Thursday, September 22, 2005

Why debate?

In the latest ACF newsletter, we are informed:

Aust Championships Debate: The organisers of the Australian Championship have received a number of requests from overseas players, including from GMs and IMs, for information about their eligibility to enter the Australian Championship. The persons in question are, in the main, intending to come to New Zealand for the Queenstown event later in January 2006 and would like to play in a major Australian event on the same trip. The ACF Council is now debating whether to allow some of these foreign players to compete in the national titles.

Well blimey, what's there to debate? I say just let the foreigners in. Paragraph 5 of By-law No. 1 will take care of that. Now I'm no expert on ACF Constitutional matters but on reading the text, it strikes me as being overly nationalistic. For example, why is paragraph 2 necessary? Given our lack of titled players, especially Grandmasters, the last thing we want to state at the top of the By-law 1 is to restrict alien GMs from entering. I say remove the paragraph.

But oh great CG, you now protest, if you want norms - then there's always the Open. And CG, what if there's too many blow-ins, you also ask. Yes, true; and unlikely to be a real problem. As for the first, it's in our overall national interest to have strong players coming in. Look, just imagine the publicity, the potential for sponsorship. And for the second, this is a "problem" this year because of Queenstown. But why put up barriers? We should encourage players to come here for both our Championships and the Open event.


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