Friday, September 21, 2007

Alex Wohl Lambasts ACF

In the latest ACF newsletter there is a call from Dr Kevin Bonham, the federation's selections coordinator, for applications to be selected for the Commonwealth Championships. The tournament will take place in New Delhi, India between 2 and 10 December, 2007.

But hang on a sec! IM Alex Wohl has just told me that he's been invited by the organiser to play in the event and thus effectively bypassing the ACF. Just as well - as Alex isn't happy with his federation.

I am going to play in the Commonwealth Championships in Delhi in December. I met the organiser by accident in Spain and he invited me. The only way to get an Australian to many of these events is for the host federation to take a "pro-active" approach.

Since I have been based in Europe I have tried to ignore the ACF so as to keep my blood-pressure down but when I see tournaments like the Asian Championships go by, very strong tournaments with good conditions, good prize money and norm chances, I can´t help but get annoyed.

Apart from calling for donations (very late) for the Olympiad what does the ACF do?

"We are a laughing stock", concludes the IM.

Another chappie unhappy with his federation. Understandable really. Today', there's no information about the Commonwealth Championships on

What about the newsletter then? Alex tells me that the ACF long ago stopped sending him the newsletter. In any case, it seems remarkably ridiculous that our top players have to bother subscribing to something that these days come about once a month!


Anonymous said...

hahahahah....alex :) hasta la pasta!

Peter Long said...

I fully apppreciate Alex Wohl's frustration but not as a player or even official!

Dropped by the event at the invitation of old friends and was embarassed that Malaysia was not represented among the 17 even when Korea, Papua New Guinea and Chinese Paipei were!

And when I made enquiries an official of MCF is seemingly saying they did not know (or knew too late)!!!!

I feel sorry because we have 4 player of around 2400, one who has GM potential and two who are on the way to becoming IMs and should have come (airfare to them is not a problem).

So in frustration I am now starting a blog too -

Anonymous said...

There is nothing stopping Alex from subscribing to the ACF newsletter via the ACF website.

Anonymous said...

True Alex could subscribe to the ACF bulletin.
But what I think he was talking about was that the ACF doesnt seem to talk to its top group of players to make sure that at least one of them represents Australia in tournaments like the Commonwealth championship.
When you consider that Australia is in the top 5 commonwealth nations,its strange that we hardly ever have a representative to this tournament.

Kevin Bonham said...

Actually I run a selections info mailout list precisely to address the problem of informing top players about upcoming selections chances, especially at times when the ACF Newsletter is delayed. Information on how to join this list was emailed to every top player I had an email address for shortly after the previous Olympiad selections. It was also recently published in the ACF Newsletter, and elsewhere. However for anyone who still somehow missed it, email with "Join selections mailout list" in the subject heading and you're in.

I also think it's completely reasonable to expect players interested in representing Australia overseas to subscribe to the ACF newsletter and remain subscribed to the best of their ability - if they stop getting it, then contact the editor or their ISP to establish the problem. If there is anyone who has been disconnected from the newsletter repeatedly despite keeping their email address up to date, I suggest they contact me and make me aware of the details, and also join the mailout list mentioned above.

Selection to represent the ACF in an event typically involves more than just the right to play but also free accommodation and often meals. If players can obtain these conditions in other ways good luck to them, but the path of selection by merit, slow as it necessarily is, is nonetheless still open to those who wish to use it.

Players aware of upcoming events at which they would like to represent the country are also always welcome to contact me and ask whether selections will be called for. In many cases they will, as often the issue is simply the timely flow of information about the event from the organisers to the ACF.

Kevin Bonham
ACF Selections Co-Ordinator (Non-Junior Events)