41st Club Championships 2006

2006 Club Champion: Patrick Cook

The 41st Ballarat Chess Club championship commences on the 4th of May 2006 with an excellent entry of 16 players. As with the previous championship tournament, 3 former champions are included in the field: defending champion Patrick Cook, Kevin Perrin and Peter Miitel.

Top seed this year is Scott Stewart, making another attempt at winning the club’s hightest title, while Patrick Cook has to be content with 2nd seeding. Other players to watch out for are 3rd seed Kevin Perrin, the ambitious 4th seed Jamie Brotheridge and the underrated Joel Beggs. Club newcomer Rob Loveband, may also be a dark horse contender.

The Reserves is incorporated into the tournament and players in the bottom half of the field will be eligible.

Round 1

Michael Schreenan met Rob Bailey and not surprisingly, a Sicilian was played. Rob won the exchange early in the game and soon had a crushing position which he quickly won.

James Eldridge also faced a Sicilian from the championship debutant Rob Loveband. Neither player was able to gain a decisive edge and the game was eventually drawn.

Darren Young versus Kevin Perrin was yet another Sicilian and like the previously mentioned game was a very even, tough encounter. Darren fought valiantly to maintain the balance, but Kevin’s vast experience enabled him to grind out a win. One curious aspect of the game was that Darren ran out of time, but Kevin declined to claim the win, preferring to win on the board.

Tim Commons versus Peter Miitel was the fourth of five Sicilians on the night. The game was an unbalanced affair with Peter “gaining” 2 pieces for rook and pawn early in the middle game. Tim had just enough play to create some doubt in Peter’s mind and the players agreed to a draw.

In the first of two heavyweight tournament encounters for the night, Jamie Brotheridge took on defending champion Patrick Cook. Jamie had been declaring for months that he was going to win the game and proceeded to outplay Patrick in the opening (a Queen’s Indian) and the middle game, with subtle positional play. Having reached a winning endgame, a hasty response to Patrick’s desperate attempt at counter play left Jamie staring forlornly at yet another draw.

John Frangakis played Jamie’s brother Jason and played the subtly dangerous Trompovsky opening. John won a pawn and gained the 2 Bishops early on then outplayed his opponent before finishing him off with a neat checkmate.

The other heavyweight clash saw Joel Beggs take on Scott Stewart in the fifth Sicilian of the round. Unfortunately, the game had to be adjourned after 18 moves, due to unforseen external circumstances and will be continued at a later date.

Club newcomer Simon Feros played a Queen’s Gambit against John Abson and snared a pawn from the opening stage. He then outplayed John in the middle game to win a piece and finished his opponent off with an unusual checkmate.


Results

Michael Schreenan v Rob Bailey
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Rob Loveband
½ - ½
Jamie Brotheridge v Patrick Cook
½ - ½
Joel Beggs v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
Darren Young v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Simon Feros v John Abson
1 - 0
Tim Commons v Peter Miitel
½ - ½
John Frangakis v Jason Brotheridge
1 - 0

Round 2

Scott Stewart played Darren Young early in the evening and Darren played his usual Philidor. White won a pawn early and had a very nasty looking attack right out of the opening. Scott, quickly crashed through and delivered checkmate in just 11 moves!

John Abson took on Tim Commons and ventured something resembling the venerable Vienna Game. John quickly lost 2 pawns before dropping the exchange as well. Tim had little difficulty winning thereafter.

Patrick Cook played the dangerous Joel Beggs and ventured the Catalan. Joel handled it well and seemed to gain an edge from the opening. Patrick’s middlegame counterplay reversed this assessment. The game ended abruptly when Joel walked into a trap and realised he was losing a piece instead of winning a pawn.

3rd seed Kevin Perrin played his usual English Opening against newcomer Simon Feros. In a tough battle, Simon survived Kevin’s kingside pressure, before launching a counterattack that overwhelmed Kevin’s King in the first of the tournaments big upset results.

Rob Loveband met Jamie Brotheridge and he seemed to have a slight edge early in a hedgehog-like position. Jamie’s relentless pressure eventually paid off, however, and Rob was forced to resign when faced with the loss of his Queen.

Rob Bailey played James Eldridge in a Queens Indian/Trampovsky hybrid. Neither player was able to gain a decisive edge and a draw was duly agreed.

