Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grant Szuveges Proposed Restructure

Grant Szuveges has been a major factor in the Melbourne Chess Club's resurgence over the past 2 years. I worked along side him on a committee for 2 years and know first hand that Grant is full of innovative ideas and the energy to implement them. This year Grant has extended his activities to include a role on Chess Victoria's (CV) committee. Grant has not been shy about criticising CV in the past but it is all done constructively even if it isn't always taken that way!

I remember talking to Grant about the CV constitution before a previous election and we both agreed that there were problems with the processes. In the meantime, I have had similar conversations with a number of people and nothing has happened. Grant on the other hand, has got on the front foot and proposed a motion for constitutional change. To me it makes a lot of sense, but I won't be one of the people to vote on this.

Anyway, good work Grant on getting this moving.


I have submitted a motion to the Chess Victoria executive to be voted upon at the upcoming 2012 Chess Victoria AGM. The motion has been submitted by me (Grant Szuveges) in my role as a CV executive member. It has not been submitted by Melbourne Chess Club (the club of which I am the president) and does not necessarily reflect the views of the MCC or the CV executive.

The motion regards Article 8.2 of the Chess Victoria constitution and reads as follows:

“That in the Constitution, Section 8 (Meetings), Rule 8 (2) be changed to read:

8 (2) The right to vote at a General Meeting shall be limited to:-

(a) Delegates; and

(b) Honorary life members

who are present at the meeting.”

Rule 8 (2) previously read:

8 (2) The right to vote at a General Meeting shall be limited to members of the Association as defined in rule 3 who are present at the meeting.

(Rule 3 specifies that members of the executive, as well as delegates and honorary life members are ‘Members of the Association’.)


The purpose of the motion is to remove the AGM votes of the 6 person CV executive. Currently, at an AGM, the right to vote is limited to delegates from CV affiliated clubs, honorary life members and the members of the CV executive – of which I am a member.


This problem with the CV constitution is not the fault of any current CV executive member and the motion is not directed against any individual on the CV executive. It is directed against what I believe to be a problem with the voting system itself. I believe that voting at AGMs should be the right of CV member clubs – not those people elected to run CV – myself included.


CV is the umbrella body of Victorian chess clubs. It is an organisation which is supposed to represent the interests of its affiliated member clubs. Under the current constitution however, the CV executive have the right to 6 votes (one per executive member). However while the executive are allowed 6 votes, affiliated clubs have the right to 5 votes at the most. Currently, clubs have the following number of votes, depending on their membership numbers;

10-25 members: 1 vote

26-40 members: 2 votes

41-60 members: 3 votes

61-80 members: 4 votes

81 or more members: 5 votes

Therefore, the CV executive has more votes than even the largest clubs – thus holding disproportionate levels of power. The CV executive have DOUBLE the amount of votes (and thus double the amount of say in CV matters) as an average sized club!!! For example, in an AGM consisting of 30 voters (numbers at AGMs differ annually depending on the size of clubs, numbers at meetings etc), the CV executive’s 6 votes represent 20% of the entire vote (1 fifth). A club with 3 votes only has 10% (1 tenth). Without the votes of the executive, only 24 votes would be allowed and thus the club with 3 votes would increase its voice to 12.5% (1 eighth) of the vote.


As well as being on the CV executive, I am also the president of the Melbourne Chess Club (MCC). It could be argued therefore, that I may vote in the interests of the MCC at CV AGMs. This would give MCC a 6th vote at these AGMs and thus a very powerful position. It could also be argued that other CV executive members who represent other clubs or coaching companies could vote in the interests of those organisations. The main problem is that clubs without their own members on the CV executive risk having less representation at CV AGMs.

While the current CV executive is extremely diverse, with multiple clubs and coaching bodies represented, this may not always remain the case: For example, should the CV executive be dominated by MCC members, this could in theory give MCC 11 votes at CV AGMs! (6 executive votes and 5 ‘proper’ MCC votes). 11 votes in a meeting of 30 voters amounts to over 33% of the vote and thus no constitutional change is ever possible without part of this bloc providing votes (a 2 thirds majority is needed for constitutional change). Even an average sized club dominating the CV executive would mean that that club would effectively have 9 votes! A CV executive dominated by one club would also be extremely difficult to vote out of power! While CV has a diverse executive, the opportunity is now available to correct this serious problem with the CV constitution.


