For the past decade or so, the period between the annual Club Championships, for the Andy Miitel shield and John Baynham shield, has been filled with non-descript rapid play tournaments. At the suggestion of some club members, a new annual 7 round Swiss, games to be rated, was devised. All that remained was to give it a name. After a great deal of discussion, it was finally agreed to honour a past Ballarat player who has faded, almost to obscurity, in our collective memories.
Arthur Teters was part of the great wave of post-war immigration to Australia of Baltic chess players. He arrived in Australia in 1950 and won the Australian Open in Melbourne in 1953, before settling in Ballarat in 1954.
It can be established that he won the Ballarat Club championship in 1954 and 1957, and possibly several other years as well. He was elected President of the Club shortly after arriving here and played successfully for the Club in numerous inter-city matches. His other OTB achievements included winning the Country Victorian championship in the 1950’s, and then the Victorian State championship in 1965, no doubt after he had returned to live in Melbourne.
Upon his arrival in Ballarat, he had told the “Courier” that a highlight of his youth was holding the World Champion to a draw in a simultaneous exhibition in Riga. The Champion could only have been Mikhail Botvinnik, a notable achievement indeed.
He was also a strong and active CC player, winning the Victorian Correspondence Chess championship in the 1950’s and representing Australia in a CC Olympiad.
By a curious coincidence, the current President of the Club, Patrick Cook, played against Mr. Teters a number of times in the 1970’s and ‘80’s, without ever knowing of his connection to Ballarat chess. So, it is important that he not be forgotten and this new tournament is an appropriate salute to a past Ballarat champion.