40th Club Championships 2005

2005 Club Champion: Patrick Cook

The 2005 Ballarat Chess Club Championship marks the historic occasion of 40 championship tournaments since the club was revived in the mid 1960’s and the first tournament played in 1966. It also marks the amazing record of 40 championship tournaments for our treasurer life member Kevin Perrin, surely a record unique in world chess. Kevin also holds the record for the most titles, with 7 in all. To recognise this achievement, the club members will present Kevin with a special medallion in honour of this fantastic playing record.

In addition to the player of honour, 13 club members entered the fray, a disappointing number compared to the previous few years, so a single round robin tournament of championship and reserve players will be held.

Thus a number of strong players are absent this year: defending champion Gordan Lindberg, 6 times champion Bas van Riel, Jing Jia, Peter Lumsdon, John Lavery and Charlie Andrews are all missing and 2003 champion FM Simon Rutherford has dropped out of chess altogether.

Top seed is Scott Stewart, who has dominated local chess at times recently but not won the club championship as yet. Patrick Cook and Kevin Perrin, with 11 titles between them are also contenders, while Jamie Brotheridge is a dark horse chance. The Director of play is Scott Stewart and the players committee consists of Kevin Perrin, Robert Bailey and John Abson. Making a welcome return to the competition is 2-time champion Peter Miitel.

Round 1

The competition got off to a fighting start with only 1 draw (so far) in the round. Tim Commons played 1. e4 versus Mitchel Bailey and predictably was confronted by the Caro-Kann Defence. He held his own into the middle game before lauching a faulty combination that enabled Mitchel to comfortably pocket the full point.

Joel Beggs, the only unrated player in the event also face a Caro-Kann from John Frangakis. He picked up a pawn in the opening, before lauching a brilliant combination, featuring the classic Bxh7+ motif that gained a decisive material advantage.

Scott Stewart showed his opening versatility by playing the Colle System against Robert Bailey. Constant pressure by Scott eventually won the exchange and he converted this to a win with no great drama.

In the battle of the bureaucrats, club President Patrick Cook played the English against Club Secretary John Abson. The President prevailed without difficultly.

Michael Schreenan, the lowest rated player took on improving junior Darren Young and caused the upset of the round with an elegant Knight move that won Darren’s Queen. Perhaps in shock Darren played on enabling Michael to hover the board to his obvious enjoyment before checkmating with 2 Queens.

2004 reserves champion James Eldridge versus dark horse Jamie Brotheridge was a tense, even Sicilian Dragon. Both players kept their balance until nerves got the better of Jamie and he offered a draw on 24 moves. James happily accepted the ½ point.

The last game, Peter Miitel versus Kevin Perrin was postponed


Results

James Eldridge v Jamie Brotheridge
½ -½
Peter Miitel v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Mitchel Bailey v Tim Commons
1 - 0
Patrick Cook v John Abson
1 - 0
John Frangakis v Joel Beggs
0 - 1
Scott Stewart v Robert Bailey
1 - 0
Darren Young v Michael Schreenan
0 - 1

Round 2

Two games, Kevin Perrin versus James Eldridge and John Abson versus Peter Miitel were postponed, so only 5 of the scheduled 7 games were played.

Darren Young versus Scott Stewart was an interesting battle. Scott made a bold pawn sacrifice in the opening to gain piece activity, but Darren appeared to have the better prospects early on. However from the ensuing complex middlegame, Scott’s knights and queen overwhelmed Darrens king position and Scott garnered the full point with a final mating attack.

Robert Bailey versus Patrick Cook saw a Queens Indian defence from which Patrick emerged with a somewhat mere flexible position. Black won a pawn in the early middlegame and after ignoring Rob’s hopeful draw offer won the game with careful precise endgame play.

John Frangakis versus Michael Schreenan was a surprisingly tough struggle. John eventually won a pawn but Michael did exceptionally well to steer the game to a bishops of opposite colour ending. John’s cautious but dogged style gained another pawn and Michael resigned when about to lose a 3rd pawn, judging his position to be hopeless.

