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Australian Chess Federation
No. 597 - 14 November 2020
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 November 2020 newsletter. It may be a good thing for the newsletter to be rather lengthy since that should mean lots of content. While I would consider all content to be relevant, two things may need to be brought to your attention, just in case they get lost among all the content.

1. 2021 Oceania Zonal postponed
Is reported under Victoria in the "News from the States / Territories section".

2. Australia wins Asian Nations Online Cup!
Is a whole article immediately after the "News from the States / Territories section".

As always, please notice the "ACF Notices" section as it is after all the main reason for this newsletter's existence, the Australian Chess Federation's official public communications medium.

ACF Notices


A comprehensive report by Team Captain Leonid Sandler and other contributors on Australia’s success in the recent Asian Online Nations Cup appears later within this newsletter under "Australia wins Asian Nations Online Cup!"
Results of the Open team’s matches may be seen here and Women’s team results are here.


A spate of inquiries, prompted by the special issue of this newsletter on October 31, has produced the following list of
players nominated to represent Australia in this inaugural event.

   Under-18 (born 2002 or later)
     Open: Albert Winkelman (ACT)
     Girls: to be advised

   Under-16 (born 2004 or later)
     Open: Michael Ostapenko (Qld)
     Girls: Sulia Van Sebille (Vic)

   Under-14 (born 2006 or later)
     Open: Seth Peramunetilleke (NSW)
     Girls: Ekaterina Gratchev (Qld)

   Under-12 (born 2008 or later)
     Open: Oscar Gao (WA)
     Girls: Angela Feng (Vic)

   Under-10 (born 2010 or later)
     Open: Jayden Ooi (Qld)
     Girls: Deethya Sai Katakam (Vic)

Although this event now appears likely to replace the championships originally scheduled to be held over-the-board in Crete earlier this year, numerous organizational changes have been made, including limitations on the number of federation-nominated participants, no under-8 age championships, continental-zone qualifying stages before a final elimination stage limited to 16 qualifiers and a schedule that would oblige Australian finalists to begin play at 11pm (WA), 1am (Qld) and 2am (NSW, Vic, ACT).

Australian players will contest the Asian continental zone qualifying tournaments from 11 to 13 December with the possibility of finals from 19 to 23 December.
   Link to printable PDF version of schedule
   Link to complete event regulations FIDE Online World Cadets & Youth Rapid Chess Championships


World Amateur Championship (Heraklion, Crete, Greece) postponed to Apr/May 2021
World Seniors Championship (Assisi, Italy)
World Cadet u8 to u12 (Classic-rate) Championships (Batumi, Georgia)
World Youth u16 Olympiad (Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan)
44th FIDE Olympiad (Moscow, Russia) (NB:minimum 30 rated games requirement will not apply)

● 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.


Plans for the 2020 ACF national finals to be presented by the Chess Association of Queensland in Brisbane in December have been changed due to the lingering uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACF Council has approved an arrangement whereby teams selected to represent each participating State (or Territory) will assemble in a local State venue and compete via on-line connections under the supervision of ACF-appointed arbiters at each venue.

The dates now confirmed are Saturday and Sunday 5 and 6 December 2020.

Team organisers and coordinators are encouraged to ensure that likely participants are acquainted with the ways in which games are played using on-line terminals.

State Associations requiring further information and FIDE-titled arbiters who might wish to register interest should contact ACF Junior Chess Coordinator, Hughston Parle, via or on 0478 124 136.

Persons willing to assist with the organisation of their State’s teams may contact the relevant State Association via the contact information in the list of ACF Councillors at the end of this newsletter.


Bids to present the 2021 Australian Open and associated events on behalf of the ACF may be lodged by email addressed to

Although usually presented over approximately 10 days during early January, dates and number of rounds may be varied to avoid clashes with other major events and to accommodate organisers who may be obliged to vary from normal practice due to current circumstances.

Australian Women’s and Australian Seniors Championship titles, if not awarded in separate tournaments at other times, may be awarded to the highest scoring eligible players in the Australian Open.

Associated events include the Australian Blitz Championship and may include a shorter, limited-rating tournament.


