ACF Bulletin No. 73 - 7 July, 2000
SEIRAWAN CRITICISM OF 1999 ZONAL
You may be aware that in recent weeks YASSER SEIRAWAN, in an open letter to
FIDE, compared the 1999 zonal which was run by the ACF at the Parkroyal
Surfers Paradise with the Myanmar ratings situation where ratings appear to
have been inflated by several hundred points. After the zonal, you may
recall, there was a good deal of debate over the merits of the titles that
were awarded as a result of the relatively low average playing strength of
In ACF Bulletin # 19 dated 30 May 1999 I gave a complete explanation of how
the 'soft' titles at the zonal occurred. A copy of this bulletin is
available on the ACF webpage.
I have exchanged a few emails with Yasser over the last couple of weeks. I
tried to explain to him that the 'soft' titles were not some kind of a rort
and that we went into the event with the best of intentions. He is still
saying that 'if that is the case you should return the titles to FIDE'. My
response is that the FIDE rules regarding titles in zonals were listed in
the entry form and therefore we had a legal obligation to pursue the titles.
At this stage we have had to agree to disagree.
As regards the future format of the zonal, CHRIS DEPASQUALE brings this up
under correspondence later in this bulletin. In October I plan to attend my
first FIDE Conference and intend to discuss the matter with various people
there. I also plan to take advice from experienced Australian chess
administrators and players. Bearing in mind the relationship I am building
with the Parkroyal Surfers Paradise, I'd be happy to hold it there once
again. However, if someone wants to come up with a better offer, I'd be more
than happy to consider it.
JULY 2000 FIDE RATINGS
The July 2000 FIDE ratings for all Oceania players are available at GARY
BEKKER'S website http://www.auschess.org.au/oceania/oce0007.htm.
THE LAWS OF CHESS
The Laws of Chess are to be revised at the FIDE Congress at Istanbul later
this year. If you are interested, the Chairman of the FIDE Rules Committee,
GEURT GIJSSEN, has posted a draft of the proposed revision for comment on
the Chess Cafe web site. The page reference is
www.chesscafe.com/catalog/fide.htm. Thanks to DENIS JESSOP for bringing this
to our attention.
PHONE HOOK UPS
The ACF Council meets quarterly by telephone hook up. These are booked
through Telstra and are quite costly. If anyone knows of a cheaper method by
phone or internet please let me know. (We have to be able to communicate by
voice. Text is no good for a meeting).
July 22-23 ANU Open, Canberra, Cat 3, ANDREW GREENWOOD 02 6291 0385
August 5-6 Mackay Open, Mercy College, Penn Street, Mackay, Cat 1, STAN LONG
HONG 07 4953 4573
August 12-13 North Queensland Open, Centra Hotel, Townsville, Cat 1, KEITH
MACLEOD 07 4728 2060
August 12-13 Adelaide Checkmate Weekender, South Australian Chess Centre, 10
Ranelagh Street, Adelaide, Cat 3, EVELYN KOSHNITSKY 08 8271 8009
August 19-20 NSWCA Open, Rockdale, Sydney (To be confirmed), Cat 1, MICHAEL
WALSH 0407 068550
August 26-27 Hervey Bay Whale Open, Hervey Bay Resort, Cat 2, DEREK
ELKINGTON 07 4126 0201
Just a reminder to tournament organisers that it is imperative to get full
results with juniors and females clearly marked to INGRID THOMPSON
<firstname.lastname@example.org> immediately after each event.
2000 ANU CHESS FESTIVAL 15-23 JULY
Part of the 2000 Garry Koshnitsky Memorial Australian Chess Festival
National Computer Championship (15-16 July)
Computer Chess Workshop (17 July) new event
Chess Film Night (18 July) Searching for Bobby Fischer in association with
the ANU Film Group Inc. new event
Primary Schools Championship (19 July)
High Schools Championship (20 July)
Co-op Bookshop Simultaneous Match (21 July)
ANU Open (22-23 July)
ACT Go Championship (22-23 July)
PUBLICISING YOUR TOURNAMENT
It is suggested that to gain maximum entries to your tournament you always
carry out the following as a minimum:
Mail out to all state association members
Mail out to previous entrants to your event
Email everyone who is on the ACF email database (at least in your state)
Send an item to me for the weekly bulletin
Collect emails on your entry form for future use and to pass on to me so
that I can send the weekly bulletin
ASIAN JUNIOR UNDER 20 CHAMPIONSHIPS 29 AUGUST TO 10 SEPTEMBER
This event for boys and girls will be held at Royal Palms Golf and Country
Club, Aaarey Milk Colony, Mumbai, India. If you are interested in being
selected for this event please contact MANUEL WEEKS <email@example.com>
WORLD JUNIOR EVENTS
World Juniors, Oropesa Del Mar, Spain, 10-24 October
World Juniors Under 20s Yerevan, Armenia 17 September to 2 October
World Junior Teams, Rio De Janeiro 6 August to 12 August
Asian Under 16, United Arab Emirates (to be confirmed)
ACF NATIONAL CONFERENCE, CANBERRA 7 JANUARY 2001
Clause 10c of the ACF Constitution reads:
'In years when elections are due to be held at the next Annual National
Conference, nominations for President, Deputy President, Secretary and
Treasurer shall be called for by the Council 120 days prior to the scheduled
start of the Conference'.
Accordingly, nominations must reach the ACF Secretary by 9 September 2000.
