Thursday, January 7, 2010

" 2010 K-8 Scholastic Championship Awarded"

Here's ICA President Tom Sprandel's post on the Illinois Chess Association forum earlier today:
The ICA Executive Board voted yesterday to permit Illinois Chess Teachers to run its March tournament as the 2010 Illinois State Scholastic Championship and to confer state titles. The vote reflected a recent change in circumstances.

The background has been explained in my previous posts on the Youth Forum. Following the pattern of earlier years, in early 2009, CoChess solicited bids and awarded the 2010 State Scholastic Championship to Illinois Chess Teachers (ICT). The event was to be held on March 13-14, 2010. Shortly thereafter, ICA gave written assurances to FIDE and the USCF that we would fully support the FIDE World Amateur Chess Championship and the FIDE World School Chess Teams Championship, both to be held during late March of 2010.

Problems set in when ICT ran into trouble with their original hotel site and changed not only the tournament site (to the Sheraton Hotel in Arlington Heights) but its date, to March 21-22, 2010, such that the new date coincided with the first of the two FIDE/USCF events.

Because of its commitments to the FIDE/USCF events, ICA decided in July that it would be improper to officially support the re-scheduled CoChess event. When ICT was unable to change its date because of its commitment to the Sheraton, ICA and ICT reached a compromise  in which ICT re-named its tournament the “CoChess 2010 K-8 Scholastic Championship” and ICA agreed not to sanction, support or award a K-8 Illinois State  Championship for the 2009-10 school year.

All of that changed in late December, when the Arlington Heights Sheraton announced it was closing its doors on January 1st. Knowing that ICT would be looking for new space, ICA decided to review the situation. After much internal discussion, we raised the possibility with ICT that if it wished to change its date again, to earlier in March -- which would remove the conflict with the FIDE/USCF events -- ICA would consider restoring the tournament to state championship status. This seemed a sensible solution consistent with our Bylaws, which encourage ICA to sponsor an official state championship, allow us to recognize an event held by another organization, describe the “duty of the Executive Board to determine how to award the title for the year in question,” and impose an obligation on the Board to “construct an event to best suit the interests of Illinois chess.” (Bylaw Article VII).
On January 4th, ICT made a formal request to ICA to sanction its event if it were held on March 13-14 at Pheasant Run. On January 6th, the ICA Executive Board approved the request  subject to the conditions that it be held on that date at Pheasant Run, and that ICT  accept Bill Barton as the ICA’s Bid Liaison as spelled out in the new bid guidelines.

It has been said that ICA might have re-bid the event. We could not do that because ICT had  the option to relocate their tournament and run it on their 3/20-21 date. Unless we offered them the state title, they had no motivation to change the date and then we would have remained committed to our previous agreement not to sanction a state title.

There are other reasons we have acted as we have. One was that it removed a conflict with the March elementary school championship held for Chicago’s public schools. More important, many long time ICA and CoChess people have worked to move beyond the difficult events of last year. Our substantial collaborative efforts are detailed in an article in these pages. As of today, more than thirty new people, including many from CoChess, have joined ICA’s new Bid Committee, new Youth Committee, and Board of Directors in an ongoing effort to bring  fairness, strength, and new energy to chess in Illinois.

Working through this situation and making the state championship title available to the young chess players of Illinois was another step along that path.

No comments: