Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sweeney's "Three R's"

Bureaucrats in the Australian Chess Federation and the New South Wales Chess Association, especially president Bill Gletsos, must all be scratching their heads. A question that must be surely plaguing their minds is: how will we ever shut up this Matthew Sweeney guy?

While the NSWCA may be absolutely intent on extending his ban for alleged foul and crude language, Brian Jones, Australia's most prominent organiser and publisher, has no problems giving Mr Sweeney space in his magazine - Australian Chess.

In what looks set to be a regular fixture, the enfant terrible of the local chess scene now has his own column - "Matt's Corner". For his first effort, Mr Sweeney writes about the three R's- rulers, reformers and revolutionaries.

Matthew Sweeney:

State based rivalries and politics threatens to direct energies away from chess administration, and toward power play. Chess can ill afford to waste its time on the self interests of individual states when everyone could benefit from a unified national strategy for the promotion of chess. If you want chess to grow in Australia, get involved - tell your state association that you want national direct elections for ACF executive positions.


UPDATE: Mr Sweeney did send his cheque for $10 and membership application to the NSWCA. This is what they wrote back (quoted from the Australian Chess Club Forum):

We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 24 December 2006 and your Application for NSWCA Membership for 2007.

Unfortunately your Membership Application was not accompanied with a letter of apology for your crude, foul and vulgar language and an assurance that there will be a cessation of such language in future.

Accordingly, your Application for Membership has been rejected and we return to you your cheque for $10 and advise that your membership will not be accepted until the apology and assurance requested are given.

What a laugh. And with that, we can at least thank the New South Wales Chess Association for the entertainment. These guys are a bunch of jokers.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the ACF does give Matthew Sweeney "special" permission to play in ACF approved events does that mean NSWCA President Gletsos will be forced in his capacity as ACF ratings officer to rate Sweeney's games thus eating humble pie?

Anonymous said...

Mate, the only joker is you. Anybody who is genuine bout the future of Aussie chess knows that Sweeney has to go. That guy is a joke. Why do you never criticise him? What happened to his promised weekly email Australian Chess bulletin that closed after 2 or 3 issues?

Anonymous said...

Well I guess he got a better assignment writing for Brian Jones at Australian Chess Magazine.

Kevin Bonham said...

I wouldn't assume anything started by Matthew Sweeney to be a regular fixture given the guy's established track record of starting things and then not going on with them. If this "column" even appears consistently for a year that will be an unusual perseverence level for Matt.

Haven't seen it yet - I've been a bit slack renewing my sub. It's probably just a ploy by Brian to make sure all administrators subscribe to his magazine! :)

Print mags like Australian Chess don't have the relevance they once had so I doubt this Sweeney column will have any great impact. I will also be interested to see how the magazine deals with the inevitable replies!

Matthew Sweeney said...

Gutless Anon: What happened to his promised weekly email Australian Chess bulletin that closed after 2 or 3 issues?

MS: You will recall that the ACF Newsletter fell in a heap when PaulB left. The ACF did not send a (weekly) news letter to the several thousand recipients for nearly 2 months. I took it upon my self to fill the yawning gap. Fortunately, ACF Pres Denis Jessop step into the breach. Once the ACF Newsletter was obviously back in business, there was no need for me to continue the newsletter. You should be thanking me, not spitting.

Kevin Bonham: I will also be interested to see how the magazine deals with the inevitable replies!

MS: Why would anybody reply? I ask this question BECAUSE, the ACF and the NSWCA do not release statements on medium to long term, goals or vision or direction or plans.

One must ask why they OR any of their apologist would arc up now. Maybe they have been stung. It could not have happen to a nicer bunch.

Libby said...

I'm sure Brian's grateful for the backhander Kevin.

As a producer (for a number of years) of the ACTJCL weekly email Bulletin I would see email as the cheapest & most effective tool for communicating with our player group. But it's also something that drops easily into the rubbish bin never to be read through thoroughly, savoured or retained

However a print magazine offers a totally different service. And has collectability. I don't subscribe because I can't say chess is really my thing. If chess was my thing I think I would see value in it. There are too few records about in Australian chess that people can look back on to know who, where & what was happening.

I don't understand - given your position in Australian chess - why you need to deliver this kind of backhander when you're admitting to not having even read the content. Who do you think that reflects badly on?

For every bit of drivel Matt's been able to create (sorry Matt but there's plenty there!) I see a whole bevy of people who've been willing to make themselves look petty in reponse.

Aren't there one or two bigger issues in Australian Chess than whether or not you like Matthew Sweeney?

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Re Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns ACCF.

In your ACM article it seems you speak about lobbying for direct election of ACF officials.

Why not join a Chess Victoria club or even the ACTCA if possible and set a precedent for a NATIONAL PLAYER MEMBERSHIP?

You are no longer banned by the NSWCA technically because they did give you leave to apply for membership but with the "extra condition". This condition you refused to accept on principle.

By insisting on that "extra condition" the NSWCA has revoked their right to claim that because you live in NSW you must join their organisation.

