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Thunderspirit
08-04-2005, 08:40 PM
I've got to say that I was extremely disapointed by many of the results of the recent ACTCA AGM. It stuns me to see the lack of forward thinking by many in my home town. (Many Canberreans would say that this is a bit rich, seeing I haven't lived in Canberra for six years, but I still know heaps about ACT chess).

Firstly I want to congratulate Mos on becoming ACTCA president. It's good to see 2 people fighting, wanting to do the job. Though I must say I am dissapointed that Shuan didn't get the nod, I wish Mos the best of luck.

The one thing I dislike about it though that it was a 'secret ballot'. These are incredibly gutless. People say one thing to someone's face and then vote another way. I believe in putting your paw up in the air and having enough guts to vote one way or the other.

Other prosposals that completely stunned me where as follows. The decision not to have the ACT Championship run as an alternate Swiss/Round Robin. I don't get it. As a young junior playing in the Reserves, I wanted to be able to play in the top event, it was special. You earnt the right to play. Entry for most players was through qualifying by being a Club Champ, Jnr Champ, Last years winner, Last Reserves winner and the last couple went to the highest rated non championship players.

There were a few whinges who were about 1700 who would alway miss out, and they cried when they didn't get in. Boo Hoo... The last time it was played in this format was in 1997 at Canberra CC. Andre Bliznyuk didn't qualify for the Champs, and though was clearly good enough happily played and slaughtered the Reserves. He scored 8/9 1.5 points clear of =2nd who included Simon Ayling who beat him in last round!

The decision not to FIDE rate the ACT Championship is just stupid. With the exception of Doeberl Cup there are no FIDE rated events in Canberra. This astonishes and dispoints me. There are heaps of smart enough people, and tons of FIDE rated players, it's not hard to run a 10 player FIDE`Rated RR. Geeze I did it! To be fair Shuan did try for a while to get one up and running at Belconnen but ran into stupdity from an old stalwart. Why can't Belco do something now?? Can the JCL Fide rate the ACT Jnr?? (Assuming the Time limit is OK....)

The only good thing to come out of the meeting was a propsal was scraped that would have made all ex-ACTCA`presidents life members. Assuming that included Acting presidents that would have included me! Me an ACTCA life member... LOL...

Come on Canberra, there's some great chess, and some tops minds down there, I just don't get the stupidity!

On a different topic I have asked Bill to remove my name from the ACT ratings list. My idea of keeping it there all these years was that after uni I would move back to Canberra for good. I've just moved to Melbourne and will be here until at least X'mas so I'll be a Mexican soon. This will please Shuan and Ian who have wanted it for years...

Denis_Jessop
08-04-2005, 08:58 PM
I've got to say that I was extremely disapointed by many of the results of the recent ACTCA AGM. It stuns me to see the lack of forward thinking by many in my home town. (Many Canberreans would say that this is a bit rich, seeing I haven't lived in Canberra for six years, but I still know heaps about ACT chess).

Firstly I want to congratulate Mos on becoming ACTCA president. It's good to see 2 people fighting, wanting to do the job. Though I must say I am dissapointed that Shuan didn't get the nod, I wish Mos the best of luck.

The one thing I dislike about it though that it was a 'secret ballot'. These are incredibly gutless. People say one thing to someone's face and then vote another way. I believe in putting your paw up in the air and having enough guts to vote one way or the other.

Other prosposals that completely stunned me where as follows. The decision not to have the ACT Championship run as an alternate Swiss/Round Robin. I don't get it. As a young junior playing in the Reserves, I wanted to be able to play in the top event, it was special. You earnt the right to play. Entry for most players was through qualifying by being a Club Champ, Jnr Champ, Last years winner, Last Reserves winner and the last couple went to the highest rated non championship players.

There were a few whinges who were about 1700 who would alway miss out, and they cried when they didn't get in. Boo Hoo... The last time it was played in this format was in 1997 at Canberra CC. Andre Bliznyuk didn't qualify for the Champs, and though was clearly good enough happily played and slaughtered the Reserves. He scored 8/9 1.5 points clear of =2nd who included Simon Ayling who beat him in last round!

The decision not to FIDE rate the ACT Championship is just stupid. With the exception of Doeberl Cup there are no FIDE rated events in Canberra. This astonishes and dispoints me. There are heaps of smart enough people, and tons of FIDE rated players, it's not hard to run a 10 player FIDE`Rated RR. Geeze I did it! To be fair Shuan did try for a while to get one up and running at Belconnen but ran into stupdity from an old stalwart. Why can't Belco do something now?? Can the JCL Fide rate the ACT Jnr?? (Assuming the Time limit is OK....)

