Thursday, 16 August 2007

Staunton Memorial Joke

I just though I'd pop to the homepage of this tournament again in the hope that I might find Mickey Adams strolling away in the lead. Alas this was not so, however, whilst I was there I re-read the details on the main page and I nearly wet myself as it finally sunk in how appalling this whole shenanigans is.

The following is a quote from that page, on what the tournament organisers hope to achieve.

"The Staunton society exists to perpetuate the name of Howard Staunton , Britain's only ever claimant to be world chess champion, and to promote uk chess and in particular give young british players the prospects for gm norms and titles."

Well we've already covered the fact that running the tournament alongside the official British Chess Championships is counter-productive in promoting the game of chess in the UK, along with the lack of internet coverage.

However, I just thought I'd point out to the organisers that "young british players" probably shouldn't include in any list the following players: Speelman B.1956, McNab B.1961, Wells B.1965, Adams B.1971 and it's probably pushing it to include Houska B.1980 but I'll allow them that one.

But what about the Norms and Titles for these so called young british players?

Seems to me, that all the players aside from Houska have a GM title. Were they hoping she would win the tournament outright with a rating 300 points lower than Adams'.

Oh, and as a footnote to this post the current team score is Holland 28.5, U.K. 19.5

These not so old British players are really performing spectacularly well, if you are actually interested in this event at all you can see the crosstable and games here.


Tom Chivers said...

You cynic you, Martin :)

Another powerful critique of the tournament though. Gawain Jones only just got his GM title before the tournament started. Also you should check past years - some norms might have been gained then, so the claim might not be totally unfounded.

Eric Shiller explained on why there was no live coverage - the technology that does this is, apparently, very ugly, and they wanted to provide the best playing boards for the competitors instead. I don't think next day is too bad myself, but of course, I have just been watching the games from a foot away, so I'm not really feeling the lack of a live broadcast too sharply.

Jan Mol the sponsor is Dutch. So this explains probably the relative strength in depth of the Dutch side. I like the Staunton's mixture of youth and experience myself.

Anonymous said...

The number of "young British players" who are serious candidates for IM title norms can be counted on the fingers of one hand, let alone those who are candidates for GM title norms.

Martin Deane (aka Juicy Plums) said...

Hi T,

Schiller's just making excuses IMO, if a tournament in the Arctic Circle and another in Hungary can provide live games (no disrespect to either of them), then I'm sure one held in the UK should be able to (the British Champs did).

Experience is all well and good, but there's experience and then there's 'past it'.

Compare the teams at Staunton to the ones in the UK vs. China match here

I think you'll accept that this is much better. Short is the eldest and given his pedigree (aside from the Montreal disaster) I think that's good. The other more senior player Arakhamia-Grant is the strongest female player in the country so it's very understandable that she should play.

Martin Deane (aka Juicy Plums) said...

"The number of "young British players" who are serious candidates for IM title norms can be counted on the fingers of one hand, let alone those who are candidates for GM title norms. "

Yes another serious issue which I may post about at some point. Did you see the report in the Scotsman the other day about the chess projects they're initiating in Aberdeen in nursery schools?

Very interesting stuff. Should the rest of the UK follow suit?

Tom Chivers said...

I heard John Emms say yesterday in the bar that "the invitation came too late" - maybe that had some unexpected dropouts?

Anonymous said...

There's something else. The official site lists the 'Friends of Chess' as a sponsor - see the link on the left, at the bottom. If you click the link, you'll be taken to a FOC page which describes the organisation's objectives and the membership of their committee. Some of those members are prominent ECF people...

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