Barrow - van Riel Shield

Inaugural Barrow - van Riel Challenge Match 2018

The idea of a Ballarat versus Bendigo challenge match along the lines of our annual Fletcher-Morrow match against Geelong has been floating around for several years, and after Kevin Perrin’s gentle coaxing over the past few months, the match finally was agreed upon. A shield has been ordered, and the two Clubs settled on Barrow–van Riel Challenge to honour two members who have been important to the history of both clubs.

Nigel Barrow has been a stalwart figure at Bendigo Chess Club for many years, but was a regular figure at Ballarat Chess Club in the early 1990’s as a junior. Likewise, Bas van Riel has made a major contribution to the life of Ballarat Chess Club over a long period, but was a member of Bendigo Chess Club in the early 1990’s as well. He managed to win the championship of both club’s, simultaneously, in 1993! A remarkable achievement.

The inaugural match was played on nine boards at Bendigo Chess Club in their elegant clubrooms in Mollison Street on Sunday, 20th May, 2018. Bendigo was white on the odd numbered boards. Interestingly, four of the players, Bas van Riel, Nigel Barrow, David Lumsdon, and David Schepisi, have been members of both clubs! As with our matches against Geelong, the match was played in a friendly but competitive atmosphere. The last game to finish, after five hours play, was, appropriately, between the two team captains, Leigh Healey for Bendigo, and Rodney Jacobs for Ballarat. Rodney’s win levelled the match score, and so the inaugural Barrow-van Riel Challenge ended in a tie.

The Bendigo Club readily agreed to an annual challenge and will play us in Ballarat next year.

After the match, seven of the Ballarat players gathered at a local pizzeria for pizza, coffee, and chess chat, before the journey home.



Ballarat Bendigo Challenge

The Barrow - van Riel Shield Pumpkin (until we get a shield!)

The annual match between Ballarat and Bendigo chess clubs, named in honour of Bas van Riel and Nigel Barrow, two significant members of both clubs. The inaugural match was played in May 2018, in Bendigo at Toorak House.

The Bendigo Club house - Toorak House, and The Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute