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2014 Victorian Country Chess Championship

31 players descended on the Girl Guides Hall in Geelong for the 2014 Victorian Country Chess Championship – this was the largest turnout in several years, with numbers boosted by a large contingent of Geelong players.

Top seed was FIDE Master, Simon Rutherford, who was playing in the tournament for the first time.

There were some interesting moments in Round 1, with at least one player having to take time out of his game to move his car to avoid a parking fine.

Over the board, there were a number of minor upsets, with Rod Jacobs using the Morra Gambit to hold second seed Stewart Booth to a draw, and solid play from Reza Daneshvar, Ben Kersten and Alexander Harris also holding their higher rated opponents to a draw.

Round 1
No Name               Loc   Result   Name                Loc
 1 Simon A Rutherford 2269    1:0    Kevin J Perrin      1598
 2 Rodney M Jacobs    1578   .5:.5   Stewart Booth       2067
 3 Michael Sugrue     1931   .5:.5   Reza Daneshvar      1531
 4 Clint Stewart      1531    0:1    Mark F Bruere       1910
 5 Khosrou Ghafouri   1873    1:0    Ken Czuczman        1456
 6 Ben Kersten        1436   .5:.5   Geoffrey Gill       1841
 7 Nigel Barrow       1831    1:0    Jonathon Yates      1424
 8 Patrick Lenne      1389    0:1    Alistair Anderson   1765
 9 Zoran Babic        1755    1:0    Chris Schulz        1275
10 Alexander Harris   1167   .5:.5   Leigh Healey        1720
11 Joel Beggs         1653    1:0    Bjorn Lategan       959
12 Anna Yates         924     0:1    Max J Mollard       1635
13 Patrick Cook       1629    1:0    Gareth Mills        715
14 Sasha Jacobs       580     0:1    Andrew M Wemyss     1622
15 Geoffrey Barber    1599   .5:.5   Anandaram Jothibabu    

 

Rd1Simon Rutherford, right, contemplates his next move against Kevin Perrin, while Rod Jacobs challenges Stewart Booth with the Morra gambit.

Bjorn Lategan (left) causes headaches for Joel Beggs, while Anna Yates takes on Max Mollard. Patrick Cook seems more interested in the newspaper than his game, while Alistair Anderson looks on as Andrew Wemyss takes on the youngest player in the tournament, Sasha Jacobs.


Alex Harris takes on Leigh Healey, while Chris Schulz looks on from the next board.

Round 2 saw most games go to the higher rated players, with the exceptions being Rod Jacobs continuing his good form with a win over Leigh Healey, while Max Mollard held Khosrou Gahfouri to a draw. The last game to finish saw Andrew Wemyss perhaps a little unfortunate not to be able to hold Nigel Barrow to a draw.

Round 2
No Name                Loc   Result   Name               Loc
 1 Zoran Babic         1755    0:1    Simon A Rutherford 2269
 2 Mark F Bruere       1910    1:0    Joel Beggs         1653
 3 Max J Mollard       1635   .5:.5   Khosrou Ghafouri   1873
 4 Andrew M Wemyss     1622    0:1    Nigel Barrow       1831
 5 Alistair Anderson   1765    1:0    Patrick Cook       1629
 6 Stewart Booth       2067    1:0    Ben Kersten        1436
 7 Anandaram Jothibabu         0:1    Michael Sugrue     1931
 8 Geoffrey Gill       1841    1:0    Alexander Harris   1167
 9 Leigh Healey        1720    0:1    Rodney M Jacobs    1578
10 Reza Daneshvar      1531    1:0    Geoffrey Barber    1599
11 Kevin J Perrin      1598    1:0    Chris Schulz       1275
12 Bjorn Lategan       959     0:1    Clint Stewart      1531
13 Ken Czuczman        1456    1:0    Anna Yates         924
14 Jonathon Yates      1424    0:1    Mio Ristic            
15 Gareth Mills        715     0:1    Patrick Lenne      1389
16 Sasha Jacobs        580     1:0    BYE        
 
Gareth Mills v Patrick Lenne.

