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Brian_Jones
02-09-2012, 04:30 PM
For many years now, FIDE has awarded IM and FM titles at the Oceania Zone Championships which are held every two years.

Yesterday the FIDE Qualification Commission reviewed the awarding of titles at World, Continental and Zone Championships, including Senior and Junior Championships.

They also considered including titles for sub-continental events.

I spoke in favour of this on behalf of Oceania, particularly to award FM and CM titles for the Oceania Senior and Junior Champions. My reasons are mainly marketing - to promote senior and junior championships on behalf of all seven countries in the Oceania Zone.

Kevin Bonham, the Australian Delegate, spoke against.

Kevin Bonham
02-09-2012, 05:28 PM
Yes, the ACF passed a motion opposing the OCC's request(s) to be able to award additional titles, and to inform FIDE of this view, so I was acting consistent with that. The basis for the motion is that the current balance of title opportunities in our region is about right. There is a lot of concern about soft titles given out to players of inadequate strength both devaluing the title system and doing the development of players no favours by rewarding them prematurely. We've been through this in the past when there were too many titles from the Oceania Zonals and we don't want a repeat or worse.

The proposal yesterday involved setting up a hierarchy of consistent levels (age-based, world/continental/sub-continental etc) so that as you go down an age group or a geographic region the level of title available drops. It had great benefits in clarity and consistency over the existing system but the critical problem in my view is that different entities at the different geographic levels are not the same as each other in playing strength; in some cases not even close. This especially applies when it comes to the OCC's case to be placed on a level with ASEAN and ARAB regions. If more attention could be given to equalising playing strength between regions on the same level (eg by reallocating countries) it would be an excellent proposal.

FIDE titles should exist to recognise strong players, not to be dished out for the sake of marketing, with the possible exception of the CM title which hardly anyone seems to want anyway. Maybe the OCC should just create its own titles like Oceania Master and so on.

We are OK with the existing Oceania Zonal titles.

Brian_Jones
02-09-2012, 06:47 PM
Recent Oceania Senior Champions are:

Open: FM Brian Jones AUS, IM Mirko Rujevic AUS, Anthonie Luchtmeijer AUS
Women: WFM Vivian Smith NZL, WFM Helen Milligan NZL

Four of the five winners already have IM or FM titles.

Subject to FIDE standardisation of the age limits (over 50, 55 or 60) , I do not see a problem with awarding FM and CM titles for Oceania Seniors. It would have been good to award an FM or CM title to Phil Viner and other deserving seniors in past years.

No Oceania Junior titles have yet been held and probably won't be until FM or CM titles are available.

If Australia thinks Oceania Junior Championships can be held without titles then, as the richest federation in the Zone, it should offer to host and provide financial support or billets to smaller federations! :)

Finally, it should be noted that Australia has very few CM titles. They may lack prestige to adult players but are important to parents.

Kevin Bonham
02-09-2012, 07:31 PM
Recent Oceania Senior Champions are:

Open: FM Brian Jones AUS, IM Mirko Rujevic AUS, Anthonie Luchtmeijer AUS
Women: WFM Vivian Smith NZL, WFM Helen Milligan NZL

Four of the five winners already have IM or FM titles.

Which in most cases (not sure about Helen) came from Oceania Zonals (in some cases even before the reforms to limit the number of titles) so this is no proof that winners of these events are typically really FM or IM strength. Three of the four are near the bottom end of the world rating range for their title (eg if you sort everyone with that title by rating, they are near the bottom of the list) and the other is still well below the median.


Subject to FIDE standardisation of the age limits (over 50, 55 or 60) , I do not see a problem with awarding FM and CM titles for Oceania Seniors. It would have been good to award an FM or CM title to Phil Viner and other deserving seniors in past years.

There are many older Australian players who would have won greater titles on merit 40+ years ago had title opportunities been commoner then. I don't see using titles from senior tournaments as a good way to patch that up if it is going to lead over time to many such titles going to seniors who would not otherwise have won them. Too many titles means that titles lose their meaning and prestige. You would be awarding an FM title to a player rated FIDE 2127 and ACF below 2000 for winning a senior tournament (and that in his mid-50s).


