VRCL Country Championships 2018
33 players visited Geelong to compete in the 2018 Victorian Country Chess Championship.
Top seed was Carl Gorka (2175), who had recently moved to Drouin and therefore qualified under
the eligibility criteria of having a main place of residence outside of a 50km radius of the Melbourne
Carl wasn’t expected to have it all his own way however, with many times champion, Stewart Booth
also playing, along with some of the best players from the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo Chess
Results went mainly to seedings in the early rounds, with the exception of a couple of higher rated
players being held to draws. The most notable among these were Ruari Coffey drawing with Alistair
Anderson in Round 1, and Geoff Barber holding Stewart Booth to a draw in Round 2.
Carl Gorka elected to take advantage of the half point bye in Round 4, while Ruari Coffey continued
his good form, holding Stewart Booth to a draw.
In Round 5, Gorka’s achieved an overwhelming position against Nigel Barrow as his greater feel for
the position allowed him to recognize the need regroup pieces from the queenside to the kingside
before his opponent. Leigh Healey achieved the upset of the round defeating Stewart Booth in a
bishop and pawn endgame.
In Round 6, Gorka proved too strong for Healey, to take outright first with 5.5 points. After a couple
of draws in the early rounds, Reza Daneshvar moved into outright second place with a win over
Omar Bashar. Ruari Coffey finished a strong tournament, defeating Bas Van Riel to take outright
third, as well as first place in the Reserves. The top three players were undefeated.
1: Carl Gorka 5.5
2: Reza Daneshvar 5.0
3: Ruari Coffey 4.5 (also first Reserve).
Equal 2nd – 3rd in the Reserves were Kevin Perrin and Jack Smith 3.5.
Carl and Ruari receive their prizes... but where did the wine bottles end up?