What right do they have to insist on that extra condition given that were you to reoffend they can simply reban you anyway? Moreover, signing the membership application form implies that you are accepting the terms and conditions of the NSWCA including any pertaining to player behaviour and ethics. Any supplementary apology is redundant.

If you really would like to rub it in get as many NSWCA members as possible to write to the executive insisting that a new membership application form be produced which includes an advance apology for any future unacceptable behaviour which an applicant may or may not commit.

Anonymous said...

Matthew,

You sit there and whinge about your situation but why dont you do something about it? It states that if you write an apology for your what you have done in the past and send a cheque and a membership form for 2007 that your membership will be considered. Surely if you are serious about playing chess or helping your situation you will do this. If the NSWCA then rejects your application you know where you stand with them and different action will be needed.

Malejewicz said...

Matt, The ACF is just begging to be litigated against. Oblige them!
Do it in your own sweet time...

"Beware the vengeance of a patient man"'- J.V.Stalin

Anonymous said...

Quoting Stalin,eh Alex...surprise surprise lol

442 said...

Libby,the key issue here is whether a state association has the right to ban people who express divergent views to them.
You dont have to agree with Matt's views...nor do you have to ban him just because he expresses them.

Consider how this can be extended to this blog,should the NSWCA be able to tell Amiel what he can post on his own blog? And why?

They have created a precedent by banning Matt,and if people think its going to stop at Matt then they are dreaming.

With the success of Matt's extended national banning and this new demand ,which wasnt asked for over a year ago when they first banned him,it just shows you how much they are prepared to push their power.

Say NO to being a pleasant robot!
Be a human,with faults..!

Libby said...

Hey 442 - I think you misread me (or do I misread you?)

Libby

Matthew Sweeney said...

Anon #1 said: By insisting on that "extra condition" the NSWCA has revoked their right to claim that because you live in NSW you must join their organisation.

MS: This is an interesting proposition I am not sure that it holds water. Nevertheless, I understand the inconsistency in the NSWCA position.

Anon #1 said: Moreover, signing the membership application form implies that you are accepting the terms and conditions of the NSWCA including any pertaining to player behaviour and ethics. Any supplementary apology is redundant.

MS: Another interesting proposition which ought to have been considered by the NSWCA. Perhaps they did, then thought, “Narrr, he won't grovel so we can keep kicking him forever, by demanding that he grovel.”

Anon #2 said: … why dont you do something about it? It states that if you write an apology for your what you have done in the past … Surely if you are serious about playing chess or helping your situation you will do this.

MS: Yes I am serious about playing chess – I travel interstate to do so! However, my “situation” would not be helped by groveling. Bill “The Dog” Gletsos has rounded up his sheepish councilors and is herding them down the killing ramp at the abattoir. Surely they can smell the blood. My situation will only improve when Gletsos has been removed from office.

422 said: Consider how this can be extended to this blog, should the NSWCA be able to tell Amiel what he can post on his own blog? … They have created a precedent by banning Matt, and if people think its going to stop at Matt then they are dreaming.

MS: Who said, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

Kevin Bonham said...

Libby, I have read a portion of the content (the one quoted above) and it was Matt's usual over-excitable wheel-reinvention nonsense minus the swearing. If that's the most quotable bit, and given the title, I have a pretty good idea what to expect from the remainder. There are very few surprises in this business.

Brian Jones has given me a number of unreasonable "backhanders" on chesschat over the years, frequently calling for my resignation for no reason other than his personal simplistic quibbles with people holding multiple roles. I'm sure can cope with the ribbing he should expect for publishing waffle by Sweeney.

I do agree that mags have the advantage of collectability but that is completely irrelevant to the question of relevance and impact in present-day debate. Print chess mags (as with print mags in general) have been struggling with the challenge of competing with the immediacy of the internet for a long time. Australian Chess has sometimes done this successfully, other times not. It was very disappointing to get the Olympiad issue in the mail and find much of it was a data-dump of material that I had nearly all already seen. The issue after that was much better.

Furthermore the disposability issue of email bulletins can, to a degree, be overcome by permanent archiving as currently occurs with the ACF Newsletter. I have often found ACF email newsletters from several years ago to be a most useful source.

Matthew Sweeney again tries to take credit for filling the newsletter gap breach when Paul Broekhuyse resigned at rather short notice, but in fact Denis Jessop had commenced taking over the service before Matthew's bulletin came out and Matthew's contribution had no actual effect, beyond the existence of Matthew's few sparsely circulated bulletins themselves.

As for the idea that he could sting anyone, Matt once again has tickets on himself.

Anonymous said...

Kevin,you seem to have tickets on yourself.

And the public would like a refund.

Kevin Bonham said...

Actually, anon, (so, which troll are you?) I have a fair idea of my own limitations - which makes it all the more amusing that those trying to have a go at me, in the great majority of cases, still fail to produce a valid criticism!

Anonymous said...

People produce valid criticisms Kevin...you just ignore them and keep waffling on. Starter and Frosty were right to move to Matt's board and avoid your sense of selective moderating.

