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Australian Chess Federation
No. 600 - 13 February 2021
Editor: Keong Ang
Published in the Second Week of Each Month
Content Contributions are Most Welcome
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by IA Keong Ang

Welcome to the 600th edition of the ACF Newsletter! A significant milestone that is achieved thanks to the effort and commitment of past editors as well as past and present contributors. The newsletter's primary purpose is to disseminate essential information from the ACF. To balance it, articles on any chess related topic are also published.

Enjoy this 600th edition and as usual, you are encouraged to contribute content to the ACF Newsletter. Content can be to promote an upcoming chess event, a report on a past chess event, or anything else chess related that our diverse readers in Australia and all over the world may be interested in.

ACF Notices

Thanks to special legislation introduced by the ACT Government last year to enable incorporated organisations to conduct valid Annual General Meetings on-line during the Covid-19 “emergency period”, the ACF was able to conduct the 2021 Annual National Conference using Zoom webinar technology, ably implemented by ACF Webmaster, David Esmonde.
Apart from the usual, constitutionally prescribed business, the Conference was able to complete several financial and other incorporation-related reporting obligations which had accumulated during recent years and had prevented the registration of some important special resolutions.
While these matters might not appear momentous, the knowledge that they have been successfully disposed of will be of considerable relief to all Councillors. In particular, mention should be made of the work of outgoing and incoming ACF Treasurers BoB Keast and Michael Caruso, and ACF Auditor Ross Hamilton, whose combination of commitment and expertise in financial management deserve special acknowledgement.
Changes made during the Conference to membership of the Executive committee and subsequent changes to the membership of the Council are incorporated in the lists of ACF personnel towards the end of this issue.

Winners of the following awards, normally presented during the Australian Open or Australian Championship, were announced during the Conference.

Steiner Medal – Australian Player of the Year 2020:
  GM Temur Kuybokarov (WA)

Citation highlights
Winner of the Australian Open in January;
Highest-scoring Australian in FIDE on-line Olympiad in July;
Member of winning Australian team in Asian On-line Nations Cup;
Runner-up in Victorian Blitz Down Under tournament in December, field including seven GMs and six IMs;
WA Channel 10 television program subject: “WA’s first ever Chess Grandmaster”.

Arlauskas Medal – Australian Under-16 Player of the Year 2020:
  WFM Cassandra Lim (Vic)

Citation highlights
Leading player in Presbyterian Ladies College team, winners of 2020 Victorian and Australian Secondary Schools Girls Teams Championships;
Selected member (girls board) of Australian On-line Olympiad team;
Highest ranked Australian female aged under 20.

Viner Medal – Australian Senior Player of the Year 2020:
  IM Leonid Sandler (Vic)

Citation highlights
Despite limited opportunities, participated with excellent results in three international tournaments in New Zealand:
 – equal 7th/38 in New Zealand Lightning Championship behind GMs Fernandez, Papin and Johansen and three IMs;
 – equal 6th/47in New Zealand Rapid Championship behind GMs Papin and Fernandez and three IMs;
 – equal 10th/40 in New Zealand Open behind GMs Fernandez, Papin and Johansen and four IMs;
Equal-highest scorer in Lidums Australian Allegro Championship.

Koshnitsky Medal – Lifetime achievement award for chess administration:
 David Ellis (WA)

Citation highlights
Contributions to WA chess spanning 37 years, including services as
– CAWA State Ratings Officer;
– interclub teams competitions organiser;
– initiator of junior and senior chess clubs at Willetton, which became the strongest club in the State;
– many coaching achievements between 1975 and 1996 with juniors’, women’s and girls’ teams in interstate telephone matches;
– in 1996, initiator of WA Grand Prix series of tournaments with which he continues involvement as DOP;
– organiser of Living Chess displays for Canning township, West Coast Eagles home match and 2017 City of Perth Halloween festival;
– President of CAWA from 2013 to 2017, restoring State association finances and arranging unscheduled simultaneous exhibition by GM Nigel Short;
– service as ACF selector for Olympiad teams and Player of the Year awards.
from concluding remarks
David's approach to chess administration in WA has been both multifaceted and innovative. The status of chess in WA owes much to his efforts over the last 37 years; in particular, his ability to keep people working together with the common cause of promoting and developing chess.
He has maintained a very innovative and supportive style in starting new chess clubs, introducing new tournaments and making sure they continue to be popular. He continues to contribute at both Club and State levels and remains a very important and well-respected administrator and player in WA.

