ACF Bulletin No. 20 - June 6, 1999

[please reply directly to Graeme Gardiner at]

A copy of the first draft is being put up on the webpage by Andrew. Please
try and get to the meetings around Australia being held between 2nd and 9th
July to give your point of view. If you are not able to then please email
your thoughts.
Andrew will also be putting up the final 1998 scores and up to date 1999
scores. I notice that there are three good events coming up that have not
registered for this year's Grand Prix - namely The Gap Open, Brisbane 12-14
June, The Vic Open, Melbourne 12-14 June and The Elwood Weekender,
Melbourne 26/27 June. May I encourage all clubs everywhere to start
planning your big millennium tournaments now and budget for your GP fees.
On the Gold Coast we've certainly found that with good local promotion,
being in the Grand Prix certainly helps the viability of the big class 5
events that we put on. Let us support those administrators/promoters who
are prepared to take a few chances and create much needed activity.
World Championship - Las Vegas, 30 July - 29 August
Women's World Championship - Kishinev, Moldova, 3 - 26 September
World Juniors (Under 20) - Yerevan, Armenia, 17 September - 1 October
World Juniors (Under 10 - 18) - Oropesa Del Mar, Spain, 23 October - 6
World Youth Rapid Play - Euro Disney, Paris, Prob Nov or Dec
World Cities Teams Champs - Shenyang, China, 3 October - 10 October
Asian Teams Champs - Shenyang, China, 11 October - 20 October
Asian Youth (Under 10 - 14) - Ahmedabad, India, 15 December - 25 December
Congratulations to the following juniors who have been selected to
represent Australia in Spain (Under 10 - 18) and Armenia (Under 20) and my
apologies for the delay in notification. Official letters will go out this
U20 Max Leskiewicz Veronica Klimenko
U18 Geoff Saw Jasmine Lauer-Smith
U16 David Smerdon Laura Moylan
U14 Zong-Yuan Zhao Catherine Lip
U12 Peter Jovanovic Jade Lauer-Smith
U10 Ruperto Lugo Michelle Lee
We wish them all well.
Just a reminder to all states that if you want any matters on the agenda
papers are due in by tomorrow (Monday 7 June).
Andrew Allen has put in a huge amount of effort to get the webpage to the
stage it is now. Shortly we hope to put up a copy of the ACF Administrative
Manual and shortly after that a complete list of clubs with full contact
details. The aim is to make the ACF webpage a complete resource centre for
Australian chess. We do however need you to help us by supplying regular
info (especially tournament results) and corrections etc. From time to time
it would be useful if you could have a browse around the site and look for
items that are either out of date or simply errors. We have to rely on
others if this is to work.


This is to acknowledge that I got some facts wrong in my previous

1. It was a final 12, and not a final 8 at the 1985 Zonal.

2. I also indicated that Dwyer had been Australian Junior champion, which I
have since been told is not correct.

Having said this, I have not changed my opinion about the relative
strengths of the 1985 and 1999 Zonals. My score of 4.5/19 in the 1985 Zonal
(was it that bad? No wonder I didn't remember it clearly!) means my
performance rating at the event was much lower than I thought. To finish
12th in 1985 I performed at least 300-400 rating points lower than I did to
finish 8th in 1999, and performed considerably worse than anybody who
finished in the top 12 on the Gold Coast.

With the knowledge and experience I have gained since 1985, I am confident
the 1999 Depasquale would have achieved a plus score in the 1985 Zonal.
Johansen finished =3rd in 1985, but he is an immensely stronger player in
1999 than he was then, yet finished =5th in 1999. The Johansen of 1999
would have won the 1985 Zonal by about 3 points. Solomon, too, is immensely
stronger now. These statements (about the strength of Johansen and Solomon
in 1999 compared to 1985) are not based about average ratings or other
misleading statistics, or speculations about the vagaries of good/bad form
in a particular event, but are undeniable truths.

Where people seem to be losing the plot about comparing the strengths of
the different events is that the true measure of the strength of the event
can only be gauged by looking at the top, not by trying to average out the
ratings of all participants. The recent Capelle la Grande event featured
108 Grandmasters in its field of 616, but the average rating was lower
than, say, the 1998 Australian Masters or Australian Championship. We all know
which of the three was the strongest event, in terms of the most difficult
to finish highly in. You could increase the average ratings at Capelle le
Grande by eliminating the highest rated 100 players, and the lowest rated
200 players, yet nobody would describe what remained as a stronger tournament.