Zoran Babic (far left) and Simon Rutherford look on while Anandram (Andy) Jothibabu takes on Michael Sugrue, Leigh Healey plays Rod Jacobs and Reza Daneshvar takes on Geoff Barber.

Round 3 saw Simon Rutherford challenged by Alistair Anderson, with Anderson perhaps a little unfortunate to not hold the top seed to a draw, whilst in contrast on board 2, Nigel Barrow, at one point two pawns down, appeared to be extremely lucky to escape with a draw against Mark Bruere.

Round 3
No Name               Loc   Result   Name                Loc
 1 Simon A Rutherford 2269    1:0    Alistair Anderson   1765
 2 Nigel Barrow       1831   .5:.5   Mark F Bruere       1910
 3 Khosrou Ghafouri   1873    0:1    Stewart Booth       2067
 4 Michael Sugrue     1931    1:0    Max J Mollard       1635
 5 Rodney M Jacobs    1578    0:1    Geoffrey Gill       1841
 6 Joel Beggs         1653   .5:.5   Reza Daneshvar      1531
 7 Clint Stewart      1531    0:1    Zoran Babic         1755
 8 Patrick Cook       1629    1:0    Sasha Jacobs        580
 9 Patrick Lenne      1389    1:0    Andrew M Wemyss     1622
10 Mio Ristic                 0:1    Kevin J Perrin      1598
11 Geoffrey Barber    1599    1:0    Ken Czuczman        1456
12 Ben Kersten        1436    0:1    Leigh Healey        1720
13 Alexander Harris   1167    0:1    Anandaram Jothibabu    
14 Anna Yates         924     0:1    Jonathon Yates      1424
15 Chris Schulz       1275    0:1    Bjorn Lategan       959
16 Gareth Mills       715     1:0    BYE                    

 

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Round 3 was followed by the traditional, social pizza & pavlova dinner, ably organized by Ben and Fiona Kersten.


Players relax after three hard fought rounds and enjoy a meal together.

Round 4 saw the much awaited clash of the top two seeds, with Simon Rutherford emerging victorious in the endgame against Stewart Booth. Anandram Jothibabu from Shepparton continued his good form, defeating Khosrou Ghafouri.

Round 4
No Name                Loc   Result   Name               Loc
 1 Stewart Booth       2067    0:1    Simon A Rutherford 2269
 2 Mark F Bruere       1910   .5:.5   Michael Sugrue     1931
 3 Geoffrey Gill       1841    1:0    Nigel Barrow       1831
 4 Alistair Anderson   1765    1:0    Zoran Babic        1755
 5 Reza Daneshvar      1531   .5:.5   Patrick Cook       1629
 6 Kevin J Perrin      1598    1:0    Patrick Lenne      1389
 7 Anandaram Jothibabu         1:0    Khosrou Ghafouri   1873
 8 Leigh Healey        1720   .5:.5   Joel Beggs         1653
 9 Max J Mollard       1635   .5:.5   Rodney M Jacobs    1578
10 Andrew M Wemyss     1622    1:0    Bjorn Lategan      959
11 Sasha Jacobs        580     0:1    Clint Stewart      1531
12 Ken Czuczman        1456    0:1    Mio Ristic            
13 Jonathon Yates      1424    1:0    Gareth Mills       715
14 Alexander Harris    1167    1:0    Ben Kersten        1436
15 Chris Schulz        1275    1:0    Anna Yates         924


Faces of concentration with the trophy up for grabs.


Rutherford (left) takes on Stewart Booth, as Mark Bruere looks on from Board 2.


Anna Yates looks on as Clint Stewart (foreground, left) records his move against Sasha Jacobs, Ken Czuczman takes on Mio Ristic and Gareth Mills plays Johnathon Yates.

