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Garvinator
29-01-2005, 12:29 PM
The long awaited for personal opinion of my time at Mt Buller:

My evaluation of the Mt Buller events


Overall-

I donít think the Mt Buller events were a success as an organiser.
I didnít enjoy my time at Mt Buller. This was not mainly because of the location. My main difficulty was with dealing with all the politics. Also as second in charge, I was getting caught in the middle between George Howard's way of dealing with people and my own views, which were quite often in conflict, so I found myself having to give opinions that I personally didnít agree with, but still wanted to try and give the appearance of unity.

Regarding Mercure Grand Chalet as sponsors, I canít recommend them as a sponsor based on the treatment we as organisers received. It was really difficult trying to plan anything for certain when our financial arrangements ie bulletins and associated printing was changing everyday. To go back in two years to Mt Buller, it is essential that we have everything in writing, including the signature of someone from Accor Hotels in a higher management position than Roman.


Beginning stages-

George sent out an email to anyone he knew from the acf and other parties to see if anyone was interested in running the Mt Buller events. Kerry Stead and I answered this email and agreed to be part of the team. Andrew and Alex were then asked by George to also be part of the team. Karthick was retained as he had put a lot of work into the website from when David Cordover was main organiser (from my understanding).

As is known, George had to draft a proposal for consideration for the acf council in nine days. This would then become the template how the tournaments were designed and structured.

During the next couple of months, there were a lot of discussions about how to design the events, but unfortunately it was mainly left to George and I to try and design the events as Andrew, Alex and Kerry were indisposed for various reasons. As far as I know, George didnít ask many people for their thoughts outside the immediate organising team. This was a major mistake.
At this stage, I was only new to the chess organising business and didnít actually know what George was like, so I felt uncomfortable disagreeing with him. I now wish that I could have that time back as I would have suggested many more things, but I donít think George would have agreed with my suggestions anyways.



Website and my laptop issues-

The website was our most major weakness. There is no point hiding from this fact, but it is important to isolate where the weaknesses were so it can be improved on in the future.
My laptop runs on windows 98 and wasnít configured properly as I only got it days before leaving for Mt Buller. Drivers were still being installed the day before I left. I noticed when I got there that I couldnít burn to cd and also I donít have an A drive. Having a win98 operating system meant I couldnít read USB sticks or use external A drives etc.

This meant my computer was pretty much useless for sending information for the website. The only other computer with internet access available the organising team had available was George's computer at our accommodation, but it also ran on win98. George's computer had an A drive though, so we could at least send information by floppy disk. One of the biggest issues though was that George's computer was located at our accommodation and everyone wanted to use it for various activities.

I was the one responsible for sending the information required to Karthick. I was quite often coming back from closing the playing venue at 9pm. If I could have sent sp files from my computer, then things would have been easy. But that wasnít the case. When I got back to our accommodation, I would quite often find other people wanting to use the computer and already on it.
I felt uncomfortable asking people to get off the computer as I was always given the impression that the website wasnít important, especially from George. I judged it more important to try and keep as good relations as I could with the people I was staying with, than upsetting them to try and send information to the website.

George actually said as much early on that the website wasnít a priority. Quite frankly, if George could have gotten away with having no website, he would have taken this course of actions

I also quite often felt like I had difficulty getting sp files from Charles. Near the end of the days play, I would place the disk on Charlesís desk near his laptop so he could save the sp files at the end of the day after the next days draw had been done. Charles quite often told me to go away and not give him the disk till right near the end. After a couple of repeats of this situation, I just gave up and waited for Charles to ask for the disk, which sometimes didnít occur at all and required me to ask him back at our accommodation.

Getting the sp files from the morning round was quite often impossible and I dreaded this task even more.

Combined with these issues, Andrew's laptop was only working intermittently for the first few days, so keeping information was extremely difficult. This made everything a slow process.

George never asked for outside help with entering games etc, so it was left to the organising team to enter as many games as possible, which we did our best, but didnít enter many. I was actually told that George only wanted us to enter the 8 games that the dgt boards record automatically. We entered as many games as we could, but very simply we didnít have enough people to enter all the games. The rest of the organising team didnít ask for help as it was very clear from the main organiser that his attitude was to not ask for help.
I was afraid to ask for help in entering games as I would be going against the attitude of the main organiser.



Finances-

There has been much speculation as to how much money and in kind sponsorship we received over the course of the events. My understanding is that we were to receive $50000 in cash and another $50000 in in-kind sponsorship. The in-kind sponsorship was to cover such things as printing, free accommodation (I think) etc.

The prize money totaled close to $30000 for all events. Another $15000 or so went to paying the arbiters/organising team for their efforts. $2400 went to the Italian coaches for their time during the juniors.

We also had to pay for the shuttle buses during the juniors. This totaled about $2000

Over the course of the events, the printing sponsorship was basically withdrawn mid event by Roman. George had to pay for already done printing to the tune of $1300 out of the $30000 that was to be used for paying prizes etc. We then had to get our bulletins photocopied by the chalet and this meant we ranked a long last in the list of priorities of the chalet.


Aussie IM's-

When preparing the budget for the open, George repeatedly informed me that he was advised by Ian Rogers and others that offering decent prizes down to tenth was the way to go in terms of getting the Aussie IM's to play. I have since found out that Ian disputes this version of events. That being said, George was telling me he got the prize format layout from Ian Rogers. I am just repeating what George was telling me.

This unfortunately was an unsuccessful way to go, but by the time we realised it, it was too late to change the budget as it had already gone out in the brochures and was well known. Enough had been chopped and changed in the preceding weeks/months, so it was decided to go with what we had and to the best we could.

For the future, it would appear that the best approach for attracting the IM's to play is to have a lower prize fund and offer them conditions.

My personal view- I donít really understand why IM's should be paid appearance money and sometimes have their accommodation paid for as well. I think offering appearance money guaranteed against prize money won is a better way to go, but not sure how this would be received.


Dealing with George-

Jenni and Libby have already mentioned that dealing with George and trying to negotiate with him was extremely difficult and frustrating. I have to concur with them. George's first answer would always be no and then more often than not I found that to get George to change is mind, you had to argue with him.

