Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
  1. #1
    CC Candidate Master useless patzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    27

    Australia at the 1974 Chess Olympiad

    I have a book by Raymond Keene and David Levy that reviews the 1974 Olympiad at Nice, France. As it happens, it has the autographs of the Australian team, and also a passage about the progress of the Australian team, written by the team captain, C.J.S. Purdy.

    Australia in the Olympiad

    by CJS Purdy

    One of the most dedicated of the 74 teams was Australia's.

    Infuriated by a murderous 'seeding' that placed them in by far the strongest group- it included three of the 'A' finalists from the previous 2 Olympiads, plus England (whose team was evidently stronger then the one that just failed to make 'A' in Skopje 1972) - the Kangaroos decided that for them to make the 'B' Finals in Nice (as they had done in Siegen 1970, aided by grandmaster Browne) was a physical impossibility, barring miracles.

    I did everything to set the stage for miracles, should God will them. In letters to the team members who had been distributed in various parts of the world, I absolutely barred alcohol except at night as a soporific, and the sanction I imposed turned out to be very effective. It was that if anyone ever stepped out of line, I would take board 4. Being all young (average age 25) they thought for a player of 68 to take a board would be a an unmitigated disaster, even though they were aware I had a plus score against Fuller in the preceding twelve months. They thought I might tire in the fifth hour, unimpressed by the fact that I could probably give any of them a 100 metre start in a 1000 metre run.

    I was never a popular captain, as I went against the majority vote more often then Garry Koshnitsky had ever done. I created, in fact, an impression of unwillingness to communicate, but this was mainly due to my dread of waking up any member of the team and doing him out of even ten minutes more sleep then he might have had if left in peace.

    With all that said, the team was the most dedicated and co-operative that Australia has ever fielded in its five Olympiads.

    Two miracles did occur. The first was in round two when, without the aid of their mighty board four, Mike Woodhams (who was to finish with a percentage score of 86, a mere decimal behind Petrosian), the team defeated Canada 2.5-1.5.

    Australia makes no pretence of being Canada's equal. Although Australia has gained many chess migrants, Canada has gained more of IM and GM strength. Thus Australia's somewhat older and finer chess tradition counts for naught against new blood from the Old World. This was so widely known that there was much eye-rubbing when the score went up.

    Yet the victory had one drawback. It included a draw by Arthur Pope against Day, one of Canada's IMs. It was Pope's debut, and there was premature jubilation about his hitting 'top form'. This was sadly dispelled in the next round when Pope, over-anxious, collapsed against Rhodesia, a relatively weak team.

    Seeing that Pope was accident-prone, I used him in only one more of the eight preliminary matches. I had to field our top board, Robert Jamieson, in every one of the eight. To drop him even once would have been to tempt fate.

    The second miracle dwarfed the first. Our top for achieved a result that anybody would have laid a hundred to one against - a draw with the USA, who fielded four grandmasters against us. Robert Byrne, in a masterly game, was the only American victor: Jamieson dared his favourite Pelikan Sicilian, only to see equality constantly elude him. Woodhams beat Lombardy.

    PGN Viewer
     

    At the last, we stood to get into 'B' if only Lombana of Panama could win an easily won game against his Canadian opponent.

    Lombana tried hard but threw away chance after chance. So overwhelming had his position been that he was still winning when clock worry supervened, and he lost in the ninth hour. Though he did not know it, he thus missed a handsome gift I had read in the 90 percent expectation of his victory.

    So absurd had Australia's seeding been that our win in the 'C' finals was inevitable, provided we guarded against over-confidence.

    In the event, we won with a round still to be played. In the last match, I took a board. I must admit that I was anxious to show that it might have been better for me to play more often, and as I happened to win with Black against Brazil, one of our nearerst trailers, and using the Caro-Kann, I did demonstrate this as far as possible.

    To sum up, we had done a little better at Nice, without Browne, then we had done at Skopje WITH Browne. In other words, Jamieson had proved himself, at his debut, to be a pretty good substitute for Browne. Fuller and Shaw had played about as well as usual, while the newcomer, Woodhams, had been almost our most prolific scorer of all time.

    Here are two of our more incisive efforts.

    Fuller-Sampouw (Indonesia)
    PGN Viewer
     

    Shaw-Tabba (Syria)
    PGN Viewer
     

    Why did Australia get such a sadistic seeding? The answer is simple. Neither Jamieson nor Woodhams had Elo ratings. So, by the existing rule, (an extremely slap-dash one) each was given a rating of 2200. Obviously Jamieson should be over 2400 and Woodhams not far off.

    Even at 2300 each it would have been impossible to seed Australia out of the 'B' finals.

    Tables of Australia's performance - (Group phase) - (C Final)

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    3,333
    The system of running the Olympiad in groups instead of a Swiss had already come under criticism by Keene and Levy in their book of the 1972 Skopje Olympiad where Australia were already (ie pre-1974) the victims of monkey business that put them in the C final (which they won easily) instead of the B final. There the Australian team was lead by GM Shawne Browne. I have the 1972 book but not the 1974 one. I gather from your description of your copy that it must have been one given to an Olympiad fund contributor.

    DJ
    ...I don't want to go among mad people Alice remarked, "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: we're all mad here. I am mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat ,"or you wouldn't have come here."

