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  1. #16
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    President's visits

    A number of important visits to other clubs as well as participation in the CV AGM, were conducted by the President of the MCC Grant Szuveges during the last week.
    It has also being brought to my attention that Grant's amongst other current plans are included talks with ACF
    More detailed report later.
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  2. #17
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Good on you MCC!

    As the President of the Melbourne Chess Club Grant Szuveges announces

    we have finally made our first $1000 for the building fund!!!!! We achieved this in less than 2 weeks!!! But keep the money coming in because although the first $1000 is a good start, we need more to get our building renovated - so keep the money coming in...

    Last edited by ER; 16-02-2009 at 05:15 AM.
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  3. #18
    CC International Master Watto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight
    As the President of the Melbourne Chess Club Grant Szuveges announces

    we have finally made our first $1000 for the building fund!!!!! We achieved this in less than 2 weeks!!! But keep the money coming in because although the first $1000 is a good start, we need more to get our building renovated - so keep the money coming in...

    A worthy cause. Itís nice to have some good news down here in Victoria.
    Grant and the new committee are coming up with some great initiativesÖ

  4. #19
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    Does MCC want to hold a bushfire fund-raising simul? If yes, i am happy to give it!
    Interested in Chess Lessons?
    Email webbaron!@gmail.com for more Info!

  5. #20
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    Allegro is on Tomorrow! Do not miss it!
    Interested in Chess Lessons?
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  6. #21
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    The Truth Abour MCC

    When I started this thread some weeks ago, I. like other old and new members of the MCC, was surprised to be called back to the Club to join a revolution in order to bring the Melbourne Chess Club back to the place it deserves in our Chess Community.
    Surprised, because the events that changed and will continue to change the face of the Club were breath taking, sudden and dramatic...

    The truth and nothing but the truth about...

    Shocking details
    Reasons that led to the revolution
    How it happened
    Who was the main moving force behind the events
    Plans for the present and future

    In the Grant Szuveges Interview

    soon to be published here
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight

    Shocking details
    Reasons that led to the revolution
    How it happened
    Who was the main moving force behind the events
    Plans for the present and future

    In the Grant Szuveges Interview

    soon to be published here
    Wow! Looking forward to it!
    Interested in Chess Lessons?
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  8. #23
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Grant Szuveges: The Interview (PART I)

    As we promised a few hours ago, an extensive no holds harred interview with the new President of the Melbourne Chess Club Grant Szuveges is published here. Due to its extensive nature, the interview will be published in parts.
    In the first part we begin with questions about the Chess career of FM Grant Szuveges.


    Ok letís now start from the beginningÖ When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a major part in your life?

    Probably when I was 16 or 17. I loved playing chess and was fairly directionless in other areas. All I wanted to do was finish school and then play chess. I didnt want to go to uni or anything, just play chess. I had started playing competitively when I was 14 or 15 and I just became obsessed with it...

    Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? who are your favourite players now?

    I didnít really have any chess idols when I first started out. I didnt really know how to study the game properly and I kind of idolised certain openings instead of players themselves! Petrosian was probably the first player I really liked, but that was because he played the Caro Kann Defence. Undoubtedly though, his games have influenced my playing style. These days I doní
    t really have any favourite players on the world stage as I havenít played or followed chess for 9 years. When I quit playing, my favourite player was Portisch - followed by Kasparov, Yusupov and Tal. (I like dynamic players)...

    Who was your first Chess mentor?

    Darryl Johansen. I had had dribs and drabs of coaching from various other people, but it was only after getting to know Darryl that my chess significantly improved. He was the perfect coach/mentor for me because he saw the world in a similar sort of way to me and we share the same sort of humour. He wasnít given many free rides as a kid and achieved what he did through hard work. I respected this and worked harder at my own game. I strongly believe that when choosing a coach, one must choose someone who they get along well with as a person - its not all about chess. You canít play well for someone who you donít respect. You need someone who understands the way you think and is supportive. I remember one time when I agreed to a draw knowing I was better (against a strong player) after Iíd had a huge fight with my girlfriend. Darryl totally understood and never judged me for it. These things build trust between player and coach...

    Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

    Compared to the kids these days, not at all!!! In those days chess was very different! I learned the rules from my father when I was 4 or 5 but never played seriously until I was 14 or 15. My sister Narelle was more into it from when I was 12 or 13 (she was 10 or 11). I got into it because of her really...

    How much support did you have by your family?

    Very little. My childhood wasnít much chop really. They were supportive later on though when I was an adult and already a strong player. When I went and lived in Amsterdam in 2000 for half a year my mother sent me over $2000 so I could stay longer and keep improving my chess". From memory I spent most of it on beer in the pubs! (young people and free money can be an interesting mix...)...
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  9. #24
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    Grant Szuveges: The Interview - Part II

    When and how did you achieve your FM title? Was it the greatest achievement of your Chess career?