John Frangakis faced Michael Schreenan and rolled out his usual Trompovsky. White won a couple of pawns in a mass exchange of material and won the resulting simple endgame. Jason Brotheridge proved no match for 2 time champion Peter Miitel. Black gained a decisive material advantage early in a Sicilian and went on to record a comfortable win.


Results

Scott Stewart v Darren Young
1 - 0
John Abson v Tim Commons
0 - 1
Patrick Cook v Joel Beggs
1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v Simon Feros
0 - 1
Rob Loveband v Jamie Brotheridge
0 - 1
Rob Bailey v James Eldridge
½ - ½
John Frangakis v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Jason Brotheridge v Peter Miitel
0 - 1

Round 3

Round 3 was a great night of chess with all 8 games decisive! First game to finish was the encounter between Michael Schreenan and Jason Brotheridge. In a virtual lightning game, Michael played his usual 1. e4 after which the game “devolved” into what he described as “Morphy at the opera”, a 19th century mess in which Jason was wiped off the board.

Simon Feros met Scott Stewart in a full-blooded Sicilian. Scott won the exchange in the middlegame and later picked up 2 pawns as well to win efficiently. Earlier in the week, Scott’s adjourned Round 1 game against Joel Beggs was completed. From the initial even position, Scott outplayed his dangerous opponent, who missed chances to hold, and scored an important win.

Joel Beggs, bruised after 2 losses, met dark horse Robert Loveband. Another main-line Sicilian, it was a tough, even, theoretical game until Rob picked up a pawn in the middlegame complications. Thereafter, Joel collapsed and Rob's pieces went on a pawn picking spree before Joel resigned. A major blow for the title aspirant.

Jamie Brotheridge faced Robert Bailey’s Benoni Defence. Rob seemed to have the better of a mind-bogglingly complicated middlegame until Jamie managed to break out of his cramped position and force Black’s resignation with a withering attack on his king.

Peter Miitel met John Abson and he played his usual Colle/London system hybrid. White picked up a pawn early in a complex position and quickly increased the pressure to break through John’s defence, winning a piece and several more pawns. The win was easy from there.

Darren Young faced Patrick Cook and surprised the defending champion by accepting the offer of an Alekhine Defence. White dropped a pawn early and found himself in a very awkward position. Patrick squeezed until Darren gave away a piece and then traded down to an easy endgame win.

James Eldridge played John Frangakis in a Caro-Kann. The game was dead even throughout, but neither player offered a draw. In a long game, both gained passed pawns, but James turned out to have one too many and scored a good win.

The last game to finish was the meeting of Tim Commons and Ballarat chess legend Kevin Perrin. Another Sicilian, Tim got into difficulties early before embarking on a sacrificial adventure that restored the balance and created an interesting position. Tim took the fight to the 7-time champion who survived by the skin of his teeth and eventually won a Queen and pawn’s endgame that Tim might have been able to save.

Results

James Eldridge v John Frangakis
1 - 0
Jamie Brotheridge v Rob Bailey
1 - 0
Joel Beggs v Rob Loveband
0 - 1
Darren Young v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Simon Feros v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
Tim Commons v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Peter Miitel v John Abson
1 - 0
Michael Schreenan v Jason Brotheridge
1 - 0

Round 4

After last weeks fiercely competitive round, Round 4 proved to be equally dramatic.

Scott Stewart versus Tim Commons was a sharp Bishop's opening. Scott built up a rapid attack and crashed through after Tim blundered a piece.

Simon Feros (left) and Patrick Cook (right)

Patrick Cook test Simon Feros with his Larsen's Opening, but Simon was unfazed and gained a comfortable position. Patrick missed a neat tactical shot in the late middlegame and both players thought Simon had gained a winning edge, prompting Simon to decline Patrick's draw offer. Unable to find a win, Simon later offered a draw himself, this time Patrick declined! and Simon then blundered, handing the defending champion a win he wasn't sure he deserved.

Kevin Perrin (left) and Peter Miitel (right)

Kevin Perrin faced Peter Miitel in another Sicilian and a fierce and lengthy positional struggle resulted. Neither player seemed to get an edge and the game continued long into the night until Kevin's knight, unusually proved better than Peter's bishop, allowing the 7 time champion to pocket the point.

