A real fight is on for the 2007-08 Australian Chess Championships. After weeks of laying low - Sydney businessman Peter Parr has fired off a shot that will surely generate some alarm among the only bidders so far, a Victorian-based team constituting mainly of middleweights from the Box Hill CC. I'm sure that these southern boys are getting worried: they're up against a real heavyweight now.
I'm not sure exactly what finally motivated this latest move by Peter. Just a couple of weeks ago I asked him, point blank, if he was interested in bidding considering the carrot offered by the ACF. He wasn't interested then. No matter, we're here now.
But the bid is still a tad uncertain, being tied to a decision by the NSW Bridge Association to have their premises made available to a chess tourney during the proposed dates, but it is at least a little more attractive than its Victorian rival. Better for me to just hop on a train in the country's number one city than go all the way to Melbourne. Peter also guarantees a minimum prize fund of $12,500. Not exactly a super class figure, but hey, I ain't complaining.
To complicate all this there are these "rumours" of a third bid based out of Parramatta. But details of that are tighter than a Harry Potter book release. Don't expect pictures of bid documents at your favourite file-sharing site any time soon. These guys, that's if there is a bid, are bloody good. Well - certainly not as talkative as as their Victorian rivals.
For the moment, I don't care who wins so long as it's Sydney based. Honestly, we're talking about Australia's most fashionable city and ranked by Monocle magazine in number 7 spot among its Top 20 Most Livable Cities in the world. A vote for the south will be a poorer decision indeed!