2019 Spielvogel Memorial

2019 Champion: Rodney Jacobs

Spielvogel Memorial Winner: Rod Jacobs - undefeated

Rodney Jacobs had rampaged through the first 6 rounds, and the only question was whether the “drawmeister” Patrick Cook could stop him. And stop him he did, in a careful manoeuvering game that ended in a draw. Jamie Brotheridge had meanwhile demolished a careless Kevin Perrin in an effort to profit from any slip by Rod. Rob Loveband defeated Sean Macak, making it clear that his dreadful start to the tournament was an aberration. Peter Wang couldn't cope with Harrison Harrison; Ruari Coffey brushed aside Dan Wang; Bas van Riel defeated an in-form Ben Naughton; and Andrew Wang fell to new member John Acxel. Several juniors started the tournament quite well, but were unable to maintain the pace : Tom Oppenheim took down Dylan Douglas, while Leonard Goodison disposed of Dylan's brother Kalen. So, Rodney Jacobs won the Spielvogel Memorial tournament for the first time, with Jamie Brotheridge 2nd, and Harrison Harrison, Rob Loveband, and Ruari Coffey sharing 3rd with 5 points.

Round 6

Harrison Harrison took on the leader Rodney Jacobs, but even Harrison's eccentric, but subtle, play could not cope with Rodney's hot form. Rodney now goes into the final round with at least a share of the title assured. Sean Macak met Jamie Brotheridge in the latter's favourite Grunfeld. An exciting game was the result, with Jamie's experience counting in the end. Experience didn't help Patrick Cook against Peter Wang in a King's Indian, and Patrick typically opted for a safe draw. Ruari Coffey played the game of the round against Bas van Riel in another King's Indian, crushing the top seed in ruthless fashion. Anna Yates was unable to halt the fast finishing Rob Loveband. John Acxel has shown good play in his debut at the Club, and held Cassandra Barnett to a draw; while Caitlin Barnett defeated Tom Oppenheim. With one round to play, only Jamie Brotheridge can catch Rodney Jacobs if the latter falters.

Round 5

The joint leaders, Jamie Brotheridge and Rodney Jacobs, faced each other in an English. A sharp struggle ensued, before Jamie went seriously astray, dropping a rook, before resigning in the face of further material loss. Bas van Riel versus Patrick Cook was an off-beat line in the French. Bas won a pawn in the middle game, and pushed in a lengthy endgame to reach a winning position, but stumbled at the crux to allow Patrick to snatch a draw. Resistance is not futile! Sean Macak continues to play well, and overcame Ben Naughton. High flying junior Dan Wang fell to Earth against Harrison Harrison. Tom Oppenheim and John Acxel fought out a tough draw. Dylan Douglas won a pawn against Caitlin Barnett, but patient defence by Caitlin enabled her to eventually regain it and hold the draw. Rod Jacobs now leads alone with 5/5.

Round 4

Going in to Round 4, only 3 players remained on a perfect score. Rodney Jacobs faced top seed Bas van Riel in a Grunfeld, and a real fight ensued. The advantage appeared to swing wildly, and when the smoke cleared, Rod had a winning position and made it count. Newcomer John Acxel took on the other 100%-er Jamie Brotheridge, and after emerging from the opening with a promising position, was unable to cope with Jamie's experience and aggression. Patrick Cook recovered from last week and overcame Ben Naughton after giving up his Queen for Rook, Knight, and a couple of pawns. The endgame was instructive. Younger players continue to do well. In the battle of the “Young Turks”, Ruari Coffey faced his rival Sean Macak, who gained revenge for his defeat by Ruari in their last encounter. Junior Kalen Douglas did well to hold experienced Tom Oppenheim to a draw, while his brother Dylan Douglas defeated Jeff Littlejohn with the Black pieces.


Round 3

The 6 leaders met in Round 3, and it proved to be a whitewash! Bas van Riel punished Harrison Harrison for his odd opening play; veteren Rodney Jacobs overcame the fast rising Ruari Coffey; and Jamie Brotheridge found the hole in Patrick Cook's imaginative attempt to grab material.
Lower down, Ben Naughton won against Ian Boyle; Dylan Douglas fell to newcomer John Acxel; and Chantelle Barnett was defeated by her sister Cassandra Barnett. There were many tough, hard-fought games on the night, and the title is still up for grabs.