Purdy Medal – Lifetime achievement award for chess journalism:
 GM David Smerdon (Qld)

Citation highlights
Author of prestigious English Chess Federation Book of the Year prizewinner ‘The Complete Chess Swindler’, with comment by judges Ray Edwards and Sean Marsh:
'What lifts the book above the ordinary is Smerdon’s quality of writing and his enthusiasm for chess, its players, and the chess world. An outstanding Book of the Year 2020, which combines insightful discussion of a previously unexplored subject with good writing and great entertainment throughout. Ideal for these difficult times.'
Author of well received ‘Smerdon’s Scandinavian’  – extremely popular in Australia.
Author or co-author of academic articles on very topical chess subjects – female participation and stereotypes in chess, and the healthiness of players given chess’ sedentary nature.
Co-author of ‘The Queens(land) Gambit: A brief history of chess in Australia’ – a non-academic overview of Australian chess during the period of the Netflix smash hit ‘The Queen’s Gambit’.
David has continued to run his blog over the years, where he muses about chess, and was a keynote speaker at the 2018 London Chess Conference.
Arrangements for local presentation of the above awards are currently being made by the State Associations concerned.

The ACF Council has recently resolved that from 1st June 2021 only tournaments that have been paired and submitted using either Vega or Orion will be accepted for FIDE or ACF rating.
Tournament organisers, chief arbiters and State ratings officers requiring additional information should contact ACF National Ratings Officers Bill Gletsos and/or Graham Saint via

Due to the continuing prevalence of the Corona virus pandemic in many countries, it can be expected that numerous, traditionally over-the-board international events will be held on-line during 2021.
Players seeking selection to represent Australia in these events need to be aware that the organisers may require participants to be members of or registered with the internet site (“platform”) that is authorised by FIDE to present the event concerned.
FIDE has recently introduced rules of play to apply across the various platforms and expects participants, arbiters and organisers to be aware of them when involved in future on-line events. Applicants for selection to participate in these events are advised to familiarise themselves with the applicable FIDE rules and any procedural requirements that might be unique to the platform concerned. This can normally be done by playing casual games on the platform during the days prior to the start of the event.
Details of FIDE-authorised and other major on-line events in 2021 will be included when available in forthcoming issues of this newsletter.

FIDE and other organisers of international events continue to have difficulty predicting suitable dates for events that would normally be held in the remainder of 2021. The following are links and/or extracts from recent FIDE calendars and announcements, which might be revised at any time.
Although no additional information for most of these events has emerged recently, these links may be the first place to find updates.
FIDE Online World Corporate C’p (online) 19-21 Feb
Djerba International Festival (Djerba, Tunisia) 20 Feb – 1 Mar
World Amateur Championship (Heraklion, Crete, Greece) postponed to Apr/May
World School Individual C’ps (Halkidiki, Greece) 2-11 May
World Seniors Championship (Assisi, Italy)
FIDE Grand Swiss & Women’s Grand Swiss (Isle of Man) 25 Oct to 8 Nov
World Cadet u8 to u12 (Standard-rate) Championships (Batumi, Georgia)
World Youth u16 Olympiad (Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan)
Links to other events currently or soon-to-be listed by FIDE may be followed from here.
● denotes events for which a volunteer Manager would normally be appointed. Applications for appointment as Manager will be invited as dates and location for each event are confirmed. Responsibilities include registration of participants, compliance with ACF behavioural guidelines and regulations that event organisers may refer or assign to Trainer, Coach, Chief, Head or Leader of Delegation.
Please email inquiries concerning Manager appointments to with cc to and phone 0409 525 963 or (03) 9787 7974 if an inquiry is not acknowledged within two days.