Nominations are invited for potential winners of the following Player-of-the-Year medals to be presented in early 2021. Player-of-the-Year 2020 nominations must be in respect of achievements during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2020.
Steiner Medal – Australian Player of the Year 2020

The Steiner medal is to be awarded to the Australian player who has made the greatest impact, not necessarily the highest-rated –for the most notable achievement(s) during 2020.
There is no limit to the number of times the Steiner medal may be won by the same person.

Arlauskas Medal & Award – Australian Under-16 Player of the Year 2020

The Arlauskas medal is awarded on the same basis as the Steiner medal.
For the medal for 2020, nominees’ year of birth must be 2004 or later.
The winner of the Arlauskas medal will be offered a grant by the ACF – the Romanas Arlauskas Award – to assist with costs related to her or his participation in a significant international or Australian chess event likely to begin within two years of the announcement of the winner of the award.
The Arlauskas medal cannot be won by the same person more than twice.

Viner Medal & Award – Australian Senior Player of the Year 2020

The Viner medal is also awarded on the same basis as the Steiner medal.
For the medal for 2020, nominees’ year of birth must be 1970 or earlier.
The winner of the Viner medal will be offered a grant by the ACF – the Phil Viner Award – on terms similar to those governing the Romanas Arlauskas Award.
There is no limit to the number of times the Viner medal may be won by the same person.

Nominations are also invited for potential recipients of the following medals in recognition of services to Australian chess.
Being lifetime achievement awards, citations are not limited to services during a particular period and previous recipients of a particular service medal cannot be nominated for the same medal. Links to lists of other Purdy and Koshnitsky medal recipients may be found under ACF Awards at Recipient of the previous Purdy medal was this newsletter’s former editor, Frank Low.
Koshnitsky Medal

This is a lifetime achievement award for an outstanding contribution to Australian chess administration at a national or a state level.

Purdy Medal

The Purdy medal is awarded every two years for an outstanding contribution to Australian chess as a journalist at a national or state level.
For the purposes of the Purdy medal, achievements can include services as a writer, editor, publisher, columnist, presenter or distributor of chess-related material published, transmitted or otherwise distributed in printed or electronic form.

Nominations need not be from among a State's own members or residents.
A separate document or message containing the following should be provided in respect of each nominee:
• name in full (correctly spelt);
• contact details (phone, email, postal address);
• a citation describing relevant achievements, suitable for publishing or reading at time of presentation;
• anything else relevant to the nomination.
A person submitting a nomination must retain a complete copy of every document submitted as part of the nomination and must phone 0409 525 963 or (03) 9787 7974 to confirm that it has been received if delivery has not been acknowledged 24 hours after expected delivery time.

Please address nominations comprising email messages and/or attachments to to be received on or before:

   Koshnitsky & Purdy medals – 1 December 2020
   Steiner, Arlauskas & Viner medals – 5 January 2021

If a nomination includes printed documents, it must be mailed to:
ACF Medals, 22 Bruarong Crescent, Frankston South 3199, to be received in the normal course of post five days before the above deadline.


Applications for activities to commence before March 2021 have now closed.
Applications for activities commencing in March through August 2021 should be submitted by 31 December 2020.

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 present circumstances, the Council will take into account the exceptional uncertainties being faced by organisers and will consider applications based upon reasonable estimations and expectations.

Email for further information and forms.

News from the States / Territories

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory Chess Association Inc (ACTCA)

New South Wales
New South Wales Chess Association Inc (NSWCA)

Mastermind Australia returns for a third series!

Do you have what it takes to sit under the spotlight while your general knowledge and speciality topic are tested?
We want people who are passionate about their subject and have a good level of general knowledge.
So whether your subject is Picasso or Potter, we'd love to hear from you!

To apply, visit:

  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (have the right to live and work in Australia).
  • Are at least 18 years of age at the time of applying.
  • Provide a recent head-shot for your application.
Mastermind Australia


Chess Association of Queensland Inc (CAQ)

Queensland Seniors Championship 2020 attendees
Attendees at the Queensland Seniors Championship at Bracken Ridge, Queensland. 7-8 November 2020.

South Australia

South Australian Chess Association Inc (SACA)


Tasmanian Chess Association Inc (TCA)


Chess Victoria Inc (CV)

1. 2021 Oceania Zonal postponed

Chess Victoria put a lot of effort organising  this important event that was originally planned for January 2021.

In order to conduct a successful event in a time of pandemic with limited International travel and local opportunities we suggested that FIDE allows the organisers to create hubs and play online.