Michael Schreenan met James Eldridge in a typically feisty Sicilian. James picked up 2 pawns in the middlegame before ramming home his advantage with a mating attack on an open board.

Jason Brotheridge played John Abson, and with both players yet to get on the scoreboard a fierce fight ensued from a Philidor. Jason gained a decisive advantage early on, winning a piece and a pawn, but then went into self-destruct mode, dropping his Queen, allowing John to register his first point.

Jamie Brotheridge (left) and John Frangakis (right)

John Frangakis versus Jamie Brotheridge proved to be the most dramatic game of the round, lasting all off 5½ hours! John played his usual Trompowsky Opening and Jamie was unable to get on top. The game reached a rook and pawns ending which Jamie played well, seemingly gaining a winning edge, but a timely counter attack by John appeared to hand him the advantage. Eventually, an unusual ending of King and Queen for John, versus King, Rook and 2 connected passed pawns for Jamie was reached and once more it seemed Jamie would force home a win. John, however, again found hidden resources and this time made his advantage count. An upset win for John in a tremendous topsy-turvy game.

Two games were postponed: Robert Bailey versus Joel Beggs and Robert Loveband versus Darren Young. The latter was played a few days later. Darren played his traditional Philidor Defence, but conceded a pawn in the middlegame. Robert then traded down to a winning endgame and made no mistake.

Results

Scott Stewart v Tim Commons
1 - 0
Patrick Cook v Simon Feros
1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v Peter Miitel
1 - 0
Michael Schreenan v James Eldridge
0 - 1
Jason Brotheridge v John Abson
0 - 1
John Frangakis v Jamie Brotheridge
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Joel Beggs
1 - 0
Robert Loveband v Darren Young
1 - 0

Round 5

Jamie Brotheridge met Michael Schreenan and the only surprise was the opening: the 4 Knights opening! Jamie rapidly built up a Queen and Rook attack against Michael's King and pocketed the full point.

Peter Miitel played top seed and tournament leader Scott Stewart. A strange Bird/Dutch hybrid appeared and then quickly disappeared as the two players agreed to a draw after just 9 moves!

James Eldridge faced Jason Brotheridge in a French defence. White won a pawn very early, then quickly increased his advantage to be 2 Bishops up and about to Queen a pawn when Jason resigned.

John Abson played Kevin Perrin. Kevin defended with his usual Scandinavian defence and picked up an early pawn. He then gained a commending position with a strong central pawn push, after which a nice tactical sortie gained him a rook. The ending proved no problem for Kevin afterwards.

Tim Commons took on defending champion Patrick Cook who defended once more with Alekhine. Tim misplayed the Four Pawns Attack and found himself the exchange down in the opening. He later lost a second exchange and resigned after his speculative attack was brushed aside.

Simon Feros met Rob Loveband in the battle of the newcomers. A Queen's Gambit Declined, White gained a solid, protected passed pawn in the early middlegame, but later launched a promising looking mating attack, sacrificing material to expose Black's King. Rob, however, managed to refute the attack, keeping the material to win an exciting game.

Joel Beggs played John Frangakis in a Caro-Kann. White sacrificed a pawn early on for sustained pressure which Black calmly withstood. A position with unbalanced material and about equal chances was later reached after Joel gave up a rook a couple of pawns for 2 pieces. He then outplayed John to register his first point after a disasterous start to the tournament.

Darren Young versus Robert Bailey was postponed. The postponed Round 4 game, Robert Bailey versus Joel Beggs was played during the week. A Tarrash Defence, Rob picked up a cheap pawn in the opening, later winning the exchange as well, before a demoralised Joel resigned the game.

2 other games have been played in advane. From round 7, Simon Feros versus John Frangakis was a Queen's Gambit. Simon gained a slight edge which proved insufficient for more then a draw against John's careful defence.

The round 10 game Jamie Brotheridge versus Simon Feros was a Sicilian Dragon. Jamie, looking to punish someone after his dramatic 104 move loss in round 4, destroyed Simon's position to score a quick win in 19 moves.

Results

Jamie Brotheridge v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Peter Miitel v Scott Stewart
½ - ½
James Eldridge v Jason Brotheridge
1 - 0
John Abson v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Tim Commons v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Simon Feros v Robert Loveband
0 - 1
Joel Beggs v John Frangakis
1 - 0
Darren Young v Robert Bailey
0 - 1

Round 6

Tournament leader Scott Stewart played a Giuco Piano against John Abson. The game wasn't much longer than his 9 move draw from last week, this time mating in 15 moves in a display of ruthless powerchess.