Kevin Bonham said...

I see this anonymous troll (shall I guess?) can't tell the difference between "ignore" and "debunk", and also has its facts wrong concerning both the reasons for departure of both of those mentioned, and the fact that one of them has subsequently (albeit on a fairly low-key and not necessarily permanent level) returned.

Kevin Bonham said...

I have responded to Matthew's so-called "article" here:

http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=137195&postcount=23

Anonymous said...

Once the Aus open has finished I think you will see Frosty going back to Matt's board.

One of his posts yesterday was about a croydon player who is doing well in the open. Being heavily involved at Croydon its only natural he was posting to congratulate a fellow member.

As for debunk and ignore,are you stating that you are NEVER wrong in ANY debate on chesschat?

Kevin Bonham said...

Anon: you can check on all Frosty's recent posts quite easily and you will see some are not related to Croydon. Of course it's up to him where he posts and I wouldn't attempt to predict that in any way, just pointing out that your depictions of his posting history are not accurate.

Anon asks "As for debunk and ignore,are you stating that you are NEVER wrong in ANY debate on chesschat?" No, I'm not stating that at all. There have been debates on chesschat (not many, maybe seven or eight) where other posters have convinced me of the merits of their views over the case I was arguing and I have acknowledged this.

I will, however, say that the main brigade of chesschat trolls (firegoat7, Cat, and the now banned posters Matthew Sweeney and Arrogant-One) all lack the debating skill and patience to win debates with me, have never shown me to be wrong about any significant matter, and are very unlikely ever to do so.

Anonymous said...

Quoted by Bonbot:

I will, however, say that the main brigade of chesschat trolls (firegoat7, Cat, and the now banned posters Matthew Sweeney and Arrogant-One) all lack the debating skill and patience to win debates with me, have never shown me to be wrong about any significant matter, and are very unlikely ever to do so.

This is utter rubbish and Kevin knows it. I once started a thread that was 100% truthful yet so damaging to the credibility of certain chesschat moderators that they took the entire thread off line!

Thats how the mods 'win' debates on chesschat, they revise other people's posts that slice their arguments to shreds, and if that task is too onerus they simply take the entire thread off line.

Its like a chess game where everytime you checkmate your opponent's king, he picks the king up and moves it elsewhere on the board.

AO

Kevin Bonham said...

More unsubstantiated nonsense from AO, who is an evidence-free zone as usual.

The only thing "like a chess game where everytime you checkmate your opponent's king, he picks the king up and moves it elsewhere on the board" is AO's repeated failure to abide by his commitments to improve his behaviour on the board, which led to his permanent banning at the site owner's request.

Anonymous said...

Banned on chesschat? Is that the best you've got Kevin?

I suspect you rang up Karthick after he overturned your first ban on me, you gave him an earful, threatened to quit, did all the temper tantrum noise making stuff, and then he agreed out of indifference towards me to grant your request (much like his overturning of my earlier ban).

Also, while I said he unbanned me because I gave him an undertaking to be on my best behaviour, that was BS designed to keep you and Bilbot from contacting him to re-impose the ban (which you did anyway).

The conversation went something like this:

AO: Hi Karthick, short whinge about getting banned, can you please unban me?

Karthick: Okay, you're unbanned. Please don't bother me with this type of thing again, I am very busy and don't have time to go on chesschat.


So there was no undertaking given or broken apart from the one I made way back around March which was coerced and therefore not binding in any event.

But its worked out best for me in any event, so I actually thank you for your actions.

Regards

AO

Kevin Bonham said...

After AO'sr unrepentant breaking of his previous commitment, and after his very many blatantly false statements on the board, there is no reason for anyone to believe anything he says unless it is corroborated by reliable sources. Ever. He has a terminal credibility problem, entirely of his own doing.

AO's "suspicions" are amusing - in particular, it is tempting to waste time wondering whether he actually believes this nonsense. However, for the record, the site owner advised us that AO had agreed to be on his best behaviour (whatever that is) and that if he continued to create significant problems we should ban him permanently. After AO continued to recycle claims he had previously been banned for, and that had placed the site at legal risk, I advised the site owner briefly by PM that this was happening, and received a reply confirming the previous advice: permanent ban.

I can only imagine that AO's scenario of me throwing a temper tantrum and threatening to quit (utterly fictional and implausible as always) is him projecting how he would have behaved in the same situation! If so, no surprises there ...

Readers unfamiliar with chesschat (if any of them would bother wading through all these comments) may not know that AO has a very strange usage of "coerced". In this case, AO, having had a one-week ban extended to two for posting while banned, approached the site of his own accord with an offer to apologise for his previous comments in return for having his ban lifted. A counter-offer was made to him, which he accepted, that his ban be returned to one week in exchange for him apologising and agreeing to be careful with the facts when criticising other posters in the future. AO has persisted in describing this agreement as "coerced", but he was under no compulsion to enter into it, and could simply have served out his ban had he been unwilling to agree.