FIDE will consider our revolutionary ideas in their December 2020 online General Assembly. Also FIDE needs to clarify how the WCC cycle 2021 will work.

We have to wait and see what transpires.

Leonid Sandler on behalf of the organising committee.

2. 2020 MCC Greg Hjorth Online Classic was arguably the strongest event in Australia this year.

Thanks to the generous Greg Hjorth family sponsorship the Invitational tournament saw 3 Grandmasters and 4 International Masters (16 players in total), plus fifty competitors played in the Open section.

Full results plus all games can be seen here.

Congratulations to all involved.

3. 2020 Victorian Schools Finals

Hundreds of Victorian schools children participated in the 2020 official tournaments organised by Chess Victoria.
Here are our Champions.

Secondary Open section-----Scotch College
Secondary Girls section-----PLC
Primary Open section----Glen Waverley Primary School
Primary Girls Section----Glendal Primary School

Full results can be seen here.

All these schools will represent our State in the forthcoming Australian  Schools Team Championship (December 5 and 6).
For the first time in 2020 our students will assemble in a hub and will be fighting hard to win their respective events.

Good luck Victoria!

Western Australia

Chess Association of Western Australia Inc (CAWA)

1. 2020 WA Championship (Report by FA Andrew Hardegen)

The WA Championship (Closed and Reserves) was held on 7 consecutive Sundays, from 19th July to 30th August, with 30 participants. The tournaments were played at Southern Suburbs Chess Club, with FA Andrew Hardegen as Chief Arbiter.

FM Patrick Gong (2020 WA Chess Champion)   WFM Kathryn Hardegen (2020 WA Women's Chess Champion)
L-R: FM Patrick Gong (2020 WA Chess Champion), WFM Kathryn Hardegen (2020 WA Women's Chess Champion)

Yihe (Rebo) Fu (2020 WA Reserves Champion)
Yihe (Rebo) Fu (2020 WA Reserves Champion)

2. 2020 CAWA Harris Interclub Competition (report by FA Andrew Hardegen)

The 2020 Harris Interclub Competition was held at Southern Suburbs Chess Club (Leeming Primary School) on Sundays 13th and 20th Septmber. The competition was very successful with 12 teams competing (57 players in total) -- 3 teams from Southern Suburbs Chess Club, 3 teams from Perth Chess Club, 3 teams from UWA Chess Association, 1 team from Metropolitan Chess Club and 2 teams from Chess Emperor. The 12 team entries constitutes the largest Harris Interclub Competition that I have seen in my 22 years as a chess player in WA. I hope that the competition will continue to grow and attract more teams from all clubs.

Division A (Open)

Division A (Open) was won by Southern Suburbs Chess Club. Congratulations to the winning team members: FM Tristan Boyd, Tim Hare, WFM Kathryn Hardegen, Andrew Hardegen (captain), and Dominador Andador. With this victory, Southern Suburbs Chess Club becomes the first club to win six successive Harris Interclub Competitions.

The final standings are as follows:

Southern Suburbs A: 11.0/16
Perth A: 8.5/16
UWA A: 4.5/16

Division B (all players rated below 1900 ACF)

Division B was won by Southern Suburbs Chess Club. Congratulations to the winning team members: Ben Dagza, Voon Choon Leong, Oscar Gao, Ian McAteer (captain), Dylan Gough and Whamid Al-Shabib. This ended up being a very closely contested division. Southern Suburbs and Metro conceded a lead to Perth in the opening week, but Southern Suburbs were able to fight back strongly in the second week and secure a narrow victory.

The final standings are as follows:

Southern Suburbs B: 9.5/16
Perth B: 7.5/16
Metro B: 7.0/16

Division C (all players rated below 1500 ACF)

Division C was won by Southern Suburbs Chess Club. Congratulations to the winning team members: Christopher-Jack Andrew (captain), Bekzod Rasulov, Steve Milovanovic, Joel Octaviano, Whamid Al-Shabib and Emily Zhang.

The final standings are as follows:

1st: Southern Suburbs C (won playoff 3.5-0.5 against UWA C1)
2nd: UWA C1
3rd: Chess Emperor C1 (won playoff 3-1 against Perth C)
4th: Perth C
5th: UWA C2 (won playoff 3-1 against Chess Emperor C2)
6th: Chess Emperor C2

The standings from the preliminary rounds (Rounds 1-3) were as follows:

Group 1

Southern Suburbs C: 12.0/12
Chess Emperor C1: 4.0/12
UWA C2: 2.0/12

Group 2

UWA C1: 9.5/12
Perth C: 7.5/12
Chess Emperor C2: 1.0/12

Full individual results for all rounds are posted at


3. WA Junior Allegro Championship (report by CAWA President Alan Wolstencroft)

The 2020 WA Junior Allegro Chess Championships was held as a one day 9 round swiss on Thursday, 1st October at Leeming Primary School with 53 players participating. A significant improvement in numbers on the previous year.

This tournament being an open one gave some of our younger players a chance to play against our stronger older players, although generally the older and more experienced players prevailed.

The winner with a perfect score of 9/9 was Yihe Fu (Rebo). Second was Oscar Gao with 7/9 (1st Under 14). Third equal with 6.5/9 were Jamie Laubbacher and Chas Underwood.

The rest of the age divisions were all closely fought contests.

The Under 12s was won by Aarnav Gupta with 6.5, closely followed on 6 points by Anoushka Gupta, Barath Harirajesh Eu Jin Khaw, Aaron Levine and Anthony Milner.

The Under 10s was won by Noah Taylor with 5.5 closely followed on 5 by Nathan Arav, Yonal De Vas, Eu Ming Khaw and Daren Vinod.

The Under 8s was won by Eric Deng on with 5.5 with Angus Chen second on 5 and third equal on 4 were Callan Arav, Senudi De Vas, Timofei Klimenko, Dario Manzi, Dillon Vinod, and Eric Young.

The Girls title was a very closely fought contest between Anoushka Gupta and Celine Ong which was eventually decided on the last round. Anoushka won with 5.5 and Celine came second with 5.

The tournament was run in a relatively quiet environment compared to previous years.

Special thanks to Andrew Hardegen, Pushpini Jayathissa, VC Leong and, Saminda De Vas who all contributed to the smooth running of the tournament and to all the players and parents who helped us set up and pack up. Thanks, are also due to the Leeming Primary School for providing the venue and the Southern Suburbs Chess Club for use of their furniture.

4. WA Junior Rapidplay Championship (report by CAWA President Alan Wolstencroft)

The 2020 WA Junior Rapidplay Chess Championships was held on Monday, 5th October and Tuesday, 6th October at Leeming Primary School with 36 players participating. Entrants were divided into an Under 18 and Under 12 tournaments with a total of four age subdivisions.

The Under 18s consisted of 6 players and was a quasi-double round robin supervised by David Ellis. It developed into a two-horse race with Jamie Laubbacher gaining an early lead against Yihe Fu (Rebo) and maintaining it to become the Junior Rapidplay champion. Equal third were Shannon Koh and Celine Ong.

The Under 12s tournament consisted of 30 players playing in one group with the results deciding the placings for three age sub divisions.

In the under 12 division the winner was not decided until the last round when Eu Jin Khaw beat Anthony Milner and Aarnav Gupta drew with Yonal De Vas. Third equal were Ishaan Barbare, Anoushka Gupta and Anthony Milner.

The Under 10 division was won by Anthony Nguyen closely followed by Yonal De Vas. Third equal were Timothy Kaempf, Eu Ming Khaw and Jeremiah Ng.

Similarly, the Under 8 division was a close contest with Eric Deng pipping Angus Chen at the post. Third equal were Senudi De Vas and Jaswanth Ram Sethurnam.

There was a tense play off for the Girls Rapidplay title which was drawn at one game each between Anoushka Gupta and Celine Ong. They are the joint Girls Rapidplay Champions.

As an inducement for some of the lesser experienced players to play slower, book prizes were made to the slowest players in rounds 6 and 8.

Both tournaments were run in a peaceful environment with very few cases of arbitration needed.

Special thanks to David Ellis who ran the Under 18s tournament and to various persons who helped me grapple with the Vega software before the start of the first round of the Under 12s tournament. They included Muthiah Sethuramam, Kathryn Hardegen and the master touch provided by Andrew Hardegen. Thanks to Pushpini Jayathissa for organising a good turnout of Chess Emperor players and for photographs of the tournament. All the parents who helped us set up and pack up the equipment in particular Karl Gruber who generously provided biscuits. Thanks, are also due to the Leeming Primary School for providing the venue and the Southern Suburbs Chess Club for use of their furniture.