    I got the title in 1999 by scoring 4.5/9 in the Oceana Zonal (the one which caused controversy by handing out lots of titles). Iíve never publically commented on this subject, but I felt for all of the players who were criticised for scoring enough points to gain a title. Did we deserve the title? Well, I donít know, but what I can say is that there were 2 players in the tournament who were much weaker than the rest of the field and I only played one of them. I scored 4.5/5 against players under 2300 and 0/4 against players 2300 and over. I didnít lose to anyone under 2300 but then I didnt beat anyone over 2300 either and I only had one draw (not in the final round). It was a very strange tournament and there wasnít very much good chess played there - even by the better players. I think that the pressure of the whole thing must have got to most of the players. Was the FM title the greatest achievement of my chess career? Well on paper yes. It has been really helpful away from the board actually. Its a great thing socially eg. pretty women Iíve met in pubs, discos and parties over the years really tend to like it! It also looks great on my resume! It also looks good that the MCC president is a titled player. I earned it legitimately and within the rules of the event, and the people most close to me think that I should be proud of it, so I am proud of it in that way, but it certainly wasnít anywhere near the best chess that Iíve played. Winning the under 2200 prize outright in the 98-99 Australian Open was more satisfying, so was winning the 97 Christmas Swiss and scoring 8/11 in the Australian Reserves a few weeks later. As was beating a GM in a tough game in Holland in 2000...

    Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

    Kasparov. He was way ahead of his rivals. His preparation was amazing - way ahead of his time and the blueprint for the modern super grandmaster...

    The strongest?

    At his best, Kasparov. The strongest now? Ive got no idea - I havenít followed it for 9 years. Anand, Kramnik, Topalov all seem to stand out but I really dont know...

    The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

    Portisch (although he isnt exactly modern) is the one whose style I Ďve always tried to adopt. His play is/was dynamic, aggressive and positional. I love playing with the bishop pair, especially as black in Sicilian positions. I also include Darryl Johansen for the same reasons - his games always have more to them than what people realise...

    The one that you always wanted to meet?

    I never had any ambition to meet any of them actually - although I got a day of coaching from Dvorevsky in Holland. After the coaching, Yusupov drove me to Germany where we said a very brief hello to Kasparov in Frankfurt. I then headed north...

    Who is Australiaís most promising young player?

    Zhao - he has proven himself. Is he still considered "young"? Of the current juniors, well I wouldnít have any idea. I dont even know who most of them are. Iíve seen some of James Morris' games. He plays the game the way it should be played and I like his attitude - he doesnít seem to tolerate mediocrity. Cedric Antolis is the only other one Ive seen but I Ďve only seen one of his games - a great win actually as black. Apparently he started out at Melbourne Chess Club when he was very young, so I might as well use this as an opportunity to promote my club! He is the Australian Junior Champion now! These two play at Melbourne Chess Club - but Iím sure that there are other good juniors playing at other clubs too...

    Who is your favourite Australian Chess player ever?

    Johansen, closely followed by Wohl. Wohl is brilliant at his best...

    Whatís the future of chess in Victoria and generally in Australia in terms of participation and strength? How do you compare Victorian Chess with the rest of the country?

    Its hard for me to give an answer in relation to Australian chess because I havenít been involved for 9 years. I am only just beginning to see what chess is now like in Victoria. The main difference between now and when I was playing, is that now there are a huge number of juniors playing. The junior events are obviously a great success though I think its important that they transition the kids into mainstream chess tournaments too - I am assuming that the stronger ones are already. I remember in 1999, I played in the Gold Coast Open and approximately 2 thirds of the field were kids. It was amazing - 1300 rated players were in the top half of a big Swiss! It was great to see that so many kids were competing against adults. This is the sort of participation which would be very beneficial for Victorian chess. As for strength, Victoria looks to be doing very well. We have one of Australiaís 3 GMs, and I think we have 5 or 6 IMs (not sure exactly). What else seems to have improved is the general level of average players. For example, at Melbourne Chess Club, we have 1800 rated players in the bottom half of our Swiss events. 10 years ago, 1800 players were scoring 5/7 in tournaments - now they are getting 3/7 or 4/9! Chow, Dragicevic and Goldenberg all got IM norms in Queenstown recently, so I think we are in good shape. I wouldnít have any idea how things are in other parts of Australia though. I go interstate quite often, so I should have a look next time. More needs to be done to keep 2100 - 2200 rated players in the game and to turn them into IMs. Players tend to drop out of chess at that level because they get very little encouragement to improve (unless they are juniors). We need to support these players to get to that next level...
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  10. #25
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Break for the Allegro!

