57th Club Championships 2022

2022 Club Champion:

A Group

Round 3

Jules Feinberg took on tournament early leader Jamie Brotheridge in an English Opening. The play was even until Jules gained some dangerous pressure against Jamie's King and won a pawn. He then liquidated to a rooks and pawns endgame that Jamie was unable to hold.
Vipin Jyani faced veteran Kevin Perrin in a Dutch Defence. It was a lively game, full of sharp tactics and subtle manoeuvring, before Vipin blundered a piece in the middle game action. Kevin had no trouble pushing through his advantage from there.
In the battle of the youngsters, Om O'Carroll met Paul Dao in a French Defence, 2 Knights variation. Paul pressed early and eventually won a pawn in the middle game. Om remained calm and focused and managed to regain the pawn as well as seize the initiative. Paul resigned an interesting Bishop's and pawns endgame when 2 pawns down, but inexperience let him down, since the final position is a draw!
Peter Stickland versus Angus Blenkiron was a Sicilian, Morra Gambit that quickly morphed into an Alekhine-like structure. It was a fighting game, with Peter belying his lowly rating. Angus was patient and alert, and trapped Peter's King in an awkward position, before finishing with a clever mate.
Patrick Cook versus Bas van Riel was postponed.
Scott Stewart had the bye.
In the Reserves, the 2 leaders met, with Tom Oppenheim triumphing over Xavier Demmert to now lead outright with 3/3. 

Round 2

Bas van Riel took on Jules Feinberg in a major theoretical Sicilian Najdorf battle. After making their intentions clear with opposite sides castling, Bas launched his pawn storm first and breaking open the Black King's defences. Bas then gave up his Queen for 2 rooks and piece and went on to a nice win.
Angus Blenkiron faced Patrick Cook who left his French Defence at home, opting instead for the Alekhine Defence. It was a feisty game until Angus blundered a rook in the middle game action. He played on, but was never given a chance before Patrick finished the game with a nice looking mate.
Jamie Brotheridge met giant-killer Vipin Jyani in a Caro-Kann Defence. It was a tough, but very even struggle throughout, with Jamie offering a draw 3 times by the time they reached a Bishop versus Knight ending. Vipin thought he could win by rerouting his Knight, only to discover to his horror that he had merely gifted his piece to Jamie! He resigned shortly after.
Kevin Perrin faced Om O'Carroll and an English Opening quickly morphed into a Semi-Slav Defence. Another even, positional struggle, until Om spotted a nice tactical shot that netted a pawn. The ensuing endgame looked very holdable with Bishops of opposite colours on the board, but Kevin blundered the exchange and promptly resigned.
The big showdown between Paul Dao and Scott Stewart was postponed.
Peter Stickland had the bye.
In the Reserves, Tom Oppenheim and Xavier Demmert won and have raced into the lead with 2/2. 

BCCC Jamie and VipinBCCC Jamie and Vipin, Kevin, right Om, Nick and Tom

Round 1

Top seed Scott Stewart took on veteran Kevin Perrin in Kevin's old favourite Scandinavian Defence. It resembled a Slav Defence rather quickly, with Black having a cramped position. Scott won a pawn in the middle game and set about making it count. Kevin resisted and even managed to regain the pawn, but found himself in a lost endgame which Scott had little trouble winning. Vipin Jyani met Bas van Riel in a London System. A tough, even struggle ensued with Vipin pushing for the initiative. When Bas decided to castle Queenside, he was rapidly brushed aside by a nice attack against his castled King. Patrick Cook faced Peter Stickland in a Tarrasch Defence. Patrick tried hard to break down Peter's excellent play, with the “drawmaster” even declining a late draw offer from Peter, before finally accepting a draw by repetition. Jules Feinberg met Angus Blenkiron in an English Opening, Anglo-Dutch variation. Angus quickly obtained a substantial space advantage, but Jules didn't panic, finding some nice moves to maintain the balance. The game duly ended as a draw. Om O'Carroll played Jamie Brotheridge in a quiet line of the Sicilian. Om won a pawn in middle game play, and set about a slow, steady squeeze of Jamie's position. In a rooks and pawns ending, Om lost the thread, before resigning in a Rook versus Queen ending that might still be drawn! Paul Dao had the bye. In the B/C tournament, Anna Yates, Tom Oppenheim, Nigel Block, Xavier Demmert, among others, got off to a winning start.

