Monday, February 19, 2007

We Call For Action!

Yesterday afternoon I witnessed one of the best games of football ever and the emergence of a new Australian sporting legend. In the A-League grand final, Melbourne Victory and Archie Thompson enacted a gruesome destruction of South Australian side Adelaide United winning the title by the tennis-like scoreline of 6 to nil.

But of course, ladies and gents, we're not here to talk football. We're here to ask the important question: will the New South Wales Chess Association and their national counterparts, the ACF, be like legends and lend their support to former Olympiad captain Peter Parr in his attempt to seal an Australian Chess Championships in Sydney for 2008? Or will these chess bodies be more like the Adelaide United side - impotent, lost and (like their coach, John Kosmina) completely useless?

Last week we received an email from a strong and well-known player, a Sydneysider, who wishes to remain anonymous. He had this to say:

I, like yourself and the great majority of chess players (particularly in Sydney), am hoping that Peter Parr will be successful in organising the Australian Championships at the end of this year. But as you know, it is incredible just how little support he has received from the ACF and NSWCA.

Incredible alright! We are just completely stunned. Since our first post about this issue, there have been very little signs that either the NSWCA or ACF have done anything or are about to do anything. All we have, in fact, is a prolonged silence from familiar and ordinarily argumentative voices. I'm talking about the likes of NSWCA supremo Bill Gletsos, ACF veep Denis Jessop (himself the immediate past president) and seniors selections coordinator Dr Kevin Bonham. Again we touched base with Peter Parr today and he confirms that since last January's national conference in Canberra and since the last NSWCA council meeting at the end of last month, there's been no helpful response whatsoever except for that rather dismissive 2-sentence email. No proactive action!

Yet our correspondent, quoted above, insists that we remain constructive in this post. And so we'll try.

We understand that the NSWCA will have their next council meeting near the end of this month. Here's a tip to Mr Gletsos and his co-councillors. Monsieurs, we call upon your good nature and positive graces to discuss Mr Parr's ideas very seriously and ultimately give him your proactive support. After all, we are always talking about how desperate times have become as we suffer a decrease in willing organisers (especially for those big events). It's important that you take the next step, pick up the phone, drop him an email, fax him - or whatever is your preferred method - and tell Mr Parr that you'd like to have a go. You know of his very clear intentions. Now do something! Act gentlemen for the good of our game in our fine state.

We further suggest that post the council meeting, Mr Gletsos come out immediately and make a public announcement, Chess Chat will do, and state clearly the NSWCA's plan of action.

I should like to quote our good friend international master Alex Wohl. In that earlier post, Chess By The Beach, he made the following comment:

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!

In closing I sincerely hope, as do most players in New South Wales I suspect, that Bill Gletsos can set aside politics and work with Peter Parr. Bill, please do the right thing. Take the lead mate. Take the lead.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gletsos isnt very good at eating humble pie. I think one of 2 things will probably happen.

Either NSWCA will bypass the oppurtunity to organise the Australian championship or they will agree with the Hakoah proposal on the proviso that Peter Parr isnt running it.

Bill isnt keen on Peter getting any kudos.

Matthew Sweeney said...

Someone killed the NSWCA newsletter
Someone killed the Sydney Chess Centre proposition
Someone killed fairness when he scammed the Lyons/Parr election ticket
Someone killed his credability by artificially extending a player ban.
Someone killed all debate in the NSWCA council.
Someone killed NSW chess.
Someone killed respect for the rating system.
NOW Someone is killing a NSW bid for the Australian Championships.

Kevin Bonham said...

Actually I have commented. See http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=143547&postcount=16
and http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=143664&postcount=18.

As I noted, Peter needs to get the support of his state association. If he can't do that he needs to approach the ACF with a formal bid to run the event directly on the ACF's behalf.

No matter how a bid occurs (whether it's through a state or directly to the ACF, or even the ACF running an event directly) there has to be one person who is willing to document all the required basic details for approval. Unless there is that person the "bid" is not a bid, it is a pipe dream.

Is Peter willing to be that person if the NSWCA encourages his concept, or is he hoping someone else will magically appear and do it?

Matthew Sweeney said...

Bonham, FFS, instead of making Australian chess choke on the red tape you are shoving down our necks, make a noose with it, and hang the ACF.

The Australian Champs and Open are *ACF* events. When a stupid stubborn vindictive state council gets in the way of the ACF running its events, the ACF needs to become PROACTIVE, but, with only 10 months to go, it has not. If it does not by-pass a bunch of unfunny jokers, it will be seen as a copy cat version of unfunny jokers. If the ACF lets the Parr bid go through to the keeper, the ACF, and everyone associated with it will look so unspeakably incompetent, it would be a walk up start for disbandment.

Libby said...

Red Tape Matt? Rubbish.

It's about filling in some paperwork (about 10mins work) and putting together some formal documents and a realistic budget. I'm sure Peter is more than capable of both.

I think there are manty flaws in the ACF's engagement & involvement with their flagship events but I also have no patience with chessplayer's propensity to favour grand plans/ideas "if only" someone would take them up.

I have never found "red tape" a restriction. If you want a grant or sponsorship or a "concept" to move into reality then you need to put in the leg work to achieve that.

A concept is just a lot of hot air and too many people waste everyone's time at meetings etc with their fabulous "ideas" that they have no intention of putting any effort into making a reality.

Now I'm not categorising Peter as being one of those "hot air" people because he does have runs on the board. But I was able to follow a process pretty easily and without too much angst to make a bid that met process & requirements - I don't know why it's so hard for anyone else except that chess is a sport chronically full of hot air.

442 said...

Matt,if Peter only needs to lodge a formal bid with the ACF as Kevin has said,then why hasnt he done it?

Is he waiting to see what Bill's reaction is at the NSWCA level?

Matthew Sweeney said...