I know for a fact that I was not the only person in the organising/arbiting team to have this opinion as quite often we would disagree with George, but we couldnít really be bothered arguing with him because of the general ill will it would cause. The Michael Lip incident is a case in point. Michael posts on here, so he can give his first hand account himself.

In the end, this lead to a case of the status quo remaining, as basically we just wanted to get to the end of the tournaments with as few an arguments as possible.
Unfortunately, this was not good policy as many things needed to be changed, but to change them meant having to disagree and argue with George.

I am sure Jenni can give a first hand account as to the cancellation of the junior barbeque party.

N.B. The reason I have mentioned Jenni and Michael in this section is that they had the first hand arguments with George. I only heard all versions afterwards.



Overseas playersí deals-

There were a lot of discussions and rumours regarding the deals for Kengis, D'Amore, Arlandi, Hecht and Sedina. Also I heard that some of the Australian titled players werenít at all happy with the organising team because of the amount of money that was being spent on the overseas titled players.

For the record- the deals for the overseas players to play in the open was negotiated by Grollo Corporation, The Lidums Foundation and Accor Hotels. To my knowledge, we didnít spend a cent during the open on the overseas players. The only money we spent on the overseas players was on Sedina and Arlandi for their coaching services during the juniors.

George attempted to arrange a prize fund that would attract the titled players and would reward them for playing well. Clearly most titled players are more concerned with how much they can get up front and not have to worry about how well they perform.



Game broadcasting-

The game broadcasting went well. There were technical issues on the first day which prevented transmission, but after these issues were solved, the broadcasting went well. Thanks goes to Gary Bekker for his assistance in setting up the cabling the night before the first dayís play of the open.



Chess chat Bulletin Board attitudes and the attitude of the organisers towards the bb-


I think it is the collective opinion of the organisers that Amiel Rosario alone cost us 15 or so entries. Our collective contempt for him is indescribable. When Kerry, George and I were in Mt Buller in August we spoke about how to handle the consistent garbage coming from Amiel and others on the bb. It was decided that I should be the only one to speak on there as I was the only regular poster and the only one who could be bothered posting at all.

If Georgeís direction was taken, the bb would not have been used at all as a source of information. I was the spokesperson because I was the only person who could be bothered to post at all. This is a decision I now regret. It was the collective decision that debating with trolls is a waste of time and so the others didnít bother.

I was and still am disgusting by the criticism I was getting for decisions that werenít even mine. I was saying ask George for a damn good reason, because most of the time I was passing on his unilateral decisions.

I couldnít change his mind, so to get some change; people had to email him directly. George rarely read the bb himself, so complaining on there was no use.

For those who think my comments about Amiel are just a bit of interrant, they are not. I have not met Amiel and have no desire to. I would not shake his hand if I did meet him.


Double rounds-

I donít think anyone believes that double rounds in a day are ideal, but they were forced on us in the juniors due to late notice of the Porsche rally. I would have rather seen a nine round juniors than have double rounds, but it was set as eleven rounds, so double days it was.

I believe double rounds in the future should be avoided like the plague.




I would like to thank the following people who were not part of the organising or arbiting teams during the open or juniors:

Matt Sonter, Phachara Wongwichit and Toshi Kimura for their selfless help in assisting me with my entire luggage at Tullamarine Airport. Without their help, my task of getting my entire luggage to check in would have almost been impossible.

Gary Bekker, for coming up the night before the first round of the open and helping me to set up the cabling for the internet broadcasting.

Libby Smith, for her wonderful brochure on activities at Mt Buller, a wonderful guide that should have had more air time.

To Nicki Behne-Smith and relatives/friends for their help with the bulletins during the juniors in collating them in order. Also for their general assistance.

Rowena Morris, Neil Anderson and Dianne Illingworth for their time operating the canteen. If I have missed anyone else who helped with the canteen, my apologies.

Tristam Cooke during the open for helping with entering games etc. Without your help, our task of entering games would have been much more difficult.

To Aaron Guthrie, again for help with the bulletins and entering games.

To Chris Tran, Tor Lattimore and Michael Lip, thank you for your help also in entering games. I would have liked more help, but circumstances outside my control prevented this. Your assistance will not be forgotten.

To Jenni Oliver who was such a good source of information about what the juniors would want and giving me a reality check on how things were going. Without her advice on occasion, especially near the end of the juniors, I donít think I would be continuing in chess administration at all.


If I have forgotten anybody, please remind me and I will add them.

Paul S
29-01-2005, 04:34 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:

I commend Garvin on his forthrightness. His post helps to explain some of the "behind the scenes" problems that would not have been apparent to BB viewers.

Will be interesting to see what others involved with Mt Buller have to say (eg Jenni, Libby, Kerry etc) about Garvin's post. Most of all, though, I would like to hear what George Howard (who seems to be a bit of an "invisible man" these days) has to say!

Anyway, three cheers for Garvin on his post and for having had to put up with (to a considerable extent) being the "meat in the sandwich" for the Mt Buller problems!

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Garvinator
29-01-2005, 04:39 PM
Most of all, though, I would like to hear what George Howard (who seems to be a bit of an "invisible man" these days) has to say!
you have more chance of getting a violence free Iraqi election than getting George to reply or give his report on Mt Buller on here.

arosar
29-01-2005, 05:28 PM
I think it is the collective opinion of the organisers that Amiel Rosario alone cost us 15 or so entries.

G'morning from cold London town gray.

Now, I've just had a very nice trip to gay Paris and am in a really good mood. Planning to go on a red bus tour today actually.

Anyways, mate - if you really believe that I cost 15 entries, then you're the biggest idiot that ever befell Aussie chess. Didn't someone here call you a stupid monkey?

Oh, I hope George sues your pants off. You're one big joke.

AR

arosar
29-01-2005, 05:37 PM
I believe double rounds in the future should be avoided like the plague.

In the context of a 90+30 [from 1] TC, you're remark is stupid. Having double rounds saves time and money. Geddit?? You gonna pay for all our costs due to an extended stay?