The only good thing to come out of the meeting was a propsal was scraped that would have made all ex-ACTCA`presidents life members. Assuming that included Acting presidents that would have included me! Me an ACTCA life member... LOL...

Come on Canberra, there's some great chess, and some tops minds down there, I just don't get the stupidity!

On a different topic I have asked Bill to remove my name from the ACT ratings list. My idea of keeping it there all these years was that after uni I would move back to Canberra for good. I've just moved to Melbourne and will be here until at least X'mas so I'll be a Mexican soon. This will please Shuan and Ian who have wanted it for years...


Liberace a Mexican. That is a crime punishable by constant abuse on the BB at the least and by much worse :evil: :mad: :hand:

On the serious side I cannot understand the attitude of those who voted not to FIDE rate the ACT Championship, in the preocess overturning an ACTCA Committee decision to do so. But I do understand that Belconnen CC is to FIDE rate the Belconnen Premier as the meeting had no power to overturn that decision.

The format of the ACT championship has always been a matter of contention, three different formulae having been used in the last 10 years. The Open Swiss seems to have the fewest critics and that may be the reason for its continued adoption. Restricted entry tournaments in such a close-knit chess community have always seemed to me open to criticism, especially too as they would exclude many juniors every second year and juniors are the backbone of ACT chess at present as far as numbers go. (You could let every adult, who wanted to play, enter and be pushing to get an entry of over 20 depending on venue.)

DJ

Thunderspirit
08-04-2005, 09:18 PM
I didn't realise Belco have a FIDE rated event. Well done... More could be done though...

As for abuse: You wouldn't do that presidente, would you?? ;)

shaun
08-04-2005, 09:36 PM
Other prosposals that completely stunned me where as follows. The decision not to have the ACT Championship run as an alternate Swiss/Round Robin. I don't get it. As a young junior playing in the Reserves, I wanted to be able to play in the top event, it was special. You earnt the right to play. Entry for most players was through qualifying by being a Club Champ, Jnr Champ, Last years winner, Last Reserves winner and the last couple went to the highest rated non championship players.

There were a few whinges who were about 1700 who would alway miss out, and they cried when they didn't get in. Boo Hoo... The last time it was played in this format was in 1997 at Canberra CC. Andre Bliznyuk didn't qualify for the Champs, and though was clearly good enough happily played and slaughtered the Reserves. He scored 8/9 1.5 points clear of =2nd who included Simon Ayling who beat him in last round!


The strangest thing about this decision was the major objection seemed to be how players qualified for a Round Robin championship. After a purely objective method was presented which dealt with the complaints of the people at the meeting the objection then shifted to the fact the the ACTCA committee could change the qualification regulations at some later date. What was truly bizarre was that the 3 people who complained most about this happening were the newly elected president, the re-elected vice-president, and the re-elected secretary. Maybe they thought there was another ACTCA committee making decisions behind their backs?



The decision not to FIDE rate the ACT Championship is just stupid. With the exception of Doeberl Cup there are no FIDE rated events in Canberra. This astonishes and dispoints me. There are heaps of smart enough people, and tons of FIDE rated players, it's not hard to run a 10 player FIDE`Rated RR. Geeze I did it! To be fair Shuan did try for a while to get one up and running at Belconnen but ran into stupdity from an old stalwart. Why can't Belco do something now?? Can the JCL Fide rate the ACT Jnr?? (Assuming the Time limit is OK....)



This was a decision taken at the end of the meeting and was motivated mainly out of self interest by some players who either had FIDE ratings and didn't want to lose points to up and coming juniors, or in the case of Mr X, didn't want to get a FIDE rating in such a tournament in case it didn't match what he felt was his level of ability as a chess player (The figure of 2200 was mentioned).
Of course the decison to run the championship as a swiss meant, at least to me, that FIDE rating the event was fairly pointless and consequently I was one who voted for the motion (In fact I seconded it).

pax
08-04-2005, 10:07 PM
...or in the case of Mr X, didn't want to get a FIDE rating in such a tournament in case it didn't match what he felt was his level of ability as a chess player (The figure of 2200 was mentioned).

You have 2200 players in Canberra?? :eek:

(sorry, that was uncalled for :hand: )

Thunderspirit
08-04-2005, 10:09 PM
There are two players that I can think of over 2200 FIDE. The first is FM Tristan Reeves who has long retired and Andre Bliznyuk who may also be a CM.

shaun
08-04-2005, 10:18 PM
You have 2200 players in Canberra??

Not by any *objective* measure, but that doesn't stop some people dreaming that they are.

