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Qbert
06-04-2015, 08:03 AM
Given the exchange below in the New-Zealand-Open-Championship-2016 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?15868-New-Zealand-Open-Championship-2016) thread, why not discuss NZ selection criteria?


If I had my way, tie breaks would be used to ensure there can only be one NZ Champion and, only players registered by FIDE as NZL can become the NZ Champion. Tie breaks would also determine the actual standings of all players.

To elevate NZ Congress (incl. NZ Open) importance, it already counts as a Super Class Grand Prix event for TWO Grand Prixs (as the end event of the 2015 GP and start event of 2016 GP). Additionally, it should be compulsory for any aspiring NZL representative player to play in the NZ Open. Generally, a player that did not play in the NZ Open would have no chance of being selected to represent NZL in anything unless nobody who played in the NZ Open applied. This would effectively elevate the NZ Open into the most important competition to play in.

There would be no more debates about selection of NZL representative players. Practically no need to have selectors, just look at the NZ Open standings whenever there are applicants for NZL representative places. The applicant with the highest NZ Open standing (incl. after tie-breaks) is automatically selected. We would only need to convene selectors when there are insufficient applicants who had played in the NZ Open.
For example, if there are 5 players to be selected for the NZL Open Olympiad team, and there were 8 applicants, the players with the highest 5 standings in the NZ Open would be selected. Should any of the applicants have not played in the NZ Open, they are effectively last choice. It should be deemed possible (and desirable) for an unrated NZL player who came dead last in the NZ Open with 0/9 to be selected ahead of a strong IM or FM who did not play in the NZ Open. At least one showed the commitment to play in NZ's most important event. NZCF needs to have the guts to implement this and face the heat, just like I'm probably going to end up NZCF's most hated officer for even suggesting this!! :uhoh:


I strongly support the above selection proposal in the interests of increasing Australia's score in our matches with NZL.

I agree with Kevin on the effect of selecting through one annual swiss event in Auckland. My preference would be an activity floor similar to Australia of say 15 FIDE-rated standard games in the year prior to calling for expressions of interest. Fewer games than Australia reflecting the relative lack of opportunities to play in NZ if you live outside Auckland. This would solve many of the selection difficulties at a stroke, and ensure motivation for players to keep active. With the current FIDE rating regime giving young players a k factor of 40, there is probably no need to give preferential treatment to juniors in the selction process any more, as they will have accurate enough ratings if they are active. That's my opinion. Others welcome.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2015, 11:25 AM
Given the exchange below in the New-Zealand-Open-Championship-2016 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?15868-New-Zealand-Open-Championship-2016) thread, why not discuss NZ selection criteria?

I agree with Kevin on the effect of selecting through one annual swiss event in Auckland. My preference would be an activity floor similar to Australia of say 15 FIDE-rated standard games in the year prior to calling for expressions of interest. Fewer games than Australia reflecting the relative lack of opportunities to play in NZ if you live outside Auckland. This would solve many of the selection difficulties at a stroke, and ensure motivation for players to keep active. With the current FIDE rating regime giving young players a k factor of 40, there is probably no need to give preferential treatment to juniors in the selection process any more, as they will have accurate enough ratings if they are active. That's my opinion. Others welcome.

What Qbert and KB say makes sense. The important thing should surely be to have the strongest team available, so they have more chance of beating the Aussies (well, I am neutral as a dual national ;)).

slyall
06-04-2015, 11:47 AM
My thought is that we need to answer exactly what the point is of the Olympiad team:

* Get as good result for the team as possible
* Reward strong players
* Reward strong players who participate in local competitions (eg Congress)
* Give strong players exposure to international competition (and possible norms)
* Reward improving/junior players
* Give improving/junior players exposure to international competition
* Select players who will not cause disruption at the Olympiad
* Reward strongish players who have put a lot into NZ Chess
* Some other stuff I've probably missed

The arguments on the criteria for picking players seem to be on how you rank the above criteria. From what I have seen there is a huge disagreement on how you weight the above.

The current system is to outsource these decisions (apart from the NZ Champion getting automatic entry) to the selection team. Personally I've fairly happy with this way. At least then the only questions are over their judgment rather than people picking apart a set of rules.

Scott Wastney
06-04-2015, 12:25 PM
I agree with Keong about tie-breaks to determine final places in the NZ Open. And with Qbert on the minimum activity criteria for the Olympiad. I have never understood the opposition to the minimum game requirement. I've expressed my thoughts on the tie-break to many other top NZ players but I don't think I've come across anyone who agrees with me though. The counter argument is usually what if two players dominate the field then it would be unfair to separate on tie-break. But just like in other sports when two competitors perform at a similar level and are clearly stronger the others then they don't say it's all about fairness and just share the title. There is always some tie-break method or extra time or a format that determines a single winner. Maybe I am wrong, but I always consider chess as a sport and that there should be one title holder at a time. What do other chess federations do? Are there other federations that have shared national champions?
Also with the Olympiad team...just like in other sports I think it should be the strongest possible team to select the country. An activity factor is important for measurement of performance. I disagree with the criteria of having to play in congress. As a chess player travelling to events and accommodation is expensive for those that compete in other cities. Lets say a chess player chooses his two main events in a year to travel to (which he/she can for budget for and have time off work). For argument sake, lets say he/she chooses as the George Trundle masters and Oceania Zonal because he/she considers they offer best norm chances or for whatever reason they are his pick of events. Then congress is not within budget and clashes with family plans. Should such a player be excluded from the possible NZ team selection? Remember us NZ chess players are not paid sportsman, and need to work around work, family and other constraints.