Round 5 saw the top seed lose his first half point, with Geoffrey Gill holding on for a draw. Draws on boards two and three however, helped him maintain his lead over the rest of the field.

Round 5
No Name               Loc   Result   Name                Loc
 1 Simon A Rutherford 2269   .5:.5   Geoffrey Gill       1841
 2 Michael Sugrue     1931   .5:.5   Alistair Anderson   1765
 3 Kevin J Perrin     1598   .5:.5   Mark F Bruere       1910
 4 Patrick Cook       1629    0:1    Stewart Booth       2067
 5 Nigel Barrow       1831   .5:.5   Reza Daneshvar      1531
 6 Zoran Babic        1755   .5:.5   Anandaram Jothibabu    
 7 Clint Stewart      1531    0:1    Leigh Healey        1720
 8 Joel Beggs         1653   .5:.5   Jonathon Yates      1424
 9 Patrick Lenne      1389    1:0    Max J Mollard       1635
10 Rodney M Jacobs    1578    1:0    Andrew M Wemyss     1622
11 Mio Ristic                 1:0    Alexander Harris    1167
12 Khosrou Ghafouri   1873    1:0    Chris Schulz        1275
13 Gareth Mills       715    .5:.5   Ken Czuczman        1456
14 Bjorn Lategan      959     1:0    Sasha Jacobs        580
15 Ben Kersten        1436    1:0    Anna Yates          924

The last game to finish was a topsy-turvy game between Nigel Barrow and Reza Daneshvar, which looked like one player was winning easily with a passed pawn, until the other countered with a passed pawn of his own, and then looked like he was winning easily. With both players in time pressure, White conjured threats of a mating net, and the game eventually simplified into a theoretically drawn rook and pawn endgame.

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Simon Rutherford went into the last round with a half point lead over his nearest rival, Geoffrey Gill, with a number of players a full point behind - it would be up to former champion Mark Bruere to halt Rutherford’s run.

Rutherford (right) versus Mark Bruere, while Geoffrey Gill plays Michael Sugrue on board 2.

Bruere played well enough to hold Rutherford to a draw, however Geoffrey Gill could not overcome Michael Sugrue on board 2, which meant Rutherford won the tournament outright. Stewart Booth defeated Kevin Perrin to tie with Gill for equal second.

Anandram Jothibabu and Mio Ristic both topped off their good tournaments with victories in the last round to tie for equal first in the Reserves.

Round 6
No Name                Loc   Result   Name               Loc
 1 Mark F Bruere       1910   .5:.5   Simon A Rutherford 2269
 2 Geoffrey Gill       1841   .5:.5   Michael Sugrue     1931
 3 Stewart Booth       2067    1:0    Kevin J Perrin     1598
 4 Alistair Anderson   1765   .5:.5   Nigel Barrow       1831
 5 Leigh Healey        1720    1:0    Patrick Lenne      1389
 6 Anandaram Jothibabu         1:0    Rodney M Jacobs    1578
 7 Reza Daneshvar      1531    0:1    Mio Ristic            
 8 Joel Beggs          1653    1:0    Khosrou Ghafouri   1873
 9 Jonathon Yates      1424    0:1    Zoran Babic        1755
10 Max J Mollard       1635    1:0    Patrick Cook       1629
11 Andrew M Wemyss     1622    0:1    Clint Stewart      1531
12 Bjorn Lategan       959     1:0    Ben Kersten        1436
13 Ken Czuczman        1456    0:1    Alexander Harris   1167
14 Anna Yates          924     1:0    Gareth Mills       715
15 Chris Schulz        1275    1:0    Sasha Jacobs       580

 

 

The final game to finish once again involved Nigel Barrow, this time against Alistair Anderson. Anderson looked to be in trouble at one stage, but in mutual time pressure, and with inexact play from both players, managed to generate chances with an outside passed pawn.

