Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

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Rad Kadengal
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Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Rad Kadengal » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:50 am

Interested to know general opinion about the following proposals to make participation in the following international events more democratic.

(Perhaps we can avoid comments like 'it was worse before, better now', 'being selected itself is a prize' etc - such comments add no value to the discussion of issues. The key is to get more English juniors winning on the international stage)

a) World / European Schools competitions (standard/rapid/blitz)
b) World / European Youth competitions (standard/rapid/blitz)

Introduction:

I have experienced, and several parents shared their experience with me, that the selection to FIDE World/European Championships is a lucky dip even for players at the top of their game. Even a GM told me that he was able to advance to GM because he got consistently selected for World Championships when he was a junior whereas his contemporaries didn't and therefore they remained IM etc.

Organising players to attend international Championships may have been difficult in the past however, in this day and age with parents operating in a connected digital world, communication, funds transfer etc it is much easier and therefore lots of the restrictions, which are fabricated for operational convenience (rather than blocking the players, surely) can be removed from the governing rules.

This will minimise the 'luck factor' that currently plays a big part and makes or breaks the careers of players. The following proposals will increase the choice for players, simplify the governing rules and procedures, minimise the organisational load on national federations, improve participation in FIDE World/European Championships and therefore ultimately excellent for the game, the players, the parents and the federations, FIDE and of course the country.

I believe this will make the World/European Championships more democratic than they currently are.

Issues and proposals:

a) World / European Schools competitions (standard/rapid/blitz):

FIDE rules currently state that any federation/school/accredited training centre can sent unlimited number of players to these events. Players themselves can register as well, with their entry application copied to their home federation. So far so good.

But then the tournament organisers ask that the players get permission from their home federation or at the least the home federation should not object. This is a restrictive practise and no rationale can be found for this need to take permission.

The tournament is an individual tournament, not a 'national team' event like Olympiad and the entry is unlimited. In this scenario, why would a home federation ever object?

One reason I am told was that some home federations don't want to see too many home players when playing World Championships but this is a fallacy, and can easily be tackled if a question 'what if the top 20 players in the world are from the given home country?' they will be playing each other, don't they.. or they may have to give the winner flag to a different country, just to serve this fabricated restriction (and of course, corrupt the principles of tournament). This restriction creates several bad effects

a) it goes counter to the principle of unlimited participation ab initio
b) it allows home federations to limit the career of players for no reason (knowingly or unknowingly)
c) it is interesting to note that without this restriction, in fact, home federations have less overhead work and therefore it is better for the home federations. Home federations should therefore be happy but instead they use the said restriction as a sword against the player which I think it is not meant to be (abuse of power).

This restriction is therefore counter-productive, adds no value, creates negative value and therefore should not allowed.

Proposal 1. Remove the need for organisers to get permission from the home federation in World / European Schools competitions to register direct entry applications.


b) World / European Youth competitions (standard/rapid/blitz):

FIDE rules currently state that each federation can sent a maximum of 12 players per age group to these events.

I assume the limitation on number of players per age group is to ensure certain standard for the players. So far so good.

The rules are that registration of all players must be made by the home federation. The intent I believe is to get the best 12 players from each country and only a home federation can make sure of that. This looks good as well.

But an issue arises when the home federation is not sending the full quota of 12 players per age group. No body gains by wasting the balance in the quota. It is better to use the quota to the full.

One can understand that the home federation will only have limited capability to provide admin support to this 'balance quota'. In this case, players should be able to sent applications directly to the Organisers. The organisers can accept the applications if the home federation's quota is not full. If there are too many direct applicants, the organisers can select the highest graded ones... or even a simple, straightforward first-come-first basis to fill the quota. This way the unused quota for a home country can be used by other interested players.

Proposal 2. Release the unused quota by home federations in World / European Youth competitions to players from the given country to register on their own

I believe both these two proposals will remove the 'luck factor' to a certain extent and allow better participation, choice and talent development. This will make the Junior selection for FIDE World/European Championships more democratic than they currently are.

Comments please

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:00 am

Rad Kadengal wrote: Comments please
There are some "free" places available in some events to the "top" nominee of each Federation. If entry is open, this has to go.

While you rightly note that not sending players can restrict a player's career, for some officials that is the point. It means they have power. In the UK it is an accepted right that the national Federation has no powers to dictate to adult players where they play if they aren't playing in a representative team. This isn't always so in other countries or in physical sports.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:03 am

Your suggestion is not "more democratic", it's total anarchy.