Ian Rout
06-04-2015, 01:58 PM
If you look at Australia we have young players who travel regularly and devote enormous energy to getting better. Unless it goes unreported there doesn't seem to be that level of ambition in NZ. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just the way it is.

I recall some angst among NZ supporters about the performance during the last Olympiad, but I wasn't sure what they think would be an acceptable result. Every team can't be the All Blacks. Considering that it's a small country with little chess culture, one player in the world active top 3000, and I imagine no government support, a finish a little below the middle would be credible. On that basis 2014 was on the disappointing end but not catastrophic.

Given that the result was not so good last time it's easy to make out a case that a different set of players might have done better. However to imagine that there are a host of near-GMs hidden somewhere and finding them just needs a different selection structure seems to be approaching it from the wrong end.

None of my business I know, but just an observation.

Scott Wastney
06-04-2015, 03:54 PM
As Ian points out...changing the selection procedure isn't a means of improving results, and I don't think this is intended point of the discussion. The players available are the same and the top players available are have always been selected in the past. My interpretation of Keong's reasoning behind changing the selection process has more to do with promoting participation in the NZ Open. "If you want to be selected then you must support this tournament". Even if the strength of the NZ team suffers, the higher goal is to get people making the NZ Open their priority event to play in and raise it's prestige. I can understand these aims, but as mentioned in my last post I don't agree with such a strong-armed. Maybe a better approach is to offer some incentives to make it easier for out-of-town players, say in the NZ active top 10 of rating list to enter. Maybe some billeting arrangement for accommodation etc, rather than some punishment of non-availability for selection if not playing in it.

Keong Ang
06-04-2015, 09:02 PM
As Ian points out...changing the selection procedure isn't a means of improving results, and I don't think this is intended point of the discussion. The players available are the same and the top players available are have always been selected in the past. My interpretation of Keong's reasoning behind changing the selection process has more to do with promoting participation in the NZ Open. "If you want to be selected then you must support this tournament". Even if the strength of the NZ team suffers, the higher goal is to get people making the NZ Open their priority event to play in and raise it's prestige. I can understand these aims, but as mentioned in my last post I don't agree with such a strong-armed. Maybe a better approach is to offer some incentives to make it easier for out-of-town players, say in the NZ active top 10 of rating list to enter. Maybe some billeting arrangement for accommodation etc, rather than some punishment of non-availability for selection if not playing in it.

The main aim is to eliminate low participation of NZL players in the NZ Open.
It's effectively the only event in NZ where GMs participate. What's the point of making such an event happen if NZL players then do not bother to participate?
Not even 100 NZL players... seems like a waste of effort to organise a NZ Open when faced with such apathy.

Can't really blame NZL players since the reality is the NZ Open is nothing really special from the point of view of the NZL player. To put it mildly, the situation is quite frustrating for an organiser or official!

slyall
06-04-2015, 09:27 PM
The main aim is to eliminate low participation of NZL players in the NZ Open.


1. That only works every 2nd year

2. Considering there are perhaps only 10 players in serious contention for each of the Open and Woman's Olympiad teams and half of them will be playing anyway at best you are going to push 5 or 6 players into playing while at the same time eliminating a few of who are unable to play.

3. Does this mean that players who entered the Major Open won't be selected for the Woman's team?

4. If the Object of the exercise is to make the Open field bigger why not just randomly draw a few of the Olympiad places from all the people who entered the Open? :)

Seriously though, instead of us guessing why don't you/we start from the top of the rating list and talk to the players who didn't enter and find our why-not and what could be changed in 2016 to encourage them to enter?

Keong Ang
06-04-2015, 10:43 PM
The "proposal" is simplistic.
A single qualification and selection tournament that is valid for all NZL representative player positions in the year.
One tournament to rule them all.

NZ Open would be ideal.
It starts at the beginning of the year. It is open for everyone to play in it. There are significant international players who would serve to "prove" NZL players ability against international competition. It happens at a time when the burden of taking time off work is least. A NZ Open that would always be held at the National Chess Centre would also make forward planning possible. Feeder tournaments (North Island Championships, South Island Championships, NZ Junior Championships) would provide the champions free entry into the NZ Open.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 12:04 AM
1. That only works every 2nd year

2. Considering there are perhaps only 10 players in serious contention for each of the Open and Woman's Olympiad teams and half of them will be playing anyway at best you are going to push 5 or 6 players into playing while at the same time eliminating a few of who are unable to play.

3. Does this mean that players who entered the Major Open won't be selected for the Woman's team?

4. If the Object of the exercise is to make the Open field bigger why not just randomly draw a few of the Olympiad places from all the people who entered the Open? :)

Seriously though, instead of us guessing why don't you/we start from the top of the rating list and talk to the players who didn't enter and find our why-not and what could be changed in 2016 to encourage them to enter?
Works every year since there are always players looking to get selected for some tournament. The NZ Open would be the selection tournament for ALL prospective NZL representative players. This would even include the under8 kid trying to get selected for World Youth.
We're not talking about limiting selections to just Olympiad places.

I'm fed up with the length of time it takes to select NZL representative players. We call for applications with a deadline, then convene the selectors, then wait for the selectors recommendations, then approve the recommendations, then inform applicants etc.
Too often the cheap flights are gone by the time selections are made. Then we have to deal with withdrawals due to insufficient finances and eventually the players pay more.
With selections based on NZ Open standings, every applicant knows if they would be successful or not based on who else applied. We just need to publish lists of applicants in the lead up to the deadline. The list of applicants at close will immediately show who is successful.
Not having to make selections means one less job to impose on volunteers. Also means a lot less wasted effort defending selection decisions.

