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Four new arbiters for Fiji chess

The Fiji Chess Federation conducted its first-ever arbiter workshop in Suva on Saturday.

Under the guidance of FIDE Arbiter Calvin Prasad, the participants were introduced to the FIDE (World Chess Federation) rating system, reviewed the FIDE arbiter’s manual, and had hands-on experience with the Swiss Manager pairing software.

The group also discussed the logistics behind FCF’s local FIDE-rated tournaments.

The participants were Manoj Kumar, Kiran Khatri, Rajiv Raj, and William Waqavakatoqa.

An arbiter is responsible for ensuring that the rules and laws of chess are followed in tournaments. In Fiji, the role of the Chief Arbiter sometimes overlaps the responsibilities of the Tournament Organiser.

New arbiter William Waqavakatoga said the workshop illustrated the challenging role of officiating in FIDE-rated tournaments.

“My understanding of how chess tournaments are conducted has been elevated to a new level with a better understanding of how arbiters need to ensure that an environment of fair play is created so tournaments can run smoothly,” Waqavakatoga said.

The full-time USP Master’s research student set a long-term goal of officiating in an international chess tournament.

“I will need to gain years of experience officiating locally first, attend additional arbiter workshops and be better familiarised with the FIDE Arbiter’s manual that is more than 200 pages long.”

Waqavakatoqa was satisfied with the format and effectiveness of the workshop.

“While there were only a few participants, it was a good thing as the conversations were more thorough,” Waqavakatoga said.

“The trainer has had years of experience, as an arbiter and player, and offered insights through examples which gave it a practical understanding rather than theoretical.”

The participants will have to officiate at two FIDE-rated events this year before being eligible for a National Arbiter title from FIDE.

The 2018 Fiji Chess Calendar of events was also finalised, to be released once approved by the FCF Executive Board.

The first event will be the Fiji Rating Invitational tournament to be held in Suva next weekend, where six players will compete in a single round-robin FIDE Standard event.

The tournament was organised to allow Fiji’s top players to activate their international rating and provide an opportunity for two new players to attain a FIDE rating.

Photo: (L-R) Rajiv Raj, Kiran Khatri, and William Waqavakatoqa.