Blitz 5 and EOY breakup

Last night was the final meeting for the year. 20 players enjoyed some food, cakes and drinks brought along by members. Blitz 5 was held and convincingly won by Paul Dao with a score of 6.5 out of 7. His only blemish was a draw in the final round with Scott Stewart. Newer member Jordan Furlong impressed scoring 4 points including very good wins over Patrick and Kevin.
Angus Blenkiron was announced as the 2022 Rapid Play champion half a point ahead of Scott. This is quite likely to be Angus’s last night at the club as he seeks employment next year after completing his university studies. His contribution to the club as a player, junior coach and committee member have been appreciated and he will be missed at the club.
Paul Dao was selected as the BJCC junior player of the year. He was undefeated in games at the BJCC and finished the year with an ACF rating of 1728 which is the second highest in the senior club. He was presented with a magnificent wooden chess board which was donated by retired joiner Barry Tuddenham. It was coincidentally Paul’s 12th birthday so he had a very good night at the club.

2022 Koelle Tournament Report

Om O'Carroll’s convincing win of the 2022 Koelle tournament marks a historic occasion for the Chess Club, as it will be the very first time that a junior female chess-player has won a classic, open, and rated club tournament since the Club’s foundation in 1856. In addition, she won her games against the three participating club champions. And being ‘only’ the 6th seeded player of the tournament, she played and scored 4/5 points (including 2 draws) against the nos. 1,2,3,5 and 7. Jasan Barnett had a good tournament, winning the Reserves Section with a healthy 4 points. Read the report here...
Om receives her prize and Jasan his.


Clarendon College chess news

The Chess Victoria Secondary State Finals were held on the 10th of October at Brighton Grammar. Fresh from their win at the Mt Alexander Cluster, a small team from Clarendon College travelled down and competed with the best Victorian secondary schools had to offer; finishing in a gallant 15th place from 29 schools. This was the first time Clarendon College has participated in the Chess Victorian system having traditionally only played in Kids Unlimited tournaments. Dan Wang demonstrated his leadership and showed the team the way with the top individual score. Hearty thanks to Jeremy O'Carroll for coaching the team on the day in my absence. The competition will no doubt will improve even more next year! 2022 has been a year of rebuilding and there will be many more opportunities in 2023. Read more here...


2022 Koelle: Round 3

This round was marked by the spectacular win by 6th seeded Om against Bas (seeded no.3) on board 3. This followed her excellent draw in the previous round against Paul, seeded no.2. She appears currently on a mission! Meanwhile, Scott continues to do what he does best: winning his games with remarkable ease. When Jamie, his opponent this round playing the black pieces), 'forgot' to castle, he allowed Scott to attack, after completing his own development harmoniously (to replay the whole game one may access the game menu). However, Scott missed an elegant combination at move 20, showing that he is human after all. From the position of Diagram 1, white played 20.f5, but instead, Scott could have more forcefully played 20.c5!, followed by 21.Qa2. more...


2022 Victorian Country Chess Championship

A record 39 players competed in the Victorian Country Chess Championship in Geelong this year – it would have been even more if flooding hadn’t restricted travel, Numbers were bolstered by an influx of local primary school aged juniors being encouraged from the Chess for Schools program being implemented in Geelong.


News Update 4/10/22

To all members and chess players

Last week the 2022 AGM was held at the BMI. It was well attended and there were a few decisions taken which will have immediate and ongoing impact on all our members. 

  • Subscriptions for members were reduced to $80 per family with a full-time paid worker per year and $50 per family for all other members per year
  • An earlier starting time of 7.00pm for Thursday meetings was adopted. Registrations by 7.00pm with games starting by 7.15pm
  • Time controls for longer games were reduced from 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move to 60 minutes plus 30 seconds per move. The only exception is the A grade club championship which will remain at 90 + 30
  • All games of 60 minutes plus 30 seconds per move will now be both ACF and FIDE rated
  • Time controls for Rapid/Allegro games changed to 15 minutes plus 5 seconds per move
  • Time controls for Blitz games changed to 5 minutes plus 2 seconds per move
  • Election of Office Bearers did not result in any major changes. A full list will be posted on the website shortly

 Many of the above changes were taken with the aim of encouraging the participation of juniors in senior club activities. The starting time for the very successful junior coaching program will move from 6.00pm to 5.30pm to accommodate the above.

