When I was a child I went to a famous south Dublin school where rugby was treated like a religion and soccer was (in those days) frowned upon. I was a good rugby player but having one's testicles squashed in a scrum is not my idea of fun so I much preferred soccer . Much to the annoyance of the priests (in some cases sadists) I gave up rugby and joined a soccer club in a rough working class area. At 12 years old they told me that I was a traitor to the school and was throwing away the chance of a privelleged life should I ever make the senior cup team. This point was brought home quite forcefully to me some years later when in the same week that a senior cup star got off scot free for selling dope outside the school gates I got a week's suspension for smoking an ordinary cigarette in the jacks. If you were on the rugby team you were above any law,
Some years later soccer became popular in the school and for the first time we had a school team. I was in 3rd year at the time and matches were organised against 2nd and 4th year. We won one match 4-2 and lost the other 2-4,I scored twice in each. Then we played a friendly against CBC , we won 3-0 and I scored all three. By this stage the priests were getting really annoyed because they did not want me on the school team for the upcoming inter schools cup at any cost after the way I'd refused to play rugby but they also wanted to save face if they didn't select me. A practice match was hastily arranged between the "probables" and the "possibles". I captained the possibles, we won 1-0 and I scored again. This was the final straw as far as the priests were concerned but they still had a master stroke up their sleeves. The rugby season had just ended so they decided in their wisdom to let the boys from the rugby team pick the soccer team (I kid you not) . Naturally they just picked themselves, I didn't get on the team and the school got beaten in the first round of the cup. I never played any sport in the school again after that.
So what has all this got to do with chess?you might ask. Well if there was one lesson I learned in school it was what a horrible thing nepotism is. To my mind a person should reap what they earn in life. Fair play for everyone, a balanced playing field, equal opportunity.
Some months ago I entered the Masters section in Bunratty because both my ratings justified it. Since then I've had a disastrous run of results losing over 100 rating points so I have no problem with being demoted to the Challengers, that's where I now belong and I am very much looking forward to playing in it. What does rankle with me though is this business of lower rated players getting into the Masters under the flag of "Invite". This is just typically Irish. If the rules don't suit then lets find a way around them. This attitude permeates every level of Irish society, particularly politics, and it sickens me. Bunratty has always been the best Irish tournament for adhering to rating floors so this nepotism both surprises and saddens me. There should be the same rules for everyone. NO exceptions.
Last edited by sodacat11; 19-02-2018 at 09:44.