CV affiliated clubs all stand to gain from this change. As mentioned earlier, by eliminating the votes of the CV executive, clubs increase their percentage of the vote, thus giving each and every club more power over their own destiny. Small clubs in particular stand to gain the most from this change.


CV currently has 4 honorary life members. Regardless of the outcome of this vote, honorary life members will all retain their right to a vote at CV AGMs.


Regardless of which club you belong to, this change will affect your club in a positive way – by giving it more say and a larger voice at CV AGMs. It will also safeguard its future voice by ensuring that no club can dominate CV by dominating the executive.


If this vote is to succeed, 2 thirds of the voters at the AGM must vote for it. I do not know whether it will be passed, but to give it the best chance of succeeding, make sure that your club sends the maximum number of delegates allowed to the CV AGM. If you care about your clubs future voice at the state level, supporting this motion is the way forward for a more democratic, more representative and more just CV.

I am a member of the CV executive, and at the CV AGM, I am sincerely hoping that I am able to vote my own vote out of existence! Please support me to do so!

FM Grant Szuveges, CV executive member."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chess News

It's been an action packed week in Melbourne with plenty of chess being played. Probably the most important event was the conclusion of the Box Hill Championship, while the inaugural Noble Park Weekender was a huge success and a strong schools tournament was run by chesskids.

FM Bobby Cheng is the 2012 Box Hill Club Champion. It is a prestigious Championship to win dating back to 1952 with a number of strong and influential players having won the title. The tournament did have some controversy with Bobby being awarded a half point bye in round 8 of the event when the byes were supposed to have stopped being given after round 6. The reason for this was that Bobby was representing Australia at the World Youth Olympiad in Turkey and only knew of the dates after the start of the Box Hill Championship and was committed to playing both. Taking the clash into account the organizer's awarded him a half point bye for the round he missed. I don't really want to make too much of this, but I will say that the club was put into a very difficult situation and chose one of a number of decisions and the decision of the organizing committee is final. So congratulations to Bobby, who is champion for the second time, though first outright.

The Noble Park Classic is a new weekend event on the Victorian circuit. If it continues in the way it started it will put itself right up there with the premier weekenders of Ballarat and the Victorian Open. The event was won by the ever popular FM Domagoj Dragicevic, who has been a tireless worker for the club since its creation. As I played in the event I will be writinf a much fuller report in the next couple of days :)

Victorian schools are lucky to have 2 organisations running interschool tournaments in the state, and both are getting towards the business end of proceedings. Chesskids ran a secondary schools final event last week with a number of strong players present. Top individual scorer on the day was Ari Dale, but his school could only manage second. Top school was defending champions Glen Waverley Secondary.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Melburnian in Moscow

I work with Michael Pahoff who is one of the millions of hobby chess players worldwide. Michael told me he was off on holiday to Moscow, so I suggested a chess related visit. Michael followed up on that, and sent me this story! Thanks Michael.

Hi Carl,

In early September, I visited Moscow for the primary purpose of witnessing Russia's 200th anniversary celebrations and reenactment of the Battle of Borodino 1812 / 2012. With 3,000 participants and over 100,000 spectators the reenactment was marvellous. Whilst in Moscow, on your suggestion, I visited the Moscow Central Chess Club, near the city centre, which was also a very worthwhile experience.

The building that houses the Moscow Central Chess Club was built around 1820, coincidentally, as part of Moscow's restoration after Napoleon's 1812 Invasion of Russia, where the Muscovites burnt down their own city, rather than giving it up wholly. It is two stories high, with a third currently being constructed as a further restoration to the entire building. The second floor has a central plaza, where the parents wait for their children, with wings / rooms on both sides for tournament play. There are lots of old photographs on the walls of Moscow Central Club Members who have been National and World Champions. While I was there, one of the wings was being used for junior Chess lessons.