Patrick Cook took on Peter Miitel and played an English Opening, unhappy with his position from the opening, Patrick reverted to his old safety first approach and offered a draw after 12 moves. Peter accepted.

Rob Loveband met Tim Commons who defended with the Philidor, a complicated middle game seemed to offer equal chances, but Rob handled it better and used his advantage to win a piece and the game.

Rob Bailey versus Simon Feros was a wild Danish Gambit. Simon kept the gambit pawn and damaged Rob's King's position as well to have a firm grip on the game, until an inspired combination by Rob reversed this assessment. Simon was forced to seek safety in a perpetual check.

Michael Schreenan met Joel Beggs in a Ruy Lopez. Michael held his own into the middlegame, but Joel eventually went 2 pawns up. White fought back in a tricky double rooks endgame to reach a drawn position but then spoilt his game with a losing blunder.

James Eldridge faced Jamie Brotheridge who defended with the French Defence. A very tough positional game ensued, with Black eventually picking up a pawn. James defended resolutely and Jamie, unwilling to concede a draw, overpressed and blundered into a loss.

Jason Brotheridge faced Kevin Perrin's usual Scandinavian Defence and survived the opening well enough, but then got lost in a complex middlegame. Kevin won Jason's Queen in the tactic's and had no difficulty in winning the game from there.

John Frangakis versus Darren Young in postponed. The round 5 postponed game, Robert Bailey versus Darren Young was played earlier and was a win for Rob Bailey.

The round 14 game James Eldridge versus Scott Stewart was played in advance. A Sicilian Dragon, the game reached a Queenless middle game after Scott missed a win on move 17, but subsequently Black reached a winning endgame a pawn up and made no mistake.

Results

Scott Stewart v John Abson
1 - 0
Patrick Cook v Peter Miitel
½ - ½
Robert Loveband v Tim Commons
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Simon Feros
½ - ½
Michael Schreenan v Joel Beggs
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Jamie Brotheridge
1 - 0
Jason Brotheridge v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
John Frangakis v Darren Young
1 - 0

Round 7

Joel Beggs faced James Eldridge who, surprisingly, defended with the Scandinavian, usually the sole province of Kevin Perrin. A tough difficult positional struggle resulted, with Joel eventually gaining an apparent decisive edge. Wanting to finish James off in style, Joel sacrificed his Queen for an illusory mate, throwing away the win, and was left cursing his lack of vision.

Tim Commons took on Rob Bailey with a Reti, which quickly transposed to the English Opening. Tim sacrificed a pawn early on for a hint of an attack, which soon matured into a real attack after he sacrificed the exchange as well! Rob dug in, defending well in an exciting game, and eventually beat off Tim’s assault, when his material advantage proved sufficient for the point.

John Abson met Patrick Cook who defended once again with the feisty Alekhine, but John played safe and preferred a Pirc. Not expecting much resistance from John, Patrick soon found himself in some discomfit after getting a bit greedy in the middlegame. John’s excellent play emboldened him enough to offer a draw when he though he had a perpetual check. He missed a simple bishop retreat that held Black’s position together, however, and Patrick quickly wrapped up the game from there.

Peter Miitel played Rob Loveband and was startled to find himself facing a Polish Defense against 1. d4. White gained some Queenside space and a passed pawn, but admitted afterwards that he didn’t know what to do against Rob’s unusual defence, prompting him to accept Rob’s draw offer.

In the key game of the night, Kevin Perrin faced Scott Stewart’s Dutch Leningrad. In a difficult and sharp opening phase, Black snared a pawn and held onto it throughout a tough and lengthy encounter. The pawn proved enough in the end for Scott to maintain his slender lead in the tournament.

Jamie Brotheridge played his brother Jason and had no trouble in disposing of Jason’s Sicilian defence.

Darren Young versus Michael Schreenan was postponed.

