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  1. #16
    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    Hello,

    I agree with sentiments about Libbys posts. Probably the best post I have seen in the last two years.

    Unfortunately, there should be some recognition from the chess playing community, as a whole, that this sort of mentality in Australian Chess has been operating for years. We simply do not focus on building an organisation that has the correct checks and balances in its systemic approach to its product.
    Instead, the ACF behave like a perennial wallflower, who waits every year for the right dance offer, desperate to impress but not confident in their own abilities.

    The key question here is- was George acting in his own interests or the ACFs?

    If its his own, then we have the same old legacy of everything pre-established, with notable historical exceptions like the Koshnitskys, NSW junior chess league etc. The chess mafia type personalities, who continually personally co-erce for their own personal gain, be that glory or profit.

    If it is the ACFs, then we probably have an interesting historical first (or is that second after Tumbi?). The ACF finally organising its own premium events. An incredibly important historical moment in the history of Australian Chess. Granted there were mistakes, but begineers are prone to errors.

    Unfortunately, with the tendering process being announced again, my inclination is that it is the former not the latter. The ACF still appears to not want to take responsibility for its own events. It still appears to lack confidence in pushing its own product, how else do we interpret a relationship where it becomes dependent on others to run events for it?

  2. #17
    CC International Master Kerry Stead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    Unfortunately, there should be some recognition from the chess playing community, as a whole, that this sort of mentality in Australian Chess has been operating for years. We simply do not focus on building an organisation that has the correct checks and balances in its systemic approach to its product.
    Instead, the ACF behave like a perennial wallflower, who waits every year for the right dance offer, desperate to impress but not confident in their own abilities.

    Unfortunately, with the tendering process being announced again, my inclination is that it is the former not the latter. The ACF still appears to not want to take responsibility for its own events. It still appears to lack confidence in pushing its own product, how else do we interpret a relationship where it becomes dependent on others to run events for it?
    Good response firegoat7 ... however the suggestion you offer, for the ACF to run its own events, although logical, lacks a vital component - someone to act as the person who co-ordinates the efforts on behalf of the ACF for the Australian Championships/Open. Yes, there is value in the idea - mistakes will not be repeated as there would be a substantially similar organising team each time who could learn from any mistakes made at an event ... however there does not seem to be the manpower available to do it. A further complication is that in order to get someone to take on the role, some sort of remuneration might need to be offered ... but where is this to come from? The ACF is hardly flush with funds, and although the rating fees bring in enough to cover the day-to-day expenses of the ACF, it would seem to be insufficient to support a fee in the $1000s to pay a tournament organiser.

    Should the rating fee be increased to cover this cost? What about the entry fees for the Australian Championships/Open? Reduce the prize fund? Another idea? Or does this idea have no merit at all?

  3. #18
    Account Suspended Libby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelandre
    With regards to the brochures being excessive, Libby, with a $20, 000 budget available that was only available for printing it seemed prudent to try and provide information in a professional, attractive manner to players.
    Up to a point, I agree. I wasn't going to post back on all of this because there's nothing worse than an outsider saying how they would have done it - after the event.

    Why did I state the brochures were ridiculous & excessive? Because we threw so many away and because we received steady feedback that people were not finding useful information in them - in the ACT anyway. I understand 10,000 were printed. Was that for each event (Open & Juniors) or altogether? Either way, 10000 (or 20000) booklets generated about 250 entries. Given your chess audience is a captive one (playing at established clubs or linked to established organisations) it wasn't like you needed to drop them in mailboxes to encourage the broader public to attend.

    Please don't take this personally. I'm not posting this to criticise what you did, under time constraints and with other priorities (quite rightly) in your life. This is what I think might be more effective if we find ourselves here in future and with a bit of a bucketload of money set aside for this purpose.

    If we are short of time, and have to get something out quickly, produce a single page document covering all your basic event info with weblinks etc. We are used to this with the Juniors. More money may mean you can produce that in a glossy, pamphlet style. It would incorporate your entry form. Simple & inexpensive and perhaps you want to have 10000 so they can be at every event and every club in the leadup. They could also be downloaded from the website.

