In response to my last post I have received several emails. The first was from former GCA baord member Michael Mulford. After reading it I sent Mike a reply asking if I could use it on the blog. Several hours later I read his answer, surprised to learn he had left it as a comment on this blog. More Seniors need to take a page out of Mike’s book and speak up and out. I can only wonder if there are enough of them still involved with chess to matter…I am bringing Mr. Mulford’s email out of the comments section and printing it for all to read:
When the GCA Open events committee decides to get things lined up far enough in advance to advertise in Chess Life I will believe they seriously care about senior chess. Some people actually have to plan their priorities; I could have planned around these dates if they had been announced in advance but as usual it wasn’t. I have of course communicated my concerns with Fun Fong, who expressed agreement and essentially blamed the committee. The simple fact is that while the committee approach does a good job of sharing the workload, someone must be accountable, and that someone is the President. Whether the buck stops there or not, it clearly stopped.
The Senior Open will also draw better, in my opinion, if there are only seniors present. We need our own event. GCA used to consider the expense for the tournament to be worth it. Now, even without the expenses of the magazine, it apparently doesn’t.
The next email arrived from REB. That would be NM Rex Blalock, who has moved back to his home South after residing many years in Portugal. I have known Rex since the 1970’s when his beloved French defense took my 2 Qe2 to task. In our email correspondence before returning to the states I warned him about the drastic changes he would find in the chess world.
“Hi Mike ,
I have grown disgusted with chess here and doubt I will continue playing tournament chess much longer . The changes that have been made are a handicap to adult players , especially seniors , and favor kids . I have been playing tournament chess more than 40 years and am not willing to accept the changes that hinder my ability to compete … I refer to faster and faster time controls and tournaments with 4 rounds in one day , as I grow older I simply don’t have the stamina to play 3 serious games in the same day , let alone 4 !! My wife has the same problem(s) of course . I look at the tournies in Ga and reject them because they have almost all become class tournaments and the Open section often has so few players in it that its ridiculous . I refuse to play any senior event that has more than one section simply because there are not enough seniors playing to support more than one section in a seniors event . As I write these words the Alabama state championship is being held in Tuscaloosa and I should be there but I chose not to go because of what I experienced in last year’s event . Last year , as this year , the state championships scholastic event was held alongside the adult tournament and the children had better conditions than the adults , this was the last straw for me . It seems to me that organizers/TDs don’t give a damn about adult players and are content to see them all leave the game , this is how I feel . Its truly tragic that adult players are being treated in such a way and I am not surprised at all when adult players quit the game.
I’m Mad As Hell And I’m Not Going To Take This Anymore!
[…] In previous years as many as 450 children have participated in this tournament, usually held in a school with plenty of room for all the children, and their parents. This year the GCA, in its wisdom, decided to hold the tournament at a hotel with room for only 300 children; hence the “wait list.” I have no idea how the GCA board makes a decision, but one long-time member of the community has said, “Make no mistake, this is Fun Fong’s board. He makes the decisions and has stacked the board with sycophantic women and girly men who do what he says.” Whether or not this is the case, the fact remains that, as former GCA Board member Michael Mulford wrote, “The simple fact is that while the committee approach does a good job of sharing the workload, someone must be accountable, and that someone is the President. Whether the buck stops there or not, it clearly stopped.” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/seniors-mad-as-hell/) […]