ACF affiliates are continuing to build fixtures for 2021. Several new listings have been included in the latest version of the ACF Calendar, which includes a day-by-day breakdown to help planners avoid unnecessary clashes.
Organisers of ACF- and FIDE-rated competitions and other events of general interest are most welcome to submit schedules for inclusion in coming updates by emailing
The ACF calendar will also include dates for major international events likely to be of interest to potential participants and on-line spectators.

Because arrangements could not be made for the presentation in January of this year’s biennial Open Championship and associated events, the ACF Council will consider bids from affiliated associations and others to present these events at more suitable times during 2021.
Bids are also invited in respect of other Australian title events such as the Australian Blitz, Women’s and/or Seniors Australian Championships. Although these events are often if not always normally held in conjunction with the Australian Open, they could be the subjects of separate bids with possible variations from the usual schedules and time controls.
Please address related inquiries to

Applications for activities to commence before September 2021 have now closed.
The deadline for activities commencing between 1 September and 28 February 2022 is 30 June 2021.
Applications and reports must be endorsed by the ACF-affiliated State Association concerned and provide the information specified in the relevant form, including the schedule for the activity and statements of expected and actual income and expenditure.
Given continuing uncertainties due to pandemic restrictions, the Council will take into account the difficulties being faced by organisers and will consider applications based upon reasonable estimates and expectations.
Email for further information and forms.

According to our newsletter numbering system, questionable as it may be due to a name change (from ‘ACF Bulletin’), varying publication schedules and occasional one-off extras, this issue is numbered 600, making it a suitable time to acknowledge those whose commitments as Editor have enabled the continuing dissemination of essential information direct from the national body.
Editors during and since 2000:
     Graeme Gardiner
     Paul Broekhuyse
     Denis Jessop
     Joseph Tanti
     Ian Rout
     Kevin Bonham
     Frank Low
Links to issues from January 1999 to September 2012 are here and to more recent issues here. Filling the gap remains a work in progress for the next ACF Archivist.
Consistent with his predecessors, current editor Keong Ang encourages contributions from all who have something of interest to submit via the email address for contributions:
New readers can subscribe via this link, by scrolling to the bottom of the home page and typing in the “Your email address” panel before clicking the adjacent “Sign up” button.
Subscription is free and the subscribers list is used solely for newsletter distribution.

News from the States / Territories

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory Chess Association Inc (ACTCA)

Upcoming Events
Recent Events
1st equal: Frederick Litchfield, FM Michael Kethro.
New South Wales
New South Wales Chess Association Inc (NSWCA)

Recent Events

Chess Association of Queensland Inc (CAQ)

Upcoming Events
South Australia

South Australian Chess Association Inc (SACA)

Upcoming Events

Recent Events
  1st equal: Kyle Leaver, Edgar Mdinaradze.

Tasmanian Chess Association Inc (TCA)

Upcoming Events

Chess Victoria Inc (CV)

Upcoming Events

Recent Events
  1st: IM Ari Dale.
Western Australia

Chess Association of Western Australia Inc (CAWA)

Upcoming Events

Recent Events
  1st: Ihsan Ferozkohi.

FIDE News Highlights

by IA Keong Ang

Modifications to Transfer Regulations

During the last General Congress, some important changes were introduced to the Transfer Regulations and Rules of Eligibility for Players, which apply to all those who are in the process of changing federations. These changes are effective from December 01, 2020, which means they are applied retrospectively.

The first main change is that the notification fee, paid for every transfer, is reduced fivefold, from 250€ to 50€. No notification fee is required for FIDE flag players who have never been registered with a National Federation.

Second, some changes have been introduced to speed up the process and reduce the time a player has to wait to represent his/her new federation in an official FIDE event and became eligible for a fee-exempted transfer.

Under the previous regulations, a player should wait for two years after initiating the transfer.