    Once you have your basic info out there, or if you have more time to produce something, then look at what people were expecting of the 2004 booklet. Not just the timetable of events and prizemoney, but where to stay (even if it is only the sponsor's accommodation), where to eat, what's on. In Mt Buller you could have done some of what ended up in my booklet like menus, cinema sessions, bushwalks, local places of interest etc. Sold the whole Mt Buller experience to sell the event. This could have been supplied AFTER the original "flyer."

    With a big printing budget, the booklet could have incorporated a scorepad in the back, giving players an incentive to retain it. Or even just somewhere to store their scoresheets to provide an incentive for people to keep it as a memento of the event. (Can sell potential advertising space on that basis as it is not a "throw-away" item). Kids like stuff like that (like T-shirts etc). Even just a page for them to record their opponents & results. It may all seem a bit "twee" but some people value that kind of stuff cluttering up their homes.

    Quote Originally Posted by adelandre
    I thought I addressed your social events concerns somewhat when I was available, by working with and making Alex accountable for this. I thought Alex made some good inroads here, in combination with your excellent efforts on the brochure.

    Kind Regards,
    Andrew
    Yes you did, and the hire of the Sports Hall was great, as was the assistance to get Kerry L's Trivia night idea up and running. My problem is not with what you did in January.

    My problem is with the promises made and not kept. My problem is that I felt our committee ranked the sponsor ahead of their constituency in negotiations over silly things like the pool. And using the pool as an example, it was always immensely silly. The pool was managed by The LaTrobe Uni and they advertise it for use by their students (who do not stay at the Mercure). So why didn't our own people want to negotiate on our behalf? Why was it - that's the way the sponsor wants it, so that's the way it will be?

    Don't get me wrong. Sponsors are there to be buttered up. But there are ways to do the buttering that don't have to mean negotiating away benefits for your own people.
    Last edited by Libby; 31-01-2005 at 01:34 PM.

  4. #19
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    One of the major criticisms I heard about the brouches was they had no accomodation information or contact numbers whatsoever, not even for the Mercure.

    On that basis it appears the organisers wanted the players to organise their own accomodation and stay where they liked. As such it is a bit rich for the organisers to then criticise people for not staying at the Mercure.

    If they wanted people to consider the Mercure first and formost then they should have put accommodation and contact information in the brouchre.

  5. #20
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    I must admit I never took the pool under my wing, and found it hard to visualise the venue early on as i had not made the trip up there (due to uni commitments) unlike kerry, goerge and garvin. I do agree it should have been addressed much better, and social issues should have been considered earlier. I do believe cancelling the final night party was unacceptable.

    It must be hard for me to convey my tone on here, as I am not upset/concerned at your remarks in any way, I am just stating my slant on things when I deem necessary. I agree that the entry brochure should have had more information on social events, and in the future this should definately be included. Unlike for events in capital cities, this is even more critical for Mt Buller. I did not consider this in as much detail at the time.

    With regards to the inclusion of accomodation details in the brochure, George informed me that the Mercure Grand Chalet would be providing detailed information on their accomodation in a flyer/brochure that would be sent our with our entry brouchure. I believe unless George removed it in the final edit that I even referred to it in the brochure. I was quite amazed when this did not occur, and somewhat frustrated. A breakdown of communication or something, I assume.

    There were contact details for George, Garvin and Kerry as relavant including email and phone in the brochures.

    Kind Regards, Andrew Saint
    Last edited by adelandre; 31-01-2005 at 05:53 PM.

  6. #21
    Account Suspended Libby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelandre
    It must be hard for me to convey my tone on here, as I am not upset/concerned at your remarks in any way, I am just stating my slant on things when I deem necesary.
    No, probably not hard to convey your tone. Strangely enough , I have been viewed as opinionated, belligerent and prone to over-estimating the importance of my own opinion (feel free to butt in here to contradict me ).

    I'm a bit sensitive to being a non-player (ie knows nothing about chess), a parent (prone to hysteria and advocating anything to benefit my own child), female (something of a minority and someone people don't seem to quite know how to read) and inexperienced myself - I have run a multitude of junior events but nothing on the "big ticket" list.