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2015, 12:30 AM
My thought is that we need to answer exactly what the point is of the Olympiad team:

* Get as good result for the team as possible
* Reward strong players
* Reward strong players who participate in local competitions (eg Congress)
* Give strong players exposure to international competition (and possible norms)
* Reward improving/junior players
* Give improving/junior players exposure to international competition
* Select players who will not cause disruption at the Olympiad
* Reward strongish players who have put a lot into NZ Chess
* Some other stuff I've probably missed

The arguments on the criteria for picking players seem to be on how you rank the above criteria. From what I have seen there is a huge disagreement on how you weight the above.

The current system is to outsource these decisions (apart from the NZ Champion getting automatic entry) to the selection team. Personally I've fairly happy with this way. At least then the only questions are over their judgment rather than people picking apart a set of rules.

IIRC, but KB can comment, in Australia the aim is to get the best result for the team by picking the players likeliest to score the highest. "Rewarding strong players" is not the aim as such but a consequence.

Qbert
07-04-2015, 08:14 AM
Also with the Olympiad team...just like in other sports I think it should be the strongest possible team to select the country. An activity factor is important for measurement of performance. I disagree with the criteria of having to play in congress. As a chess player travelling to events and accommodation is expensive for those that compete in other cities. Lets say a chess player chooses his two main events in a year to travel to (which he/she can for budget for and have time off work). For argument sake, lets say he/she chooses as the George Trundle masters and Oceania Zonal because he/she considers they offer best norm chances or for whatever reason they are his pick of events. Then congress is not within budget and clashes with family plans. Should such a player be excluded from the possible NZ team selection? Remember us NZ chess players are not paid sportsman, and need to work around work, family and other constraints.

I totally agree with Scott here - 15 games minumum means at least two tournaments that can be picked to suit the player's schedule and budget. School holidays are not necessarily convenient for everyone.

On the topic of NZ Chp tie-breaks - by all means. I think Murray Chandler was join 1st in the British Chp one year but lost the tie-break match. Matches (unless rapid/blitz) are hard to schedule though. 10 champions a year is something that should be eliminated.

GinoTHEstud
07-04-2015, 09:53 AM
Making the NZ OPEN mandatory to play in if you want to play the Olympiad is ridiculous. The same group of players get picked for the Olympiad anyway, no one is really knocking on the door. I don't think offering the 5 spots in the Olympiad team to the top 5 kiwis at the NZ open is going to get more entries. Mr Joe 2000,2100,2200 rated wont be like OMG this is my shot to make the team.

Picking the likes of Mr 2200 over Guys like Wang,Li,Nokes,Wastney?! would be absurd. I would still take a bunch of 2350s over a bunch of 2250s even if the 2350s haven't even played a single game in a calendar year. If active players think they should be rewarded with an Olympiad spot. Use all your "activity" to stop sucking and make the team on the merits of ELO alone...
I am open to give very strong juniors who's strength has not yet caught up with their ELO. But we have no juniors like that anyway... The ones we do get go live in Australia anyway i.e. Li,Cheng.

So yeah
stop this nonsense

GinoTHEstud
07-04-2015, 09:58 AM
Works every year since there are always players looking to get selected for some tournament. The NZ Open would be the selection tournament for ALL prospective NZL representative players. This would even include the under8 kid trying to get selected for World Youth.
We're not talking about limiting selections to just Olympiad places.

I'm fed up with the length of time it takes to select NZL representative players. We call for applications with a deadline, then convene the selectors, then wait for the selectors recommendations, then approve the recommendations, then inform applicants etc.
Too often the cheap flights are gone by the time selections are made. Then we have to deal with withdrawals due to insufficient finances and eventually the players pay more.
With selections based on NZ Open standings, every applicant knows if they would be successful or not based on who else applied. We just need to publish lists of applicants in the lead up to the deadline. The list of applicants at close will immediately show who is successful.
Not having to make selections means one less job to impose on volunteers. Also means a lot less wasted effort defending selection decisions.

Your the only non chess player on the council, so you should really have ZERO input.
We have been sending teams for half a century, leave the process alone....

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2015, 10:44 AM
Your the only non chess player on the council, so you should really have ZERO input.
We have been sending teams for half a century, leave the process alone....

Yes, select the best players. If hardly juniors or 20-somethings haven't approached the ratings of the still-active strong veterans like Wastney, Nokes, Ker, Dive, Garbett, etc., then that's on them. When those guys were younger, they had to prove themselves against the veterans of their day to earn selection.

I also think: leave the NZ champs alone. Because of the impracticality of playoff matches, it was decided decades ago to allow shared titles. Using those pseudo-mathematical tiebreak systems would be a downward step.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 10:47 AM
I totally agree with Scott here - 15 games minumum means at least two tournaments that can be picked to suit the player's schedule and budget. School holidays are not necessarily convenient for everyone.
Wouldn't this just increase the number of tournaments players would have to play in?
The NZ Open is only 9 games over 9 days. Can't get more minimum than that.


On the topic of NZ Chp tie-breaks - by all means. I think Murray Chandler was join 1st in the British Chp one year but lost the tie-break match. Matches (unless rapid/blitz) are hard to schedule though. 10 champions a year is something that should be eliminated.
Wasn't contemplating matches between tied players as the tie-break. Instead the tie-breaks used at this year's NZ Open (DirE Cmlt BucT S-B Buc1) for the awarding of NZ Open titles and trophies would be used.
Standings are known once the result of the last game is entered.