Now, this 2-year period starts counting from the moment the player has competed in his/her last official FIDE event representing his previous federation, regardless of when he initiates the transfer. This modification can effectively shorten the duration of the transition period and allow the player to represent his new country much earlier.

A transfer is considered to be completed when either the old Federation has written a letter of non-objection or 90 days have passed since the old Federation was informed.

Kevin Bonham is the person responsible for processing chess federation transfers to Australia.
Almost all transfers would involve a FIDE cost of EUR50 to which ACF adds another $4 to cover currency and transaction costs. Transfers can take from just a day to up to 4 months, depending on how long the old federation takes to respond to FIDE's query if they object to the transfer.
The ACF is very wary of players engaging in federation-shopping for the purposes of acting as overseas players in FIDE norm tournaments. Therefore transfers of players from other federations are not normally accepted if those players live outside Australia and have no history of playing ACF-rated chess in Australia, even if those players are Australian citizens or permanent residents. Also, the ACF does not necessarily accept transfers of players who have been granted residency but have not started living in Australia.
Anyone wishing to transfer to AUS should contact Kevin Bonham for more detail on the process.

FIDE Database enhancement

Dear Member Federations,

We would like to inform you that FIDE is developing a targeted database enhancement, which consists of a review of the data actually included in FIDE databases related to Arbiters, Organisers, and Trainers. This program has been approved by the FIDE Council and added as an entry to the Handbook, under Chapter B.05.

Following this program, every Arbiter, Trainer, and Organizer should confirm its activity status by filling a form that will be available on our website starting from the 1st of March, until the 31st of October, 2021. The link will be sent to you once the form is active.

We kindly ask you to forward this email to all arbiters, trainers, and organizers registered under your federation, and help them to comply with the requirements. The FIDE Commissions are working closely with the Data Protection Committee, and they will provide Arbiters, Organisers, and Trainers licensed under their jurisdiction with all the relevant information. The Commissions will assist in ensuring a continuous update of their databases and to secure the collection of the necessary data.

Not filling this form before October 2021 will automatically result in the Arbiter, Trainer, or Organizer being marked as "inactive". This would imply that they will not be eligible to be appointed as Arbiter, Organiser, official coach, or “head of delegations” at any official FIDE event until they correct the situation.

Should you need any clarification, please contact us at

This FIDE Database enhancement would affect all officials of events that involve FIDE. Every organiser or arbiter would have to fill in the form before October 2021 in order to continue officiating at future FIDE rated events. For Trainers, the practical effect would be inability to be the official coach or Head of Delegation at official FIDE events. Something to be mindful of if intending to participate at future official FIDE events as a Trainer once they resume.

Problem of the Month - No.57

Selected by Peter Wong

Comins Mansfield
British Chess Magazine 1933, 1st Hon. Mention
Diagram of Problem of the Month - No.57
White to play and mate in 2

Visit for an introduction to chess composition (including a Glossary) and more problem examples.

SAN Meets a Crazy Sicilian

by Stephen Hodgkin

Hi, Jim! Sorry I'm a bit late. No worries, Pete. Good to see you. I've just set up the board.

Right - let's go. OK, here's the story. Everyone knows the official algebraic notation -- which I'll call OAN. A few weeks ago I thought "Hey, for a lot of moves, OAN gives you more information than you need. So perhaps one could shorten it a bit?"