Bill Gletsos
08-04-2005, 10:36 PM
The one thing I dislike about it though that it was a 'secret ballot'. These are incredibly gutless. People say one thing to someone's face and then vote another way. I believe in putting your paw up in the air and having enough guts to vote one way or the other.It is easy to call 'secret ballots' gutless, but open ballots have problems of their own in that the official that is elected in an open ballot may well hold a grude against those members who did not voter for them.


On a different topic I have asked Bill to remove my name from the ACT ratings list. My idea of keeping it there all these years was that after uni I would move back to Canberra for good. I've just moved to Melbourne and will be here until at least X'mas so I'll be a Mexican soon. This will please Shuan and Ian who have wanted it for years...Yes, you will show up as a Mexican on the June 2005 list.

Bill Gletsos
08-04-2005, 10:42 PM
On the serious side I cannot understand the attitude of those who voted not to FIDE rate the ACT Championship, in the preocess overturning an ACTCA Committee decision to do so. But I do understand that Belconnen CC is to FIDE rate the Belconnen Premier as the meeting had no power to overturn that decision.I'm not so sure that the ACTCA could not block the FIDE rating of the Belconnen event.

Given FIDE only accept events submitted for rating by member Federations, then that means it must be submtted via the ACF and with the ACF's approval.
Since the ACTCA is a member of the ACF and not Belconnen, then surely if the ACTCA opposed the FIDE rating of the event then the ACF would not submit it for FIDE rating.

Libby
09-04-2005, 08:25 AM
Can the JCL Fide rate the ACT Jnr?? (Assuming the Time limit is OK....)

Without disagreeing with you on everything Lee, I would be wary of criticising decisions made at meetings where you are not in attendance.

The JCL has talked about a FIDE rated event. At the moment we are stuck in a position where our better juniors just don't play junior events. I accept players move onwards and upwards but I also think in Canberra (being a geographically small location with one Club in a very dominant - player - position) our players are meeting the same field at every location. Our junior events attract a very similar field to the Belconnen Chess Club with the adults removed. There's no excitement in playing the same guy on Saturday that you just played on Friday night and probably played in last month's tournament as well.

We've asked the kids themselves for some feedback. We certainly have a number who don't want to risk their "normal" rating by playing our up-and-comers already. I'd be very suprised if those same players would want to share their FIDE points around if we couldn't attract a significant out-of-town field to bolster it.

So we'd consider it but it takes player support - as do many things in chess. Can't think how I ever coped playing a softball carnival if there were good pitchers on the other teams - my batting average used to take a hammering. :wall:

Thunderspirit
09-04-2005, 09:19 AM
Without disagreeing with you on everything Lee, I would be wary of criticising decisions made at meetings where you are not in attendance.

The JCL has talked about a FIDE rated event. At the moment we are stuck in a position where our better juniors just don't play junior events. I accept players move onwards and upwards but I also think in Canberra (being a geographically small location with one Club in a very dominant - player - position) our players are meeting the same field at every location. Our junior events attract a very similar field to the Belconnen Chess Club with the adults removed. There's no excitement in playing the same guy on Saturday that you just played on Friday night and probably played in last month's tournament as well.

We've asked the kids themselves for some feedback. We certainly have a number who don't want to risk their "normal" rating by playing our up-and-comers already. I'd be very suprised if those same players would want to share their FIDE points around if we couldn't attract a significant out-of-town field to bolster it.

So we'd consider it but it takes player support - as do many things in chess. Can't think how I ever coped playing a softball carnival if there were good pitchers on the other teams - my batting average used to take a hammering. :wall:

Have to agree with a lot of what you have said. Firstly it is a little dodgy to be critical of decisions made at a meeting where I didn't attend.

The 'fishbowl' problem is impossible to break in Canberra. I was talking to Ian Rout once who said he played Milan Grcic 18 times in one year. There were all the club events and 5 weekenders I think. My suggestion wasn't to create another event in jnr chess, just make the ACT juniors FIDE rated. Give the kids a good time limit, and hopefully the quality of the chess will improve.
The same limit wouldn't be used for supporting events. The admin work would increase a bit, but its managable.

As for the "I'm too scared to loose my rating points" that's a cop out by the kids. A recent ex NSW jnr and a mate of mine was not considering play a weekender because of the under rated kids in the event. Charles convinced him to play as once he was a little demon eating up points, and if you take that attidute, you'd never play...

Thunderspirit
09-04-2005, 09:24 AM
It is easy to call 'secret ballots' gutless, but open ballots have problems of their own in that the official that is elected in an open ballot may well hold a grude against those members who did not voter for them.


Yes, you will show up as a Mexican on the June 2005 list.