Two of the club’s young Turks, Mitchel Bailey and Joel Beggs met in the battle of the round; and a battle it was! In a queens gambit tarrasch neither player could gain a decisive edge and a draw was the inevitable result.

Jamie Brotheridge versus Tim Commons was a massacre, a queens gambit declined, white was 3 pieces to the good after just 14 moves. Tim resigned shortly after and understandably left the club without comment.


Results

Darren Young v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
John Frangakis v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Mitchel Bailey v Joel Beggs
½ - ½
John Abson v Peter Miitel
0 - 1
Jamie Brotheridge v Tim Commons
1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v James Eldridge
½ - ½

Round 3

Round 3 was a setback for some of the highly fancied players, with the highlight being the titanic struggle between top seed Scott Stewart and the 2003 reserves champion John Frangakis. Scott essayed his unual Colle structure and appeared on course for a convincing win when he caught John’s king in the centre. Unable to find a decisive breakthrough, Scott settled for a technical win after trading rook for 2 pieces. John had other ideas and his rook ran rampart in Scott’s rear, picking up several pawns to reach a winning position. However, John was unable to find the correct path and the endgame battle raged well into the night, finally in a draw after 90 moves.

Joel Beggs versus Jamie Brotheridge was a fierce battle from a pirc defence. Jamie’s aggressive pawns proved to be overextended and he resigned after convincing himself that his 2 pawn deficit was too great.

2004 reserves champion James Eldridge wheeled out the ancient bishop’s opening against Tim Commons. Tim kept things tight with a crowded, blocked position that seemed headed for a draw until James sacrificed a rook for 2 pawns and an attack against Tim’s king and queen which proved decisive. The soundness of the sacrifice remained unclear until fritz showed it to be a masterstroke.

Michael Schreenan versus Mitchel Bailey was, predictably, a Caro-Kann defence. Michael handled it well, but went astray early in the middle game, losing a piece and, not long after, the game.

Patrick Cook versus Darren Young was a tough struggle from an English opening. After carelessly dropping the exchange, Darren created some looming threats against Patrick’s castled King at f2 and only careful, accurate middlegame play saw Patrick convert his advantage.

Kevin Perrin versus John Abson and Peter Miitel versus Robert Bailey were postponed so John Abson played Robert Bailey in advance of round 5. The game became a 4 kights after John declined Rob’s offer of a petroff defence. Rob gained a long term positional advantage, lumbering John with tripled isolated pawns and had not difficulty in converting this to a winning material advantage.

Results

Scott Stewart v John Frangakis
½ - ½
Patrick Cook v Darren Young
1 - 0
Michael Schreenan v Mitchel Bailey
0 - 1
Peter Miitel v Robert Bailey
0 - 1
Joel Beggs v Jamie Brotheridge
1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v John Abson
1 - 0
James Eldridge v Tim Commons
1 - 0

Round 4

Round 4 saw Kevin Perrin return from his overseas business trip. Before the commencement of play, a short ceremony was held to present Kevin with the special medallion commissioned to celebrate his 40 years of championship competition. His “first” game (black versus Rob Bailey) was a 2. c3 variation of the Sicilian resulting in a difficult manoeuvring game. Kevin grabbed a how pawn and the initiative, on the queenside, then further pressure gained a 2nd pawn, which proved sufficient to win a good game.

John Abson versus James Eldridge was another Sicilian defence. James won a pawn in the early middle game, and a second from the hand to hand combat that followed. These two connected passed pawns gave John no chance and James notched up a comfortable win.

Jamie Brotheridge played Michael Schreenan and was confronted by the Tarrash defence. An oversight by Michael cost him a vishop early on, and there after he was quickly disposed of.

John Frangakis played tournament leader Patrick Cook, but was unable to repeat the heroics of the previous round. The opening, best described as the Frangakis opening (1. d4 Nf6 2. b3 e6 3. Ba3 …), quickly led to a cramped position, loss of material and a losing position from which he did not recover.

