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  1. #1
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    Mt Buller - Chess World letter to ACF

    Australian Championship Events

    30 June 2004
    Dear Australian Chess Federation,

    I write here to officially update you on the situation with the events that Chess World is organising on behalf of Chess Victoria. These are the events awarded by the ACF Council in January to Chess Victoria and for which final details were approved by email vote around the end of May. They are:
    • 2005 Australian Open Chess Championships
    • 2005 Australian Junior Chess Championships
    • 2004 Australian Schools Finals

    Chess Victoria, in turn, came to an arrangement with Chess World whereby the above events would be run without any financial burden on Chess Victoria. Let me state clearly that this is an obligation which Chess World still intends to fulfil. I look forward to re-confirming Chess World and Chess Victoria’s arrangement in respect of the tournaments at the new venues.

    There has been much debate about the Championship Events being run in the slightly inaccessible location of Mt Buller. Concerns were raised regarding the opportunities for social and non-chess activity for the duration of the event, transport to and from the venue and concerns were expressed that due to the remote nature of the venue players would be financially taken advantage of by monopolised accommodation and food providers.

    Efforts have been made to address these concerns in the approved venue at Mt Buller, however after prolonged negotiations Chess Victoria has chosen to reject the offer that the Mt Buller Chalet had on the table and pursue alternative arrangements rather than continue the negotiation process. This is due to a number of benefits being removed from offer and the advent of a previously unmentioned $28,000 cost for our preferred venue (ABOM restaurant).

    Please understand that this decision by Chess Victoria’s Event Organising Committee was taken with the best interest of Australian Chess at heart and because we felt that the alternative arrangements and venue was going to make for a more successful Australia Championship series in 2004/2005.

    I attach for your perusal the offer which CV chose to reject. I also attach an offer which is still valid (but with which Chess Victoria will not get involved); the management at The Mercure Grand Chalet at Mt Buller would be happy to go ahead if the ACF feels that this is a proposition more suitable than the Melbourne based options.

    As such Chess Victoria requests that the ACF accept an amendment to the current standing version of the “Authority to Conduct an Australian Chess Championship” document. Details included are as requested under By-Laws for ACF Tournaments section 19, 20 and 23.
    • That the venue for the Australian Open Championships be changed to read “Glen Eira Town Hall, corner of Hawthorn and Glen Eira Rds, Caulfield.”
    • That the venue for the Australian Junior Championships be changed to read “Brighton Grammar School (Junior School), Grosvenor St, Brighton.”

    Both these venues are more than suitable for the purposes of the Championships with the venue for the Junior Championships having access to swimming pool, tennis courts, playgrounds, sports equipment and canteen facilities all within the school grounds.

    It is intended that all other details of the events, such as dates, prize-fund, appearance of GMs, time controls, schedule, entry fees and so forth, remain unchanged. I believe this move will result in a far more successful event than previously anticipated, being located in the easily accessible South-Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

    We know from past approval motions that details of this event are satisfactory to the ACF. We are simply requesting that a more suitable venue be appointed and hope that this adds to the strength of our event organisation.

    We request that this recommended change in venue be approved at the July 12 Council meeting so entry forms can be printed and distributed as quickly as possible. I am happy to attend the ACF Executive Meeting to discuss this further if you feel necessary.

    I look forward to an even more successful event than anticipated.

    Many thanks,



    David Cordover
    Chairman CV Committee,
    Australian Championship Events

    PS. Some concern has been expressed about the late change in venue and the possibility of individuals having booked accommodation or transport to Mt Buller. I request that the ACF make public the following statement:

    “Due to the late notice provided in the change of venue for the Australian Open and Australian Junior Chess Championships, Chess World (at their sole discretion) will provide compensation to any person who is able to provide, in writing, evidence to the effect that a non-refundable deposit or other financial cost has been incurred by the change made at this time.”

    Note that this is valid only if the ACF approves the venue change as requested in this letter.




    TO: Australian Chess Federation

    FROM: Mercure Grand Chalet Mt Buller

    OFFER REJECTED BY CHESS VICTORIA
    Mercure Grand Chalet will provide:
    • Use of all spaces and all facilities at the Mercure Grand Chalet free of charge*
    • Accommodation at the Chalet at $90 per room per night including full breakfast. The Chess Federation is required to book 58 rooms per day for the duration of the event (26 nights minimum).
    o This will allow the organising committee to on-sell rooms at $120-$130 per night and retain the difference.
    • 4 free hotel rooms at the Chalet for the duration of the events
    • Free use of Heli House lodge, inclusive of cleaning, (17 beds)
    • Use of other Lodge accommodation at $25 per bed per night
    • Use of photocopy and internet facilities free of charge
    • Free tea and coffee (urns only) for all participants at all events
    • Pay $10,000 fee to Chess World on provision of monthly reports
    • Hotel vouchers as prizes, to the value of $10,000 minimum.
    • No additional hidden costs for any aspect of the events
    • Printing of tournament program from Independent Distillers

    OFFER ON THE TABLE**
    Mercure Grand Chalet will provide:
    • Use of all spaces and all facilities at the Mercure Grand Chalet free of charge*
    • Accommodation at the Chalet at $90 per room per night including full breakfast.
    o This will allow the organising committee to on-sell rooms at $120-$130 per night and retain the difference.
    • 4 free hotel rooms at the Chalet for the duration of the events
    • Free use of Heli House lodge, inclusive of cleaning, (17 beds)
    • Use of other Lodge accommodation at $25 per bed per night
    • Use of photocopy and internet facilities free of charge
    • Free tea and coffee (urns only) for all participants at all events
    • Pay $10,000 fee to Chess World on provision of monthly reports
    • No additional hidden costs for any aspect of the events
    • Printing of tournament program from Independent Distillers

    *Note that it is possible to run a 140 player event within the Mercure facilities, however the ABOM was our preferred option (being easily able to accommodate 300 players).
    **Note the only difference is that the Chess Federation is not required to book any minimum number of rooms at the hotel. I have also removed the offer of $10,000 in voucher prizes because I am unconfident that they would remain on offer for long.

  2. #2
    Account Suspended jenni's Avatar
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    I am more than happy with a school in Melbourne, for the Juniors, but could I have some clarification on what is happening with the ASCC?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChessGuru
    Australian Championship Events


    Efforts have been made to address these concerns in the approved venue at Mt Buller, however after prolonged negotiations Chess Victoria has chosen to reject the offer that the Mt Buller Chalet had on the table and pursue alternative arrangements rather than continue the negotiation process. This is due to a number of benefits being removed from offer and the advent of a previously unmentioned $28,000 cost for our preferred venue (ABOM restaurant).


    Many thanks,



    David Cordover
    Chairman CV Committee,
    Australian Championship Events
    Thanks David for taking the time to make an in-detail report; which I read with interest. One part caught my eye......see quote.

    How does it occur so late in the cycle of > initial negotiations >> proposal to CV >>> proposal to ACF >>>> advertising >>>>> early accomodation bookings >>>>>> engagement of GMs; that there is an previously unmentioned $28,000 cost . Dave this is a big amount. And to be apparent only so late. It erodes the chess communities view of someones competence or process. Can you give us more detail on this point.

    It is a scarce talent to be able to stitch up one of these deals and you are one of the few to have a go on this magnitude. But $28,000! That is some late undisclosed item. Care to comment.

    starter

  4. #4
    CC Candidate Master peanbrain's Avatar
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    After two months away from this BB what do I see?! Another fxxx up by my friend the so called guru!

    After all the hype of "biggest ever" event at Mt Buller we now end up with egg on the face and the guru is still trying to spin his "alternative" bid!!

    Based on what we've seen so far I will go with Mr Parr's bid any day.

    As for the guru, pigs will fly before he gets his act together. I hope the ACF is not so stupid to accept any bid from a guy who has history of delivering hot air!!

  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    [rant]

    Quote Originally Posted by starter
    How does it occur so late in the cycle of > initial negotiations >> proposal to CV >>> proposal to ACF >>>> advertising >>>>> early accomodation bookings >>>>>> engagement of GMs; that there is an previously unmentioned $28,000 cost . Dave this is a big amount. And to be apparent only so late. It erodes the chess communities view of someones competence or process. Can you give us more detail on this point.
    Indeed. And there was also this from 12 Jan 2004 in answer to my question about whether the event was definite:

    Kevin – arrangements are clad in the finest glistening iron. Sponsorship is guaranteed, venue is definite. Should anything happen I’ll sue their pants off.
    Let's just hope that ChessGuru is better at litigation than metallurgy.