Libby, we are not talking here, about a business sponsorship, or government grant. We are talking about an in-house request. Australian chess administrtion is a very small house where everyone knows everyone. The fact that the ACF wants bloody forms filled out BEFORE they will even talk to a bloke with runs on the board, speaks volumes. That the ACF has not even talked with Parr shows what a non-managerial, rules governed, hopeless cogs in a two bob watch, the ACF is "staffed" [stuffed?] by.

442, under the rule of President Gletsos, the NSWCA has black balled Peter Parr. They do not return his calls or respond to his emails in any timely or meaningful manner. Anyone who stands up to the Bully Gletsos gets banned or black balled.

Libby said...

Sorry Matt. We just agree to disagree.

I decided to put my hand up to organise the Aus Juniors under the auspices of ACTJCL. But the bulk of the pre-event legwork (planning, sponsorship, promotion etc) was on my head.

It's my position that I should demonstrate to the ACF that what I propose is financially viable and within the means of our organisation.

It's also my position that the ACF has shown itself willing to run with "pie-in-the-sky" bids with almost no oversight in the lead up to the event.

If you really want to do something then Shaun's efforts this year show that it isn't necessary that a bid go through a state organisation. An individual can put together a proposal directly to the ACF.

And you and I differ in what the "bidder" responsibility is. And I think it's to put together something that is ready to go, properly costed and based on "realistic" rather than "hopeful" predictions of income & expenditure.

The 2007 Juniors ran at a modest profit. Now that looks easy because we had record entries but that had very little to do with it. At every stage we underestimated income and overestimated expenditure. Once a set of costs were met we added more to the event and (I believe) ended up with possibly the highest return to players of any such event previously conducted. We did not promise the sun, moon and stars up front.

It's not hard to put a proper bid together. Then it can be tabled at a meeting rather than at Chess Chat and people can give a definitive response.

No, you're not talking about "a business sponsorship, or government grant" but we are talking about a need to meet a particular set of criteria. And I think that's important if you ask another individual or body to get on board with something that may generate financial risk and/or work for themselves.

I gather most such events in recent years (that's plural, not just 2007) have certainly not returned a profit and have actually incurred - sometimes significant - losses. Doesn't that suggest something about the way people are choosing to put a bid together?

Kevin Bonham said...

Matthew, your problem (one of many, but just the one most relevant here) is that you have less than no patience when things do not immediately go your, often idiosyncratic, way. So something that is an essential process to make sure *someone* is willing to put serious effort into running a comp seems to you to be just "red tape", because your attack-first-think-later-maybe mentality doesn't allow you to see if any other way.

You write "When a stupid stubborn vindictive state council gets in the way of the ACF running its events ..." Do you have any evidence that Peter has actually sent the proposal to the NSWCA and asked them to consider it, as the ACF has suggested? You may be maligning the NSWCA on the basis of a false presumption that the matter is actually in their inbox.

Peter should make sure, if he expects the NSWCA to consider endorsing his proposal, that that view has been communicated to them in a form that is clearly addressed to the NSWCA.

Kerry Stead said...

Surely it is up to Parr to give either (or both) the NSWCA and/or the ACF more information. At the moment, all there is as far as I can tell, is an intention to run a tournament and a venue that may be available.
This 'letter of intent' lacks 2 main features - a budget and a confirmed venue.
It is not the job of the NSWCA (who are in a position to endorse a bid, but do not necessarily have to be involved in running it) nor the ACF (who are 'outsourcing' the running of their title event) to demonstrate that such a bid is possible and financially viable. That is the job of the bidder (ie: Parr).
Procedures are in place for a reason ... even though they are not always successful ... I believe its Parr's turn, not the NSWCA's or ACF's ...

Matthew Sweeney said...

KB: Matthew, your problem (one of many, but just the one most relevant here)
MS: Your problem is that I am not you.

KB: … you have less than no patience when things do not immediately go your, often idiosyncratic, way.
MS: I have no patience when Rome is burning.

KB: So something that is an essential process to make sure *someone* is willing to put serious effort into running a comp seems to you to be just "red tape",
MS: Yes. Yes when that someone has a proven track record. (Note the recent record of the ACF bid selection for the last Aust. Champs. Shhhhhhh and keep it mum.)

KB: … because your attack-first-think-later-maybe mentality doesn't allow you to see if any other way.
MS: You are so wrong. I think first and then attack (or not) depending on the seriousness of the problem. You simply do not acknowledge that the ACFs problems are so wide and so deep, that mortal attacks are justified every week or so, until further notice.

KB: Do you have any evidence that Peter has actually sent the proposal to the NSWCA and asked them to consider it, as the ACF has suggested?
MS: You are obfuscating bastard’s tool. We all know full well that you are trying to muddy the waters. Try this quote:
“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.”

Furthermore, any suggestion that the NSWCA does not know of Parr’s proposal, would be patent idiocy, given its wide publicity in such a small community.

Bonham, you are an apologist for the most pathetically managed circus since Faulty Towers. When are you going to abandon ship, or are you going to go down with it.

Kerry Stead:
Surely it is up to Parr to give either (or both) the NSWCA and/or the ACF more information. … This 'letter of intent' lacks 2 main features - a budget and a confirmed venue

MS: Kerry, It is a letter of intent, a request for an ”in principle agreement”. Therefore it will obviously be short on detail.

KS: Procedures are in place for a reason ... even though they are not always successful ...

MS: It is NOT the procedure that MAKES a potential event a goer. It is bidder. The ACF is “selling” the Aust. Champs in a "buyers’ market." The ACF should be glad that there is someone who can give the stray a good home.

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt, you say you have no patience when Rome is burning but all past indications are that you have no evidence that Rome is burning. You just pretend it is to give you something to attack.

Matt writes: "Note the recent record of the ACF bid selection for the last Aust. Champs." What are you talking about here, Matt? Are you trying to tell us Brisbane was some kind of scandal? Unlike the last two Aus *Opens* I thought it was quite a successful event.