Results

Joel Beggs v James Eldridge
0 - 1
Darren Young v Michael Schreenan
0 - 1

Simon Feros v John Frangakis

½ - ½
Tim Commons v Robert Bailey
0 - 1
Peter Miitel v Rob Loveband
½ - ½
John Abson v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Kevin Perrin v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
Jamie Brotheridge v Jason Brotheridge
1 - 0

Round 8

Round 8 commenced with the unfortunate announcement that Jamie Brotheridge and his brother Jason have withdrawn from the tournament. A decision on the status of their games is pending.

The heavyweight clash on the night was the 22nd championship encounter between the 2nd seed Patrick Cook and 3rd seed Kevin Perrin. Once again Patrick left the Larsen at home, preferring the difficult and complex Catalan. White took quite a few risks in the middle game, attempting to gain an edge, but only succeeded in conceding a pawn, prompting his “usual” draw offer. Kevin declined but quickly went astray, thus becoming the latest victim of “Patrick’s curse”, when White found a winning pawn push.

Rob Loveband faced John Abson, white winning a pawn early in a Queen’s Gambit Declined. Rob increased his material advantage in the middle game with incisive play and had no trouble wrapping up the point.

Michael Schreenan met Simon Feros who played a Pirc Defence. The game quickly became the usual “Michaelmess” with White throwing everything into attack! Black garnered 2 pieces and a pawn for rook in the process, survived the assault, and went on to win comfortably.

James Eldridge played Darren Young who played, unsurprisingly, a Philidor, although in a roundabout way White gained space in the opening, but not much else, and had to work hard to convert it into a decisive material advantage, which he duly did.

John Frangakis played his usual Trompovsky opening against Tim Commons. Tim came well-prepared, having “booked up” and countered with the main line (2… Ne4), something no one else seems to have done at the club. The game was very complicated, with a material imbalance and chances for both sides and deservedly ended with the point shared, the only draw of the round.

The game of the round was probably Rob Bailey versus Peter Miitel. Rob attacked form the start with the ultra-sharp Morra Gambit. Peter calmly accepted the material on offer, gaining 2 pieces and a pawn for rook and set about converting to a win with excellent endgame technique.

The postponed round 7 game Darren Young versus Michael Schreenan was played during the week and was a win for Michael in a reprise of last years round 1 upset.

Results

Patrick Cook v Kevin Perrin
1 - 0
Robert Loveband v John Abson
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Peter Miitel
0 - 1
John Frangakis v Tim Commons
½ - ½
Michael Schreenan v Simon Feros
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Darren Young
1 - 0

Round 9

Tim Commons played Michael Schreenan who defended with the Petroff. It was a tactical battle from the outset, and after Black won a pawn in the opening, he somehow contrived to lose a piece. Michael then lost his Queen for rook in the middle game and was mated soon after.

Peter Miitel faced John Frangakis and adopted his usual London system and we had two experts battling it out on their own territory. White eventually won a pawn in a manoevring struggle, but was never able to squeeze more from the position and a draw was agreed.

John Abson met Robert Bailey in a Sicilian White lost a piece and a pawn in sharp middle game exchanges and never recovered.

Scott Stewart faced Patrick Cook in an encounter billed as "the championship game". Attempting a surprise, Scott played the English and Patrick defended with a solid Slav-like structure. Neither player was able to gain an edge and the game petered out to a draw after 39 moves. The title race remains wide open.

Simon Feros met James Eldridge at the Public Library earlier in the week. James defended with the Sicilian defense but quickly went astray, losing a piece in the opening. He lost another in a desperate attempt to get some counterplay and was quickly overwhelmed.

Kevin Perrin versus Rob Loveband was postponed. Joel Beggs and Darren Young played their Round 10 game in advance. Joel ventured the Giuco Piano and found Darren's usual tough defensive difficult to break down. This time Darren didn't break and was delighted to accept when a frustrated Joel eventually offered a draw.

As mentioned last week, Jamie and Jason Brotheridge have withdrawn from the tournament. It has been decided that their game will be anulled.

Results

Simon Feros v James Eldridge
1 - 0
Tim Commons v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Peter Miitel v John Frangakis
½ - ½
John Abson v Robert Bailey
0 - 1
Kevin Perrin v Robert Loveband
0 - 1
Scott Stewart v Patrick Cook
½ - ½

Round 10

With the tournament at 3/4 time, the title race is little clearer. Top seed Scott Stewart and 2nd seed Patrick Cook remain undefeated, and with Jamie Brotheridge's round 1 draw with Patrick annulled, these two seem headed for a play-off.