I was given a very warm welcome by the Manager, Anton Kuzin, and would recommend the Moscow Central Chess Club to anyone visiting that wonderful city.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chess Info Sites

The best place to find out about chess in and around Victoria are at the club websites. Chess Victoria's website has some information, but it is tough to navigate and focuses mainly on events that Chess Victoria runs itself. However, there are useful sites to find out about chess news in Victoria.

At least 2 clubs that I know of create excellent newsletters. Box Hill Chess Club has been producing it's newsletter under the editorship of Gerrit Hartland for quite a while now (though I'm not sure exactly how least 5 years I would say). This is a weekly publication, which is a truly remarkable effort by the Box hill and Canterbury Junior chess clubs! As club newsletters are a combination of voluntary contributions put together by a devoted editor, the content can vary. There will always be club information in Box Hill's newsletters, including recent results and upcoming tournaments. There are sometimes games, and sometimes analysis. I think IM Michael Gluzman was annotating some games, though perhaps that was last year? A great benefit of this newsletter is that anyone can subscribe to it by joining the Box Hill mailing list and the newsletter will be sent directly to your email for free. Just contact the club by email.

Noble Park Chess Club also produce a newsletter. So far this has been one of the outstanding publications in Australian chess, at least to my mind. The newsletter will give results and detailed tournament reports including games analysis. It is a very attractive publication, colourful and with plenty of photos. It is produced about 5 times per year, roughly coinciding with the start of each of their main tournaments (though I wouldn't be surprised if there is a special newsletter for the club weekend event next week!).

IM Robert Jamieson also produces a newsletter, called "On The Move". Working with the Chesskids organisation, Robert has revived a publication that the Victorian Chess Association formerly published. This is published every 2-3 months in pdf form but hard copies are produced and sent to clubs. Hopefully some of you would have seen some of them. Robert also produces a junior newsletter for chesskids, called Knight Times. While the articles are directed at Juniors this is still a newsletter for everyone. Like Box Hill's newsletter, the main distribution of these newsletter's is by email, so contact chesskids and get these for free!

A couple of other places to find out news and information about Victorian Chess are the ACF newsletter and the Australian Junior Chess League's newsletter, both of which can be subscribed to for free. The ACF newsletter is currently not being produced while a new editor is sought, and the AJCL's bulletin is not a regular publication. However, when produced, both of these give excellent information, some of which is pertinent to Victoria.

I very much enjoy reading these local publications and especially seeing photos. I wonder if any other clubs are producing newsletters in Victoria?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chess in Melbourne 3/9/2012-16/9/2012

My posts about weekly events have previously just been lists, but these can be seen easily on the Calendar so I am changing to more of a commentary based weekly report.

We are coming to the end of a school term and both Chess Victoria and Chesskids are conducting a number of interschool tournaments around the state. School chess in Victoria is flourishing though the clubs are only seeing a small minority of these players going through their doors.

The clubs are active with Melbourne Chess Club's Open tournament about to start on Mondays nights starting on the 10th. Big events at Box Hill and Noble Park are coming to a conclusion. Box Hill Club Championship is arguably the premier event at this moment in Victoria. It is a tournament affected by the Olympiad as top seed, FM Bobby Cheng is representing Australia U-16 in Turkey (he is not the only player from this tournament). I'm not too sure what is happening with the postponements as it seems that Bobby, and Ari Dale, Savithri Narenthran and Jack Puccini will all be absent for 2 rounds. Though not a club championship, Noble Park's Masters and Challengers tournaments bring an elite group in round robin format. This had also been affected by the Olympiad, but the round robin format has allowed the players the flexibility of playing their games in advance. Justin Tan, who is on duty in Turkey currently leads the tournament, though he can be caught and overtaken by Dusan Stojic if he wins his outstanding games. The Challengers event is great as a qualifier for the following year's Masters. This year, Jimmy Ying moved up into the Masters and would have gained invaluable experience. This year's Challenger's is currently being led by a comeback player, Anurag Sannidhanam.

Box Hill Chess Club is also running its Masters round robin event on Tuesdays, with this event also nearing its conclusion. The details of this event are a bit sketchy, but I'm guessing that field was assembled but someone dropped out. Organiser David Flude jumped in to fill up the spots, and is having to play some catch up games. I'm not sure of the exact scores, but it looks as if top seeds FM Bill Jordan, Marcus Raine and Max Chew Lee are fighting it out for top place.