This Thursday, Blitz number 4 is being held and we await to see if Jamie Brotheridge can continue his recent fine form in this accelerated variant of the game. A win would almost certainly secure him the 2022 Blitz title.

 On Thursday 13th October we return to classical chess when the 7 round Koelle Tournament will commence. If there are 24 or more players at the start, then this event will be conducted as 2 separate swiss tournaments. If there are greater than 8 but less than 24 players in total, then the tournament will be conducted as a single swiss tournament. No player with a rating less than 1000 will be required to play in a separate A division (unless they choose to) which could lead to more than half the players competing in the B division. There will be $75 book prizes awarded for the A grade winner and also to the highest scoring player in the lower half of the field, including any player rated under 1000. To encourage participation players may request up to 2 half-point byes in the first 5 rounds if they are not available on any night. Apart from having to be financial club member or taking part in the junior coaching program, there are no entry fees for participants. 

Last week 2 of our most talented junior members competed in the Victorian Junior Masters event held in Melbourne. It is very pleasing to report that Om O’Carroll finished undefeated to win the under 16 Girls section and Paul Dao was second in the under 12 Open section. Well done to both those members.

Ballarat Junior Chess news update - Term 3

Are you in the news? Lots of news about recent events can be read here....


Blitz Tournament #4

The fourth blitz tournament for the year will be held on Thursday 6th of October, starting at the new time of 7:00pm. Come early to register!

Ballarat Junior Chess Club Spring Cup and Holiday Fun

Fantastic turnout, with report to follow soon.

September ratings are out - Scott back to Numero Uno!

Special mentions are: Om O’Carroll (1435) is 11th female U20 of Australia; Paul Dao (1701) is 5th U12 Australian Junior and 13th U14 Aust Junior; He is currently no. 2 of the club, behind Scott. Gus, the previous no. 1, has now dropped to 5th place. Most improved players are: Paul D (+56), Jamie B(+56), Vipin J (+170, outstanding!), Michael L (+92), Peter S (+60) and Anna (+52).

Teters Concludes

This year’s Teters Tournament was convincingly won by Scott Stewart, our current Club Champion. Seeded 2nd, he completely overpowered the field by scoring a picked-fence of 6/6 wins against the numbers 13,6,5,3,1,4, respectively. Most unusual, his victory was already secured after he won an impressive game in round 6 against Bas. As a consequence, he chose to skip the last round, staying 0.5 point ahead of Paul Dao, despite Pauls’ (nice) win against Patrick C in the last round.
Such domination has not been seen at the club since Simon Rutherford’s reign, about 20 years ago. Meanwhile, Paul fully deserved his 2nd place, following his excellent 2nd placing in the preceding Ballarat Club Championship. He played a very solid tournament, only losing to Scott.


Read more here on the Teters' Tournament page...

Championship Epilogue

While the Championship title was decided in Round 11, there was still the matter of some postponed games and the Reserves and 'C' grade titles to be determined.
2 of the unplayed games were duly played! Vipin Jyani versus Peter Stickland from Round 10 was a London System that proved to be a tough and absorbing game that ended in a draw after 39 moves.
Jamie Brotheridge versus Kevin Perrin from Round 9 was a Spanish. Kevin gained an advantage in the late middle game with sprightly play, but slipped in the subsequent tactics and fell to a painful defeat that left him in last place for the tournament!
2 games, Vipin Jyani versus Scott Stewart from Round 5, and Angus Blenkiron versus Vipin Jyani from Round 11 were annulled.
The play-off game Michael Leckie versus Xavier Demmert  to decide the Reserves and(!) the 'C' grade Championships was also played. The two met in Round 4 of the Teters Memorial, and it was agreed that the game would also count as their Championship play-off. Surely a unique occurrence in the Club's history! The game was suitably dramatic, with Xavier snatching victory from a difficult position to win the John Baynham Memorial “Reserves” Championship 2022. Congratulations. This meant that James Emselle, as the next highest scoring eligible player, wins the John Abson 'C' grade Championship 2022. Congratulations also.