Some kind of oversight of national federations is necessary for any official world championship competition. Put yourself in the shoes of the tournament organizer, you reserved 12 spots let's say for Russia and you receive at the same time 100 applications from people that do not speak your language, probably screaming parents. Who do you let in? If you are the organizer and everybody is paying, probably everyone but is this really more democratic?
Contrary to the comment of RdC, even in the UK, when the world championship cycle was not entirely based on rating, you had zonal and interzonal qualification tournaments, access to those was under the control of the national federations via their national championship.

Rad Kadengal
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Rad Kadengal » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:31 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:Your suggestion is not "more democratic", it's total anarchy.
That is what feudal lords said about democracy to start with...seen that before, haven't we...We need to improve and move on.

I have given my thoughts already (in the OP) on how to deal with the problem you posed...

> please propose a better one, and let's try resolve the issue

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:16 pm

Rad Kadengal wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:Your suggestion is not "more democratic", it's total anarchy.
That is what feudal lords said about democracy to start with...seen that before, haven't we...We need to improve and move on.

I have given my thoughts already (in the OP) on how to deal with the problem you posed...

> please propose a better one, and let's try resolve the issue
Keep everything as is; hold ECF directors accountable for missed opportunities but allow them to ignore disgruntled parents.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:52 pm

Rad Kadengal wrote:Interested to know general opinion about the following proposals to make participation in the following international events more democratic.
They don't make it more democratic. If anything, they make it less democratic by allowing those who can afford it to play, whilst better players who can't afford it won't be able to.
Rad Kadengal wrote:'being selected itself is a prize' etc - such comments add no value to the discussion of issues.
I think approving of selection criteria that make it an achievement in itself to be selected is a reasonable view to hold.
Rad Kadengal wrote:But then the tournament organisers ask that the players get permission from their home federation or at the least the home federation should not object. This is a restrictive practise and no rationale can be found for this need to take permission.

The tournament is an individual tournament, not a 'national team' event like Olympiad and the entry is unlimited. In this scenario, why would a home federation ever object?
One obvious justification for this is that the player is representing their country. It's reasonable that a federation should have the right to object to a player representing them who has a past record of bad behaviour that would reflect badly on their country if repeated.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:12 pm

Mr Kadengal,

I don't understand your objection to national bodies such as the ECF having selection boards to nominate individuals to represent the country. Is the ECF procedure so different than that adopted in other countries?

If you have specific concerns regarding the current selection criteria or their implementation wouldn't it be more productive to raise them rather than attempt to overturn everything that exists?

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Rob Thompson » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:40 pm

Please provide evidence of abuses of this. Otherwise you're just making baseless claims in the hope of a radical change, with no logical or empirical foundation at all.
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:53 pm

Evidence that not playing those particular events stunts your chess growth would be handy as well. There are any number of international Opens one can play in if one wants to become a GM, and most of those give much better value for money than the official FIDE events.

Lewis Martin
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Lewis Martin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:49 am

Rob Thompson wrote:Please provide evidence of abuses of this. Otherwise you're just making baseless claims in the hope of a radical change, with no logical or empirical foundation at all.
I've voiced before of my opinions of the selectors. I won't say them again, but will point out just one example:

http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php

http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=471186

Jack Rudd: Although this is not evidence of stunted growth, but of someone that has clearly given up the game, despite playing abroad a few times, representing England. It is probably not much of a surprise to me, I hardly saw him at any junior qualifying events, and his record seems rather unremarkable.

Although I am still playing now more for the love of the game (crazy I know), and remain with some ambition in chess, I was a lot more competitive when I was younger. So to keep missing out on any Junior selections despite being consistently in the top 10 for a few years, (though perhaps not so much as I got into my teens when I was less interested in chess), made me feel miffed (understatement of the year) with the selectors.

The fact that I gave up on the British Junior Championships after U12 probably didn't help my case for any selections.

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Peter D Williams
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Peter D Williams » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:37 am

Lewis Martin wrote:quote]

I've voiced before of my opinions of the selectors. I won't say them again, but will point out just one example:

http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php

http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=471186

Jack Rudd: Although this is not evidence of stunted growth, but of someone that has clearly given up the game, despite playing abroad a few times, representing England. It is probably not much of a surprise to me, I hardly saw him at any junior qualifying events, and his record seems rather unremarkable.

Although I am still playing now more for the love of the game (crazy I know), and remain with some ambition in chess, I was a lot more competitive when I was younger. So to keep missing out on any Junior selections despite being consistently in the top 10 for a few years, (though perhaps not so much as I got into my teens when I was less interested in chess), made me feel miffed (understatement of the year) with the selectors.

The fact that I gave up on the British Junior Championships after U12 probably didn't help my case for any selections.
The selection process has now changed and larger groups of juniors now go to various events.At one time the process for the worlds was for only the highest rated junior to be selected to go but that was daft becuase you could have 2 or 3 players who where only a few rating points behind the top junior.Peter missed out on the worlds when this policy was in place i think Felix http://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=3900258 was the top junior.

