ACF Bulletin #206, March 3, 2003

Canberra, 18-21 April
Details below

In This Issue

* World News
* Letters
* Grand Prix 2003
* Upcoming tournaments

Bulletin Board returns

One of the more popular features on the ACF website, the Bulletin Board, has returned - but in a new format. Gone is the clunky Microsoft concoction of old, and in its place the latest in shiny, new freeware. Initial testing of the "YABB" (yet another bulletin board) board suggests it's quite stable, and it offers many useful features:

Offensive posts can be removed fairly easily.
Dirty words can be (and will be) filtered out.
Anyone can view the board, but posters must register and agree to the conditions.
Posters can liven-up their contributions by adding smiley-faces and other "emoticons", as well as highlighting and colouring text.
Even images and Flash movies can be added too posts - provided they already exist somewhere on the internet.
Private boards can be established.

It's hoped that the Bulletin Board will be much improved as a result. In particular, those who shied away from the board because of the prevalence of unfortunate posts are encouraged to return!

Hearty thanks to Shaun Press for his technical expertise in setting up the boards.

Bulletin Board

Sydney Lightning Championship

NSW Champion George Xie, 17, has won the City of Sydney lightning championship at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club. Leading final scores (43 players, 10 rounds): G.Xie 8.5, S.Berezovski 8, J.Bolens 7.5 - Peter Parr


Taree, NSW: The following game was played in Taree Summer Open GP on February 15.
White: Alan Tankel (1927)
Black: Mike Van Renen (1932)
1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3.e4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nd7 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.e5! dxe5 7.dxe5 Ng4 8.Bxf7+! Kxf7 9.Ng5+ Ke8 10.Ne6 (trapping the Queen) Resigns. Bishop sacrifice paid off.

Regards Endel Lane.

Ratings released

The March ratings are now on the ACF website

Overseas junior events

Players wishing to be considered for selection in overseas junior events for the year 2003 are asked to email the ACF Junior Co-ordinator with their name, date of birth & events they are interested in playing in as soon as possible. Full details of the events will hopefully be available soon.

Upcoming events:
World Junior & Girls Under 20 Championships 21 June - 4 July Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan
World Youth Under 16 Olympiad July Denizli, Turkey
World Youth Championship 23 October - 2 November Halkidiki, Greece

Kerry Stead
ACF Junior Co-ordinator

Zworestine title

FIDE: A little birdie tells us that Dr Charles Zworestine will soon be awarded the International Arbiter title by FIDE. Congratulations!

Lightning strikes in Victoria

A series of qualifying events are being held in the lead-up to the Victorian Lightning Championship. Qualified so far: IM Sandler, IM Rujevic, FM Depasquale, Sam Low, Dusan Stojic, Victor Kildisas.

Live and kicking in Queensland ...

Queensland: Live games from the Ruth Coxhill Memorial tournament, a FIDE-rated event, can be viewed on Monday evenings at the Gardiner Chess Centre website.

World News


The latest from the Linares supertournament is that Kramnik and Leko are leading, half a point ahead of Kasparov. In the latest games, Leko beat Radjabov again, finishing with a brilliant queen sacrifice:

[Event "XX SuperGM"]
[Site "Linares ESP"]
[Date "2003.03.02"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Leko,P"]
[Black "Radjabov,T"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2624"]
[EventDate "2003.02.22"]
[ECO "C12"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4

Radjabov's not squared of a stoush, and the MacCutcheon's one of his recent favourites.

5. e5 h6 6. Bd2 Bxc3 7. bxc3 Ne4 8.Qg4 g6 9. Bd3 Nxd2 10. Kxd2 c5 11. h4 Bd7 12. h5 g5 13. f4 Nc6 14. fxg5 Qa5 15. dxc5 d4 16. Nf3 O-O-O 17. Rab1 dxc3+ 18. Ke2 Rhg8 19. Qe4 Qc7 20. g4 Ne7 21. Bb5 hxg5 22. Rb3 Nd5 23. Rhb1 Bc6 24. Bxc6 Qxc6 25. Nd4 Qa6+ 26. Ke1 Rd7 27. c6 Rc7 28. Rxb7 Rxb7 29. Rxb7 Nb6 30. Qh7 Rf8 31. Qg7 Qa3 32. Qxf8!!+ 1-0

A beautiful sacrifice! After 32...Qxf8 33.Nb5! followed by Nd6+ and c6-c7-c8 wins as the Black queen hasn't the time to make any mischief

You can view all the games at NetChessNews

GP Co-ordinator needed

The ACF still needs someone to run the GP race. Norm Braybrook did a sterling job co-ordinating last year's epic - can you do likewise? If you've been looking for a way to get involved in Australian chess, this could be it. Think about it!


