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.
An upset in Round 2, saw top seed and former champion Geoffrey Gill drop a game to Kuol Deng from Gippsland, while second seed Reinier Millan had his queen and pawn endgame technique tested twice in the opening three rounds, managing to win tough games against Harrison Trewin and Reza Daneshvar.
Greg Brown had a great first day, winning all three of his games including victories over Matteo Bonifaccio and former champion Sagagiri Goswami, to join James Watson and Reinier Millan as the only players on 3/3.
Round 4 saw Reinier Millan defeat Greg Brown, while James Watson overcame Jack Smith.
It was such a nice sunny day on Sunday that some players and spectators even set up a chess set outside on a picnic blanket between rounds.
Round 5 saw Paul Dao move up the leaderboard with a victory over Nigel Barrow, while Reinier Millan defeated James Watson on board 1 to move to 5/5. The last game to finish was an extended double time pressure game between Russell Murray and Reza Daneshvar, with Reza picking up the win in an exciting finish in front of a crowd of spectators.
The traditional VRCL meeting before the final round saw the re-election of the current office bearers, and feedback that most people were happy with the format.
The final round saw Alistair Anderson knock back a draw offer from Reinier Millan and push for a win, but unable to create enough winning chances to secure more than half a point.
Paul Dao secured equal second place with a win over James Watson, while Reza Daneshvar was again in the last game to finish, this time picking up a win over Sagagiri Goswami to also tie for equal second.
So congratulations to Reinier Millan (Geeolong) for winning his first Victorian Country Chess Championship on 5.5/6.
Paul Dao (Ballarat) & Reza Daneshvar (Geelong) tied for equal second on 5/6.
The Reserves was a three way tie between Kevin Perrin (Ballarat), Greg Brown (Rosebud) and Eddie Teijeiro (Geelong) all on 4/6
The junior section was won by Kanishk Mahasuar (Ballarat), and Harrison Trewin who scored 3 points to tie for first place.
Thanks to all the competitors for maintaining a friendly atmosphere, the Geelong Chess Club for hosting and Geelong Short Stays Accommodation for sponsoring the event.
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