Begonia Open

Every March

Country Chess

VRCL Championship

Ballarat Chess Club - chess for everyone!

Rapid #2 Rd 1

Three rounds of rapid play were hotly contested on a cold winter night in Ballarat at the Mechanic's Institute on Thursday evening. The icy weather kept some away but the fires were burning in the Hooper Room and there were some upsets (and near upsets) as the younger players gain more confidence and start to beat the old hands. Sean Macak outplayed Jamie Brotheridge for the full point, and Rob Loveband was lucky to get a win off Chantelle Barnett after her pieces kept finding the best spots til late in the mid game where she went astray.

With one round to go, the leaders on three out of three are James Watson, Bas van Riel and Rob Loveband. As there are only twelve games of rapid this year, next round will determine the winner. Read more

BCCC Prizes

Prize winners of the Championship receive their medals: Chantelle, Rob and Cassandra. Read more

Blitz #2

18 players started the second blitz tourney for the year. Out of towner and former Ballarat Club Champion, David Lumsdon, enjoyed an evening of chess away from his home club of Bendigo. Finishing on equal top at the end of the night were Patrick, holding a one point lead in the yearly total, James, high on two cans of carbonated, caffeinated sugar-water and a serious lack of sleep, and Rob L who narrowly avoided a disastrous start after being outplayed by Caitlin only to swindle a win in the endgame. 6 juniors took part, with Sean, Justin, Leonard and Caitlin all finishing on 4 points. Notably absent, and making things a little easier for the rest of us, were Rod and Kevin (who obviously remembered his vow to not play in the next blitz!)

Read more

Vic Country Champs

St Mary’s Terrace Community Hub will be the venue for the 2017 Victorian Country Chess Championship on 14 and 15 October 2017. It is centrally located, modern, bright, with very good lighting, carpeted, heated, has excellent tables and chairs and also very good toilet facilities. There is adequate nearby parking and free parking within a short distance. Read more

2017 Vic Junior Open

Three junior members represented the Ballarat Chess Club at the 2017 Victorian Junior Open.

Cassandra, Caitlin and Chantelle Barnett, coached by father Jasan, all put in excellent performances. Cassandra finished 2nd in the U18 Girls, Caitlin 3rd in the U16 Girls (with a draw against champion Lillian Lu!) and Chantelle 6th in the U12 Girls (taking out 2nd seed Kathleen Hooi on the way!)

See some of their games here.

Read more on Chesschat


New FIDE Laws of Chess (from

The new FIDE Laws of Chess are in effect since 1 July 2017. One thing that's new is that using two hands to promote a pawn is considered an illegal move, and during rapid and blitz games an arbiter is supposed to declare the game lost. Interestingly, a situation like that occurred in the blitz game Viswanathan Anand vs Vladimir Kramnik, Leuven 2017.

You might remember that published an article three years ago about the changes to the official chess rules which came in effect per 1 July 2014. Back then, there were some important changes regarding the promotion of a pawn, and regarding illegal moves.

For instance, since three years, pushing a pawn to the eighth rank and then pressing the clock before putting a piece there is considered to be an illegal move (which leads to the necessary punishment, see below). The pawn is considered to be a queen.

Also in 2014, a rule was introduced that, during a classical game, if you make an illegal move the opponent will get two minutes extra on the clock, and if you make another one you will lose the game.

Lastly, since 2014, in case of an illegal move during a rapid or blitz game, the arbiter is supposed to stop the clock and declare the game lost (except when there's no possible way for the opponent to win the game with any series of legal moves).

Nakamura-Savchenko, World Blitz 2014—an endgame that
saw it all: two pawn promotions and one illegal move.

Today's Puzzle

(If using an iPad, work out the answer and check by hitting the hint button - uses Java so better on a PC)



Put your games up in the cloud to monitor your progress, mark your victories, and to help others research how to beat you when you get to the top! Get the password from Patrick or any committee member and go for it!

Read more

 New to Chess?

A great site for learning the basics from a cool video, improving your chess with puzzles, and playing against QWERTY the chess computer, check out

Read more

Chat Chat Chatter Chat Chat

Have a read of our monthly newsletter edited by Sue Ryan. Why not write up a chess related contribution and send it in?

Read more

 2017 Ballarat Chess photo albums


Check out the year of chess in images.

Read more