RESTRUCTURING AUSTRALIAN CHESS
Bulletin 38a

Following on from the draft National Development Plan, the President's

meetings with key chess people around Australia and various correspondence

generated by the ACF Weekly Bulletin, the ACF executive has formulated a

more advanced plan for the future of Australian chess. With the support of

the Australian chess community the executive believes it is sensible,

achievable and sustainable. The restructuring proposal is all about

efficiencies, rationalisation and providing Australian chess with a strong,

reliable income stream.

DEVELOPMENT OF INCOME STREAMS

Membership system:

Major changes are needed to streamline the membership system in Australian

Chess. The present system is unnecessarily cumbersome as it entails clubs

and states/territories having members and states/territories paying annual

charges to the ACF. It is proposed to simplify it so that the ACF would

derive its income directly from the rating of games and the

states/territories would receive a proportion of this income. The

states/territories would no longer have to administer and maintain

memberships because players playing one or more rated games would qualify

automatically to be members of the ACF for 12 months. This would lead to a

much larger membership list which should help with government funding. This

proposal will be widely canvassed through the chess community between

September 1999 and January 2000. It is proposed to discuss and consider

implementing this new membership scheme effective 1 January 2001.

It is also proposed that membership will be available by purchasing a

quarterly subscription to Australian Chess Forum ($20pa) or paying an

annual fee of $5.

In order to participate in state or national titles or be eligible for

Australian selection membership will be compulsory.

It is calculated that this rating system restructuring would provide extra

income for Australian chess which could be used for some or all of the

following projects:

National CEO/Office

A National Coaching Accreditation Scheme;

A National Officials Accreditation Scheme;

A National Coaches Professional Association;

Scholastic chess;

Development of the National Schools' Competition;

Public relations campaigns;

General development of Australian chess.

ACF income would be raised by charging:

$1 per adult player per ACF rated game/juniors 50cents;

50 cents per adult player per ACF rapid rated game/juniors 25 cents;

25 cents per player per ACF junior game.

An alternative method of charging for rated games would be:

Adults $8/Juniors $4 per player, per ACF rated tournament

Adults $4/Juniors $2 per player, per ACF rapid rated tournament

Juniors $2 per player, per ACF junior rated tournament

Endowment Fund:

Funding to assist with travel for international competition has been

provided on an ad hoc basis.

Funding to assist with travel for international competition needs to be

provided on an increasing and sustainable basis.

Funds committed to the Endowment Fund will never be spent. Only the

interest over the rate of inflation each year will be spent. Over the years

the funds available will increase in real terms each year.

Grants from the Endowment Fund do not need to be limited to assistance

with overseas travel.

>From 1 January 2001, all schools in the National Schools' Competition would

be charged a minimum of $30 per team of 4 of which 10% would be transferred

to the Endowment Fund. The interest over and above the rate of inflation

from the Endowment fund would be used to assist with travelling costs for

Australian representatives at international events and perhaps other

matters benefiting Australian chess. This proposal was widely accepted by

those people attending meetings on the President's recent national tour. It

is proposed to canvas opinions further on this issue before implementation.

Funding for National Office:

All self-respecting sports are administered by professional staff.

Administration of Australian chess lacks continuity due to regular

changes in the amateur executive.

Regular changes in the amateur executive are due to the burn-out factor,

caused by very high workloads.

Important initiatives and programmes need to be driven on a day-to-day

basis by an energetic CEO.

The President will be pursuing a national sponsor to provide funding for

the National Chief Executive Officer plus on-costs amounting to $100,000

per annum for a minimum of five years. Timetable - ASAP.

National Chess Academy:

Like all sports, Australian chess needs heroes;

In order to gain credibility with Government and the community,

Australian chess needs regular top ten finishes, rather than the normal

'mid field' at international events;

A National Chess Academy provides rank and file juniors who are very keen

on their chess with a goal for which to strive. This gives the national

schools competition and national junior titles more relevance;

Develops the champions of the future.

The President will continue to lobby the Federal Government for funding for

a National Chess Academy, costed at $200,000 per annum guaranteed for a

minimum of 5 years. Timetable - ASAP.

Other:

Other areas of income will be investigated, eg philanthropy and airline

sponsorship.

CONSTITUTION

For the suggested changes in the membership system to be implemented, it

will be necessary to rewrite the constitution during the year 2000. If

approved, implementation of a new constitution would be on 1 January 2001.

It is proposed to change the way Australian Chess is administered and

organised along the lines of successful sporting organisations such as the

Australian Football League and the Australian Swimming Association. The

main changes proposed involve states/territories becoming branches of the

ACF, thus ceding their powers to an independent board of elected experts

who would run the ACF.