    A bit of a breather here before we conclude the chess playing part of the interview with the new President of the Melbourne Chess Club Grant Szuveges.
    Also a reminder that the Allegro at the Melbourne Chess Club starts in a few minutes!
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  11. #26
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    More to come! Discussion encouraged!

    Public discussion is encouraged throughout the stages of this interview. Grant would love to answer any questions concerning his administration and whatever was referred to in this interview!
    However, Chess Chat Forum members are reminded that detailed matters strictly concerning the MCC are to be published in later stages of this interview!
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  12. #27
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    Allegro, members, building fund!

    A number of very strong players are participating in the first MCC Allegro tournament of the year!
    Still 1st round!
    Good news: Three new members have signed today, the Building Fund has now reached $1350.00
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  13. #28
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    The Szuveges Interview: Part III

    You were once, actually not that long ago, considered amongst the strongest and the most talented young players in Australia. What's your strength now? Could you be able to survive the harsh requirements of a strong Chess Tournament, as, say, the Melbourne Chess Club championship?

    The only chess I play these days is blitz, and judging by that, I ‘d say that I am actually stronger than when I gave chess away! Having said that though, there is no pressure on me at all now, so its easy to play well when it doesn’t matter. Not playing for years gives you a new perspective and you see the game in a different light. When I was playing, I was obsessed with chess and that isn’t healthy or good for your chess. The other factor nowadays for me is my lifestyle.

    What changed in your lifestyle?

    10 years ago when I played, its fair to say that I had a bit of an alcohol problem. I don’t want to use that as an excuse for a lack of success (because good players play well regardless of other issues in their lives) but it does make it a lot harder to fulfil one’s potential. It is amazing how much clearer I see the board now.

    Is blitz so important?

    I wouldn’t read too much into my blitz results, as I was always much better at blitz (than long games) anyway. The stress and pressure of a strong tournament makes it a completely different kettle of fish...



    Has age got anything to do with it?

    Being 32 is also very different to being 22. For me, being 22 was about having fun, going out, chasing women, seeing the world, being irresponsible, wasting my money, wearing silly clothes, showing off, living on 3 hours sleep per night etc... My life now is much more simple and of course very different from when I was in my early 20s! It is so much more settled rather than being a never ending rollercoaster ride. I laugh to myself now when I think about what I was like 10 years ago with the long hair and the trademark blue singlet!

    Any recent OTB encounters?

    I had a blitz session with David Beaumont the other week and cleaned him up 9-2 (he wont mind me saying this). I continued the next day with a 18-0 demolition of another strong blitz player (I am still arrogant enough to count to myself). The point is though, that it is only blitz! I don’t know how I would go in a strong tournament now though. I think that I would be way behind in current opening theory (although this can be learned). Id probably also be a bit rusty, and not in the habit of working hard at the board.

    How hard is ... hard?

    Working hard at the board is the most important and underrated part of chess in my opinion, its how you really improve. I ‘ve won lots and lots of bad positions through working harder than my opponents and making it hard for them. I ‘d also have to get a computer and a database to play now, as the preparation for games has really intensified in the last 10 years - even the weaker players seem to be better prepared these days and thus much more dangerous.

    What's your approach to a "comeback"? Not necessarily your "comeback"!

    Comebacks after long stints away from chess affect different players in different ways. Some come back and play brilliantly, whereas others are shocking. Its probably easier for players with positional styles, as you don’t tend to forget that aspect of the game. Players who play for complications all the times may be a bit more susceptible as their calculation may not be as sharp as before. The general level of chess is much higher now in any case so surely there are a lot of people who would have overtaken me. Nobody (including me) really knows how I would go now. I’m guessing that I 'd probably be a bit weaker than when I quit playing.


    To complete the chess playing part of the interview, what does the future hold for Grant Szuveges the Chess player?

    Well I have retired from chess 9 years ago. I’ve enjoyed my 9 years of retirement and I cant see myself playing now - especially while working, studying and running a chess club - unless of course someone offers me $20,000 as an appearance fee or something like that (which I also can’t picture happening)...
    Last edited by ER; 21-02-2009 at 09:36 PM.
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    This interview has so far influenced me to have a run, do some excercises and now I think I'll study a bit of chess to cap it off!
    And still, no one has satisfactorily proven, that it isn't opposite day.

  15. #30
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    The Szuveges Interview: Part IV

    How difficult did you find it to combine initially studies and Chess and of course to facilitate being the President of the arguably oldest Chess Club in Australia with your other business.