That's a cop out (not that it is a personal attack on you though). A friend once told me that "the man that walks in the middle of road cops crap from both sides..."

Anyone for Tacos??

Thunderspirit
09-04-2005, 09:31 AM
Not by any *objective* measure, but that doesn't stop some people dreaming that they are.

Ok Shuan,
You're a good player and heaps better than me, but Tristan dominated ACT Chess in the late 1990's and proved he was the territory's best local home grown talent. He no longer plays, that's a shame though I can understand why. And do you forget Andre went a period in Canberra where he practically lost to no-one for a couple of years, until the Russian School boy had worn off, and he learnt some bad habits..

Mr 2100... you're not quite there yet! :owned: :cool: ;)

jenni
09-04-2005, 01:16 PM
I didn't realise Belco have a FIDE rated event. Well done... More could be done though...

;)

I'm not sure we do. We were planning to FIDE rate the Premier, but have had objections from some players. I did a little survey last night, but haven't asked all the players involved as yet. It seems to be going towards a no vote, but is very close. The problem is some players are saying they won't play if it is FIDE rated. So do you FIDE rate it and have a weaker tournament, or don't and have everyone play. If you give into the "I'm going to take my bat and ball brigade" are you givng into blackmail, or being receptive to the wishes of the players. These things are never easy and a vote by likely players seems the fairest thing.

Incidentally the upstart juniors were soundly whacked by the adults last night in adults vs juniors match. Will put a report and results up, once I have finished working out who has paid what accommodation money for the world Youth. :)

pax
09-04-2005, 03:07 PM
I'm not sure we do. We were planning to FIDE rate the Premier, but have had objections from some players. I did a little survey last night, but haven't asked all the players involved as yet. It seems to be going towards a no vote, but is very close. The problem is some players are saying they won't play if it is FIDE rated. So do you FIDE rate it and have a weaker tournament, or don't and have everyone play. If you give into the "I'm going to take my bat and ball brigade" are you givng into blackmail, or being receptive to the wishes of the players. These things are never easy and a vote by likely players seems the fairest thing.

It's a pretty astonishing attitude, really. Australian FIDE ratings are pretty inaccurate at the lower levels (especially below 2200), and this sort of attitude seems determined to keep it that way. Lets all just put in one or two good performances in FIDE events, get that 2100 rating (or whatever) and then never play a FIDE event again to keep it that way.

shaun
09-04-2005, 03:53 PM
It's a pretty astonishing attitude, really. Australian FIDE ratings are pretty inaccurate at the lower levels (especially below 2200), and this sort of attitude seems determined to keep it that way. Lets all just put in one or two good performances in FIDE events, get that 2100 rating (or whatever) and then never play a FIDE event again to keep it that way.

Indeed. In fact the only reason I am playing the Belconnen Premier is because it is FIDE rated and that my current FIDE rating is probably inaccurate (too high if you must know). I specifically asked one of the organisers before I entered about whether it would be a FIDE rated event and if the decision is reversed then I feel no guilt about withdrawing from the event on the grounds that the conditions that were in place when I entered are no longer in effect.

Ian Rout
09-04-2005, 03:54 PM
I think a fundamental difficulty in Canberra is that there is a certain sameness because there are only three clubs, and any event organised by ACTCA is at one of the three clubs anyway.

Ideally there should be a range of events, including FIDE-rated and unrated, restricted and open, Swiss and round robin. The Premier was a bit of a breakthrough because previously every tournament in Canberra involved finishing an Open Swiss and starting another, possibly with a lightning in between.

The ACT Championship always ends up being played as an Open Swiss because people will go along to a meeting and vote for that so that they can play in it - except that it's then not anything special so very few people apart from those who normally play at the host club do in fact enter.

Most of the innovations that have occurred have been at the downward end, for instance the Canberra Chess Club mainly has five-round tournaments to suit occasonal players who don't want to commit seven weeks, and fills in the gaps with speed tournaments. There is no possibility for Canberra players to play for a FIDE rating except in the Doeberl Premier section.

A possible solution is for a fourth club to start to provide variety - I just don't have the energy to do it myself. Alternatively or in addition the ACTCA (and/or existing clubs) could organise some sort of ACT Masters, and a rated event to allow players to earn FIDE ratings as described by Libby.

Libby
09-04-2005, 04:00 PM
My suggestion wasn't to create another event in jnr chess, just make the ACT juniors FIDE rated. Give the kids a good time limit, and hopefully the quality of the chess will improve.
The same limit wouldn't be used for supporting events. The admin work would increase a bit, but its managable.