I reckon you should do us all a favour and lock yourself up in a mental asylum.


Matt Sonter, Phachara Wongwichit and Toshi Kimura for their selfless help in assisting me with my entire luggage at Tullamarine Airport. Without their help, my task of getting my entire luggage to check in would have almost been impossible.

Too supid to do a simple task as check-in?

Thank god for this revelation. I was gonna ask you to go on a world tour with me - you know, expand your horizons a bit with a little travel.


Gary Bekker, for coming up the night before the first round of the open and helping me to set up the cabling for the internet broadcasting.

Libby Smith, for her wonderful brochure on activities at Mt Buller, a wonderful guide that should have had more air time.

To Nicki Behne-Smith and relatives/friends for their help with the bulletins during the juniors in collating them in order. Also for their general assistance.

Rowena Morris, Neil Anderson and Dianne Illingworth for their time operating the canteen. If I have missed anyone else who helped with the canteen, my apologies.

Tristam Cooke during the open for helping with entering games etc. Without your help, our task of entering games would have been much more difficult.

To Aaron Guthrie, again for help with the bulletins and entering games.

To Chris Tran, Tor Lattimore and Michael Lip, thank you for your help also in entering games. I would have liked more help, but circumstances outside my control prevented this. Your assistance will not be forgotten.

To Jenni Oliver who was such a good source of information about what the juniors would want and giving me a reality check on how things were going. Without her advice on occasion, especially near the end of the juniors, I donít think I would be continuing in chess administration at all.


If I have forgotten anybody, please remind me and I will add them.

Yeah...yeah...you watch too many awards shows.

Now sit down and shut up and leave us chess people alone.

AR

eclectic
29-01-2005, 06:01 PM
In the context of a 90+30 [from 1] TC, you're remark is stupid. Having double rounds saves time and money. Geddit?? You gonna pay for all our costs due to an extended stay?

I reckon you should do us all a favour and lock yourself up in a mental asylum.



A brief digression (apologies to garvin gray)

Given that FIDE for title purposes allows only 2 games per day and no more than 12 hrs playing time per day I'd like to know how many title aspirants, title holders etc would put up with playing for possibly that length of time for days in succession at the expense of their nerves and health.

Perhaps two games per day is foisted on players by FIDE because of tournament organisers who have to pay expenses

I'd prefer a game each day myself and time to do other things ... (I thought you were a chess tourist Amiel who liked to do other things as well as play in tournaments :whistle: )

Besides, if you stay somewhere for a decent length of time, you can usually negotiate discounts if you're astute enough.

Some think of the time and money they save.

Others think of the result they want.

:hmm:

Mark

Garvinator
29-01-2005, 07:05 PM
In the context of a 90+30 [from 1] TC, you're remark is stupid. Having double rounds saves time and money. Geddit?? You gonna pay for all our costs due to an extended stay?Hello Ameil, i love your work. Thanks for showing us your stupidity. You still dont seem to realise that it was the whole organising committee that had a gutful of your comments, not just me. That was the point of my comment you fool.

By the way, nice to see you took such a close interest in the open and junior that you failed to read the time control, it was 90 + 60 you moron, not 90 + 30. A few games went for six hours.


Too supid to do a simple task as check-in?

Thank god for this revelation. I was gonna ask you to go on a world tour with me - you know, expand your horizons a bit with a little travel.
I would rather go be an election worker in the Iraqi elections than spend a second talking or associating with you.

For the moderators, if arosar is going to keep sticking his nose into this possibly worthwhile thread, you might as well split it now into a non chess thread, because I am going to flamewar amiel with no regrets and it will get nasty as I wont stop. Just giving a fair warning to other posters too.

Garvinator
29-01-2005, 07:09 PM
A brief digression (apologies to garvin gray)

Given that FIDE for title purposes allows only 2 games per day and no more than 12 hrs playing time per day I'd like to know how many title aspirants, title holders etc would put up with playing for possibly that length of time for days in succession at the expense of their nerves and health.

Perhaps two games per day is foisted on players by FIDE because of tournament organisers who have to pay expenses

I'd prefer a game each day myself and time to do other things ... (I thought you were a chess tourist Amiel who liked to do other things as well as play in tournaments :whistle: )

Besides, if you stay somewhere for a decent length of time, you can usually negotiate discounts if you're astute enough.

Some think of the time and money they save.

Others think of the result they want.

:hmm:

Mark


Hello Mark,

the organisers also run Australian tournaments according to the accepted standards and acf by laws and the accepted standard is one game per day for national title events.

Two rounds per day at 90 + 60 or some equivalent time control would be massively unpopular and lead to an erosion of the quality of chess.

arosar
29-01-2005, 07:12 PM
For the moderators, if arosar is going to keep sticking his nose into this possibly worthwhile thread, you might as well split it now into a non chess thread, because I am going to flamewar amiel with no regrets and it will get nasty as I wont stop. Just giving a fair warning to other posters too.

Flamewar? You wouldn't know how you incompetent Gwyneth Paltrow-wannabe.

Hey gray - there's a word for you mate. "Rat". That's what you are. If I were you, I'd ship meself off to Baghdad than be sticking around waiting for George and co to come around to your backstabbing.

AR

Mischa
29-01-2005, 09:45 PM
Many people were against the idea of a tournament at Mt. Buller. Many of us thought it was a huge expense and inconvenience.

The venue was great, the tournament a successs...as far as chess tournaments go, but most importantly, people got on with the job as best they could under sometimes adverse conditions. And certainly, in the junior, parents got stuck in to help however they could to make it enjoyable for the kids.

An organisers nightmare perhaps, but nothing that can't be improved on, given hindsight.

I would just like to say that the juniors and their parents and some of the coaches, were just wonderful in the fact that they stopped complaining and just got on with the job of making it a successful and enjoyable time for the junior players.

I would probably attend a tournament at Mt. buller again.