No Oceania Junior titles have yet been held and probably won't be until FM or CM titles are available.

Then I suggest putting a proposal that these events can award CM/WCM titles but no higher and it may get a better reception from the ACF. We do not think FM titles should be handed out in potentially weak events.

peter_parr
03-09-2012, 12:19 AM
FIDE has a standard 2200+ rating for the CM title (Candidate Master)
and a standard 2300+ rating for the FM title (FIDE Master)
and a standard 2400+ rating plus strict 2450 performance regulations for IM
(International Master). Australia has a number of players very close to CM,FM and IM but they need to perform slightly better to fulfil FIDE requirements.
Why should any chess official support more titles without the proper qualifications.

Since the Oceania sub-zone was formed many titles have been awarded for below " par" performances.

There are no active players - junior - adult - or seniors rated above 2050 in five of the seven Oceania Countries.

Australia is not and never has been a member of the Oceania Chess Confederation. Are the other six actual members or are they just listed as members like Australia?

There is no justification for Oceania to suggest more master titles. The word "Master" indicates a level of expertise and titles should be earned.

Why is Oceania suggesting more titles in the full knowledge that Australia is strongly opposed and FIDE informed of Australia's position (have the other countries been consulted ? ).

Events should of course be encouraged with prizes,medals and trophies and
certificates but "Master Titles" in any low rated event is a very bad idea.

Peter Parr FIDE International Organiser (2012)
FIDE International Arbiter (1978)

lost
03-09-2012, 06:23 AM
Hi all,

I am currently at the olympiad and having successfuly completed the IO seminar, I can tell you that there is a very soft title giving out and something else along with it.

If you win the World Amateur Championship that is run by FIDE, you get the FM title plus your rating automatically becomes 2200. So you could be rated 1400 and win the event and have a rating of 2200 plus the FM title.

This is a really soft title in my opinion but that is the rules of FIDE though.

I think the FM title should be giving out and it is a good marketing tool to promote to juniors and also its good to promote to girls as well.

Until next time, take care.

lost

Adamski
03-09-2012, 07:25 AM
That is interesting, lost. If it gets generally known there should, depending on location, be a big field for that "world championship".

Capablanca-Fan
03-09-2012, 01:55 PM
PP and KB are right. We should not continue to devalue master titles by awarding them for performances much less than the median.

Brian_Jones
03-09-2012, 02:42 PM
The recent Asian Amateur Champion was Melbourne's Ari Dale. To my mind he is deserving of a CM title.

You could argue that Ari might get higher titles later in his career but also he might not. Look at Max illingworth - he is still only an FM at 19 years old!
He still needs IM norms.

We need to award junior titles earlier. The alternative is to get our titles the conventional way through title norms. But Oceania, particularly Australia and New Zealand, still do not organise sufficient high level title events.

Having already introduced the Sydney International Open, I think we now need new FIDE title events for Melbourne International Open, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth.

Is this too hard for our current administrators?

Kevin Bonham
03-09-2012, 09:26 PM
We need to award junior titles earlier.

Why? I don't mind throwing a few CM-level titles around for encouragement of promising players, but above that level young players should get the titles when they have proven they are good enough, even if it takes them a year or two from the point of reaching title strength.

If you are making people FMs and IMs in their teens who will never be good enough to qualify for any title higher than the one they have just got (note this doesn't mean Max who may well become a GM eventually), then there is nothing left by way of titles as a basis for them to strive to improve beyond that point.

Kevin Bonham
04-09-2012, 03:14 PM
By the way this idea that it is unusually difficult to get titles in Australia appears to be a furphy. If anything it at least has been unusually easy. Some of the many intriguing statistics handed out at the Development meeting yesterday included a list of nations ranked by their peak strength (ie the average rating of their top ten players) and showing how many GMs, IMs and total titled players each has. Australia is 58th on the list by peak strength. We have 92 titled players including 25 GMs/IMs. No nation below us on the list has more than 68 titled players or 19 GMs/IMs. We have more titled players than 20 nations above us and more GMs/IMs than 14 nations above us. (These stats include inactive players so it may be that we have an unusually high proportion of titled inactive players, but I think the ease of getting titles in Zonals has a lot to do with it.)

