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ursogr8
13-11-2004, 08:38 PM
Part 2. Another challenge for forensic historians

Our previous challenge to forensic historians went over so well on this BB that I am tempted to try part 2.
Metrics for the first thread were 59 posts, 1166 views, zero acrimonious exchanges, 1 new trophy and 1 repaired trophy. Not a bad return for just some idle speculation when our Club inspected the trophy for the first time. And of course there was the added bonus of all us learning to spell Paul B’s surname correctly.
Click here (http://67.43.11.40/showthread.php?p=26428#post26428) if you want to read that thread.

The AGE newspaper today (13/11/2004) carries an article by a chess journalist expressing concern at the poor performance of our women’s team at the recent Olympics. The measure of concern adopted by the journalist was whether individual team members performed as well as their rating prior to the event. Two were labelled as mediocre and one other as downright pitiful. The evidence presented for this harsh description is a chess position from her second round game where the player overlooks a knight fork. The chess correspondent invites the reader to see a pattern in performances over many Olympiads where he claims that players born overseas rarely display results that match their rating when representing their adopted homeland, Australia..
The journalists drifts his criticism to male performances and claims the same trend over 18 years. The claim is that not one (immigrant) has come away with an overall performance to match his/her rating in individual events.

Can all this be true? Do overseas players representing Australia perform below their rating. Ladies and men? Are the home-growns a better bet? The journalist suggest this should be a criteria for selection.

starter

ps Oh, and one more thing. No conflict of interest is declared.

pps Does anyone have the where-withall to provide an on-line link to the Age article?

shaun
13-11-2004, 09:53 PM
First counter example: Leonid Sandler (2348) Yerevan 1996 - 7/10 2448 pr

shaun
13-11-2004, 10:03 PM
Did this Age journalist (hi Chris!) mention that the same claim could have been made about selecting Age chess journalists in the Australian team (see www.olimp-base.com years 1986, 1988, and 1998), and that when a certain Age chess journalist did play Australia finished on the same score as New Zealand in one year (1986) and behind them in two other years (88 and 98)?

Recherché
13-11-2004, 10:38 PM
Regardless of any of this, I think it's generally pretty poor form to criticize our team, even when they perform below rating. They're still our team and at the very least amongt the best in the country, and they went overseas (some/most of them paying their own way?) and gave it damn good try.

Besides, I thought the results were pretty good this year. :)


Can all this be true? Do overseas players representing Australia perform below their rating. Ladies and men? Are the home-growns a better bet? The journalist suggest this should be a criteria for selection.

A few random theories:

1) Everyone has bad days and bad tournaments. An equally "convincing" pattern of below-rating performances for local talent could more than likely be found.

2) Some overseas ratings may have some looseness to them, especially outside of the highly competitive federations like Russia and Germany.


ps Oh, and one more thing. No conflict of interest is declared.

Well, I don't think many regular readers of the Chess column are unaware of who Chris Depasquale is (especially given that his tournament games pop up in his own column occasionally), although many may be ignorant of his role (whatever it is, or isn't) in the politics of Australian chess and the Olympiad.

Also the chess column isn't part of the "content" of the newspaper - I don't think the editor(s) would hold it to any particular standards of journalism aside from good spelling and the lack of any blatant falsehoods. It has more in common with the "letters" section than with the editorial from a journalistic point of view.


pps Does anyone have the where-withall to provide an on-line link to the Age article?

The Age doesn't publish the chess column online, unfortunately. I'm not sure what the reason is. It may simply be policy not to publish those sorts of features online, or it may be that they're not comfortable putting it on without anyone on staff capable of assessing it for quality/accuracy.

ursogr8
14-11-2004, 07:01 AM
Did this Age journalist (hi Chris!) mention that the same claim could have been made about selecting Age chess journalists in the Australian team (see www.olimp-base.com years 1986, 1988, and 1998), and that when a certain Age chess journalist did play Australia finished on the same score as New Zealand in one year (1986) and behind them in two other years (88 and 98)?

First counter example: Leonid Sandler (2348) Yerevan 1996 - 7/10 2448 pr

Thanks Shaun for both of these.
I hope the evidence builds up to unravel the journalists theory.

regards
starter

Ian_Rogers
14-11-2004, 07:11 AM
Second counter-example - Alex Davidovic in Manila 1992.

