) and people asked how likely they would be to enter each.
    Yes, if this form comes to clubs (just don't distribute it only at Congress), then we could get a good picture.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CivicChessMan View Post
    The Congress dates are affected by the George Trundle tournaments which are being held from January 4th to 12th. A better option may have been to run Congress from January 4th (Sat) to 14th (Tue) and then the Trundles from January 16th (Thu) to 24th (Fri). Mike Steadman and Bob Smith are the tournament organisers so they should be asked about the scheduling.
    There was also the factor of not scheduling Congress at the same time as the Australian Championship, in the hope that some overseas players will play both.
    Michael F

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyall View Post
    A 10am start will avoid the worst of the traffic but having a venue that doesn't allow for two events per day doesn't seem like a good idea.

    I note that the NZCF President has expressed his concern about "low numbers participating in some traditional events" just in the last few days. I feel that one reason for this is the low amount of "chess per dollar" that many of the current events deliver, others point towards lack of quality overseas players or low-quality venues. I know we can never please everybody but it seems the percentage we are pleasing has dropped.

    Perhaps a survey could be done (with an aim to capture as many active NZ players as possible) asking them what sort of tournaments they are after and likely to participate in. Perhaps various tournament options could be given (price, location, schedule, etc) and people asked how likely they would be to enter each.

    Currently the Open and Major Open at Congress have just 63 players between them, while this will hopefully increase a bit before the start I think we should be aiming at something closer to 100.

    Accommodation prices are not cheap, and the Tauranga/BOP area would have been even more expensive over New Year, with even the campgrounds crowded.

    As the majority of players are in Auckland, an event in Auckland immediately gets a larger core of players who don't have to pay for a bed, just brave the motorways.

    A few years ago 63 would have been considered a great success for a non-Auckland venue. To me, being a national championship, it should be quality over quantity, especially in these silly swiss events. Bring back the RR NZ Championship ;-)
    Michael F

  13. #13
    CC Candidate Master slyall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by braindied View Post
    ATo me, being a national championship, it should be quality over quantity, especially in these silly swiss events. Bring back the RR NZ Championship ;-)
    Well I have heard that at least one person has seriously proposed this to council. From memory it is roughly a 10-player round-robin (or 2) selected on basis of rating only (I forget if FIDE or NZCF) and then a large Swiss for everybody else. Minimal non-NZ players and a fairly low price (perhaps $100) in an Auckland venue.

    Just holding in Auckland is not a magic bullet. The 2019 Congress only got around 95 players. Only about half in the Top grade were from New Zealand (which means it was successful at attracting overseas players). Perhaps 1/3 of the players over 2000 FIDE played.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyall View Post
    Well I have heard that at least one person has seriously proposed this to council. From memory it is roughly a 10-player round-robin (or 2) selected on basis of rating only (I forget if FIDE or NZCF) and then a large Swiss for everybody else. Minimal non-NZ players and a fairly low price (perhaps $100) in an Auckland venue.

    Just holding in Auckland is not a magic bullet. The 2019 Congress only got around 95 players. Only about half in the Top grade were from New Zealand (which means it was successful at attracting overseas players). Perhaps 1/3 of the players over 2000 FIDE played.
    First I heard of any proposal, serious or otherwise, to change the format.

    I would be curious of those overseas players how many received assistance?. Seems to be part of the picture now. I like a NZ Open concept with all the glamour, venue and overseas players. Just not keen on giving the NZ Championship title to 10 players who didn't even win the event. Devalues the efforts of past winners in my view. Maybe one day a NZ Open and NZ Closed could occur.

    Some will argue that the NZ Open gives norm chances that would otherwise be missing with a closed event. But titles should be earned, not given away as candy as some junior events do. All part of the new world...

    I do recall the qualification method for the NZ Championship RR was fraught with problems as well. Protection of rating was common. With one place to the Premier Reserve winner (as the Major Open was then called), it did mean the PR was usually very strong, plus winners of NI and SI usually boosted those events. The theme of a qualification route usually works, even if someone feels hard done by, as an example the current FIDE Candidates process.

    But I do know one thing, ask 100 players for an opinion and you will get 100 different views, with 60 of those getting passionate and dogmatic.
    Michael F

  15. #15
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    If it was held in Auckland, you would have easily got around 150 or even more . And yes, Quantity trumps the so called Quality ( which is not great at the best of time) any day.

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