Mitchel Bailey versus Scott Stewart, Darren Young and Tim Commons versus Joel Beggs were all postponed, so Darren Young played his Round 13 game against Joel Beggs. A Guico Piano opening, Darren once again was careless and gave up the exchange on move 10. Joel ruthlessly converted this to a piece advantage to reach an easily winning endgame which was finished off with mate..

Results

John Frangakis v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Mitchel Bailey v Scott Stewart
½ - ½
Darren Young v Peter Miitel
1 - 0
Jamie Brotheridge v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Tim Commons v Joel Beggs
1 - 0
John Abson v James Eldridge
0 - 1

Round 5

The pick of this round was the dramatic encounter between 2004 reserves champion James Eldridge and championship debutant Joel Beggs. James surprised Joel (among others!) by launching the venerable Kings Gambit, which Joel accepted. A tense, complicated struggle ensued, with James eventually gaining an edge courtesy of a pawn advantage. The game reached a minor piece endgame with James holding two connected passed pawns, which proved sufficient for victory in an excellent game. A setback for Joel who had started the event well.

Michael Schreenan versus Tim Commons was a Philidor’s defence (1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 d6). Tim won a pawn in the middle game, but Michael kept the position tight to reach a double rook ending that he was just not able to hold, giving Tim his first win of the championship.

Kevin Perrin versus Darren Young was a tight game arising from the English opening. Darren won a pawn in the middle game and saddled Kevin win doubled isolated pawns to boot. He seemed headed for a major upset, but once again, carelessness cost him dearly, this time dropping a whole rook, and his chances evaporated.

Patrick Cook, quietly leading at the start of the round, met solid junior Mitchel Bailey. The two contested an off-beat Slav defence. Neither player could gain an edge in the subtle manoeuvring that followed and Patrick, in a reprise of his old habits, offered a draw on move 15, which Mitchel happily accepted.

Top seed Scott Stewart, back from a brief holiday met Jamie Brotheridge later in the week. A non-descript queen pawn game followed a similar course to the Cook – Bailey encounter and was drawn in 18 moves without any great drama.

Two time champion Peter Miitel finally got under way after missing the first 4 rounds through illness. His scheduled game versus John Frangakis has been postponed, so he played his round 2 game versus John Abson. Peter met John’s 1. e4 with the Alekhine’s defence which bizarrely metamorphosed into an advanced French (1. e4 Nf6, 2. d4? d5?! 3. e5 …). John soon lost a piece and did not survive for long after that.

John Abson versus Robert Bailey was played earlier (see round 3).

Results

Patrick Cook v Mitchel Bailey
½ - ½
Peter Miitel v John Frangakis
0 - 1
Scott Stewart v Jamie Brotheridge
½ - ½
Kevin Perrin v Darren Young
1 - 0
Michael Schreenan v Tim Commons
0 - 1
John Abson v Robert Bailey
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Joel Beggs
1 - 0

Round 6

There were several significant results in this round starting with the game between 2004 reserves runner-up Tim Commons and top seed Scott Stewart. Tim opened with 1. e4 and was confronted by the Pirc defence. Scott won a pawn in the early middle-game complications and seemed poised to win the exchange as well when he completely lost the plot, misplaying the position to find himself in an endgame of 2 rooks versus a rook and 2 pieces. A final blunder to lose a rook prompted Scott’s resignation and Tim having played cool calm chess had pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament to date.

Jamie Brotheridge played tournament front-runner Patrick Cook and a lively Nimzo-Indian defence became an interesting middle-game. After 17 moves Patrick noticed the upset on the next board between Tim and Scott and promptly offered a draw which Jamie declined after some thought. A second draw offer from Patrick on move 24 was also declined, and Jamie was later to rue the decision after being outplayed in the late middle-game and suffering catastrophic material loss. A big boost to Patrick’s championship hopes.

Mitchel Bailey versus Peter Miitel was a peculiar Benko Gambit. An even blow for blow struggle, the game seemed headed for a draw when Mitchel erred to lose the exchange and resigned in disgust.

Joel Beggs versus Michael Schreenan saw the 4 knights opening essayed again. Michael tried hard, as usual, but proved no match for Joel who scored an efficient win.

