44th Club Championships 2009

2009 Club Champion: Rob Loveband

11 players were admitted to the 44th Ballarat Chess Club championship for a 11 round all-play-all event. An exciting tournament is in store. Defending champion Patrick Cook is the top seed. Among the entries are 3 former club champions : Kevin Perrin and Patrick Cook with 7 titles apiece, and Peter Miitel with 2 titles. Peter is the son of 1966 champion and long time former President Andy Miitel. Kevin Perrin is making his 44th consecutive appearance in the event, while Patrick Cook is making his 25th appearance in total. Veteran Boris Skontra, 73 years old, last played in the championship way back in 1966!, the first of the modern era. A separate double round robin Reserves tournament of four juniors will be held concurrently with the Championship tournament.

Round 1

 Peter Miitel took on feisty Michael Schreenan in a Queens Gambit Accepted. A tactically sharp opening stage left Black somewhat underdeveloped. White used this to good effect, winning a rook, then a piece, in the middle game and Black resigned before further disaster struck.

Rob Loveband faced Bill Coutts  in another Queens Gambit Accepted. White gained a piece for a pawn early on and held it into the end game. Black put up some resistance, but could never really hold the rook + bishop and pawns versus rook and pawns ending.

In the big showdown of the night, 2nd seed Jamie Brotheridge met 3rd seed Kevin Perrin in a Slav Defence of sorts. A complex positional battle ensued, but neither player could find a decisive edge in the murky position and a draw was agreed in the middle game.

Boris Skontra versus Patrick Cook was an unorthodox French Defence; White seemed to want a Ruy Lopez. Some deft tactics in the opening gave Black a 2 pawn advantage and he held on to them into the middle game. A nasty pin late in the game gained Black a rook as well and White was forced to concede defeat.

John Abson took on Joel Beggs in a complicated Ruy Lopez. All material remained on the board into the middle game, but Black gradually built up a commanding position and finally broke through to clean up several pawns and gain a winning position. A catastrophic blunder by Black lost him a rook at the end, prompting White to offer a draw which Black accepted in his panic. Black was probably still winning at that point!

Round One

 

P. Miitel         
v
M. Schreenan    
1-0
R. Loveband      
v
W. Coutts          
1-0
J. Brotheridge     
v
K. Perrin             
½-½
B. Skontra     
v
P. Cook              
0-1
J. Abson         
v
J. Beggs              
½-½
C.Segrave
v
Bye
-
Y.Liu        
v
A.Blenkiron          
1-0
H.Zhang
v
C.Stacey-Schappert
½-½

Round 2

Bill Coutts versus Jamie Brotheridge was a Sicilian Defence. A sharp tactical game was the result. Black felt more comfortable in the positions that arose, and White eventually blundered, dropping a rook in the process to hand Black a comfortable win.

Kevin Perrin took on John Abson in his usual English Opening. Black seemed totally unfamiliar with the opening and was put to the sword in just 15 moves.

Michael Schreenan faced Rob Loveband in another Sicilian Defence. Black sat back and waited for a mistake which never came. Just in time he realised that he might be in trouble and took the draw offer instead of forcing a perpetual check.

Patrick Cook versus Peter Miitel was postponed for a few days at White’s request. A Benko Gambit, White was a little lazy in the opening and Black seized the initiative. Showing himself unafraid of “Patrick’s curse”, he declined a draw offer and picked up the full point with ruthlessly efficient technique.

Chris Segrave versus Boris Skontra was postponed at White’s request, so the round 4 game Boris Skontra versus Peter Miitel was played instead. Yet another Sicilian, the game was a peculiar affair in which White missed a simple win and Black frankly confessed that he was about to resign twice but eventually picked up the full point anyway!

Joel Beggs had the bye.

Results /Pairings

 

K. Perrin        
v
J. Abson    
1-0
W. Coutts      
v
J. Brotheridge         
0-1
M. Schreenan      
v
R. Loveband              
½-½
P. Cook     
v
P. Miitel             
0-1
C.Segrave       
v
B. Skontra              
pp
 J. Beggs
v
Bye
A.Blenkiron
v
 C.Stacey-Schappert
1-0
Y.Liu 
v
H.Zhang
½-½

Round 3

Tournament leader Peter Miitel took on Chris Segrave in a Caro-Kann Defence. A lengthy positional struggle ensued with White struggling to make much of an impression. Black eventually opened up the game, enabling White to pounce and grind out a win courtesy of superior technique.