GinoTHEstud
07-04-2015, 10:53 AM
Wouldn't this just increase the number of tournaments players would have to play in?
The NZ Open is only 9 games over 9 days. Can't get more minimum than that.


Your missing the point, Choosing between a bunch of tournaments throughout the year is completely different than being essentially forced to play a specific tournament at a specific date and place.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 11:13 AM
Making the NZ OPEN mandatory to play in if you want to play the Olympiad is ridiculous. The same group of players get picked for the Olympiad anyway, no one is really knocking on the door. I don't think offering the 5 spots in the Olympiad team to the top 5 kiwis at the NZ open is going to get more entries. Mr Joe 2000,2100,2200 rated wont be like OMG this is my shot to make the team.
Why are you thinking that the NZ Open would be mandatory for the Olympiad only? The suggestion is to make it mandatory for selection to everything.
The Olympiad is only an event that happens every 2 years. Why should something so infrequent have it's selection processes imposed on everything else? Shouldn't it be the other way round?


Picking the likes of Mr 2200 over Guys like Wang,Li,Nokes,Wastney?! would be absurd. I would still take a bunch of 2350s over a bunch of 2250s even if the 2350s haven't even played a single game in a calendar year. If active players think they should be rewarded with an Olympiad spot. Use all your "activity" to stop sucking and make the team on the merits of ELO alone...
I am open to give very strong juniors who's strength has not yet caught up with their ELO. But we have no juniors like that anyway... The ones we do get go live in Australia anyway i.e. Li,Cheng.

So yeah
stop this nonsense
The reality is Mr 2200 is in the team while Mr 2400 is out simply because Mr 2200 can afford it while Mr 2400 cannot.

It is very easy to improve NZL standing at the olympiad, even a lofty goal of placing higher than AUS is easy to accomplish. :lol:
We'll just import all these foreign 2500s to NZL and let them become the NZL olympiad team. The number of requests that are received can easily fill both open and women's teams.
Just a matter of money, and the sums involved are small compared to other sports.

GinoTHEstud
07-04-2015, 11:26 AM
Why are you thinking that the NZ Open would be mandatory for the Olympiad only? The suggestion is to make it mandatory for selection to everything.
The Olympiad is only an event that happens every 2 years. Why should something so infrequent have it's selection processes imposed on everything else? Shouldn't it be the other way round?


The reality is Mr 2200 is in the team while Mr 2400 is out simply because Mr 2200 can afford it while Mr 2400 cannot.

It is very easy to improve NZL standing at the olympiad, even a lofty goal of placing higher than AUS is easy to accomplish. :lol:
We'll just import all these foreign 2500s to NZL and let them become the NZL olympiad team. The number of requests that are received can easily fill both open and women's teams.
Just a matter of money, and the sums involved are small compared to other sports.

Your waffling as usual. It is not very easy to improve our standings at the Olympiad. go ahead and import these foreign players oh wait you cant and NZCF cant and wont. That argument is like saying if i won the lotto id go recruit the top ten players.
Lets stick to reality please. To put is simply Mr 2400 (active) which we have only one can afford and will play at the Olympiad as i far i as i know.
Anyway Murray's tournament and his rules.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 11:41 AM
Your the only non chess player on the council, so you should really have ZERO input.
We have been sending teams for half a century, leave the process alone....
Just pay the costs of all the NZL representative players and you can have 100% input on how everyone is selected.

Put it this way, if somebody were to put money to pay for all the NZL olympiad team's costs, with a substantial donation to NZCF to promote chess in NZ for beginners, with the only condition being that the NZL Olympiad team must consist of the kids from the winning primary school at the interschools, the council would approve it. Anyone who wants to oppose this must first "outbid" this sponsor. Tradition and history counts for nothing.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 11:44 AM
Your missing the point, Choosing between a bunch of tournaments throughout the year is completely different than being essentially forced to play a specific tournament at a specific date and place.

Lots of sports have qualifying and selection tournaments. What's the problem with selections being based on the results of players over the board when a tournament counts instead of the opinions of a bunch of selectors?

Rincewind
07-04-2015, 11:56 AM
Put it this way, if somebody were to put money to pay for all the NZL olympiad team's costs, with a substantial donation to NZCF to promote chess in NZ for beginners, with the only condition being that the NZL Olympiad team must consist of the kids from the winning primary school at the interschools, the council would approve it. Anyone who wants to oppose this must first "outbid" this sponsor. Tradition and history counts for nothing.

I would hope that this claim is not true.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 12:10 PM
I would hope that this claim is not true.

Yes, you are right, tradition and history does count for something.
The outbidding bit is how I usually respond to those who complain about the existing system.
So far, no complainer has offered any money to change the system. Usual method, complain, then expect the federation officers to do something about it.

GinoTHEstud
07-04-2015, 12:19 PM
Why should one tournament be used to determine passage to one of the worlds best chess events the Olympiad.
If a strong player with no activity for years pops up and puts his name down for the Olympiad that may seem unfair if he is selected, but who is going to complain when in this harsh reality that person maybe Murray. I sure won't be!
of course lots of sports have qualifying and selection tournaments. But in the general case these are professional sportsman who probably get government funding.
We cant compare NZ chess with that. Chess in NZ is amateur and will stay amateur
the players who have gotten to 2300 and maintained their rating. Have the right to be picked first for the Olympiad. boo hoo......... get in line and get your rating up.
The rating lists both fide and NZCF provide in my opinion enough insight to give to the selectors to choose our best possible team.
I would love to have the following team; Murray
Wang
Li
Nokes
Hague

As opposed to Hague,dive,Ker,croad etc.......... No disrespect to these fine players though. Or Keongs dream teams sounds like ; myself,Goodhue,smith,insert any of the other 10 nz champions.

