2006 Spielvogel Memorial

The 2006 Spielvogel Memorial Tournament was jointly won by Jamie Brotheridge and Patrick Cook.

Players
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Total
1
Patrick Cook
6:W
11:W 2:D 8:D 10:W 5:W 4:W
6
2
Jamie Brotheridge
7:W
5:W 1:D 12:W 8:W 4:W 6:D
6
3
Joel Beggs
8:D
4:L 12:L 9:W 6:L Bye 11:W
4
Robert Bailey
9:L
3:W 6:D 11:D 12:W 2:L 1:L
3
5
Tim Commons
10:W
3:L 8:L 13:W 11:W 1:L 7:W
4
6
James Eldridge
1:L
7:D 4:D 10:L 3:W 9:W 2:D
7
John Frangakis
3:L
6:D Bye Bye Bye 10:W 5:L
8
Peter Miitel
3:D
9:W 5:W 1:D 2:L 11:W 10:W
5
9
John Abson
4:W
8:L 12:L 3:L 13:W 6:L Bye
3
10
Michael Schreenan
5:L
Bye 11:L 6:W 1:L 7:L 8:L
2
11
Darren Young
Bye
1:L 10:W 4:D 5:L 8:L 3:L
12
Shane Sporle
-
13:W
9:W
2:L
4:L
Bye
Bye
2
13
Gene Bell
-
12:L
3:W
5:L
9:L
Bye
Bye
1


Round 1

In the first game to finish, Tim Commons had little trouble defeating Michael Schreenan who ventured comething resembling a Petroff Defence. Top seed Patrick Cook disposed of James Eldridge's Dutch Leningrad in his usual quietly efficient style. The ambitious Joel Beggs tried an unusual idea against Peter Miitel's Sicilian but was unable to gain any advantage and the game ended in the only draw of the round. John Abson handled Rob Bailey's more conventional Petroff quite well, and after Rob declined his draw offer went on to score a sensational upset with a sparkling mating combination. John Frangakis ventured the Trompovsky Opening against Jamie Brotheridge, and in a nearly 3 hour marathon the 2 players reached a knight and pawn versus knight and 2 pawns endgame that should have been a draw. Alas, John blundered after 62 moves and resigned shortly after.


Round 1

Patrick Cook v James Eldridge
1 - 0
John Frangakis v Jamie Brotheridge
0 - 1
Joel Beggs v Peter Miitel
½ - ½
John Abson v Robert Bailey
1 - 0
Tim Commons v Michael Schreenan
1 - 0
Darren Young
Bye

Round 2

As expected, 3 more players joined the tournament in this round.

Darren Young, given the bye in round 1, played Patrick Cook and the opening went through an amusing series of transpositions, beginning as an Alekhine’s Defence, then switching to a Pirc Defence, before finally settleing down to a closed variation of the Sicilian Defence. Patrick had to work hard to gain an edge, before finding a nice combination that won a piece and the game shortly after.

Peter Miitel faced John Abson, fresh from his round 1 upset. John launched an ultra-aggressive pawn storm right from the start of a Queens Gambit Declined and was rewarded with a piece for 2 pawns. Peter kept his head, however, grabbed some more pawns and forced John’s resignation when he was confronted by an overwhelming wall of pawns parked in front of his king.

Rob Bailey played the Torre system against Joel Beggs and the game was a typically dour positional struggle with little material exchanged well into the middle game. Both players used a lot of time, but it was Joel who cracked under the pressure, dropping a piece and then his queen. He resigned on the spot.

James Eldridge versus John Frangakis was a Scandinavian Defence (1. e4 d5). An interesting tactical battle ensued that remained evenly balanced throughout and eventually ended in a draw. No last minute blunder by John this time.

The other 2 latecomers, Shane Sporle and Gene Bell met each other and Gene played a weird French Defence (1. e4 e6 2. d4 a5?!). Shane quickly gained the upper hand and forced Gene’s resignation by winning his Queen.

Jamie Brotheridge faced Tim Commons' Slav defence and found himself 2 pawns in arrears early in the middle game while trying to build up a kingside attack. He was saved from a difficult defensive task when Tim blundered a piece and resigned in disappointment. Michael Schreenan had the bye.

