National Capital Open / Championnat Ouvert de l'Outaouais

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  • National Capital Open / Championnat Ouvert de l'Outaouais

    The EOCA is very pleased to announce a truly unique event to be held in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, which will hopefully attract players from across Ontario and Quebec. This event will serve as a stop on both the Eastern Ontario Chess Association (EOCA) Grand Prix, and an official FQE event (being added to the FQE website as soon as translated). Both CFC and FQE members are welcome, and every player will be rated CFC and FQE, and even FIDE!

    In the last few years, both of these events have approached/exceeded 50 players each, and so I am starting with a conservative estimate of 70 players. Even if many players choose the Amateur option (no pairing disadvantage, just ineligible for cash prizes), we should still be able to build a generous prize fund of at least $4K, with $1K for first place, and over $2K in class prizes, spread out every 200 rating points from 2200 to 1400. The exact amounts of the class prizes will be adjusted depending on how many non-Amateur players there are per 200 rating points (the numbers in the ad are just my predictions).

    Other significant details include the guarantee of no "forced byes", lodging deals with 3 local hotels, and the highly appreciated email pre-registration!

    For complete details for this event, and a great webpage for all of the events in the 2008-2009 EOCA Grand Prix & Active Series, bookmark this weblink:

    For local players who normally pay me in cash at the RA Centre on a Thursday evening, please note that I now have part-time work on Thursday evenings, and so might not make it some weeks. As it stands now, I should be there for hours on the 6th, but I will not be there at all on the 13th, and I don't have my schedule yet for the 20th. Therefore, I very much encourage local players to drop by on the 6th, this Thursday, to complete your registration, or mail it in.

    Thanks and regards,

    Aris Marghetis, Organizer/TD
    EOCA President, OCA/CFC Governor

    P.S. Sensible feedback from active readers who frequent multiple Canadian chess newsgroups, has encouraged me to refrain from posting duplicate information at more than one location. Therefore, I will update this thread at the ChessTalk site, which seems to have the most general reader volume:

    Finally, as I am banned from the OCC board, please feel free to direct people to this post.
    Last edited by Aris Marghetis; Monday, 3rd November, 2008, 05:40 PM.

  • #2
    Why I will not be attending the National Capital Open

    I've seen a few of the tournament ads out of Ottawa recently, and finally feel compelled to comment. Before I do, a few disclaimers:

    1) I have never (to my recollection) met Aris Marghetis. I am told by people who have met him/played in his tournaments that he is a nice, personable and competent TD.

    2) I am not merely trolling; I live in Kingston (only 2 hours from Ottawa) and am a current CFC member and lapsed FQE member. I could easily attend this tournament.

    3) I have passed up the opportunity to make these same comments several times now.

    Now, here are the 5 reasons I will not be attending this tournament. All have to do with the format.

    1) Registration: I have no quarrel with either the late fee ($20, I believe?) or the requested method of registration (by cheque, the normal method of requesting payment). I do have a problem with the $5 payment for e-mail registration. It is justifiable for added convenience, I suppose, but it seems that either the organisers are conceding that cheque registration is less convenient, or are nickle-and-diming the players. The threat of pairing an e-mail-registered player in round 1, so that they have a rated forfeit, is usually enough of a deterrent to avoid no-shows.

    2) Clocks and sets "for hire": I, naturally, have both a (digital) clock and a set. However, many people do not. If the goal is not to discourage people from playing, I would expect that organisers would (within reason) allow equipment they have in their possession to be used. A matter of taste perhaps, but again, I believe it to be making the "epaph small and the shekel great".

    3) The manner of advertisement: I was recently interested in playing a tournament later this month, and checked the CFC "Ontario-without Toronto" page. There was no sign of this tournament! It is difficult indeed for the CFC to retain or grow its membership when tournaments hide in the weeds like this. As of now, there is still no explicit tournament announcement on the CFC page, only a direction to "EOCA events" (which I don't believe was there before).

    4) The claim that all games will be FIDE rated: I have two problems with this, one philosophical and one practical. The practical one is that non-FIDE rated players, afaik, do not always receive FIDE ratings in these types of events if a sufficient number of their opponents are also not previously FIDE-rated. I am open to correction on this point. The philosophical point is that introducing regional FIDE-rated tournaments will only create isolated and imbalanced FIDE rating pools. Paper tiger? Perhaps, but perhaps not, if CFC ratings are anything to go by, region by region in Canada.

    5) The Amateur Fee: Not really good value for $40 (how many games can one play on the Internet, or, if the CFC-rated argument gets trotted out, in a CFC match between friends?). I would never personally play as an amateur. But it seems, on principle, high to me.



    • #3
      Re: Why I will not be attending the National Capital Open

      If you feel $40 is too much to pay for a tournament where you cannot win a prize, then in all probability, you would not play in a tournament away from Kingston even if the amateur entry fee was $0 (considering your costs of hotel, meals, travel, incidentals).


