ACF Bulletin No. 44 - 20 November, 1999
NATIONAL SCHOOLS FINALS WEEKEND CANBERRA 11/12 DECEMBER
Every state and territory apart from WA and NT are well and truly
represented at the important national schools finals weekend. There are
"open" and "all girls" sections in primary and secondary. Schools who have
not yet advised EVELYN FITZPATRICK of the names of their players, and the
other information required by Evelyn, are requested to do so please as a
matter of urgency. Evelyn's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
ASIAN CITIES TEAMS CHESS CHAMPS - BEIRUT, 18-26 MARCH 2000, AND ASIAN
MEN'S, UDAIPUR, INDIA, 1-12 DECEMBER 1999
TIM REILLY has pulled out of the Asian Men's and is now trying to put
together a team for the Asian Cities. Please contact Tim if interested on
email@example.com. Any men interested in representing Australia at the
Asian Men's in Udaipur please contact the ACF International Secretary,
ROBERT JAMIESON, on firstname.lastname@example.org
AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS - TUMBI UMBI, NSW CENTRAL COAST, 28 DECEMBER TO 9
The deadline for entries is 3 December. This is an absolute deadline
because selections based upon the guidelines in the ACF Handbook have to be
made immediately afterwards. MIKE PARTIS and his committee are standing by
ready to carry out their very important task immediately the deadline
expires and hope to publish their selections within three or four days of
that deadline. Please don't miss the deadline because you will be
DRUGS IN SPORT/CHESS
I notice that several chess players in Italy were recently drug tested and
one player proved positive. I don't as yet have any information from FIDE
regarding the rules relating to drugs. The Australian Sports Commission do
not yet recognise chess as a sport. I am concerned that we have not yet
been able to give our players any guidelines. The worst thing that could
happen is that an Australian chess player takes a positive drug test
through sheer ignorance of the rules. Whilst I am endeavouring to find out
more, I'd appreciate any reliable information that anyone can give me on
TOURNAMENT OF THE FUTURE, HOLLAND
If you would like to follow this event in which IAN ROGERS is participating
you can go to http://www.kwlc.nl/chess
AUSTRALIAN CHESS ARCHIVES
In recent times, while researching articles for the Forum, I have been
struck by the lack of games in electronic form of famous Australian
players. I know that John Van Manen is the archivist for the ACF. He has
collected results of events very diligently, but has he tried to archive
the game scores? I was collecting Lajos Steiner games for a proposed
article on him and was able to find about 240 of them. Ian Rogers was able
to supply another 160 (approx) from his database. There are still many of
his gameS in Purdy's magazines which I haven't yet entered into my
database. Does anyone know who has Steiner's notebooks? (if there were any).
When Koshnitsky died I had less than 50 of his games on my database. I
only have about 200 of Purdy's games. We should try and collect these
before they are lost forever and publish them, say on the ACF website.
There may be many games held by their opponents who are still alive (eg
John Hanks, Lloyd Fell, Karlis Ozols, John Purdy, Phil Viner etc.)
Games from previous Australian or State championships are not readily
I would like to help in this work and anything I have already collected I
would be happy to supply to the effort. What do you think?
If you can help Paul please contact him on <Paul.Dunn@cbr.defence.gov.au>
RESTRUCTURE - GRAEME GARDINER'S COMMENTS
Many thanks to all those who have commented on the proposed restructure. In
particular SHAUN PRESS, BILL POWELL, DAVID CORDOVER, DENIS JESSOP and PETER
PARR have gone to great lengths to put forward their particular point of view.
Some of the comments make it clear that I have not articulated our proposal
very well in some areas and I'd like to use this bulletin to expand upon
some of these ideas and address points made by the correspondents.
Perhaps one of the most important points was made by Denis Jessop who
basically said (in one part of his comments although this wasn't the
overall message from him) that Australian chess has been going along very
well and doesn't need change. Perhaps the Australian chess community would
like to maintain the status quo. Personally, I cannot subscribe to the 'if
it ain't broke, don't fix it' theory. My feeling is that there is a general
feeling that if we are to move forward and develop chess significant change
Another important point to make in this regard is do we really want to see
consecutive ACF executives burn themselves out through the massive workload
required to try and do the job properly on a completely amateur basis? I'm
not suggesting that the executive should get paid but we do need a full
time CEO if we want to move chess forward on a professional basis.
Some correspondents made the point that they don't think the 'membership
through ratings' system will work as it is too expensive and they would
prefer a traditional membership scheme. I believe that the traditional
schemes have only worked up to a point but will never produce a steady,
reliable income stream sufficient to move Australian chess forward.
Peter Parr makes the point that the USCF have built up their membership
scheme from 8,000 to 80,000 - but on a per capita basis this would still
only give Australian chess 6,000 members. Membership schemes in each state
rely on the veracity of the membership secretary of the day for numbers.
The administration required to record members and match up members with
rated games is very significant. In contrast, the 'membership through
ratings' system will be relatively easy to administer. Tournament
organisers will capture names, addresses etc through the Swiss Perfect
pairings programme and this will automatically build the state/national
membership register. States will have an incentive to run as many rated
tournaments as possible because 50% of all rating fees will go back to the
The issue of the 'membership through ratings' scheme being too expensive
needs to be addressed. Firstly some correspondents forget that the existing
state/national membership fee is eliminated. Some have said that the rating
fee will hit hardest those that play most chess. Isn't that what a 'user
pays' system is all about?