Duff McKagan
30-01-2005, 05:31 AM
Website and my laptop issues-

The website was our most major weakness. There is no point hiding from this fact, but it is important to isolate where the weaknesses were so it can be improved on in the future.
My laptop runs on windows 98 and wasnít configured properly as I only got it days before leaving for Mt Buller. Drivers were still being installed the day before I left. I noticed when I got there that I couldnít burn to cd and also I donít have an A drive. Having a win98 operating system meant I couldnít read USB sticks or use external A drives etc.

This meant my computer was pretty much useless for sending information for the website. The only other computer with internet access available the organising team had available was George's computer at our accommodation, but it also ran on win98. George's computer had an A drive though, so we could at least send information by floppy disk. One of the biggest issues though was that George's computer was located at our accommodation and everyone wanted to use it for various activities.

I was the one responsible for sending the information required to Karthick. I was quite often coming back from closing the playing venue at 9pm. If I could have sent sp files from my computer, then things would have been easy. But that wasnít the case. When I got back to our accommodation, I would quite often find other people wanting to use the computer and already on it.
I felt uncomfortable asking people to get off the computer as I was always given the impression that the website wasnít important, especially from George. I judged it more important to try and keep as good relations as I could with the people I was staying with, than upsetting them to try and send information to the website.

George actually said as much early on that the website wasnít a priority. Quite frankly, if George could have gotten away with having no website, he would have taken this course of actions

I also quite often felt like I had difficulty getting sp files from Charles. Near the end of the days play, I would place the disk on Charlesís desk near his laptop so he could save the sp files at the end of the day after the next days draw had been done. Charles quite often told me to go away and not give him the disk till right near the end. After a couple of repeats of this situation, I just gave up and waited for Charles to ask for the disk, which sometimes didnít occur at all and required me to ask him back at our accommodation.

Getting the sp files from the morning round was quite often impossible and I dreaded this task even more.

Combined with these issues, Andrew's laptop was only working intermittently for the first few days, so keeping information was extremely difficult. This made everything a slow process.

George never asked for outside help with entering games etc, so it was left to the organising team to enter as many games as possible, which we did our best, but didnít enter many. I was actually told that George only wanted us to enter the 8 games that the dgt boards record automatically. We entered as many games as we could, but very simply we didnít have enough people to enter all the games. The rest of the organising team didnít ask for help as it was very clear from the main organiser that his attitude was to not ask for help.
I was afraid to ask for help in entering games as I would be going against the attitude of the main organiser.

Didn't you guys get paid, unlike the organisers in Adelaide? There are so many solutions to this... for a start www.imation.com/flash has win98 USB drivers... or could have used a parallel cable, or just asked someone else to borrow their computer, or borrow their operating system. In such an important event all of the games should be published, for the kids sake. I remember in 2002 the organisers had the bulletins for the days round ready to print by 7pm each night. They set up a press room and had their own computers plus a couple that they borrowed so some other parents and kids could have a turn at entering games. At the end of the day the main organisers would collect all of the games on their computer, standardise them and then print. Chessbase 7/8 make it easy to do this. I was going to let this pass by but after seeing all this bickering by everyone on these forums, which incidentally are not officially affiliated with the ACF as i remember, I've decided to have my 2 cents worth. The bottom line is if you are getting paid to do a job, lets do it right.

Don_Harrison
30-01-2005, 06:36 AM
An insult to my intelligence.

Garvinator
30-01-2005, 10:56 AM
Didn't you guys get paid, unlike the organisers in Adelaide? There are so many solutions to this... for a start www.imation.com/flash has win98 USB drivers... or could have used a parallel cable, or just asked someone else to borrow their computer, or borrow their operating system. In such an important event all of the games should be published, for the kids sake. I remember in 2002 the organisers had the bulletins for the days round ready to print by 7pm each night. They set up a press room and had their own computers plus a couple that they borrowed so some other parents and kids could have a turn at entering games. At the end of the day the main organisers would collect all of the games on their computer, standardise them and then print. Chessbase 7/8 make it easy to do this. I was going to let this pass by but after seeing all this bickering by everyone on these forums, which incidentally are not officially affiliated with the ACF as i remember, I've decided to have my 2 cents worth. The bottom line is if you are getting paid to do a job, lets do it right.


you obviously missed part of the point of my report. As soon as any of the other organisers asked anyone for help or proposed the idea of asking for help to George, he got offended and an argument started or you got the response of FO.

That is why we rarely asked for help. As I said, this attitude was disgusting, but again all I can say is email George at georgeshoward@hotmail.com.

Anyways, Mt Buller is over and the only thing I hope is learnt is that George is to never be in charge of a major tournament again, especially if we are back at mt buller in 2007.

Cat
30-01-2005, 10:57 AM
The long awaited for personal opinion of my time at Mt Buller:

My evaluation of the Mt Buller events


Overall-

I donít think the Mt Buller events were a success as an organiser.
I didnít enjoy my time at Mt Buller. This was not mainly because of the location. My main difficulty was with dealing with all the politics. Also as second in charge, I was getting caught in the middle between George Howard's way of dealing with people and my own views, which were quite often in conflict, so I found myself having to give opinions that I personally didnít agree with, but still wanted to try and give the appearance of unity.

Regarding Mercure Grand Chalet as sponsors, I canít recommend them as a sponsor based on the treatment we as organisers received. It was really difficult trying to plan anything for certain when our financial arrangements ie bulletins and associated printing was changing everyday. To go back in two years to Mt Buller, it is essential that we have everything in writing, including the signature of someone from Accor Hotels in a higher management position than Roman.


Beginning stages-

George sent out an email to anyone he knew from the acf and other parties to see if anyone was interested in running the Mt Buller events. Kerry Stead and I answered this email and agreed to be part of the team. Andrew and Alex were then asked by George to also be part of the team. Karthick was retained as he had put a lot of work into the website from when David Cordover was main organiser (from my understanding).

As is known, George had to draft a proposal for consideration for the acf council in nine days. This would then become the template how the tournaments were designed and structured.

During the next couple of months, there were a lot of discussions about how to design the events, but unfortunately it was mainly left to George and I to try and design the events as Andrew, Alex and Kerry were indisposed for various reasons. As far as I know, George didnít ask many people for their thoughts outside the immediate organising team. This was a major mistake.
At this stage, I was only new to the chess organising business and didnít actually know what George was like, so I felt uncomfortable disagreeing with him. I now wish that I could have that time back as I would have suggested many more things, but I donít think George would have agreed with my suggestions anyways.



