Clarification for Quitting the Online Olympiad

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  • Clarification for Quitting the Online Olympiad

    Dear all,

    I am GM Kaiqi Yang. I have made my decision to quit from the Online Olympiad after seeing the release of round 4 player list sent by the captain Victor this morning. As board 2 of the Canadian team, I only played 1 out of 4 games in the first four rounds according to Victor’s arrangement. (PS: I am sure I played a fairly good game against GM Duda, Jan-Krzysztof (FIDE 2753) on my only presence with Team Poland. Game link:

    In the email answering my questions, Victor shows his calculation on averaging the FIDE and CFC rating and his considerations. I am sure he will post it here if he wants.

    Below is the email I sent to the team this morning replying Victor’s email:

    Highly doubt your intention to have CFC rating involved.
    The first reaching-out email from you clearly specified the criteria as "last FIDE rating". I am listed board 2 as a result. If you prefer averaging the ratings, does using FIDE and FIDE rapid rating makes more sense to align with FIDE for this tournament?
    Also, if you have such consideration, as a captain, you would have communicated with the team prior to the first round so everyone would have their expectations based on your criteria ahead of time. Unfortunately, I have committed lots of my time and schedule on preparing for this tournament.
    Based on the above, I have decided to not participate in the following rounds.
    For the rest of the team, I wish you all the best luck for this tournament.

    From my perspective, I take this tournament very seriously. I have attended many online tournaments this whole summer to prepare for it, including shared the third place in the “World Open” which took place on Aug 7-9, 2020 organized by CCA. Link: I have my expectations on this Online Olympiad. I hope I can represent Canada with my best performance. Unfortunately, I did not expect such a turn and the arrangement seems so personal that I cannot take it. That being said, it is a very sad decision for me to quit, but I also hope that for the good of Team Canada. Wish you, all the players, good luck in the following rounds of the tournament!

    Also, I would like to say that I will not participate in any team tournaments in the future as long as Victor is the captain of Team Canada.

    Thanks everyone for your understanding of my decision.


  • #2
    Hey teammate.

    I think quitting the team based on these reasons is absolutely not acceptable. I have played on 5 Olympiads and I remember 1, maybe 2 cases of people that complained about captain decisions. In the above cases, the issues were solved through dialogue either in private or on team meetings. You chose to quit (!) without engaging. We just had a team meeting ~4pm after the rounds..why weren't you present? That's cowardly.

    You are not the only one who committed to volunteer their time to play for team Canada. I had to rearrange quite a few lessons and I am sure others made certain sacrifices as well.

    I don't understand.


    • #3
      Hey Nikolay, are you kidding?? You have a team meeting at 4 pm way after I made my decision to quit at 11 am today. The captain didn't even reply to my quitting email, and you are expecting me to participate?

      Also, pls be aware of your language here. My issues on the captain's arrangement are not relating to you at all.



      • #4
        In sports you can disagree with a head coach, but you don't just refuse to play for the team in the middle of a competition. Can you imagine Mitch Marner quitting in the middle of a hockey game because the head coach didn't put him to play powerplay? This decision hurts the rest of the players and the entire Canadian chess community. Instead, Kaigi could continue talking to captain about his concerns or post his disagreement with decisions after the tournament, but it is unprofessional to do what he did. For example, even IM Porper, who is a very disagreeable person, and who had a personal conflict with Victor Plotkin, didn't go this far on the previous Olympiads.

        Whether or not Victor Plotkin should have played him more often is another matter (maybe he should have), but it doesn't excuse Kaiqi's decision.


        • #5
          Since it seems not everyone quite sees the whole story here, I hate to be the one to mention that, but we have Victor Plotkin as the captain and his son Mark Plotkin as the reserve #2 of Team Canada in this Online Olympiad. Attached is the official team line-up for Team Canada:

          Below is the players' list for the first four rounds: (I only listed the top two males’ table are for simplicity purpose here)

          Round 1: Canada VS Argentina - Nikolay (Board 1) and Mark (Reverse #2)
          Round 2: Canada VS Poland – Kaiqi Yang (Board 2) and Raja (Reverse #1) – By the way, Poland is the second top seed in our division
          Round 3: Canada VS Peru - Nikolay (Board 1) and Mark (Reverse #2)
          Round 4: Canada VS Cuba - Nikolay (Board 1) and Raja (Reverse #1)
          PS: I made the decision to quit after seeing the player list for round 4.

          The FIDE is using FIDE rapid rating in this tournament. We formed the team based on the latest FIDE rating, there was never CFC rating involved in any prior discussion until I sent an email to Victor to speak my doubt. I believe that Victor was using CFC rating as an excuse for his intention of doing a favor to his son, which is not respectable to players like me.

          Also, there are some past issues between Mr. Plotkin family and me, which I don’t want to mention it here. But yes, the whole arrangement of the player list is personal and I have executed my rights of quitting because of the above reasons mentioned.

          As I started to run my own chess club in GTA since 2018, those who are always trying to attacking me, doing low tricks on me, care about your own business. I am putting my whole heart in coaching my students, I am doing well.



          • #6
            You sound like someone who is trying to defend hunting as an ethical we are onto conspiracy theories. Sorry, you have no argument. Once more - there are two issues.
            1. You QUIT - without even trying to engage in dialogue. Is that the kind of example you want to show to others, your students?
            2. You have certain doubts about captain's decisions and conspiracy theories about family ties. Now, the truth is, if Mark lost round 1 and performed like a 1200, he would likely not play again any time soon, and if he lost again, he would get to play.. zero games. But you don't have to believe that. You just have to be a cooperative teammate.