Croydon Chess Club runs a varied and interesting Calendar in the Eastern suburbs. After their Frost tournament which is being led by Franz Oswald, they have a chess 960 allegro. For those of you that have never played this variant of chess, the major pieces are mixed up on the back rank to start a game, bringing a random element into each game. Openings experts don't get their favourite positions in chess 960!

On a Tuesday evening in the Western suburbs, Hobson's Bay Chess Club meet (my first club in Australia!). They are currently coming to the end of their 5 round swiss, the 'Koshnitsky'. Tony Davis won his forst 3 games to take the lead, though I haven't seen the results from last night. The tournament finishes next week, and on September 18th they have an allegro night, which would be a great time for new players, or old players looking for a new venue, to check the club out.

Of course, if it's blitz that you are interested in then probably the MCC is the place to be every Saturday! Or Box Hill on Sunday for their Rookies cup!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Victorian Top 10

September 1st sees a new ACF rating list published, though the list hasn't actually been made public yet! FIDE also publishes a rating list on Septemebr 1st, as it has now moved to a monthly revision of its lists. I'll keep a review of any changes in the top places.

Victorians in the FIDE top Australian list September 2012 (national ranking in brackets)

1. GM D. Johansen 2446 (3)
2. IM I. Goldenberg 2376 (11)
3. IM J. Morris 2372 (12)
4. FM B. Cheng 2358 (14)
5. FM M. Baron 2352 (15)
5. IM G. West 2335 (16)
7. FM D. Dragicevic 2302 (19)
8. IM L. Sandler 2272 (21)
8. FM C. Wallis 2272 (21)
10. FM D. Stojic 2262 (23)

Top 10 Victorians in the ACF list September 2012

1. (1) GM D. Johansen 2493 (4)
2. (2) IM I. Goldenberg 2396 (14)
3. (4) FM B. Cheng 2388 (15)
3. (7) IM J. Morris 2388 (15)
5. (6) IM G. West 2353 (19)
6. (5) FM E Teichmann 2350 (21)
7. (8) FM C. Wallis 2307 (25)
8. (9) FM D. Stojic 2304 (26)
9. (10) FM D. Dragicevic 2301 (28)
10. (-) J. Tan 2297 (30)

There are some changes from the last list. FM Michael Baron has dropped off the top players list, I presume due to inactivity. The biggest riser is James Morris, while Justin Tan is new to the top 10!

Mirko Rujevic continues as number 1 in the seniors list, while Olympian Sally Yu is number 5 on the women's list. Victoria has plenty of representation in the junior list. Here are players in the top 5 with thei position in brackets:

Under 20: B. Cheng (2), J. Morris (2), J. Tan (5)
Under 18: B. Cheng (1), J. Morris (1), J. Tan (3)
Under 16: B. Cheng (1), J. Tan (2), L. Matheson (4), K. Zelesco (5)
Under 14: K. Zelesco (1), A. Dale (4), M. Chan (5)
Under 12: E. Fan (2), E. Lim (5)
Under 10: E. Lim (1), K. Chan (4)

Victoria also has 2 girls in the top 10 nationwide: S. Yu (2), S. Narenthran (6)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Victorian Olympians Part 1

The current chess Olympiad sees only one current Victorian representative, Sally Yu, board 3 for the women's team. Sally started off with a good win in the first round playing black Rivera Borg of Malta. The game was an Exchange Queen's Gambit where Sally was able to nullify any threats that her opponent came up with, while creating her own threats which won her an exchange. Sally is the fist Victorian representative in the women's team since Anastasia Sorokina played in 2004 and that was the only Victorian appearnace this century in the women's squad!

In the men's team, there has been more Victorian representation:

2010 D. Johansen

2008 D. Johansen

2006 N. Speck

2004 D. Johansen

2002 D. Johansen, N. Speck, M. Gluzman

2000 D. Johansen, G. West, L. Sandler

To be fair, GM Darryl Johansen could have played this time, but he ruled himself out of contention. I'll have a look further back into the twentieth century later on during this Olympiad!

Anyway, here's Sally's first game from the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad.