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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Changes to eligibility rules for ACF titles / Federation transfers to AUS

    At its meeting in January the ACF Council passed changes to its rules for ACF title eligibility (eg Australian Champion, Australian Junior Champions, Australian Blitz Champion, Australian Seniors Champion etc). The changes are still being bedded down in terms of identifying all By-Laws that need to be changed and there may be some fine details to be ironed out but this post describes the basics. There were some transitional rulings covering specific players in 2019-20 summer events.

    For a long time (I think the last 20 years at least) eligibility for Australian titles, and also for Olympiad selection, had been open to citizens and permanent residents of Australia. Players who are neither have had to depend on case-by-case overridings of the By-Laws. What Federation a player has been registered to with FIDE has been irrelevant.

    There have been some issues with this:

    * Because players can be registered with FIDE as Australian while being temporary residents, some players have been eligible to represent Australia from FIDE's end and have yet needed player-specific motions to allow them to apply for Australian selection for Olympiads or to become Australian champions.

    * It has often been difficult to keep track of which players arrived from overseas are temporary as opposed to permanent residents, especially if they are already registered to AUS with FIDE.

    * There is a perception that it is sometimes difficult to determine who is a permanent resident.

    As a result the following now applies under the By-Laws:

    * Any player registered to AUS with FIDE is eligible for Australian titles whatever their residency or citizenship status.

    * Any player registered to a federation other than AUS with FIDE is only eligible if they are an Australian citizen and provide proof they are an Australian citizen (normally a passport or other appropriate government document.)

    The By-Laws can be overridden by the ACF Council in specific cases if unusual circumstances warrant doing so. This could, in theory, occur in either direction - eg an AUS-registered player being deemed ineligible, or an overseas-registered non-citizen being deemed eligible.


    Advice on changing Federation to AUS

    I am the person responsible for processing federation transfers to Australia. Unfortunately the process, created by previous FIDE administrations and not the ACF or the current FIDE administration, is expensive, confusing, bureaucratic and slow:

    * Almost all transfers involve a FIDE cost of 250 Euro to which the ACF adds about $4 for currency costs.

    * Transfers can take up to 4 months, depending on how long it takes the player's old Federation to respond to a letter from FIDE asking if they object to the transfer.

    * If a player wants to play in an official FIDE championship title event (which includes FIDE Asian and Oceania events such as Oceania Zonal, and also, eg, FIDE title events like World Senior, World Cadets etc) within either 1 or 2 years of being transferred (time depends on circumstances) then they will need to pay FIDE a fee called the Transfer Fee and they may, if high-rated, need to pay their old Federation a fee called the Compensation Fee. The total of these fees starts at 300 Euro and for high-rated players can be very high indeed. Note that a FIDE title event is not the same thing as a FIDE rated event - most FIDE-rated events are not FIDE title events.

    * FIDE is reviewing the transfer system but it is unclear when the review will be completed and what its outcome will be. I don't expect the review to be completed until at least July and am not confident of any changes coming into effect this year. However the review is likely to result in transfers becoming much cheaper and easier.

    There are also some requirements from the ACF end. The ACF is very wary of players engaging in federation-shopping for the purposes of acting as overseas players in FIDE norm tournaments, and we also want to keep our FIDE bills down. Therefore we do not normally accept transfers of players from other federations if those players live outside Australia and have no history of playing ACF-rated chess in Australia, even if those players are Australian citizens or permanent residents. Also we do not necessarily accept transfers of players who have been granted residency but have not started living in Australia yet.

    Anyone wishing to transfer to AUS should contact me at for more detail on the process.

    Kevin Bonham
    ACF FIDE Delegate And Admin Officer
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 19-02-2020 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Also note that I do not process FIDE ID requests for players without FIDE IDs. They are handled by Bill Gletsos as ACF FIDE Ratings Officer. Again, players with no history of playing rated chess in Australia will not necessarily be granted FIDE IDs as Australian.

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