Rincewind
07-04-2015, 12:41 PM
Yes, you are right, tradition and history does count for something.
The outbidding bit is how I usually respond to those who complain about the existing system.
So far, no complainer has offered any money to change the system. Usual method, complain, then expect the federation officers to do something about it.

I thought the status quo was selection by panel. If you are advocating a single selection event then isn't that a change to the existing system? (Forgive my ignorance but I'm not a Kiwi).

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2015, 01:04 PM
I would love to have the following team; Murray
Wang
Li
Nokes
Hague

As opposed to Hague, Dive, Ker, Croad etc.......... No disrespect to these fine players though.

Hague opposed to Hague? Dive, Ker, and Wastney should be considered as top picks; very slightly above Dr Nokes in rating, and a lot more in NZ championship wins.

GinoTHEstud
07-04-2015, 01:10 PM
Well Hague board 5 opposed to Hague On board 1. Wastney ahead of Nokes is fair...

heligan
07-04-2015, 01:16 PM
Dive, Ker and Croad all finished behind Layla Timergazi in the Wellington Open over Easter:
http://www.newzealandchess.co.nz/results.html

As for current selection procedure - yes, we have a panel, and I don't see that changing! The panel is given names, and unless they are given a specific instruction, their task is to select by chess strength only. There is a fairly standard procedure in Olympiad years, that an outright NZ Champion gets an automatic place in the Olympiad Open team. There is a generally unspoken and not-always-applied assumption that the outright NZ Champion in Zonal years should get first refusal of the free Zonal place. We have no Women's championship so Women's Olympiad and Zonal places are by selection. Other generally accepted defaults are that the NZ Junior Champion gets first refusal of a World Junior place, and NZ Junior age-groups winners have been seen as most likely candidates for World Youth age-group places. The selection panel kicks into action for any event which offers NZ a free place, for which more than one candidate applies. Frequently, there is no need for a selection...

Capablanca-Fan
07-04-2015, 01:17 PM
Well Hague board 5 opposed to Hague On board 1. Wastney ahead of Nokes is fair...

Oh, I get you, thanks. Obviously Chandler and Wang should be top picks of all.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 02:02 PM
Why should one tournament be used to determine passage to one of the worlds best chess events the Olympiad.
If a strong player with no activity for years pops up and puts his name down for the Olympiad that may seem unfair if he is selected, but who is going to complain when in this harsh reality that person maybe Murray. I sure won't be!
of course lots of sports have qualifying and selection tournaments. But in the general case these are professional sportsman who probably get government funding.
We cant compare NZ chess with that. Chess in NZ is amateur and will stay amateur
the players who have gotten to 2300 and maintained their rating. Have the right to be picked first for the Olympiad. boo hoo......... get in line and get your rating up.
The rating lists both fide and NZCF provide in my opinion enough insight to give to the selectors to choose our best possible team.
I would love to have the following team; Murray
Wang
Li
Nokes
Hague

As opposed to Hague,dive,Ker,croad etc.......... No disrespect to these fine players though. Or Keongs dream teams sounds like ; myself,Goodhue,smith,insert any of the other 10 nz champions.
Since when did I have a dream team?
I may have a dream selection system, but it remains just a dream because it is not used.

Using the NZ Open 2015 final standings of NZL players. The players for selection (in order) would be:
Dive, Croad, Hague, Garbett, Ker, Thornton, Smith, McLaren. The other 2 NZ champions are not NZL players.
Then we'd drop down to players on 5.5/9 to select; Gao, Steadman, Ang, Duneas, Goodhue, Milligan, Li.
For Women's team:
Milligan (5.5/9), Timergazi (4.5/9), Smith (4/9), Yan (3.5/9), Zhang, Yan, Fairley (3/9), Braganza. Then we drop to sub 3/9.

It is not that different to what we would have fielded. Main differences are those who did not play in the NZ Open, most of whom would fail the frequently advocated NZ activity rule anyway.
NZ Open as a selection tournament also does away with subjective judgements around inactive players with all their promises to study/prepare to return to top form carry on. It greatly simplifies the selection of inactive players, they just need to prove themselves at the NZ Open.

Are you suggesting that we need a string of tournaments to determine passage to the Olympiad?
We could add playing in an official NZCF tournament (North, South, Junior, Senior) plus playing in your club's annual open compulsory to qualify for selection. Easy enough to track and monitor.

What I do know is that every time the olympiad teams are selected, there are always controversies about why some "strong" but inactive player was selected. All you got to do to maintain a high rating is to stop playing. A simple proof of strength to silence the critics is to achieve a high standing at the NZ Open. A player that can perform when it counts should be selected.

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 02:10 PM
I thought the status quo was selection by panel. If you are advocating a single selection event then isn't that a change to the existing system? (Forgive my ignorance but I'm not a Kiwi).
The status quo still is (and continues to be) selection by panel.
I am proposing a change to the existing system. Effectively making selection by panel only necessary if there are remaining vacancies for applicants who did not play in the NZ Open.
I think my initial post about this does show that I expect to be vilified for this. A great way to blast holiday boredom away...!