Go on. And I've come up with something I'm calling SAN - Shortened Algebraic Notation. How does it work? I'll chuck you in at the deep end! Here's the scoresheet of a game using an extreme SAN - the shortest form I've come up with. Want to use it to replay the moves? It'd stretch you, I think. Sure, I'd like that. Here goes -
1. e
Just e?? How do I know whether it's e3 or e4? Well, how often would White start a game with e3? Hardly ever. Right, so assume the usual, because if it wasn't e4 - the expected move - I'd add the 3. I see -- So SAN relies on probabilities? In its extreme form, yes.
1. ... c
As for e? That's right. So the pawn goes to c5 and it's a Sicilian, eh? Yep. And I can assume it wasn't c6, because the Caro-Kann's less common? That's it.
2. Nh
Maybe SAN leaves out the 3 because the only h-file square a Knight can reach is h3? Correct. And if you'd seen just 2. N, what then? I'd guess Nf3, because the other three possible Knight moves don't happen often. Yes.
2. ... h5
SAN includes the 5 this time because if the h-pawn moves at all, then both h5 and h6 are plausible? You got it.
3. Bb
OAN's 5 isn't needed, because there's only one square on the b-file that a Bishop can reach, and b5 is it? Exactly. Or you could use the rank and write the move as B5.
3. ... a
Meaning a6, because a5 would be surprising? Right again.
4. K
What. Is. That?? It means 'Castles', mate. SAN uses it instead of 0-0. I get it - the King could move to e2 or f1, but castling is by far the most likely King move. Though White'll lose that Bishop.. Yes. And if the player could castle either side, SAN'd put Kg or Kc to show which.
4. ... x
I'm getting used to SAN now.. Taking the Bishop's the only capture Black can make -
5. e
And the e-pawn has just one possible move -
5. ... f5
As for h5 on Black's second move. You're going great, Pete!
6. x
Must be the 'en passant' capture; the other capture Qxh5 is pretty unlikely -- even in this weird game!
6. ... 2
Hmm -- the only way for Black to get to the second rank is for the Rook to take the pawn. That's it.
7. x
Has to mean taking the g7-pawn, because that's clearly stronger than Qxh5 or even Rxa2.
7 ... 1=
As for 6. ... 2, but what's the =? It's the same as OAN's (=) - Black offered a draw. SAN doesn't bother with OAN's parentheses.8. Q
8. Q
That's a Queen move? No, that's White promoting his pawn to a Queen. I see - and no need for hQ, because taking the Rook to get to the 8th rank is obviously stronger than taking the Bishop. A thought: what if White had accepted the draw? This move'd be 8. = . Consecutive moves with = show it's a draw. No need for 1/2-1/2.
8. ... Nf
Not the most likely move? No, Nh6 is slightly better -- it too would've stopped mate in 1, and it'd also stop mate in 2. It still loses, of course. What if Black had resigned, as well he might have? Rather than OAN's 1-0 or 0-1, SAN just uses 0 for Loses. Specifically, 0r = resigned, 0t = lost on time.
9. #2 d+
What's that hatch-2? It means White announces mate in two moves. That's not part of OAN! No, but I like to record it. And because either of the two Queens could've checked by taking the h5 pawn, the d tells you the d-Queen did it? Yes, and now:
9. ... x
10. #
By the Queen on h8. Whew!
So -- what do you think, Pete? That's seriously brief notation! Yes; if you count the characters, SAN took just 28, but OAN would have needed 68.

But I'm not much impressed by the game as a game - that's one crazy Sicilian! I'd say it's a first in the history of chess. Yes - if it'd been a real game, you'd wonder about the players - especially Black.

So why that game? Because it's the shortest I've been able to invent that includes castling, en passant, promotion, check, mate, and needing to specify which of two pawns, or pieces of the same type, moved to a square when either could have.

Tell me, Jim: does SAN have a process for deciding which characters to leave out? I doubt that there's a formula. Look at White's ninth move. SAN could write that in two characters not only as d+ but as dx, dh, d5, 1+, 1x, 1h or 15. In three characters, d1+, dxh, Q1h, and so on. Any you like, as long as it's unambiguous.

I wonder, when OAN was created, why did it keep the redundant characters? Good question, but here's a couple of suggestions: OAN doesn't need decisions, so you can start recording a move in OAN at once, no need to think. And OAN's easier to read, to interpret, which makes it easier to visualise a game from a listing of its moves.

You said this was an extreme version of SAN? Because you can drop as many or as few characters as you like. For instance, if you drop the judging of how likely a move would be, you won't have to spend time assessing which was the most likely move. Doing that doesn't add too many characters: in that Sicilian, it would've added seven - one each for e4, c5, a6, Kg, xf, xg, hQ.

