Despite the increase in numbers, the Doeberl Cup seems to get easier to run each year. I put this down to two main factors. Firstly the quality of the organisation in terms of venue, conditions, strength of field etc indicates that this is a serious tournament, and the players therefore act in a 'serious' manner. Secondly the tournament benefits from a large amount of return 'customers' and this means they are familiar with the tournament structure, rules, what to expect from the arbiters, and what is expected of them. This reduces the amount of work that the arbiters do when problems arise, as in most instances the players themselves are often halfway towards a solution by the time we arrive.
There were only a couple of minor issues throughout the tournament we needed to deal with, and these mainly concerned clocks. The odd incorrectly set clock meant a player might not receive an increment, and once or twice a clock broke down, but that was about it. I also had to deal with 3 draw by 3 fold repetition claims, and in all cases the initial claims were incorrect. This indicates to me that some players still haven't read the rules in this regard, and turning up to an important tournament without this knowledge inevitably leads to trouble.
From the tournament presentation point of view, the major problem was with the tournament website. For reasons beyond the control of the organisers (both technically and geographically), the website was unavailable for periods throughout the event. This was a real shame as the online presentation this year was a step up from last year. The DGT broadcasts of the top 4 games were in operation for all nine rounds, the pairings and standings were posted soon after the completion of the previous rounds, and all the game scores from ALL the events were online no more than a day after the completion of the round.
For the arbiters Charles Zworestine, Krishneel Nair and myself it was a very easy tournament to run, but the fun doesn't stop there. A 300km drive to Sydney, a change of t-shirt and we will be working at the Sydney International Open until Sunday 19th April.