Rob Loveband faced Patrick Cook in a reprise of their championship play-off from last year. A French Defence, exchange variation, both players stayed alert to the tactical possibilities and the game remained in a state of dynamic equilibrium into the early endgame and a draw was agreed.

Jamie Brotheridge met Michael Schreenan in a Tarrasch Defence to the Queen’s Gambit. Black dropped a pawn early, then a piece and was mown down in typically aggressive fashion.

Joel Beggs tackled vastly experienced Kevin Perrin in an Open Sicilian. A tense, theoretical opening battle gave White some pressure, which he relentlessly increased, eventually breaking through to score a convincing, mature victory.

John Abson versus Bill Coutts was postponed. Boris Skontra had the bye.

After his quick victory, Jamie Brotheridge  lined up against John Abson in their round 10 game. A Slav Defence, it was short, sharp and brutal in which White scored another ruthless win in just 16 moves.

Results

 

P. Miitel         
v
C.Segrave    
1-0
R. Loveband      
v
P. Cook          
½-½
J. Brotheridge     
v
M. Schreenan             
1-0
J. Abson     
v
W. Coutts              
1-0
J. Beggs           
v
K. Perrin            
1-0
B. Skontra
v
Bye
-
H.Zhang        
v
A.Blenkiron          
1-0
C.Stacey-Schappert
v
Y.Liu
pp

Round 4

Patrick Cook faced his fiercest rival Jamie Brotheridge in a key match-up. White dared to venture his favourite Larsen’s Opening and after a tense Opening phase an unusual position, typical of the opening, was reached. Black proved over anxious to build an attack and simply blundered a piece. White made sure of the full point from there.

Michael Schreenan versus John Abson was a King’s Gambit! Declined! White dropped a piece in the opening and in fighting to regain it dropped too many pawns. Black made no mistake in finishing off his opponent.

Chris Segrave faced the new club top seed, Rob Loveband in a Queen’s Gambit Declined. Black secured a pawn from the opening and in a long manoeuvring game gradually increased his advantage. White played on longer than necessary, but was persuaded to resign shortly after Black added a second Queen to his arsenal.

Bill Coutts took on tournament sleeper Joel Beggs and played the Scotch! In a sharp opening phase, Black won a piece, but found himself having to deal with a dangerous attack. White regained the piece at the price of an awkward position and Black cleverly exploited the situation to reach a winning position which he finished off with precise play.

Peter Miitel lined up against Kevin Perrin in their round 10 game. A strange Grunfeld Defence, characterised by slow manoeuvring, White quickly and safely built up considerable pressure against the Black King. Black somehow conspired to drop a piece, handing White a winning position. White then lost focus and suddenly found himself the exchange down. Black made the most of his gift and secured the full point.

John Abson played Bill Coutts as well in their postponed round 3 game. A Ruy Lopez, White grabbed a pawn early. Black struggled to make much impression on White’s skilful play, and after White cleverly obtained a past pawn and promoted it to a Queen, he resigned. A big night for John!

Results

 

W. Coutts         
v
J. Beggs       0-1
M. Schreenan      
v
 J. Abson      0-1
P. Cook     
v
J. Brotheridge      1-0
C.Segrave     
v
R. Loveband             0-1
B. Skontra         
v
P. Miitel               0-1
K. Perrin
v
Bye  
A.Blenkiron        
v
Y.Liu pp
C.Stacey-Schappert
v
H.Zhang 0-1

Round 5

Rob Loveband faced veteran Boris Skontra in a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. White won a piece for 2 pawns plus tripled isolani very early and rapidly increased his advantage. White finished off the game with efficient technique from there.

Jamie Brotheridge versus Chris Segrave was a Dutch Defence. White went for piece pressure against the Black King, as usual, and won the exchange in the early middle game. Black was unable to find any counterplay and White traded down to a winning endgame to pick up the full point.

John Abson took on the defending champion Patrick Cook in a French Defence, Advance variation. White kept it relatively even into the middle game before dropping a piece for no compensation. Black quickly overwhelmed his opponent from there.

Kevin Perrin met Bill Coutts in an English Opening. White opted for a positional build-up, winning a pawn and gaining the two bishops in the process. White then finished off the game with a crisp mating attack beginning with a lovely piece sacrifice.

Joel Beggs waited for Michael Schreenan who failed to show, so White was awarded the full point.

Peter Miitel had the bye.