Sometimes you can even add characters, to make it easier to visualise. So where OAN would write Black's fourth move x as axb5, in less extreme SAN I'd be inclined to write it as xB, to show it was a Bishop that was captured.

Do you use SAN yourself, Jim? Yes! - unless I'm playing in a tournament, because tournaments insist on OAN, as you know. But if it's not a tournament game, I do. Because I enjoy it! OAN is mechanical, automatic, no room for choice. With SAN, not only does the game itself require ingenuity, but recording the moves needs some too. And sometimes I don't need to think: if White's first four moves were Nf3, g3, Bg2, 0-0, it takes me no time to think of them as just N, g, B, K.

Any more ideas? Well, a few new symbols for when I'm making notes: I use / for good move and \ for bad move (this liberates ! and ? for normal use), and > to note that a move was forced. And Y and Z to mean White and Black.

And time: while a game is actually happening, if I feel like it I add the clock reading after each move. That lets you see how long each move took, and if a player was getting into time trouble. Interesting.

Do you reckon SAN might catch on, Jim? No chance! if only because OAN is so embedded, so standardised. Devising SAN was fun, but I don't expect anyone else to use it. However: maybe it could be useful for training? One could convert a game from OAN to SAN and guide novices through it, correcting them when they get a move wrong. That'd help them learn the moves and some simple choices.

You say standardised, but isn't it true that OAN is already a little flexible? Doesn't it allow ++ for mate instead of #, and : for capture instead of x? It does! So maybe OAN might be allowed a little further freedom.

SAN does stretch the mind a bit - always a good thing! Have you thought of writing SAN up and sending it to a chess mag? Some of its readers might be intrigued. That's an idea..

The Book That Was Not Publicised

by Bob Meadley

Guide to Good Chess by Cecil Purdy First Edition 1950 82 pages.

Back in the 1970’s, I bought a first edition 1950 for $10 from an old bookshop chock full of books in Pitt Street Sydney between Bathurst and Liverpool Streets on the Hyde Park side. It was neat and tidy but the books were stacked on top of one another to a great height above the shelving. The owner wore a dustcoat and ran a tight ship.

The publisher of ‘Guide…’  was Associated General Publications of 26 Hunter Street Sydney and included a nice photo of Cecil with a ‘Thumbnail Biography’ from ‘Who’s Who in Australia’ which even gave the Purdy home address of 13 George Street, Greenwich Point. Reuben Fine wrote a nice appreciation of Cecil which was included. The printers were The Pinnacle Press Pty Ltd Hume Highway Bankstown. It is a very good unmarked copy except for a pencil note by the bookshop owner:-Ist Edition $10.00.The reviews of ‘How Euwe Won’ and ‘The Return of Alekhine’ both pre-war and out of print were included. Cecil’s wise advice on the final page was to play through games covering up one side this was the fastest way to become a good player.

Two other copies were bought much later:- one from Peter Parr with his circular sticker and the words Rare Edition $18. Earlier prices were 5/6 (55c) and $20. Fine condition and better than the first copy because it has been covered with untapped plastic sheet to keep it clean.
The third copy is sound and a previous owner was Kevin F O’Brien of 3 Vale Street Canley Vale but there are some pencil and ink annotations on a few pages. A useful copy.

I don’t have a Second Edition but I do have two third editions 1954 with 96 pages. The Copyright was held by Associated General Publications P/L 166 Phillip Street Sydney and printed by Bushell’s Press 17 Kingston Street Haberfield. The photo and bio of Cecil were now on the back cover as Cecil had included a section on the Middle Game (Part 3). This copy was owned by Wm. Smith Nov. 1954 “& given to H.W.M. Lunney by his executor J. Snaith. A Peter Parr sticker said $8.00 rare out print. A nice clean copy internally but not so good covers.

The second third edition was owned by G.J. Pascoe 7th Jan. 1957. It has a sticker on the inside front cover: READEL’s Book Shop Pt. Moresby and a price of $5.50 clearly much later. A nice clean copy but missing the external paper spine.