Website and my laptop issues-

The website was our most major weakness. There is no point hiding from this fact, but it is important to isolate where the weaknesses were so it can be improved on in the future.
My laptop runs on windows 98 and wasnít configured properly as I only got it days before leaving for Mt Buller. Drivers were still being installed the day before I left. I noticed when I got there that I couldnít burn to cd and also I donít have an A drive. Having a win98 operating system meant I couldnít read USB sticks or use external A drives etc.

This meant my computer was pretty much useless for sending information for the website. The only other computer with internet access available the organising team had available was George's computer at our accommodation, but it also ran on win98. George's computer had an A drive though, so we could at least send information by floppy disk. One of the biggest issues though was that George's computer was located at our accommodation and everyone wanted to use it for various activities.

I was the one responsible for sending the information required to Karthick. I was quite often coming back from closing the playing venue at 9pm. If I could have sent sp files from my computer, then things would have been easy. But that wasnít the case. When I got back to our accommodation, I would quite often find other people wanting to use the computer and already on it.
I felt uncomfortable asking people to get off the computer as I was always given the impression that the website wasnít important, especially from George. I judged it more important to try and keep as good relations as I could with the people I was staying with, than upsetting them to try and send information to the website.

George actually said as much early on that the website wasnít a priority. Quite frankly, if George could have gotten away with having no website, he would have taken this course of actions

I also quite often felt like I had difficulty getting sp files from Charles. Near the end of the days play, I would place the disk on Charlesís desk near his laptop so he could save the sp files at the end of the day after the next days draw had been done. Charles quite often told me to go away and not give him the disk till right near the end. After a couple of repeats of this situation, I just gave up and waited for Charles to ask for the disk, which sometimes didnít occur at all and required me to ask him back at our accommodation.

Getting the sp files from the morning round was quite often impossible and I dreaded this task even more.

Combined with these issues, Andrew's laptop was only working intermittently for the first few days, so keeping information was extremely difficult. This made everything a slow process.

George never asked for outside help with entering games etc, so it was left to the organising team to enter as many games as possible, which we did our best, but didnít enter many. I was actually told that George only wanted us to enter the 8 games that the dgt boards record automatically. We entered as many games as we could, but very simply we didnít have enough people to enter all the games. The rest of the organising team didnít ask for help as it was very clear from the main organiser that his attitude was to not ask for help.
I was afraid to ask for help in entering games as I would be going against the attitude of the main organiser.



Finances-

There has been much speculation as to how much money and in kind sponsorship we received over the course of the events. My understanding is that we were to receive $50000 in cash and another $50000 in in-kind sponsorship. The in-kind sponsorship was to cover such things as printing, free accommodation (I think) etc.

The prize money totaled close to $30000 for all events. Another $15000 or so went to paying the arbiters/organising team for their efforts. $2400 went to the Italian coaches for their time during the juniors.

We also had to pay for the shuttle buses during the juniors. This totaled about $2000

Over the course of the events, the printing sponsorship was basically withdrawn mid event by Roman. George had to pay for already done printing to the tune of $1300 out of the $30000 that was to be used for paying prizes etc. We then had to get our bulletins photocopied by the chalet and this meant we ranked a long last in the list of priorities of the chalet.


Aussie IM's-

When preparing the budget for the open, George repeatedly informed me that he was advised by Ian Rogers and others that offering decent prizes down to tenth was the way to go in terms of getting the Aussie IM's to play. I have since found out that Ian disputes this version of events. That being said, George was telling me he got the prize format layout from Ian Rogers. I am just repeating what George was telling me.

This unfortunately was an unsuccessful way to go, but by the time we realised it, it was too late to change the budget as it had already gone out in the brochures and was well known. Enough had been chopped and changed in the preceding weeks/months, so it was decided to go with what we had and to the best we could.

For the future, it would appear that the best approach for attracting the IM's to play is to have a lower prize fund and offer them conditions.

My personal view- I donít really understand why IM's should be paid appearance money and sometimes have their accommodation paid for as well. I think offering appearance money guaranteed against prize money won is a better way to go, but not sure how this would be received.


Dealing with George-

Jenni and Libby have already mentioned that dealing with George and trying to negotiate with him was extremely difficult and frustrating. I have to concur with them. George's first answer would always be no and then more often than not I found that to get George to change is mind, you had to argue with him.

I know for a fact that I was not the only person in the organising/arbiting team to have this opinion as quite often we would disagree with George, but we couldnít really be bothered arguing with him because of the general ill will it would cause. The Michael Lip incident is a case in point. Michael posts on here, so he can give his first hand account himself.

In the end, this lead to a case of the status quo remaining, as basically we just wanted to get to the end of the tournaments with as few an arguments as possible.
Unfortunately, this was not good policy as many things needed to be changed, but to change them meant having to disagree and argue with George.

I am sure Jenni can give a first hand account as to the cancellation of the junior barbeque party.

N.B. The reason I have mentioned Jenni and Michael in this section is that they had the first hand arguments with George. I only heard all versions afterwards.



Overseas playersí deals-

There were a lot of discussions and rumours regarding the deals for Kengis, D'Amore, Arlandi, Hecht and Sedina. Also I heard that some of the Australian titled players werenít at all happy with the organising team because of the amount of money that was being spent on the overseas titled players.

For the record- the deals for the overseas players to play in the open was negotiated by Grollo Corporation, The Lidums Foundation and Accor Hotels. To my knowledge, we didnít spend a cent during the open on the overseas players. The only money we spent on the overseas players was on Sedina and Arlandi for their coaching services during the juniors.

George attempted to arrange a prize fund that would attract the titled players and would reward them for playing well. Clearly most titled players are more concerned with how much they can get up front and not have to worry about how well they perform.



Game broadcasting-

The game broadcasting went well. There were technical issues on the first day which prevented transmission, but after these issues were solved, the broadcasting went well. Thanks goes to Gary Bekker for his assistance in setting up the cabling the night before the first dayís play of the open.