5. 2020 CAWA Junior Chess Camp - Term 3 School Holidays (report by John Pimenov: photos from CAWA Facebook page)

The WA junior chess camp was held on Wednesday 7th October and Thursday 8th October at Oberthur Primary School. It was a not-for-profit event organised by CAWA with tremendous help from WA's active chess community. Over 40 junior chess players of different levels enjoyed learning from various chess coaches, participating in puzzle competitions and playing against each other. It was great to see many new faces who got interested in chess just recently and wanted to improve their game!

We were very happy to see both Australian Chess Champion GM Temur Kuybokarov and WA State Chess Champion FM Patrick Gong participating in the chess camp. Three of the strongest chess players in WA, FM Patrick Gong, Ihsan Ferozkohi and Andrew Hardegen found time in their busy schedules to coach WA's top juniors and gave an inspirational talk about FIDE and ACF ratings.

We were very fortunate to have GM Temur Kuybokarov over for a simultaneous exhibition. He played on 36 boards against enthusiastic young chess players. The simul went for almost four hours and Temur won 35 out of 36 games. The only player who managed to win against the grandmaster was Jamie Laubbacher. Congratulations to Jamie for such a great result!

We want to say a huge thank you to Oberthur Primary School for hosting the event, all the volunteers who helped to run it and all the parents for unconditional support for the kids and their love for chess! Special thank you goes to the chess camp organisers:
Jeng Kong, Joli Mendez, and Alan Wolstencroft.

Special thanks to Paul Harris for his tremendous support in reaching out to many junior chess players regarding chess camp, assisting with equipment setup and two full days in the chess camp as a volunteer.

To WA's active chess players and coaches who stepped in and conducted the sessions:
Alan Wostencroft, Norbert Muller, David Ellis, Dennis Holland, Andrew Hardegen, Ihsan Ferozkohi, John Pimenov, FM Patrick Gong and GM Temur Kuybokarov.

We hope all the junior chess players had fun and learned some new skills!
Hope to see you all again next time!

GM Temur Kuybokarov (left), Jamie Laubbacher (front right)
Photo above: GM Temur Kuybokarov (left), Jamie Laubbacher (front right)

6. Upcoming CAWA Events

2020 Willetton Open (Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October) - 6 round Swiss, ACF-rated, to be played at Southern Suburbs Chess Club (Chief Organiser: David Ellis).

2020 Faber Spring Allegro Championship (Sunday 1st November) - 7 round Swiss, to be played at Faber Vineyard, Swan Valley (Chief Organiser: Norbert Muller).

Australia wins Asian Nations Online Cup!

by IM Leonid Sandler, AUS Open team captain.

More than three weeks have passed since Team Australia in sensational style won the very prestigious 2020 Asian Nations Online Cup.

In my previous report from October 17 (Asian Nations Cup from Afar and Near) our team was still fighting for qualification to the quarterfinals. We managed to do it very convincingly despite some tough moments.

In round 7 Australia beat Kazakhstan 2.5-1.5 (Anton, Temur and Max drew their games and Moulthun won).
In Round 8 we lost 1.5-2.5 against a very young and underrated team from Mongolia.

Going into the last round our passage into the quarterfinals was not guaranteed. Interestingly enough for our opponents, the Indian team, found that their own tournament position was very shaky too. Our very tense match against this chess super power ended "peacefully". Thousands of Indian chess fans were watching excellent live coverage here. Anton showed his excellent endgame skills by outplaying Indian GM B. Adhiban in a very instructive rook ending. Please replay the game and enjoy a master class from Anton here. When Indian young gun Nihal Sarin equalised the score by defeating our Temur Kuybokarov both teams qualified for the quarterfinals.

After nine gruelling rounds we came fourth and were paired against Indonesia (they ended up on fifth spot). The final standings can be seen here. Three of our players won medals for their respective boards. Moulthun Ly collected a silver medal on board four with 6 points from 8 games. Anton Smirnov got bronze medal with 4.5 points form 7 games on board one and Max Illingworth collected bronze medal on board three scoring 5.5 points from 8 games.

