ACF Bulletin No. 26 - July 18,
ACF AUGUST RATING LIST
The new list is out and is up on the ACF webpage
Many thanks to Bill Gletsos, Graham Saint and all the ratings officers for
their hard work in this regard.
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN - ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION
The issue of declining numbers for club nights was debated at most state
meetings. Personally I believe that it is a bit of a cop out to blame the
internet for this problem. One way to attack the problem is to remind
ourselves what it is that makes club nights fun. According to the USCF
publication "Guide to a successful chess club" chess clubs succeed when
they have a warm, friendly atmosphere. Members should feel at home at the
club. One way to encourage this is for one of the officers to take the role
of club greeter etc etc.
The publication goes on to give several other useful ideas. Perhaps the ACF
could take on an educational role in this particular matter and publish a
permanent checklist on the webpage.
If you have any ideas on how to make clubs user friendly, however obvious
or simple the ideas may be, please contribute them to this debate. I think
that perhaps we have simply forgotten the basics of how to make club nights
A second item for debate this week is for ideas re a format for a national
clubs teams' competition. Personally I favour three or four separate
competitions (say open, under 2000, under 1500 and under 1000). Each state
would run a comp to find a winner in each section and there would be a
national finals weekend late each year. This competition would be primarily
over the board. Perhaps the subject of a national telechess and/or internet
comp (state or club) could be debated in a week or two.
I'm pleased to say that so far 29 clubs around Australia have taken
advantage of the ACF's free offer of a licenced copy of Swiss Perfect.
These club licences mean that anyone in the relevant club can have/use a
licenced copy. May I encourage many more clubs around Australia to take a
free copy - all you need to do is email me with a request and it will be
available to you by download from the Swiss Perfect website within a couple
of days when you receive a password.
For those who now have a copy please email Robert Rozycki with any
suggested improvements as you go along.
It has come to my attention that Jacques is not well and is a long term
patient at the Montefiore Nursing Home, 95-107 High Street, Ashwood, Vic
3147. Jacques has contributed much to Australian chess over the years and
I'm sure he would appreciate a visitor or two. I understand that whilst his
body isn't holding up too well, his mind is still as sharp as a tack.
VARIOUS INTERNATIONAL NEWS
* The website for the World Championships in Las Vegas is as follows:
* The website for the World Juniors in Spain is as follows:
* The FIDE Congress in Qatar will be held from 1-7 October 1999.
* The 75th Anniversary celebrations of FIDE will be held on 20/21 November
1999. FIDE are looking for nominations for enrolment into the FIDE Golden
Book for contributions to chess. These nominations will be reviewed by the
FIDE Anniversary Committee.
* The World Cities Teams event will be held in Shenyang, China from 3-10
October 1999 and this will be followed by the Asian Cities Teams event from
11-20 October 1999 also in Shenyang.
* The Asian Men's and Women's Championships are being held in Udaipur,
India from 22 October 1999 to 3 November 1999.
* The NZ North Island Championship was won by English GM Stuart Conquest on
8/8. Kerry Corker scored 3.5 and David Lovejoy 2.5. The next big event in
NZ is the South Island Championship in Blenheim in September. This will be
an 8 round open swiss event plus a one day rapid 30/30 tournament held over
5 days. Details from Hilton Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org
* The Children's Olympiad will be held from 9-21 September 1999 at the
International Children's Centre, Artek, near Yalta.
The upcoming events in the calendar are:
24/25 July ANU Open, Canberra
14/15 August Atherton Open
21/22 August NSWCA Weekender
Ingrid Thompson is having trouble obtaining standings for tournaments held
so far this year. Also, of the results she has received, often cadets and
juniors etc are not clearly marked. It would be appreciated if tournament
organisers could kindly make matters easier for Ingrid by sending in
results immediately after holding tournaments and clearly identifying
cadets, juniors and females. Ingrid's email address is
Next year is an opportunity for all clubs to consider holding major
millennium events. May I encourage club organisers to start planning now
for a special event to celebrate the millennium, to take a few calculated
risks, to try something new and to budget to enter your event in the Grand
AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP - QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING, SYDNEY
1 Irina Feldman 6/7 (Champion)
2 Ngan Koshnitsky 5
3 Ingela Wallace 5
4 Sylvia Shields 4.5
5 Catherine Lip 4
6 Laura Moylan 3.5
7 Yvonne Chong 3.5
8 Biljana Dekic 3
9 Narelle Szuveges 3
10 Georgina Tarrant 2.5
11 Marija Jovic 1
Alongside this championship was an accompanying men's event:
1 Raul Samar 7.5/9
2 John Paul Wallace 7.5
3 Stephen Solomon 7
4 Victor Berezin 6.5
5 Tim Reilly 4
6 Kuan Kuan Tian 4
Raul Samar was a last minute replacement, does not have a FIDE rating and
worked night shift during the tournament - well done Raul!
