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.