Monday, January 21, 2008

ACF Snubs Victoria, Again!

Last night I received an email from Box Hill Chess Club treasurer Trevor Stanning regarding a failed bid by Chess Victoria (CV) for the 2009 Australian Junior Chess Championships. It was submitted on 10th September last year and received its rejection notice only last week. At this time, we've no idea as to why the Australian Chess Federation rejected that bid or if there were other bids on the table.

Understandably, those luckless Victorians aren't exactly too happy about that. It's the second time in less than a year that their fine state has failed to win a major chess tournament!

If you're interested, details of that bid are now available for everyone else's scrutiny.


Anonymous said...

They couldn't hold an AGM what hope a national event?

Anonymous said...

In 1999 when Harvey Bay introduced doubled up rounds for 2 of the days for the juniors, I said that the Aus Juniors was neither fish nor fowl - it was trying to be a chess festival and attract all levels of players and also trying to be an elite tournament and award titles. It really needed to decide what it was. Perhaps a new format was needed where a national junior chess festival was held with shorter time controls and duration with huge numbers attracted, coupled with a small elite restricted tournament to award titles.

Nearly a decade later no discussion or changes have been made.

As a result we get the Vic bid, which would be great for a chess festival, but would lead to pretty suspect chess for awarding titles.

Juniors are not mini adults - many of the adults don't cope with 2 rounds a day, how would the kids?

It seems the schedule is based around the fact that the venue is too small to cope with the expected numbers, so they are splitting into multiple tournaments. How does that work with state teams, where the memebers are split across differnet age groups, or parents who have kids in different divisions. How does it work with coaching - trying to give quality preparation when you have 2 rounds per day and maybe 5 kids to coach, becomes all but impossible.

I also understand there were many other things wrong with the bid, such as no ability to provide state coaching rooms and nowhere for the kids to play etc. I have spoken to Victorian parents who have said they do not think the proposed bid is workable from a parent/child point of view.

I think that it would be fantastic to have an Aus Juniors in Melbourne, as there hasn't been one since my kids started playing chess, which is a long time ago.

However this is an important tournament and has to be treated as such and I certainly would find it impossible to support the bid as stated on the website.

I congratulate the ACF on rejecting the bid - historically they have been inclined to accept whatever was submitted, without looking at the conditions, so this is a welcome change.

Jenni Oliver

Anonymous said...


Thank you for taking the time to articulate your thoughts on the matter. I disagree, however, that the ACF did the right thing in outright rejecting the bid. As the expression goes, beggers cannot be choosers . If there were no other bids apart from the Victorian bid (which started out as 3 bids but was reduced to one) then the ACF should have simply rubber stamped the bid regardless of its imperfections.


Anonymous said...

I think the ACF should be proactive (or is that a contradiction in terms?). If a sub standard bid is the only one on the table, then they should initially actively engage with the bidders to turn the bid into an acceptable one and if that fails seek one that is acceptable.

I do hope that an acceptable bid does come out of Melbourne in the near future.


Anonymous said...

Arrogant One is wrong in assuming the the ACF rejected the bid outright. It rejected the bid, with reasons given, and has given CV the chance to frame a new or revised bid if it wishes within the next month. Meanwhile CV will hold its re-scheduled AGM at which I am given to understand only one of the present CV Committee will stand for re-election. My prediction is that CV will pass for 2009 and put in a much better bid for 2010.


Anonymous said...

Can anyone advise if there is a closing date for bids for this tournament?
And is chess Victoria working to the same 'close/of/bids' date?

Anonymous said...

Closing date for bids would have been last year sometime, just after the CV bid was submitted. A large part of this discussion relates to the ACF only having one bid on the table at the closing date and yet rather than talking to the sole bidder they chose instead to not respond to the bid for a number of months and instead try to drum up other bids (in which they failed) from people/places that they considered to be more to their chosing.

Anonymous said...

You know you could argue about this for months.....

I am not unsymphathetic to the point of view that the ACF should resolve things more quickly. They also absolutely should have been engaging in dialogue with the initial bidder to resolve the issues- whether or not that happened I have no idea, although I was under the impression they had been.

I wonder if I put in a bid for the Aus champs to be held in the middle of a shopping centre, with a jazz band playing next door, if you would be happy for my bid to be accepted, just because it was the only one on the table? And even if you were happy, I wonder if the top players would be?

Part of the ACF's brief is to ensure that Australia's premier tournaments are held with acceptable standards.

I really hope that Vic comes forward with an acceptable bid, as the juniors deserve to have a home town nationals. I am told that Melbourne could field twice as many kids of a good standard as played in Sydney, so it would be wonderful for them to be given that opportunity. I thought the Victorian Under 12s were very impressive this year.

However I don't think the ACF has failed to achieve another bid, as I understand one is in the pipeline?


Anonymous said...

Dennis Jessop stated:

Arrogant One is wrong in assuming the the ACF rejected the bid outright. It rejected the bid, with reasons given, and has given CV the chance to frame a new or revised bid if it wishes within the next month.

Thanks for that clarification Dennis. However, I don't think its worth arguing the meaning of the word 'outright'.

The substance of my post was that the ACF rejected the only bid submitted, which is fully correct.

The fact that CV may have been given an opportunity to submit a 'new or revised bid' is immaterial to the fact that the original bid was deemed unacceptable.