Third counter-example - Chinese-born Zhao Zong Yuan in 2000 and 2004.

Also, in Calvia 2004 Irina Sorokina was in the running for a WGM norm until the second last round and Ingela Eriksson for a WIM norm until the same round. Both performed above their rating. (Of course foreign-born Irina Berezina and, to a lesser extent, Ngan Koshnitsky have been holding our women's team together for years, even though outshone by Laura Moylan in 2000 and 2002.)

Certainly Arianne had a shocker in Calvia, but it is hard to look at her results in Bled 2002 and even the 2002 Australian Masters and say that her rating is undeserved.

Ian

Ian Rout
14-11-2004, 07:52 AM
Even if the assertion is true it is not very useful, since only one natural-born Australian applied for the Australian women's team.

Ian_Rogers
14-11-2004, 07:17 PM
I forgot to mention that Arianne has been an Australian citizen since birth (even though she played for four or five years for the Philippines)!

Bill Gletsos
14-11-2004, 07:31 PM
I forgot to mention that Arianne has been an Australian citizen since birth (even though she played for four or five years for the Philippines)!
Yes, one would have thought Depas would/should have known that.

antichrist
14-11-2004, 11:09 PM
AR
We are waiting for you to pop a kid out (or father) like Arianne, the mixture maybe another champion. Sorry there are no Lebo role models for me to follow.

Ian Rout
15-11-2004, 01:35 PM
Also, in Calvia 2004 Irina Sorokina was in the running for a WGM norm until the second last round and Ingela Eriksson for a WIM norm until the same round. Both performed above their rating. (Of course foreign-born Irina Berezina and, to a lesser extent, Ngan Koshnitsky have been holding our women's team together for years, even though outshone by Laura Moylan in 2000 and 2002.)

Certainly Arianne had a shocker in Calvia, but it is hard to look at her results in Bled 2002 and even the 2002 Australian Masters and say that her rating is undeserved.

Ian
Possibly the Age commentator was using the "performance rating" as defined by considering the average rating of opponents, which was posted on the official site throughout the event, in drawing his conclusions. As Bill has pointed out on other threads this can be misleading in terms of measuring performance relative to rating. A better measure of that is points scored in comparison with expected outcome as predicted by ratings.

I notice that the latter measure has now been posted on the official site. The numbers are

Rogers 0.12
Johansen -1.00
Lane -0.32
Solomon -0.14
Zhao 1.80
Smerdon 1.09

Berezina -0.40
Caoili -2.86
Sorokina 0.90
Eriksson 0.22

(that is, Rogers scored 0.12 points more than the rating system predicted, etc).

Although the Age commentator is apparently pointing to a trend supposedly evident over many years rather than something demonstrable in any one Olympiad, the numbers don't appear to support his contention. It's true that one of the four women scored well below her predicted score but the team comprised four "immigrants" (I presume the article considers her an immigrant though as Ian Rogers notes she has always been a citizen) and there will often be somebody who has a bad score so if it happens it will be an "immigrant".

In any event something which seems, putting the best light on it, to have been wrong in three cases out of four is probably not a sound selection criterion.

(Incidentally taking into account Ian's point my observation that there was only one Australian-born applicant should read Australian born and raised).

I think a more plausible explanation for the Australian women's team finishing below their seeding is that by and large they don't, either in general or recently, get the amount of practice against opposition of the standard they come across in the teams of the top twenty or so countries. Compare, for example, Jovanka Houska (England) who I have seen in recent magazine articles playing and annotating games against male GMs, and who over-achieved her expected score by 2.08 points.

Garvinator
15-11-2004, 01:47 PM
Also it could be added that it is highly unlikely that an 'all aussie born womens team' would have done any better. The womens side sent was the strongest side we had.
I think someone more in the know and with more status than myself should write a reply to Chris's article and put it first or second up in the acf bulletin.

arosar
15-11-2004, 02:20 PM
'Scuse me please . . . just saw this thread.

Tell me, is this same journo who claimed to have invented the h4 var in the Tromp? Same journo who had some sort of spectacular rating gain (or some such)? Same journo who took the ACF to court for Olympiad selection?

AR

Garvinator
15-11-2004, 02:31 PM
'Scuse me please . . . just saw this thread.