As for the "I'm too scared to loose my rating points" that's a cop out by the kids. A recent ex NSW jnr and a mate of mine was not considering play a weekender because of the under rated kids in the event. Charles convinced him to play as once he was a little demon eating up points, and if you take that attidute, you'd never play...

Hi Lee

I didn't think you were suggesting a new event, we were looking at ways to FIDE rate an existing ACTJCL event particularly if that would make the event more attractive to our top juniors.

HOWEVER if the older, stronger kids don't want to play ACTJCL events for the multitude of (dodgy) excuses or (good) reasons they have variously come up with there is simply no point.

We are not admitting defeat but the reality is, with the "fishbowl" as you describe it, and junior players dominating the numbers at two of the three senior clubs, our events border on superfluous for our over 14 membership. Is this positive or negative? In some respects it's a measure of our success that we can feed so many players into the adult clubs but in other ways it creates a culture of a fast and early exit from all junior chess for kids over 14 or rated over 1400. The one or two who play each event always ask "where is ...?" And they're on a hiding to nothing with no closely rated opponents. In the end left wondering why they are playing?

That's not the way I want it and I have gone to some trouble in the past to demonstrate just how strong the ACT Junior Championship could be if all our best juniors played. I have asked for feedback and I have fiddled with and changed formats to try to cater to as many concerns as possible. We even split the Autum Weekender to have an U1000 division to guarantee the top kids fewer "rubbish" rounds but for various reasons some couldn't play and most didn't want to.

Having a FIDE rated ACT Juniors only works if our FIDE rated kids want to play.

jenni
09-04-2005, 04:34 PM
Indeed. In fact the only reason I am playing the Belconnen Premier is because it is FIDE rated and that my current FIDE rating is probably inaccurate (too high if you must know). I specifically asked one of the organisers before I entered about whether it would be a FIDE rated event and if the decision is reversed then I feel no guilt about withdrawing from the event on the grounds that the conditions that were in place when I entered are no longer in effect.

Well that makes it easy - I don't have to ask Shaun fo his vote now, because I can deduce it. :) Looks like it is a case of losing a strong player if it is FIDE rate and one if it is not. :wall:

Ian Rout
09-04-2005, 05:11 PM
Well that makes it easy - I don't have to ask Shaun fo his vote now, because I can deduce it. :) Looks like it is a case of losing a strong player if it is FIDE rate and one if it is not. :wall:
Well not necessarily - there might be just some people who won't have it all their own way but still prefer it to playing lightning in the corridor or staying at home and watching the Friday movie.

In any case there's at least twelve entrants who would feel unlucky to miss out and some reasonable players in the next group. There's a difference between "giving the members what they want" and giving a handful of members everything they want every time. It's hardly an unattractive event, there are plenty of members who want to play and I also told two other decent players not to bother because they hadn't met the qualification rules re playing at the club (and they weren't waving a list of their terms or conditions or worrying about people finding out that they aren't 2200).

Garvinator
09-04-2005, 05:21 PM
watching the Friday movie.
so i take it that the club is run on a friday night. If this is the case then I would venture to say that this is one of the main reasons why the older juniors arent playing. I understand that there might be very good reasons why it is on a friday night.

A night change might be more in order, remember i did say might. That is if you want to attract the older juniors, which i think you do.

Libby
09-04-2005, 05:27 PM
so i take it that the club is run on a friday night. If this is the case then I would venture to say that this is one of the main reasons why the older juniors arent playing. I understand that there might be very good reasons why it is on a friday night.

A night change might be more in order, remember i did say might. That is if you want to attract the older juniors, which i think you do.

Garvin - Friday night is the Belconnen adult club, populated by almost every junior player in Canberra.

The older/stronger juniors that I'm having my little mope about are not interested in, or able to play, our 2-4 (depending on age and/or gender) ACTJCL rated weekend events each year or the half dozen or so unrated, or rapid rated, single day weekend events for which they are also eligible. Partly, it seems, because their chess needs are significantly met by the Friday night play at Belconnen where they meet almost the same field of players (with a few oldies tossed in). :)

jenni
09-04-2005, 05:37 PM
so i take it that the club is run on a friday night. If this is the case then I would venture to say that this is one of the main reasons why the older juniors arent playing. I understand that there might be very good reasons why it is on a friday night.

A night change might be more in order, remember i did say might. That is if you want to attract the older juniors, which i think you do.

In fact it is the other way around - because it is Friday night the juniors are prepared to come, because they don't have school the next day. While we might occasionally lose an older junior because of a hectic social life, it doesn't happen very often.

Older Juniors are not playing in ACTJCL events for a range of reasons, but these are on weekends.

