The World Chess federation recently proposed punitive measures against players who did not participate in their country's national championship. Yet the recent Australian Olympic selections have shown how relatively unimportant our national championship has become in the crowded Australian tournament calendar.
Last week the Australian selectors picked a squad of 18 from which the 2000 Olympic team will been chosen and already there will be some extremely surprised and disappointed players. Missing from the squad are Zhao Zong Yuan and Chris Depasquale, the two players who tied for second place in January's Australian Championships.
Coff's Harbour 13-year-old Zhao has reason to be particularly upset, with the selectors preferring relatively inactive Olympic veterans such as Guy West, John-Paul Wallace and Leonid Sandler to the talented youngster. In August the squad of 18 will be reduced to 10, six men and four women, the team which will represent Australia at the Istanbul Chess Olympiad in October.
By going for established rankings over current form, the selectors may have been hoping to prod West, Wallace and Sandler into proving their worth in the coming months in order to make the final cut.
2000 Olympic Squad
B.Dekic(N), I.Feldman(N), V.Feldman(N), M.Gluzman(V), D.Johansen(V),
V.Klimenko(N) N.Koshnitsky(SA), N.Mills(V), L.Moylan(ACT), I.Rogers(N),
E.Rozycki(WA), L.Sandler(V), S.Sarai(V), D.Smerdon(Q), S.Solomon(Q),
J-P.Wallace(N), G.West(V), A.Wohl(N)
The latest national ratings, also released last week, show little change at the top of the ACT list, with Laura Moylan failing to regain the ground she had lost in the previous 12 months. Nonetheless, Moylan is the only ACT player in the Olympiad squad and must have good chances of making the team and playing her first Olympiad at the tender age of 17. (Moylan voluntarily withdrew from the 1998 Elista Olympiad team after becoming the youngest player ever selected for an Australian Olympic team.)
April 2000 ACF Ratings
ACT Top 15
1.Thompson 2141; 2.Reeves 2090; 3.Farrell 2077; 4.Bliznyuk 2070; 5.Smirnov
2045; 6.Mautner 2013; 7.Gmizic 1971; 8.G.Butler 1968; 9.Rout 1950;
10.Kolossovski 1935; 11eq.Grcic, Greenwood 1923; 13.Doel 1913; 14.DeLeon
1907; 15.Telfer 1889.
Australia's premier weekend tournament, the Doeberl Cup, will be held at Fenner Hall, ANU, over the Easter weekend, April 21-24. The 38th Doeberl Cup will be open to all, in three divisions with a $10,000 prize list. Details: Roger McCart 62516190 (H).
The Tuggeranong Chess Club Championship, an event with special faster time limits for juniors, will begin tomorrow evening at Tuggeranong RU Club, Wanniassa. Details John Petersson 62912784.
Karl Galli Cup
Leading final scores:
1. A.Greenwood 10.5/11;
2eq. D.Messina, Nguyen Tran 8.5;
4eq. I.Arsanis, M.Hummel, R.Green 7.