In the basement battle, Darren Young met John Abson. Despite the open nature of the bishop’s opening the game was a long positional struggle, with nothing exchanged for the first 14 moves. Darren however, seems to have a positive dislike for his rooks and once again carelessly dropped the exchange, allowing John to show some good nerves, and technique, to register his first points in the event.

Robert Bailey took on James Eldridge who adopted the Sicilian Scheveningen. A cut and thrust opening led to an uncompromising middle-game, typical of the Sicilian, until an oversight by James in a combination handed Rob a dominating position, which James soon conceded.

John Frangakis versus Kevin Perrin was postponed.

Results

Mitchel Bailey v Peter Miitel
0 - 1
Jamie Brotheridge v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
John Frangakis v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Tim Commons v Scott Stewart
1 - 0
Darren Young v John Abson
0 - 1
Joel Beggs v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v James Eldridge
1 - 0

Round 7

In an extravagantly violent round, all played games were decided; most were miniatures!

Peter Miitel versus Jamie Brotheridge was the longest game of the evening. Peter set up a Colle-like structure, which Jamie faced with a Queen’s Indian setup. Peter’s subtle positional style gained him the exchange early in the middle-game and he seemed on track for a fine win, when he found his queen had been trapped. Trading her majesty for a rook left him effectively a piece down and Peter resigned after a tactical melee left him with no chance.

Kevin Perrin played Mitchel Bailey and after 1.e4 the game was predictably a Caro-Kann defence. Mitchel an expert on this defence, surprisingly made a mistake early and lost a pawn. He resigned on 19 moves when about to lose a piece as well.

Patrick Cook played Tim Commons, the giant killer of the previous round. Tim spent the afternoon preparing for Laren’s opening and got exactly the position he wanted. It was to no avail, however, as Patrick launched into a tactical assault that Tim was unable to cope with and he resigned after 19 moves.

Scott Stewart took on Joel Beggs and played his favorite Bird’s opening (1.f4). Scott, in his typical Tal-like fashion, offered a speculative exchange sacrifice for piece activity and a possible kingside attack. However, Joel responded with a sortie of his own that left Scott with a ruined position and he resigned after just 15 moves.

James Eldridge played Michael Schreenan and once again wheeled out the antiquated, but still potent, bishop’s opening (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4). James had little difficulty overcoming Michael’s resistance and won comfortably in 23 moves.

John Abson versus John Frangakis, and Robert Bailey versus Darren Young were postponed, so John found time to play his round 13 game versus Scott Stewart. In keeping with the spirit of the night, the game was short and violent. After a peculiar Petroff/Giuco Piano mutation, John overlooked the loss of a piece on move 8 and resigned after 16 moves when facing further material loss.

The round 8 game, Michael Schreenan versus Scott Stewart was also played during the week. Once again, Scott defended with his strange version of the Pirc (1.e4 d6 2.d4 f5?!). Michael handled it well until “a rush of blood” saw him sacrifice his queen for a piece. The tactics were imaginative, but were never going to succeed, and Scott registered a comfortable win.

Results

Peter Miitel v Jamie Brotheridge
0 - 1
Kevin Perrin v Mitchel Bailey
1 - 0
Patrick Cook v Tim Commons
1 - 0
John Abson v John Frangakis
0 - 1
Scott Stewart v Joel Beggs
0 - 1
Robert Bailey v Darren Young
1 - 0
James Eldridge v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0

Round 8

The big battle of this round saw 4th seed Jamie Brotheridge take on the player of honour 3rd seed Kevin Perrin. A non-descript queen pawn opening led to an unbalanced middlegame position similar to those arising from the Grunfeld Defence. Both players launched attacks on opposite wings with Jamie’s forces camped menacingly around Kevin’s king. Neither player gave any quarter and Kevin broke through on the queenside and was poised to deliver mate when Jamie launched his own mating combination to force Kevin’s resignation.