Keong Ang
07-04-2015, 03:24 PM
Dive, Ker and Croad all finished behind Layla Timergazi in the Wellington Open over Easter:
http://www.newzealandchess.co.nz/results.html

As for current selection procedure - yes, we have a panel, and I don't see that changing! The panel is given names, and unless they are given a specific instruction, their task is to select by chess strength only. There is a fairly standard procedure in Olympiad years, that an outright NZ Champion gets an automatic place in the Olympiad Open team. There is a generally unspoken and not-always-applied assumption that the outright NZ Champion in Zonal years should get first refusal of the free Zonal place. We have no Women's championship so Women's Olympiad and Zonal places are by selection. Other generally accepted defaults are that the NZ Junior Champion gets first refusal of a World Junior place, and NZ Junior age-groups winners have been seen as most likely candidates for World Youth age-group places. The selection panel kicks into action for any event which offers NZ a free place, for which more than one candidate applies. Frequently, there is no need for a selection...

Yes, the selection panel kicks into action whenever there are more applicants for a place. It does not necessarily have to be a "free place", but any place that NZCF needs to approve the player for.

Most of the time, there are lots of vacant places that are not filled.
Many other times, the sole applicant gets the place. Last year we've had a 1000 rated under10 kid be the NZL rep at World Juniors.
There are times when late applications from strong applicants are rejected and the place automatically awarded to the weak player who had met the application deadline.
Hopefully I don't have to make an example out of some strong player who did not follow the simple application instructions that are published.

The problem is that when there are multiple applicants for a place, the selection process tends to increase travel costs for the player who is eventually selected. This is not the fault of the selectors who do the job efficiently but because there tends to be very short lead times to events. It is just impossible to even have a selection process for an event that is notified less than 2 months before it starts.

There should be a month after an event is published before applications close. Then another month after applications close for the selection process. We like to inform successful applicants more than 3 months before the event. Ideally invitations need to be received 6 months before the event for this process to occur. Something that increasingly does not happen. Many continental events have very short notice periods. We'd be lucky to have 3 months notice.

Many times, I have had eventual sole applicants complain that the cheap flights are all gone by the time applications close. If for example the player had been the under10 with the highest standing at the NZ Open, they could have booked the flight (and that of the accompanying parent/entourage) when they decided to go, rather than wait for NZCF's processes. I can personally sympathise with the complainants since I've been in the same situation before.
Problems are compounded when there are multiple applicants for the place. One could be the reigning champion while the other is higher rated. Both are reduced to helplessly watching air fares rise while waiting for selections to be made.
An official pre-selected players list would make such decision making easy.

There is also no policy that NZ Junior Age Group champion would get selected for World, Continental or Regional age-groups places. When you had to deal with parents who thought their age group champion child would get selected and had gone off to buy the air tickets, only to be told that another kid who did not play in the tournament got selected instead, you start questioning whether a "champion" title in NZ counts for anything.
Saying things like, we need to accommodate those who cannot attend certain tournaments... sound lame.

If the NZ Open was made the selection tournament for everything, it would provide certainty. Every player who wants the NZL place would play in it.

This cannot happen at the moment because NZCF Council does not have a mandate that extends past AGM 2016 (held during NZ Open). The next NZCF Council will need to enforce it for 2016. For this to be policy over multiple years, an AGM remit would need to be voted into force.

BenHague
07-04-2015, 04:32 PM
Using the NZ Open 2015 final standings of NZL players. The players for selection (in order) would be:
Dive, Croad, Hague, Garbett, Ker, Thornton, Smith, McLaren. The other 2 NZ champions are not NZL players.
Then we'd drop down to players on 5.5/9 to select; Gao, Steadman, Ang, Duneas, Goodhue, Milligan, Li.
For Women's team:
Milligan (5.5/9), Timergazi (4.5/9), Smith (4/9), Yan (3.5/9), Zhang, Yan, Fairley (3/9), Braganza. Then we drop to sub 3/9.


I think this shows one of the problems with using a Swiss tournament, namely that they're pretty poor at ranking players outside the top three or four. If you look at performance ratings Mike would have been fourth and Hans would have moved up as well, however they lose out because they played better players which doesn't seem very fair. This would only get worse as you move down the score charts and towards the bottom end the number of points scored is almost entirely random. You could use performance ratings rather than points scored, but then you might as well just use ratings.

I do agree with you that it's incredibly frustrating watching the prices of plane tickets climbing up and up as you wait for a decision to be made, but if you want a simple system I'd prefer something like the highest rated player(s) six (or nine) months before the start of the tournament.

In the interests of full disclosure I should say that I am intending to apply for selection for the next Olympiad.

Kaitlin
07-04-2015, 06:38 PM
What about at the end of the season the top six play a Round Robin

Tony Dowden
07-04-2015, 07:19 PM
Ohhhh, I've been missing a juicy thread with Australian style argy-bargy!

My thoughts:

1. The Olympiad selection panel do a (very) fine job.
2. I'm more than happy to listen to the opinion of respected officials no matter what their playing status or rating is.
3. Chess players in NZ are amateurs and few have excess time and/or money to devote to chess. We should not put unnecessary burdens on players.
4. The current NZ Open is a fine tournament but the entry fee is quite high and the cost of accommodation (in a particularly affluent suburb or the Auckland CBD) is relatively expensive and not easily in reach of some NZ players.
5. Expanding on my third point, I think the rules should stay relaxed to make allowances for factors such as work contexts with only strictly limited leave opportunities, particular family responsibilities or people living in relatively remote locations. In my own case I may not have ever been an Olympiad player if the rules had been stricter and I had had to play 15 FIDE or NZ rated games (or similar) from my base in Dunedin - no bad thing some might say though ;)

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2015, 08:25 PM
IIRC, but KB can comment, in Australia the aim is to get the best result for the team by picking the players likeliest to score the highest. "Rewarding strong players" is not the aim as such but a consequence.

Yes the Australian selection by-laws state that our primary objective is to finish as high as possible. This is currently done mainly by having the selection panel select players in order of playing strength though. There is some insurance against the selection of a strong player who disrupts morale through the Code of Ethics.