Round 2

Darren Young v Patrick Cook
0 - 1
Jamie Brotheridge v Tim Commons 1 - 0
Peter Miitel v John Abson 1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Joel Beggs 1 - 0
James Eldridge v John Frangakis ½ - ½
Shane Sporle v Gene Bell 1 - 0
Michael Schreenan Bye

Round 3

The two leaders joined battle in this round with Patrick Cook facing Jamie Brotheridge. Jamie spent a week preparing for the Larsen or the English, but was confronted by 1. d4 instead. The classical variation of the Nimzo-Indian was played and neither player was able to gain a decisive edge, the game petering out to a draw.

Tim Commons played Peter Miitel and was met by the Sicilian Defence. Peter gained a pawn in the early middlegame and later returned it to win positional ascendancy which he quickly converted to a win. Peter now joins the two leaders on 2½.

Michael Schreenan faced Darren Young who played the ancient Philidor (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6). In a quickly played game, Darren was able to expose Michael's king and then trap his queen, forcing Michael's resignation. John Abson versus Shane Sporle was a Ruy Lopez positional battle with both sides manoeuvring their pieces with all material still on the board well into the middle game. John made a bold bid for victory by sacrificing a piece for a few pawns but missed his chance for a decisive follow up that would have regained the piece with interest. Shane eventually won a lengthy game.

James Eldridge and Rob Bailey fought out a tough theoretical battle in the Sicilian Najdorf. The game was even throughout and appropriately ended in a draw. Gene Bell offered another weird opening (1. e3) against Joel Beggs who quickly gained the upper hand and traded down to a "winning pawn ending". Joel then incautiously marched his king to the other side of the board only to discover that he'd left himself in a losing position and his opponent grinning like a cheshire cat. Gene made no mistake and caused the biggest upset int he event so far. John Frangakis had the bye.

Round 3

Patrick Cook v Jamie Brotheridge
½ - ½
Tim Commons v Peter Miitel 0 - 1
Michael Schreenan v Darren Young 0 - 1
John Abson v Shane Sporle 0 - 1
James Eldridge v Robert Bailey ½ - ½
Gene Bell v Joel Beggs 1 - 0
John Frangakis Bye

Round 4

After some lively discussion among the players concerning the draw, the games finally got under way.

Co-leader Jamie Brotheridge faced Shane Sporle who played a "sort-of" Benoni Defence which gave him a very uncomfortable position. After giving up a piece for 2 pawns , black was able to offer come spirited resistence, but eventualy succumbed to Jamie's relentless pressure.

The other 2 co-leaders met each other. Peter Miitel essayed his usual London system against Patrick Cook who gained a slight positional edge which proved insufficient for more than a draw. This left Jamie Brotheridge as outright leader.

Rob Bailey ventured the primitive, but dangerous, Centre Game (1. e4 e5 2. d4!? ...) against Darren Young. Darren preferred to play a solid defensive game and turned it into a Philidor Defence. Despite Rob's determined efforts, Darren resisted long into the night and was justly rewarded with a draw.

Joel Beggs also faced a Philidor against John Abson. This time white quickly gained the upper hand, nabbing 2 pawns and setting up a viscious attack on black's king. After sidestepping some inventive swidle attempts by John, Joel zeroed in on mate and picked up the full point.

Michael Schreenan faced James Eldridge's Petroff Defence. Clever play early on gave Michael 2 bishops for a rook and he made full use of this advantage to win an excellent game, contributing another upset result in a tournament that has seen several already.

Gene Bell, the hero of round 3, met Tim Commons and once again ventured the peculiar 1. e3 opening. A wild game ensured with chances for both sides, until Gene's king was trapped and mated on an open board.

Round 4

Peter Miitel v Patrick Cook
½ - ½
Jamie Brotheridge v Shane Sporle 1 - 0
Robert Bailey v Darren Young ½ - ½
Michael Schreenan v James Eldridge 1 - 0
Gene Bell v Tim Commons 0 - 1
Joel Beggs v John Abson 1 - 0
John Frangakis Bye

Round 5

The race for tournament victory continued with Peter Miitel making a bid for the lead against Jamie Brotheridge. In an eccentric mood, Peter began with 1. a3 (an opening so strange, it hasn’t been named!). The position quickly transposed to an interesting reversed Sicilian Defence, but Peter’s eccentric mood extended to his resignation when facing a one pawn deficit.