Joel Beggs, challenging for the title despite his unrated status, played 2nd seed Patrick Cook. An unusual line of Alekhine’s Defence, introduced to the club last year by John Lavery, was handled comfortably by Patrick and he gained the type of positioned edge he normally thrives on. But an un characteristic tactical blunder gave Joel 2 pieces for a rook and a winning position. Patrick never misses an opportunity for a draw however, and promptly offered one. Joel surprisingly accepted, citing fatigue and hunger (!). This leaves Patrick as the last undefeated player.

Tim Commons played 2 time champion Peter Miitel and was confronted by Alekhine’s Defence, this time a wild line made famous in a game between David Bronstein and Ljubomir Ljubojevic (Petropolis, 1973). Tim kept his nerve and gained an imposing looking pawn centre, whereupon Peter lost his nerve and offered a draw, which Tim accepted. A good result for the 2004 reserves runner-up.

Mitchel Bailey played club Secretary John Abson. From a Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Mitchel picked up a pawn in the early middle game and thereafter played careful, sensible chess until John gave himself enough weaknesses for Mitchel to gain a decisive material advantage.

Darren Young met reserves champion James Eldridge. As usual Darren opened with 1. e4 and was confronted by the Sicilian Defence. Like most of Darren’s games, this was a though encounter. James gained come initiative against Darren’s strong resistance and gradually built up an imposing attack against his king. A final combination played with aplomb by James, then ended the game in his favor.

Michael Schreenan versus Scott Stewart was played earlier (see round 7).

John Frangakis versus Rob Bailey was postponed, so Rob played his round 13 game versus Michael Schreenan. Another Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Rob had little difficultly in notching up his 3rd win of the event.

Results

Jamie Brotheridge v Kevin Perrin
1 - 0
Tim Commons v Peter Miitel
½ - ½
Mitchel Bailey v John Abson
1 - 0
Joel Beggs v Patrick Cook
½ - ½
John Frangakis v Robert Bailey
0 - 1
Michael Schreenan v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
Darren Young v James Eldridge
0 - 1

Round 9

12th seed John Abson faced 4th seed Jamie Brotheridge this round and “played his socks off”! After 1. e4 d5 (the Scandinavian Defence) the opening rapidly metamorphosed into an Advance French Defence. Jamie, strangely favoured to win this encounter found John’s resistance surprisingly robust. After John found a brilliant, winning move (19. e6!), Jamie was left red faced and would have resigned but for John’s draw offer, prompted by stage fright.

2 time champion Peter Miitel met the dangerous unrated debutant Joel Beggs and played his usual Colle-like opening. Peter gained a pawn in the opening and then demonstrated his technique by “chopping wood” to reach a pawn ending, still a pawn to the good, which he converted comfortably. A setback for the well placed Joel.

Robert Bailey met Mitchel Bailey and after 1. e4 a Caro-Kann ensued, predictably enough. Mitchel had gained a pawn and the 2 Bishop’s by the early middlegame with his quiet, unspectacular style and after picking up a 2nd pawn seemed on track for a win. Rob, however, had been building up an attack against Mitchel’s king and when launched, it proved to be a brilliant counterstroke, forcing Mitchel’s resignation.

Tournament frontrunner, Patrick Cook, played an English opening against Michael Schreenan and had no trouble howling in the full point after winning a piece for a pawn in the opening.

Darren Young versus John Frangakis was postponed, as was Kevin Perrin versus Tim Commons.

Top seed Scott Stewart, in the process of moving interstate, has been anxious to complete his tournament beforehand and so faced the played of honour Kevin Perrin, in advance of round 12. A Bird’s opening, Scott found himself under pressure early by his determined opponent after giving up the exchange and a pawn for vague attacking chances and a dangerous looking passed pawn. This seemed insufficient against Kevin’s solid technique and the game looked over when the players reached a queen plus minor piece endgame with Scott 3 pawns(!) in arrears. However, inventive tactics by Scott combined with Kevin’s growing time pressure transformed the position and only Scott’s exposed king prevented him pressing for a win, instead of accepting a draw.

The postponed round 4 game Mitchel Bailey versus Scott Stewart was also “played” during the week. The players reprised an “infamous” game from the 1970s (Miles vs Reuben, Luton 1975) when they agreed a draw without making a move!

