Unfortunately, The Closet GM will not be in attendance at tomorrow's round 4 session of the NSW State championships. Need to take a break. Actually, we'll be most likely enjoying some Sunday avro jazz and chess at the Strawberry Hills hotel.
This is the problem with the current State Champs format: at 1 round a day, that's basically 9 of your Sundays gone. Kaput! You can forget about long-term plans. The deal is that the current format just drags on far too long. And that, I suspect, is partly why current numbers are so dismally low. Click here and count the total number of people actually playing in this event. If you don't think there's a crisis, then (i) you're a NSWCA Council member or (ii) to rerun my favourite phrase - you're a fly in the mist of a fart and can't see the crap you're sitting on.
But don't bother telling that to the NSWCA. "The survey says . . . ", they'll tell you. Talking to this Association is like trying to wake the dead. It's hopeless.
And here's another problem. The Association will not guarantee prizes for the state's premier tournament. Now of course I realise running the event costs money. But this is our main Championship, the big kahuna. Just lay out the dough I say. But get this. The NSWCA is paying an arbiter $100 per day to manage the tournament. At that rate, one may as well become an arbiter than be a player.
With the present situation, we can only dream of a truly classy State Championships. By the way, the Victorian Championships is also presently running. It boasts a grandmaster, 4 international masters and 2 FMs. The winner gets a plaque plus a gold medal. Fancy that!