If Parr has a track record for competing the formalities for bids successfully then he can do it again this time if inclined. If he doesn't then his track record is irrelevant since his response is clearly different in this situation.

As for the "according to Parr, NSWCA officials were already copied in his original letter", that's misleading, since only two were, and they were copied (a) indirectly and (b) in a different capacity! The original letter was sent to the ACF President and was headed "Open Letter to the Australian Chess Federation ETC" (note lack of mention of NSWCA, mentioned only once in passing in Parr's email). It was subsequently circulated to ACF Council, two members of whom happen to also be NSWCA officials. Hardly sufficient to place it formally in the NSWCA inbox as a serious request to them. In fact, not even close.

*unsubstantiated attempted (f)lames disregarded.*

Matthew Sweeney said...

KB: Are you trying to tell us Brisbane was some kind of scandal?
MS: No. My error in communication, I was refering to the Mt Buller fiasco.

KB: [Parr's letter] was subsequently circulated to ACF Council, two members of whom happen to also be NSWCA officials. Hardly sufficient to place it formally in the NSWCA inbox as a serious request to them.
MS: And your argument is hardly a sufficiently serious effort to show that the NSWCA was unaware of Parr's proposal. The NSWCA (or at least the council members who knew) *have a duty* to NSW and Australian players and to act upon it. They did not. They are failing the members.

The NSWCA and the ACF are both hopelessly reactive rather than proactive. Yet you continue to defend them with appeals to protocol. I have no need to continue giving you enough rope. You position is swinging in the breeze.

Kevin Bonham said...

I guess this deserves a particularly strong reminder that nothing I write on this site represents the views of the ACF except where clearly thus indicated:

Matt, surely a letter intended for the attention of NSWCA officials would at least have been addressed specifically to that body, rather than to ACF "ETC", and ideally it would have been sent to the NSWCA secretary, which it wasn't. You seek to criticise the ACF's or the NSWCA's communication, but won't have a word said against Parr's without having serious conniptions, which confirms your well-known status as a PPP (Peter Parr Pawn), and a chess-political Parr-ot. (Not that I am accusing Peter of pulling on your strings here at all.)

You have offered no defence to my comment that if Parr's track record is relevant then he will have no problem completing the formalities this time. The only breeze here is the one blowing like a circle round your skull!

(A minor correction to my previous post: I assumed Parr had sent his email only to the then ACF President, because I didn't get it directly, and Parr's normal habit is to send such open letters either to every man and his dog or at least to the full Exec. But I now understand that one or more ACF officials who are also NSWCA officials got it directly.)

Matthew Sweeney said...

KB: Matt, surely a letter intended for the attention of NSWCA officials would at least have been addressed specifically to that body, rather than to ACF "ETC",

MS: No. Any person receiving an email is meant to read it.

AND, get this through your thin skin and thick skull, and into your narrow mind and wide ignorance. Parr's letter was not a "bid." It was a proposal to chess administrators to talk it over. As such, no forms were necessary, nothing "official" needed to be declared/done. However, a dialogue should have ensued - alas, a defening silence conspicuous was heard from the usual suspects.

As for being a PPP, concomitant is one word you need. For another, I suggest you blow some dust off your Biol 101 text books and look up mutualism. While you're at it, look up your own behaviour, kleptoparasitism - and for the ACF, pedestrian.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what some of us might consider red tape or not red tape, the fact remains that if Peter did fill out some of those forms, which really do not take very long, a lot of people who currently have doubts about his project (which, I must say, would be fantastic) would probably end up supporting him if he still got no answer from the NSWCA. So, please Peter, fill out those forms and see if we can pull out this event, you have the suppot of many of us!

I.M. Javier Gil. (www.chessnia.com)

Kevin Bonham said...

Any person receiving an email may indeed be meant to read it, but that doesn't mean that a person who receives an email in one capacity should necessarily read it and use that information in another. Indeed there are many cases in which that would be grossly inappropriate, and other cases where it wouldn't be, but if I did it the likes of you would still be crying "abuse of process".

You're contradicting yourself, Matt. At the top you say someone is killing a bid, now you say there is no bid. You can't kill something if it doesn't exist.

As for talking it over, have you considered that the NSWCA for its own perfectly good reasons might not feel inclined to itself run this event at that venue at this time? No it hasn't, because it is a Peter Parr idea and therefore along tags Matthew Sweeney, irrespective of the merits of the case, in the hope of starting another stoush with his foes on the NSWCA. Matt, do you know enough about the NSWCA to have a clue what discussions have been held about Parr's proposal? (That was a rhetorical question; please don't injure yourself further trying to answer it.)

We now have Matt at least admitting he's a PPP, but he seems to think Peter Parr actually benefits from such a strange alliance (which really seems highly unlikely, and any cred benefit Sweeney gains from it is also rather marginal and self-invalidating). As for kleptoparasitism, what precisely am I supposed to have stolen?

Finally, as for thickness of skin, I leave it to the reader to judge who is the least composed in this situation. ;)

Kevin Bonham said...

Ahem. I see my proofreading was a tad suboptimal there (not the first time lately). For:

"have you considered that the NSWCA for its own perfectly good reasons might not feel inclined to itself run this event at that venue at this time? No it hasn't ..."

read "No you haven't ..." at the end. While referring to trolls as "it" is an amusing sport from time to time, no such meaning was intended towards Matthew in this case! :)

Matthew Sweeney said...

KB: Any person receiving an email may indeed be meant to read it, but [insert a typical KB red herring spiel]

MS: No, not, “may indeed be meant,” try the more manly phrase, “is expected to.”

KB: [red herring now]… that doesn't mean that a person who receives an email in one capacity should necessarily read it and use that information in another.

MS: It absolutely does mean that when the email is sent to so many people and then may a public document.

KB: You're contradicting yourself, Matt. At the top you say someone is killing a bid, now you say there is no bid. You can't kill something if it doesn't exist.