MichaelBaron
05-09-2012, 02:05 PM
By the way this idea that it is unusually difficult to get titles in Australia appears to be a furphy. If anything it at least has been unusually easy. Some of the many intriguing statistics handed out at the Development meeting yesterday included a list of nations ranked by their peak strength (ie the average rating of their top ten players) and showing how many GMs, IMs and total titled players each has. Australia is 58th on the list by peak strength. We have 92 titled players including 25 GMs/IMs. No nation below us on the list has more than 68 titled players or 19 GMs/IMs. We have more titled players than 20 nations above us and more GMs/IMs than 14 nations above us. (These stats include inactive players so it may be that we have an unusually high proportion of titled inactive players, but I think the ease of getting titles in Zonals has a lot to do with it.)

We have plenty of titled players! Some of them even deserve their titles :)! Show me a player who deserves to be a GM...but is not a GM. or deserves to be an IM but is not an IM?

Brian_Jones
06-09-2012, 01:25 AM
Show me a player who deserves to be an IM but is not an IM?

Max Illingworth

Kevin Bonham
06-09-2012, 01:35 AM
Max Illingworth

Who is only a norm away and will probably get it rather soon. Will you have another example when he does?

Brian_Jones
06-09-2012, 02:15 AM
Who is only a norm away and will probably get it rather soon. Will you have another example when he does?

Max has deserved the IM title for some time now and is an adult.

Examples of deserving juniors:

Bobby Cheng for IM
Brodie McClymont for FM
Justin Tan for FM
Lawrence Matheson for CM
Pengyu Chen for CM
Ari Dale for CM
Karl Zelesco for CM


Ari may yet get a title from winning the Asian Amateur Championship.

Kevin Bonham
06-09-2012, 03:14 AM
Examples of deserving juniors:

Who cares who can be said to deserve CM? Michael's question was about IM or GM.

Bobby likely will be an IM and if he sticks at it a GM. But to this stage he has not been above 2400 FIDE even as a live rating ever (I think his peak has been 2375) and he has just one norm. Certainly, less deserving players have received IM titles in our region but it is not clear he is quite at IM strength yet.

McClymont is certainly strong but has not yet been above FIDE mid-2100s. Are we going to give every junior an FM title when they get a rating of FIDE 2150?

Justin Tan (1997) is over FIDE 2200 already so an FM title for him by rating is only a matter of time and probably not very much of it. There's no hurry.

Capablanca-Fan
06-09-2012, 01:32 PM
Max has deserved the IM title for some time now and is an adult.
He'll deserve the IM title when he gets the required number of norms and rating.

Rincewind
06-09-2012, 02:51 PM
He'll deserve the IM title when he gets the required number of norms and rating.

No then he will have qualified. If your position is deserved = qualified then you having a nonversation.

Capablanca-Fan
06-09-2012, 03:03 PM
No then he will have qualified. If your position is deserved = qualified then you having a nonversation.
I'm not so sure. BJ apparently believes that some good young players can be deserving without having qualified according to the rules. One could say that some older players deserve titles because of strength in their younger days when titles were much harder.

Brian_Jones
06-09-2012, 03:21 PM
The main ways of earning titles at present are from tournament performance norms, rating performances, Olympiads, Zonals and World/Continental Championships.

Thirty years ago players could not easily qualify for these titles because there was no critical mass of titled players and overseas travel for the average player was expensive.

Today Australia has largely overcome this (though travel expense is still a problem) but how will the players in emerging federations ever earn titles if they cannot afford overseas travel?

We are finding ways of giving these players FIDE ratings (and some Olympiad/Zonal opportunities) but there is no critical mass yet.

Probably Fiji and Guam are the best examples of emerging federations with potential but New Zealand is also classified as needing help from FIDE.

Remember my objective is to promote chess not titles! :)

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Rincewind
06-09-2012, 03:23 PM
I'm not so sure. BJ apparently believes that some good young players can be deserving without having qualified according to the rules. One could say that some older players deserve titles because of strength in their younger days when titles were much harder.

