Saturday, 30 June 2007

Australian Open 2006-07 Finances

In the most recent Australian Chess Federation Newsletter, the ACF has called for bids for the 2007-08 Australian Championship. Of course this is not the first time the ACF has called for bids for this event, an technically the bids for this event closed 12 months ago (ie 30 June 2006).
But as of this moment no one has shown any real interest in hosting this event, and the ACF has offered to underwrite to event to the tune of $2,000 and allow the organisers too keep all the profit. This is a change from previous years where the ACF has insisted that organisers carry all the losses, but split the profit 50-50 with the ACF. Desperate times, desperate men I guess.
Of course the last Australian Open (2006-07) ran under the model of the ACF carry all the risk, but retain all the profit, which I think is the model the ACF should have always had.
For those thinking of putting in a bid (as well as those lying in wait to criticise whatever bid is accepted), here are some figures from the 2006-07 Australian Open. The initial bid based based on a total of 230 players entering. This was made up of 150 in the Open plus 40 players each in the Major and Minor. The Seniors event was not part of the bid and was therefore a self funded event (as was the Lightning event). In the end the event attracted less than 50% of that estimate, with only 104 players entering the 3 events. Consequently there was always going to be a shortfall, especially as the total budget came to $30,442
So how much was that loss. In the end it was only $4,719 which isn't bad considering the low entries. If we had had the budgeted numbers of players (ie an extra 126 players) then the tournament would have run at a considerable profit.
And that is what a poorly attend (but well run) national tournament cost the ACF. Although curiously the ACF themselves could have reduced the loss a lot further. At the Australian Schools Teams Championship in December 2006, incoming ACF President Gary Wastell asked me what the ACF could do to help make the tournament a success. "Simple" I replied. "Just get each member of the ACF Council to enter the tournament". In the end only 2 council members (IIRC) actually entered the event (ACTCA President Mos Ali and CAWA President John Fedec) meaning that at least 11 did not. This could have reduced the ACF's loss by $1,980. Gary Wastell didn't seem to take my suggestion seriously, and I assume it wasn't followed up.
But a word of caution to any prospective organisers. The ACF has very high standards you need to meet. During the Australian Open Gary Wastell called me "incompetent" not once but twice. So I guess the ACF won't be looking for my help in the future.

25 comments:

DeNovoMeme said...

$30K !!!! Where was nightly keg party, prawns and strippers.

But truely ruley. The venue was far too clean and tidy - suitable for open heart surgery. Chess players are a bunch of powder-puffs. The venue for any event need not be anything better than a local commuity hall. That is all we chess players are worth and all we deserve. Spending $ks on a venue is an extravegence that only a sponsor should shoulder.

As for this current 2008AC, the crooked looking bid system is being exposed at ACCF. Apparently Gary "Oysters" Wastel does not like a venue without a toffs price tag. Furthermore, the new "$2k baby bonus and keep the change offer" has the dogs sniffing around the bitch is on heat.


http://p067.ezboard.com/faustralianchessclubfrm10.showMessageRange?topicID=20.topic&start=21&stop=38


BTW, next Oysters calls you incompetent look him in the eye, laugh, and say "Two decades as Victorian President - and your growth achievement was ...?... Now disappear "

Anonymous said...

I know you did the ACF a favour by running the 07 Open but to raise as much sponsorship as you did and to then lose $4,719 is more than a bit unlucky surely?

Bergil

Shaun Press said...

It certainly wasn't luck or lack of it that contributed to the loss.
The bid we submitted to the ACF contained a budget based on an estimated number of entries (the 230 I referred to in the parent post). The ACF accepted the budget, which also means they believed the 230 entry figure, and that the proposed expenditure was acceptable. What obviously went wrong is that the 230 was a vast over estimate and that a more realistic figure was 104. And it certainly wasn't luck that allowed the tournament to only attract 45% of the projected entries, and yet only suffer a 15% shortfall on the budget. Instead that would be bloody good management.
But what sort of National tournament can you organise with a budget based on 104 entries. Not one with a decent prize money or the budget to attract sufficient titled players for norm purposes. And I guess that is the reality that Australian chess organisers are now accepting in deciding not to bid for the Australian Championships at all.