In the night's play, John Frangakis met John Abson. Not surprisingly, it was a Trompovsky Opening once more. White won a pawn early on, and methodically converted this into a win.

Michael Schreenan squared off against Peter Miitel. In a lively Sicilian, white seized the iniative with a daring pawn sacrifice. Spurning a material advantage, he pursued the black King, but dropped a piece. Peter then seized control and quickly won the game.

James Eldridge faced Tim Commons in a Giuco Piano. An open and even battle into the middle game continued so til the end, when a draw was a fair result.

Robert Bailey took on Kevin Perrin. A Ruy Lopez, this was a fierce manoevring struggle with all material still on the board for some time. Rob gained the advantage in the middle game and reached a winning position, only to go astray trying to finish Kevin off, allowing black to turn the tables and gain an unlikely win.

The rest of the field had a free night, however Scott Stewart arrived later and played his round 13 game against Michael Schreenan. Scott had no difficultly in brushing Michael aside, and now has just two game remaining.

Results

John Frangakis v John Abson
1 - 0
Michael Schreenan v Peter Miitel
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Tim Commons
½ - ½
Robert Bailey v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Robert Loveband v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
Joel Beggs v Darren Young
½ - ½

Round 11

With the battle for the title essentially a two-horse race between the top two seeds, there was much at stake in their remaining games.

Scott Stewart met Rob Bailey with a Kings Indian Attack. A tough positional struggle ensued, with White gradually gaining the initiative. Black held on and then gained a material advantage of 2 pieces for a rook in a late tactical exchange, but tragically lost on time before he could make it count.

Patrick Cook, meanwhile, faced dark horse Rob Loveband, and relied on his trusty Larsen for only the 2nd time in the tournament so far. Rob made just one positional error, allowing White to obtain a decisive grip on the game. Patrick made no mistake in converting to a win.

Kevin Perrin played John Frangakis. An uneventful draw resulted from a Queens Gambit.

Peter Miitel met James Eldridge and found himself confronted with the Dutch Defence. He launched the Staunton Gambit (1. d4 f5 2. e4?!) in response and a lively game developed. Peter later sacrificed a bishop for vague attacking chances, but settled for a perpectual check when he could find nothing more.

John Abson played the feisty Michael Schreenan. A wild tactical melee developed from a 4 Knights Opening. John seized control with a simple Knight fork that netted a piece and pawn, and Michael resigned later when he lost his Queen as well.

Tim Commons played his round 13 game against Darren Young. A Ruy Lopez, White quickly obtained a dominating position and crashed through with a classic Bishop sacrifice on h6 to checkmate Darren’s King.

Simon Feros versus Joel Beggs was postponed.

Earlier in the week, John Frangakis met Scott Stewart in their round 12 game. A Dutch Defence, John defied expectations by gaining a winning position with inventive play, but was robbed of the full point when Scott found a perpectual check. The top seed has now finished all his games and posted the formidable final score of 11½ from 13. Only 2nd seed Patrick Cook with 8 out of 9 so, can surpass his score. All eyes will be on Patrick’s last 4 games. Can he continue in the quest for a Ballarat Chess Club Grand Slam (winning all club events in a calendar year) ?

Results

Simon Feros v Joel Beggs
1 - 0
Peter Miitel v James Eldridge
½ - ½
John Abson v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v John Frangakis ½ - ½
Scott Stewart v Robert Bailey 1 - 0
Patrick Cook v Robert Loveband 1 - 0

Round 12

Rob Bailey took on the fast finishing Patrick Cook with the unusual Bird's Opening. The game quickly become a Dutch with colours reversed. Patrick grabbed a pawn in the early middle game and with it, the iniative. Thereafter, Patrick traded down to a winning pawn ending with ruthless efficiency.

Michael Schreenan played Kevin Perrin in a Sicilian. Kevin sped to a 2 pawn advantage very early, but Michael gained open lines for his rooks and enjoyed continually harassing Black's Queen for quite some time. The material deficit told in the end and Kevin picked up the full point.

Joel Beggs versus Tim Commons was an Alekhine Defence. Tim rode out into strange new territory in a messy looking position with a pawn advantage. The game reached a lively endgame where the mutual threats conviced both players to agree to a draw.

