Thursday, March 30, 2006

NSWCA on a Manhunt

Behaving more like the Myanmar military government, the NSWCA under the leadership of Bill Gletsos, is on a manhunt. The target? Matthew Sweeney. The only roadblock in front of them are some cool heads in the ACF. ACF president and ex-lawyer Denis Jessop is not one of those cooler heads. Courtesy of Canberra chess personality and Olympiad rep, Shaun Press, we take a peek into the secret machinations of Australia's national federation. Here is a portion of an email from Mr Jessop sent to his fellow ACF staffers.

The ACF Council, at its meeting in January, unanimously passed a motion supporting the principle of reciprocal arrangements between states in relation to the discipline of members. The matter was referred to the ACF Constitutional Subcommittee for more detailed consideration, but in light of the unanimous support for the principle by Council and the fact that banned players are currently circumventing their bans, we believe there should be no further delay in implementing reciprocal arrangements.

I therefore move, on behalf of the NSWCA the following motion:

That effective 1st April 2006 players banned by their respective State Associations are not permitted to play in any ACF Grand Prix tournament and if another State Association, the tournament organiser or the tournament arbiter in the knowledge that a player is banned permits that player to play, then the tournament will not be ACF or FIDE rated and will not be counted towards Grand Prix points and, furthermore, the ACF Council at its discretion may take action against the offending State Association, tournament organiser or tournament arbiter.

[...]

To ensure that this motion, if carried, becomes effective by 1st April (and is therefore in force for coming tournaments such as the Doeberl Cup) we suggest that an urgent email vote be undertaken with a voting deadline of, say, next Monday 27 March. The decision can then be publicised via the subsequent ACF Newsletter.

I am prepared to second the motion (if a seconder is needed) so as to enable a quick vote to be taken. Purely also to save time, I am circulating the motion instead of the usual procedure of Jey doing it, so could responses please be sent to me. It would be preferable if all respondents sent their replies "Reply All" though I note that most of you do that already.

Apart from the unjustness I mentioned in an earlier post, two things jump at me almost immediately. First the haste of this motion and, second, the specific mention of the Doeberl Cup. Finally, how about the stinking hypocrisy?

Mr Matthew Sweeney has indicated an intention to attend this year's Doeberl Cup. He is currently a banned player in New South Wales. The NSWCA doesn't like it, submits the above motion, and the ACF president nods obediently. But all this is hypocritical particularly on the part of the NSWCA. Here's why. The NSWCA constitution reads: "To encourage, promote, maintain and control the playing of Chess in the State of New South Wales". So, if they're going to ban anyone then those persons must be banned from all tournaments. Right? Wrong!

Former Olympiad captain, Peter Parr, informs Aussie chess fans on ChessChat:

The NSWCA banned players in 2005 for their unacceptable behaviour in NSWCA events.

[...]

After the players were banned by the NSWCA the banned players continued to play in important events in NSWCA affiliated clubs eg Rooty Hill(directed by NSWCA Councillor and Life Member Cassettari),Campbelltown(directed by NSWCA Councillor Parker and on the Central Coast(directed by NSWCA Councillor Mal Murrell) - there may be others. All players banned by NSWCA can easily play at least 150 games per year in any NSWCA affiliated clubs during the period of their ban and the NSWCA will process all their games for rating and NSWCA President will calculate new ratings for each banned player.

[...]

Now the NSWCA President insists that banned players not be allowed to play in ACF Grand Prix events and penalties apply to clubs who accept their entries. However they can still play in NSW clubs where NSWCA Councillors are among the organisers.

You see what I'm getting at?

5 comments:

Kevin Bonham said...

Amiel, perhaps before accusing Denis Jessop of not being a "cool head" you should actually read what you are posting. You would then notice that all of the quoted text except for the final paragraph beginning "I am prepared to second the motion (if a seconder is needed) so as to enable a quick vote to be taken." is actually part of a message forwarded by the NSWCA delegate, and not Jessop's own words.

Obviously the comments by Denis in the final paragraph amount to nothing more than a pro forma seconding, and I would say that one of the strengths Denis brings to the ACF is that he is coolheaded and legally prudent in dealing with issues. In any case you are flogging old rope as the motion you refer to has altered considerably.

While this blog is lively, entertaining and often informative I have now and then questioned its journalistic standards and this is probably the sloppiest case I have seen to date. I suggest you clarify which parts of the leaked email are whose words and offer Mr Jessop a public apology for your poorly founded claims.

This comment, and all others I make here except when explicitly indicated otherwise, is written in a personal capacity only and does not represent the views of any chess association or site.

The Closet Grandmaster said...

Dr Bonham, I think you are joking. The only action that is sloppy is the ACF and the NSWCA's joint efforts to conceal the truth from the Australian chess public.

Why don't you be brave and honest enough to publish the amended motion. I challenge you, sir. The Aussie chess public demands the truth from you.

The chess nut said...

I have posted about this topic in my blog.

Kevin Bonham said...

Amiel, you should address my points about the journalistic sloppiness of your report on this issue whatever your views about the ACF and/or NSWCA's supposed secrecy on the matter. (As far as I know neither body has received a formal request to release the current motion so claims of undue secrecy are moot in any case - unless you simplistically believe that all ACF and NSWCA motions should be public before they are voted on.)

The answer to your question is simple: I am not authorised to do so (ACF emails of this sort are not for public release), and furthermore, to do so would fall outside any of my positions of responsibility - such an announcement, if made public, would be made by the President, Secretary, or the mover of the revised motion.

Kevin Bonham said...

I see the attribution issue has been corrected. Thanks.