Results

Kevin Perrin v Tim Commons
1 - 0
John Abson v Jamie Brotheridge
½ - ½
Peter Miitel v Joel Beggs
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Mitchel Bailey
1 - 0
Patrick Cook v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Darren Young v John Frangakis
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Scott Stewart
0 - 1

Round 10

The last undefeated record came to an end this round when Scott Stewart played the unbeaten 2nd seed Patrick Cook. A Bird’s opening (Scott’s speciality!), the game reached a known theoretical position rather quickly. In the early middle game, Patrick built up dangerous pressure down the only open file. Tactical operations by Scott relieved the pressure and when Patrick missed a chance to force a draw by repetition on move 21, Scott gained the upper hand when he won a piece for a pawn. Patrick’s attempts to draw by perpetual check were side stepped by Scott, who then went on to win a fine game. This was the top seeds last game and he thus finishes with 9/13.

Tim Commons met John Abson and once again a peculiar Petroff defence was played. John dropped a piece through an oversight quite early, and did not survive long, thereafter. “I was left at the barrier by Tim” was John’s laconic comment after the game.

Joel Beggs played Kevin Perrin in what was expected to be a though encounter. A main-line Sicilian, Kevin’s vast experience told, When Joel realised to his horror that he was losing a piece on move 14 and promptly resigned. A important win for Kevin who is very much in contention for the title in his 40th championship tournament!

Michael Schreenan versus Peter Miitel was a rare Alekhine line (1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5). White dropped a piece for a pawn early and Peter had no difficultly in converting his advantage.

Mitchel Bailey played the struggling junior Darren Young. A queen’s gambit declined. Darren kept things tight, as he usually does, but eventually, Mitchel’s persistent pressure resulted in Darren cracking and he conceded 2 bishops for a rook and pawn. He then “fell apart” and registered his 8th consecutive loss.

The game of the round was undoubtedly Jamie Brotheridge versus Robert Bailey. A Nimzo-Indian defence (Leningrad variation), Rob handled it well and picked up a pawn in the middle game to be sitting comfortably. Jamie then launched a spectacular rook sacrifice which forced Rob’s king into the open. His follow-up seemed slightly inaccurate, enabling Rob to survive into “extra-time”, but he ultimately succumbed to Jamie’s persistence after 80 moves. A just reward for Jamie’s bravery.

Kevin Perrin managed to fit in his postponed round 3 game versus John Abson. A Scotch opening (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4), this encounter was much more dramatic than expected thanks to John’s burst of confidence following from his heroics last round. Kevin won on time!, and admitted later he was very lucky.

Tim Commons also played his postponed game versus Joel Beggs from round 4. Another Petroff, sharp opening play saw black gain a pawn. However, Tim organised his forces very well indeed to seize the initiative and regain the pawn. After reaching a queen and pawns ending, Joel resigned after the queens were traded and he saw that his position was hopeless.

John Frangakis versus James Eldridge was postponed.

Results

Tim Commons v John Abson
1 - 0
Joel Beggs v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Jamie Brotheridge v Robert Bailey
1 - 0
Michael Schreenan v Peter Miitel
0 - 1
Mitchel Bailey v Darren Young
1 - 0
Scott Stewart v Patrick Cook
1 - 0
John Frangakis v James Eldridge
1 - 0

Round 11

With 10 rounds played and only 3 to go, the tournament standings remain somewhat unclear. Top seed Scott Stewart has finished on 9/13. This is likely to be insufficient for a top 3 placing. 2nd seed Patrick Cook is well placed on 8/10 but needs to win his last 3 games to be certain of victory, since Kevin Perrin on 5½/7 could snatch his 8th title by winning all his remaining games. As fate has it, these 2 experienced players are due to meet in the last round.