People, too are confusing the issue of whether players should have been
allowed to compete in the Zonal, with the decision to split the Zone in the
first place. These are completely separate issues. Our Zone would wallop
other Zones from Africa, the Middle East, and even Canada in a serious
match over 5, 10, 20, 50 or 100 boards, if all teams were at full strength.

As for whether people who qualify for titles are strong enough to be
awarded them, this is a joke. Has Shane Hill ever performed anywhere near
IM strength in his life? Yet I recall Peter Parr's magazine at the time
trumpeting Shane's title achievement as a major step forward for Australian
chess. Basically, a Federation which is not using the rules to advantage to
get titles for their players is not acting in the Federation's best
interests. In Budapest they wheel out derelict half-blind over-rated
ex-players to create norm opportunities in their "First Saturday" events.
The rules are there, and they use them. In England they completely distort
the normal pairing rules (and make no secret of it) to make the Lloyd's
Bank event a norm-factory, while the whole chess world applauds the English
Chess Explosion.

Your correspondent also writes:
Chris states "I don't believe that anyone takes these (FM titles)
seriously". Chris himself has gone to the trouble and expense of applying
for one.

This last sentence is untrue. I never applied for the FM title, and nobody
can ever know whether I would have. In Dubai, 1986, Ian Rogers advised me:
"We were applying for a bunch of titles, and we threw in your FM title
application as well." I pointed out to him that I had not qualified for the
title. At the time, you needed to be above 2300 on two consecutive FIDE
rating lists (which come out in January and July). I first broke the 2300
barrier on the July 1986 list after the 1986 Australian championship
(completed January) was rated. Not to worry, the title was granted, and I
have the certificate to prove it.

So, tell me, who takes the FM title seriously? Ian Rogers and ACF officials
who applied on my behalf incorrectly? Surely if they took it seriously,
they would know correctly whether the player qualified for it or not. Does
the FIDE titles commission take it seriously? Not seriously enough to check
whether I had properly qualified! Did I take it seriously? It is a bit hard
to take it seriously when none of the officials care enough to check the
application; I might just as well have come across an FM title in the
bottom of a packet of cornflakes.

So we have established that the players don't take it seriously, the ACF
officials don't, and the FIDE titles commission doesn't. Who is there left
to take it seriously?



I wish to add my two cents worth to the zonal debate.

First, as far as Zonals go, it was very weak, the prize money was very low
and the titles were very soft.

Having said that, it is necessary to ascertain why this was so.

The ACF bears no blame whatsoever for this sad state of affairs!!!! In only
three months they managed to find an excellent venue, balance the books
(almost) and provide bulletins and post the results on the web and all this
from scratch.

The "blame" rests squarely on the shoulders of the elite players for not
supporting the event, especially our only world-class player Ian Rogers.
Perhaps his decision is based on his newspaper articles which implied that
the president of FIDE is a gangster and murderer.

I'm sure that the experience the ACF gained from this event will lead to a
superb event next time around , but only if we all support it.
PS. Congratulations to Laura Moylan and Vladimir Feldman for their FULLY
deserved victories and good luck to both in the world championships.


PETER HANNA: (Canterbury Bankstown Leagues Club Chess Club & Ukranian Club
Chess Club)

As a player new to competitive chess I was surprised and greatly
disappointed that there was no chess in Sydney during the Easter holiday
period.  This I think is so that there will be no clash with the Canberra
Doebell Tournament.

Firstly, is it fair that a city of 3 million people are neglected for one
of only a fraction of that number.

Secondly, how many people have the time, commitment and finances to travel
and stay in Canberra?  Parents with young children need to come home at
nights.  Also the long travel to Canberra is not inductive to good chess

I see no reason why we cannot organize either an official competitive
tournament or as an appeasement a "fun tournament".  Keeping in the spirit
of a quashi religious fun holiday period why not the "Holy Grail Shield".
Players voluntarily  separating into two teams, for e.g., called the
Crusaders and the Infidels.  Each year a shield is established with all
names of  competing players and their points under the team they played for.

If Sydney's chess needs are neglected by official organisations how long
will it be before disaffected ginger groups manifest to fill in the gaps.


Regards to all
Graeme Gardiner


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)