Libby
09-04-2005, 05:44 PM
While we might occasionally lose an older junior because of a hectic social life, it doesn't happen very often.


Not sure it needs to happen at all these days (she says feeling about 90 :( ).

Last time I was asked "out" (so long ago I can't remember) they weren't planning to set off until sometime well past my bedtime. So a late finish to a chess game probably allows the player to go straight from the game to wherever it's all happening - nowhere I'm likely to be found of course :rolleyes:

jenni
09-04-2005, 05:50 PM
Not sure it needs to happen at all these days (she says feeling about 90 :( ).

Last time I was asked "out" (so long ago I can't remember) they weren't planning to set off until sometime well past my bedtime. So a late finish to a chess game probably allows the player to go straight from the game to wherever it's all happening - nowhere I'm likely to be found of course :rolleyes:

Funny about that - Shannon finished her game at around 11:45, did a quick change of clothes and rushed out to be picked up by her girls friends all heading for a disco in Civic. Apparently it does all start happening after 11 and goes until late. I dimly remember that sort of life a few centuries ago. :cool:

Libby
09-04-2005, 05:57 PM
Apparently it does all start happening after 11

At which time I have definitely turned into a pumpkin :embarras:

Garvinator
09-04-2005, 06:19 PM
just what this thread needs, jenni and libby wondering what happened to their social lives ;) :doh: :lol:

jenni
09-04-2005, 07:17 PM
just what this thread needs, jenni and libby wondering what happened to their social lives ;) :doh: :lol:
At least we had one......

Denis_Jessop
09-04-2005, 11:08 PM
I'm not so sure that the ACTCA could not block the FIDE rating of the Belconnen event.

Given FIDE only accept events submitted for rating by member Federations, then that means it must be submtted via the ACF and with the ACF's approval.
Since the ACTCA is a member of the ACF and not Belconnen, then surely if the ACTCA opposed the FIDE rating of the event then the ACF would not submit it for FIDE rating.

You may well be right, Bill, I didn't think this right through for the reason that it didn't arise. I don't think the meeting would have done so as opinions were expressed that special FIDE-rated events were OK but not the ACT Championship. Certainly no-one suggested changing the BCC decision.

DJ

Denis_Jessop
09-04-2005, 11:12 PM
You have 2200 players in Canberra?? :eek:

(sorry, that was uncalled for :hand: )

Yes and no - about 22 adults and about 2200 juniors :rolleyes: :wall:

DJ

Denis_Jessop
09-04-2005, 11:47 PM
I think a fundamental difficulty in Canberra is that there is a certain sameness because there are only three clubs, and any event organised by ACTCA is at one of the three clubs anyway.

Ideally there should be a range of events, including FIDE-rated and unrated, restricted and open, Swiss and round robin. The Premier was a bit of a breakthrough because previously every tournament in Canberra involved finishing an Open Swiss and starting another, possibly with a lightning in between.

The ACT Championship always ends up being played as an Open Swiss because people will go along to a meeting and vote for that so that they can play in it - except that it's then not anything special so very few people apart from those who normally play at the host club do in fact enter.

Most of the innovations that have occurred have been at the downward end, for instance the Canberra Chess Club mainly has five-round tournaments to suit occasonal players who don't want to commit seven weeks, and fills in the gaps with speed tournaments. There is no possibility for Canberra players to play for a FIDE rating except in the Doeberl Premier section.

A possible solution is for a fourth club to start to provide variety - I just don't have the energy to do it myself. Alternatively or in addition the ACTCA (and/or existing clubs) could organise some sort of ACT Masters, and a rated event to allow players to earn FIDE ratings as described by Libby.


Just a few comments.

1. The ACT Chapionship was made an 11-round Swiss so that it would not be quite the same as all the others. But Ian's point has some strength nevertheless.

2. An even more fundamental problem in Canberra and probably in other places is that in each of the 3 clubs there are very few adults. And two of them at least play at all three clubs. One club, my club Canberra CC, has sufferred a sharp decline in playing members (now about 20) in the last few years and is in real danger of collapse . Tuggeranong is not much better off in numbers (about 25) and only about 5 of them are adults. Belconnen CC is relatively very big (about 50 - 60) but about 75% of those are juniors. Creation of a fourth club is thus a really doubtful option unless the long-term aim is to crush one or more of the existing ones.

3. The new format events at CCC (5-rounders and more rapids) were intended to attract more players but may well have had the opposite effect. They certainly haven't had the intended effect.