So round 11 had some important encounters, starting with the game between 2004 reserves champion James Eldridge and 2nd seed Patrick Cook. James opened with 1. e4 and was confronted with the Alekhine defence. Once again, the peculiar line introduced to the club by John Lavery was played and as in his game versus Joel Beggs, Patrick simply ignored it in favor of development. Balck gradually took over the initiative in the middle game until the pressure gained him a pawn. James resigned after a neat combination by Patrick won a piece as well.

Robert Bailey versus Tim Commons was a Chigorin defence! Via the unusual move order 1. d4 Nc6 2. c4 d5 Tim rather misplayed the opening allowing Rob to rapidly gain the upperhand. Tim fought his way back into the game and in a dramatic reversal of fortunes snatched a rook and 2 pieces for his queen, and then showed splendid technique to marshal his forces to push home the victory. A great game by Tim.

Jamie Brotheridge versus Darren Young was a Sicilian. White won a pawn in the opening, and as usual with Darren;s games, the ensuing middle game proved to be tough manoeuvring battle until black collapsed, conceding queen for rook and with it the game.

John Abson met Joel Beggs in a Ruy Lopez. Neither player got much from the opening, but Joel eventually picked up 2 pawns in the middle game to seemingly have a stranglehold on the game. However, John has gained some confidence of late and went king hunting, forcing Joel to defend with some accuracy before he was able to cash in his material advantage.

John Frangakis versus Mitchel Bailey was postponed as was Kevin Perrin versus Michael Schreenan.

Peter Miitel versus Scott Stewart was played earlier (see round 10).

With Mitchel absent and Peter having played Scott, Peter Miitel and John Frangakis played their postponed round 5 game. Once again, Peter played his solid if unambitious, Colle system. He gained a pawn early, but was under pressure from John’s steady play. A few judicious exchanges eased matters and Peter had the win in sight when a dreadful oversight dropped a rook and he resigned on the spot.

Results

John Abson v Joel Beggs
0 - 1
Robert Bailey v Tim Commons
0 - 1
Kevin Perrin v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Darren Young v Jamie Brotheridge
0 - 1
Peter Miitel v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
John Frangakis v Mitchel Bailey
1 - 0
James Eldridge v Patrick Cook
0 - 1

Round 12

Joel Beggs, playing his final game met Rob Bailey and was confronted by the Sicilian Najdorf variation. A typically cut and thrust game ensued until black seized control of the game and won 2 pawns in the late middle game. After trading down to a rook ending, still 2 pawns to the good, Rob had no difficulty in winning a fine game.

Michael Schreenan played John Abson and a Ruy Lopez resulted in a real fight. White grabbed a pawn early at the cost of a damaged pawn structure. Once again John focused on a direct attack on white’s castled king and in the middle game complications John bravely sacrificed a piece to set up a mating attack. Sadly, his courage was to no avail as he misplayed the follow up and Michael survived to convert his material advantage for his 2nd win in the tournament.

Jamie Brotheridge played John Frangakis, after 1. e4, John opted for the Caro-Kann defence. He won a pawn early and tense manoeuvring followed which was ended abruptly when John blundered a piece and resigned.

Patrick Cook played 2 tiem champion Peter Miitel and again wheeled out his favorite opening, Larsen opening (1. b3). The game was short and sharp after Peter adopted an unusual response, he resigned after 13 moves when Patrick launched a spectacular combination that appeared to win the exchange, but ultimately led to equality. An important win for Patrick who now needs only to beat Kevin Perrin to win the championship.

Tim Commons versus Darren Young was postponed, so the round 9 game Kevin Perrin versus Tim Commons was played instead. A scotch opening, Tim quickly lost material and was in a “hopeless” position still in the opening, but his optimism and perseverance got him back into the game with some play. The material deficit was too great however and Kevin kept his head to win and maintain his title chances.

Also played was the round 13 encounter James Eldridge versus Peter Miitel. A Pirc defence, the game was an interesting battle along sharp, tactical lines that ended in a draw, after neither player could gain a decisive edge.

Mitchel Bailey versus James Eldridge was also postponed.