The 5th edition of 1958 was owned by R. Gardner of 6 N. Presumably the classroom but Robert Jamieson owned it on 5/9/1975 and signed it so. He gave it to me in 1978 when I called to meet him at his Melbourne home. He had acquired a better copy and let this one go. It is marked ‘E/F’ which probably means ‘Extra Fine’. Another nice clean copy. Copyright Horwitz Publications P/L of Horwitz House Sydney. Printed by Halstead Press Kingsgrove NSW.

I also have the first paperback edition dated 1965 Copyright Horwitz Publications Inc. Pty Ltd Sydney. Printed by The Griffin Press Marion Rd. Netley S.A. Two old stickers give prices of 8/- (80c) and $2. Clean copy but the paper quality whilst sound is very brown. This came from Jules rare Books in Gulgong in 1993.

There is ‘somewhere’ a 4th edition 1970 bought from Mt. Victoria Bookshop in 2004 for $2

So I’m missing a 2nd edition to complete the run and will look for that. This was a ‘best seller” for Cecil and worth buying for his off the cuff remarks in the Preface about missing Kings, Hamlet and Polonius.

My next copy is a 1970 revised paperback edition published by Horwitz Publications of Horwitz Group Books Pty Ltd 2 Denison Street North Sydney The copyright from 1950 was by C.J.S. Purdy. Printed in Hong Kong. 96 pages and a very modern shiny photo cover of 4 Black and 2 White Pieces on a board. $1 It had  been owned by A.Willis 842979 (phone?) and I am studying this at present. Is it too late for an octogenarian problemist to be a better player? Cecil wrote a new Preface concluding that after 8 editions without any publicity the book filled a special need. Advanced players claimed they gained from the book’s special appeal. The photo of Cecil and the bio are gone from this edition. I also have the 10th 1973 & reprint 1976 editions as the 8th Chess World of April 1 1950 p.93 :- Associated General Publications (Sydney) announce the publication early in May, of a book designed to solve the problem; how to learn a lot about chess without spending a lot of money. The title is “Guide to Good Chess” with a sub title, “From First Steps to Fine Points”.

The author is C.J.S. Purdy. In spite of that, the book will appear according to schedule. Moreover, at the risk of being accused of braggadocio, we offer the opinion that the book is not without good points.

Firstly, it give 80 pages for 5/6 (55c), in stiff covers, good value these days.

Secondly, except in the first few (rudimentary) sections, it covers ground not covered by any other book.

Part 1, after finishing with the rudiments, deals with Combinations.

Part II is on the Openings, and it discusses them in a way never done by any other writer. Headings are: (1) General Principles (The Centre. Which Pawns to Move, What are Developing Moves?, Exchanges, Avoid Pawn-Grabbing); (2) Where to Put Your Pieces in the Opening (Four Tests); (3) The Pieces One by One (Where to Put Knights, Bishops, Queen, Rooks); (4) A Complete Opening Discussed.

Part III is “End-Game Strategy,” Without attempting to go through all types of end-games, it gives general principles for end-game play in general, and deals extensively with Rook Endings, by far the most common, the most difficult, and the most amenable to theory.

Part IV is a Complete Game between two amateurs, annotated in some detail.

Price of the book, of which “Chess World” will have early stocks, is 5/6, postage 3d.

Chess World June 1, 1950 p.138:- “Guide to Good Chess”-Having received for review a copy of “Guide to Good Chess” from the publishers, Associated General Publications, we thought it best to “pass the buck”.

As there will be plenty of reviews by expert players, we thought it might be interesting to have a review by a club player of moderate strength, and as we knew that Mr.E.C. Desmarchelier, founder of the new North Sydney Club, was one of the first to have obtained a copy, and that he had a literary bent, we sent the review copy onto him.

We thought his review too flattering. However, he refused to water down his honest opinion. Incidentally, is he right in saying “All but A-grade players?” A number of A-graders already claim to have learned something from Parts II and III. We’d be interested to hear from others on this point.-Ed.