The final position saw Barrow with a Bishop and three pawns against two knights and a pawn. Whilst there may still have been winning chances, both sides agreed to a draw to conclude the tournament.

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Simon Rutherford holds the winner’s trophy while Kevin Perrin reaches over to award the champagne.

Anandram Jothibabu (left) and Mio Ristic share the honours for the Reserves Trophy.


Blurry group photo with Sasha and Rod Jacobs holding the trophies – but where’s Ken Czucman?


Ah, there he is!

Players by rating and location
No  Name                 Loc  Title Location        
1.  Rutherford, Simon A  2269 fm    Bacchus Marsh
2.  Booth, Stewart       2067       Swan Hill   
3.  Sugrue, Michael      1931       Geelong     
4.  Bruere, Mark F       1910       Yea         
5.  Ghafouri, Khosrou    1873       Portland    
6.  Gill, Geoffrey       1841       Geelong     
7.  Barrow, Nigel        1831       Bendigo     
8.  Anderson, Alistair   1765       Geelong     
9.  Babic, Zoran         1755       Geelong     
10. Healey, Leigh        1720       Bendigo     
11. Beggs, Joel          1653       Ballarat    
12. Mollard, Max J       1635       Bendigo     
13. Cook, Patrick        1629       Ballarat    
14. Wemyss, Andrew M     1622       Geelong      
15. Barber, Geoffrey     1599       Geelong     
16. Perrin, Kevin J      1598       Ballarat    
17. Jacobs, Rodney M     1578       Ballarat    
18. Daneshvar, Reza      1531       Geelong     
19. Stewart, Clint       1531       Ballarat    
20. Czuczman, Ken        1456       Bendigo     
21. Kersten, Ben         1436       Geelong     
22. Yates, Jonathon      1424       Ballarat    
23. Lenne, Patrick       1389       Drouin      
24. Schulz, Chris        1275       Geelong     
25. Harris, Alexander    1167       Moe         
26. Lategan, Bjorn       959        Ballarat    
27. Yates, Anna          924        Ballarat    
28. Mills, Gareth        715        Bendigo     
29. Jacobs, Sasha        580        Ballarat    
30. Jothibabu, Anandaram            Shepparton  
31. Ristic, Mio                     Geelong     

Final Standings:
Place Name                 Loc  Score
  1   Rutherford, Simon A  2269 5    (Outright First)
 2-3  Gill, Geoffrey       1841 4.5  (= Second/Third)
      Booth, Stewart       2067 4.5  (= Second/Third)
 4-9  Sugrue, Michael      1931 4   
      Bruere, Mark F       1910 4   
      Anderson, Alistair   1765 4   
      Jothibabu, Anandaram      4    (= First Reserve)
      Healey, Leigh        1720 4   
      Ristic, Mio               4    (= First Reserve)
10-13 Perrin, Kevin J      1598 3.5  (Third Reserve)
      Babic, Zoran         1755 3.5 
      Barrow, Nigel        1831 3.5 
      Beggs, Joel          1653 3.5 
14-19 Jacobs, Rodney M     1578 3   
      Daneshvar, Reza      1531 3   
      Lenne, Patrick       1389 3   
      Stewart, Clint       1531 3   
      Mollard, Max J       1635 3   
      Lategan, Bjorn       959  3   
20-23 Harris, Alexander    1167 2.5 
      Ghafouri, Khosrou    1873 2.5 
      Yates, Jonathon      1424 2.5 
      Cook, Patrick        1629 2.5 
24-25 Wemyss, Andrew M     1622 2   
      Schulz, Chris        1275 2   
26-29 Kersten, Ben         1436 1.5 
      Mills, Gareth        715  1.5 
      Czuczman, Ken        1456 1.5 
      Barber, Geoffrey     1599 1.5 
30-31 Jacobs, Sasha        580  1   
      Yates, Anna          924  1   


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