Many thanks to the main organisers of the event, Georgina Tarrant and Carol
Holmes. Also to Charles Zworestine and Manuel Weeks for their work. As I've
said before, I believe the volunteer organisers of these events are the
real heroes because without them the players would not have the opportunities.
IA GARY BEKKER, ACF Deputy President - July FIDE News Brief:
FIDE's 75th Anniversary celebrations have now been re-scheduled to be held
in Paris in November 1999. The postponement will enable FIDE to maximise
the commercial benefits from this event, and to finalise enrolments into
the FIDE Golden Book and other awards. The full details of the celebrations
will be announced soon.
On the basis of the agreement between FIDE and the World Chess Foundation,
the FIDE President has approved the setting up of a company known as FIDE
Commerce PLC to handle all aspects of the commercial and marketing
activities of FIDE. The company will be based in London and will generate
income streams for FIDE.
FIDE now has a new web site, located at http://www.data.ru/fide.
Information from the FIDE Secretariat, the latest FIDE Forum, and the July
1999 Rating List are posted on the site.
The 1999 FIDE Directory will also be published on the site soon.
FIDE has made significant efforts to correct the mistakes that were
contained in the January 1999 Rating List. These corrections have been
forwarded to the Federations concerned and the updated list will be
published at the FIDE web site. Printed copies of the January 1999 List
will soon be published and mailed from Greece.
For the July list, FIDE has advised that it will strictly adhere to the
policy of only processing those rating reports received prior to the
ratings period deadline of 31 May 1999. The July rating list is available
on the new FIDE web site and Federations are required to double check the
ratings of their players and advise the FIDE Secretariat in Lausanne of any
errors. Once the final rating list is published, rating corrections will
only be made in very special cases. All rating reports, rating corrections,
title applications and changes of Federations should be sent, via the ACF,
to the FIDE Secretariat in Lausanne.
The 1999 World Championships in Las Vegas and Women's World Championship
Final Match Xie Jun-Polgar in Shenyang will both begin over the next few
weeks. Australia's Vladimir Feldman will play Magem Badals in the first
round. If he wins, he will go on to play the winner of the
Tkachiev-Hoffmann game in round 2.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognised FIDE as a sports
federation as defined by Article 29 of the Olympic Charter. This will help
further the aims of the ACF in its bid to get chess officially recognised
by the Australian government as a sport. This is an historic occasion, and
represents the ideal opportunity all players and organisers to focus our
commitment to develop Australian chess into a thriving sporting activity
over the coming years.
There are two issues I would like to have raised in the ACF bulletin:
1. Use the ACF ratings as a product, similar to Bridge Masterpoints. (For
example - charge a flat fee for all rated games, or, charge a fee in
proportion to the rating strength of the tournament, or some other method
of charging for ratings)
2. The instigation of a national junior telechess/internet interstate
teams competition. (One of the reasons that juniors drop out of chess in SA
is that there has not been the development of them to move into adult
ranks. If there were a similar competition to the Dorothy Dibley it would
increase the prestige of representing your state, similar to junior
cricket, tennis and so on)
Neither of these need cost the ACF and could well provide funding.
I am happy to discuss these ideas further.
In Bulletin No 25 you wrote:
'I've also been told that the Melbourne Chess Club is showing very little
sign of life (my apologies to those involved if I've been misinformed
because I've only ever been there once in Jan 1993). May I be so cheeky as
to suggest that either it would be good to see the Melbourne Club really
thriving or the premises sold and the money donated to the proposed
Endowment Fund to give it a really good kick start? It doesn't seem right
to have a $200,000+ asset tied up and not being used to its full potential.'
I would like to leap to the defence of the Melbourne Chess Club (MCC).