Results

 

R. Loveband         
v
B. Skontra   
1-0
J. Brotheridge     
v
C.Segrave     
1-0
J. Abson      
v
P. Cook              
0-1
J. Beggs     
v
M. Schreenan             
1-0f
K. Perrin        
v
W. Coutts                   
1-0
P. Miitel
v
Bye
C.Stacey-Schappert        
v
A.Blenkiron          
1-0
H.Zhang
v
Y.Liu
½-½

Round 6

Michael Schreenan met the very experienced Kevin Perrin in a Scotch Opening. Typically, White launched an immediate attack, giving up a pawn. Black calmly dodged the tricks and consolidated, then picked up the exchange and a couple more pawns. Further losses followed before Black threw in the towel.

Chris Segrave faced John Abson who declined the Kings Gambit! A slow manoeuvring game ensued, before Black grabbed a pawn and then cleverly won a piece as well. White opened up the position looking for counterplay, but simply enabled Black to clean up.

Boris Skontra versus Jamie Brotheridge was a weird sort of Grunfeld. Black won a pawn early, then the exchange, and with a passed pawn quickly overwhelmed his opponent.

Patrick Cook faced the quiet achiever Joel Beggs and opted for the Queens Gambit Declined. White walked into a well-known trap right in the opening and lost a piece for a pawn. Thereafter, Black calmly and carefully made his advantage pay with excellent technique. Joel has now “scalped” both giants in the one event!

Peter Miitel versus Rob Loveband was a Colle System. A tense, tough positional game ensued, typical of Whites opening choice. In an even middlegame with long pawn chains, neither player could break through and a draw was agreed.

Bill Coutts had the bye, but was able to play his round 7 game versus Michael Schreenan. A Four Knights game in which all four knights disappeared early, White won a piece for a pawn in the middlegame and rammed home his advantage.

Results

 

M. Schreenan         
v
K. Perrin   
0-1
P. Cook      
v
J. Beggs          
0-1
C.Segrave     
v
J. Abson           
0-1
B. Skontra     
v
J. Brotheridge              
0-1
 P. Miitel         
v
R. Loveband              
½-½
W. Coutts
v
Bye
A.Blenkiron       
v
H.Zhang          
pp
Y.Liu 
v
C.Stacey-Schappert
pp

Round 7

Jamie Brotheridge versus Peter Miitel was an important showdown for the title race. Another Benko Gambit by Black, White was gradually squeezed until he lashed out in an attempt to gain counterplay. It simply gave Black a winning advantage and high quality technique hauled in the full point.

Tournament leader Joel Beggs faced Chris Segrave, still searching for his first points. A Caro-Kann Defence, Black held on for some time with careful play but found himself in time pressure and fell apart. Another good win for White.

Bill Coutts versus Michael Schreenan was played earlier (see Rd. 6).

John Abson versus Boris Skontra and Kevin Perrin versus Patrick Cook were postponed.

Rob Loveband had the bye.

Results

 

J. Brotheridge        
v
P. Miitel     
0-1
J. Abson       
v
B. Skontra          
pp
J. Beggs     
v
C.Segrave           
1-0
K. Perrin          
v
P. Cook
½-½
W. Coutts
v
M. Schreenan   
1-0
R. Loveband
v
Bye
                   
     

Round 8

Only one game was played on the night! Peter Miitel took on John Abson with his usual Colle/London system hybrid. Black was somewhat unfocused and left his Queen en prise, whereupon White snapped it off with his 8th move and Black promptly resigned. The shortest game of the event so far!

Rob Loveband versus Jamie Brotheridge was played a few days earlier. A Kings Indian, it proved to be a feisty game with both sides pressing for the advantage. After mass exchanges in the middle game, White emerged a pawn to the good and this proved sufficient in the ensuing endgame.

Patrick Cook versus Bill Coutts, Chris Segrave versus Kevin Perrin, and Boris Skontra versus Joel Beggs are all postponed.

Michael Schreenan had the bye.

Results

 

P. Cook          
v
W. Coutts   
pp
C.Segrave      
v
K. Perrin          
pp
B. Skontra      
v
J. Beggs           
pp
P. Miitel   
v
J. Abson                       
1-0
R. Loveband
v
 J. Brotheridge              
1-0
M. Schreenan 
v
Bye
Yu    
     

Round 9

Only two games were played on the night. Many of the postponed games may well finish as forfeits!

John Abson faced unbeaten Rob Loveband in a Sicilian. Black quickly won 2 pawns in the opening stage with a savage attack. White survived and limped into the middlegame, only to drop a rook, prompting his resignation.

