Monday, December 5, 2011

FAILING THE TEST

After three weeks or more of waiting for my Certified TD results on the Local TD level, I finally got an email telling me I flunked! I missed 9, allowed to miss 8. Another guy I know, a pretty sharp Army colonel missed 8 and squeezed in!

I was told which ones I had wrong.

Actually, I spent more time on this test than it was worth. I am still certified as a Club Level TD and have asked HOW SOON I can take the test again (I really don't even want to be a TD anymore--it's a thankless job)? This should have been on the Fail Report.

As I was taking the test, and mentioned some Blogs back, I could see some amazing "hair splitting" in the answers. Hair splitting results when you are up against a chess lawyer. A guy with nothing else to do but argue.

The Weird Part
Here is the weird part and I wonder if this has happened to you. When you were in H.S. or College didn't you pretty much know whether you had aced, bombed, or passed a test and you were usually right? Me too. Of course I am referring to tests with Multiple Choice (like this one) not essays where one might try to B.S. their way through an event of epic proportions!

I thought I had aced this test. So now I have to re-evaluate, look at the answers I gave (I kept a copy just for this purpose) and see if I can REASON my way to CONFORMITY. I really think that is what this is. The OTHER possibility is that there was a big sheaf of CHANGES I hadn't read! Reason: Time and this was for the Basic Level, directing tournaments in the neighborhood. So now I will read the SHEAF and see whether Up is now Down and IN is really OUT.

Not mad, just disappointed that it took so long to get the results (that's how mixups happen) and I wasted so much time on reading the Rule Book (which I've said before I took the test, was poorly designed). The point of these tests, I am guessing, is reasoning powers: mine vs. theirs so that a TD can make an ON the SPOT judgment in some sort of "iffy" situation. As I've said before, lots of these situations can be eliminated if there are hard and fast rules. FIDE now has it that if you are late, even for one minute, for the game, YOU LOSE! That's the way it should be. All this grandstanding, sleeping in late, mocking and all this other crap is just that, crap. It is Political Correctness AMPED up. As with victims of crime, there is little or no consideration for the GUY or GAL who showed up on time and actually planned to. Most sales people are on time or a little ahead of time because their livelihood depends on NOT ticking off the person they want to sell too. Being late ticks them off.

EQUIPMENT
And the clocks play an important part. EVERY chess player in an event should bring a working clock, chess set, board, scorepad or recording device. If you don't have the basic tools, you forfeit. How often have we been at tournaments where higher-rated players show their complete disdain for us commoners by not having ANY tools to use at the table? And these people have gotten away with this for years. Sammy Reshevsky claimed he didn't even own a chess set! We know for sure he didn't own a clock because he had the bad habit of claiming that the clock he was using was defective IF he lost on time. If I recall reading correctly one TD told him, in effect, "Tough Apples Buddy" and refused to consider Reshevsky's complaint of a defective clock. He had even been caught keeping his finger on the button so that his opponent couldn't push down his button! (Cleveland US Championship). This attitude is PC at its worst--fear of upsetting a muckety muck, or perceived muckety muck.

Other high rated players have coughed incessantly when it is your turn to play or keep knocking the clock over. I recently heard from someone who wants me to publish his book and he was a known offender like this. Folks, it AIN'T gonna happen! The word "lout" is in the dictionary for a reason even if it only refers to ONE person!

PS: If I was the person in charge of TD quizzes and I had a backlog, the solution is simple. I would take them home, grade them there while watching a DVD, listening to some music, etc. until they were caught up. It can be done and people do that. Being at work in the evening is no guarantee of accuracy, but if one takes their time and even only does 5-10 such quiz sheets, within a week or two, everyone will be caught up--but the problem is one workers often have--it ain't my job off hours. Well, employers don't feel that way (or shouldn't unless they have an employee mentality). I heard someone say recently they hadn't gotten a raise in 3 years. I almost asked, "And... have you done something above and beyond what you were getting paid for to merit such a raise?" But I knew I would get the "deer in the headlights look." If someone agrees to work for $15 an hour making widgets, they don't deserve a raise unless they have done something beyond making widgets. It's not in the Constitution. It's not a right. The only way I get a raise at MY company is to produce more and to sell more.

PS: Don't forget there is a tournament this weekend at the Gentlemens Chess Club. Last Man Standing, details tomorrow (I hope).

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