ACF Bulletin No. 30 - August 15, 1999

I had three genuine enquiries to the advert in the Australian Financial
Review plus the Sydney Morning Herald is running a story sourced from the
advert on Monday or Tuesday. We are looking for $100,000 per year
guaranteed for five years to sponsor the whole of Australian chess.
Additionally we are continuing to lobby the Federal Government for $200,000
per year guaranteed for five years in respect of the proposed national
The next event on the calendar is the Hervey Bay Whale Open on 28/29 August.
Scores After Three Rounds:
Women Girls Total

Western Australia 9.0 11.0 20.0
New South Wales 8.5  9.5  18.0
South Australia 8.0  8.5 16.5
Queensland 6.0 7.0 13.0
Victoria 9.0  3.0 12.0
ACT                     4.5   6.0 10.5
So far 45 have been issued. WA is about to take six so we will reach our
initial target of fifty shortly. Schools may be issued copies of state
association licences as long as Robert Rozycki and myself are notified. If
you think of improvements that you would like to see made to the programme
please email Robert. If your club would like a free licence just email me
This is just a seed of an idea for next year (especially being an Olympic
year). We would like to bring Kasparov to Australia to help promote
scholastic chess and chess generally. One way would be to find a sponsor
for around $80,000- $100,000. Another is to find 30 players to pay $1,000
each in three capital cities for the opportunity to play Kasparov in a
simul. Just as a straw poll at present would anyone pay $1,000 for this
If you are a junior and you would like to spend Christmas in Miami, Florida
(and you can afford the cost) you could take part in this tournament and
the Junior Orange Bowl Parade down Miracle Mile.
Details: Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel (Rooms US$79, $85 and $89)
Dates: 26-29 December 1999
Seven rounds Swiss in five sections U19; U16; U13; U10; U7 Entry Fee $50 by
1 December 1999
Teams from Ecuador, Mexico, Barbados, Panama, Netherlands Antilles, and
many others, will be competing.
Full details from Mr or Mrs Dilley
Hopefully most tournament organisers will soon be using Swiss Perfect for
all tournaments. In the interests of good communication, up to date
information, ratings and Grand Prix scores, it would be appreciated if all
results could be emailed immediately after events to some or all of the
following. Sending the files as an attachment to several people at once is
ridiculously easy, ie:
Your state ratings officer
Bill Gletsos
Graham Saint
(Bill and Graham run the national ratings list - including a new FIDE rapid
ratings list)
Your state webmaster
Andrew Allen (ACF webmaster)
Ingrid Thompson (ACF Grand Prix scorekeeper)
The Week in Chess (Mark Crowther)
Chess Cafe (Rob Roy)
(Chess Cafe have a special free page for tournament announcements and
tournament reports - )


I find it surprising that the inter-state internet chess competitions have
not yet made an appearance in Australia (at least as a regular occurrance).
Internet chess would seem to be the natural successor to telechess.  The
advantages are obvious.  Firstly, there are no costly phone bills to
contend with.  Secondly, the games can be played at roughly normal speeds
(without the lengthy delays often associated with tele-chess).  The ideal
way to run such a match is to link up with a sympathetic university or
school computer laboratory at each end, so that there may be a single
computer per board.  All of the infrastructure required for setting up such
matches is available at any number of chess servers across the world (and I
believe there is still one running in Australia), and I am sure there are
hundreds of net literate chess players out there who can assist in setting
up a computer laboratory for the purpose.

Internet chess matches are also potentially an important draw card for
university level chess.  An intervarsity chess competition would be an
attractive prospect for players particularly in cities such as Perth and
Brisbane.  It would be a straightforward task for university students to
set up such matches.

And why stop at interstate matches?  If the appropriate contacts can be
found, an international match should be no more difficult to arrange than
an interstate one.  Particularly at the junior level, such a match would be
bound to attract interest.

STEWART REUBEN, Chairman of the British CF:

I have not previously received the ACF Bulletin at all, still less by
email. It is useful.
We have exactly the same problem regarding secondary school pupils giving
up chess. Without large sums of money, one can only wring one's hands in
despair. Clubs MUST encourage juniors, even though they may be a real pain
at times. This is how cricket is
coping with the identical problem.
Master points in chess. We run a system similar to the Bridge one alongside
our grading system. The FIDE title system is immensely successful and is
also on the basis of gaining norms and never losing them. The English
system is not very popular, but it costs little and gives some people
pleasure to be a club, country or regional master. Above a certain
level our players are only interested in international honours.


I would like to outline my theory about the problem of declining club
attendance.  I believe that the main problem for clubs is the changing
nature of work patterns in Australia.  Firstly, people in full-time work
are working longer hours; secondly, work in general may not follow the
'standard' 9-5 pattern.  A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald
(August 3rd, p.13) provides a good description of these changes.

What is the solution?  Making club nights more attractive won't help if
people are unable to attend due to work commitments, or are simply too
tired.  Clubs today are not less friendly, or less organised, than when I
started playing 20 years ago, but attendances are certainly down.  The
feedback I've received from Brisbane chess players is that many have
abandoned organised club chess for informal 'cafe' chess, or are playing
only on the internet.

Of course, the internet is also a serious problem for chess clubs. Rather
than attempt to compete with the variety and flexibility available, perhaps
chess should move into cyberspace altogether!  I notice that the ACF and
CAQ have already started on this (self-destructive?) path - almost
everything is now available in virtual form.  With everything (even
coaching) provided free on the web, why even travel to a chess club, let
alone pay for the privilege?

Very best wishes 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)