ROBERT JAMIESON and the selectors have chosen the men's and women's squads. These will now go before the ACF Council (which meets tomorrow night by phone hook up) for ratification.
ABNs (AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS NUMBERS)
Although Clubs do not need to register for GST they would be most unwise not to apply for an ABN for the following reasons:
1. It seems that Clubs without an ABN will no longer be income tax exempt, and
2. If a club does have an ABN, companies making donations to or sponsorship deals with will probably be able to claim back the tax on their donations.
If any tax accountants have anything to add to this please let me know as it is an important issue for all clubs.
My thanks to DAVID WATERHOUSE (Suncoast Chess Club) for alerting me to these matters.
The ACF page is now bedded down at its new domain http://www.auschess.org.au. ANDREW ALLEN is in the process of bringing all sections right up to date. We would appreciate it if you could bring to Andrew's attention any matters which could be improved, corrected etc. firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems to me that there is an opportunity for Australian chess to save money in the area of webpages. Many states and clubs pay a server for a domain. The suggestion is that all states could hang off the ACF webpage (eg www.auschess.org.au/nswca or www.auschess.org.au/caq) and all clubs could hang off the states (eg www.auschess.org.au/nswca/mwlcc or www.auschess.org.au/caq/gccc) There should be some significant cost savings in doing things this way.
I'll be bringing this up at the ACF Council to see if there is any support for the idea.
I'm receiving a very steady stream of requests for copies of Swiss Perfect from schools around Australia. I hope and suspect that this is a sign that Swiss Perfect is facilitating more chess activity around Australia. A reminder that all member State Associations and clubs are entitled to a free licenced copy of Swiss Perfect and that all schools are entitled to use their state association licence so long as the owner of Swiss Perfect, ROBERT ROZYCKI, is advised. This should be done simply by emailing me email@example.com
Just a quick word of congratulations to the organising committee of the NSW schools competition, especially MARGARET CUCKSON and RICHARD GASTINEAU-HILLS. The competition has approximately 8,000 players and an annual turnover of around $133,000. This makes them easily the biggest chess organisation in Australia and they are an inspiration to all of us as to what can be achieved.
Just one small part of this competition is the local Coffs Harbour District Primary School Chess Competition which runs from 5 April to 10 June and which for the tenth year is sponsored by the Coffs Harbour Rotary Club.
Eleven schools are competing including previous winners Tyalla, St Augustine, Christian Community and Sawtell.
There are also six teams in the high schools comp with the John Paul College team having won the NSW Country Championship four years in a row. Although they have won the NSW Country comp in each year since its inception, they have never won the local Coffs Harbour Comp with local winners having been Orara High, Bishop Druitt College and Toormina High.
Thanks to ALF KLINKBY (firstname.lastname@example.org) for this info. Also thanks to the organiser ADAM TSCHAUT 02 6653 6480.
April 21-23 Darling Downs Open, Toowoomba Grammar School, Cat 2, LES LORD 07 4735 7755
April 21-24 Doeberl Cup, Fenner Hall, Canberra, Cat 3, ROGER McCART 02 6251 6190
April 29-May 1 35th Peninsula Open, Clontarf High School, Cat 1, NORM BRAYBROOKE 0418 716374
Just a reminder to tournament organisers that if you send me a report I'll endeavour to include it in this bulletin. Also, the Grand Prix administrator, INGRID THOMPSON email@example.com, relies on tournament organisers to send her results with the full details immediately after each event.
Grand Prix Standings as at 9/3/2000 (5 events - does not include South West Open, Bunbury)
Rujevic, Mirko 20; Solomon, Stephen 18; Johansen, Darryl 13.5; Chapman, Mark 13.5; Canfell, Greg 12.33; Curtis, John 12.33; Weeks, Manuel 12.33.
Low, Samuel 17.5; Pratsch, George 17.5; Weeks, Manuel 16; Coutts, Tama 12.33; Myers, John 12.33; Mehltreter, Otto 12.33; Goodman, Bob 12.33.
Carey, Doug 24.5; Nissen, Amir 17.5; Guthrie, Aaron 17.5; Goodwin, Bob 16; Jones, Nancy 14.
Lewin, Peter 18.33; Albrect, Rolf 16; Dawes, Leith 12.33; Estiville-castro, V 12.33; Varela, Peter 12.
Xie, George 16; Barnard, Casey 16; Nemeth, Janos 15.66; Nissen, Amir 15.66; Guthrie, Aaron 15.66.
Jovanovic, Marija 20; Horwood, Melba 16; Jones, Nancy 14; Koshninsky Ngan 14; Szuveges, Narelle 13.5; Beggs, Diana 13.5.
WOMEN IN CHESS
I think it is fair to say that those involved in chess administration have been concerned for many years at the dearth of females at chess clubs. At a Gold Coast Chess Club committee meeting the other night I suddenly came to the realisation that the club has more females than males on the committee and the President and Vice President are both women. Whilst there is still a predominance of males at the club nights, there are now several females - it is not too many years ago that the club was virtually all male. In my opinion, the club is becoming much healthier as a result of this gender shift.
Having said that, the situation did not occur in any planned sort of way. This led me to reflect on what we could do in a planned way to encourage far more female participation. As far as I am concerned, we have to make women feel very welcome and comfortable and involve them in every aspect of chess.
The ACF is particularly bad in this respect. We do not have a single female on the ACF Council (although EVELYN KOSHNITSKY attends on behalf of the AWCL) or on the ACF restructure committee.
Please share your ideas with the readers of this bulletin on what we can do to encourage more females into chess.
NSWCA INITIATIVE 2000 GUIDELINES
This is a draft proposal put forward by the NSWCA and they are to be commended on endeavouring to address some important issues. This paper could be read in conjunction with the ACF document 'How to run a successful chess club' which is available at the ACF website http://www.auschess.org.au/Running%20a%20successful%20chess%20club.doc
The objectives of the NSWCA Initiative Guidelines are:-
- To assist individual chess clubs in providing to their members 'multi-faceted' chess in stimulating, enjoyable and rewarding environments.
- To gain favourable notice and increased response for chess amongst the general public.
Once these objectives are achieved, there will be an increase in the number of active chess players at club level and subsequently at State and National level. Without such an increase, the future of chess in Australia is not bright, despite the fact that Junior Chess is the healthiest it has ever been.
Why should this be?
Unless chess clubs offer an interesting range of activities which cater for the needs and wishes of younger people, many potential club members will not make the transition from junior to adult players.
However, gaining new members has never been so challenging. Never before has there been of offer such a great diversity of hobbies, interests and pursuits, all competing for the time and attention of people of all ages.
Even within chess itself, people can play computers, stand-alone or on PC; they can play via the internet, by e-mail or correspondence locally or internationally; they can delve into data bases etc. etc. Many of these activities need not involve stirring from the comfort of home.
The club scene has to be dynamic, rewarding and deeply satisfying to hold its ground, to say nothing of increasing membership. And without new blood, any organisation must eventually wither.
The core of the NSWCA Initiative 2000 Guidelines is a series of suggested activities which when implemented in individual clubs will operate, in time, towards achievement of the above-mentioned objectives.
The first consideration must be 'WHAT KIND OF CHESS CLUB?' Each club should determine the extent and nature/type of chess activities which best fit the needs and wishes of membership both now and with an eye on the future. This should be elucidated through a membership survey which takes into account the demographics of the area in which the club operates; the extent and type of facilities available to the club; the level of support and involvement provided by individual members, as well as the previously mentioned members' views.
Based on the findings of the survey, the club should aim to provide the widest variety of chess activities (eg instruction, lectures, simuls, consultation games, rated tournaments) commensurate with practicality. Similar surveys should be ongoing at least every 3 years.