BCCCBCCC OverviewJules, Patrick and Gus, right overview of the activities

Prologue

The 2022 Ballarat Chess Club Championships is the 57th in our long modern history, and as has been the case in recent years, is in 3 sections. The 'A' group for the Andy Miitel Memorial has 11 players competing in a round robin event, while, in a departure from recent practice, the 'B' (Reserves) for the John Baynham Memorial, and the 'C' for the John Abson tournament, will be a combined 9 round Swiss, with the 'Reserves' title going to the highest scoring player, and the'C' title going to the highest scoring player rated 700ACF or below.
Top seed in the Championship is 2-time Champion Scott Stewart. Scott is head coach in our Junior Club, runner-up last year, and Champion in 2020. An exceptionally dangerous attacking player, with an eye for sharp tactics, he is deservedly favourite to add another Championship title this year.
2nd seed is veteran 8-time Champion Bas van Riel. Schooled in the strong Dutch chess tradition, he is a strong all round player, who last won as recently as 2019, and definitely cannot be counted out of contention.
3rd seed is youngster Paul Dao, playing just his 2nd Championship tournament. Hugely talented and winner of last years Country Victorian Championship (Reserves) title, he is a genuine contender for the title.
4th seed is our Club President, 8-time Champion Patrick Cook, playing his 38th Championship tournament. The “drawmaster” is a solid positional player, and difficult to beat. If he is in form and plays with ambition, he could add another title to his haul.
5th seed is Julian Feinberg. A veteran of the 1970's Waverley Chess Club, Jules is another solid positional player who can beat anyone on a good night.
6th seed is our Treasurer, and the doyen of Ballarat Chess, 7-time Champion  Kevin Perrin, playing his 57th Championship tournament, an extraordinary record. With vast experience, and an undying love of our game, he is always a contender, despite his last title win being in 1989, before half the field were even born!
7th seed is Om O'Carroll, another talented junior, who is already coaching beginners in our Junior Club. Also a strong positional player, she is ever ready to pounce on any mistake by her opponent, and is another genuine contender for the title.
8th seed is Jamie Brotheridge. A veteran of many Championship tournaments, Jamie is a feisty, aggressive player well armed with ideas in the opening, and capable of defeating anyone in the field.
9th seed is Peter Stickland, new to the Club and bravely stepping into the heat of the Championship battle with the aim of improving his play.
10th seed is another newcomer Vipin Jyani. His seeding is a rating aberration, since he has already shown himself to be a very strong player in earlier competitions.
11th seed is Angus Blenkiron, also playing his 1st Championship. Angus' seeding is even more of an aberration, due to his not yet having an ACF rating. Already a respected coach in our Junior Club, he is another strong 1st time entry in the event.
So, with 4 former Champions and a swag of ambitious newcomers and youngsters, an exciting Championship tournament is in store.
The Reserves tournament also has many newcomers, but the experienced trio of Tom Oppenheim, Anna Yates, and Nigel Block are the players to watch, while in the 'C' group newcomers Xavier Demmert and James Emselle are a real chance.                                                      

News May 2022

The club championships are our major internal event of the year and will be conducted over 2 divisions to cater for all levels of players. The A grade has 11 players and is a round robin event whilst the B and C grade section will be a combined Swiss style tournament held over 9 weeks. The A grade pairing schedule and all results are available here.

News April 2022

The club championships are our major internal event of the year and will be conducted over 3 divisions to cater for all levels of players. The A grade and B grade sections are restricted to a maximum of 12 players each and these divisions are for the higher rated players. They will be conducted as round robin events whilst the C grade section will be a swiss style tournament. That allows greater flexibility for players who are not available each week and is also an introductory level event to encourage newer players and juniors to compete. The C grade will be held over 7 to 9 weeks depending upon the number of entries received.
The round robin format for A & B grades provides an opportunity for players to catch up an unplayed game if they are absent for a week. To assist with smooth running of these tournaments please advise me by email or text message if you will be absent on a Thursday so as I can alert your scheduled opponent. The player who requests the deferral is then obliged to make arrangements for a catch-up game or else a forfeit will have to be awarded at the end of the tournament.
All financial members plus juniors attending the coaching sessions are eligible to compete. There are no entry fees and prizes will be awarded for each division. The players in the A and B grade sections will be based on the most recently available ACF ratings. As usual the prior year B grade champion who was Andrew Vincent has earned the right to participate in the A grade and Vivaan Solanki last year’s C grade champion has also earned the right to play in B grade this year.

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News

The A group plays for the Andy Miitel Championship trophy, the B group for John Baynham Reserves title, and the C group for the John Abson Tournament title, renamed in 2019. Andy Miitel was a former club president who was instrumental in revitalising and reconstituting the club in the mid nineteen sixties. John Baynham was an important club administrator in the late sixties and early seventies, and John Abson was a stalwart of the club until health issues recently hampered his attendance.