    And as for this:

    Note that this is valid only if the ACF approves the venue change as requested in this letter.
    Not good enough.

    [/rant]

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    We'll have to rename Mt Buller as Mt B***s***

    AR
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 02-07-2004 at 12:15 AM.

  7. #7
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    KEVIN: I am happy to compensate anyone who has lost money because of a change of venue from Mt Buller to Melbourne, because that is my choice. I am not prepared to compensate people if the ACF makes a decision to shift the event to Sydney in August. I am prepared to be fully responsible for my own decisions, but cannot be held responsible for decisions made by others.

    If it is not good enough then why don't you take up the reigns and organise the event at Mt Buller. You still have a FREE venue and a $10K management fee?

    STARTER: This might be an issue of confusion amongst many people. We still have a FREE venue at the hotel. Our preffered venue was ABOM (a restaurant not far from the hotel). If I had run the other Mind Sports events (as planned) then the hotel ONLY would be unacceptable as there is only facility for 140 players in their main playing area. And in that consideration we would require ABOM. When he told me of the additional cost I immediately responded by cancelling the Mind Sports events (other than chess).

    I am equally as surprised as you by the cost, and yes it is a large extra cost, but most of the CV executive had at some stage been up to Mt Buller and heard the same story from the management there, and there was never a mention of cost for the ABOM. I am sure that GW, myself and perhaps others asked SPECIFICALLY if it would be free and the answer was always YES until about 3 weeks ago.

    So you see, the original offer from MT Buller still exists in some form, we do have a FREE venue which is suitable enough and we have some sponsorship and a management fee. So someone could if they wanted (BHCC?) take up the offer and run a Mt Buller event. Personally I wouldn't because I don't trust the management and I have made a decision, and recommended to CV and to the ACF, that we re-locate the events because they will be BETTER events in Melbourne.

    The original reason for having events in Buller was that although we sacrifice some number of players (due to cost and accessibility) we would compensate ourselves with a relationship with Accor Hotel Chain which was going to be a long-term benefit for Australian Chess. Now it appears that this long-term relationship talk was just rubbish and there seems little advantage to having the events in Buller.

    This is now up to the ACF to decide. If they are SO STRONGLY of the view that Mt Buller is the ideal location then they can run it up there and i will pass-on the full-deal to them. If not, then they will accept my recommendation to re-locate the event to Melbourne.

  8. #8
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    I believe this is about Power and the Responsibiltiy which goes with that power.

    The ACF wishes to have full control over the Aus Champ events. That means they can dictate time-controls, entry fees etc. With this POWER they have also a RESPONSIBILITY to make other decisions.

    This decision facing them now is not an easy one, and wasn't for me either. However the ACF has to take some responsibility and make the hard decision and take full responsibilty for that decision.

    So, ACF is it a) or b) or is there another option c)?

    a) Mt Buller - going against my and CV recommendations.

    b) Accept my recommendation for a change of venue and run the events in Melbourne.

    c) Any other option the ACF can dream up.


    KEVIN: How would suing anyone help? If I win (and it will take years to complete the case) then how does that help run the 2005 Aus Open? We do not live in America, we don't have to sue people, we need to make the best of what we have and forget about what we cannot change.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChessGuru

    KEVIN: How would suing anyone help? If I win (and it will take years to complete the case) then how does that help run the 2005 Aus Open? We do not live in America, we don't have to sue people, we need to make the best of what we have and forget about what we cannot change.
    sometimes it is better to give the ppl responsible at mt buller bad publicity in regards to events than to take to the courts.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChessGuru


    STARTER: This might be an issue of confusion amongst many people. We still have a FREE venue at the hotel. Our preffered venue was ABOM (a restaurant not far from the hotel). If I had run the other Mind Sports events (as planned) then the hotel ONLY would be unacceptable as there is only facility for 140 players in their main playing area. And in that consideration we would require ABOM. When he told me of the additional cost I immediately responded by cancelling the Mind Sports events (other than chess).

    I am equally as surprised as you by the cost, and yes it is a large extra cost, but most of the CV executive had at some stage been up to Mt Buller and heard the same story from the management there, and there was never a mention of cost for the ABOM. I am sure that GW, myself and perhaps others asked SPECIFICALLY if it would be free and the answer was always YES until about 3 weeks ago.