  3. #3
    CC Candidate Master useless patzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    The system of running the Olympiad in groups instead of a Swiss had already come under criticism by Keene and Levy in their book of the 1972 Skopje Olympiad where Australia were already (ie pre-1974) the victims of monkey business that put them in the C final (which they won easily) instead of the B final. There the Australian team was lead by GM Shawne Browne. I have the 1972 book but not the 1974 one. I gather from your description of your copy that it must have been one given to an Olympiad fund contributor.

    DJ

    Yes, the insert says "In appreciation for your donation which helped to make our participation in the XXIst Olympiad possible."

    I paid $20 for this volume from Adelaide Booksellers, upstairs in Rundle Mall, where you can find all sorts of books.

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne - Australia
    Posts
    11,675
    Quote Originally Posted by useless patzer
    Yes, the insert says "In appreciation for your donation which helped to make our participation in the XXIst Olympiad possible."

    I paid $20 for this volume from Adelaide Booksellers, upstairs in Rundle Mall, where you can find all sorts of books.
    I bought some interesting chess books including Winter's Chess for Match Players (the 1951 edition) from the other (second hand) book shop down Hindley Street!
    Last edited by ER; 06-04-2009 at 12:25 AM.
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

  5. #5
    CC Candidate Master useless patzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    27
    Yeah that's another good bookstore too.

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,398
    Thanks very much for posting this; the Purdy report was fun to read.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Subtropical Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    11,229
    Yes - thank you. I too enjoyed the report and the games.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  8. #8
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    83

    History of the book

    The book referred to here is one of a number of copies given to all donors who contributed $50 or more to the appeal. It was one of the most successful appeals held due mainly to the energy of Cecil Purdy and a large donation by a well-known tobacco company. If it is sold for $20 it has held its value well

  9. #9
    CC FIDE Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    631
    I should probably visit some Adelaide bookstores very soon...

  10. #10
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    The multiverse
    Posts
    21,567
    Adelaide is a great place to find books. There are several good shops and the second had market is buoyed by the fact that Adelaide has an excellent climate for books.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    16,782
    but how many of the second hand books are of the old notation? Which we find pretty clumsy nowadays. We should donate all our old descriptive notation books to the Philippines where many good players cannot afford books. They had the 1992 Olympiad in Manila so are keen chess players. I will have to check how Eugene Torre went at the 1974 OLympaid

    re Torre
    The high point of his Olympiad career was winning the Bronze Medal thrice in the Individual Standings in Board 1, at the 21st Chess Olympiad (1974 Nice, France) where he went undefeated in 19 games (nine wins and ten draws) for a total of 14 points for a 73.7% performance;

    How does that compare with the Skippys there?
    Last edited by antichrist; 14-07-2013 at 07:19 AM.
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  12. #12
    CC International Master Kaitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Inventor of the Surströmming opening
    Posts
    1,416
    won't that set them back years .. I still cant work out a board trying to set it up working out what those moves mean

    .. a good use for books is .. to carefully cut the cover off and and cut a outskirt to the right size and put them in a nice frame .. and hang it on the Wall .. and when people come around your can point at it and say .. that used to be a Book .. rofl
    Last edited by Kaitlin; 22-07-2013 at 05:45 PM.
    .. this Caketin is full of little spiders and watermelon seeds.....

    ..Chess is all about fear and psychology

    ..Chess is like an exam..... you havent studied for

    ..If you're good at Chess it means you are very intelligent and could potentialy do great things
    ..... but that you might have wasted that playing way too much chess

  13. #13
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop View Post
    The system of running the Olympiad in groups instead of a Swiss had already come under criticism by Keene and Levy in their book of the 1972 Skopje Olympiad where Australia were already (ie pre-1974) the victims of monkey business that put them in the C final (which they won easily) instead of the B final. There the Australian team was lead by GM Shawne Browne. I have the 1972 book but not the 1974 one. I gather from your description of your copy that it must have been one given to an Olympiad fund contributor.

    DJ
    The same silly system was used in World Juniors at a time. There would be a 5 game preliminary determining whether players ended up in the A, B or C final. Sometimes a win in the last round would mean going in the A final, a draw B and a loss C. The there might be 15 games or so in the finals.

    Maybe Swiss wasn't trusted them.

    Also there was the controversial possibility of the Aussies analysing Lomana's (or banana as Woodhams called him) adjourned game with him. He would have been much more likely to win.
    For coaching contact Bill Jordan at swneerava@gmail.com
    my Chess ebooks can be found at Amazon Author Central
    and my YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsd...-HNla3kQdhTleQ

  14. #14
    CC Candidate Master Sutek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    189

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    12,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Sutek View Post
    Teh guy with black pieces looks like a kid
    Interested in Chess Lessons?
    Email webbaron!@gmail.com for more Info!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Queenstown Classic 2009
    By BennyG in forum New Zealand Chess
    Replies: 309
    Last Post: 25-02-2009, 02:19 PM
  2. Open Internet Chess Blitz Cup 2006
    By IMJP in forum Completed Tournaments
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 31-03-2006, 07:12 PM
  3. Correspondence Chess Australia (CCA)
    By Aaron Bellette in forum Correspondence Chess News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 20-11-2005, 08:50 PM
  4. chess magazines
    By chesslover in forum Australian Chess
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 23-04-2004, 11:13 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •