Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Bad means result in bad ends

The ClosetGrandmaster has a post up concerning the difficulties that the upcoming Australian Open has run into. To anyone who has read the report that Stephen Mugford and I produced for the Australian Chess Federation after the 2006/07 Australian Open, this would come as little surprise, although the ACF itself decided it wasn't important enough to pass on to the organisers of this years Australian Open. Indeed the first they heard of it was when Stephen Mugford contacted Chris Dimock (one of the organising team) to pass on our experience in holding this event. Stephen then passed on the report to a somewhat shocked organiser.
In fact the event almost didn't go ahead (at least in its current form), as the ACF received no bids by its initial deadline, and even by an extended deadline had still received nothing. By this stage they had entered into negotiations with the organisers of the Doeberl Cup and the Sydney International Open to award the title of Australian Open Champion to the best performed player at these events, although these negotiations were terminated without notice after a potential bidder arrived on the scene.
However, in their excitement at receiving a bid, it appears the ACF failed to pass on all the information that a prospective bidder may need to make an informed judgement concerning the viability of the event (ie the report from the previous event). So 16 days out the event seems to be struggling, although some in the ACF still insist on blaming external factors, rather than the tournament structure itself.

Oh, as an aside, I previously posted about DGT equipment that the ACF received in Dresden. I have since been informed by an ACF official that the equipment hasn't made it back to Australia.

12 comments:

Alex said...

Once again the ACF's excellent management skills on display! Top effort, very impressive communication!

Alex

Denis jessop said...

One reason for the ACF not to have passed the report on to anyone is that it doesn't believe in its veracity.

As for the DGT boards, your account of the matter is grossly over-simplified - you should check your facts before bursting into print. For one thing why should we want out-of date serial connection DGT boards that will cost us mega dollars to transport here. FIDE had offerred such DGT boards to national federations long before the Olympiad and our advice was that they were not worth it and we did not accept the offer.

Of course Toolsie, who couldn't run 10 metres let alone a chess tournament and wouldn't know a DGT Board from a schooner, thinks your post was top class which should give you food for thought.

DJ

Kevin Bonham said...

Shaun claims:

"By this stage they had entered into negotiations with the organisers of the Doeberl Cup and the Sydney International Open to award the title of Australian Open Champion to the best performed player at these events, although these negotiations were terminated without notice after a potential bidder arrived on the scene."

Actually the ACF received and was considering a formal proposal from the SIO organiser, Brian Jones, to have the Australian Open title awarded to the SIO winner. This proposal was under serious consideration, especially when it looked like no bid for the Open in its normal timeslot would be forthcoming, but it was withdrawn by Brian Jones and replaced by one of the sort Shaun refers to. (I am not criticising Brian in any way - he is running a major and very successful commercial event and is entitled to make whatever decisions he believes are in that event's best interests concerning the awarding or not of national titles at it.)

That joint-event proposal soon became moot with the acceptance of the Manly bid but to say the ACF was negotiating to award the title to the winner of the two events jointly is quite incorrect. The joint-event idea never had even the tentative support of the ACF Council at any stage. I believe it was canvassed by one or more Councillors to see if it was an option that could be placed on the table alongside all the others but that is not at all the same thing as the ACF itself "negotiating".

Shaun may think that the organisers' report on the previous event was "information that a prospective bidder may need to make an informed judgement concerning the viability of the event" but large sections of that report were mere speculation of an incomplete nature at best. Indeed, to those without experience of the history of the event, the simple downwards trajectory of entry picture is quite misleading. The report fails to mention anywhere that the 2004 event was held in a decidedly out-of-the-way location (Mt Buller) which explains why the decline from 2002 to 2004 was much steeper than in previous years. Unless one really considers Canberra to be equivalent to Mt Buller in remoteness, figures for Canberra should have been at least comparable to Mt Buller.

Indeed if the report's suggestions are correct then the move of the event to Sydney should alone have had an excellent chance of offsetting any ongoing decline in entry numbers for this event. All that said, I would prefer to wait until we see what the final entry numbers are for this event before drawing any conclusions about what they say about the Open concept in general.