Ratings row: I am writing in an attempt to call a halt to the degradation of the ACF rating system.

The current rating system is unreliable as a guide to strength, especially for juniors, and most players to whom I have spoken about the our rating system rarely have a good word to say about it.

Some of the biggest flaws in the current system are as follows:

(i) It is impossible for a player to calculate their expected rating quickly and simply. Mistakes in the system go unrectified as players now expect their rating to go up and down without reason so they have no idea whether they should be complaining or not.

(ii) The current system puts far too much emphasis on recent results, meaning that ten years of consistent play can be wiped out with one or two bad tournaments. Under the current system, a player returning to play after an absence can gain or (more likely) lose 500+ points on a single tournament. The Glicko system (which Australia has been using in recent years) was designed for the internet, where players might complete 50 3-minute games in an evening, but is totally inappropriate for a pool of players who might average 20-50 games a year.

(iii) The deflationary tendency of the current system acts as a disincentive to activity. Players who play little (or not at all) are steadily moving up the rankings. The negative impact this has on the tournament scene is obvious but less obvious is the competitive advantage given to relatively inactive players applying for selection for national and international events.

(iv) The extremely low introductory ratings of juniors distort the system. These juniors improve very quickly, taking points away from established players and the points they take from established players is perhaps the major cause of general deflation.
In addition, juniors who compete against other juniors are at a disadvantage compared to those who play in adult tournaments. Equally, adults try to avoid tournaments with many juniors if they wish to preserve their ratings.

(v) The minimum reward for beating lower rated players has disappeared - a player is now required to score 999.5/1000 against opponents rated a long way below them just to maintain his or her rating. Under the current system, a reasonably active player who drops a draw or loss to a much lower rated player will need a perfect score when playing against similarly rated opponents for the next 20 years to regain the lost points.

To correct the situation, I believe some or all of the following steps should be taken as soon as possible by the ACF:

(i) Abandon the Glicko system and introduce the Elo system. I am amazed at how often well-informed Australian players express their contempt for the Glicko system. Whether or not it is responsible for all the ills of the current ratings, such a hated system needs to be replaced and the tried and tested Elo system has the great merit of being easy for the lay person to use to calculate his or her rating (and therefore pick up errors).

(ii) Give a K factor of 15 for all except new players. (This means that an established player cannot gain or lose more than 15 points on a single game.)

(iii) To correct the comparative deflation for active players, award all players who have completed 50 games in the past 2 years a bonus of, say, 100 rating points. Provide an extra 100 points to players who have completed 50 games in the past three years against juniors. In addition, subtract a point or two from the rating of each player who does not play at least one game on a rating list. (In most cases inactive players are losing strength, so this seems more logical than the converse American system of providing bonus points for very active players.)

(iv) Bring new players into the system with a nominal rating of, say, 1,000. Some juniors will gain points and some will lose from this level but at least the system will not be starved of points.

(v) Reintroduce a theoretical maximum differential between players, so that a win in a tournament game is rewarded with a minimum gain of, say, half a point or a point.

The current system is discouraging people from playing chess, and indirectly rewarding those who play as little as possible and against as few juniors as possible.

A radical change is necessary to correct the situation. I will be quite happy if other readers of the ACF E-Bulletin come up with better proposals than mine but I do not believe that we can afford to persist with the failed Glicko experiment.

- Ian Rogers

Australian Junior tie-breaks: In reaction to Richard Thorne's email of the 25 Feb (ACF Bulletin #205), on the tie-break systems employed at the recently completed Australian Junior Championships.

I agree that tie-breaks systems are not perfect and for any proposed method there are examples which can be put forward which provide counter intuitive results. However, the practicalities of running tournaments usually mean that pragmatic decisions need to be made to resolve the question of "who won?"

The same comment apply to the time controls for tie-break games. Ideally the same controls used in the tournament are to be preferred. However, this is not always practical and so shorter controls are sometimes needed to ensure travel arrangements, venue bookings, etc, are not strained.

What is troubling though is the perceived lack of transparency in the system. The DOP/tournament organiser should have at least been able to inform the contestants before the event as to the tie-break systems that would be employed. It is probably not too much to ask that the conditions for play-off matches (if required) should also have been worked out in advance.

To my mind the issue of transparency is an important one in particular when dealing with the issue of resolving tie-breaks. Naturally, the DOP will at times need to make decisions to resolve disputes between players on the spur of the moment. However, the fewer of these sorts of decisions that are required the better the event.

I know nothing about the tournament in question but would be interested to know whether Mr Thorne's issue with transparency is real or perceived. If it was real then this is an area which next year's organiser should pay particular attention. If it was perceived then all is well with Australian Chess. Some players may feel aggrieved, but not unjustly so. No one can argue with the rules after the fact, so long as they are known in advance.