Max Illingworth wrote an excellent piece under the heading "How I won Bronze at the 2020 Asian Online Nations Cup" that I am sure that you will enjoy reading here. Other team members also helped Australia with fine efforts in the preliminary stage. Temur Kuybokarov played all 9 games  and James Morris participated in 4 matches allowing other team members to have some rest.

Indonesian teams (open and women's) played from the elegant hall belonging to the Indonesian Parliament
Indonesian teams (open and women's) played from the elegant hall belonging to the Indonesian Parliament

The quarter final clash was against Australia's northern neighbour, Indonesia (population 274 million) that promised to be a tough assignment for our team. We remembered very well that Indonesia won against Australia in the recently completed 2020 FIDE Online Chess Cup. That result blocked Australia's advancement to the next stage... This time, I was extremely pleased that our team took very convincing revenge by beating Indonesians with a total score 6.5-1.5 (+5=3).

Australian Team in action
Australian Team in action

Australia's opponent in the semi-final was the super strong team from Iran (population 84 million) who was the winner of the preliminary competition. Our boys once again had a very difficult match just like during the preliminary stage. We lost 1.5-2.5 (Max lost and Anton,Temur and Moulthun drew their games) but it could have been worse. In the second match lady luck smiled at the Australian Team! On board 2, strong Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo blundered (with a classical mouse slip) his bishop on move 18th and immediately resigned! This dramatic game can be seen here. After Anton won a nice game with the Sicilian Defence we were ahead 2-0! Moulthun was pressing on board 4 but his opponent managed to survive. If Max could deliver a perpetual check we would be in the Final! But for some unknown reason he continued to search for a win and nearly lost... however in the end the Chess goddess Caissa rewarded Max! 3.5-0.5 and we are in the Final!

25 October 2020, this date will be remembered by Australian chess fans for many, many years. Australia-India.The Final!

India (population 1,38 billion people and 66 Grandmasters) co-winners of the 2020 FIDE Online Olympiad were hot favourites in the eyes of the majority of the specialists. I remember watching an excellent movie called "300 Spartans" based on the historical event in 480 BC. We felt like 300 Spartans trying to stop the Indian army! No wonder that the Asian Chess Federation website called the final battle "David vs.Goliath..." Please see the material here.

Max Illingworth wrote an excellent report about our day of destiny here. Our preparation was in disarray thanks to mother nature creating havoc with Max Illingworth's abode in Vietnam and with Moulthun Ly's home in Brisbane. Both players lost internet connections and were racing against time to get online. When the situation became critical I decided to use James instead of Moulthun and asked Max to rush to a local coffee shop in order to establish an internet connection and play from there. Luckily it worked!

I remember the surprised faces of the Indian commentators when they saw our line up for the first match. Excellent coverage can be seen here. Once again we had some luck on our side! Anton momentarily lost concentration and gave his opponent a chance to win some material... Fortunately Anton prevailed, winning an instructive Kings and pawn endgame, please enjoy it here. Having a coffee shop atmosphere helped Max to create his masterpiece! James was fighting well against mighty GM Sasikiran and had some chances in mutual time trouble. He lost in the end but Sasikiran spent a lot of energy and could not perform well in the second match... We won the first match 2.5-1.5 and were looking forward to holding our slim advantage.

Moulthun managed to organise a laptop connected to an internet hotspot but warned me that this setup was a bit shaky. I decided to take a punt and he took his spot in board 4. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going! Playing in complete darkness with a dodgy internet connection, Moulthun was only a few seconds away from his third disconnection and automatic loss. Thankfully his high class, speed and quick thinking allowed Moulthun to offer a draw at the most dramatic moment.

Temur Kuybokarov won a very neat game against the young Indian talent Nihal Sarin. Illingworth lost but we still managed to hold onto a 2-2 draw for the match(due to the fine defensive effort from Anton). With a total score of 4.5-3.5 in Australia's favor! We are Asian (52 countries, population nearly 4.7 billion people) Champions!!

Closing ceremony is about to begin
Closing ceremony is about to begin

Full results from play-off stage can be seen here. I believe this is our biggest victory in Australian Chess history! Congratulations kept coming from all over the world and of course from our region! Just to reproduce a few:

Roger Orio from Guam Chess Federation wrote,
"Congratulations Chess Team Australia and to Gary and the Australian chess leaders. Your achievement is our inspiration in the Oceania chess family, most particularly in Guam. Thank you for the inspiration. We will never forget that it was Australian chess Leaders that assisted the now vibrant Guam chess federation.

