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useless patzer
04-04-2009, 02:23 PM
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.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 a6 4. e3 Bg4 {4. ... b5 is another interesting try for Black if he wishes to avoid the main lines.} 5. Bxc4 e6 6. h3 {This plan does not offer White much hope of an initiative. The sharper 6. Qb3 is his best chance} 6... Bh5 7. 0-0 Nf6 8. Qe2 Nc6 9. Rd1 Bd6 10. Nbd2 {Struggling for a plan. White doesn't want to commit himself with g4 until black has castled K-side} 10...Qe7 11. a3 0-0 12. g4 Bg6 13. b4 Ne4 14. Bb2 {Not 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Nd2 Bd5 16. Bd3 Qh4 17. e4 Qxa3 and Black wins.} 14...f5 15.d5 fxg4 16. hxg4 b5 {This took Black 51 minutes and he now had seven minutes left to reach move 40.} 17. Bb3 Nxd2 18. Nxd2 Ne5 19. f4 Bd3 20. Qg2 Nc4 21. Nxc4 bxc4 22. dxe6 cxb3 {Black has blown out.} 23. Rxd3 Qxe6 24. Qd5 Qxd5 25. Rxd5 a5 26. bxa5 Rfe8 27. Kf2 Re4 28. Rad1 Rc4 29. R1d2 Rc2 30. Rxc2 bxc2 31. Rd2 c1=Q 32. Bxc1 Rxa5 33. Rd3 Rc5 34. Bd2 Rc4 {Black had only seconds left on his clock. More testing was 34...Rc2, but White should get a won rook and pawn endgame after 35. Kf3 Ra2 36. Bb4 Bxb4 37. axb4} 35. Ke2 Kf7 36. Rb3 Rc2 37. Kd3 Ra2 38. Bb4 c5 39. Bc3 Be7 40. g5 c4+ {Black, with his flag trembling, over-reacts to the threat of 41. Bb2 followed by Kc2-b1. Relatively best was 40...h5, creating a passed pawn on the h-file.} 41. Kxc4 Rxa3 42. Rb7 {1-0. Notes by Woodhams.}

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)
1. g3 g6 2. Bg2 d5 3.c4 dxc4 4. Na3 Bg7 5.Nxc4 c6 6.Nf3 Be6 7. Qc2 Na6 8. d3 Nf6 9. 0-0 0-0 10. Bd2 Nd5 11. a3 b5 12. Na5 Rc8 13. Ng5 Bd7 14. Rac1 b4 15. Nc4 Rb8 16. e4 b3 17. Qd1 Nb6 18. Ba5 h6 19. Nf3 Bg4 20. Qd2 Nxc4 21. Rxc4 Qd7 22. d4 Be6 23. Rcc1 Rfc8 24. Rfd1 c5 25. d5 Bg4 26. Bc3 f6 27. e5 Nc7 28. Qd3 Nb5 29. Qxg6 Nxc3 30. Rxc3 fxe5 31. Nh4 Rb6 32. d6 exd6 33. Bd5+ Kh8 34. f3 Bh3 35. g4 Qe7 36. Qf5 Bxg4 37. Ng6+ Kh7 38. Nf8+ {1-0}

Shaw-Tabba (Syria)

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3 Nf6 6. Be3 d6 7. h3 Qb6 8. Rb1 Be6 9. Qd2 Nd7 10. Nge2 Nd4 11. f4 Nxe2 12. Kxe2 Nf6 13. g4 Rd8 14. f5 Bd7 15. g5 Nh5 16. Nd5 Qc6 17. e5 Ng3+ 18. Kf2 Nxh1+ 19. Bxh1 Bxe5 20. Nf6+ exf6 21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. d4 cxd4 23. Bxd4 Bxf5 24. gxf6 Bxd4+ 25. Qxd4 0-0 26. Rd1 Be6 27. Re1 Bf5 28. Qe3 Kh8 29. Qh6 {1-0}

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 (http://www.olimpbase.org/1974/1974eb.html)) - (C Final (http://www.olimpbase.org/1974/1974fc.html))

Denis_Jessop
04-04-2009, 07:28 PM
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

useless patzer
04-04-2009, 07:46 PM
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.

ER
06-04-2009, 12:21 AM
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!

useless patzer
06-04-2009, 09:34 AM
Yeah that's another good bookstore too.

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2009, 02:17 PM
Thanks very much for posting this; the Purdy report was fun to read.

Basil
06-04-2009, 04:22 PM
Yes - thank you. I too enjoyed the report and the games.

TrueBeliever
12-04-2009, 07:13 AM
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

machomortensen
26-04-2013, 09:09 PM
I should probably visit some Adelaide bookstores very soon...

Rincewind
26-04-2013, 09:29 PM
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.

antichrist
14-07-2013, 07:12 AM
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?

Kaitlin
22-07-2013, 05:41 PM
:rolleyes: 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

FM_Bill
10-01-2015, 10:53 AM
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.

Sutek
25-05-2015, 09:58 AM
2900

MichaelBaron
25-05-2015, 11:41 AM
2900

Teh guy with black pieces looks like a kid

Kerry Stead
26-05-2015, 03:11 PM
Teh guy with black pieces looks like a kid

A very young Robert Jamieson ... other Aussies playing are Max Fuller, Terry Shaw & Mike Woodhams.

jammo
26-05-2015, 10:22 PM
With Purdy watching Fuller's game and Reshevshy standing behind Max if I'm not mistaken.