Minutes of the Oceania Chess Zonal Meeting Print
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 09:31

Oceania Chess Zone Development Meeting – Gold Coast – 23rd June 2009



Meeting opened at 11:00am.


Present: Ignatius Leong (FIDE General Secretary), Gary Bekker (Oceania Zone President), Shaun Press (Oceania Zone Honorary Secretary), Rupert Jones (FIDE Development Secretary), Graeme Gardiner (Former Oceania Zone President), Paul Spiller (NZCF President), Mike Steadman (NZL), Jamie Kenmure (AUS), Hilton Bennett (NZL), Joselito Marcos (PNG), Roberto Hernandez (PAL), Fernando Aguilar (SOL), Gloria Sukhu (FIJ), Greg Canfell (AUS), George Lester (AUS), Brian Jones (AUS), Garvin Gray (AUS).

  1. Report from Oceania chess federations:
    1. Existing FIDE Members
      • Australia
        No Report Presented. Delegate not briefed by Federation.
      • New Zealand
        The Federation has seen an increase in the number of major events in New Zealand. Chess in schools is growing with an increase in the number of junior players as a result. Overall the feeling is one of positive growth in New Zealand Chess.
      • Fiji
        The Federation reports a growth in school chess. More regular events are being organised in Fiji, with solid numbers taking part. Teams chess is also growing in Fiji
      • PNG
        There has been a decline in events in PNG since 2003. The Federation has mainly concentrated on sending teams to the Olympiad, although this falls far short of helping the growth of chess in PNG. Mr Stuart Fancy has purchased a large number of sets on behalf of the federation has begun distributing them to PNG schools as well as to other Oceania Federations. However the lack of on the ground organisers is holding back chess growth in PNG.
      • Solomon Islands
        Although it is a new Federation, the Solomon Islands has achieved success in the area of sponsorship ($150,000 SBD) and government recognition as a sport. Programs to assist teenaged and school aged children are being developed and implemented.
      • Palau
        Palau is a new federation but has had success in the area of publicity with coverage in Newspapers and on television. They are organising regular tournaments and junior events.

    2. Emerging Oceania Federations
      The Zone President has sent 10 or more chess sets to a number of emerging chess federations in Oceania. The idea of a Oceania Chess Association for member nations not yet ready to join FIDE, was discussed. Contact information is given below:
  2. Major chess events in Oceania
    • 2011 Oceania Zonal
      New Zealand have undertaken to organise this in Rotorua in April 2011. Assistance with funding is required. Further details will be announced later this year.
    • Oceania Senior Championship
      The Oceania representative for the World Seniors Championship will alternate between the winner of the Australian Seniors Championship and the New Zealand Seniors Championship, with representatives from other Oceania Federations eligible to play in these events. When required, a selection will be made from the strongest available applicants wishing to play in the event. Peter Stuart (NZL) will be this year’s nominated Oceania representative in the World Seniors Championship.
    • Asian Chess Championship
      The next Asian Chess Championship will be held in Subic Bay, Philippines during May 2010. Oceania chess federations are encouraged to send a representative as entry and full board is usually provided for the official representative from each country. The Zone President pledged financial support for a representative from Palau to take part.
    • Oceania Grand Prix
      This was discussed without any firm resolution at this point in time. Postponed for future discussion and development.
    • Asian Schools Chess Championship
      The Zone President will assist in developing a proposal for this event to be held in Australia during 2010.
    • Other events
      The importance of the Asian Teams and Asian Cities events was discussed, with the hope that these events will be held in South East Asia more often in future.
      A possible Oceania Junior Championship event was discussed, with the possibility that FIDE would award FM titles for the age group winners, and an IM title for the Under 20 event, as currently happens in other Continental Age Championships.

  3. Player training and support
    • Project GM
      The NZCF gave a report on Project GM which was designed to assist IM Puchen Wang achieve a GM title. While this was not achieved in the life of the project there was a positive outcome in that Puchen received a chess scholarship at the University of Texas, Dallas. Details are available on the NZCF website. The project may also serve as a blueprint for other federations looking to implement a similar program.
    • Training Squads
      Often encounter difficulties due to financial and time constraints. The ACF Junior Training Squad, previously sponsored by Ergas, is a successful programme run in Australia each year.
    • FIDE Certified Trainers
      There are very few active FIDE Trainers in the Oceania Zone. The Zone President undertook to assist those who are seeking the FIDE Trainer accreditation where possible.
    • Chess in Schools Programmes
      Limited success is being achieved through inter-school competitions and school holiday chess programmes. Volunteers typically have limited time available.
    • Private Chess Coaches and Schools
      A large number of strong junior players have emerged in Australia as a direct result of the establishment of private chess academies and learning centres. This model is yet to be fully developed in New Zealand.
    • Other training and support

  4. Oceania chess administrators
    • Training and development
      There is a need to encourage competent chess administrators. Most National Olympic Committees offer sports administrator training, another possible benefit of future NOC membership.
    • Improved communications
      The Zone President undertook to set up a mailing list or discussion group to improve communication between the federations. Improved internet access will also allow more immediate communications between the federations.
    • FIDE arbiters
      New Zealand expressed concern that the new FIDE arbiter regulations would preclude it from holding major FIDE title events as they lack a pool of active IA/FA’s.
      The Zone President pledged to organise a FIDE accredited Arbiter Training Seminar in Australia and New Zealand during the coming two years.
      The possibility of providing online Arbiter training and examinations was discussed. FIDE will be asked to look at this suggestion.
    • FIDE organisers
      Oceania currently has only two International Organisers, Brian Jones and Paul Spiller.
      The IO title application for Graeme Gardiner was discussed, and follow-up paperwork was submitted. This title was ratified in the days following the meeting.

