Sunday, December 11, 2011

Problems And Answers: How to Cook a Chess Club

On Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM, Brian Cohen wrote:

Hey John. I know you told me that Tony Norris is taking a half point bye in round five. Just so everyone affected by this pairing change (which would be myself, Senyatkin, Martinez, Katz, and I suppose Norris as well) is all on the same page, can you have Roger Pedersen send the updated, revised pairings to David Korn to be placed on the website? If all of the affected players are not aware of a pairing change there could be problems.

[Editor, paragraph break] First of all Senyatkin is now supposed to be playing me, and Martinez is now supposed to be playing Katz. Senyatkin and Martinez could be upset, thinking that they are supposed to be playing each other, which they were originally. Katz, who had a full point bye originally, may not be aware of a change and might not be expecting to play, or he might not even show up, although in his case he comes just about every week.

[Editor, break] I would hate for there to be a scenario where anybody is upset at pairing changes that they will not find out about until game time or for Martinez to not have a game, get an unearned free point, and not have a game to play because Katz doesn't show up. I just think it would be best to make it clear to avoid any confusion. Please send me a reply, and as always thank you again John, and I will see you on Tuesday night.

Bryan Cohen

From: John Hagerty To: david korn [1]
ject: Fwd: tony norris bye

[Dear] Bryan,

It should be clear from the posted information as to the possibilities as to what happens if Norris takes a bye. The people in question should check with Roger or me as what Tony`s situation is and therefore know as to whom they are playing. If they cannot figure this out, then maybe they should not be playing Chess at all. What I can do is this: I will e-mail David and ask him to double check with Roger and then repost the pairings reflecting the Norris 1/2 point bye effect on rd. 5.


From: David Korn
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2011 4:54 PM
To: [Roger] CT
Cc: John Hagerty
Subject: RE: tony norris bye

[Dear] Roger, back from HARD 1:15 run in the woods [...] ten minutes ago [...].

A surprising email from John, and asks me if you can pls let me know if there is an update. The patience of everyone is being tried, certainly not from you or John or me. You know, I have been competing at the club since the WOCCC in March, and this NEVER happened. Either we are attracting a portion of new breed of the wrong people [2], or we are just getting too free or lenient, but somehow there must be a way to control this.

In systems theory, when an entirely new sea change comes in, there must be an exogenous reason for it, no? We are not much different than we were a year ago, or are we? In any event, if you have new pairings, then I will post them.

On the fly, it just hits me if there are NO byes, while we might see a reduction in participation, maybe THAT set of participants will have more commitment?

Leave it to you and John.

Best, dk

From: David Korn
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2011 4:56 PM
To: [Brian]
Subject: FW: tony norris bye

Brian, not sure what it is all about. You sound reasonable to me. Your friend, dk

From: doran race
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2011 7:28 PM
To: david korn; roger pedersen
Cc: John Hagerty
Subject: RE: tony norris bye

I thought I saw somewhere that Norris is taking a half point bye for rounds 5 and 6


From: CT [Roger]Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2011 10:07 PM
To: [dk]Subject: Re: tony norris bye

Tony and Doran have requested round 5 byes SO the pairing "if" for Tony is what will occur and Pepe gets a forfeit win against Doran

Hackensack tournament tomorrow


From: John Hagerty Date: Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Subject: Re: tony norris bye
To: doran race

David, the idea of 1/2 point byes is not an original concept on my part; it is very simply a device that obviously allows for a greater number of participants in an event. I would rather suffer a number of 1/2 point byes and have a nice turnout rather than have a limited group to play. In fact, some players will not play if they are forced to take a 1/2 point bye even though you, Roger, myself and many others who have even a modicum of math and especially statistical probability theory knowledge and understanding realize that theyare being either foolish or ignorant of the "odds" inherent in the Elo rating system.

[Editor, break] In any event, for us to pursue Grand Prix status, we have to guarantee $300.00 to the first three places. Furthermore, we do not want to revert back to the days of postponed games and/or adjournments; that wreaked some havoc on our scheduling for the club calendar. We also have some club members who travel on their jobs (sometimes with very little notice) and if we did not offer the 1/2 point bye option, they might never play in any of our Swiss events.

[Editor, break] try to be pragmatic about these things and above all else I do not want to impose Spartan or Draconian measures which could very well "throw the baby out with the bath water", if you get my drift. We will, of course, have to draft a kind of "riot act" type of document that should be handed out to every tournament participant and/or official club member--yes, this will be yet another work in progress for the betterment of the club.


From: Nathan Resika
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 11:53 AM
To: John
Cc: David
Subject: RE: New Post: 'Problems And Answers: How to Cook a Chess Club'

at the marshall and in most tournaments. in 6 round events, byes MUST be committed to taken BEFORE round 4 not AFTER( which yur rules allow). I think perhaps this should be your future change in policy..: imagine this.. some one with 4 out of 4 could take 2 byes AFTER acheiving this score and win the event!. whereas is he commited to the last round byes BEFORE round 4 he couldnt be sure of his result:-) all best Nathan

Nathan Resika [click red at L, to go to Nathan's impressive blog]

Video of FIDE Master Nathan Resika singing! Begs the question, 'what can this man NOT do?'