Barry Cox

I must agree with Dick Thorne that by far the best thing to do about the four-way tie for first place in the recent Australian Junior Championship would have been to share the title. It can only be good for chess to have four young people go back to their families and schoolfriends with the right to be known as 'Australian Junior Chess Champion'. I also agree Dick's further point that there is no sense in having regulations if the organisers of events are not required to go by them.

However in defence of the Tournament Organisers I must point out that some of the arguments presented were not strictly logical.

For example:
Bourrnistrov lost to Chow but he - not Chow - still participated in the play-off!

If there has to be a tie-break used (and I have already agreed that there should not), then the one used was the best available. The tie should be resolved in favour of the LOSER of the game between two players who tie, as he has played the most consistently good chess, losing only to the one who tied with him for first place. The winner of the game between them has been less consistent because he must have lost to a lower-ranked opponent. S.Yang defeated George Xie - the highest rated at 2225 - but Rej who lost to Xie participated in the play off probably because of underperformance by Xie in this tournament.

The same (or similar) arguments apply here. In the case of Yang, due to the draw and opponent he had for the last round, it was not possible for him to win the event under the tie break system even if he won his match and finished equal first, but was possible for others. This is patently unsatisfactory.

On the contrary, it was quite possible for Yang to win the event - by winning more of his earlier games. The draw was not weighted against him; he had exactly the same chance of winning the event as everyone else had. It is true that having lost to certain opponents before the last round started, and given the unnecessary tie-breaking system, he was no longer in contention for the title; but the same applied to almost all of the other players in the event.

- John Riches.

Upcoming tournaments

Ballarat Begonia Open

8 to 10 March 2003
FIDE Rated with Guaranteed Prizes in excess of $3,000
A Grand Prix Category 3 Event
Amenities Centre, Old Gaol Building, School of Mines, Lydiard St South, Ballarat.
Schedule The tournament will be a 7 round Swiss starting at 1.30 pm Saturday with the final round on Monday at 2.00 pm. The rate of play will be 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move increment from move 1.
Entries $60.00 adult, $50.00 concession for pensioners and unemployed & $30 for juniors under 14 years of age.
Contacts Telephone: Patrick Cook 03 5331 6658 or Bas van Riel 03 5331 6439
Postal: Box 1242, Ballarat Mail Centre Vic 3354
Web site:

WA's South West Open

Grand Prix category 1 event
A 6 Round Swiss incorporating the Western Australian Country Championship
Playing Dates: Saturday 8th March and Sunday 9th March 2003
Venue: Bunbury Catholic College Hall, Bunbury
Time Limit: 60 minutes each clock
A separate tournament for juniors will be played provided a sufficient number of juniors enter.

Laurieton Chess Club One Day Open


We invite all Chessplayers to our 'One Day Open' Chess Tournament
Sunday - 9 March - 2003
Venue: Laurieton United Servicemen's Club
10 am. Start - 7 Round Swiss - G/20 - 20 min.
Games ACF Rated. Prizes determined by the number of entries. The decision of tournament directors is final. Entry: $ 12 Seniors, $ 6 Juniors.
Contact: Endel 6559 9060,

Dubbo RSL Open

Date: Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th March 2003
Venue: Dubbo RSL Club, corner Brisbane and Wingewarra Streets, Dubbo
6 round Swiss
Rounds: Saturday - 10:30am, 1:30pm and 4:00pm
Sunday - 9:30am, 12:00pm and 2:30pm
Prize money: $325 first prize; Divisional prizes subject to number of entries
Rate of Play: 60 min + 10 sec
Entry fees: Adult - $40, Concession - $30, Junior - $20 ($5 discount if paid by 1-3-2003)
Contact: Alexander Aich 02 6884 4561 email
Trevor Bemrose 02 6882 2725 email
Stay an extra day to see our famous Western Plains Zoo!

The Italo-Australian Club 41st Doeberl Cup

A Class 3 ACF Grand Prix Event 18-21 April 2003
Location: The Italo-Australian Club, 78 Franklin Street, Forrest, Canberra, ACT.
Total Prizes: $10,000
Time Limits: Digital clocks will be used. All divisions: 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move from the beginning.
Entry Fees:
Premier Division: Adult $100; Under 18s $60 (GMs & IMs free, if entry received by 11-04-2003.
Major & Minor Divisions: Adult $90; Under 18s $50
Please note that a $20 (Adult) /$10 (Under 18s) discount applies, if entry is received by 11-04-2003.
Entries to:
Paul Dunn (Treasurer, Doeberl Cup)
20 Richmond St, Macquarie, ACT 2614
Please make cheques payable to ACTCA.
Roger McCart (Convener, Doeberl Cup) Ph: 02-62516190


