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Club Champion 2018 - Heath Gooch

The Championship game: 2nd seed Heath Gooch versus top seed Bas van Riel. Black, needing a win, went for the French, Winawer, and ignored Heath’s early draw offer. White gained a slight edge with the exchange of Queen’s, and kept the position safe and seemingly unassailable. Bas kept plugging away and late in the game (and night!) conjured up a passed pawn. According to Heath, Bas was now winning, but he stumbled at the crucial moment, and instead fell into a losing endgame which Heath finished off with his trademark technique, to become the 2018 Ballarat Chess Club Champion.
So Heath Gooch is our deserved Champion for 2018, Caitlin Barnett is 2018 Reserves Champion, and Justin Goodison is ‘C’ Group Champion, making a trio of juniors as our Champions! Congratulations to all three players.

Heath and Bas fight it out in the last round. Justin reaches across in the final game to checkmate opponent, Peter Wang, as coach Rob Bailey looks on with interest

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Rapid Play #2

This year's second rapid play tournament, six rounds held over two weeks, is set to commence on next Thursday, 19/7/18. Bas and Harrison topped the cross table last time with 5 out of 6.

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Reserves Champion

Caitlin Barnett took out the John Baynham Shield for 2018 with a final score of 9.5 out of 11, undefeated with 8 wins and 3 draws.

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12-07-18 Blitz #2

20 participants, nearly half of whom were born in the 'noughties', enjoyed a 9 round marathon blitz tournament on Thursday evening. Some of the more senior members chose to rest up after the championship! Sean was the best performing junior coming equal second on 6/9 followed by Leonard and Caitlin on 5/9. Of the seniors, Rob scored a picket fence of 9/9 with Harrison, Jamie and Rod sharing second place with Sean on 6/9.

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June ACF ratings

The ACF June ratings shuffled our member rankings around a little and we now find ourselves with Heath Gooch as the highest rated player in the club. Congratulations to Heath on his massive 73 point jump to 1839! Caitlin Barnett, up 134 points - awesome result! Justin Goodison zoomed up 95 points; excellent result there. Ben Naughton jumped 93 points - well done! Chantelle Barnett shot up 87 points, go Chantelle! Cameron Frame up 67 - another great improvement. There were some downs as well, of course, but it's usually only the seniors that go up and down with the tides; the juniors' ratings are usually more like a helium balloon - up, up and away!

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The First Ballarat Chess Club

The first Ballarat Chess Club was formed at Henry J.Brun’s Cigar Divan on Monday, 16th June 1856.

The Ballarat Times reported this meeting on 18th June and it published the rules and regulations of the new club. These are the first published rules of a Victorian chess club. The formation of the club was also reported in The Ballarat Star on June 19th 1856, but this issue of the paper no longer exists.

The Treasurer of the club was Mr.Tuckett. Other names mentioned in the newspaper report of the meeting are Messrs. Pine, Hammond, Bunington, Morgan, Carter and Robertson, all of whom presumably became members. The rules provide for a Treasurer and Secretary only. Since these two offices are often combined at this time, Mr Tuckett may have been the sole official.

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Today's Puzzle

(If using an iPad, work out the answer and check by hitting the hint button - uses Java so better on a PC)


Catch up with Junior Chess News in Ballarat - Chess instructor Rob Bailey brings you the latest updates with tournament results and annotated games!

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 New to Chess?

A great site for learning the basics from a cool video, improving your chess with puzzles, and playing against QWERTY the chess computer, check out

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Join the league, climb the ladder

Come a little early and play a 15min League game

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 2018 Ballarat Chess photo albums


Check out the year of chess in images.

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