Round 2

More interesting games in Round 2, with Rob Loveband again collapsing, this time to Ben Naughton, after a dreadful oversight shed a rook in a winning position. Kalen Douglas and Dylan Douglas fought to a draw against each other, and consolidated their excellent start to the tournament. Sean Macak lost a fighting game to Harrison Harrison after appearing to have the advantage for most of the game, Ruari Coffey beat Jasan Barnett, on time, after just 25 moves! The rest of the games went as expected.


Round 1

36 players entered the first Classical event for the year, the Spielvogel Memorial 2019, a simply fabulous
turnout! Bas van Riel is top seed, with Rob Loveband seeded 2nd.

Round 1 produced some interesting results. Youngster Dylan Douglas defeated Rob Loveband after Rob
lost focus and dropped a piece. Dylan held his nerve and converted his advantage.
Ben Naughton was fortunate to escape with a draw against Dylan's younger brother Kalen Douglas,
and Jamie Brotheridge was even luckier, winning against Dan Wang after shedding a piece early on.
The rest of the pairings went as “expected”.



From Australian Dictionary of Bibliography

Nathan Frederick Spielvogel (1874-1956), teacher, writer and historian, was born on 10 May 1874 at Ballarat, Victoria, son of Newman Frederick Spielvogel, pawnbroker, and his wife Hannah, née Cohen. Newman, an Austrian, and Hannah, a Prussian, were typical of the strong Jewish community on the Ballarat goldfields. Nathan attended Dana Street State School and trained there in 1892-95 as a pupil-teacher. He taught at several schools in the Wimmera, including Dimboola (1897, 1899-1907).

A small man, with sharply chiselled features, a wide forehead, big ears, warm eyes, a jutting chin and a beard that became golden, Spielvogel was adventurous and imaginative. In 1904 he spent his savings of £120 on a six-month journey through Egypt, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Britain. He had begun his writing career in 1894 with a Christmas story for the Ballarat Courier, to which—with the Jewish press, the Bulletin, the Dimboola Banner and other newspapers—he contributed regularly under such pen names as 'Genung', 'Eko', 'Ato' and 'Ahaswar'. From the early 1920s he wrote a humorous piece each month for the Teachers' Journal, but was probably best known for his first book, A Gumsucker on the Tramp (1906). It sold 20,000 copies. He also published The Cocky Farmer (1914), A Gumsucker at Home (1914), Old Eko's Note-Book (1930) and a volume of poetry called Our Gum Trees (1913).

He loved a beer (not lager) and around 1908 dined every Thursday at Fasoli's café, Melbourne, with writers and artists such as E. J. Brady, Norman Lindsay, Hal Gye, C. J. Dennis and Louis Esson. Later he was close to J. K. Moir, Victor Kennedy and R. H. Croll of the Bread and Cheese Club. Croll thought him 'offensively Australian' yet proudly Jewish, a conjunction that rent Spielvogel in 1901 when his love for a Gentile conflicted with a promise to his mother not to marry out of the faith. He remained steadfast and on 6 September 1911 at the Great Synagogue, Hyde Park, Sydney, married Jessie Muriel, daughter of Henry Harris, publisher of the Hebrew Standard.

After further postings to other Victorian schools, Spielvogel returned to Ballarat to be headmaster of Dana Street in 1924-39. Inspiring, sympathetic and methodical, he was immensely popular: a phalanx of pupils usually escorted him into the grounds. As president of the revived Ballarat Historical Society (1933-56), he developed a passion for local history. He published vignettes of early Ballarat life and a popular monograph, The Affair at Eureka (1928). After retirement he was largely responsible for managing the local museum and for placing plaques and monuments at historic sites. His broadcasts and press releases increased historical awareness.

Spielvogel was president of the Ballarat Hebrew Congregation, the Mechanics' Institute, the Teachers' Institute and Dana Street Old Scholars' Association. Strongly patriotic during World War I, he became chairman of the Dads' Association in World War II. A sharp mind lay behind his lifelong interest in chess: he was secretary (1894) and president (1939) of the Ballarat club and represented Victoria in 1921 and 1925. He was instrumental in sustaining the Ballarat synagogue between 1941 and 1953 and wrote Jewish stories with a tenderness and strength that drew from Judah Waten the remark that Jewish literature in Australia began with him. Spielvogel died on 10 September 1956 at Ballarat and was buried in the old cemetery. His wife and their three sons (all of whom had married out of the faith and in his absence) survived him.