            • #7
              Now we have a new definition of "reserve players" - Reserve player #2 got played in the first round? - Interesting.

              Nikolay. I honestly do not want to waste my time on you.


              • #8
                No need. You owed me (and the team) your time from 1 to 4pm fri-sat-sun. Now your time is yours to waste as you see fit.


                • #9
                  It's a privilege and an honor to represent our country. A player quitting during an international competition like Olympiad representing Canada without very serious reason (major health problems of a spouse, child or himself or death of a family member for exemple) should lost this privilege forever. My 2 cents opinion.

                  Réjean Tremblay, Quebec city
                  Last edited by Réjean Tremblay; Monday, 24th August, 2020, 08:23 AM.


                  • #10
                    Yes, I definitely know it is a privilege to represent Canada. I spent my whole summer attending online tournaments as much as I could to prepare for this tournament as I said earlier.

                    However, I was unbelievablly shocked to see how unprofessional a captain can act like this in such an important international tournament for his personal reasons. Is what his doing really for the good of Team Canada?

                    I know exactly what criticisms I would face when made my decision to quit. I already did my best to maintain my professionalism and stay calm for the first three rounds. But when all the time I committed, my efforts, my expectations are played around by our unprofessional captain with 0% COMMUNICATION regarding his decisions, who to protect my rights as a player to be treated fairly?

                    Again, I quit hoping in the future, such things will not happen again, and all the players will be treated fairly. Otherwise, where our future goes?



                    • #11
                      It was with great sadness that I read about this situation. I was greatly distracted by the CFC election where I experienced an unexpected insurgency from within the ranks of the CFC executive and in one case the ranks of my friends. I don't think much good comes from presenting this on Chesstalk. The trolls will arrive soon enough. In the future, I would hope that when something like this arises an email might be sent to whoever is the CFC president, by someone who is involved in this situation. I apologize for not being more involved as I was offline for much of Friday driving my mother to London for a CAT scan and there was an election which was closer than it should have been and so I was not checking chesstalk.


                      • #12
                        Initially I did not want to respond to this thread, but unfortunately I have no choice.

                        A few points:

                        1. I don't remember any conflict with Kaiqi. Actually, we never talked with one another except for saying hello and handshake before and after our game. I know absolutely nothing about his conflict with other members of the Plotkin family. Kaiqi is a chess tutor, as well as Mark is, so they possibly compete for the best conditions, talented students, better rates with other strong coaches in GTA like E.Bareev, N.Noritsyn, A.Samsonkin, Q.Zhou, G.MIlicevic, J.Ochkoos and many, many others.

                        As Marks's dad, I am very happy about his ability to make money in this tough economical environment. I am sure he is a good coach and kids like him. I am pretty positive that Kaigi has enough students as well.

                        2. About being "unprofessional captain". For the last 10 years I was 4 times the captain of the Open Olympiad Team (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018), twice a captain of Canadian Team at the World Team Senior Championship (2018, 2020) and once a captain for 2(!) Canadian Teams at U-16 Olympiad (2014). I don't know if any person in Canada (except maybe Evgeny Bareev) has more experience as a captain.

                        I remember that in 2012 E.Porper called me "incompetent amateur". I didn't like that because I always wanted to be a "competent amateur", but absolutely it was more logical to call me "incompetent" in 2012 than now.


                        • #13
                          Hi Vlad,

                          My apologies that I didn’t reach out to you at the first time regarding this issue.

                          Since I came to Canada in 2015 as a newcomer, you and the CFC executives are always being supportive. I sincerely appreciate it.



                          • #14
                            Thank you, Victor. Why not be direct here and explain the considerations behind your decisions regarding the player list?

                            I am sure you are a competent captain with convincing experience leading Team Canada in the past. Just you are not being professional this time when your son is involved. What do you think?


                            • #15

                              3. Some funny stuff.

                              Kaiqi ties all his problem in this tournament with myself as a captain. Without me he had no chance to even make the team.

                              When we started talking about this event almost 2 month ago, we discussed what rating we should use for qualification matters. Vlad Drkulec had the opinion that "The rules as written refer to CFC rating for new tournaments. This has been our interpretation for the last seven years." My opinion was that it is better to use Olympic rules (FIDE rating for Open boards, average FIDE-CFC rating for other boards). While Vlad's approach was very possible as well, in the end we moved on with my proposal.

                              What would have happened had we accepted Vlad's proposal? As some of you know, Kaiqi's CFC rating is extremely low for a GM, much lower than that of any other Canadian GM, lower than most Canadian IMs and even lower than the CFC rating of some young strong FMs. He just had no chance to make the team.

                              As many strong players decided not to play in this tournament, Nikolay has the highest CFC among players who accepted the invitation.

                              N.Noritsyn - 2615

                              After that we sent an e-mail to the next 8 in line. 4 of them (K.Yang, R.Panjwani, M.Plotkin and A.Samsonkin) accepted. I was forced to send an e-mail to Artiom explaining that he could not make the Team.
                              But if we use CFC rating only, the picture is different.

                              M.Plotkin - 2549
                              A.Samsonkin - 2534
                              R.Panjwani - 2524
                              S.Thavandiran - 2501
                              O.-K.Chiku-Ratte - 2478
                              Zong Yu - 2477

                              K.Yang - 2475

                              So, even if everyone else declined the invitation (except Nikolay, Mark, Artiom and Raja), Kaiqi is number 5. And we still have some players ahead of him, to which I didn't send the invitation. Furthermore, if I really wanted Mark to be a member of the team, I would have accepted Vlad's offer to use just the CFC rating because Mark's is relatively high.