Ballarat Junior Chess Club Blog
Recent events attended by Ballarat juniorsFriendly Match vs Saint Pats College
On the 4th of September, a small visiting team from Saint Patrick's College came to Ballarat Clarendon College for a friendly match. This was a tradition established by Ben Naughton in 2019 and I was keen to see this revive and continue. Saint Patrick's team have made Kids Unlimited National Finals in consecutive years and so this would be a real test of the largely Middle Years group from Clarendon. The friendly match was fought over 11 boards with two games per pairing (one of each colour) played over a 15 minute time control. The visiting team showed their strength and class in winning 13.5-6.5. The match provided some excellent experience for the younger players which was their first over the board inter-school experience since 2019. Veteran player Kalen Douglas was the hosts' highest winner in the second game on board 3. Thomas Lin and Afif Chowdhury also played very well in securing wins in both games.
Other highlights included Leonard Goodison's quality performance in outplaying old sparring partner Dan Wang on top board. Leonard won the exchange in both games and showed considerably good technique in converting the wins. Justin Goodison won both games against Vishnu Neralla on board 2 and was stalwart in defense in the second game; making a timely bishop sacrifice to stave off the attack and take the full point.
A big thanks to Nathaniel Winfield for leading Saint Pats and making the match possible. We look forward to more matches in the future with other school clubs who are slowly becoming more active post-pandemic. The more secondary schools who get involved, the more likely we could create a round robin tournament to include all of them. Watch this space!
Mount Alexander Chess Challenge
Returning in 2022 was one of the premier events for primary and secondary interschool chess; the Mount Alexander Chess Challenge. On September 14, Ballarat Clarendon College travelled to Castlemaine Secondary College to compete in this huge event. The last time the school did so was back in 2017 and thus it was great to play once again. This was the youngest team ever to compete for the school; with all juniors aged from year 1-4. They played amazingly well for a valiant 2nd place from 12 schools. One of our perennial rival schools, Candlebark won the tournament by just two points in the final round. Rey Mukherjee scored a fantastic 6/6 but it wasn't quite enough for an individual medal due to countback. Terrance Wang remarkably made it to board 1 and nearly won the tournament individually with a mighty score of 5/6. Wendy Tian also won the best girl prize in the entire primary division which was incredible; capping off a fine term's chess.
160 primary students played 6 rounds of chess over the day which was ably arbitered by Nigel Barrow. A massive thanks to Rotary for the BBQ, Bendigo Chess Club, Chess Squared, Mark Johansson at Castlemaine SC and Harry Poulton for making it all possible. Looking forward already to next year!
The following five players were the contributors to the primary team score and received a silver medal for coming 2nd overall.
Rey Mukherjee 6/6 (4th place individually by countback - amazing from Rey, underlining a great year of chess achievement.)
Declan Mahar 5/6 (Declan was in his element competing in his first tournament. A terrific result for him.)
Terrance Wang 5/6 (A fantastic result for the quickly developing junior.)
Lucas Yang 5/6 (The Semester 1 JS champion showing his growing strength.)
Nathan Soo 5/6 (A worthy medal for Nathan who has had a great term.)
1st: Candlebark 28
2nd: Ballarat Clarendon College 26
3rd: Bolinda PS 20.5
4th: New Gisborne PS 19.5
5th: Winter's Flat PS 19.5
6th: St Mary's PS 17
7th: Campbell's Creek PS 16.5
8th: Chewton S 16.5
9th: Epsom PS 15.5
10th: North Castlemaine PS 14.5
11th: Harcourt Valley PS 12.0
12th: Malmsbury 5
Ballarat Clarendon's Secondary team won their division in a most convincing fashion. Ex-Junior School students Om O'Carroll, Patrick Frost and Kanishk Mahasuar all competed in this great team who now qualify for State Finals. Together, they have 6 Junior School semester titles between them. Patrick Frost won the tournament individually which is a real credit to his chess diligence this year not only in his School Leagues but in the Ballarat Junior Club as well.
