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  1. #1
    CC International Master Kerry Stead's Avatar
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    Revamping the Australian Open

    A proposal for future Australian Opens

    Revamping the Australian Open

    The Problem?
    Poor participation numbers from ‘rank and file’ players in past 2 Open events (Canberra 2006/7, Mount Buller)
    General Apathy in hosting major Australian Tournaments

    The Solution?
    Re-vamp the event, with a feature GM-norm round robin, with a number of ‘side’ events, giving players flexibility and choice without having to commit to a fortnight of chess.

    The Proposed Format
    Main event – 10 player GM Norm round robin
    <Sponsors Name> Masters
    10 players made up of 5 local & 5 foreign titled players
    Other events as per schedule

    Why use this format?
    • Possibility of title norms for local players
    • Increased potential for coverage (eg: Chessbase)
    • Potential of attracting people to watch games live
    • Attracting players to events alongside famous players
    • More likely to attract sponsors (tournament as a whole or particular players)


    Possible issues?
    • Significant sponsorship required for tournament to be a financial success
    • Need for venue which is attractive & has ICT facilities for reasonable (low) price
    • Issues with early event likely to jeopardise future tournament & participants
    • Other large events overseas – Hastings (England), Rilton Cup (Sweden)
    • Players may not like shortened format
    • Players may not like playing in a tournament where they know the very top local players will be absent


    Field requirements for norms
    7/9 norm = 2381 av
    6.5/9 norm = 2435 av
    6/9 norm = 2476 av
    5.5/9 norm = 2521 av
    5/9 norm = 2558 av

    Potential field
    Australians (with Jan 2007 ratings)
    GM Rogers 2529
    GM Johansen 2454
    IM Smerdon 2460
    IM Zhao 2455
    IM Wohl 2425
    (field is assumed at this point in time & subject to change)
    Rating average of Australian players = 2464.6 (round to 2465 for calculation purposes)

    Required rating average for foreign players (will vary slightly for specific opponents)
    7/9 norm = 2297 av (2300)
    6.5/9 norm = 2405 av
    6/9 norm = 2487 av
    5.5/9 norm = 2577 av
    5/9 norm = 2651 av

    To be realistic with the possibility of an Australian achieving a GM norm, 6/9 would be the benchmark score to aim for, so 2487 (or higher) would be the average rating of foreign players required for the tournament (2577 is probably too high for a local to be expected to score at least 2/5 against [this assumes 4/4 against other local players, which is very difficult in itself]).

    Selecting foreign players
    In my view, apart from the obvious need for rating requirements, I feel the players should be invited for a number of factors:
    • Sponsorship potential
    • Public profile
    • Chess style
    • Willingness to do more than simply play the Masters tournament while in Australia
    • Personality & ability to interact with others
    • Players who may have played in Australia previously
    • Players who are ‘beatable’ (it would be nice to have an Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, etc playing, but if they are simply going to take a potential point away from the locals, they do not serve the needs of the tournament)

    Location
    In my view it is essential that the Open (or Masters & related events) be held in the same city ever 2 years (or sooner if the ACF or organisers prefer). The rotational policy means that players and organizers have to find venues, sponsors, accommodation, make travel plans, etc anew each time the event is held, which discourages repeat participation.
    The most successful tournaments, both locally and overseas, have established a venue and reputation for excellence that has built on previous years (eg: Doeberl Cup, Ballarat Begonia Open, Linares, Hastings, Wijk Aan Zee). The only cities that I think can provide not only the numbers of local players to maintain a solid player base, as well as provide adequate accommodation options and incentives for foreign players are Melbourne & Sydney.

    Value Adding
    Another essential ingredient of a successful event, particularly in terms of attracting players, is adding value to the tournament. If all that is on offer is chess, then only those that want to play chess will attend. If there are options for players in terms of playing schedule, non-chess events and activities, then those that might like a holiday with some chess might attend, increasing participation. Additionally, if you can offer foreign players some additional incentives, they will be more likely to play, or play for a lesser fee.

    Potential schedule
    Masters
    10 player round robin
    Time control – All moves in 90 minutes + 60 seconds per move
    Activity – Boxing Day Test December 26
    Pre-Tournament – Drawing of Lots – December 27 3pm
    Activity – GM Simul – December 27 4pm
    Round 1 – December 28 4pm
    Round 2 – December 29 4pm
    Round 3 – December 30 4pm
    Round 4 – December 31 4pm
    Rest Day – January 1
    Activity – River/Harbour Cruise – January 1 11am
    Activity – Poker tournament – January 1 5pm
    Round 5 – January 2 4pm
    Round 6 – January 3 4pm
    Round 7 – January 4 4pm
    Round 8 – January 5 4pm
    Round 9 – January 6 2pm
    Presentations – January 6 7pm (or 20 minutes after final game to finish)

    Other events
    Australian Open
    9 Round Swiss
    Winner to play in following Masters event
    Time Control – All moves in 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move
    Round 1 – January 2 10am
    Round 2 – January 2 3pm
    Round 3 – January 3 10am
    Round 4 – January 3 3pm
    Round 5 – January 4 10am
    Round 6 – January 4 3pm
    Round 7 – January 5 10am
    Round 8 – January 5 3pm
    Round 9 – January 6 10am
    Presentations – January 6 3pm

    Alternative Schedule
    11 Round Swiss
    Round 1 – January 2 10am
    Round 2 – January 2 3pm
    Round 3 – January 3 10am
    Round 4 – January 3 3pm
    Round 5 – January 4 10am
    Round 6 – January 4 3pm
    Rest Day – January 5
    Round 7 – January 6 10am
    Round 8 – January 7 10am
    Round 9 – January 7 3pm
    Round 8 – January 7 10am
    Round 9 – January 7 3pm
    Round 10 – January 8 9:30am
    Round 11 – January 8 2pm
    Presentations – January 8 6:30pm

    Australian Repechage
    7 Round Swiss
    Time Control – All moves in 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move
    Round 1 – December 28 10am
    Round 2 – December 28 3pm
    Round 3 – December 29 10am
    Round 4 – December 29 3pm
    Round 5 – December 30 10am
    Round 6 – December 30 3pm
    Round 7 – December 31 10am
    Presentations – December 31 3pm

    Australian Major
    7 Round Swiss U2000
    Time Control – All moves in 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move
    Round 1 – December 28 10am
    Round 2 – December 28 3pm
    Round 3 – December 29 10am
    Round 4 – December 29 3pm
    Round 5 – December 30 10am
    Round 6 – December 30 3pm
    Round 7 – December 31 10am
    Presentations – December 31 3pm

    Australian Minor
    7 Round Swiss U1600
    Time Control – All moves in 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move
    Round 1 – December 28 10am
    Round 2 – December 28 3pm
    Round 3 – December 29 10am
    Round 4 – December 29 3pm
    Round 5 – December 30 10am
    Round 6 – December 30 3pm
    Round 7 – December 31 10am
    Presentations – December 31 3pm

    Australian Lightning
    11 Round Swiss
    Time Control – All moves in 5 minutes
    January 7 10am (9 Round Open Schedule)
    January 5 10am (11 Round Open Schedule)

    Australian Rapid
    6 Round Swiss
    Time Control – All moves in 20 minutes + 10 seconds per move
    January 7 1:30pm (9 Round Open Schedule)
    January 5 1:30pm (11 Round Open Schedule)

    Grandmaster Simul
    December 27 4pm

    Cricket & BBQ Lunch
    January 1 1pm

    Poker Tournament
    January 1 7pm

    Trivia Dinner
    January 7 7pm (9 Round Open Schedule)
    January 5 7pm (11 Round Open Schedule)

    Game Commentary
    Available each round of Masters Tournament

    Master Lectures
    At completion of some games in Masters event – join in with commentary group
    Players in Masters event MUST complete at least 1 lecture/commentary session for the tournament

    Finances
    Finances required for:
    Player appearance fees
    Player airfares
    Player accommodation
    Prize fund
    Arbiters & Officials
    Rating fees
    Advertising
    Website
    Stationary, Scoresheets, etc

    Summary of Changes:
    • 10 players Masters event introduced
    • Tournament to be held in same venue/city rather than rotating around Australia
    • Less Rounds for Open
    • Shorter number of days for tournament
    • Side events for all players
    • Commentary & Lectures from titled players


    Thoughts ...
    Last edited by Kerry Stead; 05-01-2007 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2
    CC International Master
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    Entry price?
    No this is silly, the whole premise is silly and very badly written. I'm the senior officer here and I've not had a funny line yet so I'm stopping it.