Let's look at an adult who plays (say) 200 rated games a year - that would
have to be just about the maximum - that would be $200 per year. Compare
that with almost any respectable sport like hockey, netball, cricket,
tennis, rugby etc and the minimum would be $120 per year plus levies, fees,
sporting uniforms etc etc. That is for every player, not just the most
active - and for only six months, most sports being seasonal. A sport like
golf would be a lot more expensive. Under our scheme, most players would
pay a lot less than $120 - and for twelve months.
Take the juniors. Let's look at a junior who plays (say) 200 junior rated
games and 100 adult rated games per year - that would be close to the
maximum - that would be $100 per year. Compare that with most of the other
sports where every kid pays around $100 for six months plus levies, fees
and uniforms etc. I don't think that we should have a cringe about having a
fees structure that compares favourably with all the other sports.
On the other hand, for those that complain it is not fair that an
individual can have membership of the ACF for the cost of only one rated
game or only $5 per year, I say that we want as many members as possible on
our books (in particular for government funding credibility) and this
system is basically user pays.
The issue of value/benefits for membership dollars is an important one. At
the moment, the ACF provides the ratings system and organises Australian
representative teams, Australian Championships etc and carries out duties
largely determined by the council which is a federation of the states. I
believe it should take on more of a leadership role.
The ACF represents the 'serious' Australian chess community where chess is
regarded as a sport, not so much the nearly three million recreational
players. I think it is reasonable to assume that the serious chess
community would like to be part of an efficient, well run, forward looking
chess system in Australia. Above all else I think that most people would
like to be involved in a successful system. This in itself is a benefit
which is not currently provided. More benefits need to be developed.
In practical terms it is proposed to spend the reliable income stream on
such things as a permanent Chief Executive Officer/Office and development
programmes including national schools, universities, clubs and coaching.
Personally I think it is a bit unrealistic for the ACF to be expected to do
very much with an annual budget of $12,000 which is less than that of some
clubs around the nation. Whilst the ACF will continue to endeavour to
obtain national corporate sponsorship, I think it is a bit glib to simply
say 'don't ask me for any money - just go out and get some sponsorship'.
Even if we are successful in obtaining sponsorship this could not be
regarded as a reliable, sustainable income stream.
Some have said that the states will lose relevance and that we will lose
volunteers because they will lose ownership. It is envisaged that the
states will continue to run all chess in their particular state. It is only
envisaged that the states will no longer have to administer and market
membership schemes or provide annual returns. The idea is to reduce the
administrative burden for states so that everyone can concentrate on the
development of chess. The last thing intended is to take away incentive
One of the correspondents was worried that $30 per team in the national
schools competition would go to the ACF. What is proposed is that each team
is charged $30 of which 10% ($3) goes to the ACF and the balance to the
state. Again, I don't think we should have a cringe about charging the
children this kind of money. They are given a fantastic service by a huge
range of adult volunteers and it is very hard to achieve things without the
availability of funds. Besides, several states are already successfully
charging $30 per team of four. On one occasion this year Brisbane charged
$50 per team of four for a one day event and increased numbers (previously
$30 for a two day event).
Another question was why do we need national rapid and junior ratings
systems? FIDE have already introduced a rapid ratings system which
Australia needs to be a part of. Regarding the juniors, some states have
systems and some don't. Occasionally the junior systems drop out due to
lack of a state coordinator. In my experience the junior ratings systems
are the greatest motivators for juniors. It seems sensible to bring all the
junior systems into one Australian system similar to the adults. States
will receive 50% of all monies received from rating games played in the
particular state and so have a financial incentive to run as many junior
tournaments as possible.
The question of the national chess magazine has been addressed in our
proposal. We do not believe it should be compulsory for all members but
believe it should be available free on the internet and in hard copy format
by subscription. Shaun Press and Paul Dunn, the current owners and editors
of Australian Chess Forum deserve every support and the proposal envisages
the ACF taking financial responsibility for the magazine.
On the question of how the national board or commission is elected I have
an open mind. One model has the clubs electing the state
executives/committees and the state committees electing the national board.
The model has been proposed to ensure that the ACF have a leadership role.
* Traditional membership schemes have not worked particularly well and are
unlikely to ever provide a strong, reliable, sustainable income stream.
They require a great deal of marketing/ administration work.
* We need substantial funds in Australian chess to be able to develop the
* The proposed rating fee system is efficient to operate, works as a 'user
pays' scheme and has the potential to bring a strong, reliable, sustainable
income stream into Australian chess.
* The ACF needs to take up a leadership role.
With respect I would like to make a brief comment on this subject. I
suggest the proposed scheme is far too complicated. My suggestion is a fee
of $40 p.a. for adults and $20 p.a. for Pensioners and students. I think
the levy of $1 per game for rating would in practice be unworkable.
Best wishes 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)
Email: email@example.com http://www.somerset.qld.edu.au/chess/
Chess - the clever sport!