Saturday, February 19, 2011

Expats Rant at Aussie Chess

In a tandem attack, IM Alex Wohl and WIM Arianne Caoili deliver some very harsh words on Australian chess politicians. Alex has a problem with information, while Ari has a problem with, well, a lot of things.

Let me sum up my argument by giving an example of a piece of oration Levon once gave me over some gambas a la plancha: ‘Arianne, you’re playing men here. You can’t rely on tricks, yoyo emotions and crappy openings. These guys know their theory, and they fight. You can’t possibly compare a 2400 female and a 2400 guy – just have a look at the source of their rating points’.

If we get rid of gender related divisions/prizes/conditions altogether, then the ‘market’ for women to garner their rating points and experience will be larger and more competitive, and thus over time Oceania women chess players in general will not only be stronger but also more interesting to talk about in chess terms.

Firstly, if you're wondering what "gambas a la plancha" is, that's grilled prawns. I'm partial to gambas al ajillo myself and the best ones I've had were back in Valencia. Secondly, if you're wondering why Arianne never made it to the last Zonal in Rotorua, it's possibly because the ACF pissed her off!

You can read more of this, including Arianne Caoili's letter of protest to the ACF/NZCF over on IM Wohl's blog, Doubleroo.

UPDATE (20 Feb. 11.09AM): The Australian Chess Federation's Dr Kevin Bonham responds to WIM Caoili on Chesschat.


Anonymous said...

While I agree with much of what Arianne says, I think her belief that she should have got free accommodation/no entry fee is contradictory. The fact that she is the best woman in Oceania would be irrelevant and the highest rated players should get conditions.

Anonymous said...

The zonal was run on a shoestring, and it should be pointed out that the organisers had to pay for the 'free' rooms provided to the official nominees. If there had been any money at all to provide conditions (there wasn't) it would have gone to the top NZ players (conspicuous by their absence) and/or top NZ juniors. Not random Australians. If Ms Caoili wants to play in the Open then fine - it was not men-only but it seems most women were after titles and places in the Women's World Championship rather than experience. If Ms Caoili wants free entry then she can earn it by getting the IM title. I'm all for abolishing gender discrimination, myself, but if you do that then you have to abide by it, and that means you don't get free anything for being 'top female'.

Anonymous said...

Sad for Aussie/Kiwi chess the talented Arianne didnt play in the Zonal.

If she prefers Open events to Women event events good on her. NZ's top female player herself played in the Open Zonal, and NZ Champs disregarding the Womens events.

However expecting free accomdation/ free entry for the Open Zonal sounds a bit much.

One one hands she wants to play in Open events on the other hand she want the free goodies for the Women Zonal spot.

Sounds like she expects way too much. She was not one of the Top Seeds in the Open Zonal hence didnt was able to get free accomdation/free entry for the Open Event - what is she not understanding ?

If she want to play in the Open Zonal she simply had to pay the outrageous entry fees like the rest of us

Anonymous said...

but why does there have to be $250 to enter the zonals if you're high enough rated? she is talking of systemic change.

Kevin Bonham said...

Arianne's comments about the Zonal and attempts to blame the ACF over a FIDE event run in New Zealand are just nonsense. She was seeking a benefit to which she was not entitled as she was not a selected representative in the Open division. The organisers understandably did not provide it, and what this really has to do with the ACF is beyond me unless someone thinks we were supposed to de-select GM Smerdon or IM Xie to make way for Arianne, or else subsidise every strong female, very strong or upcoming player who would like to play in an Open Zonal.

I have responded in more detail at setting out as best I can true the history of the matter, which bears virtually no resemblance to Arianne's account.

Anonymous said...

Arianne didnt event turn up to the World Championship in Turkey! They should consider banning her from the zonal rather than granting her conditions said...

Was she supposed to pay her own way to get to Turkey? I mean, come on mate. It costs a fair amount to play these oversea's events on behalf of Australia - especially when the ACF only offers limited financial assistance to our top players.

Kevin Bonham said...

According to GM Ian Rogers' column in the Byron Echo, the reason Arianne did not play in Turkey was that she got a work offer in Luxembourg.

Nothing to do with cost of travel if so.