Sunday, August 19, 2007

NSWCA Championships Disappoint

The NSWCA is in big trouble.

Today's opening round of the association's premiere event pulled in only 32 players, a miserable figure by any standards. There was the usual talk of what might be causing this malaise. The familiar answers were given. NSWCA boss Bill Gletsos must be wondering what else he can do. Of concern to him, most of all, will be his coffers. Just a few months from November's AGM, the signs are that we could be heading for another massive financial loss.

Top seed in the Championship is FM Greg Canfell who is playing in what he calls his "comeback" tournament. He'll play in more events from now on, he said. Truth be told, the association should thank him profusely for even bothering to turn up. This year's edition, after all, is "lesser" than in previous years as the event will run for just 7 rounds, two less than normal practice. Plus imagine the title heading for the cabinet of anyone between 1800 to 2100. I mean no disrespect to these guys but if that tragedy occurred, then the NSWCA ought to rescind the result!

So desperate is the situation of absent players that even yours truly was asked to participate. I'll think about it, I said. I just blog these days. But who knows? This might just be the event when I'll finally come out! Somebody's gotta give that Greg a challenge, you know.

One who'll never miss a championship is the octogenarian, Lloyd Fell. But he very nearly didn't make it. It seems he was confused about the venue and turned up miles away over in West Ryde. Realising his error he very quickly made his way to Parramatta. Unluckily for him the clocks had already ticked by for 30 minutes when he arrived. He wasn't happy. To his annoyance, the NSWCA officials were this time uncharacteristically efficient. Said Lloyd, "The bastards started on time!"

Not too long after, though, Mr Fell was again happy. As if decades younger, Lloyd today played with his usual tactical vigour and beat Herman Rachmadi. With a smile he asked me, "Did you like that finish?" Oh yeah I did. It was a nice one. Rachmadi would lose the queen to avoid mate.

Other results I managed to see were:

Canfell - Huyhn, 1-0
Javier - Tomas, 1-0
Kordahi - Baterowicz, 1-0

Tournament sponsor Integra have provided something kind of cute. Pens! No Montegrappas these ones but they fit snugly between the fingers for a smooth glide on paper. They even come with their own sleeves. You've just got to have one. Even Lloyd loved them, too, and he has a warning for those with nice pens.

"Never play with a with a good pen," said Lloyd, "you'll lose it. Chess players are all thieves". He was only joking.

As an aside I should mention a thing or two about the upcoming Australian Chess Championships in Jan '08. There are hopes, I learned this afternoon, of a super GM participating in the tournament. No names - but this guy is said to be on his way to a poker tournament in Melbourne. Chances are slim, but let's pray this player can be persuaded to make a detour. And as for advance entries, at least a couple of international masters may attend. I hope they do!

Until next week then. For another take on the NSWCA Championships, you might want to check The Chess Nut.


Phil Willis said...

Any insight into why the tournament was so poorly attended?

For me, I didn't think I could commit to so many Sundays in a row. I'd much prefer to have all the rounds occur over a long weekend, or maybe two weekends.

Interesting suggestion about the NSWCA rescinding the result if someone in the 1800 to 2100 rating range.

Hard to believe that a 1950 could (or even should) be crowned NSW Champion - but if people don't come out to defend the title, or at least take their shot - why shouldn't a regular punter get the trophy?

It's a tough one.

Anonymous said...

Grischuk's a keen poker player... is it him?

Shaun Press said...

A simplistic explanation for why only 32 people entered is "Everyone else decided to do something else". Now while this may seem trite, it at least points towards looking at the buyer, rather than the seller.
Of course most people reflexively blame the organisers when things like this happen so I'll ask, "Is there anything the organisers did that prevented more players from entering?"

The blindman said...

Unless a foreign Super G's participation facilitates GM norms, it would be hard to see how it could be justified. Foreign players are not normally admitted to the Australian Championships, except for Australian residents and NZ citizens/residents.

Such participation would require a resolution of council:
"5. The ACF Council may, in exceptional circumstances, invite one otherwise
ineligible player to compete in the Australian Chess Championship."

Maybe someone like Grischuk could be justified on publicity grounds, but it's hard to see someone like that giving up 10 days for $1500 unless the evening Sydney poker action is particularly juicy.

The Closet Grandmaster said...

The organisers are, I believe, attempting to organise a side poker event.


Anonymous said...

The NSWCA is a complete joke. Just when I thought they couldn't possibly get any worse, they turn the State Championships into a farce by their incompetence. No wonder onlly 32 players showed up when we consider:

1. Only 7 rounds for a championship event.

2. Holding a 7 week long event at a venue where they have to pay rent instead of holding it a a rent free venue like Ryde-Eastwood which would enable more prize money to be available, thereby increasing its appeal.

3. As per usual with the NSWCA a pathetic promotion and advertising of the event.

Lets hope those Bozos on NSWCA committee not only have a read of today's Peter Parr's column in the Sydney Morning Herald for constructive solutions to boosting player numbers for the state champs, but start implementing these ideas. Actually Parr's ideas are just common sense and the NSWCA should have been doing them in the first place, but of course that is too much to expect from the incompetently run and hopelessly disorganised NSWCA.