From Round 1 Rod vs Patrick, White to move, should he take the Rook and try to get material compensation for his trapped Queen, or head the other way? Read more
We're up and running with 36 entrants divided into 2 round robins and a Swiss.
Patrick will be writing a commentary on the tournaments and it will assist him greatly if you put your games up promptly on Chess Microbase. He generally comments on the A Grade so if we have any volunteers to say a few words about the B and C group, Sue, that would be just fantastic!
Rod and Harrison, leaders in the Rapid Grand Prix
Now that there are only 12 rapid games per year rather than 18, each point has a higher weighting in the race to be Rapid Champ of 2017. Rod Jacobs and Harrison are on 5 of 6, followed by Jamie on 4.5, then a host of others on 4.
Vic U15 Girls 2nd Place
Congratulations to Caitlin Barnett and Chantelle Barnett who both won prizes at the 2017 Aged Group Rapid Tournament, held on Sunday 19 March at the Glen Waverley Secondary College! Caitlin scooped 2nd prize in the U15 girls and Chantelle won 3rd prize in her age group.
Caitlin and justifiably proud dad, Jasan, and the trophy
Game of the week: Mallari v Harrison
Thursday 23rd/30th March things slow down with 2 weeks, 6 rounds of 20m + 10s rapid play. Try out some new openings in this unrated precursor to the Championship starting 20/4.
27 people took advantage of Jamie's absence to accumulate a few points in the Blitz Grand Priz of 2017. Coming out on top of the pile was Patrick on 8 points followed by the 3 wise men, Harrison, Rod and Rob, all on 7 of 9. Miguel and Caitlin were the top juniors on 5 points. Fun was had by most but I did get one comment -"remind me not to play the next blitz - too stressful!" from one of our entrants! Contrasted with "What? 9 rounds already?! I was just warming up!"
Ballarat Club was well represented with no less than 19 players - confirming one of the original intentions of the tournament: to provide a venue for local players to play higher rated players. Leading point scorer was James Watson on 4.5, albeit taken from lower rated players. Highlights were Harrison beating an FM (Donato Mallari 2077) as well as a CM (Hilton Bennett 1977)! Rob L beat two players over 1870 (Angelo Tsagarakis and Emily Rosmait), Rod scored a nice point against Oscar Hermann (1741), and Sue Ryan scored the upset prize with a win against a 1246 rated opponent, Sugandha Goswami. Our juniors got some more valuable tournament experience in a friendly, supportive environment. The pre-tourney lecture by David from ChessLife was entertaining and informative, and Robert Jamieson's game commentary was insightful and educational. The canteen (probably) made a few bucks thanks to tireless tea-makers, Ash, Annie, Bill, Evie, Josephine and Mike. Thanks to everyone for your help and support!Begonia site
Although not all games were completed on the night (Ruari vs Kevin adjourned around 11:30 and Rod vs Jamie was postponed), after Harrison turned a losing position into a winning one against Rob L, he achieved the admirable score of 7 out of 7! A remarkably enterprising player, Harrison's games are never boring. Congratulations on a great performance! Harrison adjusts his 'lucky hat' below.
After a classic opening where 3 of 4 of the first moves were made by the same knight, Harrison settled down to castle and consolidate, waiting for Ruari to create his own weaknesses. This duly occurred after black's matriarch found herself attacked and left an unprotected central pawn to fall, signalling the beginning of the end. The black queen was eventually snared and although black improved his position for the next 20 moves, nearly attaining equality, one poor bishop move saw the deck of cards collapse. Harrison now has an unassailable lead and is the 2017 Spielvogel Memorial Champion! Congratulations! In other games, Chantelle showed patience and thoughtfulness to turn a drawn endgame into a win - resourcefulness reflected in her and sister Caitlin's March rating rises. Patrick’s first 40 moves earned him a single pawn advantage against Rod, and by making his knight better than Rod’s bishop, with careful footwork he marched his h pawn home for a win in 57 moves. Rob L was lucky to find a win against Rob B after a very even game, both players missing chances. Miguel's fighting spirit gave Kevin a challenge but his experience was enough to garner the point. Read more
Tournament leader, Harrison, took his 5th scalp, Rod's, on Thursday evening, increasing his lead to a full point.
