Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Buy Me a Title

Twelve-year old Rhys Cumming has just won a 65,000 GBP scholarship to play chess. Are you kidding me? In AUD that's about $162,500 - more than the combined budget of the ACF and all state/territory chess bodies in Australia. With that kind of dough maybe Rhys can migrate Down Under, become an Aussie citizen, then buy himself a FIDE master title! Oops, that's low TCG. Sorry dear readers, couldn't quite help myself.

Anyhow, debate over this terrible situation of softly-softly titles in the Oceania zone continues over at Chess Chat. Last time I checked it now appears that there is a big question mark over whether titles that were supposedly earned in Fiji actually met FIDE's own regulations. And in case you missed it in our last post below, New Zealand's Michael Freeman has made a comment:

When it was agreed in Elista to trial the new zone, the agreement was for 4 years, not 8.

I support Ian's comments about the titles, and the fact that normal performance requirements should be required. Ian is right that many players in zones, not just Oceania took advantage of the rules to get titles, and that the rules were tightened. Howver, I agree they were not tightened enough.

This is not the first time that debate over soft FM titles raged Down Under. Newbies to the local scene and foreign readers are directed here, scroll down to the 1999 section then click on issue no. 16, 9 May, 1999. Just keep reading for a few issues after that one.

1 comment:

Tom Chivers said...

Well, he didn't win the money itself, but a scholarship. The normal cost of his place presumably includes a large amount of bulk profit for the school rather than actual value, so I doubt he has a big budget to buy all the chessbase DVDs he wants, for instance.

Still, what a very lucky fellow, because his grading offers no indication of talent or ability. Small steps, low grade. Compare with David Howell. You start getting IMs in the 190s, incidentally...