Friday, February 09, 2007

Chess By The Beach

Early last month, Sydney Morning Herald chess columnist Peter Parr sent an open letter to ACF officials informing them of "provisional talks" between him and IM Vladimir Feldman of possibly holding the Australian Championships at the Hakoah Club. The club is located near a world famous icon, Sydney's Bondi Beach. In his letter Parr wrote:

All interstate players will appreciate the fantastic location at the World famous Bondi Beach - beautiful weather - long hot summer days - swimming in the best waters (no crocodiles ever seen at Bondi) - play your games in the mornings and beach all afternoon etc. For over 20 years in England I went to Leicester - York - Bath - Nottingham etc but the family always preferred the sea-side Blackpool, Aberystwyth, Plymouth etc for the annual British Chess Championships. During the last 39 years in Australia I consider Bondi the best location for chess and a family holiday.

To have the event held right here in Australia's numero uno metropolis and near one of the word's most famous tourist spots is a huge bonus. It's only natural, then, that the idea has generated some excitement. We understand that there was even an unsolicited interest from a university academic with an offer of working towards a free venue.

The ACF was supposed to have this discussed this proposal at their national conference in January but, so far, we haven't heard anything. The normally noisy ACF officials who inhabit Chess Chat, Australia's most popular online chess forum, have shied away from the relevant thread as if it was the Black Plague. What's going on?

We checked with Mr Parr and he informs us that all he's received from the ACF is a two-sentence email from ACF secretary Jey Hoole. The email merely acknowledges receipt of Parr's original letter plus an instruction to go and obtain some kind of endorsement from the NSWCA. However according to Parr, NSWCA officials were already copied in his original letter. The former Olympiad captain is very unhappy. So we wonder: are these two bodies, the ACF and NSWCA, playing catch with what could be an important opportunity? Whose head should roll if one of them drops it?

For the moment the Parr and Feldman idea appears to be dead in the water. Sad really. On that note, I hope the guys in the NSWCA and ACF a happy weekend.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

this venue was used for the NSWCA NSW Open Championships and wasnt very successful, lots of you bagged out the venue claiming it was too far away. Now people want to back the venue? hmm

Alex said...

The Hakoah club has been an excellent chess venue in Sydney's most famous suburb since I started playing chess in the late 70's.

The club has hosted tournaments of all kinds, GM internationals included, encouraged many juniors (myself included) and has generally promoted chess in the eastern suburbs for decades.

To hold the Australian championship at the Hakoah club would be beneficial to the image of chess and draw players that a venue in an industrial area or a remote rural location would not.

The only excuse for not encouraging this bid would be an even better one. Let's hear it!

Matthew Sweeney said...

A to the first comer: $100 to the Olymic Fund, says Peter Parr will not receive endorsement from the Bill Gletsos run NSWCA in the next 28 days, to stage the next Australian Championship at Bondi.

We all recall the dishonest manner in which Gletsos kept the Lyons-Parr group out of council. The blood is bad and the memories are long.

[In any case, the NSWCA council is too busy scurrilously keeping me as banned as possible for as long possible to ever consider anything actually important to chess. ;-) ]

Shaun Press said...

It is worth realising that there is a big difference between a firm bid that meets all the requirements of the ACF by-laws, and a letter telling everyone how great its all going to be. At this stage all we've seen is the latter, which sadly isn't evidence of a working bid.

Matthew Sweeney said...

Shaun, we all know that all Parr did was write a letter stating an *in general proposal* - not a fully costed program. All he wants in return is an *in princple nod* to take further steps.

Parr has a good track record. His snubbing by NSWCA and the ACF in appauling. And if it is not snubbing, it is A Grade incompetence. Either way both chess bodies stink like a New Dehli brothel.