Chess chat Bulletin Board attitudes and the attitude of the organisers towards the bb-


I think it is the collective opinion of the organisers that Amiel Rosario alone cost us 15 or so entries. Our collective contempt for him is indescribable. When Kerry, George and I were in Mt Buller in August we spoke about how to handle the consistent garbage coming from Amiel and others on the bb. It was decided that I should be the only one to speak on there as I was the only regular poster and the only one who could be bothered posting at all.

If Georgeís direction was taken, the bb would not have been used at all as a source of information. I was the spokesperson because I was the only person who could be bothered to post at all. This is a decision I now regret. It was the collective decision that debating with trolls is a waste of time and so the others didnít bother.

I was and still am disgusting by the criticism I was getting for decisions that werenít even mine. I was saying ask George for a damn good reason, because most of the time I was passing on his unilateral decisions.

I couldnít change his mind, so to get some change; people had to email him directly. George rarely read the bb himself, so complaining on there was no use.

For those who think my comments about Amiel are just a bit of interrant, they are not. I have not met Amiel and have no desire to. I would not shake his hand if I did meet him.


Double rounds-

I donít think anyone believes that double rounds in a day are ideal, but they were forced on us in the juniors due to late notice of the Porsche rally. I would have rather seen a nine round juniors than have double rounds, but it was set as eleven rounds, so double days it was.

I believe double rounds in the future should be avoided like the plague.




I would like to thank the following people who were not part of the organising or arbiting teams during the open or juniors:

Matt Sonter, Phachara Wongwichit and Toshi Kimura for their selfless help in assisting me with my entire luggage at Tullamarine Airport. Without their help, my task of getting my entire luggage to check in would have almost been impossible.

Gary Bekker, for coming up the night before the first round of the open and helping me to set up the cabling for the internet broadcasting.

Libby Smith, for her wonderful brochure on activities at Mt Buller, a wonderful guide that should have had more air time.

To Nicki Behne-Smith and relatives/friends for their help with the bulletins during the juniors in collating them in order. Also for their general assistance.

Rowena Morris, Neil Anderson and Dianne Illingworth for their time operating the canteen. If I have missed anyone else who helped with the canteen, my apologies.

Tristam Cooke during the open for helping with entering games etc. Without your help, our task of entering games would have been much more difficult.

To Aaron Guthrie, again for help with the bulletins and entering games.

To Chris Tran, Tor Lattimore and Michael Lip, thank you for your help also in entering games. I would have liked more help, but circumstances outside my control prevented this. Your assistance will not be forgotten.

To Jenni Oliver who was such a good source of information about what the juniors would want and giving me a reality check on how things were going. Without her advice on occasion, especially near the end of the juniors, I donít think I would be continuing in chess administration at all.


If I have forgotten anybody, please remind me and I will add them.


You have distinguished yourself Garvin, this must be the worse episode of cowardly treachery since Judas Iscariot. All your worse traits are on display to view, I doubt that anyone could ever work with you again after reading this. You have fallen on your own sword I'm afraid!

Garvinator
30-01-2005, 11:02 AM
You have distinguished yourself Garvin, this must be the worse episode of cowardly treachery since Judas Iscariot. All your worse traits are on display to view, I doubt that anyone could ever work with you again after reading this. You have fallen on your own sword I'm afraid!
if that is that attitude other organisers want to take, so be it. I am not concerned if I dont ever have anything to do with another australian tournament. The politics I saw was a disgrace and no one we remain a fourth rate sport :(

I notice though that none of the other organisers there have actually disagreed with my analysis which I am sure they would have if I was completely wrong.

I am sure that both Libby and Jenni have read my post, maybe even a couple of times :uhoh: and would have disagreed with me if they disagreed with what i said ;)

PHAT
30-01-2005, 12:38 PM
Gavin, It was a pitty we didn't find time to chat at Mt Buller. No matter, I'll say something here:
Thanks for your efforts after diving in at the deep end. Nothing can be perfect, but, personally I had the best "chess time" I have since I started playing. Mate, that means a lot! nuff sed.

arosar
30-01-2005, 05:50 PM
if that is that attitude other organisers want to take, so be it. I am not concerned if I dont ever have anything to do with another australian tournament. The politics I saw was a disgrace and no one we remain a fourth rate sport :(

I notice though that none of the other organisers there have actually disagreed with my analysis which I am sure they would have if I was completely wrong.

I am sure that both Libby and Jenni have read my post, maybe even a couple of times :uhoh: and would have disagreed with me if they disagreed with what i said ;)

Good morning gray.

Guess what I did yesterday mate? Went around London I did. Walked across the Tower Bridge, saw the Tower of London. Did you know that there's a little spot there called Traitor's Gate? They coulda just as easily called that Backstabber's Gate. I'm sure you'd appreciate that wouldn't you? Then I walked all the way to the theater district, up to Bloomsbury and finally made it to the British Museum. Marvellous! Simply marvellous. Loved the Elgins. And the Rosetta Stone mate - I was lost for words. Funny though, I got into a bit of trouble with a little old English lady. I asked if could hold this African stone - 1.2 million year old axe mate - and held it above the table. She got upset with me! Whoa!! But I'm quite fond of Japanese swords meself so I spent some time there. After the British I walked all the way down to Charring Cross Rd. My god, this place makes King and Brunswick look like cemeteries. And, of course, I made it to Trafalgar Sq. Today, I'm off to Harrod's to buy me mom some souvenirs. One of those green bags she said. Then might see Kensington.

Now what about you gray? What did you achieve yesterday? Aahhh...just being your old miserable 24/7 BB self. No life, no nothing. You must have the shakes waiting for what people will say about your or your stupid posts next. You could really do with a pal garvin. Wanna be friends? I could really teach you a lot you know mate.

Why so vindictive and awful? Mate, you're worse than some of me neighbours who hang their dirty laundry out the bloody balconies.

Adios gray. Enjoy your day, err night. Me, I'm hanging out with some spanish chicks I met last night.