  5. Starter kit for new clubs and emerging federations
    • Distribution media
      USB flash drive is probably the best inexpensive option. The Zone President, Gary Bekker, also suggested the possibility that each emerging Federation be provided with a netbook computer pre-loaded with the software and resources listed below. The CACDEC Secretary, Rupert Jones, indicated that CACDEC might look favourably on such a proposal, with the view to funding it. Zone President to follow up.
    • Items for inclusion:
      1. FIDE Laws of Chess
      2. Oceania Contact List
      3. Swiss Perfect
      4. ChessBase & Fritz
      5. Internet Chess account

  6. National Sports Council and Olympic Committee membership
    • Benefits
      Recognition and Publicity
      Communication and Promotion
      Financial Support
      Training and Education
      Sport Management
    • Requirements
      Active officials and formal membership structure
      Conduct regular events and competitions
      Member of their international governing body
      Must submit annual reports to the Olympic Committee
    • Presentation Material
      Social, community and mental benefits of chess
      Wide appeal to all ages and ethnic groups
    • Application Forms
      The Zone President will seek guidance from NZL, FIJ, SOL federations and then submit applications to PLW, PNG and AUS Olympic Committees.
    • Discussion
      The smaller Oceania federations had greater success in achieving government recognition of chess as a sport than the larger ones, and part of the discussion was about whether this was due to Anglo-Saxon cultural attitudes to sport and competition.
      The Zone President will seek to contact Peter Koshnitsky regarding his earlier work towards getting chess recognised as a sport in Australia.

  7. Sponsorship and financial support for chess
    • Government Sports Councils and Grants
      Numerous local government grants and sports funding opportunities are available, but much of this depends on recognition of chess as a worthy recipient of funding and/or recognition as a sport.
    • Olympic Committee
      Typically very little funding is available, but publicity and promotion through Olympic Committee membership would be of enormous benefit.
    • FIDE and CACDEC
      All federations were informed that there is an available pool of funds from FIDE and CACDEC, but it does require federations to present well designed proposals to these bodies, in order to receive funding.
    • Asian Chess Federation
      Support from the Asian Chess Federation is also available in the form of subsidies or discounts on FIDE fees and support to host major Asian chess events.
    • Corporate Sponsorship
      Important to develop long term relationships and partnerships, not just one-off sponsorship arrangements.
    • Philanthropy and Private Support
      Suggestion to add a “donate now” button and/or bequest forms to the Oceania chess federation websites.
    • Fundraising events
      There has been some limited success in specific, targeted fund raising events.
    • Publicity and media
      Again, often the smaller Oceania federations had greater success in achieving a good level of publicity and media interest for chess. The publicity and interest generated in the Solomon Islands and the regular chess news column in Tia Belau (Palau) were cited as good examples of what can be achieved. Larger federations need to appoint a publicity and fundraising officer if possible, in order to generate regular good publicity and a public profile for chess.
      Further discussion emphasised the need to present chess as a 'brand' and that sponsorship would be easier to attract if chess was a more 'mainstream' activity.
      Need to encourage mass participation.
      Chess has social benefits, builds community relationships and improves mental fitness.
      The Zone President undertook to canvass for the development of an Oceania Chess Zone logo which could be used when approaching potential sponsors or sporting bodies in the future.

  8. Oceania Chess Development Programme
    • Development goals and measures
      Smaller Oceania nations are encouraged to adopt the CACDEC development goals, and additional goals suggested by the Oceania Zone President:
      1. At least 5 FIDE rated players
      2. National Championship to be FIDE rated
      3. One active FIDE Arbiter or International Arbiter
      4. One local FIDE Trainer
      5. A chess-in-schools programme
      6. Junior squad development programme
      7. Participate in Asian Youth Championship
      8. Participate in World Chess Olympiad
      9. Produce one titled player by 2010
      10. Participate in the Oceania Zonal Championship
      11. Establish an internet website
      12. Join the National Olympic Committee
    • Development Plan and Budget
      Paul Spiller and Hilton Bennett of New Zealand submitted a draft Oceania Chess Development Programme discussion paper some time ago. The key points of this were:
      1. Actively encourage emerging Oceania chess federations to join FIDE and organise regular chess activities and training programmes
      2. Deliver chess sets, clocks, computers, training software, equipment and coaching services to Oceania chess federations
      3. Establish an Oceania Chess Development administration office or structure
      4. Encourage and support individual, team, and junior player participation in Asian Championship and elite regional chess events
      5. Seek corporate sponsorship for chess development programmes
      6. Seek a greater profile for chess through recognition by sporting bodies, mass participation, and greater media coverage

      This discussion paper, together with a five-stage development plan proposed by the Oceania Zone President, are available by contacting This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  9. General business and other items suggested by federation representatives
    • FIDE Fees
      For some smaller federations, the cost of FIDE membership fees is relatively high for only limited perceived benefit. These federations may get better value for money from the establishment of an Oceania Chess Association with similar technical benefits provided within a much cheaper membership structure.
      FIDE is trying to encourage the development financially self-sufficient federations rather than shell federations that exist simply to provide a small group of players certain financial and tournament qualification benefits.
    • International participation and the Chess Olympiad
      All Oceania federations are encouraged to hold an annual FIDE-rated national championship, and to send representatives to events such as the Asian Championships and the Olympiad in order to get the full benefits of FIDE membership. Players are advised to apply for visas many months in advance to avoid disappointment. Teams with no more than two players will no longer be allowed to participate in the Olympiad.

Meeting closed 3:00pm


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