The Club Facilities And Equipment
It goes without saying that clubs prefer a 'shielded' quiet facility, but it is human nature to become accustomed to a familiar situation, and to no longer see deficiencies. Try to look at your facilities and equipment with the eyes of a potential new member. Are there good strong regular communication links between the club and any organisation providing the facilities? If yes, perhaps facilities can be improved. If no, nothing will improve. As far as budgets will allow, equipment should be reviewed and upgraded regularly.
The Club Atmosphere
This is the area most neglected. The chess club should be a combination social, informational, instructional and competitive meeting place.
Club members both current and potential should be treated by the club as guests, they should be greeted, introduced and made to feel welcome. But how many clubs currently have a Hospitality Officer in their line up of club officers? Such a person (or more than one) should be appointed to be on the alert to meet and greet current members as needed, and visitors/prospective members always. With visitors, they should provide introductions, answer questions, provide basic documentation as described below, find out the visitor's wants, and as appropriate, set them up with a game of chess. They of course are responsible for recording each visitor's name, address and telephone number, e-mail contact, etc.
No position is more crucial to a club. Hospitality Officers should be sincere, genuinely friendly and always volunteers, on a roster basis.
Prospective New Members
New members, whether former juniors or social chess players wanting to involve more are the life-blood of any club. New members must be actively sought out, and encouraged to stay after their first visit.
Where a visitor becomes a member, Hospitality Officers should continue in a 'monitoring' role. Mentoring should include seeking out the new member, asking about their games, fielding queries and introducing members.
Basic documentation which should be given to visitors on a first visit includes an information sheet or brochure detailing information which they need to have, Office Bearers names and telephone numbers, club history, meeting nights, club rules and protocols, a calendar of events. Visitors should be asked to supply in writing their own personal details. Visitor' s name tag should be provided. These steps will assist in making the visitor welcome and needed, and ensuring a next visit (See appendix 1).
Current members should not be neglected. The provision of membership cards, name tags (to be left at the club) and regular information sheets all help to engender the right environment. A listing of all members names and phone numbers is handy. Hold problem-solving contests. Remember to announce members' special occasions eg, Anniversaries (5/10/15 years with the club) youngest/oldest member birthdays etc. Raffles for chess prizes, a lucky board winner, discounts on club bulk purchased items such as score books can be offered. A club ratings ladder should be displayed. Find every opportunity to mention members efforts and results by name.
Keep a stream of News Releases directed at your local media. Announce such things as the Club Champion, elections, interclub results. Give the meeting night and contact person's details in every release. Remember to be clear, brief and accurate.
The basic Club Information sheet or Newsletter can be used as a way to gain further local publicity. Approach local Libraries to allow the club to do some, or all of the following:-
- information sheets as bookmarks in library chess books
- newsletters on the library counter/front desk
- permanent club posters on notice board or walls or display chess in windows.
Local Businesses with a 'connection' to chess such as computer shops, book shops, coffee shops should be similarly approached. A chess set and board with the club details prominently displayed could be donated to the latter, where the coffee shop encourages chess playing.
Visitors/lectures to local schools and school libraries should be offered. Club support for schools could be manifested by the donation of a chess prize for the school chess champion or similar activity. Similarly some members may wish to visit and play hospital patients.
Hold an open house every 9 to 12 months, to which the public is invited to play, or watch lightning and/or simuls. Provide refreshments and have plenty of members available for inquiries, quick lessons and games. Set up a shopping mall exhibition with a simul or lightning games.
A yellow pages listing as a minimum is a must for a chess club. An internet site should also be set up.
Club stationery should be produced and utilised by Club Office-bearers for all written communications.
The above initiatives do not claim to cover all or even most, of the activities that clubs can carry through in order to attract and hold the new blood that is vital for growth and prosperity. Each club should consider these guidelines in the light of their own members' needs and wishes, and the club's resources in people and money.
Whatever new or additional activities are decided upon, these must be 'organised' so that the volunteers don't feel their efforts are being wasted in a haphazard operation. Keep records so that future Office-Bearers will know what was done, why and how, and what were the results.
The NSWCA Liaison Officer will provide further detail to these guidelines upon request. Feedback and comments on the Guidelines are most welcome.
Very best wishes to all