Today’s 5-second tactics

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  1. Kevin,

    You were bang on with the one less tournament to play comment but it actually gets much worse.
    From what I understand the quebec tournament was a 5 round affair with two rounds starting before the Canadian with the results being mixed. If one played in the Canadian open and the mini COQ you would play 11 rounds starting on the Friday before the Saturday start for the Canadian open and get results for the mini COQ (first 5 rounds) then the Canadian open (last 9 rounds) with 3 rounds counting for both. On paper not a bad idea but in reality a disaster.

    I was in the under 2000 section of the Canadian open which turned into the biggest mess.

    Problems

    •All byes requested before the tournament were not properly tracked so anyone with byes in the first 4 rounds were considered no shows and given defaults
    •Many Quebec players only playing in the COQ who lost in the first few rounds ended up being no shows for the first three rounds of the 9 round event
    •Many non Quebecers who travelled to the tournament were then treated to defaulted games in the first 3 rounds. These people were either children trying to gain experience or adults who travelled far for the love of the game and just wanted a game not necessarily rating points.
    •I found this an interesting cultural thing to observe. The non Quebecers could not understand why someone would be so rude as to not tell the TD about an abandonment and further were shocked that people would take the rating hit on purpose. The Quebecers took it in stride that there are characters that pull this constantly in order to keep qualifying for low level tournaments. When observing this years’ event the practice allows mediocre older players to win small sums essentially ahead of very talented 11 year olds (disgusting)
    •All this caused the 3rd round Sunday night to start 90 minutes late. The A and B sections were subjected to 100 players walking into the hall 90 minutes into their games
    •Results weren’t accurate until round 5 as they had to figure out which of the defaults were defaults and which were byes. By Tuesday they removed the section from the results part of the web.Finally putting it back on Wednesday which is why on chess results .com you see the c section listed first! See it here http://chess-results.com/fed.aspx?lan=1&fed=CAN
    •Whoever was in charge of the C section prior to Monday seems to have just walked away. The arbiter from the under 2400 section seems to have spent Monday night fixing the mess
    •By round 5 it was back on track and running well but the sour taste was left especially with people who had come from BC to play 9 rounds

    The Canadian contingent of organizers didn’t see a problem as “we haven’t heard complaints” I run several businesses and have always lived by the adage that if a person has the balls to complain to you there are 25 others who have a complaint but didn’t air it. By round six there was 20 plus abandonments in the section which if I was an organizer I would be somewhat alarmed at.
    Not to be totally negative there was some cause for hope. They held the youth championship the week before and many of the kids stayed for the open. I was impressed with the number of well trained kids under the age of 13. Hopefully an encouraging sign for the future. Also in fairness to the organizers, Bernard Labadie of the FQE spoke to many of the C section players and apologized for the mess and thanked us for our patience.

    As always, very much appreciate your blog.

    Best regards
    Rick Ness

    (re-posted by Kevin Spraggett)