AR

shaun
30-01-2005, 09:46 PM
if that is that attitude other organisers want to take, so be it. I am not concerned if I dont ever have anything to do with another australian tournament. The politics I saw was a disgrace and no one we remain a fourth rate sport :(

I notice though that none of the other organisers there have actually disagreed with my analysis which I am sure they would have if I was completely wrong.

I am sure that both Libby and Jenni have read my post, maybe even a couple of times :uhoh: and would have disagreed with me if they disagreed with what i said ;)

Seeing that you've asked ....

While there are some parts of the report that are accurate the entire focus of it seems to try and distance yourself from any fallout from the event. Now I was there and I must say I agree with David Richards assesment of your motives. During my stay you seemed to a) agree with everything that George did and B) traded on your association with George to try and improve your standing in the eyes of others eg introducing yourself as "Garvin Gray, Georges second-in-charge" and happily joining George in the bagging out of both Graeme Gardiner and Denis Jessop. So while most people have been pointing the finger of blame at George, I for one think that you are equally responsible for the problems that the event had, and that by publicly knifing George in the back you have in fact come off worse than him.
Now there is an old management saying that I think applies here. "Show me a person who has never made a mistake, and I'll show you a person who has never made a decision". I noted with interest that your posts on the bulletin board concerning the failure of files being sent to Karthick or other IT related matters only seemed to contain explanations when you could find someone or something else to blame it on. When there was no external problem you seemed to stay pretty quiet.
It is for these reasons that I suspect you may have difficulty in working with other organisers.

Garvinator
30-01-2005, 10:05 PM
Seeing that you've asked ....

While there are some parts of the report that are accurate the entire focus of it seems to try and distance yourself from any fallout from the event.
I knew my report would be seen as me trying to distance myself from the problems. But since I had been copping a bucketing for six months, i didnt care anymore.

I have said if I dont organise another chess event, that is fine.


Now I was there and I must say I agree with David Richards assesment of your motives. During my stay you seemed to a) agree with everything that George did [/quote]
The key word there is seemed.




happily joining George in the bagging out of both Graeme Gardiner and Denis Jessop.

you are entitled to your opinion. I made it plainly clear that I didnt agree with Graeme staying at a lodge as I believe he could have stayed at the chalet for a similiar price. I still believe this. Regarding Denis, we spoke in the four way meetings with George, Roman, Denis and myself and I disagreed with him then and I still probably would.


So while most people have been pointing the finger of blame at George, I for one think that you are equally responsible for the problems that the event had, and that by publicly knifing George in the back you have in fact come off worse than him.
Ahh the good old, if you dont have anything to say, say nothing at all. I guess that is your style. I noticed you didnt say much at all about the running of the events while we were up there, but you had plenty to say on the bb. Pot calling the kettle black right?

How was I responsible for the problems of the running of the event? I had no say in alot of the decisions that were made. I would only find out later of the decisions that George had made ie the bbq party.


Now there is an old management saying that I think applies here. "Show me a person who has never made a mistake, and I'll show you a person who has never made a decision". I noted with interest that your posts on the bulletin board concerning the failure of files being sent to Karthick or other IT related matters only seemed to contain explanations when you could find someone or something else to blame it on. When there was no external problem you seemed to stay pretty quiet. I cant send information when I dont have it to send, i said this before. I didnt see you getting off your butt to help either.


It is for these reasons that I suspect you may have difficulty in working with other organisers.
Nope, just one other organiser.

Kaitlin
30-01-2005, 10:34 PM
I knew my report would be seen as me trying to distance myself from the problems. But since I had been copping a bucketing for six months, i didnt care anymore.(I edited well deleted the end of this).

see above I deleted 5he end of that before i read all of it properly but I think gg was saying the same as me "some talk a good game"... if you dont have something to say which might make it better next time then bite your tounge :).

..... oops maybe i should have read more, I think Mt buller would be a good place to hold chess even though I really dont know where it is and I havent been to victoria..and from what I read on here and the games I watched on the Mt Buller site, it was ok.. plus they had chess and snow that would be kewl :), Anywho I'm just saying its seemed ok from what I read but maybe gg is saying it wasn't.

Don_Harrison
30-01-2005, 10:39 PM
Well, well. The response to shaun's post reminds me of a fish vainly thrashing about trying to justify its existance before fading away into oblivion.

DoroPhil
30-01-2005, 10:48 PM
Listen, Garvin, how old are you, man? 19, 21? Don't argue here, just listen to what people have to say and try to grow up.

Your report is disloyal at best. Being disloyal is not a good quality.

If you couldn't talk to George the way that you wanted to, then you should work on your assertiveness skills. It's your fault that you haven't developed those yet.

You should also declare your possible biases before writing long posts. For example, certain individuals would be interested to know the amount of money you were paid to be involved in running Mt.Buller and (just to put it in context) how that amount compares with your average weekly earnings.

arosar
31-01-2005, 02:16 AM
Ahh the good old, if you dont have anything to say, say nothing at all. I guess that is your style. I noticed you didnt say much at all about the running of the events while we were up there, but you had plenty to say on the bb. Pot calling the kettle black right?

Good evening gray. (As I type these words I can see the majestic St Paul's Cathedral outside my window).

Guess where I went today? Kensington Palace. Took tea too, at the Queen's "Orangery". Lovely. I was gonna pay her a visit thinking they'd be honoured with my presence. But dang, they wanted to charge me £10.50 for it. So I bolted outta there and played with her majesty's squirrels instead. How cute! I never seen squirrels in me life.

Anyways, do you have any idea who Mr Shaun Press is? Who exactly are you to talk in such a tone and manner? That's Mr Press, former publisher of ACFo, organiser of 2 of the best annual tournaments + one big, certainly successful Aussie Open and maybe many more.

You know, where I come from - you talk to your elders like that and you won't get away with it.

Just a hint of advice since you're so ambitious in Aussie chess politics.

AR

Libby
31-01-2005, 07:14 AM
you are entitled to your opinion. I made it plainly clear that I didnt agree with Graeme staying at a lodge as I believe he could have stayed at the chalet for a similiar price. I still believe this.

