A bureaucratic bungle has failed to prevent Laura Moylan from becoming the
youngest member of the 2000 Australian Olympic team to play in Istanbul in
When the final selections were announced by the Australian Chess Federation
this week, it became clear that the selectors had been heavily influenced
by ratings, with the low-rated but in-form 14-year-old Zhao Zong Yuan being
overlooked while the barely active but highly rated Mikhail Gluzman was
selected as high as fourth board.
Upon seeing the open team, 17-year-old Moylan had good reason to fear for
her chances of taking a place in the women's team. Moylan has had an
outstanding year but, through no fault of her own, many of her best
performances were not submitted to the Australian ratings officer in time
for the August ranking list.
The bungle left Moylan ranked behind her three main rivals for the team and
it was far from clear that the selectors would respond positively to the
list of Moylan's missing results sent to them by the selection coordinator.
However enough selectors looked past the ratings to put Moylan in the
women's team, albeit on a marginally lower board than she might have
The open team, while solid enough, is beginning to look a little long in
the tooth. Rogers, Johansen and West are all aged 40+ and have played more
than 25 Olympiads between them since first competing together in 1980,
while 'youngsters' Gluzman and Wallace debuted as long ago as 1994.
Experience may count for something in chess - the selectors obviously
believe it does - but with older, more stable, players in the team, an
Australian public starved of Olympic medals since 1982 will be lucky to see
the drought broken.
Perhaps Australia's best chance for a medal lies with Moylan - in good
form, playing on a low board, and keen to make up for the disappointment of
the 1998 Olympiad. (Moylan was selected in the 1998 team to play in Elista
and would have been the youngest ever Australian player had political
problems not intervened and caused her and others to refuse to travel to
Australian Olympiad Teams
1.Rogers(N), 2.Johansen(V), 3.Wohl(N), 4.Gluzman(V), 5.West(V),
Women 1.Berezina-Feldman(N), 2.Phan-Koshnitsky(SA), 3.Dekic(N),
The following game was decisive in wrapping up last month's Australian
rapid title for the victor.
Opening: French Defence
1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 d4 4.Ne2 c5 5.c3 Nc6
5...dxc3 6.bxc3 Nf6 is safer.
6.cxd4 cxd4 7.Qa4 Bc5 8.b4! Bxb4 9.Nexd4 Nge7 10.Bb5 Qa5 11.Rb1 Qxa4
12.Bxa4 Ba5 13.Ne5 Bb6! 14.Ndxc6 Nxc6 15.Ba3!
15.Nxc6 Bd7 would allow Black some freedom.
15...f6 16.Nc4 Bc7 17.0-0 Kf7 18.Bd6 Bd8 19.Bxc6
The simplest solution - Black's bishops have few prospects in the resultant
19...bxc6 20.d4 Ba6 21.Rfc1 Bb5 22.a4! Bxa4?! 23.Rb7+ Kg6?
23...Kg8 was the only chance.
24.Rc3 Rg8 25.Rg3+ Kh5 26.Rbxg7 Rxg7 27.Rxg7 Bb6 (Diagram) 28.Bf4!
Trapping the king in a mating net.
28...Bc2 29.h3 Bxe4 30.g4+ Kh4 31.Kh2 Bg6 32.Nd2 1-0