Message from the VRCL President, Kevin Perrin
A very good field of 30 players arrived in Geelong to contest the 2015 Victorian Country Chess Championship. It turned out to be an event of upsets and as can be seen from the cross table neither of the top 2 seeds managed to finish in the top 4 places! They each appeared a bit rusty from a lack of competitive games over the board and took a few rounds to get into stride.
Nigel Barrow (Bendigo) did his usual amazing feat of successfully combining playing and acting as Arbiter to share first place with Khosrou Ghafouri from Portland. They were each undefeated and finished on 5 out of 6. They drew their individual clash and had draws with Alistair Anderson and Patrick Cook respectively. Nigel has been champion twice previously but it was a first for KG.
Top seed Simon Rutherford (Darley) never quite managed to recover from his upset loss in round 1 to Robert Bailey (Ballarat), although he had a chance to finish equal first if he could have won against KG in the final round. KG played brilliantly however to win a hard fought encounter. Geelong players Alistair Anderson and Barbaros Kara were equal third on 4.5 points.
The Reserves champion this year is Andrew Wemyss (Geelong) who was ecstatic with his win after playing very well throughout the tournament to record 4 points. His effort was probably the standout performance of the weekend. Second place in Reserve section went to Liam Harrison (Mildura) who scored 3.5 points. Third place on 3 points was shared between Max Mollard (Bendigo), David Schepisi (Bendigo) and Alexander Harris (Moe).
It was good to see a number of new faces this year as well as many of the regulars. The final scores and cross table are set out below. Thanks very much to Ben, Andrew, Michael and the other Geelong Chess Club members for providing the venue free of charge and for arranging refreshments and the pizza dinner on Saturday night.
At the VRCL meeting on Sunday, Nigel Barrow and Kevin Perrin were re-elected to the positions of Secretary and President respectively. It was also decided that the 2016 event would again be held in Geelong. Players should note that a decision made (at the start of the championship) to allow players to take one half-point bye in rounds 1 to 4 provided that the Arbiter was advised before the event or prior to the end of the previous round. That may assist anyone who is unable to make the early start we have on the Saturday morning.
(Photos below thanks to Elliott Renzies and Kevin Perrin)