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Tromso Olympiad 2014
I think an email survey of international players (m > 2250, f > 1800) is in order with the following questions

Q Are you happy with the current selection panel of Andy Muir, Colin McNab, Douglas Bryson ?
Q Do you agree that the captain should be selected by the International Director ?
Q Do you agree that the captain should be a member of Chess Scotland at the time of selection ?

Any others that I might add ?

Which events do you think will be affected in the future and is there an urgent need for a CS official to be present in the playing hall?

We have two persons qualified at present , Jonathan Grant and Andy Muir.
Regarding the point about players on the panel selecting themselves, there is an important distinction I'd like to highlight. If someone is in contention for the team, but their selection is still a matter of debate, then clearly the player in question should not be in a position to select themselves. However, if said player is an automatic pick (as was the case with Colin before Tromso) then what's the problem?

Another important point is that stronger players are likely to have a better appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of potential team members who would appear to be evenly matched on paper.

So, I would argue that having one or two leading players on the selection panel is a good thing, but if a player is anything less than an automatic pick, they should not be on the panel.
JRedpath Wrote:The Olympiad is never going to have any credibility as long as players in the team are making the selections.. I don't see how anyone can argue that the current situation (and as it has been for the past x number of years) is right.


In principle, no player in contention for selection whether an 'automatic' pick or not should be selecting the team. It is a conflict of interest, I would also go as far to suggest that those who work with players in contention for selection (day in day out) shouldn't be put in the position to select their work colleagues that is also a conflict of interest. With any conflicts of interest there are questions of credibility & fairness and really the selection process should be above this.
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional!
Andrew G,

There should be no automatic picks - every player should have to fight for their place. Competition for places creates a better environment. One example is in football, where squads always have at least one extra player for each position. This makes both players stronger as they are both pushing themselves and each other as hard as they can.

Andy M,

Before you attempt to misinterpret my point further, I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with the selection panel. Simply, players should never be on a selection panel if they want to play.

If anyone can name a sport or game where the players are on the selection panel or have automatic places, I will be amazed.
David - Mickey Adams is a selector for the English team. What's more relevant: the fact that he has a conflict of interest, or the value he brings as a leading GM in terms of being able to weigh up the form of his prospective team-mates?

As for the old Quality Chess Cartel, sure, there is a potential conflict of interest if one of us is selecting. The same could be true of any selector who happens to be more friendly with one player over another. At some point you have to put some trust in people's integrity.

Alan - it's pointless comparing chess and football. Let's come back to the recent example of Tromso. Of our available GMs, Colin was the highest-rated, most experienced and most consistent performer, and would surely have been the first name on the list of any selector in their right mind (obviously allowing for the fact that Rowson was unlikely to play). Would you or anyone else dispute this?
Since I have been ID since 2009 , a player who wishes to play does not select himself but requires approval by the other 2 selectors. Every time Colin, myself, or John has been selected they always have had this approval without their own vote. I have no problems with the current selectors continuing.
Do we need a question about training/team building ? Successful teams at the Olympiad have bonded with this and our team could have done more.
Another question is funding. Some players have not taken expenses for Tromso. Should any surplus be used for training or for Baku ?
Should we revisit the Matthew Turner situation - as player or captain ? However next 2 Olympiads in September and in term-time may rule him out.
Alan Minnican was our most successful captain in 2000 - 30th place. Our last 3 places : 83rd, 76th, 83rd - not good. Perhaps he should be recalled.He was good at team morale.
I don't think anyone would ever doubt the integrity or commitment of someone like Colin McNab, and his experience in international and national chess would ordinarily make him an ideal selector, but to avoid any potential conflict of interests it might be better to look elsewhere for potential selectors. (personally I would have no problem with Colin, John, Andrew G. Andy M, etc. being on a selection panel, but that's not the point - this year and previously there have been 'problems' and we can't allow it to become the norm.

So, the International Director initially contacts, say, the top 10 or 20 players who might wish to represent Scotland and asks if those who don't wish to play/are unable to play would instead like to be part of the selection panel.

This would bring in people with vast experience such as perhaps Jonathan Rowson, Paul Motwani, Craig Pritchett, Neil Berry, etc. The panel could be chaired by, for example, the president of CS and also include input from the ID (and also IJD if there were the possibility of including a strong junior in the team). This panel would decide on the captaincy and the teams.

Alternatively, we have the Scottish Senior team as the panel Smile Dave Findlay, Ian Marks, Alan Borwell et al.
Andrew G,

If England had performed well this year or done anything particularly special in recent times then you may be able to argue that having Adams as a selector adds something to the setup. I don't see any evidence that having selectors of 2700, 2500, or 2300 level makes any difference to team performance.

Colin would have been the first name on my team sheet too. See previous posts for my point.
robin moore Wrote:Ian,Which events do you think will be affected in the future and is there an urgent need for a CS official to be present in the playing hall?We have two persons qualified at present , Jonathan Grant and Andy Muir.
I honestly don't know , if there isn't a need for the non-playing captain to be in the playing area in a future international team event, then my point is redundant. I have absolutely no experience in this area so I have to bow to the more xperienced

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