    MCC is actually one of the oldest clubs in the world! I never really had any difficulty combining studies and chess because I never studied when I was younger. Nowadays I am studying at LaTrobe University but the semester doesn’t start until March. I also work full time and have always done so while at uni - I’ve never had any problem balancing uni and work. I have a government job so taking time off is very easy for me. I take time off when I ‘ve got lots of essays due at the same time. I am not worried if I earn a bit less money one fortnight if my marks are better as a result of this. As for Melbourne Chess Club business, it will take a fair bit of time early, but it will get easier as the club gets back on its feet. The committee I have around me are very efficient people and we have all been sharing the load, especially when one of us is busy. I have full confidence in them...

    What influenced your decision to become involved in the administration field?

    In the second half of 2008, I deferred uni for the semester, took leave from work and went on a 5 month overseas trip with my partner Kelly. She had never travelled much and I wanted to show her some of the places I had been. Anyway, we came back in December not expecting to have anything to do with chess. We were back in Melbourne for one day, and I received a text message giving me 4 hours notice to the MCCs AGM. (even though I dont play chess, I ’ve remained a member to support the club and to play blitz). I went along to this AGM knowing that the club was not in good shape, but what I found out during this meeting, was that the problems were about 100 times worse than Id thought. I was also astonished that many of the core-group of members weren’t there - including past presidents Robert Brooking, Greg Gatto and John Lavery. Other people whom I know care about the club were also nowhere to be seen. I found out that if our club kept running the same way, it would be finished in 2 more years. I was very concerned about this state of affairs, so I decided to ask around and try to find some people who were willing to have a go at running the club better. Gradually as I was in this process, a lot of people asked me the inevitable question of "why dont you do it?" and I couldn’t really find a good answer to that, so I decided that I would. It is important in life to practise what you preach and it is also important to give something back to organisations which have given you a lot. The MCC gave me lots of happiness and fun when I was young, broke and struggling. Now the MCC is struggling and I am doing OK, its my turn to do it a favour. It just felt the right thing to do. I know that I’m a capable person, and capable people need to take responsibility if they want to see things like this improve...

    What was wrong with the club and needed to change? And the question applies to all facets of running a chess club such as the MCC, its membership, state of building and property, its administration etc.

    Where do we start! Well firstly, the clubrooms themselves were an absolute pigsty! On our first full day of office, we (myself and others) cleaned out the building and I took 8 carloads of rubbish to the tip over the next few days. The state of the clubrooms was a disaster, pizza boxes everywhere, papers, rubbish - you name it. On that first cleaning day, I emptied a bin with 10 cm of liquid in the bottom of it. I dont know whether it was coffee, water, coke, beer or what, but it absolutely reeked. I think you get the picture. Secondly, the membership was worse than I thought. In 2008, we had only 44 paying members (plus 30 life members). 10 years ago, we had about 200 members. We needed to get those members back to the club and replace the ones that had moved on. 44 members isnt sustainable for a club like ours. The bank balance had also plummeted with not a lot to show for it. The committee were obviously struggling and there had been a lot of infighting between some of them during the year, to the point where it had all become totally disfunctional. I could go on and on about all of this but it will take too long. Some things I will say though, are that the club had no vacuum cleaner for months, no telephone for months, disconnection notices for bills and a huge amount of dissatisfaction from its members and other chess players. Everyone in chess seemed to be totally dissolutioned by the MCC and its administration. When you run an organisation with members, you need to listen to your members and give them what they want - it makes them feel more important, and then they will do more for the club. Its a two way street, if the club works for them, then they will work for the club and both win. (this is already happening i.e. $1300 into the building fund so far). This is why we have brought back the Saturday afternoon allegro - its what the members wanted...

    The whole of the Victorian chess community saw your return to chess even as an administrator as a very positive move! Did you have similar welcoming reception on behalf of the clubs members and the administration you replaced?

    Yes, the reception and support I got from my business plan was overwhelmingly positive. I showed the business plan to most of the members and quite a few non-members. Of everyone who I gave it to, only one said that he wouldn’t support it, and he hadn’t even read it anyway!!! 99% of the club were very supportive. As for the administration we replaced, they were supportive too. Last year's president Bill Jordan welcomed the move and I’ve received lots of help from him, John Davenport and David Beaumont (all 2008 committee members) since being in office...

    David Beaumont described the move to replace the previous committee with your administration a revolution! Was there some kind of a coup? or just a flower revolution where the members themselves realised that enough was enough and there was time for a change?

    Definitely the second option. (actually I did an essay at uni on Portugals "flower revolution" in the 1970s - very interesting topic) The members themselves wanted change and even the previous committee realised that a change was needed. We had to consider the option of a coup but it wasn’t needed - the previous committee didn't want to run the show anyway. I think they are relieved that it's now our problem! ...
    Last edited by ER; 21-02-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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