Clause 10d reads:
Written notice of a National Conference shall be sent to each State
Association and to others as the Council deems appropriate so as to be
received in the normal course of post not less than 56 days before the start
of the Conference and shall include:
i. the date, time and place for the start of the Conference;
ii. the date on which it is expected the Conference will end;
iii. the exact wording of each Motion on Notice and each proposed amendment
thereto to be dealt with at the Conference;
iv. the names of all known candidates for election as President, Deputy
President, Secretary and Treasurer; and
v. such other information as the convenor or Council may see fit to include
on the notice.
ACF Email Bulletin Policy
It is the policy of most respectable publishers that, prior to publishing
material critical of the views of a contributor, that the original
contributor be consulted first. This process is eminently sensible, as it
weeds out those criticisms based on factual errors, jumping to conclusions,
and so on. As a result, the publishers stay in business, by avoiding (or at
least minimising) crippling defamation actions.
The ACF Email bulletin does not have such a policy in place. The policy here
is that anybody's contribution will be published, without checking facts, as
long the contribution does not include personal abuse. My questions are:
(a) Are you concerned that the ACF could be forced into liquidation because
of this policy? and
(b) Have the people who have put this policy into place breached their
fiduciary duties as office bearers of an incorporated association, by
putting the ACF at an unnecessary and inappropriate risk?
This is not idle scaremongering, by the way. We have seen in recent years
one of Australia's most respected chess journalists successfully sued for
what appeared in one of his columns, despite the normal checks and balances
that exist in newspaper publication. Far worse (in my view) has already
appeared in this bulletin and, with the present policy, is likely to appear
One reason, no doubt, is that at the moment you access this email bulletin,
it is extremely easy to hit the "reply" button (or "new message" button) and
send an instant comment, while emotional about something read in it, and
with the adrenaline pumping, making a cool, considered comment less likely.
If you have a comment on this issue, please don't write it today! Wait
forty-eight hours at least. And address the specific questions raised.
2. 2001 Zonal
The ACF Email bulletin number 72 said:
The President of the Fiji Chess Federation, Dr Virgilio de Asa, has formally
advised that due to the continuing political crisis in Fiji and its social
and economic implications, the Fiji Chess Federation will be unable to host
next year's zonal. If anyone in Australia would like to bid for the 2001
Oceanic Zonal please let me know as soon as possible - GRAEME GARDINER
I was astonished and puzzled to read this at the moment. The format of the
last two Oceanic Zonals has been criticised by many in Oceania and around
the globe. For example, respected US GM Yasser Seirawan felt strongly enough
about it to include specific reference to it in an open letter to FIDE. (For
those who haven't seen it, it is at insidechess.com, and chesscafe.com,
among others.) Yet the implication of the note in the ACF Email bulletin is
that there are no changes to the format being contemplated. (Have I jumped
to a conclusion here? I hope not. Surely the ACF wouldn't be encouraging me
to organise a 14-24 player Swiss only to tell me after the funds are
committed that the event will be a five player round-robin. That would be
more than incompetent, it would be negligent.)
At the end of the 2000 Zonal I made the following observations in a report
published at kasparovchess.com:
A clear outcome from this tournament is the widening gap between the quality
of New Zealand and Australian chess. We got an inkling of this when GM Ian
Rogers scored 10.5/11 in the New Zealand championship earlier this year.
True, Rogers wins a lot in Australia, too, but the last two Australian
championships Rogers has played in (including the last championship but one,
in 1998) he has not prevailed until after a play-off match.
The Zonal tournament in Auckland saw all the strongest New Zealand players
participate, and on home soil, too. Yet Wohl (ranked 3 or 4 in Australia)
and Zhao (apparently 12th) dominated the event. Tindall and Levi were
competitive with all the New Zealand players despite the disadvantage of
being on foreign soil, and they are not ranked in the top 40(!) Australian
This information should give the Oceania officials a good idea of how the
tournament could be improved. Apart from the obvious addition of resources
to the event to attract the best players, I think two more things have now
1. The event should be played in Australia, simply to give more of the
better players in the Zone a good chance to participate; and
2. A round-robin format should be used, with just ten players, including one
from Fiji, one from New Zealand, and eight Australian players.
If these changes are made then, from 2001, we will finally see the best
players from Oceania competing for the Zone championship, and to represent
Oceania at the FIDE Knock-out titles.
You may disagree with my proposed changes, but don't fire off that email
yet! Wait forty-eight hours at least. And when you do write, respond to the
following specific questions:
(a) Should Oceania chess players be concerned that the format for the last
two Zonals has led to respected commentators comparing Australia to Myanmar
(Burma) and other third world countries; making Australian chess a
(b) Should consideration be given to changing the format of the Oceania
Zonal for 2001 and beyond?
(c) Given that the local and international outcry will almost certainly
pressure Oceania into considering changing its format, and that common sense
will almost certainly lead to a change in format, is it appropriate for the
Zone President to ask committed and earnest chess people to spend time,
effort and money on a bid for the 2001 event before any decisions are made
about the format for the 2001 event?
In framing your answers, don't forget: wait forty-eight hours. Be cool. Be
considered. Be careful.
A tenuous link to chess ....
I heard an interesting song on JJJ this morning, entitled "Bobby Fischer" -
the band is "Lazy Susan".
It contained lines such as:
"no-one ever mentions Reykjavik in a song"
'they say you'll never play again, you'll never be our friend'
'you were a child prodigy, I always wanted to have the smarts' (or something
close to the above)
and an obscure reference to chocolate milk - I missed the context.
Any suggestions on the relevance of the chocolate milk?
I will be away for the next week and will not be answering emails before
Sunday 16 July.
Best wishes to all.