DeNovoMeme said...

Shut up Bergil. When the your NSWCA [where you are in office] stops losing $1k a month you can start criticising.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say you ran a poor show or cannot organize a tournament. The bid was flawed and as you point out the ACF accepted it.

Just to make it clear it was your bid that expected 150 players in the open. So 75 at $150 =$11,250 and 75 at 112.50 =$8,437.5 total $19,687.50

Major and Minor 40 each so 20 at $50 = 1,000 20 at 37.50 = $750

Total expected entry fees of all 3 tournaments $23,187.50

Total prize money $15,600

Looks good so far but what were the costs? It would be good to hear room, arbitor and titled players.


Bergil

DeNovoMeme said...

At least I was a player there! Where were you?

It was a pretty normal event. I have no complaints at all. (Except that I played very very badly LOL )

In other states chess clubs have to pay for there venues. Lucky NSW has it sweet because our clubs are safe under the wing of the big football/RSL/ et cetera clubs, were we get free venues. So, how is it that the NSWCA is losing an average of $1k an event?

You might be able to spread shit all over people like Shaun Press on Chess Chat because you are bossum buddies with your fellow NSWCA councillor President Gletsos the Chess Chat immoderator, but here, I will rip your balls off and feed them to you.

Shaun Press said...

In the budget the figures were:
Arbiters: $3000
Room Hire: $2600
Publicity expenses: $1000
Appearance Fees: $9000

But I'm at a disadvantage. I'm used to people gathering the facts first before taking a position on an issue they are discussing with me. So I'll ask a question.
You (Bergil) have publicy wondered in another forum that how we turned $22,000 sponsorship into a $4719 loss. If instead we had turned a profit on $22,000 sponsorship would you be praising us in a similar way?

DeNovoMeme said...

SP, if you ever have a sudden rush of blood to the head and run another big championship, please concider me for an Appearence Fee. I will conduct a an Blind-fold Simil , where, I, hold a Q&A game with a crowd of administrators. If I identify the questioner's psychological disorder, it is a draw, if I can make them angry with my answer to their question, I win.

Anonymous said...

Praise you indeed. In fact I think you did a wonderful job of raising sponsorship and I'm sure all who played had a good time.

My only position is this; you are giving brickbats to the ACF (yes they deserve some) but it was your bid. You did them a favour and then had them over a barrel and got a blank cheque.

Take your share of the criticism and move on. Stop badmouthing the ACF its self evident.

Bergil

Shaun Press said...

Thanks for the offer Matt, but I'd rather spend the appearance money on getting players who can assist Australia's 13 IM's to get closer to becoming GM's.

DeNovoMeme said...

If the all current GMs and IMs wanted what you suggest as an outcome, I would have thought none of them would be insisting on Appearence Fees !?!?!?

Shaun Press said...

Sure, there is that point, although you need to treat IM's and GM's differently. For the GM's, becoming a GM is in part about being a professional, and consequently expecting, and receiving, appearance money.
For the IM's you would expect that they would wish to become a GM (for the above reasons) and consequently play for prize money only. We as organisers assumed this as well, but only 1 IM decided to play. Therefore a mistaken assumption on our part.

DeNovoMeme said...

It is true that several of our better chessers are indeed very professional - no names because thier reputations are well know. However, their are those who wish to be respected as professionals but do not yet act as such. Let me point to a web page as a suggested starting point for the wannabes.

http://www.wordconstructions.com/articles/business/professional.html

I have opened a thread on ACCF for discussion. http://p067.ezboard.com/faustralianchessclubfrm9

Phil said...

Shaun,
As an aside, I noted the costs for arbiters. This discussion came up with an internet 'mate' from Russia and he informed me that there they pay their arbiters $4 USD per day and consequently have a ratio of 1 arbiter per 4 boards. I was starting to think this doesn't sound right. Then he informed me that it only costs $2-3 USD to enter these tournaments, now I was really wondering what the devil was going on, but we continued our discussion in search of the flipside. Prizemoney payed out, doesn't happen, maybe one or two prizes of around $20 USD but that's it. :) They still get 80-100 players lining up to participate in these tournaments.
Must be marvelous to be in a chess culture.

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