James Eldridge met Joel Beggs and, like Rob Bailey in round 4, wheeled out the Centre game. Enterprising play gained the two bishops at the cost of a pawn for James. Making full use of his advantage, James later won the exchange as well and made no mistake in winning a fine game.

Darren Young tried the venerable Bishop’s opening against Tim Commons, but gained nothing from the opening. Black later pushed forward with his pawns, won a piece, then the exchange as well to have a decisive advantage. Darren was unable to offer any effective resistance and Tim won his third game of the event.

Patrick Cook finally played his Larsen opening against Michael Schreenan who respondedwith the “Schreenan Gambit” (1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 d5?!). Despite the open lines and a few dangerous attacking ideas he obtained, Michael was unable to repeat his success of the previous round and Patrick efficiently picked up the full point to be ½ point behind the leader, Jamie Brotheridge.

John Abson versus Gene Bell and Shane Sporle versus Rob Bailey ended in forfeits for white and black respectively, when their opponents failed to show. John Frangakis received another 0 point bye.

Round 5

Peter Miitel v Jamie Brotheridge
0 - 1
Patrick Cook v Michael Schreenan 1 - 0
Darren Young v Tim Commons 0 - 1
Shane Sporle v Robert Bailey 0 - 1
James Eldridge v Joel Beggs 1 - 0
John Abson v Gene Bell 1 - 0
John Frangakis Bye

Round 6

Tournament leader Jamie Brotheridge faced Rob Bailey’s Benko Gambit and a tough game ensued. White gained a pawn and more space in the middle game complications and went on to win a difficult encounter to maintain his lead.

Tim Commons took on 2nd placed Patrick Cook and surprised everyone especially Patrick, when he played the Larsen opening! Patrick found himself in a slightly uncomfortable position but declined Tim’s early draw offer. Shortly after Tim blundered a piece in a tactical exchange and resigned, leaving Patrick still within range of Jamie should he stumble in the last round.

John Abson versus James Eldridge was a Sicilian defence. Black won a pawn, then a piece as well in the middle game, setting up a crushing position which John could not survive.

Darren Young met Peter Mittel in another Sicilian, black won a pawn with aggressive middle game play and after gaining a piece as well, appeared to have the game sewn up. Darren is a fighter though and regained his piece only to lose it again in trying to hold back Peter’s passed pawns. The deficit proved fatal and Peter quickly converted his advantage.

Michael Schreenan played John Frangakis back from New Zealand sojourn. John played his favourite Scandinavian defence (1. e4 d5) and quickly gained the upper hand when white lost his queen for rook and bishop. Michael still had some sneaky tricks but John sidestepped them easily to win comfortably.

Latecomers Shane Sporle and Gene Bells withdrew from the tournament. Joel Beggs had the bye.

Round 6

Jamie Brotheridge v Robert Bailey 1 - 0
Tim Commons v Patrick Cook 0 - 1
Darren Young v Peter Miitel 0 - 1
John Abson v James Eldridge 0 - 1
Michael Schreenan v John Frangakis 0 - 1
Joel Beggs Bye
Shane Sporle Bye
Gene Bell Bye

Round 7

The final round of the Spielvogel memorial, and James Eldridge took on tournament leader Jamie Brotheridge. Jamie defended with the Caro-Kann, and in the sharp, cut and thrust struggle he appeared to gain the upperhand. James, however, created enough confusion in the tactical melee for Jamie to seek safety in a draw, and at least a share of 1st.

Rob Bailey played second placed Patrick Cook and, not surprisingly, they did battle in a Queen’s Indian for the umpteenth time. After slightly misplaying the opening, Patrick gradually gained the upper hand to reach a winning endgame, whereupon Rob suffered a bizarre hallucination and sacrificed a rook for no compensation. Thus Patrick caught up to Jamie and shared victory in the tournament.

John Frangakis played his usual Trompovsky opening against Tim Commons. By the time they reached a Queen’s and Rook’s endgame, Black had offered 4 draws! To White’s 1. John subsequently reched a winning position, only to walk into a mate in one, continuing his recent tragic run of poor results.

