These, among many others, are just some of the questions currently being hotly discussed by some of Australia’s big wigs in junior chess. Dubbed as “AusJCL” (though the formal name is yet to be finalized), the body’s raison d'etre is one of the key points being addressed. In a spirited email, the now retired administrator and junior chess stalwart Jenni Oliver outlines her ideas:
I would see it being primarily responsible over time for the national tournaments, overseeing things like Ergas and overseas team management and most important of all being a repository for procedures and standards. At the moment we have such a vacuum. E.g. every year Charles [Zworestine] writes up some recommendations for improving the Aus Juniors and every year they disappear into a black hole. Another e.g - I spent 2 months in 2006 investigating world youth management and submitting a lengthy report with multiple recommendations to the ACF – it disappeared into the same black hole. I do not mean that an AusJCL would run national tournaments – the current system would continue. However it would develop much better information to be given to a prospective bidder on what were essential parts of the particular tournament and non-negotiable standards and conditions. It could then work with a prospective bidder in a timely fashion to resolve any problems and also make sure that things were on track – e.g. website up by an agreed date etc.
This is not to blame the ACF – it just doesn’t have the resources or expertise to cope with many of these issues.
Of course there are still many issues to overcome. The original proposal document, for instance, written by ex ACF head honcho and lawyer, Denis Jessop, outlines a number of matters from the naming of the new body, its structure and to its relationships with the ACF. Denis, a regular guest to this blog, ends his proposal with the words: “The actual structural relationship with the ACF is a difficult question,” and adding, “Much will depend on the attitude of the ACF to the proposal”.
So - there you have it: the whole thing could collapse at the whim of the ACF. Let’s hope their attitude is a positive one.