Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ACF versus Kids and Parents

Canberra chess organiser Shaun Press has a devastating post today over on his blog.

As far as I can tell it's a dispute over monies between the Australian Chess Federation and a "state" junior chess association, the ACTJCL. Basically it's a case of the big boys telling the kids and their parents, "pay up or else!" Well, somebody did pay up and that was none other than the ex-ACTJCL boss, Libby Smith, who apparently forked out near 2-grand of her own money to settle the whole thing. Seemed like a dumb idea I thought, but, as it turns out, her move has forced the ACF into an embarassing spotlight.

OK, by the time I reached this point in my post I have only this question: what's the ACF collecting all this money for anyway?


Kevin Bonham said...

Well, I feel far from devastated by Shaun's post and have just responded to it in an unofficial capacity on his blog - I have also made several comments on Chesschat.

Peter Long said...

I did predict trouble when I first read in this Blog that this body was being set up.

Don't know the reasons/specifics of the current problem but unfortunately I have seem too many years of seeing how chess is run all over the world...

The Closet Grandmaster said...

I think you might be referring to the AusJCL, Peter. That's not the body involved here.


Peter Long said...

Thanks for correcting me. I apologise and hope I will not be eventually right.

Chess communities just seem to have a natural tendency to self-destruct!

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,

I understand your concerns, but to try and draw a parallel between what has happened with the ACTJCL and the AusJCL is taking the negativity so prevalent among adult chess players to new heights.

The AusJCL will NOT be a divisive organisation and WILL work closely with all relevant adult and junior bodies.

If the AusJCL had existed in 2006 (or even in 2001/2002, where the roots of the problem lie), I would confidently predict that the current sad state of affairs would not have been reached.

I agree that chess communities are incredibly destructive - something in the nature of the win or lose aspects of the game. I do NOT accept it is impossible to create an organisation capable fo being better than that.

Jenni Oliver

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni. Please clarify. Who are you talking about when you say "the negativity so prevalent among adult chess players"?

Many adults I play are over-optimistic about their positions!
But maybe you are referring to some current and past Australian chess administrators? If so, I would attribute the negativity to their lack of common sense and life experience.

These people often have no vision and ability to make things happen, often happy to hamper the development of chess in this country through their selfishness!

Kevin Bonham said...

Brian Jones writes, in a vague attack on "some current and past Australian chess administrators", "If so, I would attribute the negativity to their lack of common sense and life experience."

So Brian, to which of these two things do we attribute *your* negativity in your latest post? Have to laugh whenever I see someone accusing others of negativity in such a, dare I say it, negative tone! Sure, you have the ability to get things done, sure, you have big picture ideas (whether they are all good enough to qualify as useful visions rather than distractions is another question) but someone who complains as much about others not following a path as you do is in no position to lecture on "negativity"!

As for "common sense" it is such a cliched silly furphy (usually used to denote a belief that is neither commonly held nor sensible) that if any complainer ever wishes to accuse me of lacking it I shall take that as a considerable compliment! Not that Brian's comments seem to have been aimed at anyone in particular (more's the pity.)

Peter Long said...

Thank you Jenni - I hope that all stakeholders will be as encouraged as I have been by your positive get it done approach and wish you all the best.

If I can help in anyway do drop me an email peter@aseanchess.com

Anonymous said...

Kevin Bonham says he feels far from devastated for effectively blackmailing Libby Smith into paying the ACF two grand of her own money. What he and the rest of the ACF should feel is shame and embarrassment. The self righteous indignation demonstrated by Kevin Bonham and the ACF in this and other matters only goes to show how wrong things are with the administrative chess body that is supposed to be representing chess players and promoting chess generally. Most disturbing of all is the lack of an apology from anyone in the ACF, only disingenuous remarks that they didn't think she personally should have had to pay the money. If that were true, they would have returned every penny to her.

You know I never really paid much heed when Matt Sweeney called for a changing of the ACF guard from his OzChess board. But I can tell you with 100% certainty that I am starting to agree with his viewpoint after this deplorable and disgraceful action by the ACF.

Kevin Bonham said...

Gee, who's this showing up almost two weeks after the last post on this thread to have a relatively mindless abusive swing at me? Clearly someone none too informed (for instance they seem to think Matthew Sweeney owns Ozchess; he doesn't, Alex Toolsie does).

Nobody blackmailed Libby into anything and indeed Libby has no official position relevant to the matter. Rather it appears that Libby, sensing that the ACTJCL were not likely to pay the money in time, decided to attempt to protect ACT juniors from the consequence of the ACTJCL's failure to pay by paying much of the outstanding money herself.

Anonymous coward's claim that if the ACF believed Libby should not pay then the ACF should return her money doesn't necessarily follow, at least not immediately. Clearly Libby's intent in paying the money was to prevent the imposition of sanctions arising from the bill remaining unpaid, in which case the correct time for returning Libby's payment is when the ACTJCL has covered what it owes.

As for the rest of the post, I'm not going to bother responding to unsubstantiated lame abuse from yet another gutless anonymous troll (possibly one of the usual suspects pretending not to be) who can't get their facts right, except to say that if anonymous commenting was banned from this blog I would welcome such a decision.

This post does not necessarily represent the views of the ACF.