MCC can be whatever it wants to be. I was President there for nine months
in 1995 and operated on a very progressive program for the club. With the
assistance of Meagan Williams and the Usual Suspects on the committee we
managed to double the revenues and profits of the club, double the number
of paying members [there are three categories of members at MCC: life
members, annual subscription members and those who take advantage of the
facilities of the club but avoid paying a membership fee] and considerably
increase participation in events run at the club. All this in just nine
months! Had the MCC decided to stick to the program I had mapped out for
them, then, in the financial year just ended they would have had total
revenues of $200,000 - $250,000 for the year, 1,000 life and paid-up
members with a waiting list to join, a completely renovated premises,
full-time and part-time paid staff, and a six-figure sum in the bank.
Certainly, at the time I resigned the Presidency, the club was well ahead
of all the initial mile-stones set towards achieving all this.
It was not hard to do all this; I basically just worked on it in my spare
time (which wasn't much; I had a full time and part-time job at the time,
and was involved in several other committees and activities at the time,
and trying to play the occasional game of chess!).
While most members of MCC liked most aspects of the changes we were making
there, not all were convinced that the progressive commercialisation of the
club was completely the way to go. They perceived risks in some of the
strategies I had mapped out, and found the odd proposal here and there
didn't suit them. [For example, those who like to take advantage of the
club facilities without paying a subscription, took offence to being asked
to pay their way. Those who liked to destroy any amount of club property
with their "bullet" (one-minute blitz) games without paying for it were
offended when this privilege was taken away. Others objected to discussions
being held about rates of play, when tournament-playing members were
surveyed about their preferences on rates of play, adjournments, etc.]
Although these people might have approved of 99% of the changes happening,
the 1% they disagreed with served to disenfranchise them to some degree,
and many of these people were quite prepared to throw out the baby with the
bathwater. In particular, a small group of long-standing MCC members, who
had also been long-standing benefactors and servants of the club perceived
that they were losing control of "their" club. They had done an enormous
amount for many years to get the club through some difficult times and make
the club what they perceived to be "just right" for themselves, and they
opposed the radical changes put forward to the committee.
That was fine, but I didn't want to preside over an organisation that was
only a fraction of what I felt it could be, so I resigned the Presidency.
Were these people correct to pass up the opportunities I was offering? No
two MCC members completely agree on this point, but I believe, on balance,
they were correct. As I observed in my letter of resignation, MCC was
around 100 years before I was born and will be around 100 years after I
die. Its great strength is its continuity, and its ability to grind on
slowly and carefully, seemingly impervious to the rate of change occurring
in the outside world.
What would have happened had I completed the five-year plan? Well,
everything outlined above from the memberships to the renovations and the
money in the bank. But what then? If you could guarantee an Evelyn or Garry
Koshnitsky, or a Bob Brooking or even a Chris Depasquale at the helm
forever more, people who have devoted enormous chunks of their lives to the
promotion of the game of chess and are always the first ones with their
hands in their pockets when some money is needed, a "benevolent dictator"
is the term I believe the economists use, then all would be well. As we
have discovered, however, some people in Victorian chess are driven solely
by greed and seek only personal gain. They will do anything or go anywhere
for chess, as long as somebody else is footing the bill (and paying them a
fee, as well). In a truly democratic organisation like the MCC Inc. how
could it be prevented that some such unscrupulous person stack the
membership and gain control of the committee? And then, after the MCC had
been bled dry, the entire edifice would have come tumbling down.
In view of all this, I believe that, on balance, the MCC has made the right
choices. MCC has been here through thick and thin, when chess has been
strong and when chess has been weak. For long periods of Victoria's chess
history MCC has been the only vestige of organised chess in Victoria.
Changing it in any radical way will destroy it, sooner or later.
I think that the endowment fund is a great idea, however there are two
points I'd like to make.
1. Forever is a long time not to be allowed to use the capital of the
fund. I would be quite happy for the capital to be secure for a period of
time such as 50 years.
2. I think there should be some provision for the funds to be "invested"
in something of benefit to chess e.g. the fund has $100,000 earning 5% and
the ACF has to rent an office costing $100,000 for $10,000 rent p.a. If the
fund could invest in the office with the rent as the return then the ACF
would be better off.
I doubt that you will have much success in persuading the Melb CC to donate
their premises to the ACF endowment fund, but it's an interesting thought.
If the ACF did have some money to splash around I wonder whether big
subsidies to Junior Overseas trips is the best use of funds given the very
high drop out rate of even top juniors. I'd certainly spend money on
Smerdon and Co. but u/8, u/10, u/12 etc. may need some thought. That may
be a worthwhile discussion topic sometime.
Kind regards to all
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)