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Last updated: 05 October 2005 23:49
Box Hill Chess Club.
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2005 Ergas Australian Elite Junior Training Squad


For many years now, Australia has been producing Juniors of excellent ability. However, much of the development effort has been state-based.

The idea behind the Ergas Squad is to create a national development forum; to bring together between 20 and 30 of the best Juniors in Australia, give them coaching from some of our best players and coaches and allow them to play together in a training tournament, where games can be immediately analysed.

It is an incredibly difficult task each year to select the squad, as you have to compare the unknown but possibly limitless potential of an 8 year old to the known strength of an 18 year old. Gender balancing also comes into the equation. Selectors from all over Australia are used and there is great competition to gain a place in the squad. Only Juniors who have played in either the Australian Juniors or Australian Open/Championships/supporting events may apply for the squad. This has been controversial, but enthusiasm is taken into account when choosing squad members.

Apart from the major event of the coaching camp and training tournament, additional homework tasks are set during the year. A newsletter is sent out enabling squad members to keep up with their peers' achievements. Also a mentoring panel is set up for parents and squad members.

One of the aims of the squad, apart from improving chess skill, is to generate friendships that will make it more likely that juniors will keep playing chess as they move into the adult ranks.

This year the squad is being hosted by the Box Hill Chess Club in conjunction with Whitehorse Junior Chess Inc. and is being funded by an individual, Mr Henry Ergas. (Hence the name Ergas Australian Elite Junior Training Squad.)

A little about Mr Henry Ergas:

  • Mr Henry Ergas is Vice-President of CRA International
  • He spent a decade as a micro-economist with OECD and has been a regular columnist with Business Review Weekly
  • He served as visiting Economics Adviser to the Trade Practices Commission (now ACCC)
  • He is a member of the Australian Centre of Regulatory Economics group and an adjunct Professor of Economics at National University of Singapore.
  • He has been interested in philanthropic activities and his assistance has resulted in the formation of a National Elite training group for chess. The group was formed in 2004 for the first time.

The squad wishes to thank the Box Hill Chess Club, Whitehorse Junior Chess Inc. and Mr Ergas for their contribution!


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