Some people who are selected are not the first choice.The selectors first contact the strongest player but if his parents say we can not afford it or he/she does not want to go they move on to the next player on the rating list.

In the past if you had annoyed the selectors or the junior director you had no hope of being picked something we found out when we used to complain that more juniors should be picked to play for England.Lets hope that nonsense does not still go on.I have also heard gossip when we used to go to juniors events that some juniors got a lot of help including fincianal help but i have no idea if this is true.
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

Rad Kadengal
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Rad Kadengal » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:07 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote: hold ECF directors accountable for missed opportunities
Who do you think can hold the ECF directors accountable?
What form/shape/procedure will that take? How will you go about it?
On the other hand, why would you go that route when a preventive mechanism can be devised?
Ian Thompson wrote: less democratic by allowing those who can afford it to play
The home federation can still send the players as they do now and give financial assistance.

The key is idea in OP is to open up the balance unused quota to the choice of eager players.. and remove the unwarranted monopoly forced upon the players by the home federations.

The home federations are limited companies and they should not be having this sort of a monopoly power.

Therefore the OP is more democratic.
Ian Thompson wrote: federation should have the right to object to a player representing them who has a past record of bad behaviour that would reflect badly on their country
The home federation is not responsible for the people who go in the 'unused quota'. These individuals go on their own and no home federation need to decide for them how they behave.

Michael Flatt wrote: don't understand your objection to national bodies such as the ECF having selection boards to nominate individuals
The home federation can do what they want, as they do now.
However why do they put restrictions on the unused quota? and block other players going on their own? where does that 'control freak' come from?

Remember, these are individual games and individuals should have the fundamental right to do the right thing for them.
Michael Flatt wrote: represent the country
slightly off the topic, but curious: The players sent by a home federation represent that federation. While 'playing for the country' have a nice and elated feeling, is there something that 'anoints' a home federation to take on that role really? e.g. a royal charter or something?
Michael Flatt wrote: If you have specific concerns regarding the current selection criteria or their implementation wouldn't it be more productive to raise them
I have deep concerns with the way ECF works, have raised them directly with their director board.

The OP is not about the way ECF goes about selecting their 'limited list' of players as you can see from above

The OP is about opening up the balance unused quota to the choice of eager players and remove the unwarranted monopoly the ECF holds

Rob Thompson wrote: provide evidence of abuses
I reserve responding for the moment for certain reasons...you have other commenters talking about it already.

Look at the bright side: if the OP is taken up and implemented, home federation will be free from any accusations.
All that is required is to free up the 'unused' quota.. what is stopping them doing that?

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:16 pm

Rad, I am totally bemused by the opposition to your ideas.

As for this representing your country!!! What oh what has an individual world championship got to do with that? Can you only be the best in the world if you have some patriotic loyalty to the geographic area in which you happened (without anyone consulting you) to be born?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:29 pm

Rad Kadengal wrote: is there something that 'anoints' a home federation to take on that role really? e.g. a royal charter or something?
Home federations have a certain standing. The ECF had or has official recognition from the UK government as the national body organising chess in England. It even used to get an annual grant. The Welsh Chess Union and Chess Scotland have similar relationships with the institutions in Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Also the world chess federation FIDE which awards the tournaments, only recognises one chess Federation per country.

As far as England is concerned, the ECF policy now seems to be to assemble relatively large squads and send them en masse complete with coaches and trainers. One particular point was that they didn't want "official" and "unofficial" squads at the same tournament. To judge from the relatively poor results being achieved, selection for these squads hasn't set the barriers particularly high.

In Western Europe, including England, there's no shortage of tournaments for which no permission is required where top class opposition can be faced.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Junior selection: FIDE World/European Championships

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:02 pm

Rad Kadengal wrote: b) World / European Youth competitions (standard/rapid/blitz):

FIDE rules currently state that each federation can sent a maximum of 12 players per age group to these events.

FIDE are notorious for ignoring their own Regulations, even the Court of Arbitration in Sport said so.

Many, perhaps most Federations that run international junior events do so as a money making activity. Usually this is by forcing players and accompanying persons to stay in official hotels and charging them a far higher room rate than they are being charged by the hotel. From that viewpoint, restrictions on numbers are likely to be ignored.

So it would seem was the case at last year's European in Montenegro.

This is the Russian team
http://chess-results.com/tnr106039.aspx ... =30&wi=984

Just look at the numbers.

It's also been a complaint of past English squads that there can be hordes of local players in the bottom half of such tournaments, to the extent that it isn't really an "international" experience.

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