MS: My using a repeated word – killing – is a literary device. Your supposed “contradiction touché” is a mere debating thrust and flop. If you must flail your self presumptuously rapier wit, at least ensure it does not pierce your own self puffery.

KB: … along tags Matthew Sweeney, irrespective of the merits of the case, in the hope of starting another stoush with his foes on the NSWCA.

MS: Thank you for acknowledging that NSWCA council are in fact my foes. As KB blog poster I now direct you to acknowledge it as ACF VP. Alternatively, you could simply decline to do so, thus confirming you are a Janus-faced coward.

KB: As for kleptoparasitism, what precisely am I supposed to have stolen?

MS: Stolen? You are to be ever childless by choice, are you not.

KB: Finally, as for thickness of skin, I leave it to the reader to judge who is the least composed in this situation.

MS: A man takes to punching the snot out of a snot nosed narcissistic punk. Ordinarily, we might assume that that man has lost his composure. However, since the delightful spectacle is occurring in the ring, you can count yourself out on the canvas.

Kevin Bonham said...

Sent to so many people, Matt? I am still trying to unravel the mess of who Parr actually sent his email to but it now appears he initially sent it only to Denis Jessop, then later forwarded it to Bill Gletsos, and Denis subsequently sent it to the ACF Council. If Parr sent it to any other recipients I am unaware of them. (Of course, at around the same time he also published it on chesschat, where the ETC had become ET AL.)

Your spurious red herring call is itself a red herring! It does nothing to address the problem that at no point did Peter Parr address his letter to the NSWCA through correct channels, or indeed in any clear sense at all.

Most of the remainder of your post is the usual parade of unsubstantiated wibbling, failed cheap stunts, and contemptible attempts to drag the debate off-topic and into irrelevant personal issues. As for "punk", you seem sadly misled as to my actual subculture, and at least as much misled about who, as ever, is "punching" who.

Matthew Sweeney said...

punk #2 noun (slang)
a. something or someone worthless or unimportant.
b. a young ruffian; hoodlum.
c. an inexperienced youth.
d. a young male partner of a homosexual.
e. an apprentice, esp. in the building trades.
f. Prison Slang. a boy.

Yep, 1a, fits.

I am board with this mis-match. You have clearly lost. You cannot justify the lack of communication between Parr and our administrative echelons; you flame like a cat's piss incense stick; and you hav not got the guts to say that the NSWCA council is my foe. Yep, someone worthless or unimportant.

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt, I suggest you leave the unilateral flamewar victory claims to someone who actually knows what they are talking about, rather than an emptily blustering braggart like yourself. It's typical that you try to call me worthless when you have proven yourself to be such (at best) in every chess administrative role above local level you have ever taken on.

You write: "You cannot justify the lack of communication between Parr and our administrative echelons;" Well, Parr's lack of adequate communication has indeed been unjustifiable!

As for this "foes" beatup, firstly I referred to "foes on the NSWCA", which is not the same thing as saying the NSWCA on the whole is your foe. Secondly I only intended to refer to your perception of them. As far as I am aware emnity does not have to be mutual, though I would not blame anyone on the NSWCA for making it so in your case.

Matthew Sweeney said...

KB: Parr's lack of adequate communication has indeed been unjustifiable!

MS: His communication was an entirely adequate request for futher communication.

KB: ... I only intended to refer to your perception of them.

MS: That is post hoc arse covering from a bloke with no ticker.

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt, I have no problem with Parr making a request for further communication, but he should have made it to the right people, instead of pretending that writing a letter to the "ACF ETC" put it in the NSWCA in-tray. His letter doesn't even explain any role for the NSWCA in the non-bid except that he expects them to help with fundraising.

As for "no ticker", it's amusing, but not all that surprising really, to see you adopting a John Howard cliche in your latest lame attempt to insult me. :)

Matthew Sweeney said...

KB: His letter doesn't even explain any role for the NSWCA in the non-bid except that he expects them to help with fundraising.

MS: And you accused me of being impatient ?!?! The Parr letter was an (ignored) initiator of further discussion. I am tired of your feeble attempts to defend the indefensable. Be a man FFS, and agree that the NSWCA and the ACF should have done more than ask for a form

KB: As for "no ticker", it's amusing, but not all that surprising really, to see you adopting a John Howard cliche in your latest lame attempt to insult me.

MS: Firstly, accusing me of having anything in common with John Howard is the vilest insult I have ever received. Secondly, FYI, "no ticker" was coined long before Honest John was lying.

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt, I'm not interested in your stupid macho game in which failure to agree with some weak, false or spurious argument is somehow seen as uncharacteristic of one's gender.

As for John Howard, I'm sure he'd feel that my comparing him with Matthew Sweeney was pretty vile too, but really, both of you would deserve each other. The pre-existence of "no ticker" is irrelevant; Howard greatly increased its popularity as a phrase and any subsequent uses in this country should be seen in that light. ;)

Peter Parr said...

In response to my lengthy proposal to hold the Championships in Sydney (item 1 and item 7) Australian Championship 2007/8) I have received a two line reply from the ACF and no reply from the NSWCA.

In my opinion the following reply would have been more appropriate.

The letter that never was.

The following letter is written by Peter Parr (Not ACF) who considers it an appropriate response.

[I]My dear Peter Parr,

The Australian Chess Federation was delighted to receive your e-mail of 5th January sent individually to ACF and NSWCA officials as well as detailed on the Bulletin Board in the spirit of openness to all in accordance with our enlightened policy.

The ACF President had in recent issues of the ACF newsletter expressed his increasing concern that none of the State Associations or any group or anyone had shown any interest in holding the championships - now less than a year away. It would indeed have been most embarrassing for the ACF if your well timed e-mail had not been received in time for the annual ACF National Conference in Canberra.

Copies of your e-mail were distributed to all delegates who greatly appreciated the lengthy details of your proposal. Your long involvement in national championships from your first in 1946 to 1967 in England and from 1968 in Australia brings, in my view, expertise unparalleled in our modern history.

