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Scottish Girls Championships - Location
#1
Hi,

I would like to highlight that the decision to host the "Official" Scottish Girls championship in a fairly remote part of Scotland (2.5 hrs from Glasgow & Edinburgh, and over 3.5 hrs from Ayrshire) shows poor judgement. Are we to subject our children to 5-7 hours travel that day, or is the ideal to implicitly restrict it to those that can afford the accommodation costs (and disruption) that will be incurred? That in conjunction with the choice of a private boarding school is not necessarily the message I would have hoped we were trying to send to Scotland's youth.

Clearly a national event should be held in a central location (near main population centres) to encourage as much attendance as possible - in a game based on reason and logic, I would have hoped that was self-evident.

This is a poor decision on many levels, only compounded by the fact that it has apparently been fixed for the next two years.
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#2
I don't think that's entirely fair to be honest. It's not so far that it can't be comfortably done by car in a reasonable amount of time. And the competitors won't be doing the driving, so can relax on the journey.

There's already a bias towards hosting competitions in the central belt (logically I might add). But it might be nice to have the occasional event elsewhere, so that others from the North (such as Aberdeen) don't have to always do loads of driving to enjoy Chess competitions. It seems fair to me, and a stunning venue too. 8)
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#3
What a fantastic venue! Congratulations to all the organisers involved. I would just like to point out that the very successful Scottish Primary Individual event has been run and very well supported at great venues at Culzean castle and Blairgowrie. It has been won in recent years by children from Dundee, Girvan, Inverness, Edinburgh and Kinross. I think it's terrific that our most prestigious events are played in great locations throughout Scotland. Best wishes to all the competitors.
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#4
Peter,

This was a decision taken by me as the Home Junior Director on the principle to rotate the national championships across Scotland. I obviously disagree with your analysis of the decision and the concerns you raised were considered before I made the decision. However, one thing you implied in particular (circa private school) is well wide of the mark, which if you knew me you wouldn't imply. I'm currently on holiday in France and return to the UK tomorrow although I'm not actually back in Scotland until Sunday night - I will reply in more detail then. You can also email me in the interim or reply here and I will address it when I am back.

Best regards,
David Deary
Home Junior Director
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional!
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#5
When I first saw the post I was thinking it was held in John O'Groats. Montrose is not exactly remote, I have to drive from Edinburgh back home to Aberdeen a fair bit, so only to Montrose is easily done in 2hrs.

Getting a good venue is important, it adds prestige to the event, and makes it feel special.

Given it is only once a year, it seems a good idea. As an ex-junior from Aberdeen, just consider what I (or more accurately my parents) used to have to do to play in events. 2.5-3hr drive plus hotels EVERY time. I will assume you have not really considered this. There is a huge chess hub in the North East, and even further up the country, and I am sure they will all appreciate this.
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#6
I echo the above sentiments entirely. Montrose is in Angus, it's not that far (I do the Edinburgh-Brechin journey from time to time for football reasons and I agree with Adam's timing estimate) and it's easily accessible by major roads. It's also on the main Glasgow-Aberdeen and Edinburgh-Aberdeen train routes. An awful lot of people from the North-East play in Scottish events, and in general they have to do quite a bit of travelling. Obviously there's the need for balance, and it would be preposterous if every national event was held north of the Tay, but we can't hold everything in South Lanarkshire.

Could be worse, we could be in England. At least accommodation in the Montrose region is cheaper than accommodation in Greater London (um, I assume.)

(Er, I should clarify that I picked South Lanarkshire there because it's about in the middle of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayrshire, rather than because of any particular grudge against the place. Which is generally a fairly smart place to hold chess tournaments for just that reason.)

I'm torn, though; I find the idea that David Deary (a man educated in Ayrshire's state sector) is engaged in an attempt to socially engineer Scottish chess quite amusing and I sort of hope it's true.
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#7
Hugh Brechin Wrote:(Er, I should clarify that I picked South Lanarkshire there because it's about in the middle of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayrshire, rather than because of any particular grudge against the place. Which is generally a fairly smart place to hold chess tournaments for just that reason.)

Oddly very few tournaments take place in South Lanarkshire
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
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#8
Well, I guess the proof of the pudding will be in the attendance - ultimately that's the key metric, though I do genuinely hope that the 5-7 hours round trip (and the resulting accommodation costs) do not put too many off. In contrast, I believe the SJC event was unsure on whether they would have good numbers - despite their event being very centrally located.

Meanwhile, I take my hat off to those transporting the younger ones - enduring 5-7 hours of "are-we-there-yet" is admirable.
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#9
PeterReidSmith Wrote:Well, I guess the proof of the pudding will be in the attendance - ultimately that's the key metric, though I do genuinely hope that the 5-7 hours round trip (and the resulting accommodation costs) do not put too many off. In contrast, I believe the SJC event was unsure on whether they would have good numbers - despite their event being very centrally located.

Meanwhile, I take my hat off to those transporting the younger ones - enduring 5-7 hours of "are-we-there-yet" is admirable.

Commenting only on the numbers attending SJC run girls events.

In 2009 the girls championships were combined with the West of Scotland weekend congress. 10 Primary and 4 Secondary girls played. (14)
In subsequent years the girls championship was run as a stand alone event.
2010 (23)
2011 (22)
2012 (18)
2013 (28)

In 2013 the space at the venue was only just adequate. Therefore the 2014 SJC girls championship will be held at a larger venue. The format and entry form have been revamped from last year.

I have just spoken to the control team for this event and entries to date number 8.
Insufficient data to predict final numbers but since that many entries 21 days before a CFK qualifier is highly unusual - confidence is high.
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#10
Numbers are rising.

I don't have the current total from the tournament director (Michael Hanley for this one) but they are high enough that we have now recruited a second lady for the hair and nails part of the pamper party. I understand that the hair part will now include colouring with chalks (washable parents, don't worry - washable).


That and the bright pink entry form should be enough to discourage boys from wanting to play

Entries from U 18 girls still welcome - preferably before the day (18th January)

For any males present on the control team there will be no waxing involved at all - phew!!
I could cope with pink fingernails but not that pain.
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