Joel Beggs faced Darren Young’s regular Philidor. Aggressive play by White saw him drop 2 pieces for rook and pawn, but he eventually gained a material advantage with sustained pressure against stiff opposition. Joel then finished him off with a crisp combination.

Peter Miitel won by a forfeit against Michael Schreenan, and John Abson had the bye

Round 7

James Eldridge v Jamie Brotheridge ½ - ½
Robert Bailey v Patrick Cook 0 - 1
Peter Miitel v Michael Schreenan 1 - 0
John Frangakis v Tim Commons 0 - 1
Joel Beggs v Darren Young 1 - 0
John Abson Bye
Shane Sporle Bye
Gene Bell Bye

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From Australian Dictionary of Bibliography

Nathan Frederick Spielvogel (1874-1956), teacher, writer and historian, was born on 10 May 1874 at Ballarat, Victoria, son of Newman Frederick Spielvogel, pawnbroker, and his wife Hannah, née Cohen. Newman, an Austrian, and Hannah, a Prussian, were typical of the strong Jewish community on the Ballarat goldfields. Nathan attended Dana Street State School and trained there in 1892-95 as a pupil-teacher. He taught at several schools in the Wimmera, including Dimboola (1897, 1899-1907).

A small man, with sharply chiselled features, a wide forehead, big ears, warm eyes, a jutting chin and a beard that became golden, Spielvogel was adventurous and imaginative. In 1904 he spent his savings of £120 on a six-month journey through Egypt, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Britain. He had begun his writing career in 1894 with a Christmas story for the Ballarat Courier, to which—with the Jewish press, the Bulletin, the Dimboola Banner and other newspapers—he contributed regularly under such pen names as 'Genung', 'Eko', 'Ato' and 'Ahaswar'. From the early 1920s he wrote a humorous piece each month for the Teachers' Journal, but was probably best known for his first book, A Gumsucker on the Tramp (1906). It sold 20,000 copies. He also published The Cocky Farmer (1914), A Gumsucker at Home (1914), Old Eko's Note-Book (1930) and a volume of poetry called Our Gum Trees (1913).

He loved a beer (not lager) and around 1908 dined every Thursday at Fasoli's café, Melbourne, with writers and artists such as E. J. Brady, Norman Lindsay, Hal Gye, C. J. Dennis and Louis Esson. Later he was close to J. K. Moir, Victor Kennedy and R. H. Croll of the Bread and Cheese Club. Croll thought him 'offensively Australian' yet proudly Jewish, a conjunction that rent Spielvogel in 1901 when his love for a Gentile conflicted with a promise to his mother not to marry out of the faith. He remained steadfast and on 6 September 1911 at the Great Synagogue, Hyde Park, Sydney, married Jessie Muriel, daughter of Henry Harris, publisher of the Hebrew Standard.

After further postings to other Victorian schools, Spielvogel returned to Ballarat to be headmaster of Dana Street in 1924-39. Inspiring, sympathetic and methodical, he was immensely popular: a phalanx of pupils usually escorted him into the grounds. As president of the revived Ballarat Historical Society (1933-56), he developed a passion for local history. He published vignettes of early Ballarat life and a popular monograph, The Affair at Eureka (1928). After retirement he was largely responsible for managing the local museum and for placing plaques and monuments at historic sites. His broadcasts and press releases increased historical awareness.

Spielvogel was president of the Ballarat Hebrew Congregation, the Mechanics' Institute, the Teachers' Institute and Dana Street Old Scholars' Association. Strongly patriotic during World War I, he became chairman of the Dads' Association in World War II. A sharp mind lay behind his lifelong interest in chess: he was secretary (1894) and president (1939) of the Ballarat club and represented Victoria in 1921 and 1925. He was instrumental in sustaining the Ballarat synagogue between 1941 and 1953 and wrote Jewish stories with a tenderness and strength that drew from Judah Waten the remark that Jewish literature in Australia began with him. Spielvogel died on 10 September 1956 at Ballarat and was buried in the old cemetery. His wife and their three sons (all of whom had married out of the faith and in his absence) survived him.