The delegates were asked to read each and every paragraph of your very lengthy submission before commencing discussion.

One delegate asked who would provide the very detailed paperwork now required by the ACF. The delegate was advised that in your e-mail full co-operation with the ACF had been sought. The ACF fully recognised the importance of the paperwork and would sought to delegate the job to one of its vice-presidents (maybe from Tasmania). The meeting was advised that in previous championships Peter Parr and the ACF President had resolved issues by gentlemen's agreement by telephone. Times have changed in the last few years and sadly gentlemen's agreements appear to only belong in a bygone era-but the ACF would undertake the job of extra paperwork.

One delegate asked if the bid was a private bid by Peter Parr.
The delegate was thanked for his question and advised to read your e-mail which had suggested the ACF gives NSW an option until 31st March with an update report on 28th February.

It was very clear to the meeting that your suggestions had very considerable merit. Your detailed choices of suitable venues had all been successful in past ACF events. It was of course obvious that you or NSWCA sought an option from the ACF so negotiations with Hakoah Directors or UTS Chancellor or NSW Bridge Association Chairman or Lord Mayor of Sydney (for Vestibule of Sydney Town Hall) would commence.

Note: The former Lord Mayor Frank Sartor (now Govt Minister) has purchased chess sets on his visit to your shop in the CBD. The ACF also noted the immediate positive response to your e-mail of 5 Jan. One leading NSWCA councillor sent you a lengthy e-mail in full support - comparing the venues etc. Another NSWCA councillor came to your shop that very afternoon 'how can I help?' and discussed the possibilities with you and others for over 90 minutes. Sadly one senior ACF official keeps quoting the constitution instead of reading your e-mail and re-reading and re-reading your e-mail until he understands its content and then has the correct attitude 'how can I help?

One delegate said it would be easier for the ACF if the venue was confirmed, the sponsorship received, the prize fund guaranteed and full details of all events finalised so the ACF could consider the matter.

The delegate was thanked for his interest in the discussions. The delegate was advised to re-read your e-mail. The ACF had received no interest at all in the championships and the ACF asked the delegates yet again - are there any other offers or suggestions - Silence.

Yet another much more experienced delegate recalled a bid received at the Adelaide National Conference. The bid was first made at the Conference and within one hour the ACF delegates unanimously agreed to hold the National Championships on the top of a remote mountain with no involvement of the State Chess Association.

The reaction of the average player was - too difficult to get to - too expensive to stay there. The experienced delegate advised that the recent Australian Open was held in Canberra but public transport was extremely difficult and reasonably priced accommodation very hard to find - result not enough entries. The wise delegate advised we should learn from the mistakes of the past.

Another delegate who had a number of brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren said he welcomed the idea of the events being held in Bondi or the Sydney CBD where all facilities for all people are abundantly available.

One delegate pointed out that Libby had achieved wonders in the recent Australian juniors (agreed by everyone) largely doing the vast majority of the work herself so why does Peter Parr need the NSWCA - he can make his own bid.

A veteran delegate advised that in 1976 Peter had worked 9am-11pm every day, doing pairings by hand, resetting all sets, clocks, making sandwiches, selling 1400 cans of soft drink, handling adjournments, cleaning toilets etc - but he was younger then and only had a small entry of 140 players (including Rogers, Johansen, West etc).

In 2007/8 it was clear from Peter's e-mail that he wanted to work with ACF and NSWCA in a united team effort for the benefit of all with a vast increase in the number of players – It is simply too much work for one or two people and State Associations should be involved for a smooth running event.

An ACF executive pointed out that the ACF was already running very late with the 2007/8 Championships. He moved that NSW be given an option until 31st March as suggested by Peter Parr and called for the unanimous support of all delegates and all NSWCA Delegates and Councillors. The motion was passed with thunderous applause. We anticipate that over the next 54 days(interim report to ACF 28 Feb) between you, NSWCA and ACF a venue and sponsorship will be in place.

Please advise of any assistance you may require from the ACF (writing letters etc) and the NSWCA will be contacting you shortly to ensure all options are thoroughly explored. Finally the meeting asked me to thank you very sincerely for your efforts to bring the championships to Sydney. May I wish you the best of health and I hope to see you at the Championships.[/I]


End of the letter that never was by Peter Parr
(The above letter is written by Peter Parr not the ACF.)

Comment - Nothing has happened in the 54 days.

The ACF in its 2 line dismissal says contact NSWCA - NSWCA says nothing.

So one may ask what went wrong? The answer lies with the delegates at the ACF meeting. Communications verbal and written from NSWCA Councillors who contacted me were very positive.

There is no doubt that if the NSWCA President (who has a very, very strong personality) in his multiple roles including that of ACF Deputy President and NSWCA President was in favour of helping the championships come to Sydney with ACF and NSWCA involvement the "letter that never was" could have been written. When he says no he means no.

I would suggest our constitutional lawyer considers amending the ACF Constitution so that no one person has such power. My good friend and regular customer Tim Fischer became Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He was not allowed to be NSW Premier as well as Deputy Prime Minister.

I would like to thank the numerous players who have supported my efforts to bring the championship to Sydney.

The popularity of the game of chess is at an all time high with increased entries to tournaments world wide. I measure the increased popularity of chess in Australia by the annual increase in the sale of chess goods. I have no doubts that if the Australian Championships and supporting events had been held in Sydney 2007/8 a record entry in both strength and numbers would have been a certainty. I hope that a future regime will be fully supportive of the championships in Sydney - hopefully within the next few years with ACF and NSWCA involvement.

If I can be of assistance I would of course be only too pleased to assist.

A leading Sydney academic and bulletin board reader advised me that he thought he had a good chance of obtaining a free venue in the CBD.

My hands were tied with no option from ACF.
I was not prepared to examine all possibilities, obtain sponsorship etc and later be told the events had been allocated to another State.