Scott Stewart with the Andy Miitel Trophy.

Michael Leckie plays Xavier Demmert (on right).

Patrick presents medal to James Emselle (right)

Teters Tournament-Conclusion

This year’s Teters Tournament was convincingly won by Scott Stewart, our current Club Champion. Seeded 2nd, he completely overpowered the field by scoring a picked-fence of 6/6 wins against the numbers 13,6,5,3,1,4, respectively. Most unusual, his victory was already secured after he won an impressive game in round 6 against Bas. As a consequence, he chose to skip the last round, staying 0.5 point ahead of Paul Dao, despite Pauls’ (nice) win against Patrick C in the last round.
Such domination has not been seen at the club since Simon Rutherford’s reign, about 20 years ago. Meanwhile, Paul fully deserved his 2nd place, following his excellent 2nd placing in the preceding Ballarat Club Championship. He played a very solid tournament, only losing to Scott.
Jamie was the surprise package of the tournament, finishing 3rd outright on 5/7. Being a typical (and strong) blitz player, Jamie usually makes his mistakes in the opening phase of classical games, in his haste to beat the clock instead of the player. Once he realises that he is in trouble, he will take his time, organises his defence, and patiently waits for a chance to turn the tables. His game in the last round against fast improving Michael L was a classic example. Michael, with black, played very well in the opening and had a commanding, occasionally winning position, until move 50. Jamie had survived by the skin of his nose into a “jungle position’ with only rooks, queens and most of the pawns on the board. Jamie, still very alert and waiting, the last game still going and very late in the evening. Disaster struck when Michael overlooked a nasty combination. Jamie jumped into action, and changed the position from. -1.6 to +3.3 in a flash, ie.2 moves. That was all Jamie had been waiting for (hours), and needed to finish third on the final standing.   
Apart from Michael, the good performance of Xavier Demmert, the winner of the Reserves, should be mentioned. He won 3 of the 4 games he played, and also Vipin who finished equal 4th after a win against Patrick and a last round draw against yours truly, where he missed a chance to win via a nice combination, at the very end of a well-played game.
Finally, it should be mentioned that Patrick, the club’s self-acclaimed drawmeister, appears to have lost (one of?) his stripes. Instead of aiming for draw-records (no-matter-what), he managed not even a single draw in this tournament. Four wins and three losses. Still>50% and respectable, and perhaps a personal record of a different kind?     

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Geelong Challenge 2022

The 12th annual match between Ballarat Chess Club and Geelong Chess Club for the Fletcher-Morrow Shield was played on schedule on Sunday 14th August at the Geelong Chess Club rooms. As usual Geelong was armed to the teeth with a strong team, and heavily out-rated us on all boards, so it was no surprise that they gained revenge for last years upset defeat with a powerful 7.5-2.5 victory. The overall score is now 8-3 with 1 tie in favour of Geelong. Paul Dao played an impressive game against Alistair Anderson on Board 2 which you can view here. Patrick Cook and Kevin Perrin from Ballarat remain the only players to have competed in all 12 matches. Crosstable and results here...

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Arthur Teters Memorial

The 2022 Arthur Teters Memorial is set to begin on Thursday 4th of August, with the first round only being held at the Ballarat Library. It is a 7 round, ACF rated Swiss tournament, with prizes for the the overall winner as well as the Reserves winner, who is the top scorer from the bottom half of the field. More...

The clock that Arthur used in many games is now the perpetual trophy.

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Rapid Play 2

Congratulations to Angus and Paul who shared the podium for the second Rapid of the year!

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Blitz Chess Tournament

Jamie Brotheridge won the night, undefeated for 7 games in a row!! Congratulations!

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Victorian Junior Chess Championships 2022

Two of our most promising junior players competed in the Victorian State Junior Chess Championships recently. Paul Dao finished 2nd in the Boys U12 section, while Om O'Carroll finished 2nd in the Girls U16 section. Well done to both players.