    So I toss and turn - to post or not to post - mostly I can't resist the urge to share my opinion. Of course I know best . I can be a stirrer. I can be a rude, angry cow. But mostly with Mt Buller, I set out to help and developed a level of paranoia (see description previous paragraph) as a consequence of the only responses I received at the time. If I actually felt there was support for my position (outside those who had a reason - on a personal level - to be nice to me), I would have turned up. I might still have spat the dummy on occasion, but I would still have been trying to help.

  7. #22
    CC FIDE Master
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    Mt Buller

    After being on the hill for the full month, I think that I am reasonably qualified to talk about the pros and cons of this event.

    Sadly I have to say the Mt Buller festival was the most poorly organised chess event I have ever been involved with, which made the month a very difficult, and unless there are major changes I won't be close to Mt Buller in 2 years time.

    I'm sure this post with sound a little personal, but I try and be as fair as possible.

    George: George is a great guy, but his greatest failure was that he failed to ask anyone for advice to assist him in how the event should be run. True he asked Ian and Cathy Rogers for advice but here's a short list of people I would ask.

    Ian and Cathy Rogers, Gary Bekker, Manuel Weeks, Shaun Press, Brian Jones, The team from the 1999 Sunshine Coast Open, Gary Westell, Graeme Gardiner, Andrew Greenwood and Jason Lyons are just a few....

    There are of course other people that could have helped, but these people in Ozzie chess have been helpful, and though I believe I could do an Ok job these people would be essential help lines, as THEY HAVE DONE IT BEFORE!

    Garvin: Garvin liked George worked hard, and but in a good effort, but made the fatal mistake of an organiser trying to help out in roles that aren't his responsibility. Though I've been an arbiter for ages, I don't think that compared to a lot of other DOP's that I'm all that good, but I do know a little, Garvin there were a few times during the event you made decisions that should have been left for the DOP team. By trying to assist us (though appricated) you annoy the players invloved, as well some of the DOP team.

    Another frustrating element of the event was there was nothing to do... There were only really two places to eat at night, being the Mecure and Alberg, and though both had good food, more variety, at varying prices was necessary as budget concerns fo some players/families was noticed.

    Going back to the nothing to do.... What did the organisers expect players/parents to do at night... Go out.... where! The movies were on rarely, and other than socialising with other players there was nothing to do.

    Shopping: To be to George, I didn't have any shopping problems. George suppled a ton of food including for me lot of vegan stuff, which I must thank George for. But if you had a family, or were part of a squad than going to Manfield, or even ordering stuff isn't so good.

    Another element of the tournament that was completely unaccpetable was the lack of Australian IM's and how there were treated. George claimed they were all 'Prima Donnas' which is complete rubbish. All they need is a little assistance. With 3 mths notice and $500 each, there could have been 6-8 Ozzie IM's we don't need to import them from over seas. The fact that Smurf turned up, was just good luck for the event.
    Lee Forace

    Foraceīs Legacy - Swap off when you are down.

    It's better to set goals that one cannot acheive than to settle for mediocrity.

  8. #23
    CC International Master Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    Unfortunately, there should be some recognition from the chess playing community, as a whole, that this sort of mentality in Australian Chess has been operating for years. We simply do not focus on building an organisation that has the correct checks and balances in its systemic approach to its product.
    Instead, the ACF behave like a perennial wallflower, who waits every year for the right dance offer, desperate to impress but not confident in their own abilities.

    Seconded.

    Right now there's a serious risk that Australian Chess will implode under the weight of criticism. I would suggest we stop the feeding frenzy and cool off for a while. Unneccesary wounds are being exposed in a way that can serve no purpose other than to assuage the frustration of what is after all, a one of event. Old wounds run deep and if we're not careful we'll create a lot of damage.

    Fg7's right, it's time for the ACF to assert itself, develop a longterm strategy & to restructure. Dennis has already signalled he was disappointed by the rejection of last years restructuring plan. I think we all see now the consequences of that rejection and Australian Chess must learn from that mistake!
    Power comes from the barrel of a gun.

