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Every March

Ballarat Chess Club - chess for everyone!

Spielvogel Memorial

A healthy entry of 26 participants are enjoying chess in the Humffray Room - several new players also enjoyed some unrated games as well.

Round Two was a wild night: Leonard took advantage of moment of Bas' brain fog to score a win against the veteran, while Kanishk overcame Jamie with careful play after a blunder. Round 3 saw Louis beating Hossam, Justin taking the point from Chantelle, and Kalen holding Jamie to a draw. Latest round games from top four boards can be viewed here.



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Kryal Castle Shield

Last year in August, Northern Star Chess held a school chess tournament at the castle and 180 students from around the state attended. Ballarat's Leonard and Justin Goodison took out 1st and 2nd places in the primary division and Mount Clear's Sean Macak placed second in the senior division. Amongst other participants were club members Thomas Wardle, Gus Tatman, Alan Cai and John McGill who all did well.
Club members also helped out arbitering the event including Bas van Riel, Patrick cook, Rob Loveband, Mike Goodison and Nigel Block.

This year it is being held on Friday March 20 - definitely no issues with the cold this time around!

Teachers and parents should express interest either as a school or as an individual.

Everything you need to know is here!
Northern Star

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Four weeks into the first term of the Ballarat Junior Chess Club attendance has exceeded our expectations. We have 15 regular students across a range of age, ability and experience. Due to the high response, the Ballarat Chess Club committee already agreed to bolster the coaching ranks, by adding Jasan and Ruari to assist Simon. The group is currently split into 2 sections (Simon is coaching the most advanced 6 students, and Jasan and Ruari are combining duties for the least experienced players), but we have flexibility to change the coaching structure as the club develops and coaching needs change. We remain hopeful more students will enrol as the year unfolds.


The Smokery

About 5 o'clock on a dreary afternoon is the best time to visit the Smokery at the Mechanics' Institute. “Out in the street­ The wind blaws as t'wad blaw its last, The rattling showers rise on the blast”. But whistling wind, sleety rain, and bitter cold are all forgotten once you enter the cheerful smokery, the air of which is a fog produced by more or less fragrant tobacco. Nearly all the chairs are occupied. Fine, solid old-fashioned chairs they are! Some of them. black and shiny with the friction of thousands of trousers, must be a hundred years old.

Duels of grim earnestness are being fought across the chess and draught tables, for you must certainly know that the Smokery has produced at least three chess players considered good enough to play for Victoria against New South Wales, and today John Armstrong, a son of the Smokery is playing off for the draughts championship of Australia. Around each table is a group of onlookers ever ready to give unsolicited advice how the game should have been played. No insult will silence them!

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The Kevin Perrin Era

In the mid-1960's, a fresh group of energetic chess enthusiasts, led by new President Andy Miitel, reconstituted the Ballarat Chess Club, and separated it from the Mechanics Institute,  although they later returned in later years.
The founding meeting of the current Ballarat Chess Club occurred on Oct 1st.1964. It was held in the home of the first president, life-member Andy Miitel. For several years, Andy’s house was the venue where the weekly club evenings were held, for which he received the princely sum of 4 pounds (?) for the wood, needed for heating.
Following are the minutes of the first meeting of the Ballarat Chess Club in 1964, marking the revitalization of the club and the start of a new chapter of the Chess Club, the Kevin Perrin Era.
Notable amongst those present at this meeting were S.Jacobs, the father of Rod Jacobs (the most recent life member of the club). Rod joined the club in 1967. Don Maciulaitis left Ballarat for Melbourne two years later, to become one of the stalwarts of the Melbourne chess scene, mostly as an administrator.

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For info re coaching, junior tournaments, study resources etc.. visit the Ballarat Junior Chess Club pages.

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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
How to write down your games - Chess notation made easy here!

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Coffee and Chess

Homeground on Sturt St next to BMI, Frangos up from Myers, and The Building at 30 Main Rd now all have chess sets donated by BCC, available for use by patrons - have a coffee and a game! Below, Kevin and grandson, Monty, enjoy a game in the sun! Rob has an the ongoing challenge match with Patrick.

Bas' Chess Columns

From April 1991 until March 1993, Bas wrote a fortnightly chess column for the Ballarat Courier. Read them here