Australia has been sending teams to Chess Olympiads since 1964 and many has
been the disgruntled player who has missed selection for the Australian
Only in the new millenium, however, did a player decide to seek redress in
the courts; Chris Depasquale deciding that, ratings notwithstanding, he
deserved a place amongst Australia's elite.
After missing the team for the Istanbul Olympiad and failing to convince
the Australian Chess Federation to hold a reselection, Depasquale sued the
ACF in the ACT Supreme Court.
Having been selected last of the 10 candidates for the open team in August,
Depasquale had a huge mountain to climb but two withdrawals and an
exclusion for technical reasons had left the Alice Springs plaintiff with
only one player, Leonid Sandler, between him and Istanbul.
Since Australian Olympiad team members pay most of their own costs for the
right to represent Australia, a place in the team might be regarded as a
financial negative, although Depasquale declared that he had been offered a
contract to write a book about the Istanbul Olympiad, conditional on him
being a player.
On Thursday Depasquale had his day in court, with evidence being heard in
front of Justice Gray. International Masters Guy West and Robert Jamieson
were two of the stars to take the stand in the full day hearing.
West argued that current form was supposed to be the criteria for selection
and that Depasquale's recent results were superior, although with neither
Sandler nor Depasquale having played a serious tournament game in six
months, 'current form' needed to be viewed flexibly.
Justice Gray reserved his judgment until Friday and, having considered the
matter overnight, decided to dismiss Depasquale's application.
The result will come as a relief to the ACF, not least because an
unsuccessful applicant for the women's team was waiting in the wings and
might also have sued had Depasquale won his case.
Meanwhile, on the chessboard, Australia's best juniors are competing
creditably at the World Age Championships in Spain, with Victoria's
Michelle Lee the star so far in the Under 10 Girls' event and Canberra's
Gareth Oliver also performing well in the U/14.
World U/14 Ch.
Oropesa Del Mar 2000
Black: M.Lopez Velez
Opening: Torre Attack
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 d5 4.e3 Be7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nbd7 7.Nbd2 c4?!
An all too common error; blocking the centre gives White a free hand on the
8.Bc2 0-0 9.Ne5 h6?
Creating a near-fatal weakness which Oliver is quick to exploit. 9...Nxe5
10.dxe5 Nd7 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 was still playable for Black.
10.Bf4! Qb6 11.Rb1 Qa6 (Diagram) 12.g4! Ne8
12...Nh7 is strongly met by 13.h4 with 14.g5 to follow.
13.g5 hxg5 14.Qh5 g6
This loses by force but after 14...Ndf6 15.Qxg5 the attack along the g and
h files must decide.
15.Nxg6! fxg6 16.Qxg6+ Ng7 17.Qh7+ Kf7 18.Bg6+ Kf6 19.Bxg5+! Kxg5 20.Rg1+
Kf6 21.Qh4 Checkmate!
The 2000 Chandler Cup was won by Richard Morton after a dramatic final
round victory with black against Jan De Gier
Leading final scores:
1. Morton 5/6
2.eq. Wright, De Gier 4.5;
4. Rout 4;
5eq. Messina, Fitzpatrick, Murphy 3.5.