Inaugural Ballarat Chess Triathlon 2016

A great day was had by all, with a line-up of 15 contestants vying for the inaugural tournament's Gold and Silver Medals. After Patrick arrived punctually at 9:00 a.m. with the key, everyone pitched in to set up the room while James Eyre, Jasan Barnett and Rob Loveband fussed with the draw.

Patrick opens proceedings.
Pre-game warm ups

The first games started up by 9:20 or thereabouts, and being Blitz, concluded shortly thereafter. As it was a Swiss and the top half was playing the bottom half, all games went to the higher rated players except one - young Leonard Goodison defeated Michael Tausz after an exceptional game.

Jamie and Coen waste no time
One third of participants were juniors

Round Two was a Rapid and once again Michael fell to Coen Johnson, recently returned to club play after completing the VCE. Rob Loveband also took 1/2 a point from James Watson after a series of unfortunate events culminated in James' lead dwindling into a 2 Queen drawn ending. Eventual winner, Patrick Cook, also suffered his only loss this round.

Hooper Room is busy with chess
Jamie and Coen waste no time

Round 3 was a standard game which felt even longer after the rush of the blitz and the rapid. Despite the extra time to avoid blunders, Rob Loveband donated a knight to lose to Jamie Brotheridge, James Watson turned down a draw offered by Patrick Cook (from a position of strength!) and went on to lose, and Caitlin made a timely draw offer to James Eyre who accepted perhaps a little too hastily.

Round 4 being a blitz, it was expected that Jamie Brotheridge would take the point, but Harrison was just too fast and too accurate. No other upsets in this round.

Rapid 1 - James waits for the photographer
Round 3 - Jamie's lucky hat works

Round 5 rapid saw leader Patrick Cook defeat rival Jamie Brotheridge, while Harrison succumbed to solid play from James Watson.

Round 6 and Rob Loveband pulled a rabbit out of a hat after 'blundering' a poison rook, finding a mate in 2 against Harrison. Coen was unable to sustain his attack on Patrick's passive but solid position, and to Patrick's delight simplified down to an unwinnable king and pawn ending where Patrick's end game technique left the outcome in no doubt (much to the chagrin of many onlookers (RL and JW) who were hoping for a draw so there would be a sudden death 3 way play off!)

One fifth of participants were female
James Eyre draws with Caitlin

So, Patrick Cook is the first athlete to win Gold in the Ballarat Chess Triathlon - congratulations!

Caitlin Barnett took her third Reserves win this year, with a Silver Medal to show - congratulations to her as well!

Jasan Barnett congratulates Gold Medallist Patrick Cook
Caitlin Barnett receives Silver from President Cook

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The idea for holding a "Triathlon" - a mix of blitz, rapid and short standard games held on the one day, was conceived by Jasan Barnett. It was well received, with many members expressing support for the tournament as a fun way to end the year of chess. The inaugural tournament was held in the Hooper Room of the Ballarat Mechanics' Institute, the club's new domicile from 2017.