University Open 2003

SA: $4000 Total Prizes
Category Three Grand Prix
12th & 13th July
$35 Adult $25 Junior/Concession
Adelaide University, SA
Official site

International tournaments

FIDE has a number of very interesting events planned, with an emphasis on including "the rest of us" - those who aren't GMs or IMs. Stewart Reuben, Chairman of the FIDE Organizers Committee, reports that the following are scheduled:

1. South Africa has taken an option on The World Amateur Championship.

2. The Match of the Generations will be held in 2004. (see Letters in last week's Bulletin). This coulkd be a mammoth event - organisers hope that up to a million games could be played, including many over the internet, and the publicity opportunities are great.

3. The British Chess Federation hopes to stage the First World Major Open Championship in the first two weeks of August 2004. It would be an 11 round Swiss restricted to players Rated Under 2350.

4. The BCF may also host the First World Senior Team Championship some time in April to June of 2004. This would be a nine round 4 player, plus up to 1 reserve, event.

Bangkok Chess Club Open: The 2nd Bangkok Chess Club Open will be held in Bangkok between 1-5 of May. The format is 9 rounds Swiss, and the venue Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square. More information and online registration form are in our website:

Cesenatico (Italy): 31 August to 7 September 2003

Czech Open: 10-27/7/2003, Pardubice, Czech Republic
A wide range of chess events are planned, as well as computer games, bridge, go, draughts, shogi tournaments and other games. Details:

ACF Grand Prix 2003

Full details at: Official site

Tasmanian Open Championship - Burnie
Category 1
Mar 8-10
Contact Neville Ledger (03) 6431 1280

South West Open (incorporating WA Country Championship)
Category 1 
Mar 8-9
Bunbury Catholic College Hall, Bunbury

Ballarat Begonia Weekend Tournament
Category 3
Mar 8-10
Contact B. van Riel

Dubbo RSL Open
Category 1
Mar 15-16
Contact Alexander Aich  (02) 6884 4561

Doeberl Cup
Category 3
Apr 18-21
Contact Roger McCart
'phone  (06) 6251 6190

Chess World ANZAC Day weekender
Category 2
April 25-27
ChessWorld Tournament Centre 
Contact David Cordover (03) 957 6177 or 0411-877-833

37th. Peninsula Open
Category 1
May  3-5
Contact Mark Stokes (07) 3205 6042

Laurieton May Open
Category 1
May 3-4
Contact Endel Lane  (02) 6559  9060

NSWCA May Weekender
Category  2
May 17-18
Contact P.Cassettari

Tasmanian Chess Championship
Category  1
Jun 7-9
Contact  K.Bonham  (03) 6224 8487

NSW Open Championship
Category  3
Jun 7-9
Contact: P.Cassettari

Taree RSL June Open
Category 1
Jun 14-15
Contact Endel Lane  (02) 6559  9060

Gold Coast Open (Gold Coast CC) 
Category 3
Jun 21-22
Contact Graeme Gardiner
(07) 5530 5794

Caloundra Open	
Category 3?	
Jun 28/29
Contact Derrick Jeffries

University Open
Category  3
JUL 12-13 ph (08) 8303 3029 or ph  (08) 8332 3752

NSWCA August Weekender
Category  2
Aug 2-3
Contact P.Cassettari

Father's Day Tournament
Category 2/3?
Sep 6-7
Contact:  David Cordover (03) 9576177 or 0411-877-833

Gold Coast Classic (Gold Coast CC) 
Category 3
Sep 20-21
Contact Graeme Gardiner
(07) 5530 5794

12th. Redcliffe Challenge
Category 2
Sep 27-28
Contact Mark Stokes (07) 3205 6042

Tweed Open
Category  3
Oct 4-5
Contact Audie Pennefather

Koala Open
Category 3
Oct 5-6
Contact Brian Jones

Laurieton Open
Category 1
Nov 1-2
Contact Endel Lane  (02) 6559  9060

November weekender
Category  1
Nov 1-2 or 1-3
Contact  K.Bonham  (03) 6224 8487

Gosford Open
Category 2
Nov 8-9
Contact Lachlan Yee

Taree RSL Spring Open
Category 1
Nov 15-16
Contact Endel Lane  (02) 6559  9060

NSWCA November Weekender
Category 2
Nov 22-23

X-Mas Swiss Tournament
Category 2-3?
December 20-21
Contact David Cordover (03) 9576177 or 0411-877-833

Total 29 NSW 14 QLD 6 VIC 4 ACT 1 TAS 3 SA 1

Best wishes till next time - Paul Broekhuyse