Tell me, is this same journo who claimed to have invented the h4 var in the Tromp? Same journo who had some sort of spectacular rating gain (or some such)? Same journo who took the ACF to court for Olympiad selection?

AR
could be ;)

ursogr8
15-11-2004, 03:56 PM
I think someone more in the know and with more status than myself should write a reply to Chris's article and put it first or second up in the acf bulletin.

gg''
A considered reply would be a good thing.
The evidence from the responses (posts) so far seem to disprove the central tenet of the journalist's theory. But perhaps we don't have enough forensic evidence yet; so your suggestion may be a bit premature.

Since my request to get a link to the AGE article seems to have come to nought (see Rob's post) then I think it is important to get a copy of the full article here. What is our copyright position on this, if I just re-type it in?

starter

Garvinator
15-11-2004, 04:38 PM
gg''
A considered reply would be a good thing.
The evidence from the responses (posts) so far seem to disprove the central tenet of the journalist's theory. But perhaps we don't have enough forensic evidence yet; so your suggestion may be a bit premature.

Since my request to get a link to the AGE article seems to have come to nought (see Rob's post) then I think it is important to get a copy of the full article here. What is our copyright position on this, if I just re-type it in?

starter
i have been unable to find the article online from google searching and using the age website. It does appear that there is a charge to download articles from the age. So i am not sure if you can copy it to here, but my thoughts are that you can copy it as long as you give credit to the author etc.

ursogr8
15-11-2004, 04:45 PM
i have been unable to find the article online from google searching and using the age website. It does appear that there is a charge to download articles from the age. So i am not sure if you can copy it to here, but my thoughts are that you can copy it as long as you give credit to the author etc.

gg''

The law is a funny thing eh.
We are going to give credit to the author and then (I suspect) demolish his theory here. :uhoh: :doh:

starter

ursogr8
14-12-2004, 08:30 PM
Another forensic challenge, albeit a small one this time.

If a journalist wrote a report of an event and included the following two paragraphs
1 "After a battle which was decided only by the last move of the competition, Sydney Boys High edged out Melbourne's Scotch College to take first place in the Secondary OPEN division".
2 "In the two primary divsions, NSW had to be content with minor placings, both tying for second in their respective divisions but being forced to settle for bronze on the tie-break".

Look carefully at the two paragraphs and decide how many tie-breaks were involved in 1 and 2.
Speculate on the criteria that determines if the tie-break is to be mentioned by the journalist.

starter

jenni
14-12-2004, 09:12 PM
Third counter-example - Chinese-born Zhao Zong Yuan in 2000 and 2004.

AIan
C'mon Ian - you can't possibly not view Yuan as Australian raised! I rest my case by pointing out that when he went to China to study Chess, he couldn't hack the lack of hot showers and returned home fairly rapidly - definitely a true Australian!

arosar
15-12-2004, 07:28 AM
C'mon Ian - you can't possibly not view Yuan as Australian raised! I rest my case by pointing out that when he went to China to study Chess, he couldn't hack the lack of hot showers and returned home fairly rapidly - definitely a true Australian!

He said "Chinese-born" as distinct from "Chinese-raised".

AR

shaun
15-12-2004, 08:28 AM
Look carefully at the two paragraphs and decide how many tie-breaks were involved in 1 and 2.
Speculate on the criteria that determines if the tie-break is to be mentioned by the journalist.

starter

A) He writes for a Sydney based paper

or B) He knows at least one Victorian BB poster, who carries a massive chip on his shoulder about the whole Melbourne v Sydney battle that the rest of the country (including most of Melbourne and Sydney) gave up on years ago as an immature pursuit, will make an issue of it on the bulletion board.

While I'm guessing it is A, I think B is also an acceptable choice.

ursogr8
15-12-2004, 08:45 AM
A) He writes for a Sydney based paper

or B) He knows at least one Victorian BB poster, who carries a massive chip on his shoulder about the whole Melbourne v Sydney battle that the rest of the country (including most of Melbourne and Sydney) gave up on years ago as an immature pursuit, will make an issue of it on the bulletion board.

While I'm guessing it is A, I think B is also an acceptable choice.

Shaun

You have probably won the cigar outright.
In fact it is very hard to fault your response and find even a skerrick of inaccuracy so that a weasel escape can be made.