    So you see, the original offer from MT Buller still exists in some form, we do have a FREE venue which is suitable enough and we have some sponsorship and a management fee. So someone could if they wanted (BHCC?) take up the offer and run a Mt Buller event. Personally I wouldn't because I don't trust the management and I have made a decision, and recommended to CV and to the ACF, that we re-locate the events because they will be BETTER events in Melbourne.

    The original reason for having events in Buller was that although we sacrifice some number of players (due to cost and accessibility) we would compensate ourselves with a relationship with Accor Hotel Chain which was going to be a long-term benefit for Australian Chess. Now it appears that this long-term relationship talk was just rubbish and there seems little advantage to having the events in Buller.
    CG
    Thanks for ths response. It does help us see where the sticking point lies and how it emerged. And yes I do know that aspects can emerge late and upset the best plans.
    In my view it is better to clear the air and know the true culprit rather than allow speculation, and consequent harm to reputation.
    That is why I asked the question.
    starter

  11. #11
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChessGuru
    I believe this is about Power and the Responsibiltiy which goes with that power.

    The ACF wishes to have full control over the Aus Champ events. That means they can dictate time-controls, entry fees etc. With this POWER they have also a RESPONSIBILITY to make other decisions.

    This decision facing them now is not an easy one, and wasn't for me either. However the ACF has to take some responsibility and make the hard decision and take full responsibilty for that decision.

    So, ACF is it a) or b) or is there another option c)?

    a) Mt Buller - going against my and CV recommendations.

    b) Accept my recommendation for a change of venue and run the events in Melbourne.

    c) Any other option the ACF can dream up.
    I seriously doubt a) would be a choice unless there is more to the story than you are letting on.
    You havent responded to Jenni's query re the ASCC. So what is CV's recommendation regarding that.
    With regards c) a likely option would to be to ask for new bids.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChessGuru
    KEVIN: How would suing anyone help? If I win (and it will take years to complete the case) then how does that help run the 2005 Aus Open?
    If this is your attitude then it just makes your original statement to sue their pants off look like grandstanding rhetoric.
    Last edited by Bill Gletsos; 01-07-2004 at 05:55 PM.

  12. #12
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    David. A few questions about the free deal with the ABOM. Did you ever have this deal on paper, with signatures from both sides. It would seem to be a little irresponsible to go so far without getting it totally sercured. I would have though that this would have been done before you put the bid in or a time limit be put for it to be sercured or ACF approval is withdrawn. 1st of Febuary or there abouts would have seemed a good date to me.
    I also think you should refund the money any people have lost due to the change of venue whether your alternative venue is accepted or not.
    Also what have the overseas GM's said about the change of venue? Are they still coming if the alternatative venue is accepted? This to me was the best part of the tournament at Mt Buller.

    Scott Colliver

    P.S. I am involved with Alan Goldsmith Knights and Bytes business which is a competitor to Chess Kids in Adelaide.

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starter
    CG
    Thanks for ths response. It does help us see where the sticking point lies and how it emerged. And yes I do know that aspects can emerge late and upset the best plans.
    In my view it is better to clear the air and know the true culprit rather than allow speculation, and consequent harm to reputation.
    That is why I asked the question.
    starter
    [deleted] What 'culprit'? You're being too kind mate. All we have is one end of a bloody yarn!

    AR
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 02-07-2004 at 12:35 AM.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChessGuru
    KEVIN: I am happy to compensate anyone who has lost money because of a change of venue from Mt Buller to Melbourne, because that is my choice. I am not prepared to compensate people if the ACF makes a decision to shift the event to Sydney in August. I am prepared to be fully responsible for my own decisions, but cannot be held responsible for decisions made by others.
    HELLO!! Dinga-a-ling ding. Sirens all around please...you were THE MAN....you negotiated the deal. You cop it sonny! The ACF was subject to your [in]competence.

    Well done for 'avin' a go mate. But fair dinkum, I reckon we've just just had about a gutful of this mountainous b***s***.

    AR
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 02-07-2004 at 12:38 AM.

  15. #15
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    How much is accommodation going to cost for the Australian Junior at the school?

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