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2015, 01:14 AM
I think this shows one of the problems with using a Swiss tournament, namely that they're pretty poor at ranking players outside the top three or four.
Indeed so. This also shows up the fallacy of most Swiss tie-break systems: it is scientifically absurd to try to calibrate the more accurate places with the less accurate ones.


In the interests of full disclosure I should say that I am intending to apply for selection for the next Olympiad.
Fair enough too. Unless several other people have a drastic jump in rating, or you have a catastrophic plummet, your selection should be almost automatic.

Scott Wastney
08-04-2015, 08:05 AM
Surely this is just a scheduling problem...a deadline for applications and a deadline for selectors to make final decisions can be moved to an earlier time to allow cheaper flights.
Isn't this just a matter of setting deadlines for the process? The dates of Olympiads and other international events are (usually) known well in advance.

heligan
08-04-2015, 08:22 AM
No, dates and even locations of events are not in general known well in advance. Last year the Olympiad wasn't even confirmed to exist until quite late! Asian Chess Federation events can change dates and locations without warning (if I remember correctly, there was less than two months notice of the Asian Seniors). I do put proposed dates up on the website as soon as they appear on the FIDE Calendar, but even then it is impossible to make any concrete arrangements until an official invitation has been issued (and found, if it has not been emailed to us...). The one thing we have managed to do in plenty of time this year is make Zonal selections!

Keong Ang
08-04-2015, 02:51 PM
I think this shows one of the problems with using a Swiss tournament, namely that they're pretty poor at ranking players outside the top three or four. If you look at performance ratings Mike would have been fourth and Hans would have moved up as well, however they lose out because they played better players which doesn't seem very fair. This would only get worse as you move down the score charts and towards the bottom end the number of points scored is almost entirely random. You could use performance ratings rather than points scored, but then you might as well just use ratings.

I do agree with you that it's incredibly frustrating watching the prices of plane tickets climbing up and up as you wait for a decision to be made, but if you want a simple system I'd prefer something like the highest rated player(s) six (or nine) months before the start of the tournament.

In the interests of full disclosure I should say that I am intending to apply for selection for the next Olympiad.
That's the problem of making selections based solely on the NZ Open. An advantage of selections based on NZ Open standings is that it is transparent and straightforward. Disadvantages are that those who cannot play at the NZ Open lose out and there are the many drawbacks of standings from swiss tournaments.

Maybe it would be easier to simply publish a list that ranks every player. A bit like a rating list with extra criteria like activity loaded.
For the rest of the year, everyone would know NZCF's preferred players to send. If more than one applied, the higher one gets selected.

During an Olympiad year, the top 5 on the list are guaranteed selection and can proceed to buy their plane tickets, apply for time off work, etc. if they want to go. Those lower on the list just need to figure out if those above them have applied. If yes, tough, if no then can go.
Not much different to how selections are made now. Instead of selecting from those who applied, just treat it as if every NZL player applied for everything in a year. Decision matrix would be similar and resulting selections would be the same. Basically we'd say that in all situations for the rest of the year, selection preference is in the list's ranked order.

When a tournament's invitation is received, we'd do the usual thing of publishing it with an application deadline. With the list of applicants published and continously updated, everybody would know who would get selected. When applications close, who got selected is known immediately.

Instead of the current system where selectors are convened every time selections need to be made, we just have the selectors convened to create the annual selection preference list. New or returning players would need to wait till the next year's list. An unlisted player can still represent NZL if insufficient listed players applied for the places. Where there are more than one unlisted applicant for a place, the selectors would then be convened as presently done.
Saves everyone a lot of work. From an admin viewpoint, just a case of processing everyone.

Keong Ang
08-04-2015, 02:53 PM
No, dates and even locations of events are not in general known well in advance. Last year the Olympiad wasn't even confirmed to exist until quite late! Asian Chess Federation events can change dates and locations without warning (if I remember correctly, there was less than two months notice of the Asian Seniors). I do put proposed dates up on the website as soon as they appear on the FIDE Calendar, but even then it is impossible to make any concrete arrangements until an official invitation has been issued (and found, if it has not been emailed to us...). The one thing we have managed to do in plenty of time this year is make Zonal selections!
The main problem with having to convene the selectors is waiting time. It just takes too long and is very frustrating. Having been repeatedly stung with increased travel costs, there has to be a faster way. Most of us can guess who would likely be selected and usually the selectors do the same thing. However it's the "usually" bit that is the troublesome part that causes us to be unsure until the selections are announced. Means everyone sits around doing nothing while waiting for the selection process to run it's course before being able to make firm arrangements to participate (flights, leave, etc). It is also not desirable to be the NZCF officer receiving complaints. Or having to repeatedly defend selections against all accusations of inefficiency, bias, inner circle connections, etc.

What we need is an official ranked list of all NZL players to be sure who will get selected.

For example, the highest ranked under10 kid on the list would certainly be selected to represent NZL in any tournament restricted to that age group.
Since nobody is going to play in every tournament, the next under10 kid on the list can be quite sure of getting the NZL place at another tournament restricted to that age group.

How this official ranked list is arrived at is debatable.

Whatever the solution, the amount of money and resources wasted with the present system is ridiculous. People need to know if they would be selected almost immediately. Everybody here is an amateur and it's bad for NZCF processes to cause any increased expenses.

Craig_Hall
08-04-2015, 07:35 PM
If you look at Australia we have young players who travel regularly and devote enormous energy to getting better. Unless it goes unreported there doesn't seem to be that level of ambition in NZ. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just the way it is.