Mr. Purdy has digested, distilled and made clear a whole library in his latest book “A Guide to Good Chess” A.G.P. 5/6.

The author needs no introduction, but the book certainly deserves one. It will appeal to a wider public than say any other chess book we have handled. Its claim to guide “from first steps to fine points” is amply justified. It is written in a clear, simple language that beginners can understand; it has crystallised chess theory and defined principles so vividly and unforgettably that experienced players will profit from it. It is an essential for every bookshelf.

Part 1-FIRST STEPS – is mainly for beginners. It will take them from the first move to a standard where they can begin to understand what they are doing and why. This “why” is the key to the whole book: it deals with principles to be understood, not rules to be memorized.

Part II-HOW TO PLAY THE OPENINGS WELL- and PART III-END GAME STRATEGY – can profitable be read by all but “A” Grade players. In each of these parts a complete opening and end game is played and analysed in the light of the principles Mr. Purdy has enunciated.

Part IV consists of a complete  game of good club standard discussed in the inimitable Purdy style.

The book is very well set up and clearly printed on good paper; The diagrams are plentiful and clear. Mr. Purdy has taken pains to resume in a concise form and to print in heavy, outstanding type each of the rules and principles he has discussed and explained.

The Appendix-WHERE TO NOW?- will be invaluable to the ambitious player anxious to improve his game by further study but bewildered by the choice of books at his disposal. Mr. Purdy chooses them for him.

We have only one criticism to offer; we think the book would have been improved by a short exposition of the standard mating nets. Apart from this omission there is hardly a fault to be found in the whole book.

C.J.S. Purdy’s “GUIDE TO GOOD CHESS” is a book to be read and re-read, to be understood, memorized and treasured. It is without doubt the best book ever written in its class, and at its price (5/6d) there can be no excuse for not buying it. –E.C.D.

Cecil bought the remaining stock of the 5/6d edition from the Publisher. It proved a best-seller.

He filled the back outside cover page (Sept. 1951) with an ad for the book and he  commented on the strategy for Rook endings and the openings “further than any other book…..” The Review by the Correspondence Chess League of America concludes this article. I don’t know how many copies were printed of the first edition but the reprint of it would be 8/6.

Nobody knows how Purdy does it, but he does it and keeps on doing it; and the probable explanation is that, though he is not an international master, he still has one of the most original and stimulating intelligences that he ever applied itself to chess. The result, in the present case, is just about as good an inexpensive chess primer – from first steps to fine points – as has ever been published. It is also a great deal more than that; it is your editor’s unkind but realistic guess that there are not more than a score of CCLAers (from F Class to AA) whose play would not noticeably improve from study fo the sections of this book devoted to How to Play the Openings Well and End-game Strategy. Purdy has in chess what Edmund Wilson has in literary criticism – a genius for stating things with absolute basic simplicity; His Four Tests of where to place a piece in the opening are by themselves worth the price of admission. This is a book you should order five copies of – one for yourself and four for friends who ought to play chess but don’t.
(FIDE gave Cecil the IM rank after this review)

There was a 12th printing by Thinkers Press in 2001-140 pages! Cheap earlier editions for $15 on Shiny Owl Books and 3 good reviews on ‘goodreads’ plus a free download. I must buy the 12th.


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Solution to Problem of the Month - No.57

Comins Mansfield
British Chess Magazine 1933, 1st Hon. Mention
Diagram of Problem of the Month No.57
White to play and mate in 2

Tries: 1.Rh3? (waiting) g4 2.Rh5, but 1…a3! 1.Rf3? (threat: 2.Rf5), 1…Nc3+ 2.Rxc3, 1…Nf2+ 2.Rxf2, but 1…Nd6!
Key: 1.Rb3! (threat: 2.Rb5). 1…Ne3+ 2.Rxe3, 1…Nb2+ 2.Rxb2, 1…Nxb6 2.Rxb6, 1…d3 2.Rxd3, 1…axb3 2.Qa8.

Visit for an introduction to chess composition (including a Glossary) and more problem examples.
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