Meanwhile I take this opportunity to wish the ACF well and will do my best to promote the 2007/8 Australian Championships and supporting tournaments wherever they are held.

Peter Parr

Kevin Bonham said...

I have replied to this Peter Parr comedy gold here:

http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=145159#post145159

Matthew Sweeney said...

I read your (KB) reply on chess chat. Oh dear! It does not, in any way, advance the hosting of the event. All you have done is argue trivia with the only person to have put their hand up to run it. If argueing non-core business is all you can do as the ACF VP, you should STFU. You cannot do the job, so, resign.

Kevin Bonham said...

Matt, your own inability to do jobs you put your hand up for for the NSWCA or ACF is well known. Don't bother criticising mine when you probably don't even have a clue what my role entails anyway.

You say Parr has put his hand up to run the event. Really? His initial email contains no offer to serve in any specified capacity whatsover, except that he says "I request no payment of any fee for organisation [..]"

Good intentions are all very well but Peter needs to communicate who he intends to do what far more clearly or else not complain about the response.

Shaun Press said...

"Your long involvement in national championships from your first in 1946 to 1967 in England and from 1968 in Australia brings, in my view, expertise unparalleled in our modern history."

I got this far before feeling nauseous. How did everyone else go?

Anonymous said...

Peter can be a bit quick with the trumpet Shaun,but we are mere colonials and should tug our forelocks in unison. lol

Peter Parr said...

Many false statements need to be addressed. Firstly it is suggested that my email of 5th January was sent to ACF not NSWCA. This is false. The email was sent to The President of NSWCA and Treasurer of NSWCA as they would be at the National Conference in their dual roles both being on the ACF and NSWCA executive. The concept that ACF Deputy President Gletsos and ACF Treasurer Greenwood were informed but NSWCA President Gletsos and NSWCA Treasurer Greenwood were not informed is absurd. In addition to Gletsos and Greenwood other NSWCA Councillors (not all) were also sent the email and I received support by email and in my shop in the CBD from NSWCA office-bearers on that day.

Secondly the repeated statements by ACF Office-bearers and others that I was seriously at fault by not providing the paperwork required by ACF is also incorrect. It is no use receiving a lengthy letter from me and quoting the ACF constitution without reading the letter. Of course when a bid is finalised by an organising committee the ACF requires full paperwork with details so the ACF can examine and make alterations as necessary etc. The facts in my letter of 5th January are very clear. No details are worked out, no venue is yet established. There is absolutely no other paperwork that I should or could provide. I am not at fault in this matter at all.

It is with respect surely the ACF in its 2 line reply after 14 days that is deficient on detail not my lengthy email.

Thirdly the accusation that I should have provided this email at least 90 days before the ACF National Conference so it could be an agenda item is also absurd. In the last few ACF Newsletters the ACF President had shown his increasing concern
That no State Association, or group, or club, or anyone at all had shown any interest in organising the championships. It was as a result of the pleas of the ACF President that I had preliminary discussions for holding the championships in Sydney. Time was short but just sufficient to lodge my detailed plans to the ACF and NSWCA before the vital National Conference. No there was no 90 days, please from the ACF were only a few weeks from the conference. Surely it was an agenda item with or without 90 days notice - after all it is the most important event on the ACF calendar.

Fourthly My email of 5th January requested an option be given to NSW by the ACF until 31st March 2007 with an update report to the ACF executive on 28th February 2007. The reasons for the required option(regularly used in business and before by ACF etc)is clearly stated in my email of 5th January. If I(or others) was to approach a University Chancellor, a Director of a major Club, or the Chairman of the NSW Bridge Association to try and obtain a free venue or a paid venue I (or others)need authority to do so. The ACF gave a 2 line reply to my lengthy email of 5th January a full fourteen days after the ACF meeting advising me to contact the NSWCA with my proposal(even though I had already done so on 5th Jan). No option was given(although not mentioned in the 2 line ACF response). Here in the heart of the Sydney CBD chess is thriving at the University of Technology, Broadway,CBD with hundreds of friendly games played every week on standard sets and the very popular large outdoor garden set. During my NSWCA Presidency the Australian Championships, Australian Junior and numerous supporting tournaments were held at UTS with events running every day from 9am-10pm. Many hundreds took part including about 150 in the rapid play one day event. After my email of 5 January UTS once again became a very strong contender with a good possibility of a free venue thanks to the initiative of a long standing chess-playing leading academic at UTS.

As advised in my Jan 5th email an option would give me(or others)firm authority to negotiate a venue etc. A meeting with a chancellor or club director needs two prominent academics or leading club representatives and two leading chess administrators. My hands are totally tied. The chancellor has the authority to give us a free large CBD venue. If I met him and he asked who I represented what can I say ? I sent a lengthy proposal to the ACF for an option - the answer -declined. What involvement does the ACF or NSWCA have in the championships at present the chancellor may ask. All I could say would be that if I found a free venue, I found sponsorship, I worked out all details for a very large tournament, I organised publicity, then and only then would the ACF give consideration to the proposal after receiving all the most important paperwork required in the detailed ACF Constitution which may or may not be approved. Ideally the two chess administrators selected to meet the chancellor should be the head of our organisations - ACF President, Deputy President, Vice-President, NSWCA President etc - people who have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the Federation. I only suggested myself(as a former NSWCA President)if others better suited were unavailable.

If the ACF had granted an option to NSW (not NSWCA as misquoted by some)as requested meetings would have taken place, sponsorship sought(it took former NSWCA President elect Jason Lyons two days to raise $17,000 sponsorship for the Olympiad when selected captain, appearing on TV Chat shows, radio and newspapers etc, in Dec 2006 he was in Qatar for a month organising the Asian Games)and a full organising committee formed including NSWCA Councillors and others - leadership is spread the workload using expertise in the right areas. In the 54 day period the updated report to the ACF on 28/02/07 could have included I had hoped most details with the final report on 31 March as in my email of 5 Jan 2007.

