ACF Bulletin No. 48 - 19 December 1999

In order to maximise the number of players in all categories, the
organisers have wisely extended the deadline for entry. In addition, the
ACF has softened the entry criteria for the Championship event. The Mingara
club is a wonderful venue located in an attractive part of the country
about an hour North of the Sydney CBD. May I encourage players of all
standards to contact the organiser (Mal Murrell to
register with him - I'm sure he will do all he can to facilitate your
entry. His committee welcome the opportunity to share some Central Coast
hospitality with you.

The National Conference will be held during the Australian Championships at
the Mingara Club. An item on the agenda is the restructure issue.
Whilst the debate has been a little confusing at times, my summary of all
email received and information from various state meetings is as follows:  
Almost everyone wants change because people realise that it will be very
difficult for Australian chess to advance without it. There is quite a body
of opinion that the proposed changes deserve support as they stand. There
are also significant concerns regarding two issues. Firstly some people say
that the charge per game for rating is too high and that it won't work.
Others are concerned that the constitutional restructure is merely a grab
for power by the ACF.
Regarding the rating of games I can only say the system has been carefully
thought through and, in the opinion of the ACF treasurer and myself, offers
significant benefits to Australian chess which have been well documented.
Lesser amounts per rated game will not have the necessary positive
financial impact on Australian chess. We are very open to other ideas but
so far we have not seen one that we believe will work. We don't believe the
membership system as it stands can ever bring sufficient money into
Australian chess.
Regarding the constitutional changes, I'm very open to all sorts of ideas
which can be developed through a committee process. As previously stated,
I'm very much in favour of states retaining ownership of development of
chess on their patch and volunteers enjoying the fruits of their labours.


The junior chess fraternity are really looking forward to travelling to
Churchill, Gippsland, Victoria for this important event which seems to be
more hotly contested each year. I know that Gary Wastell, Gerrit Hartland
and their committee have put in an enormous effort to make this one of the
best Australian Juniors ever. It is not too late to enter. Just email
Gerrit Hartland ( and I'm sure he will facilitate
your entry. 1999 championship winners please remember to return your trophies.

During the holidays, I'll be attending the Australian Championships and the
Australian Junior Championships. I hope to put out bulletins on 26
December, 9 January and 30 January. In the meantime, our hard working
Secretary and Webmaster, Andrew Allen hopes to update the webpage daily
during both the Australian Championships and Australian Junior
Championships. If the address of the webpage changes during that time,
obviously a link will be put in from the old page to the new. The existing
webpage is at It is a tribute to
Andrew that the site has received approximately 36,000 hits in the last 40
Regarding this bulletin, it would be helpful to the ACF (and to clubs), if
clubs could capture email addresses of all members when sending out
membership renewals and forwarding same to me to add to my list which now
stands at 557 after starting the year at around 300. It would be
appreciated if you could forward to me the email addresses of anyone you
know who is involved in chess who might like to be kept up to date with
what is happening in Australian chess.


GARRY KASPAROV will be launching his new web site - - in the first week of February 2000.   As
part of the launch, he will be hosting the "United Nations of Chess" on
February 2 in New York City, at which he will simultaneously play at least
50 children, ages 16 and under, representing different countries.  The
games will take place in persons, via satellite and on the web-site.

DAVID SMERDON has been nominated as an Australian rep; the organisers have
advised "We will most definitely want to include him in the match"

At the National Conference, I will be nominating ROBERT JAMIESON as Deputy
President. I'm pleased to say that Robert has agreed to stand as he feels
(once again) he wants to contribute to the development of Australian chess.
I'm also pleased that GARY BEKKER will be continuing as International
Ratings Officer.

After discussions with EVELYN KOSHNITSKY, I'm pleased to say that our big
festival for next year will be named the Garry Koshnitsky Memorial Chess
Festival in honour of arguably the most important Australian chess figure
of the 20th Century. Preparations at this stage are looking very good.
Organisers in Sydney (JASON LYONS, Gold Coast
working as a team to ensure that we have strong overseas players with which
to provide top class opposition for Australian players. An outline is as
7-17 June Parkroyal Surfers Paradise International Tournament (Ftacnik has
accepted and Hodgson is likely)
24/25 June Gold Coast Open
1/2 July Noosa Open
(19-30 June there will be a great deal of intensive junior coaching going on)
4-15 July QVB International Tournament (Sydney)
15-23 July Australian National University Festival (incl ANU Open 22/23 July)
20-31 July Australian Masters, Reserve Bank Building (Melbourne) Gary
Bekker already has a strong field lined up

St Petersburg 27 Jan - 6 Feb
Chess Club "Na Petrogradskoy Storone"
Maly prospect P.S. 84/86
St Petersburg, Russia
Phone 7-812-346-4288
Fax 7-812-346-4990



Tuggeranong Vikings Weekender, 11-12 December 1999

Leading final scores:

1. Ian Rogers 7/7 =2. Ben Martin, Johnny Bolens 5.5, =4. (=1st U/1800),
Shervin Rafizadeh, Victor Bragin, John Marsden 5.