James Eldridge met John Abson and played the venerable Bishop's Opening. The game reached a double rook ending with White having a solid passed pawn. however aggressive pawn play by John backed up by tactical alertness gave him a winning advantage and after a few false starts gained a great win in one of the big upsets of the tournament.

Darren Young versus Simon Feros was postponed, so John Frangakis took the opportunity to play Darren in their postponed round 6 game. Not surprisingly John played his usual Trompovsky, except Darren declined to play Nf6! A long and cautious grind followed, with John eventually prevailing.

Results

Robert Bailey v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Michael Schreenan v Kevin Perrin
0 - 1
Joel Beggs v Tim Commons
½ - ½
James Eldridge v John Abson 0 - 1
Darren Young v Simon Feros 0 - 1
John Frangakis v Scott Stewart ½ - ½

Round 13

Former Club Champion Peter Mitel met Joel Beggs and not surprisingly Peter played his usual Colle strusture. He gained a slight positional edge that promised no more than a draw until Joel made a disastrous tactical error that handed Peter the exchange and the full point. Yet another disappointment for the highly rated Joel.

Kevin Perin faced James Eldridge who played a Dutch Leningrad. In a sharp middle game, Black grabbed his chance to severely cramp White's position with a wicked pin. James could have wonthe exchange immediately, but instead, sacrificed a piece for pressure against Kevin's King. Kevin in turn gave back material, and when the smoke cleared, the players agreed that a draw was the only result.

Rob Loveband played Rob Bailey. A Benoni Defense, this was a difficult, complex game. Both players played well and balanced out each others threats resulting in another draw.

Patrick Cook faced John Frangakis and once again played the Catalan, John's solid, if passive, style frustrated White's attempts to gain a descisive edge and both players got into the same time pressure in the tense game. A tactical miscalculation by John gave Patrick his chance, and he quickly wrapped up the point.

Daren Yound played his Round 12 game against Simon Feros. A Giuco Piano, Daren again proved difficult to overcome, but SImon eventually squeezed a pawn advantage. Daren sought refuge in a Bishop's of opposite colours ending, but with Queens on, found himself mated on an open board.

Results

Peter Miitel v Joel Beggs
1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v James Eldridge
½ - ½
Rob Loveband v Rob Bailey
½ - ½
Patrick Cook v John Frangakis 1 - 0
Scott Stewart v Michael Schreenan 1 - 0
Tim Commons v Darren Young 1 - 0

Round 14

John Frangakis met dark horse Rob Loveband and of course we had a Trompovsky Opening. The usual dour positional struggle resulted until Rob trapped one of John's rooks and won the exchange. Rob then played a clinically precise endgame to wrap up the point.

Darren Young played Peter Miitel and a Sicilian was the result. As usual, Darren played solid but cautious chess, and conceded some slight positional weaknesses. Peter maintained the pressure and Darren eventually lost on time in a clearly losing position.

In the game of the night, Simon Feros faced Tim Commons Philidor Defence. Tim seemed to go astray in an interesting middlegame position and found himself being smashed, a rook piece and 3 pawns in arrears. With his never say die attitude and keen eye for tactical possiblities, Tim recovered some ground and even had the temerity to offer a draw! Simon kept a cool head and snuffed out the swidle chances to win an exciting game.

Michael Schreenan met Patrick Cook a few days later. In a Pirc Defence, the defending champion gave Michael no chance and Patrick now needs one more win to win back to back titles.

Kevin Perrin played his round 15 game against Joel Beggs. In something resembling a Catalan Opening, Kevin won a pawn early and steadily increased his advantage until Joel resigned when faced with the loss of the exchange as well.

Results

John Frangakis v Robert Loveband
0 - 1
Michael Schreenan v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
James Eldridge v Scott Stewart
0 - 1
Joel Beggs v John Abson 1 - 0
Darren Young v Peter Miitel 0 - 1
Simon Feros v Tim Commons 1 - 0

Round 15

The championship game saw Patrick Cook take on James Eldridge. With so much at stake, both players stuck to their principles and a Dutch Leningrad was the result. Needing to win, Patrick played an uncharacteristically risky manoevre in the early middle game with James could have had the better. Thereafter Patrick siezed the initiative in a position of unbalanced material and never let go, going on to win a fine game and his sixth Ballarat Chess Club championship.