Chess - The Age June 2022

Club Championship 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.                                                      

To all members and chess players

After a busy first quarter of activities, we are about to start the club championships and term 2 of junior chess coaching. These events both start on Thursday 28th April at the BMI.
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.
This week will be a free night for social games of chess with no formal activities planned. There will be an Allegro tournament with free entry to club members at 1.30pm at the BMI this Sunday provided we receive indications of participation from at least 8 players. If you would like to play in that event, please advise me by return email or at the club this week.
Apart from the above activities the club is looking forward to hosting Bendigo Chess Club for the annual Barrow-van Riel annual chess challenge match on Sunday 22nd May. Last year we were victorious, but they are far stronger this year since our current club champion Ruari Coffey has relocated to Bendigo with his new employment. We thank Ruari for his wonderful contribution to our club at all levels of competition and administration and wish him all the best for his future.
If any member of the club would like to be involved with our junior coaching sessions, then please advise head coach Scott Stewart (0410 052 134) or myself as this would assist in handling the enthusiastic youngsters wishing to learn and play our great game. At present we are having to restrict participation of children in the coaching program.
In relation to Covid matters, today the Government announced that virtually all regulations which have impacted the club and the BMI have changed. The vaccination mandate has been removed along with the QR code check-in requirement. Wearing a face mask is optional as well.
If you wish to renew your subscription, then further details on making payments can be located on the club website at or payment can be made to me on a Thursday night at the BMI.
Please contact club President Pat Cook on 0499 255 240 or me if you have a query with any club matter. I am looking forward to the club championships and hope that many of the members we have not seen for a while will join us for this premier event.
Kind regards Kevin Perrin Treasurer 0418 533 517


Time Handicap tournament

Congratulations to Paul who garnered 5 out of 6 points in the latest OTB tournament, the Time Handicap tournament held over the last 2 weeks. The results can be seen here below.

Spielvogel Memorial

The 2022 Nathan Spielvogel Memorial, the first Classical event for the year, had an excellent entry of 42 players, although a good many of them did not complete the 7 rounds. Top seed was our Club Champion Ruari Coffey, ahead of Scott Stewart. These 2 players were in fact the joint defending champions from last year. The next three seeds were the veteran trio of Bas van Riel, Patrick Cook, and Kevin Perrin, ahead of a gang of ambitious and fast improving youngsters.
Round 1 went according to expectations, but Round 2 saw the first upsets when Bas van Riel could only draw against up-and-coming youngster Om O'Carroll, and Angus Blenkiron crushed Patrick Cook, finishing with an elegant Queen sacrifice for a mate. The top 2 seeds continued on their merry way in Round 3, and were joined by Angus Blenkiron on 3/3. Om O'Carroll continued to impress with a win over experienced Jamie Brotheridge, while Patrick Cook appeared lost to a fearsome attack by Peter Stickland, before he scrambled to a draw. The defending champions established their dominance in round 4 when Angus Blenkiron fell to Scott Stewart, and Ruari Coffey dispatched Om O'Carroll. Also of note was Bas van Riel's defeat by Paul Dao. Ruari Coffey took a half point bye in Round 5, but having moved (defected?) to Bendigo Chess Club, he was unable to finish the tournament. We wish him well! This left the path open to Scott Stewart who duly won against Jules Feinberg. Paul Dao was defeated by Angus Blenkiron, who kept in range. The veteran 8 times Club Champions, Patrick Cook and Bas van Riel fought an interesting draw.
In Round 6, Om O'Carroll could not stop Scott Stewart who thus guaranteed at least =1st. Angus Blenkiron kept in range with a win over Bas van Riel, Jamie Brotheridge lost to his old rival Patrick Cook, and Jules Feinberg was beaten by Paul Dao. Scott Stewart had little trouble in brushing aside Patrick Cook in Round 7 and thus won the 2022 Spielvogel Memorial with an imposing score of 7/7.
Angus Blenkiron was a well-earned 2nd with 6/7, and Paul Dao 3rd with 5/7. A swag of players finished with 4/7 in a strong and enjoyable event.
Quite amazingly the Reserve section resulted in a tie between 3 of our newer members, Peter Stickland, Julian Laffey and James Emselle. They are all rated under 1000 and scored 3.5 points each. Congratulations to them, and they will share the $75 prize.

