Despite a Covid disrupted year with lockdowns, mask mandates, and reduced numbers, the Club managed to play all our important events for the year, and the Koelle Tournaments were the last Classical events for 2021.
The 'A' tournament had a good entry of 13 players, headed by Club Champion Ruari Coffey, and 2020 Champion Scott Stewart, with a further 13 players in the 'B' tournament. Tom Oppenheim and Anna Yates were the favourites there.
Round 1 already saw important upset results with junior Paul Dao beating veteran 8 time Club Champion Bas van Riel with the Black pieces, and Leonard Goodison holding another veteran 8 time Champion Patrick Cook to a draw. There were 5 byes in the round. In the 'B' event, Osoble Ali, the bottom seed, defeated top seed Tom Oppenheim.
Round 2 and Scott Stewart restored order with a win over Paul Dao, while Om O'Carroll dared to decline a Patrick Cook draw offer and went on to win. In the 'B' tournament, Osoble Ali continued his good start with a draw against Peter Stickland.
In Round 3 Om O'Carroll fell to Ruari Coffey, while in the 'B' group Osoble Ali fell to Anna Yates.
Round 4, and Ruari Coffey was taken down in brilliant style by Paul Dao, and Om O'Carroll showed her strength again with a draw against experienced Kevin Perrin. In the 'B' event, Anna Yates seized the lead with a win over Justin Goodison, while Kalen Douglas beat Tom Oppenheim.
Round 5 Bas van Riel lost to Scott Stewart, Paul Dao lost to Om O'Carroll, Ruari Coffey beat Patrick Cook, and Michael Leckie defeated Jamie Brotheridge. In the 'B' event Nigel Block, quietly moving up the standings, drew with Peter Stickland to become outright leader.
Round 6 was the big showdown between the top 2 seeds, Scott Stewart vs. Ruari Coffey. Ruari won a fine game to seize the lead. Om O'Carroll continued her good form with a draw against Bas van Riel, while Patrick Cook, the “drawmeister”, drew with Paul Dao. In the 'B' tournament, Kalen Douglas held Anna Yates to a draw, while Nigel Block cemented at least equal 1st with a win over Kanishk Mahasuar.
Going into Round 7, Ruari Coffey held a ½ point lead over Scott Stewart, while Nigel Block was 1 point ahead of Anna Yates in the 'B' group. Ruari beat Bas van Riel to secure victory in the tournament, Scott defeated Om O'Carroll, while veteran Patrick Cook scored a nice win over fellow veteran Kevin Perrin. In the 'B' tournament Julian Laffey could only draw from a winning position against Nigel Block who thus won the Koelle 'B' outright. Anna Yates beat Kanishk Mahasuar to finish 2nd.
Despite a high number of byes and a few forfeits, the 2021 Koelle Tournaments proved to be competitive, with several juniors impressing.
Mr. Arthur Koelle was Victorian Junior champion in 1968 at 14, Country Victorian champion in the same year, and Club champion, also in 1968 as well as 1969. Most of these achievements are age records to this day! He went on to win the Australian Junior championship in 1971. Arthur has been living in Germany since 1982 and competed in the famous Bundesliga club competition, mixing it with experienced grandmasters, up until the mid-1990’s when work commitments became more pressing. Due to rising numbers of participants the original round robin format for the A Grade has now become a Swiss tournament, while the B and C Grade tournaments' format depends on the number of entries. The inaugural tournament was held in 2011.