From: David Korn
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:28 PM
To: 'Nathan Resika'; John
Subject: RE: New Post: 'Problems And Answers: How to Cook a Chess Club'

Dear Nathan, It is wonderful that you continue to take an interest in our club. We hope to see more of you.

Thank you for your comment. I took the liberty of posting your note to the blog sec ago. Please let us know if this is not OK. Ideally, everyone’s voice gets heard.

Posting emails to the blog is unusual and not the norm, but this is part of surfacing out the growing pains of a club reaching beyond local-regional to regional.

Somehow the process sorts out, and we grow. I know John will reinforce or clarify if not to himself then the entire club the current position or, if alternately it is to change, put his wisdom there, but, believe me, I can speak for the WOCC and John, whatever it is, we will come out better after.

This all extends out of the decision to experiment, innovate, correct, improve that John put into motion last March, both B. from the resuscitated blog, and A. and the great results at the World Team Amateur in February the month before also.

To me the whole issue is not about byes or forfeits or pairings, but about stability. We can be more stable by refusing to change, or we can allow change, but this causes disturbance. It seems to me right now, to put it into organizational development or social psychology terms, we are in the winds of evolution, and as we do, surprises will keep happening. We cannot do both—stay the same or not allow instability.

Best, dk

PS, Gosh, thank you for the wonderful singing at the start of round four the week before last. If you ever wish to do it again, somehow we will all resist complaining. Smiles :-)

From: Nathan Resika Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:09 AM
To: David Korn, John Hagerty
Subject: RE: New Post: 'Problems And Answers: How to Cook a Chess Club'

Hi David, Might I add that without the byes I wouldnt have been able to play... with byes( which are a great way for busy people to take part).. players will have to get used to not knowing who they will play in the first fewrounds.. beacuse someone could enter( like I did) with 2 byes. But its ok! People will have to think at the board without preparation for some rounds. This can be a good thing, occasionally:-) best Nathan click red at L for link

From: David Korn Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:34 AM
To: 'Nathan Resika'
Cc: John Hagerty
Subject: RE: New Post: 'Problems And Answers: How to Cook a Chess Club'

Dear Nathan, You make a very, very good point. Maybe this is what everyone has been saying all along, but you seem to make it more clear. It’s like the Euro: ‘we will all tie ourselves to a currency we can all use, resulting in convenience, but this will lower the value of our more wealthy nations, and raise the less prosperous--the cost of seeking more openness by becoming more interdependent’ (my words). But then latter some nations fall (Greece, Spain, UK), and the piper must be paid (chess byes for Euro’s and default for changing one’s mind on previous commitments to play AND it being allowed).

On that note, maybe I can clarify as well what I see. But before I do, it is most important on the subject that I make it very clear that I am not at all against byes or byes here. What I am in favor of is surfacing the conflict. A conflict does not have to be serious. A conflict can be the need to not drink a second Coke after a two hour workout.

There is a saying in process psychology that ‘the source of resolving a disturbance resides in the conflict itself’:

Perhaps it is not that byes are to be to be continued to be used, but that a tighter rein on HOW those byes are allowed and taken. Again, much as I like Anthony—and I really do, I watched him continually say that he was pretty sure he could not continue in the tournament, then that he would. And let me hasten to repeat that it was me, from before the start of the tournament who kept encouraging him to enter the tournament, even if he needed to take byes in rounds five and six. So there ought not to have been a surprise. But from a group as distinct from an individual perspective, it begs the question as to how far it can go that one participant can unhinge a process or be allowed to do so. This becomes a group problem.

So it’s really about ‘if you are to take a bye’, ‘here are the conditions’, and ‘here are the limits’. It’s not taking a bye or not, but clarifying and objectifying formally. We had several persons saying they would participate, then did not. Someone officially leave the tournament, then come back, someone saying they would take a bye, then did not.

Please forgive me if I misunderstand, sincerely, but my stance is to taking a stance, not to the kind of stance!

Best, dk

[1] Some have gotten round to calling the editor (really a Communications Coordinator, as far as it goes) John's Assistant, certainly which cannot be called an insult. He told John the other day: 'John, I am not your assistant, but assist you--since I have no official capacity.

Be that as it may, as Victor or others resolve what a Secretary does for our club in the digital era, where emails, the internet, videos might count for more than board meeting minutes (those of course matters a lot, too), his role is that of 'activist' as Harry puts that.

That said, to be clear, he doesn't take a position on things like byes or standards or formats, but simply helps tie people, their communications, and events together as the club leadership wants them. To the extent that his name keeps showing up, its is only because someone needs to recieve and distribute those communications with an eye to the whole, to transparency, and hopefully fairness. dk

[2] To be clear, not that an individual opinion matters her, but the editor very sincerely likes Anthony and Nick, and certainly respects Man-Chit's chess to name a few, wishing only to highlite the aparent trend of the club there, not to focus upon any one of any number of pereginations by person or situation. for more details and full list
Click image to enlarge

FIDE ranking used to come out four times per year, and now a bit more often. But Hans Arlild Runde conceived a way to rank the super grandmasters, 2700 FIDE ELO and above in real time. For example, Carlsen won the recent Tal Memorial in Moscow and so topped 2830, Kramnik London yesterday and so topped 2800, which appears on the chart often to the hour. A real clever improvement. That we can tell, he recently sold it to be operated by others but nevertheless, still completely his brainchild. Link to here. Click red at L.

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