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Ballarat Players in the news

Congratulations to Paul Dao with his new rating of 1620 making him Number 1 in Victoria and 4th in Australia for U/12's and 9th in Australia for U/14. Congratulations to Om O'Carroll with 1442 is Australia 9th strongest Female U/20 and Australia's 14th strongest active Female player. Congrats to Nigel Block on coming 4th in Australia's top improving chess players list with a gain of 123 points to reach 782 points. Well done to Ballarat Chess Club boasting 4 players on Australia's most active chess player list with Patrick (18) Paul (18) Kevin(16) and Jamie (16)

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Vale Peter Miitel 1964-2022

It is my sad duty to report that past Club member and 2-time Champion Peter Miitel passed away on Friday 25 February 2022. He had been in poor health for several years. Peter first came to the Club in the 1970's with his father, the then President Andy Miitel, and was a regular player in the following decades. At his best he possessed the finest chess technique of anyone in the Club, and showed it by winning the Club Championship in 1990 and 1991 and the Spielvogel Memorial in 2010. The Club extends its condolences to his family and friends. His contribution to our Club will be long remembered.

Patrick Cook, President, Ballarat Chess Club

Record numbers back to the board at the Begonia

Ballarat Chess Club hosted the 56th “Begonia” Open chess tournament over the Labour Day long weekend of 13, 14, & 15 March 2022. 56 consecutive tournaments is a remarkable achievement for any chess club, and is in no small measure due to our Treasurer Kevin Perrin, who once again was the Tournament Manager. Kevin has been involved with all of them in one way or another! Simply amazing. Last year, we had a record 157 entries, but 2022 set an even bigger record of 173 players, including four GM's, one WGM, three IM's, and three FM's, plus a smattering of CM's. Fourteen of our Club members entered, although one had to withdraw after the first day. Overall victory with 6/7 was achieved by GM Temur Kuybokarov, GM Zong-Yuan Zhao, and FM Domagoj Dragicevic. It was Temur's second title, Zong-Yuan's third, and Domagoj's second. 5 players finished a half point behind.

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To all members and chess players

The New Year is off to a flying start for the chess club at the BMI with Blitz and Rapid Play events already completed. Ruari Coffey has continued his great form from 2021 by winning both those tournaments in very convincing fashion. We have been pleased to welcome a few new members along, as well as many of the older familiar faces. 

This Thursday will see the start of our first 7 round classic event for the year when the Spielvogel Memorial tournament gets underway. There will be prizes awarded for the winner as well as the highest scoring player in the lower half of the field. The tournament will run over 7 weeks with games being played at a 90 minute plus 30 second per move time control. To help players who may have to miss some weeks, there are half-point byes available in the first 5 rounds, just advise me in advance. Even if you can only manage a few games, players are encouraged to come along by 7.20pm on any Thursday so that they can be included in the pairings. We try to be flexible to encourage participation. 

The Spielvogel is an excellent way of getting ready for our biggest external event of the year and the second largest weekend tournament in Australia. The 2022 Begonia Open will be held over the long weekend in March. Last year we attracted 157 entries and numbers are looking good for this year. We have 4 Grand Masters, 2 International Masters and our first visiting Women’s Grandmaster entered already. I have attached some details of that tournament and we encourage locals to play or at least come along to enjoy the spectacle. If anyone is having trouble affording the entry fee then have a word with me since the club may be able to assist. The committee will need some extra help over that weekend so if anyone can offer a few hours to help as a door marshal or another task then please let me know. 

The Junior Chess Coaching sessions for Term 1 restarted at 6.00pm last Thursday and pleasingly they have attracted record numbers. There were 23 enthusiastic young players along last week under the guidance of coaches Scott Stewart, Rob Bailey, Angus Blenkiron and Om O’Carroll. There is still space for others and 2 more students have enrolled this week. If you know of a youngster wishing to learn or improve then send them along or put them in contact with us. For adults looking for help then private coaching sessions can be arranged. 

I look forward to catching up with you at the BMI shortly. 


Kevin Perrin

0418 533 517