2017 News

Round 4

Harrison Harrison took on runaway leader Rodney Jacobs in an almost conventional opening! In something resembling the Colle system, Rodney sacrificed a piece for 3 pawns right in the opening stages. A messy game ensued, with unfathomable tactics, until Black blundered his Queen in a winning position.
Top seed Bas van Riel faced newcomer Heath Gooch in a Caro-Kann. In a theoretical discussion, the game remained quite even, with Black solving all his problems. Late in the game, Bas missed something and dropped a pawn. Thereafter, Heath converted his advantage in a smooth display of technical chess.
Ben Naughton versus Rob Loveband was an open Sicilian, and proved to be a real fight! White was doing well until a few unfortunate ideas late in the middle game resulted in a rapid collapse.
Kevin Perrin met aggressive defending Champion James Watson in a Danish Gambit Declined! James couldn’t resist sacrificing a piece for a couple of pawns plus an attack. Kevin survived, despite his exposed King, and took advantage of several errors by James to record a major upset win.
Jamie Brotheridge played the English against Robert Bailey and applied a lot of pressure to Black’s position, eventually winning the exchange and making it count, to inflict more misery on the 2013 Champion.
Patrick Cook versus Peter Lumsdon was postponed.

Opening surprise

From Rod vs Jamie annotations: The main book line from this position - 69% of games. It looks risky for White, but isn't as, due to the closed centre, Black can't use his pieces to attack White's 'weakened' kingside. The logic may be that it will be natural for Black to expand on the queenside, so it's natural for White to get in first on the kingside - so it may as well be straight away, particularly as White can do so with tempi by kicking around the bishop. (RJ)

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Round 3: the Barnett Round

The Barnett family took 4 points in Round 3 of the Championships this year, probably the only time a family has ever done so in this club!


Round 3

Rodney Jacobs met Jamie Brotheridge in a Caro-Kann. White launched into a sharp, aggressive line and a fascinating tactical shoot out was the result. After trading blows toe-to-toe, Rodney emerged a rook to the good when the smoke cleared and Jamie resigned.
Rob Loveband versus Heath Gooch was a Semi-Slav. In a theoretical duel, neither player strayed far from equality, and the game petered out to a draw.
Peter Lumsdon faced Ben Naughton in a main line Spanish. Ben avoided any opening catastrophe, but Peter’s knowledge and experience eventually gave him a material advantage which he duly converted.
Robert Bailey played Kevin Perrin in an English Opening. This was a surprise, since it is one of Kevin’s specialties, and Robert has not been known to play it. In a positional struggle, Kevin began to worry about his position and offered a draw. Robert declined, but immediately made a disastrous move, and resigned in disgust without waiting for Kevin’s reply!
Harrison Harrison versus Bas van Riel, and James Watson versus Patrick Cook ere postponed.

Round 2

Kevin Perrin faced Rodney Jacobs in a Tarrasch Defence. In a hard fought game, the 2 protagonists reached the late middle game more or less equal, but a faulty combination by Kevin left his position in ruins and Rodney pocketed the full point.
Bas van Riel met Rob Loveband and the game began as a Benoni, before quickly morphing into something like an English. Bas was unable to get much of an edge, and Rob quietly kept improving his position before profiting from unusual tactical ineptness by Bas and going on to score a big upset result.
Patrick Cook versus Robert Bailey was a Nimzo-Indian. Predictably, Patrick offered a draw impossibly early, which Black dismissed. He soon regretted that decision when a poor move gave Patrick a material advantage and firm positional grip that he never let go. White went on to score a smooth win and notch up another victim of “Patrick’s Curse”.
Heath Gooch versus Peter Lumsdon was a Scotch. After Queen swap and piece trading, a very drawish looking end game was reached. Heath had other ideas, though, and in a display of high class technique was able to put great pressure on Peter’s position, which he converted after Peter’s attempt at counter play failed.
Ben Naughton played James Watson in a Scandinavian. It was short and brutal. After donating a piece on move 7, Ben then stumbled into a mating set up and resigned on move 12!
Jamie Brotheridge took on Harrison Harrison in a non-descript Queen-pawn opening. After a great deal of piece shuffling, they reached a Rooks and pawns ending with Jamie a pawn to the good. Uncharacteristically, Jamie did not blunder it all away with a hasty move, instead he stayed focused and scored an impressive victory.

Earlier in the week, the postponed game Jamie Brotheridge versus Bas van Riel was played. In an unusual QGD/Tarrasch hybrid, Black managed to grab a pawn. Jamie kept fighting and was eventually rewarded with a hard fought draw.

Club Championships 2017

The 2017 Ballarat Chess Club Championships is the 52nd in a long line dating back to 1966, the 1st of the “modern” era. 36 players have entered in 3 sections, a fantastic turnout that bodes well for the future of chess in Ballarat.

The ‘A’ grade Championship tournament for the “Andy Miitel” Memorial Shield is a 12 player round robin.

Defending Champion James Watson took on newcomer Heath Gooch in a sharp Slav Defence. A tough, theoretical battle, White eventually won a pawn in the late middle game, and won surprisingly quickly from there. Read more

Find the Move

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

Club Championships 2017

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!

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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

Rapid #1

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.


16-03-17 Blitz #1

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!"

Begonia Open Concludes

Another successful Begonia Open has come and gone. Zhao, Smirnov, Solomon and Morris shared first prize on 6 of 7, leaving a disappointed Ari Dale, who had been tournament leader, on 5.5 points.

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

Harrison wins Spielvogel

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.

Spielvogel Rd 6

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

Spielvogel Rd 5

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.

Chess Chatter

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!

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