I recall some angst among NZ supporters about the performance during the last Olympiad, but I wasn't sure what they think would be an acceptable result. Every team can't be the All Blacks. Considering that it's a small country with little chess culture, one player in the world active top 3000, and I imagine no government support, a finish a little below the middle would be credible. On that basis 2014 was on the disappointing end but not catastrophic.

Given that the result was not so good last time it's easy to make out a case that a different set of players might have done better. However to imagine that there are a host of near-GMs hidden somewhere and finding them just needs a different selection structure seems to be approaching it from the wrong end.

None of my business I know, but just an observation.

Some good points there, and I was as guilty as anyone else of hoping for more without really considering what's actually required.

Regarding the first point, there are some NZ juniors actively travelling and aiming to improve, but most of the strong juniors live in Auckland and most of the strong events are in Auckland, so no travel required. Our juniors don't get as far up the ladder as the Aussie juniors, so aren't as prominent perhaps, but I don't think it's really for lack of trying.

Craig_Hall
08-04-2015, 07:57 PM
That's the problem of making selections based solely on the NZ Open. An advantage of selections based on NZ Open standings is that it is transparent and straightforward. Disadvantages are that those who cannot play at the NZ Open lose out and there are the many drawbacks of standings from swiss tournaments.

Maybe it would be easier to simply publish a list that ranks every player. A bit like a rating list with extra criteria like activity loaded.
For the rest of the year, everyone would know NZCF's preferred players to send. If more than one applied, the higher one gets selected.

During an Olympiad year, the top 5 on the list are guaranteed selection and can proceed to buy their plane tickets, apply for time off work, etc. if they want to go. Those lower on the list just need to figure out if those above them have applied. If yes, tough, if no then can go.
Not much different to how selections are made now. Instead of selecting from those who applied, just treat it as if every NZL player applied for everything in a year. Decision matrix would be similar and resulting selections would be the same. Basically we'd say that in all situations for the rest of the year, selection preference is in the list's ranked order.

When a tournament's invitation is received, we'd do the usual thing of publishing it with an application deadline. With the list of applicants published and continously updated, everybody would know who would get selected. When applications close, who got selected is known immediately.

Instead of the current system where selectors are convened every time selections need to be made, we just have the selectors convened to create the annual selection preference list. New or returning players would need to wait till the next year's list. An unlisted player can still represent NZL if insufficient listed players applied for the places. Where there are more than one unlisted applicant for a place, the selectors would then be convened as presently done.
Saves everyone a lot of work. From an admin viewpoint, just a case of processing everyone.

I think there's a lot of merit in this suggestion. I'm less keen on using NZ Open results as primary criteria for various reasons eloquently explained elsewhere in this thread, but selecting well in advance for likely events is feasible and sensible. The Olympiad and Zonal are two obvious events for which this can be done, but I'm sure there are other world events e.g. World Junior and World Youth, Seniors etc. for which this can be done. As I understand it, booking 6 months in advance is the best time, on average, for good prices, so no later than that is a reasonable aim.

It is worth noting that if people pay more for flights in advance, they can often get refundable tickets (to a point) or are able to change all the details, so can use it for something else, or can even change the name on the ticket so it can be on-sold if necessary.

CivicChessMan
16-04-2015, 08:27 AM
It sounds like what's needed is to speed up the selection process but speeding it up so that everything is decided by one large 9 round open tournament with a rating spread of 2000 points warrants a speeding ticket with a significant fine and demerit points.

Keong Ang
18-04-2015, 01:50 PM
It sounds like what's needed is to speed up the selection process but speeding it up so that everything is decided by one large 9 round open tournament with a rating spread of 2000 points warrants a speeding ticket with a significant fine and demerit points.

Interestingly the 1991 AGM required the selectors to prioritise results of the most appropriate national championships and previous years players ratings. Additional criteria would only be considered for players who could not be differentiated by the first two criteria.
As it is an AGM decision, it can only be overruled by another general meeting. This rule is still in force, but probably not followed strictly.

CivicChessMan
19-04-2015, 10:41 PM
In those days, the NZ Championship was a 12 player round robin of the best NZ players where every round was equally significant. It was therefore entirely reasonable to use this as a major selection criteria. The same can't be said of today's NZ Open which is a totally different kind of tournament.

Nic the NZer
23-04-2015, 09:26 AM
According to Keong, the problem this proposal is purporting to resolve is to encourage players to play in the NZ Open. The question which must be asked of course is which extra players would (supposedly) have played if playing was part of a primary selection criteria. It seems pretty clear to me that changing the NZ selection criteria is not going to have a significant impact on the number of entries to the NZ Open.

My own impression of the tournament was that the number of overseas entries was the slightly disappointing thing about the event, at least compared to previous Queenstown based iterations.

slyall
23-04-2015, 09:14 PM
My own impression of the tournament was that the number of overseas entries was the slightly disappointing thing about the event, at least compared to previous Queenstown based iterations.

In 2012: 148 players, 64 from NZ, 56 Aus, 28 other. 11 GM, 4 WGM, 11 IM, 11 FM
In 2015: 115 players, 78 from NZ, 18 Aus, 18 other. 4 GM, 0 WGM, 5 IM, 7 FM

Nic the NZer
26-04-2015, 02:17 PM
In 2012: 148 players, 64 from NZ, 56 Aus, 28 other. 11 GM, 4 WGM, 11 IM, 11 FM
In 2015: 115 players, 78 from NZ, 18 Aus, 18 other. 4 GM, 0 WGM, 5 IM, 7 FM

Thanks, that confirms my impression of the numbers playing.