4, One or more FIDE-rated events run by the ACTCA was an option that the ACTCA Committee considered last year but it favoured FIDE rating existing events such as the ACT Championship and the Belconnen Premier because, among other things, additional ACTCA events need time and space (a couple of basic chess elements) as well as organisers and players. With a total active chess club population of about 100 already spread over three nights of the week there is a limit to what can be done without just re-distributing them.

DJ

DJ

Spiny Norman
10-04-2005, 07:56 AM
One club, my club Canberra CC, has sufferred a sharp decline in playing members (now about 20) in the last few years and is in real danger of collapse.

Sad to hear things like that. Are you in a position to discuss what you see as factors in the decline? Are there any things which are unique to the club/city which contribute? Also, what new strategies are being employed at the club to arrest and reverse the decline? Which of these have been useful and which have failed? Information like this might be extremely valuable to other clubs.

As an outsider, it would seem at first glance to be 'suicide' to start another club if one or more of the clubs immediately nearby is in trouble. Better to build from a base of strength unless, as you suggested, the intention is to "do away with the old" and start with a clean slate. In starting our club at Croydon I felt it was essential to have strong support from sister clubs nearby (e.g. Box Hill).

An alternative view though: in a smaller city like Canberra, perhaps having two really strong clubs (north vs south for example) might create the sort of rivalry that drives a lot of good activity. A bit like a mini version of NSW vs us mexicans?

firegoat7
10-04-2005, 01:05 PM
Hello,

Reading this thread, I thought most of the problems were related to all Australian Chess clubs.

1. Playing the same people- Unavoidable at club level. Major problem at stronger level (how many times do you think Dazza's played Solo). Maybe it is a pairing issue. I was thinking that because we strictly adhere to ratings (within swiss perfect), that maybe with Australia we need to introduce history into events.

For example if John plays Jill in a previous tournament, why should they be automatically paired together in the next tournament? Maybe, we need an historical factor built into swiss perfect. A system of pairing that would look for an alternative pairing for people on the same points in early rounds. So instead of John playing Jill, automatically, for the sake of diversity and human interest Jill might play Bill, although strictly the pairing may not be completely accurate. I would only argue this point for people on the same score.

Next agenda,adults giving up chess.

I blame a number of factors for this.

1) The biggest is work commitment, generally speaking Australians work harder and longer then previous post ww2 generations. There is only so much time an adult can devote to interests when balanced against work.

The key solution is to develop strong social networks, so that your once a week adult enjoys being part of a community when they are there. Hastle your friends to play chess and make sure your there on the same night, go out afterwards and have a cup of coffee.

2) The internet- individualised comfort, efficiency and security. A big problem for a chess club.A double edged problem. Why go to a club when you can sit at home and get just as much chess?

I think a possible solution to this technological/social change is to incorporate this technology into the tournament scene. If Canberra events could attract competitors via the internet from Sydney, Tasmania, even U.S.A then this would be a big plus. What Australian chess needs to do is invest in local/regional technology solutions from the National/state perspective. If club tournaments had 10 DGTs at one end then, other clubs could cross interact with 10 DGTs from their end. IMO this would enliven the local chess scene, whilst tempting the internet junkies out from their usual habitus.

3) Lack of enchantment for the Adult player.
Lets face it, a significant number of adult players are past their prime chess playing years. Going on rating alone, a number of adults struggle to get enthusiastic about the tournament scene. The only way to prevent this, again in my opinion, is to enchant chess. Offer the fantasy/dream to players, show them clear realistic paths they could follow if they want to achieve those dreams. Don't cater to juniors by trampelling on those possibilities with 'juniorcentric' selection policies.

4) The glicko system (Im not saying anything else here)

5) Computers- they have destroyed personal history in chess. Information has taken some of the personal touch out of chess playing, why spend years playing chess when you can get the same solution from fritz in an instant? (tips the favor in balance of the junior memory over adult experience). Computers have destroyed the culture of club chess significantly. We still have 'oracles' at clubs who impart knowledge, only fritz is more accurate and may I say boring.

cheers Fg7
P.S Change and adaption is the key, keep some great cultural icons but throw out the ones that don't contribute to long term community success. Re-invigorate Australian chess.

Ian Rout
10-04-2005, 05:50 PM
As an outsider, it would seem at first glance to be 'suicide' to start another club if one or more of the clubs immediately nearby is in trouble. Better to build from a base of strength unless, as you suggested, the intention is to "do away with the old" and start with a clean slate. In starting our club at Croydon I felt it was essential to have strong support from sister clubs nearby (e.g. Box Hill).

An alternative view though: in a smaller city like Canberra, perhaps having two really strong clubs (north vs south for example) might create the sort of rivalry that drives a lot of good activity. A bit like a mini version of NSW vs us mexicans?
Doing the same thing in approximately the same place would largely be pointless since as you note it just transfers part of the pool from one club to another.