U/1400: =1. Michael Wei, Justin Toohey, Joe Marks 4/7.

Leading Juniors: 1. Shervin Rafizadeh 5/7, 2. Michael Wei 4/7, 3. Gareth
Oliver 3.5/7.



Some thoughts from a software developer's perspective:
1. WHAT SWISS RULES: It is the most important question for arbiters and
players but from my perspective it is of secondary importance.  As a
developer I don't judge which sets of rules are "just" and which are not.
This is irrelevant for the developer and the quality of the software
shouldn't be confused with the quality of the rules.
As an aside,  I would like to add that personally I find the question of
the quality of Swiss rules very interesting and I always read with great
interest expert views like those of Stewart Reuben.  Unfortunately I am not
aware of any Internet fora where such problems are analysed and FIDE do not
appear to encourage such discussions.  It would really be good if someone
started such a forum.

2. HOW TO DEFINE THE RULES: This is the question that concerns a developer
most.   The current FIDE rules are written for humans.  They attempt to
provide a human executable algorithm (section C of the rules) and suffer
from ambiguity and inconsistency.  Pairing rules for computers should be
written differently.  They should be just a set of criteria (a bit like
section B of the rules) that should be met as well as possible.  For a
short article on the subject please check
3. SOFTWARE FLEXIBILITY: I agree with Guy West that an ideal pairing
program would allow configurable pairing rules.  Swiss Perfect provides
some flexibility but not much. The problem is the same as above ie the
current rules are a sort of inaccurate algorithm rather than a set of
criteria.  If they were just criteria then it would be possible to assign
configurable weights to different criteria and build a flexible pairing
module.  If they are algorithmical then a change may require a rewrite of
considerable part of the pairing module.  Another advantage of having a set
of criteria is that if you have different pairings (for example produced by
different programs) you can establish strictly which pairing is best by
matching them against the criteria.



I have read the correspondence on the FIDE Swiss Rules and Robert Rozycki's
Swiss Perfect with much interest as I have written a similar program. Owing
to the horrendous complexity of the rules and fact that they change from
time to time it has taken me 12 years!   However I have developed some
understanding of the herculean task that Robert has accomplished.
It seems that all your commentators agree that the present rules are
unsatisfactory. To me they (the rules) are almost incomprehensible.

The following matters seem pertinent:
1- When choosing the floater(s) the main object is to balance colours. I
agree with Simon Fitzpatrick who regards this as quite silly.
2- Formerly the bottom player in the scoregroup floated (rule 10.2 of the
1988 rules). This was open to the objection that the same players would
float all the time. The later approach was that the median player was to
3- After pairing the top half of the field should we fix up players vying
for the wooden spoon or continue pairing downwards?
4- When transposing players in the lower half of a score-group to balance
colours, should there be some artificial range (say 100 rating points as
approved by FIDE in 1987) beyond which a player may not be shuffled?   In
this connection should nominal ratings or performance ratings be used?
5- The DOP should have the ability to edit all data and to produce manual
pairings, as in Swiss Perfect.   There is always a worthy or troglodytic
character for whom special arrangements have to be made.
6- Any computerised pairings system, as Guy West advocates, must be easily
reprogramable to take into account any future changes and individual
preferences by the DOP.
7- There is obviously scope for different human interpretation of the rules
which is a good reason for Swiss Perfect (like MSDos) to be in universal use.
My program attempts to meet these dilemmas by allowing the DOP to choose
floaters and the bye player.   Also, just for a giggle, it will produce
odds for each game based on performance ratings. It is written in Qbasic
and I will be happy to send a copy to anyone who wishes to play with it.  

Please e-mail me on: or
Glen writes: 'Compliments of the season to you and to all the cats'



I think that the current swiss pairing rule are worse than Geelong in a
Grand Final and nearly as bad as the Howard Government.

Year after year I receive roller coaster pairings at Ballarat playing IMs
or GMs one round and 1200 players the next. One criteria of pairing systems
which tends to be overlooked is that the system should provide for players
getting reasonable games.

A second feature is that many strong players have a system. They clean up
lower graded players in the early rounds. Then they take a draw against a
player of similar rating. Then they get one or more easy pairings, and then
play all out in the last round. 


As you are probably aware the concept of a levy is being used in Victoria.
It has saved so many hassles in our club where players who only play in the
club would complain about having to play levies.

"Let the lamp affix its beam. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream"
- Wallace Stevens.

Best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year!
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)

Chess - the clever sport!