24 players participated in the first blitz tourney of the year. Rob L. on 8 points finished 1/2 point ahead of Jamie who was a clear point ahead of the nearest rival. Caitlin was top junior on 5.5 points, 1/2 point ahead of Justin on 5 points. A fun night was had by all, although some of us were a little weary after a busy Begonia Open weekend! more...
The Ernie Greenhalgh Blitz Championship.
A Grand Prix cycle of four, 9 round tournaments throughout the year, with a player's best 3 scores deciding the title. There is a $75 prize for the King or Queen of the clock!
Michael playing Chicken on a Blitz night 8 years ago...
Blitz chess does strange things to people: come along and find out for yourself!
James Morris and Anton Smirnov shared first prize at the Open on the weekend. Many locals enjoyed the tournament, and parents and friends of the players helped in the canteen. It was nearly a record for entries at 139 competitors, and the committee once again ensured a well run tournament placed Ballarat on the Chess map.
James, with the Kevin J Perrin Shield, relayed to everyone that the Begonia Open was his favourite Weekender.
Spielvogel Round 7: Patrick prevails
After Patrick drawing with Rob, not even Ruari's defeat of Kevin could affect the outcome: Patrick's second Spielvogel title. Patrick noted after the tournament that it'd been a while between tournament wins, and that it felt good to be on the up. Rod commented that with upcoming players of Ruari's calibre the old guard may soon be taking a back seat!
Rod and Tom play the Barnett sisters, with the Begonia imminent Ruari takes on a somewhat preoccupied Kevin, and Rob and Patrick draw.
Spielvogel Round 6
Tournament leader, Patrick Cook, got a freebie from a no-show which propelled him into an unbeatable position. Whether he shares the prize with Ruari or not depends on last round outcomes - Rob vs Patrick, and Ruari vs Kevin. Obviously underrated Ruari defeated one of the club's strongest players, Rod Jacobs, showing he is another young rising star of the club. Kevin's concentration held and he took a point from Jamie. Rob and Harrison both won their games against lower rated opponents. Caitlin Barnett is now the best performing junior in this tournament with 3.5 points. Kiki, Louis and Chantelle are all following with 3 points.
Ruari on the rise, Rob and Anna chat pre-game, Marley and Karthik start their battle.
Patrick's 'steady as she goes' approach against Rod stood him in good stead as he showed that gambits don't always succeed against a calm, logical defence. Jamie and Rob had an even game up until late in the night when Rob, up the exchange and a pawn, couldn't summon the energy to fight on with two Rooks and a Bishop versus two Bishops and a Rook on an open board, and offered a draw. Underrated Tom Oppenheim lost a pawn race late in the game as Ruari took advantage of a pawn majority he had created very early in the game, to Queen on a1 covering Tom's queening square. In the big upset of the night, Jasan drew with Harrison, a player nearly double his rating!
Patrick unfazed by the Von Hennig Schara gambit, Rob and Jamie grind out a draw, and new member, Karthik, defeated by Leonard.
Rod continued his run with a win against Jamie; it was an even game until some miscalculations resulted in Black trying to survive down 2 exchanges. Ruari conceded a draw to Patrick in a slightly favourable position, after an even game. In Harrison vs Bas, Black had his a pawn on a2 by move 15! White's unusual opening resulted in a cramped position and an uncastled king. Black soon overwhelmed White's king near the centre of the board. Ben and Rob both took the point in their games.
Anna, Rod and Tom get ready while Jasan finalises the draw.
After 3. .., Ra6, a classic Surrealist opening in top seed Harrison's repertoire, Patrick's solid play and a timely push with central pawns was enough to take the whole point. Rod, facing second seed Bas, took advantage of somewhat sloppy opening play by White to gain the exchange and then after facing off a short-lived king-side attack by White, continued his attack on the queen-side, culminating with a pawn advancing to c3 and Bas' resignation. Jasan took advantage of Kevin's lapse in concentration and gift of his queen to secure a win against the veteran. Rob L, in trying to avoid swapping queens, dropped the exchange and Tom's continuing solid play eventuated in a draw regardless. Jamie, Ben and Ruari all made sure of the point in their games against lower rated opponents.
Bas couldn't pull the rabbit out of the hat after an opening slip up. Jamie on full points. Ben's second win
24 players are competing in the Spielvogel Memorial; a good entry spread over the A grade and the Reserves. Top seed and 2017 winner Harrison H. will be looking to keep the title for a third time.
After 2 rounds, 5 players are on 2 points and some important games are set to be decided next Thursday in Round 3. Top seed in the Reserves, Jasan Barnett, played a good game against Bas last week and will be trying to improve on his play even more this week against Kevin Perrin.