Thank you and congratulations.

Oceania Chess President Paul Spiller wrote,
"On behalf of the Oceania Chess Confederation I would like to offer my heartiest congratulations on the magnificent result achieved by the Australian Open team in winning the recently completed Asian online teams competition.

It is not only a significant milestone for Australia but also for the Oceania region.

Please pass on my congratulations to all the team members.

Kind regards

Asian Chess Federation President Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifah Al Nahyan wrote,
"Congratulations for the victory of a team from Oceania in the Asian Online Nations Cup.

As mentioned in it was a David and Goliath struggle for the 6th seed Australian team to go up against the top seed Indian team.

We hope their victory will give a boost to the growth of chess in Oceania. Thank you so much.

Truly yours,

In addition to the Championship Gold Medal certificate for the team shown above, all team members plus the captain received individual certificates. There was also USD5,000 prize money for being the winning team.

It is not a secret that chess is hardly mentioned in Australian mainstream media. Implementing the Asian Chess Federation President's  hopes, we have managed to get some publicity for our golden team!

Please listen ABC Radio interview in Melbourne here.
ABC Radio Canberra here (fragment goes for 16 minutes from 1.34 until 1-50).
ABC Radio Brisbane here (fragment goes for 5 minutes from 2.49.28).
SBS Radio here.

Once again, congratulations to our Team!
They make us all proud!

Problem of the Month - No.54

Selected by Peter Wong

Joseph Warton & Thomas Warton
Chess 1950

White to play and mate in 3

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

Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Online

by Hans Gao

(3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th of October) Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Online

The Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Online is a weekly online 7-round Allegro tournament on Saturdays from 2-6 pm, with a time control of 13+2, open to all Australian players. There are three divisions based on rating: Premier, Challengers, and Minor. Congratulations to the following players that have won their Allegro division in the October Allegros:

Premier (1600+): Michael Baron (four times), Stephen J Solomon, Hrant Melkumyan.

Challengers (1200-1600): Sarah Anton, Gopal Rajulapaty, Matthew Zillmann, Surjeet Singh, Miguel Embuido.

Minor (below 1200): Zaccheus Evangelides, Aiden Power, Abhiram Sakhamuri, Ricky Gao, Rahul De Silva.

For more information and to register for the Allegro, click here.

The arbiter of the Allegro, IM Alexei Khamatgaleev, releases a weekly game analysis. The October analyses are presented here. Please see here to see all analysed games.

Some Early New Zealand Chess History

by Bob Meadley

It was good to read again my article included by Peter Stuart the editor of NZ Chess Vol.9 No.4 August 1983 and it is reproduced at the rear. I also rediscovered an ‘Historical Feature’ from the Daily Telegraph Mirror of August 8, 1991 p.28 on “Pompous Colonel Henry Despard” who led the British in the Maori Wars of 1845 together with two sketches of the shooting at Hekes’ pah and the Maori Chief Tamati Nene. Well worth digging out to read of the soldierly activities of chess players mentioned in the NZ Chess article.

The ‘Australian Chess Annual’ of 1896 by Hugh B. Bignold has a good 15 pager by J.C. Andersen, on NZ Chess and he is as “rare and elusive” as some of those chess books given in the “Who has the largest chess library in NZ”. He is not named in Gaige but appears to have a brother or father H. Andersen of Christchurch who played in the Wanganui NZ Ch’ship of the early 1890’s. Andersen went to a lot of trouble gathering player’s names and their clubs . Here are the clubs:-

Ashburton, Auckland, Canterbury, Glen Var, Invercargill, Linwood, Napier, Oamaru, Otago, Pleasant Point, Rangitikei, Sydenham, Timaru, Wanganui and Woodville.

Of the ‘Chess Notabilities’ :-Richard James Barnes, Charles William Benbow, R.A. Cleland, Joseph Edwards, Henry Hookham, W Meldrum, J.W. Mellor, O.C. Pleasants, J.C. Roll, Thomas Sexton, Jas Smith, Herbert Harold Smith, Lionel Percy Smith, W.M. Stenhouse all get a paragraph or two.

Of the problemists:-Cleland, Kuskop, T & J Sexton, Jas Smith, Roll, King, J.C and H. Andersen, Cunliffe, Arkwright, Benbow, Hunter and Hatherley are named.

There were 9 journals with chess columns:-Auckland Weekly News which started in the Wellington Herald June 9, 1872. It was reproduced in the Saturday New Zealand Herald, Otago Witness July 17, 1875, New Zealand Mail 1876, Canterbury Times April 7, 1877, Weekly Press August 1886, Wanganui Chronicle (Saturday), Dunedin Evening Star 1891, Oamaru Mail August 1892 and the North Otago Witness.

Andersen omits the New Zealand Chess Chronicle perhaps because of its brevity, but the editor N.B. Manley did a good job.

(Chess history was fortunate Hugh Baron Bignold brought out this book. He was a barrister and the son of Judge Bignold of Calcutta where he was born (1870-1930). He was President of the NSWCA and held other offices during many of the years 1908-1927 and was a prolific chess journalist who claimed he made 2000 pounds from it. He edited the Sydney Morning Herald chess column 1895-1911, wrote many legal text books, 1 on poetry and 1 on auction bridge as well as legal magazines. Very genial and popular personality, good player and adjudicator. He was married and had a son and daughter)

Those certainly were the days when chess columns bloomed everywhere and now they are very thin indeed. I have some of his problem books signed H.B. Bignold Wentworth Court which came to me from Frank Ravenscroft. He is articled in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB) His son became a judge in PNG and ADB states he was not a success at the Bar due to nervousness and his preference for literature “interfered with his profession” His chess book is available as a download and it was pleasing to see how many people wanted it. So someone downloaded it. New Zealand chess lovers owe HBB a debt.

It’s not hard to fall in love with New Zealand chess and one day I managed to buy “Terms and Themes of Chess Problems” 1908 by Stewart Shirley Blackburne (1857-1934). He was the editor of the chess column in the Canterbury Times.  The owner of the book had been J.A. Erskine New Zealand’s Top Export. His signature is inscribed inside the front cover and it has a New Zealand part tram ticket that he used as a bookmark between pages 102/3 and on the back are the words KIWI P MAKES WATERP….

Not a pencil annotation anywhere. He probably bought it in Melbourne as the ‘E.W. Cole Melbourne Sydney and Adelaide’ sticker is inside the front cover. Why Melbourne? His sister lived there. And he would use the book on visits back and forth to New Zealand. It has a lovely cover of green cloth on which are impressed 4 golden edged squares each containing a chess piece-the king stares out at the reader holding his mace and orb. The bishop has his back to us holding his crook. Quite amusing. Is he displaying his contempt for chess? And the bottom squares hold a conventional rook and a knight which resembles a racehorse with a blinker on. It would be good to know where this book travelled with JAE but that is pure speculation. Did it go to Broken Hill in Western NSW and then down the mines whilst he engineered and then to Sydney to discuss chess and problems with Spencer Crakanthorp?  It’s in fair nick with some rubbing.


Chess Quotes: The Struggle...

contributed by David Turner

Few things are as psychologically brutal as chess.
Gary Kasparov

To have a knight planted in your game at K6 is worse than a rusty nail in your knee
Efim Bogoljubov

The passed Pawn is a criminal, who should be kept under lock and key. Mild measures, such as police surveillance, are not sufficient.
Aron Nimzowistch

How come the little things bother you in bad positions?  They never bother you in good positions.
Yasser Sierawan

Blunders rarely travel alone.”  
Anatoly Karpov

No one ever won a game by resigning.
Savielly Tarkatower

You will have to lose hundreds of games before you become a good player.”  
Jose Raoul Capablanca

The hardest thing in chess is to win a won game.
Frank Marshall

David Turner


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Solution to Problem of the Month - No.54

Joseph Warton & Thomas Warton
Chess 1950

White to play and mate in 3

Tries: 1.Bf3? (waiting) Qb8+!, 1.Qf3? (waiting) f4! 2.Be4 Q~ 3.Qxg2, 2…Qh3 3.Qxh3, but 2…Qg3!, 1.Re1/Qf1/Qd4? (waiting) f4! 2.Bf3 Qh7+!
Key: 1.Qa7! (waiting). 1…f4 2.Bf3 Q~ 3.Qxg1, 2…Qh7+ 3.Qxh7.

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