As outlined in my 5 Jan email UTS, Hakoah(at Bondi Beach) and NSW Bridge Centre in Sydney CBD were all good valid options.
BTW The Bridge Centre is an ideal back up venue for ACF. It is located in the CBD. Area 588 sq metres, over 200 players fit very comfortably in the venue. All tables and chairs are already set up - very important. Lighting is very good. Air conditioning very good - essential. Venue very quiet. Keys given to organiser so can be used as required. There is a major annual bridge tournament in Sydney starting Dec 28th but not held at the NSW Bridge Centre which ensures they hold no event at the same time. Fantastic. For about 10 consecutive years I ran the NSW Championships at the old NSW Bridge centre in the CBD with 130-188 players every single year(without sponsorship) - compare that to now. The Bridge Centre is also always available every Sunday evening as it has been for about 20 years. Now the $3 million premises are fully owned by NSWBA by table money the rent is now very much cheaper. You can lead a horse to water - but can't make it drink. I digress.

Finally in the very worst possible scenario for the ACF if it had agreed to the option being granted to NSW would be that each venue was eliminated, nothing had been organised, and the ACF had lost 54 days negotiating time. In fact of course I could provide any updates to NSWCA or ACF in the 54 day period being available by telephone in my shop in the CBD 6 days a week. I would have thought the only advantage the ACF could gain by not giving NSW an option would be so it could negotiate other options,(although none were available at the time of the National Conference)giving NSW an option not NSWCA was important only in view of the fact NSWCA were not themselves seeking an option. Once negotiations had reached a very promising stage and details worked out more and more NSWCA councillors would I am sure have joined the team.

It is without doubt most important that when the final bid is made it has the full support and involvement of both the NSWCA and ACF.

Learning from our recent history it is not appropriate to leave all matters in the hands of one person.

Sponsorship money must be allocated to the tournament and not declared as substantial profit.

The prize fund should not be only 50% of entry fees etc.

Full organising committees would ensure this was the case without scandals.

My lengthy email was sent 5 Jan. ACF National Conference was 6 Jan. I received a 2 line response from the ACF on 19 Jan advising me to contact NSWCA sent 13 days after the ACF meeting - no reference was made to the option requested. The NSWCA sent a reply 57 days after my email on 3rd March. The NSWCA advised (in part) that their meeting was held on 19th Jan and advised that NSWCA had no intention of making a bid but should I wish to make a bid the NSWCA council will examine it and in all probability will endorse it. No mention is made about the option requested in my 5 Jan email.

Summary - I was the only person who responded to the pleas of the ACF for the 2007/8 Australian Championship. I sent a detailed email requesting an option for NSW giving me the authority to negotiate with Chancellors/Directors etc at very successful locations all used before for ACF National Championships. The delegates from all states decided not to grant the requested option. My hands were tied. I had no authority. It is unfortunate that the only person trying to bring the Championships to a major Australian City guaranteeing a high entry and substantial media coverage has his name besmirched by some chess officials who should themselves be trying to help instead of spending their time attacking a 6 time Australian Olympiad Captain who strode the World Chess Stage for the last six decades(and is hoping to do so for another 4 decades) and whose final legacy will be a permanent CBD Chess Centre on schedule to open in the year 2025.

Peter Parr said...

Many false statements need to be addressed. Firstly it is suggested that my email of 5th January was sent to ACF not NSWCA. This is false. The email was sent to The President of NSWCA and Treasurer of NSWCA as they would be at the National Conference in their dual roles both being on the ACF and NSWCA executive. The concept that ACF Deputy President Gletsos and ACF Treasurer Greenwood were informed but NSWCA President Gletsos and NSWCA Treasurer Greenwood were not informed is absurd. In addition to Gletsos and Greenwood other NSWCA Councillors (not all) were also sent the email and I received support by email and in my shop in the CBD from NSWCA office-bearers on that day.

Secondly the repeated statements by ACF Office-bearers and others that I was seriously at fault by not providing the paperwork required by ACF is also incorrect. It is no use receiving a lengthy letter from me and quoting the ACF constitution without reading the letter. Of course when a bid is finalised by an organising committee the ACF requires full paperwork with details so the ACF can examine and make alterations as necessary etc. The facts in my letter of 5th January are very clear. No details are worked out, no venue is yet established. There is absolutely no other paperwork that I should or could provide. I am not at fault in this matter at all.

It is with respect surely the ACF in its 2 line reply after 14 days that is deficient on detail not my lengthy email.

Thirdly the accusation that I should have provided this email at least 90 days before the ACF National Conference so it could be an agenda item is also absurd. In the last few ACF Newsletters the ACF President had shown his increasing concern
That no State Association, or group, or club, or anyone at all had shown any interest in organising the championships. It was as a result of the pleas of the ACF President that I had preliminary discussions for holding the championships in Sydney. Time was short but just sufficient to lodge my detailed plans to the ACF and NSWCA before the vital National Conference. No there was no 90 days, please from the ACF were only a few weeks from the conference. Surely it was an agenda item with or without 90 days notice - after all it is the most important event on the ACF calendar.

Fourthly My email of 5th January requested an option be given to NSW by the ACF until 31st March 2007 with an update report to the ACF executive on 28th February 2007. The reasons for the required option(regularly used in business and before by ACF etc)is clearly stated in my email of 5th January. If I(or others) was to approach a University Chancellor, a Director of a major Club, or the Chairman of the NSW Bridge Association to try and obtain a free venue or a paid venue I (or others)need authority to do so. The ACF gave a 2 line reply to my lengthy email of 5th January a full fourteen days after the ACF meeting advising me to contact the NSWCA with my proposal(even though I had already done so on 5th Jan). No option was given(although not mentioned in the 2 line ACF response). Here in the heart of the Sydney CBD chess is thriving at the University of Technology, Broadway,CBD with hundreds of friendly games played every week on standard sets and the very popular large outdoor garden set. During my NSWCA Presidency the Australian Championships, Australian Junior and numerous supporting tournaments were held at UTS with events running every day from 9am-10pm. Many hundreds took part including about 150 in the rapid play one day event. After my email of 5 January UTS once again became a very strong contender with a good possibility of a free venue thanks to the initiative of a long standing chess-playing leading academic at UTS.