    Sydney International Open

    Parramatta Chess Club

    Manchester United - In decline since 92!

  3. #3
    CC International Master Kerry Stead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bergil
    Entry price?
    I'd think something that worked out at about $10/game, so $100 for 9 round events, $120 for 11 round events, $75 for 7 round events
    Rapid $20
    Lightning $15

    An alternative for the Value Adding for the Masters players if the event was held in Sydney could be tickets to the New Year's test at the SCG rather than the Boxing Day test at the MCG.

  4. #4
    CC Candidate Master jase's Avatar
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    Kerry,

    My first impression is that this is a well thought out and composed proposal, addressing key issues facing National title competitions with interesting paths forward. Love your work.

    Are there too many side events? I'm warming to the idea of containing everything in a Jan 2 - 10 window.

    I'm in less agreement with a single venue. There's many sporting examples of successful events that rotate location, and given the present state of chess administration, it's unlikely any of these bodies could capably organise this event on a regular (voluntary) basis.
    Last edited by jase; 05-01-2007 at 04:12 PM.

  5. #5
    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    Question: Isn't it supposed to be an 'Open' event?


    cheers Fg7

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster
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    Kerry. How much would you need to raise in sponsorship money? I know it would be only a rough estimate.
    Scott

  7. #7
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    Question: Isn't it supposed to be an 'Open' event?


    cheers Fg7
    Maybe Box Hill / Canterbury might want to come in with a compromise proposal and permanently host it using their trademark "Semi Open" format!

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    Question: Isn't it supposed to be an 'Open' event?
    The Open is open. The Gm event (obviously) isn't.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy
    Kerry. How much would you need to raise in sponsorship money? I know it would be only a rough estimate.
    Scott
    My guess would be somewhere in the region of $60k - including some in-kind ($10k airfares, $20k prizes/appearance, $20k venue, $10k accommodation).

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    In regards to the Australian Open, what is the current definition of open?

  11. #11
    CC Rookie twinlark's Avatar
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    Kerry

    Your proposal has pizzazz. The current field in the Open in Canberra is very sparse indeed. Another problem is the Aussie preoccupation with the physical sports and the generally negative Aussie attitude towards intellectual activity. Everyone knows something about our top 100 sportswomen and sportsmen, for example, but no one seems to remember who our Nobel laureates are, let alone our IMs and GMs.

    The PR element of this is would therefore be of great importance, to give the whole event a boost.

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    Kerry

    Good on you for having a go and putting forward a proposal.

    I still think finding a way to link some of these tournaments into the grand prix would be a good idea.

    Cheers
    George.

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster
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    Any idea and project eventually run into two problems (which can be viewed as one):

    1. Cash sponsorship
    2. Venue sponsorship

    If you can get some cash sponsorship and a free venue, or a large cash sponsorship and a cheep venue, the rest can be organised. There are enough people with ideas and ability/experience to organise a tournament.

    But without 1) and 2) all those projects are not worth the keyboard they are types with.
    For private coaching (IM, four times VIC champion) call or SMS 0417519733
    Computer tells you what to play. Good coach explains why.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster
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    Attracting strong players

    IMHO, the most cost/effective way to attract strong players is the prize fund (bigger prizes and more prizes).

    If we ever get more money for Elwood Bendigo Bank championship, it will go stright into the prize fund and, maybe, increasing the GP category.

    Sponsoring a GM will bring one very strong more player. Increasing the prize fund will bring five to ten strong player (2200-2400). The latter is more likely to increase overall number of players, which brings more money into the tournament, which allows to have more and bigger prizes, which attracts more players and so on (kind of a snowballing effect).
    For private coaching (IM, four times VIC champion) call or SMS 0417519733
    Computer tells you what to play. Good coach explains why.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Sted
    Activity Poker tournament January 1 5pm
    I liked your post - some food for thought I think.

    One point I would like to raise. Why are we in the business of advertising poker at chess tournaments? Shouldn't we be in the business of advertising chess at poker tournaments? Perhaps a recriprocal arrangement could be made with some National Poker Association or equivalent.
    meep meep

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