Results

Joel Beggs v Robert Bailey
0 - 1
Michael Schreenan v John Abson
1 - 0
Tim Commons v Darren Young
1 - 0
Scott Stewart v Kevin Perrin
½ - ½
Jamie Brotheridge v John Frangakis
1 - 0
Patrick Cook v Peter Miitel
0 - 1
Mitchel Bailey v James Eldridge
0 - 1

Round 13

The official last round of the tournament, but many postponed games have yet to be played, so the event may take a few more weeks to be finalised. Only three games were actually played on this night.

The crunch game was undoubtebly the encounter between 7 time champion Kevin Perrin and 4 time champion Patrick Cook. A win for Patrick would confirm him as the 2005 club champion, while a draw or a win for Kevin would give him excellent chances of adding another championship to his record.

The game was a Queens Indian Defence, fianchetto variation. Neither player gained an edge from the opening, so the struggle in the early middlegame was tense, revolving around Kevin's pawn majority in the centre versus Patrick's on the queenside. Late in the middlegame, Patrick grabbed a central passed pawn to gain a grip on the game and followed up with a direct attack on Kevin's King. The game ended with an elegant combination after Kevin unwisely grabbed a sacrificed knight only to find himself caught in a mating net. Thus Patrick Cook, 2nd seed, is confirmed as the 2005 Ballarat Chess Club champion.

Darren Young met Peter Miitel and played the ancient Bishop's opening. The game was very even for the first 14 moves. White then won a pawn which prompted Peter to immediately resign; a strange decision that nevertheless gave Darren his first point for the tournament.

John Frangakis versus Tim Commons was an important game for the reserves championship race. A non-descript Queen Pawn Opening, both bishop pairs came off early, resulting in a manovering game, which suits John's style. Whilst slowing building up a big Queenside push, John found himself pressured by Tim's counterattack in the centre. Tim pressed on with a brilliant concept that had one big flaw, it left his Queen en prise, and John happily nabbed it to end Tim's reserves aspirations.

Mitchel Bailey versus Jamie Brotheridge was postponed. Robert Bailey versus Michael Schreenan, Darren Young versus Joel Beggs, John Abson versus Scott Stewart and James Eldridge versus Peter Miitel were all played earlier.

Results

Robert Bailey v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Darren Young v Joel Beggs
0 - 1
John Abson v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
John Frangakis v Tim Commons
1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Mitchel Bailey v Jamie Brotheridge
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Peter Miitel
½ - ½

Epilogue

The 40th Ballarat Club Championship is over! The winner is Patrick Cook and the reserves champion is John Frangakis.

Congratulations to Patrick and John and many thanks to all of those who competed in a close and hard fought tournament.

Players
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Total
1
James Eldridge (1369)
 
½
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
½
½
2
Peter Miitel (1291)
½
 
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
½
0
0
5
3
Mitchel Bailey (1432)
0
0
 
½
0
½
1
1
0
½
1
1
0
0
4
Patrick Cook (1592) 
1
1
½
 
1
0
1
1
1
½
1
1
1
1
11
5
John Frangakis (1308) 
1
1
1
0
 
½
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
6
Scott Stewart (1730)
1
1
½
1
½
 
1
1
1
0
1
0
½
½
9
7
Darren Young (1126)
0
1
0
0
0
0
 
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
8
Michael Schreenan (909) 
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
 
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
9
Robert Bailey (1468)
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
 
1
1
0
0
0
8
10
Joel Beggs (unr)
0
0
½
½
1
1
1
1
0
 
1
0
0
1
7
11
John Abson (1068)
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
 
0
0
½
12
Tim Commons (1337)
0
½
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
 
0
0
13
Kevin Perrin (1582)
½
1
1
0
1
½
1
1
1
1
1
1
 
0
10
14
Jamie Brotheridge (1520)
½
1
1
0
1
½
1
1
1
0
½
1
1
 

Enter your games at Chessmicrobase

The A grade plays for the Andy Miitel Championship trophy, and the B grade for John Baynham Reserves title. Andy Miitel was a former club president who was instrumental in revitalising and reconstituting the club in the mid nineteen sixties after the club had become somewhat moribund in the early sixties. John Baynham was an important club administrator in the late sixties and early seventies.