And yes, having a silly troll like Alex Toolsie commend your efforts is an almost infallible sign that they were wasted.

This post, as with all I make here, does not necessarily represent the views of the ACF.

Shaun Press said...

While it is tempting to go back and forth on this, I don't really have the energy (or inclination) to try and argue differing opinions. I'm happier just talking to people like ACF Secretary Jey Hoole to get the inside scoop on what was really said at the time concerning the 2006/07 Australian Open report. Just as I am happy with knowing what happened with the DGT boards in Dresden, as I (and Gary Bekker, Brian Jones and Hilton Bennet) was an actual witness to the whole process.

Kevin Bonham said...

The problem with this "inside scoop" business is that your interpretation of whatever you heard from Jey may, for all the reader knows, be misconstrued, so your reference to it is not an effective counter-argument.

Nor is it necessarily a relevant one because when you are sending a report to the ACF it doesn't matter that it fails to mention the background to the 2004-5 event (because we know that) and it doesn't even matter overmuch that it fails to explore all possible causes for the relative failure of the Canberra event (because we were already well aware of many other possible explanations). It's quite a different thing to lob such an incomplete analysis on the desk of the incoming organisers in a unilateral and what sounds to me like a somewhat provocative fashion.

Shaun Press said...

Kevin, you misunderstand my point. I'm only speaking about my own satisfaction with the facts, not what I think others will be satisfied with.
Indeed, while I do not dismiss others as "gullible readers with short attention spans who do not click on the comments", if people wish to know what I know, then I prefer to discuss it face to face, rather than through other mediums.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Shaun Press Quote:

"Kevin, you misunderstand my point."

I disagree Shaun. Usually Kevin understands perfectly well but being the disagreeable fool he often is, he has an axe to grind with anyone who doesn't agree with him. In this case that is you and I.

In any event, I think you and your blog are doing Australian Chess a tremendous service. Please don't let people like Kevin muzzle you.

Best Regards,

Alex

Kevin Bonham said...

Shaun, you may have intended to only speak about your own satisfaction with the facts. However, your post effectively asserts that there is some "inside scoop" truth you have heard from Jey Hoole that counteracts what is being claimed. My response was on that basis, so whereas you are claiming to have misunderstood the basis for my comments it seems to me more like the other way round.

Actually, I wasn't really concerned about the motivation for your comments, I was concerned about debunking misapprehensions that might arise from them.

Here is the full context of the reference in which you claimed I dismissed others (it was a chesschat post):

"Nonetheless there is still the problem of how issues might be received by gullible readers with short attention spans who do not click on the comments and this is why I was suggesting that just giving one side of the story in the lead and leaving the debunking for the comments isn't really enough and there will hopefully now be a piece pointing out that Bill has refuted Parr's accusations."

Clearly I am not dismissing any particular party as a gullible reader but simply suggesting that these types of people are out there. And that people sometimes accept what has been said without waiting to see both sides of the story has been clear enough in this particular matter already.

Furthermore, you write "if people wish to know what I know, then I prefer to discuss it face to face, rather than through other mediums." If this is so, then why write ***blog posts*** claiming to know various things about these issues? Is it because you want to discuss what you think you know when people don't want to know it, or is it because you simply do not actually know what you are talking about? ;)

It's ironic that Alex Toolsie wrongly suggests I was being deliberately disagreeble or grinding an axe; of course both these assertions are baseless rubbish like so many of Toolsie's other comments. Another baseless and bizarre Toolsie comment is his use of the word "muzzle" but that is the sort of clueless drivel we are used to from him.

Anonymous said...

KEVIN BONHAM IS THE MOST NOTORIOUS SNAIL RAPIST IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

Kevin Bonham said...

Anonymous is undoubtedly the person once known on Chesschat as "Axiom", who has been stalking me across the internet with this pimplebrained snail-rape rubbish for no reason other than that I deservedly banned him from Chesschat.

Anonymous said...

you know, you need to lighten up