The big upset of Rd 5 though, was Ruari Coffey overwhelming James Watson and surging ahead to second place on the ladder. James had a moment of madness on move 50 which cost him the game.
Rob Bailey and Patrick Cook didn't want to play chess and drew in 17 moves, while Jamie Brotheridge vs Rob Loveband was a crowded, complicated game, ending well for Black, with 7 of his pawns still on the board. Caitlin and Miguel have won enough games to bring them well into the top half and will have some challenges ahead. Read more
Spielvogel Round 4
The game of the night, Harrison vs James W., hasn't made it onto ChessMicrobase as yet, so we are still a little in the dark about how Harrison was able to defeat James. I did see towards the end that James took a good 20 minutes to try to think out a possible win in a Bishop and double passed pawns vs Rook, and sacked his Bishop to try to give his pawns on both sides of the board a run down to Queen. However, Harrison had time to get his pieces in place to cover all potential queening squares and secure the point.
Rod overwhelmed Kevin in another hard game for Kevin. Rod's incessant encroachments on Black's castled king side eventuated in the White h pawn breaking up Black's defences and making life untenable. All other games went more or less as expected.
Spielvogel Round 3
Kevin and James' game finished at around 11:30 after a tense, see-saw in the balance of power tipped to Black's side as Kevin relinquished a hard fought pawn and R vs B advantage to stave off mate. Harrison gave up 2 Queens to Cassandra over the course of their game; looking slightly bleary eyed, Harrison still managed to eke out a win with a one pawn advantage. Rod dispatched Isaac for a comparitively early night, while Patrick had no qualms about capitalising on Rob L's lacklustre play, and in response to Rob's draw offer he found an devilish Knight move forcing Rob's resignation. Rob B took the point from Sue, as did Ruari from Michael, while Dad-Jasan defeated slightly more highly rated Daughter-Caitlin. The Douglas trio made a late appearance but were shuffled into the draw by our obliging arbiter, James E who is not playing the tournament. Bas, last year's winner, dropped in to check out the action.
Spielvogel Round 2
23 players arrived ready to exercise their mental muscles on Thursday night. An overseas visitor popped in to purchase a Begonia history book signed by the editor, Patrick Cook, and James Eyre returned to take up the arbiter's reins and get the tourney back on track. The pairings threw up some tough games; Kevin was able to successfully prove that a Rook and and a Bishop (and an extra pawn) beats 2 of Patrick's Bishops; Rod and Rob L fought to a standstill draw; Jamie was unable to turn a material advantage into a win against Harrison whose nimble play earned him the point; Rob B was unable to punish James W for castling late and his reluctance to sac a piece in the centre early cost him the initiative and eventually the game. Cassandra notched up her second point, Ruari, Sean and the Goodison boys all late entries, joined the fray. The Barnetts were out in force - only Chantelle was left without a point as she gave it to Dad. Young Nick Ruyg took a half point bye as Cody was a no-show, and Tom was defeated by Sue - not sure what happened there! Miguel has returned - welcome back!
Spielvogel Round 1
The Spielvogel Memorial kicked off with 18 players, but with more in the wings starting in Round 2. School holidays are not quite over and we expect numbers to increase as the year goes on. We have several new players in the field which should keep the old guard on their toes.
Jasan stepped in as arbiter in lieu of James E who is still away. Results will be posted when we have final numbers for the tourney.
On the Move
Chess in Ballarat will start again on Thursday, 19th of January in the Hooper Room at the Ballarat Mechanics' Institute which will be our new home. See the Contact page for map and address.
Hear All About It! Sue Ryan is now editing a monthly chess newsletter for the Ballarat Chess Club... Download and read the debut edition below!
From international tournament analyses and photo galleries to club member's contribution- it's got it all. Write something yourself for the next edition!