These changes would relieve states/territories of the necessity of having

separate legal and financial responsibilities and provide cost efficiencies

relating to insurance, workers' compensation and bulk purchasing of chess

equipment. It would also relieve states/territories of the need to maintain

membership records. It is implicit in the changes that states/territories

would retain existing funds held by them and receive a proportion of the

funds received by the ACF for rated games.

Most importantly, decision-making would be taken away from cumbersome

council meetings and handed to a board composed of expert administrators.

The ACF Council would be replaced by an eight person commission as follows:

Same powers as council plus can appoint all office bearers;

Elected at National Conference for two year term with half coming up for

election each year;

Maximum three commissioners from each state;

(Alternatively, the commission could be elected directly by the members).

Advantages of this system would include:

The Council tends to look after state interests whilst the commission

would look after the interests of Australian chess;

The commission would tend to be made up of experienced administrators

rather than chess players;

The commission would, as a group, be more experienced/knowledgeable in

ACF matters than a group of delegates;

It would give the ACF more continuity as commissioners hopefully would

serve longer than state delegates;

It would mean that the Executive would have a more effective support

group than before;

Australian chess would be able to retain the expertise of experienced

past officials.

These major changes would need to be widely canvassed before implementation.

It is intended that the proposed constitutional changes be put before a

general

meeting for approval in time for them to take effect from 1 January 2001.

A constitutional sub-committee would be formed with the task of careful

planning

of all matters relating to the changes to Australian Chess.

SWISS PERFECT PAIRINGS PROGRAM

It is proposed to upgrade the functions performed by the Swiss Perfect

program in the running of Australian Chess. Several clubs in all Australian

states/territories now utilise Swiss Perfect and it is planned to develop

its use further for tournaments. In addition, the ACF will work with Robert

Rozycki so that the program will interface with the ratings systems,

incorporate membership details such as name, address, phone, date of birth,

club, email address, etc and also provide a swipe card facility.

Standardising the computerised pairings system would confer the following

benefits:

Encourage more large chess tournaments (use of pairings cards is

inefficient);

More efficient organisation of all tournaments, thus encouraging more

people to participate;

Easier to publish results on the internet;

Make it very easy to compile a national membership register;

It is proposed that some incentive be given to tournament organisers to

send their results in using Swiss Perfect as this would be the programme

upon which the administration of Australian chess membership will be based.

RATINGS SYSTEM

It is proposed to have a system comprising three separate ratings in

Australian chess: one would be a continuation of the existing system for

one hour plus games; the second would be for rapid-play chess (games under

one hour per side); the third for junior chess (all time controls).

As mentioned previously, the ratings system will provide the basis for the

ACF membership system and the funding of Australian chess at state and

national level.

Players would no longer be charged an annual membership fee by

states/territories, instead a fee would be levied per game. The fees would

be $1 per adult player per ACF rated game (juniors 50cents per game); 50

cents per adult player per ACF rapid-rated game (juniors 25 cents); and 25

cents per player per ACF junior game. Collection of these monies would be

built into the entry fees.

Membership of the ACF would be defined simply by the payment of fees

through rated games and as such would automatically be registered through

the Swiss Perfect files being forwarded to the ratings officer after each

tournament. Membership would be current for 12 months after each rated game.

It is proposed that ratings lists would be updated every three months on

the ACF web-page and published as a hard copy in Australian Chess Forum. As

memberships are defined as people who play rated games, current membership

lists will be maintained on the web-page.

The listing of players under the rating list by state or territory will be

determined by the residential address of the player, not by tournament

locations.

ESTABLISHMENT OF A TRUST FACILITY

The ACF also proposes to establish a trust facility for state and territory

associations, junior chess leagues and other chess bodies, with the

intention of investing these funds to the maximum advantage for those

involved.

NATIONAL TEAMS' EVENTS

Schools competition - primary and secondary - now in second year and

becoming a fixture. It is hoped that this will lead to larger numbers of

participants in schools' teams' events nation-wide.

The schools competitions are the only mass participation competitions in

Australian chess and as such are the most realistic vehicles available for

a serious corporate sponsor;

It is difficult to envisage developing a culture of chess in the

Australian community through the adult population. The schools competitions

are the best opportunity to develop this culture through a new generation;

Even though all capital cities except for Darwin have schools

competitions, a fairly low percentage of schools participate;

The sheer volume of competitors in schools competitions is capable of

providing Australian chess with a big increase in numbers;

Every school in Australia should have the opportunity of entering the

National Schools Chess Competitions.

Universities' competition - working towards an annual inter-universities'

competition at the Intervarsity week

Clubs - there is a clear need to increase activity in club chess. There is

also a need to increase activity in school leavers and specifically in

female participation. There will need to be plenty of consultation over the

format but the first draft envisages a National Finals Weekend for the

following divisions in late November each year:

Vets over 60 at 1 January;

Under 22/over 18 at 1 January;

Open;

Under 1500 (December rating list)

Under 1000 (December rating list);

Females.

There are two main reasons for holding National Finals in the different

categories:

1. To help create activity throughout the chess community;

2. To create a sense of occasion which would be of interest to media and

sponsors.

 

NATIONAL COACHING PROGRAMME

All sports receiving government funding have a NCAS (National Coaching

Accreditation Scheme) programme in place. Australian chess should be no

different;

Coaching programmes in the schools need to be coordinated;

Chess coaches need a professional association in which to advance their

standards and share ideas.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Special attention must be paid to other matters, such as: national women's

forum, disabled chess/minority groups, correspondence chess, internet

chess, etc.

 

GRASS ROOTS EFFORTS - State by State Targets

In order to keep everyone involved in chess up-to-date with the progress

being made, it is important to set a series of benchmarks as measures of

progress.

Benchmarks need to be set for 1 January 2000 and tracked on each

anniversary. Even small improvements will give Australian chess the

confidence to move forward. The following should be set:

Grand Prix - the number of events/participants/prize money/by state and

territory;

National schools' competitions - number of schools/competitors/by state

and territory;

National Chess Academy - number of students/international placings;

Olympiad - international placings;

Number of Gms/IMs/FMs/WGMs/WIMs/WFMs;

Number of players with ratings - total/over 2000/over 1800/over 1600;

Australian Junior Championships/State Junior Championships/number of

competitors;

National Titles/State Titles - number of competitors;

National Coaching Programme - number of members of association/number of

accredited coaches;

Number of affiliated clubs - state/territory/national;

Number of members - state/territory/national;

Number of schools where there is a coaching programme;

Number of universities in National Universities' Competition.

Benefits gained by changing the organisation of Australian chess

A.. Individuals

No annual membership fees;

Ratings systems regularly posted on internet;

Publication of official magazine - available to members, accessible via

internet and as hard copy at $20 per annum (those not already members

through the rating system will automatically become members by subscribing

to Australian Chess Forum);

Swipe cards - ACF affinity card; credit card.

 

B. State/clubs

Insurance policy to cover all players and administrators

nation-wide/workers' compensation (work cover);

Swiss Perfect supplied to all chess administrators for tournaments and to

keep membership details; Swiss Perfect will interface with ratings systems;

Administration problems connected with membership lists will be removed;

Reduction of costs through national buying of equipment annually - call

for tenders for purchase of items such as digital clocks, chess sets.

Present Income ($)

Membership Paid to ACF Net

NSW 20,000 4,000 16,000

VIC 12,000 3,000 9,000

QLD 4,500 2,300 2,200

WA 8,200 1,200 7,000

SA 500 900 (400)

ACT 1,300 200 1,100

TAS 200 200 -

Total 46,700 11,800 34,900

Estimated Income (New Structure)

ACF States General population % Chess population %

NSW 11,782 11,782 34 34

VIC 7,727 7,727 25 20

QLD 5,783 5,784 19 19

WA 2,121 2,120 10 5

SA 1,149 1,150 8 6

ACT 5,582 5,582 2 14

TAS 604 604 2 2

Total 34,748 34,749 100 100

 

These figures are based on the rated games from the last 12 months. There

is no account taken of estimated income from rating rapid and junior games;

No membership fees will be collected by states;

ACF and state income will be collected in one of three ways - rated

games, magazine subscriptions and $5 memberships for those who do not

qualify on either of the first two counts;

Some very active players will theoretically be paying much more for their

chess through the new system. However, these fees will be charged to the

organiser of every rated tournament. Some organisers may choose not to

increase entry fees but merely to reduce prize money to balance the books;

The service of rating games provided by the ACF involves a phenomenal

amount of volunteer person hours;

The ACF and states need a more reliable and substantial funding base in

order to be able to optimise the development of chess in Australia.

-------------------------------------------

Graeme Gardiner

President, Australian Chess Federation

C/- Somerset College, Somerset Drive, Mudgeeraba Q 4213

Phone 07 5530 3777 (w) 07 5530 5794 (h) Fax 07 5525 2676 (w)

Email: ggardiner@somerset.qld.edu.au http://www.somerset.qld.edu.au/chess/

Chess - the clever sport!