Brian's exact position is not clear to me but there is an argument that players on the cusp of titles are disadvantaged by distance in countries like Australia and New Zealand. I think generally this is true although it has been more difficult in the past.

Zonal rules has lead to the awarding of titles to players who are weaker than the norm qualification pathway and this has lead to the situation that Kevin alluded to above.

The second issue confounds the first and a quick analysis might lead one to the conclusion that the first problem does not exist. But I think the actual picture is both issues exist more or less independently and so using a stat on number of titles vs average rating can be misleading if used to argue away the distance issue.

Brian_Jones
06-09-2012, 03:45 PM
using a stat on number of titles vs average rating can be misleading if used to argue away the distance issue.

It certainly can be misleading! :)

Using today's rating of a player makes no sense. Titles are awarded for life.

I am 65 years old today. My first FIDE rating (at age 40) was 2290. I was already passed my peak. Today my FIDE rating is down to 2000+.

So what was my playing strength at my peak? Did I deserve the FM title later in life? Yes, of course I did.

Forget the stats!

Kevin Bonham
06-09-2012, 05:14 PM
Probably Fiji and Guam are the best examples of emerging federations with potential but New Zealand is also classified as needing help from FIDE.

Actually that was a very provisional ranking in the Development meeting and not something that has yet been officially adopted.


The second issue confounds the first and a quick analysis might lead one to the conclusion that the first problem does not exist. But I think the actual picture is both issues exist more or less independently and so using a stat on number of titles vs average rating can be misleading if used to argue away the distance issue.

I agree the distance issue exists for players acquiring titles by the normal method but I think it's more than cancelled out by the Oceania Zonal titles and this is why I am not in favour of adding more and softer titles. For every young Australian on the cusp of a title who takes a year or two longer to get it the normal way than they would overseas there could well be two who get their title when they are not even on the cusp of getting it by normal methods.

Where there might be common ground here is that I tend to agree that having more norm-capable tournaments is a good aim and this is something the ACF can look at in considering priorities as concerns what tournaments we fund. It might also be worth conducting a review of how many norms are being won in our tournaments by Australian players. Of course, even if that shows decline it could just be because those players who would otherwise win norms already have titles through Zonals.

And just in case anyone is confused, note that the stat I was drawing comparisons with was not ratings of titleholders overall but ratings of the top 10 players, which is what the FIDE Development Commission is looking at using as an indicator of a country's chessplaying strength. As Brian pointed out one problem with that indicator is that a single very high rated player can skew the average so they may need to come up with a better indicator.

Brian_Jones
06-09-2012, 05:32 PM
Where there might be common ground here is .....

Personally, I would be happy to support the reduction of title award levels. For example, no IM title awarded in Oceania Zonals - only FM for all 6/9 performances and CM for all 4.5/9 performances. CM for winner of the Oceania Veteran, Senior and Junior (U20) Championships.

Forget Oceania Youth and Childrens events - we are a few years away from this yet!

But I am not sure that Australia and New Zealand would agree to this. What do you think Kevin?

Remember this thread is about future Oceania title awards and not about Australia and the past zonals.

Kevin Bonham
06-09-2012, 05:55 PM
Personally, I would be happy to support the reduction of title award levels. For example, no IM title awarded in Oceania Zonals - only FM for all 6/9 performances and CM for all 4.5/9 performances. CM for winner of the Oceania Veteran, Senior and Junior (U20) Championships.

OK so the current system is:

IM - 6/9 minimum but only the highest scorer without the title gets it.

FM - 4.5/9 minimum but only the two highest such scorers without the title get it.

CM - 4/9 (not sure about numbers that can win it)

This would be replaced by

FM - 6/9 minimum, unlimited

CM - 4.5/9 minimum, unlimited

Probably an improvement on the whole unless you get a zonal with a weak field or big tail leading to lots of 6/9s and a large number of FM titles.

I really do not care about how many CM titles are distributed and I don't think the ACF does either. Proliferation of FM and especially IM titles is the problem - WIM too although it could be argued that WIM is already too devalued in our region.