The team consisted of the following players:
Patrick Frost 6.0
Om O'Carroll 5.0
Dan Wang 5.0
Jacob Yang 5.0
Kanishk Mahasuar 5.0
Andrew Wang 5.0
Kalen Douglas 4.0
Maggie Cai 3.0
1st: Ballarat Clarendon College 26
2nd: Werribee Secondary College 21
3rd: Girton Grammar 20.5
4th: Candlebark / Alice Miller 15.5
5th: Castlemaine SC 15
6th: Olivet CC 12.5
Ballarat Clarendon College Chess League:
Pawns & Knights League Term 3:
1st: Maggie Cai 7.5
2nd: Chris Ji 7.0
3rd: John Lang / Minsi 6.5
Bishops & Kings League Term 3:
1st: Vishnu Neralla 7.0
2nd: Patrick Frost 5.5 (Great effort for a first ever term at this level)
3rd: Louis Zhao / Ned Griffin 5.0
Junior School Beginners (Prep-Yr2) Term 3:
1st: Callum Elliott 7.0
2nd: Terrance Wang 6.0
3rd: Wendy Tian 5.0 (Best Girl)
Junior School Advanced (Yr3&4) Term 3
1st: Zach Jacob 7.0 (Countback)
2nd: Jimmy Zhang 7.0
3rd: Ishan Mudugamawa 6.0
Tiya Jyani 4.0 (Best girl)
Pleasant St Primary Term 3:
1st: Cooper Horsley 8.0
2nd: Samuel Parry 6.0
3rd: Teo Glaude 6.0
Term 4 begins next week. There will be some exciting conclusions to Chess League, end of year tournaments to plan for and also several events such as State Finals to look forward to. See you all then!
BCC & BJC Coach
Victorian Junior Chess Championships 2022
Two of our most promising junior players competed in the Victorian State Junior Chess Championships recently. Paul Dao finished 2nd in the Boys U12 section, while Om O'Carroll finished 2nd in the Girls U16 section. Well done to both players.
Bishops and Kings Term 1:
1st: Om O'Carroll: 7
2nd: Vishnu Neralla 7
3rd: Dan Wang 5
Unfortunately Covid 19 had a detrimental effect on the attendance of the amalgamated Bishops and Kings League. However, it certainly didn't prevent the tournament from being diligently fought. Om O'Carroll was a very well deserving winner with Vishy Neralla showing excellent consistency to stay in the running to keep Om very honest. I anticipate greater exciting match ups in this division for term 2 with the resurgence of Dan and Andrew Wang. The class will continue their exploration of the history of the Women's World Championship. The expectation of a friendly match or even the resumption of inter-school chess is something everyone is very much looking forward to. This will vehemently demonstrate that chess is fully back alive and well in schools.
On Friday the 3rd of December, the 6th Pleasant St Primary Open tournament took place at its traditional location in the library of the school. 26 students competed in 7 rounds of good fighting chess, with many drawn out close and lengthy games over the day. After two rounds, there was not a scholar's mate to be found! The tournament was a triumph for the school in the wake of COVID 19 which had suspended its club activities in 2020.
Chess in education has suffered immensely in the "Pandemic Years" of 2020-2021, with the school clubs being canceled for a good proportion of this time. As a result, inter-school chess was relegated by Kids Unlimited to an online status and so there have been no local over the board inter-school tournaments for more than two years. Playing in these events is very much a central opportunity for students, a core experience a club member can aim for, with the Sewell Pavillion playing host to zonal tournaments for many years. It is a real shame that the current generation of players have missed out on so much of these critical formative chess playing experiences. Yet our club ...
Ballarat Junior Chess Club
Enrol online, or if you have further questions, contact Ruari, Scott, Jasan or Kevin. Term 4 already started? That's okay - just contact us and we'll look after you - our goal is to get more children playing more chess more often, and enjoying more of the great benefits of chess in their life!