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Junior Chess Ballarat

The 18th of December saw the running of the very first Mt Blowhard Primary Chess Tournament. Over 40 players came to try out the game with around 22 staying on to play 7 rounds of fighting chess. The cheerful brothers Goodison were practically destined to meet in the top places and sure enough the epic encounter did not disappoint, with Leonard dropping a rook in a tense middle-game, only to win it back and force a queen and pawn ending.

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Aust Junior Chess Championship

The Australian Junior Chess Championships will be held in Melbourne, Jan 13 to Jan 21.

Ballarat Chess Club will be well represented by Heath Gooch, Cassandra Barnett, Caitlin Barnett, Chantelle Barnett, Leonard Goodison and Justin Goodison. Jasan will be assisting Arbiter Peter Tsai with the recording of games. Most games can be followed live here...

Read more at the AJCC site

Chess Triathlon

Jamie Brotheridge won the Gold Medal for 2017, undefeated with a 5 point score. The Reserves Silver was again taken by Caitlin Barnett.

19 participants enjoyed a full day of chess: two Blitz, two Rapid and two 1hr+30s long games.

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Blitz trophy changes hands

The final Blitz tourney took place in the Humffray Room - a grand setting for the finale. After the 8th round was completed, Jasan determined that Rob Loveband needed a win to win the annual title, a draw for a draw with Pat and Harrison, and a loss for a loss. He played white against junior Dan Wang who had just defeated Tom in Round 8. Read more

Koelle Reserves 2017

Leonard receives his trophy and prize from President Pat for winning the Reserves section of the Koelle Tournament 2017

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Ballarat Chess League

2017 League Champion is Caitlin Barnett.

There was a flurry of last minute bouts during the Triathlon and Caitlin managed to maintain her lead to take the trophy.

Results are here! Read more

See the results from the tournaments below:

Pleasant St Primary: Tuesday December 12
Buninyong Primary: Wednesday December 13
Haddon Primary: Friday December 15
Mount Blowhard Primary: Mon December 18 

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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

Google's AlphaZero Destroys Stockfish In 100-Game Match

FM MikeKlein   
Dec 7, 2017, 7:50 AM   22  Chess Event Coverage

Chess changed forever today. And maybe the rest of the world did, too.

A little more than a year after AlphaGo sensationally won against the top Go player, AlphaZero has obliterated the highest-rated chess engine

Stockfish, which for most top players is their go-to preparation tool, and which won the 2016 TCEC Championship and the 2017 Computer Chess Championship, didn't stand a chance. AlphaZero won the closed-door, 100-game match with 28 wins, 72 draws, and zero losses.

Oh, and it took AlphaZero only four hours to "learn" chess. Sorry humans, you had a good run.

That's right -- the programmers of AlphaZero, housed within the DeepMind division of Google, had it use a type of "machine learning," specifically reinforcement learning. Put more plainly, AlphaZero was not "taught" the game in the traditional sense. That means no opening book, no endgame tables, and apparently no complicated algorithms dissecting minute differences between center pawns and side pawns.  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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