Bill Gletsos
06-09-2012, 06:08 PM
My first FIDE rating (at age 40) was 2290.Actually you were 43 when your first rating was published in the Jan 1991 list. ;)

Denis_Jessop
06-09-2012, 09:48 PM
Remember my objective is to promote chess not titles!

Then why all the kerfuffle about titles in your earlier posts? Or should we be congratulating you on your rapidly acquired politician's ability to shift ground ?:)

Development of chess ability in the tiny Oceanic States will not be assisted by giving them titles that reflect nothing of their ability. Nor, I suggest, will it be assisted by holding "international" tournaments in their territories that will inevitably won by Australians (and as many other places taken by whichever Australians choose, or are invited, to enter plus the odd New Zealander).

DJ

Capablanca-Fan
06-09-2012, 11:02 PM
I am 65 years old today.
Happy birthday! Hope this doesn't mean retirement.

Capablanca-Fan
06-09-2012, 11:05 PM
This would be replaced by

FM - 6/9 minimum, unlimited

CM - 4.5/9 minimum, unlimited

Probably an improvement on the whole unless you get a zonal with a weak field or big tail leading to lots of 6/9s and a large number of FM titles.

I really do not care about how many CM titles are distributed and I don't think the ACF does either. Proliferation of FM and especially IM titles is the problem - WIM too although it could be argued that WIM is already too devalued in our region.
All the same, IIRC our IM awardees from the zonals often did score ~2450 performances. It was FM titles awarded for <<2300 (say 2100) performances that were a joke, or WIM titles awarded for <<2250 performances leading to jibes about "Weetbix IM". There would be less problem if the titles were awarded for zonal performances within say 50 rating points of the norm requirements.

Edit: here are the actual figures for FM and WIM from a 2007 post by KB (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=153624&postcount=212), and the thread also contains the IM zonal results that were worthy (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=153717&postcount=247).

Bill Gletsos
06-09-2012, 11:32 PM
Happy birthday! Hope this doesn't mean retirement.Today is not his birthday.

Rincewind
06-09-2012, 11:46 PM
I agree the distance issue exists for players acquiring titles by the normal method but I think it's more than cancelled out by the Oceania Zonal titles and this is why I am not in favour of adding more and softer titles. For every young Australian on the cusp of a title who takes a year or two longer to get it the normal way than they would overseas there could well be two who get their title when they are not even on the cusp of getting it by normal methods.

I too am not in favour of adding more titles to the zonal. I think the ones we already have have probably caused more harm than good. So I don't think of it as zonal titles addressing the distance problem. It is just a confounding problem which has obscured the data on strength vs titles.


Where there might be common ground here is that I tend to agree that having more norm-capable tournaments is a good aim and this is something the ACF can look at in considering priorities as concerns what tournaments we fund. It might also be worth conducting a review of how many norms are being won in our tournaments by Australian players. Of course, even if that shows decline it could just be because those players who would otherwise win norms already have titles through Zonals.

Yep that is actually addressing the distance problem and so I think a good use of ACF resources. What would be good would be if FIDE offered some kind of incentive for titled players from strong countries to play in norm qualifying events in undertitled regions. I don't have any ideas on what form this incentive might take but no doubt it would make things easier for tournament organisers to get the requisite field make up for a norm qualifying event if there was some kind of extra incentive that could be leveraged.

Denis_Jessop
07-09-2012, 01:09 PM
But if one is thinking of chess development in Oceania, more norm-capable tournaments are something for the fairly distant future.

What is needed first is chess instruction, say by a visiting GM like Ian Rogers and support, either material or otherwise, for chess clubs in the region.

As far as I know, there are virtually no indigenous players of any note in any of the smaller countries in the region. Papua New Guinea, for example, is a bit of a joke in this regard.

DJ

Garrett
07-09-2012, 01:28 PM
Papua New Guinea, for example, is a bit of a joke in this regard.

DJ

Probably no worse than Australia.

Denis_Jessop
08-09-2012, 01:27 PM
Probably no worse than Australia.

The two cases are quite different. Perhaps I didn't make my point entirely clear. The matter is really not for this thread so I shan't develop it further.

DJ