In practice though it doesn't happen that way. Two southern-based clubs, Woden and Southside (at Kambah) have closed down in the last few years but the other southern club, Tuggeranong, and the central club, Canberra, which was not geographically far from Woden are not in combination any bigger than when there were four clubs (there were never all five in parallel), which we would expect if there were a largely fixed "market".

Rivalry doesn't tend to achieve anything positive in Canberra chess. Belconnen just does its own thing and doesn't worry about trying to compete with or undermine the others and as far as I know they have the same attitude.

Bill Gletsos
10-04-2005, 11:06 PM
4) The glicko system (Im not saying anything else here)Given you previously acknowledged dislike of Glicko then this statement is meaningless especially without any proof/data to back it up.

Garvinator
10-04-2005, 11:10 PM
Given you previously acknowledged dislike of Glicko then this statement is meaningless especially without any proof/data to back it up.
and we dont need another ratings debate ;)

jenni
12-04-2005, 12:41 PM
Sad to hear things like that. Are you in a position to discuss what you see as factors in the decline? Are there any things which are unique to the club/city which contribute? Also, what new strategies are being employed at the club to arrest and reverse the decline? Which of these have been useful and which have failed? Information like this might be extremely valuable to other clubs.
?
I think to put things into context - Canberra only has 300,000 people. In most other cities a demographic like this would support 1 club only. However Canberra people are spoiled and as soon as they have to drive more than 15min to any facility, they tend to complain about distance.

As a consequence the clubs have developed "regionally" and each has their own characteristic.

If you don't like the characteristics of the club in your region, then you become prepared to drive for the enormous time of 20 to 25 minutes to get to anothr club. (from your home to the other club!)

Tuggeranong tends to be for beginner micro juniors and local adults. Belconnen is incredibly social - it is a hotbed of teenage angst (and sometimes passions). Many adults play there to get the variety of strong competition provided by the juniors. Lots of ambitious micro juniors play there, as it is perceived as much stronger than Tuggeranong.

Canberra tends to be for the adults who want a calm adult environment, without the noise and disorder generated by the juniors. It attracts some strong older juniors who don't mind a Wednesday night and want access to the variety and strength of the adults who only play there.

Given that Canberra should probably only have 1 club, I think all 3 clubs are doing OK. Belco is the biggest and obviously the strongest financially, although I think we also pay the most in rent, so probably need the numbers. Tuggeranong is based at the Vikings CLub, so are rent free I think.

Belconnen is starting to generate "new" adults in that the first of the wave of juniors who started playing there a few years ago are now adults. The juniors were very annoyed to have Shannon and Jeremy Reading playing on the adult side, as they perceive them as belonging to them. It was particularly annoying for the junirors to see the result of the match hinging on their games and both of them taking points to the adults. :)

Bob1
12-04-2005, 08:19 PM
I grew up in Canberra only playing (organised) Chess in the last two years of high school (in Civic) - 1970 & 71. Timing the end of a game to catch the last bus home cost me a few games (definitely one against George Stern) - in the end I thought it better to walk (the 1 hour) home. (Unfortunately I didn't win more often as a result - but at least I knew it wasn't because of the time factor)
I now look at all the opportunities available in Canberra.

Thunderspirit
12-04-2005, 09:23 PM
I grew up in Canberra only playing (organised) Chess in the last two years of high school (in Civic) - 1970 & 71. Timing the end of a game to catch the last bus home cost me a few games (definitely one against George Stern) - in the end I thought it better to walk (the 1 hour) home. (Unfortunately I didn't win more often as a result - but at least I knew it wasn't because of the time factor)
I now look at all the opportunities available in Canberra.

It's not much better now. I missed the last bus on a Sunday once from the city at 6:30pm and as aresult had to walk home to Kambah a journey that took 4.5 hours!
And getting home from Belconnen on Friday nights took as much as 2 hours for a 20 min car ride...

Garvinator
12-04-2005, 09:29 PM
Do the clubs take these public transport problems into consideration when playing tournaments?

Maybe this is another reason of the many there are why juniors drop out of chess when they become semi-adults. They go from getting transport from parents to having to get around themselves and realise that public transport is difficult late at night.

To add more, this would explain why girls would drop out maybe more than boys.

jenni
12-04-2005, 09:37 PM
I didn't realise Belco have a FIDE rated event. Well done... ;)

getting back to the original reason for this thread.....

I have just declared the poll closed (on FIDE rating the Premier), and the decision is to rate it (by a narrow margin).