  9. #24
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    Fg7's right, it's time for the ACF to assert itself, develop a longterm strategy & to restructure. Dennis has already signalled he was disappointed by the rejection of last years restructuring plan. I think we all see now the consequences of that rejection and Australian Chess must learn from that mistake!
    one of the acf's biggest weaknesses is that it is a federation of states and no state wants to give up their slice of a small pie. Something I have also noticed is that states and individuals/clubs would rather have 20% of a small pie instead of 10% of a much larger pie.

  10. #25
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    Fg7's right, it's time for the ACF to assert itself, develop a longterm strategy & to restructure. Dennis has already signalled he was disappointed by the rejection of last years restructuring plan.
    Dont try putting words into Denis's mouth.
    The only thing Denis was referring to was the failure of his motions to create a position of a Junior Chess Coordinator and a Coordinator for Adult Chess.
    Last edited by Bill Gletsos; 31-01-2005 at 09:32 PM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gletsos
    Dont try putting words into Denis's mouth.

    I sense this is a sensitive subject Bill! I'm not putting words in anyone's mouth, Dennis was speaking for himself.
    Power comes from the barrel of a gun.

  12. #27
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    I sense this is a sensitive subject Bill! I'm not putting words in anyone's mouth, Dennis was speaking for himself.
    Yes, he was but you are twisting his words.
    I know because he and I discussed it.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gletsos
    Yes, he was but you are twisting his words.
    I know because he and I discussed it.
    Ah so now you're putting words in his mouth! Dennis posted clearly Bill and there was obviously a sense of disappointment in his narrative. The question is, who were the lemons that voted against it?
    Power comes from the barrel of a gun.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    Seconded.

    Right now there's a serious risk that Australian Chess will implode under the weight of criticism. I would suggest we stop the feeding frenzy and cool off for a while. Unneccesary wounds are being exposed in a way that can serve no purpose other than to assuage the frustration of what is after all, a one of event. Old wounds run deep and if we're not careful we'll create a lot of damage.
    I don't think the ACF is likely to implode over the criticism of Mt Buller, especially as a number of key figures in the ACF have already moved to put distance between themselves and the organisers. In fact the ACF council meeting at Mt Buller had a reasonably contentious debate on who would be on the Mercure sponsorship sub-committee, with the initial make up of the committee not including any of the key decision makers from this years event, and only after a long debate was this changed.
    I think the ACF, in its post-election make up, fully realise that mistakes were made and will take active steps not to repeat them.

    Fg7's right, it's time for the ACF to assert itself, develop a longterm strategy & to restructure. Dennis has already signalled he was disappointed by the rejection of last years restructuring plan. I think we all see now the consequences of that rejection and Australian Chess must learn from that mistake!
    While David is right in what he says, the ACF have now had a couple of attempts to restructure itself into a more effective structure over the last 15 or so years, but it seems as though the states are running a roster system to see who can oppose it each year. It had been QLD and WA previously, now it is NSW's turn. Garvins observation on this is probably as good a summation as any.
    And having discussed the matter with Denis on a number of occasions, the statement "Dennis has already signalled he was disappointed by the rejection of last years restructuring plan." is a true one, even if he only signalled his disapointment to me.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    I don't think the ACF is likely to implode over the criticism of Mt Buller, especially as a number of key figures in the ACF have already moved to put distance between themselves and the organisers. In fact the ACF council meeting at Mt Buller had a reasonably contentious debate on who would be on the Mercure sponsorship sub-committee, with the initial make up of the committee not including any of the key decision makers from this years event, and only after a long debate was this changed.
    I think the ACF, in its post-election make up, fully realise that mistakes were made and will take active steps not to repeat them.



    While David is right in what he says, the ACF have now had a couple of attempts to restructure itself into a more effective structure over the last 15 or so years, but it seems as though the states are running a roster system to see who can oppose it each year. It had been QLD and WA previously, now it is NSW's turn. Garvins observation on this is probably as good a summation as any.
    And having discussed the matter with Denis on a number of occasions, the statement "Dennis has already signalled he was disappointed by the rejection of last years restructuring plan." is a true one, even if he only signalled his disapointment to me.
    Thanks for the clarification Shaun.
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