As advised in my Jan 5th email an option would give me(or others)firm authority to negotiate a venue etc. A meeting with a chancellor or club director needs two prominent academics or leading club representatives and two leading chess administrators. My hands are totally tied. The chancellor has the authority to give us a free large CBD venue. If I met him and he asked who I represented what can I say ? I sent a lengthy proposal to the ACF for an option - the answer -declined. What involvement does the ACF or NSWCA have in the championships at present the chancellor may ask. All I could say would be that if I found a free venue, I found sponsorship, I worked out all details for a very large tournament, I organised publicity, then and only then would the ACF give consideration to the proposal after receiving all the most important paperwork required in the detailed ACF Constitution which may or may not be approved. Ideally the two chess administrators selected to meet the chancellor should be the head of our organisations - ACF President, Deputy President, Vice-President, NSWCA President etc - people who have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the Federation. I only suggested myself(as a former NSWCA President)if others better suited were unavailable.

If the ACF had granted an option to NSW (not NSWCA as misquoted by some)as requested meetings would have taken place, sponsorship sought(it took former NSWCA President elect Jason Lyons two days to raise $17,000 sponsorship for the Olympiad when selected captain, appearing on TV Chat shows, radio and newspapers etc, in Dec 2006 he was in Qatar for a month organising the Asian Games)and a full organising committee formed including NSWCA Councillors and others - leadership is spread the workload using expertise in the right areas. In the 54 day period the updated report to the ACF on 28/02/07 could have included I had hoped most details with the final report on 31 March as in my email of 5 Jan 2007.

As outlined in my 5 Jan email UTS, Hakoah(at Bondi Beach) and NSW Bridge Centre in Sydney CBD were all good valid options.
BTW The Bridge Centre is an ideal back up venue for ACF. It is located in the CBD. Area 588 sq metres, over 200 players fit very comfortably in the venue. All tables and chairs are already set up - very important. Lighting is very good. Air conditioning very good - essential. Venue very quiet. Keys given to organiser so can be used as required. There is a major annual bridge tournament in Sydney starting Dec 28th but not held at the NSW Bridge Centre which ensures they hold no event at the same time. Fantastic. For about 10 consecutive years I ran the NSW Championships at the old NSW Bridge centre in the CBD with 130-188 players every single year(without sponsorship) - compare that to now. The Bridge Centre is also always available every Sunday evening as it has been for about 20 years. Now the $3 million premises are fully owned by NSWBA by table money the rent is now very much cheaper. You can lead a horse to water - but can't make it drink. I digress.

Finally in the very worst possible scenario for the ACF if it had agreed to the option being granted to NSW would be that each venue was eliminated, nothing had been organised, and the ACF had lost 54 days negotiating time. In fact of course I could provide any updates to NSWCA or ACF in the 54 day period being available by telephone in my shop in the CBD 6 days a week. I would have thought the only advantage the ACF could gain by not giving NSW an option would be so it could negotiate other options,(although none were available at the time of the National Conference)giving NSW an option not NSWCA was important only in view of the fact NSWCA were not themselves seeking an option. Once negotiations had reached a very promising stage and details worked out more and more NSWCA councillors would I am sure have joined the team.

It is without doubt most important that when the final bid is made it has the full support and involvement of both the NSWCA and ACF.

Learning from our recent history it is not appropriate to leave all matters in the hands of one person.

Sponsorship money must be allocated to the tournament and not declared as substantial profit.

The prize fund should not be only 50% of entry fees etc.

Full organising committees would ensure this was the case without scandals.

My lengthy email was sent 5 Jan. ACF National Conference was 6 Jan. I received a 2 line response from the ACF on 19 Jan advising me to contact NSWCA sent 13 days after the ACF meeting - no reference was made to the option requested. The NSWCA sent a reply 57 days after my email on 3rd March. The NSWCA advised (in part) that their meeting was held on 19th Jan and advised that NSWCA had no intention of making a bid but should I wish to make a bid the NSWCA council will examine it and in all probability will endorse it. No mention is made about the option requested in my 5 Jan email.

Summary - I was the only person who responded to the pleas of the ACF for the 2007/8 Australian Championship. I sent a detailed email requesting an option for NSW giving me the authority to negotiate with Chancellors/Directors etc at very successful locations all used before for ACF National Championships. The delegates from all states decided not to grant the requested option. My hands were tied. I had no authority. It is unfortunate that the only person trying to bring the Championships to a major Australian City guaranteeing a high entry and substantial media coverage has his name besmirched by some chess officials who should themselves be trying to help instead of spending their time attacking a 6 time Australian Olympiad Captain who strode the World Chess Stage for the last six decades(and is hoping to do so for another 4 decades) and whose final legacy will be a permanent CBD Chess Centre on schedule to open in the year 2025.

Anonymous said...

The treatment of Peter Parr by the NSWCA is disgraceful. Parr is a legend in Aussie chess. He has not been made an OAM for nothing, and it seems that some NSWCA officials [especialy the control freak Gletsos] are jealous of what Parr has achieved.

Is the NSWCA acting in the interests of NSW chess players? I think not. Parr requires NSWCA endorsement and involvement, as significant discounts on rent etc can be achieved if the event is run under the name of a non-profit organisation like NSWCA instead of a business like CDS. Otherwise less prizemoney will be available to chess players. The NSWCA should act in the interest of NSW chess players [who for obvious reasons would prefer to play in Sydney rather than interstate for the Aussie championships] and not in the interests of the control freak Gletsos.