The important game Joel Beggs versus Peter Miitel was also a Sicilian. A tough theoretical battle ensued. Black grabbed a pawn and tried to hang on to it, but allowed White to seize the initiative. White then landed an excellent tactical blow to win Queen for Rook and Piece and quickly wrapped up the point thereafter.

Bill Coutts versus Chris Segrave, Michael Schreenan versus Patrick Cook and Kevin Perrin versus Boris Skontra were all “postponed”.

Jamie Brotheridge had the bye.

Results

 

J. Abson         
v
R. Loveband   
0-1
J. Beggs      
v
P. Miitel         
1-0
K. Perrin     
v
B. Skontra             
W. Coutts      
v
C.Segrave       
M. Schreenan
v
P. Cook
0-1
J. Brotheridge
v
Bye
     
     

Round 10

Remarkably, no championship games were played on the night! However, one crucial game was played a few days earlier. Rob Loveband, still undefeated, faced the only other undefeated player, tournament leader Joel Beggs. A Queens Gambit Declined, White won a pawn in the opening but had to endure a strong attack by Black. White counterattacked and chased the Black King across the board. Black sacrificed material in a desperate attempt at counterplay but was unable to survive 2 pieces down. In a reflection of the importance of the game Black played on until he was checkmated.

Peter Miitel versus Kevin Perrin was played earlier (see round 4).

Jamie Brotheridge versus John Abson was also played earlier (see round 3).

Chris Segrave versus Michael Schreenan was postponed, as was Boris Skontra versus Bill Coutts.

 Patrick Cook had the bye.

Results

 

C.Segrave        
v
M. Schreenan    
1-0
B. Skontra      
v
W. Coutts          
0-1
P. Miitel      
v
K. Perrin             
0-1
R. Loveband     
v
J. Beggs              
1-0
J. Brotheridge
v
 J. Abson                      
1-0
P. Cook 
v
Bye
     
     

Round 11

Kevin Perrin played tournament leader, Rob Loveband in the library in a catch-up game. Kevin had chances but was overwhelmed after losing a vital central pawn.

Results

 

J. Beggs         
v
J. Brotheridge   
1-0
K. Perrin       
v
R. Loveband         
W. Coutts      
v
P. Miitel           
0-1
M. Schreenan 
v
B. Skontra                  
f
P. Cook         
v
C.Segrave              
1-0
J. Abson 
v
Bye
Juniors TBA    
     

Epilogue

Reserves Champion - Yu Liu

Congratulations to Yu on winning the Reserves Championship this year; a promising young player!

Dec '09 Championship Winners: Joel Beggs, Rob Loveband

Joel Beggs and Rob Loveband, tied at 8.5 points each, played off two games, alternating colours. Joel won the first as black and Rob followed suite, winning a Sicilian as black. Both games being over 4 hours long, and feeling very evenly matched, the players agreed to a tie for the championship. Congratulations to Joel and Rob!!

Jan '10 Post-script to Epilogue!

Take back that congratulations! It's not over until it's over! A majority of the committee has decided to use the 1987 rules as a basis for the decision to require that there be only a single winner of the championship. Therefore, a tie-break game, Joel and Rob's 4th game for the tournament, was played on 9/6/10 and was also drawn! The next tie-break, their 5th game,will be played on 21/7/10 on the catch up night. This will be their 14th game in the 10 game tournament!

July '10 - Championship Final Playoff

Joel and Rob played off for the last time for the 2009 Championship with the game going to Rob. The dust can finally be allowed to settle! Rob Loveband is the 2009 Ballarat Chess Club Champion.

Open Players
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Total
1
C Segrave(1151)
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
3

2

B Skontra

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3
P Miitel
1
1
½
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
7½
4
R Loveband (1543)
1
1
½
1
1
1
1
1
½
½
8½
5
J Brotheridge(1605)
1
1
0
0
1
0
½
1
1
0
6
J Abson (1051)
1
1
0
0
0
½
0
1
1
0
7
J Beggs (1322)
1
1
1
0
1
½
1
1
1
1
8
K Perrin (1545)
1
1
1
0
½
1
0
1
1
½
7
9
W Coutts (1135)
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
10
M Schreenan (1013)
0
1
0
½
0
0
0
0
0
0
11
P Cook (1611)
1
1
0
½
1
1
0
½
1
1
7

Reserve Players
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
Total
1
Yu Liu
1
½
1
1
½
1
5
2
Chloe Stacey-Schappert
0
½
0
0
0
1
3
Hao Zhang
½
½
1
½
1
0
3½
4
Angus Blenkiron
0
1
0
0
0
1
2

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.