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15-03-18 Blitz #1

24 players participated in the first blitz tourney of the year. A fun night was had by all, although some of us were a little weary after a busy Begonia Open weekend!

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Begonia Open

James Morris and Anton Smirnov shared first prize at the Open on the weekend. Many locals enjoyed the tournament, and parents and friends of the players helped in the canteen. It was nearly a record for entries at 139 competitors, and the committee once again ensured a well run tournament placed Ballarat on the Chess map.


James, with the Kevin J Perrin Shield, relayed to everyone that the Begonia Open was his favourite Weekender.

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Spielvogel Round 7: Patrick prevails

After Patrick drawing with Rob, not even Ruari's defeat of Kevin could affect the outcome: Patrick's second Spielvogel title.

Rod and Tom play the Barnett sisters, with the Begonia imminent Ruari takes on a somewhat preoccupied Kevin, and Rob and Patrick draw.

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B'rat Handicap 1866

As far as I know, this was one of the first chess tournaments held in Australia, although restricted by players from Ballarat. Amongst them Charles M. Fisher, one of the strongest players in the ‘colony’ of Victoria. I found a database with 47 of his games on the internet here. They will be amongst the oldest recorded games of Australia.

C.M.Watson, a lawyer and a strong chess-player, was the father of a future Australian chess champion (in 1922 and 1931). I have never asked if ‘our’ talented 2016 Champion, James, is related to this Watson family-line...

The old newspaper reports often include beautiful and flowery descriptions of how chess was played in Ballarat, more than 150 years ago.

This is only a small selection of more historical information about chess in Ballarat, which I have found thus far. I am slowly extending my search through time. Bas van Riel Read more

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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 2017 Ballarat Chess photo albums


Check out the year of chess in images.

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