      • #4
        Re: Why I will not be attending the National Capital Open

        Hi Jordan, thanks for your feedback. I will think about your comments more deeply, but in the interim, here are my replies as I see them today. I hope that you find at least some of them reasonable. In the end, my prime goal is to have as many participants as possible! In other words, I am not married to the way I'm proposing to run this event, and therefore, I do appreciate your input (I would have preferred it privately first, LOL)

        1) Registration:
        I have 2 late fees, if you will, one if someone just pays at the last minute ($5), and the other if they do their whole registration at the last minute ($20). The latter is especially problematic, as there is so much to do at the last minute, and the time hit is just too big. People have not outwardly been complaining, and accept this as just a convenience fee that fattens the prize fund, and really helps me get the first round started on time! As for the $5 last minute payment, you seem to be calling that an email registration fee, but I never thought of it that way. Email registration spreads my workload over weeks rather than hours, but I still need payment (often cheque by mail) before I can pair everyone. You are suggesting otherwise, but in my experience, people HATE being paired with someone who doesn't show, and people who have paid always seem to show. And people who pay at the last minute impact pairings for the first round, hence the little $5 fee, which goes to the prize fund, and seems to be accepted convenience.

        2) Clocks and sets "for hire":
        This one is a funny one, in that I agree completely with you philosophically, but in practicality, it doesn't work quite that way. Note that I only have 5 personal clocks available. When I first let people know I had them, they were all gone for every round, followed by other players who expected to borrow one, but now had to play without a clock. I would ask them if they had a clock, and they would say, yeah, but it seemed like to much trouble to bring it! So then I started "charging" a very modest $2 (again, into the prize fund), and lo and behold, everyone suddenly started bringing their clocks! You see, this is not a money issue, but rather a factor that can make the round start late when dozens of players are scrambling for my handful of clocks, starting their games late which then finish later, etc. I have received great feedback that players just LOVE it when rounds start on time, and this is one small way that I ensure mine do! :)
        P.S. I dunno why you think that sets are "for hire". I leave them sitting out for free, but for every person that brings a set, well that helps me reduce prep time between rounds.

        3) The manner of advertisement:
        I don't disagree with you, but I do what I can, including keeping a private email list going, that I BCC a few times a year. I don't know what else there is to defend here, as I get the info on the EOCA website, email it to prior participants and interested people, and in my opinion the most effectively, post it here on ChessTalk! Note also for this particular event, that the announcement came out later than usual, as there was a certain amount of work required behind the scenes in order to build a formula that will be accepting both CFC and FQE memberships, and have everyone rated on both of them!

        4) The claim that all games will be FIDE rated:
        I understand that not all players will receive a FIDE rating (like if the performance rating is under 1400), but I will submit all players for FIDE rating, and the majority of them will get FIDE rated for this event. Note that FIDE has dramatically reduced their limitations for FIDE rating, and as I also have no intent of stopping FIDE rating, then event over event, more and more of these players will develop an accurate FIDE rating. As for the concerns about regionality, over the last few events, we have grown to a GM and a few IMs, and players spread from Northern Ontario to Kitchener to Toronto to the Ottawa Valley to Montreal. For this event, I have also already received lots of interest from the Quebec City area (we're already being blogged about), especially from players who are sold on the FIDE rating aspect. Most people seem to find the FIDE rating aspect cool?!

        5) The Amateur Fee:
        Sorry, but I disagree. 5 rounds at 2-3 hours each adds up to 10-15 hours, which for $40 is $3-$4 an hour, playing different people from different places in a (hopefully) good event (no pairing disadvantage, Amateurs play in the same rating groups as the regular non-Amateurs), and getting to watch some FIDE titled players to boot. It seems that players who love chess are good with this amount. In fact, I always seem to get more Amateurs than I expect, which is why my minimum prize fund estimate starts off so low.

        Anyway, gotta run take care of the sick wife. I hope all of the above helps answer your points, and maybe points that other readers have as well. I have to admit that I get a rush out of bringing together CFC members who have formed the backbone of chess in Canada for so many years. Maybe one day my event formula will appeal to you enough so that you consider joining us. Until then, thanks for the feedback, and best regards.


        • #5
          Re: National Capital Open / Championnat Ouvert de l'Outaouais

          You could always contact the OCA and see if they would provide you with Pieces and clocks but burn the boards if they send them . Those red boards are the most stupid thing the OCA ever purchased. Green or Blue are far more Pleasant to the eyes!!


          • #6
            Re: National Capital Open / Championnat Ouvert de l'Outaouais

            Regarding FIDE ratings:

            I am mystified why any Swiss in Canada is rated CFC when FIDE seems less expensive, and now available to at least 80% of serious tournament players. It is the international standard, after all.
            " "Everything is a modality of new mysteries"

            " -