Peter Miitel played Simon Feros in a strange reversed Trampovsky. A very even game followed and reached a drawish Rook and pawns endgame whereupon Peter demonstrated superb endgame technique to steal a win that maybe shouldn't have been there.

Rob Bailey versus John Frangakis was a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit! Black calmly kept the pawn and a the pawn and had 2 Knights for Rook as well. John managed to gain perpectual check, however, to rescue a half point.

Rob Loveband, striving to win the Reserves title took on Michael Schreenan in a Queens Gambit. Michael surprised his opponent with a competitive game, keeping things even into the middle game until Rob found a way to force Black's King into the open where it was quickly mated.

The postponed Round 11 game Simon Feros versus Joel Beggs was arranged to be played during the week, but confusion resulted in Joel having to concede a forfeit.

John Abson forfeited his remaining 2 games, preferring to holiday in Queensland.

Only the Round 9 game between Kevin Perrin versus Rob Loveband remains to be played and it will decide 3rd place and the Reserves title.

Results

Patrick Cook v James Eldridge
1 - 0
Robert Bailey v John Frangakis
½ - ½
Peter Miitel v Simon Feros
1 - 0
John Abson v Darren Young 0 - 1
Robert Loveband v Michael Schreenan 1 - 0
Kevin Perrin v Joel Beggs 1 - 0

Epilogue

And so, the last unplayed game, to determine the Reserves champion as well as 3rd place overall had been played. Kevin Perrin versus Rob Loveband was an English Opening. Rob missed a chance for forced mate on move 18, but still managed to win eventually, thus securing both the Reserves championship title and 3rd place in the championship. A splendid result for the debutant who more than justified his dark horse status at the start of the championship.

Patrick Cook, seeded 2nd, has now won his 6th Ballarat Chess Club championship, and once more Scott Stewart, seeded 1st, has been denied the club's highest title despite an excellent undefeated score.

Peter Miitel, club champion in 1990 and 1991 showed signs of a return to his former greatness after many years of ill-health badly affected his chess.

Of the rest of the field, perhaps Joel Beggs poor showing was the biggest surprise, while Simon Feros proved to be a dangerous competitor.

The low point in the tournament was clearly the withdrawal of Jamie and Jason Brotheridge and, particularly in the case of Jamie, may well have had an effect on the final outcome.

Players
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Total
1
John Frangakis (1303)
1
0
-
0
1
½
½
½
1
½
½
0
0
½
-
6
2
M. Schreenan (927)
0
0
-
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-
1
3
James Eldridge (1355)
1
1
-
1
1
0
½
½
0
½
0
0
½
½
-
4
J. Brotheridge (1539)
0
1
0
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
½
1
1
1
5
Joel Beggs (1454) 
1
1
0
-
½
0
½
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
-
4
6
Darren Young (1019)
0
0
0
-
½
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
-
7
Simon Feros (unr)
½
1
1
-
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
½
-
8
8
Tim Commons (1352) 
½
1
½
-
½
1
0
½
1
0
0
0
0
0
-
5
9
Peter Miitel (1271)
½
1
½
-
1
1
1
½
1
0
½
½
½
1
-
9
10
John Abson (1012)
0
1
1
-
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-
2
11
Kevin Perrin (1566)
½
1
½
-
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
-
8
12
Scott Stewart (1650)
½
1
1
-
1
1
1
1
½
1
1
½
1
1
-
11½
13
Patrick Cook (1632)
1
1
1
-
1
1
1
1
½
1
1
½
1
1
-
12
14
Robert Loveband (unr)
1
1
½
-
1
1
1
1
½
1
1
0
0
½
-
15
Robert Bailey (1417)
½
1
½
-
1
1
½
1
0
1
0
0
0
½
 
-
7
16
Jason Brotheridge (unr)
0
0
0
0
-
-
-
-
0
0
0
-
-
-
-
0


Enter your games at Chessmicrobase

The A grade plays for the Andy Miitel Championship trophy, and the B grade for John Baynham Reserves title. Andy Miitel was a former club president who was instrumental in revitalising and reconstituting the club in the mid nineteen sixties after the club had become somewhat moribund in the early sixties. John Baynham was an important club administrator in the late sixties and early seventies.