Oddly, the Melbourne v Sydney thingie was discussed recently in a VIC newspaper and they suggested that we really should look say to a Melbourne-Singapore thingie.
But I dunno.... :hmm: :confused: :uhoh: ....how do you argue them?

starter

arosar
15-12-2004, 09:00 AM
Oddly, the Melbourne v Sydney thingie was discussed recently in a VIC newspaper and they suggested that we really should look say to a Melbourne-Singapore thingie.

Which paper, date?

AR

ursogr8
15-12-2004, 09:13 AM
Which paper, date?

AR

Would have been the AGE, in the past week.

Garvinator
15-12-2004, 09:25 AM
Another forensic challenge, albeit a small one this time.

If a journalist wrote a report of an event and included the following two paragraphs
1 "After a battle which was decided only by the last move of the competition, Sydney Boys High edged out Melbourne's Scotch College to take first place in the Secondary OPEN division".
2 "In the two primary divsions, NSW had to be content with minor placings, both tying for second in their respective divisions but being forced to settle for bronze on the tie-break".

Look carefully at the two paragraphs and decide how many tie-breaks were involved in 1 and 2.
Speculate on the criteria that determines if the tie-break is to be mentioned by the journalist.

starter

do you actually want what really happened with these divisions?

ursogr8
15-12-2004, 09:38 AM
do you actually want what really happened with these divisions?

They were posted on Mt B. threads already.

Ian_Rogers
15-12-2004, 03:00 PM
Forensic Challenge #3

Answer (c) The newspaper (hardly uniquely) has sub-editors who change and delete words, sentences and diagram captions at will. (The complete version of the column can sometimes be found in the column secyion of the web page.)

Incidentally, having just had a chance to read the complete chess column (The Age, 13/10) about which Forensic Challenge #2 was begun. Two of the more amusing (but factually inaccuate) quotes from the column include:

"In the past 18 years many players not born here have represented Australian at Olympiads and not one has come away with a performance to match his rating or perfromances in individual events."

"Of real concern, however, is that only one of the four players in the [women's] team (Anastasia Sorokina) managed to perform as well as her rating before the event."

Curiously, Chris missed the standout example from which he would try to prove his 'migrants don't try as hard as Australian-born players when playing for Australia at Olympiads' theory - Alex Wohl, whose birth in Yugoslavia has obviously doomed him from ever performing well for Australia at an Olympiad.

I guess Alex Davidovic, Leonid Sandler, Zong Yuan Zhao, Irina Berezina and others didn't realise how exceptional they were in scoring well at Olympiads despite their enormous handicap of failing to be born in Australia.

Or maybe a sub-editor distorted all Chris' words and he actually meant to commend some of Australia's overseas-born players for the self-sacrifice involved in changing allegiances from an original Chess Federation which paid all expenses for their Olympiad team to a new one where players usually pay their own way.

Ian

ursogr8
15-12-2004, 04:14 PM
Forensic Challenge #3

Answer (c) The newspaper (hardly uniquely) has sub-editors who change and delete words, sentences and diagram captions at will. (The complete version of the column can sometimes be found in the column secyion of the web page.)


Ian

Thanks Ian for being far gentler than my mate Shaun. (Although Shaun was 100% correct). And of course you are 100% correct too...since it was your column.

I am not going to reveal who put me up for the question.

starter

jenni
17-12-2004, 09:50 AM
He said "Chinese-born" as distinct from "Chinese-raised".

AR

Yes I know, but the implication is that he could be considered an import, which theoretically he is, as he came here when he was around 6 or 7 I think. However I am sure even the author of the news article which kicked off this thread couldn't possibly regard Yuan as anything except home grown.

However I did know Ian was picking ridiculous examples to prove a point, so my comment was a bit tongue in cheek.....

peanbrain
06-01-2005, 08:57 PM
Did this Age journalist (hi Chris!) mention that the same claim could have been made about selecting Age chess journalists in the Australian team (see www.olimp-base.com years 1986, 1988, and 1998), and that when a certain Age chess journalist did play Australia finished on the same score as New Zealand in one year (1986) and behind them in two other years (88 and 98)?

very interesting. I am sure this "journalist" is well respected by those readers who read his chess column. :whistle: