Saturday, February 27, 2016

RIP Canadian Open Championship by GM Kevin Spraggett (reposted by permission)

The following is from the blog of GM Kevin Spraggett and is reposted by permission.  Apparently the Canadian Chess Federation is changing its mission away from serving adult players, the same as the USCF and the Marshall Chess Club are.  The yellow highlights were added by me, all else is from GM Spraggett:

RIP: Canadian Open Championship (1956-2014)


For my readers (Canadian and international) who were wondering about the 2015 edition of Canada’s most PRESTIGIOUS tournament, I have sad news.  Not only has the 2015 Canadian Open been cancelled, but it is unlikely to be resurrected in coming years.  The present mind-set of the CFC executive is to concentrate on junior chess and slowly (quickly!) phase out adult chess.

CFC president Vladimir Drkulec

The writing was on the wall for some time now, but few wanted to believe it. Despite a well documented decline in adult membership in the CFC since 2007, and calls to organize a membership drive to remedy the situation, the CFC refused to act. Adult membership levels are now 50% of normal levels.  All funding of adult-programs have been eliminated.


In the past year, the CFC executive has NOT organized the Women’s Championship, which would have qualified a Canadian women to participate in the FIDE world championship knock-out tournament.  Nor has there been a Canadian Men’s Championship in 3 years.  


Nor did the CFC send any representative to the 2014 World Junior. Nor did the CFC send any representative to the 2014 American Continental in Brazil last year.  INSTEAD, only under-18 junior events are planned and scheduled.


The problem facing the CFC is NOT financial. In the words of the CFC president, Vlad Druklec, the CFC has ‘lots’ of money.  In his opinion the CFC has just come off of an ‘excellent’ year!  This contrasts to the reality that the Canadian chess community is experiencing: in recent years almost all of the skilled volunteers of the CFC have left.  The Federal government has revoked the CFC’s tax status. The province of Saskatchewan has withdrawn its chess association from the CFC. Virtually all of Canada’s top players have withdrawn from playing in Canada.


INSTEAD, the CFC is today run by bitter middle-aged club amateurs and junior-chess  organizers. The downward spiral seems to have gone beyond the point of no return.  At last week’s online meeting of the CFC, the only topic discussed was the passing of a new resolution to double the number of tournaments that Canada’s top players must play in before being considered for the National Team.


Given that most of Canada’s top players DO NOT even meet the old number of tournaments, it is thought that the CFC is trying to eliminate adults from the National Team.  If so, soon we can expect Canada to field the WEAKEST National Team in the world.

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