You know Garvin - this is where you just don't get it and where you still want to sell us the line that had we all stayed at the Mercure the future of Australian chess would be secure. Go back and reread my quoting of yourself, George etc. You had no right to place this sort of pressure on people or to judge them on their choices.

Do you know what Graeme paid? $1500, 12 nights, 20 people. I make that about $75 per person for accommodation for the whole event. Can you show me how the Chalet matched that for value?

And if you take a group of children - what facilities make your life easier? Are they multiple closed hotel rooms where you don't really know if they are there or anywhere. If you are preparing all their food, do you want one hotel room with a kitchen and get all 20 in there to eat? (Assuming you can even get a room with a kitchen!) Or is it better in a lodge, where you are the total occupancy, where the children can be easily supervised and where catering etc can be handled sensibly.

Try to understand there was even more than cost at play when people made decisions. And show some understanding of the different issues applying to children at these events if you want to be involved with Juniors.

You still appear to harbour ambitions for Mt Buller 2007. Maybe that will be a go-er but until people can demonstrate to me that they actually understand the range of issues that made people so irritated and negative about Mt Buller 2005 (not just George as the whole issue) you can expect not the tiniest bit of support from me.

Garvinator
31-01-2005, 07:29 AM
You still appear to harbour ambitions for Mt Buller 2007. Maybe that will be a go-er but until people can demonstrate to me that they actually understand the range of issues that made people so irritated and negative about Mt Buller 2005 (not just George as the whole issue) you can expect not the tiniest bit of support from me.
actually i am so pissed off with so many issues that I am questioning why I should bother with chess administration at all, so two years away is a long time.

Libby
31-01-2005, 07:43 AM
actually i am so pissed off with so many issues that I am questioning why I should bother with chess administration at all, so two years away is a long time.

And I can understand that. It is very discouraging to have this sort of atmosphere around events. I'm not sure what your complete background is but some experience in the murky world of office politics would stand you in good stead and have you bouncing back a little more resiliant.

I went direct from Year 12 to the public service and found myself supervising a much older man with some difficult :eek: personality issues (who was susequently charged and convicted of shooting dead the Police Commissioner). I learnt a lot about dealing with people from that. Particularly as my supervisor spent a lot of time blaming my inexperience ahead of this gentleman's behaviour.

But I'm asking you now to take responsibility for your statements. Go back to where you criticised David for expecting people to be in the Mercure if cheaper alternatives were close by. And last night's statement where you said Graeme was in the wrong (still) for not staying at the Mercure. I'm not trying to heap shit on you. But you have to be responsible for what you actually say and do when you sit on the committee for these events.

firegoat7
31-01-2005, 09:20 AM
actually i am so pissed off with so many issues that I am questioning why I should bother with chess administration at all, so two years away is a long time.

GG your not the first or last chess organiser to think these thoughts. I understand where your coming from and how insular and critical the chess fishbowl is. For what it is worth here is my advice.

Chess organisation can develop a plethora of skills for the individual. It is a good teacher on a whole range of human issues. Keep on developing your self in this area.

The key to reaping and understanding the benefits is to be reflexive. You are dealing with human beings, nothing will ever run perfectly. That said, you must always endeavour to try to run events perfectly anyway, just don't expect it to actually happen.

Learn form the negatives and focus on the positives. If teamwork was a key issue last outing, make teamwork a key issue next time. If communication was poor before, don't enter political structures where it will happen again. Learn and reflect that is all you have to do.

Unfortunately chessplayers often whinge without actually doing alot themselves. But the big trap here is to become reactive to their criticism. Don't it is a mistake. Keep listening to their ideas even if you don't agree with them at all. All you have to do is justify your decisions, not please everyone. That is why a strong criticism can often be your best counsel, just don't take it personally in the wrong way.

For what it is worth. At, MCC everyone I spoke to appeared to really enjoy the event. You deserve recognition for making their lives happier.
:clap:
Cheers FG7

firegoat7
31-01-2005, 09:48 AM
Well, well. The response to shaun's post reminds me of a fish vainly thrashing about trying to justify its existance before fading away into oblivion.

Give GG a break. It is pointless to criticise him along the lines of his emotional responses. The Australian Open is a big ask for somebody relatively inexperienced in organising. I'm sure Shaun, as an experienced organiser, would clearly understand from where GG is talking.

Thats said, it is important for GG to express all his concerns about MT Buller. Discuss those concerns, don't trample on him. Let it be recognised that organisers need this sort of discussion as a kind of therapy. It is not easy to have the whole weight of a community upon your shoulders. He has clearly had a traumatic time in a situation that was relatively out of his control.

We all know that Australian chess needs new blood. The more organisers the better. Organisers are grown within the community. Don't cut them down before they have a realistic chance to bloom.

Cheers FG7

Spiny Norman
31-01-2005, 06:48 PM
So I bolted outta there and played with her majesty's squirrels instead. How cute! I never seen squirrels in me life.

I'll never forget the first time I saw squirrels ... in Washington D.C. back a few years ... laughed myself stupid and had to stop before I wet myself! :lol: The way they run-n-jump is hilarious...

AES
04-02-2005, 08:56 PM
Hi Garvin,

I enjoyed reading your report. Apologies for the delay ive been busy with work. I do agree with many comments but i believe that everyone should give George a break.

Cheers,

Alex.

AES
04-02-2005, 09:21 PM
LEAVE GEORGE HOWARD ALONE!!

George Howard is not the perfect organiser, he's not saying he is, but come on guys-give him a break. He was the one, when all looked lost, who singlehandedly decided to enable the Mt Buller Chess Tournaments to continue as planned. ANd by and large, i would say it was a good idea and the events were successful. But on the other side, keeping a balanced perspective, there were some problems that shouldn't have happeneed.

Yes he has his faults, but we all do. Stop making it a personal attack. There was a committee and I was on it. We know that he wasn't willing to listen to others. I'd like to see some of you guys try and do what he has done for all his time and effort.

In my opinion, these were a PROFESSIONALLY run event with some problems that needed to be ironed out and should never happen again.

Don't make it seem worse than what it was. This was not the Titanic.