Ballarat Chess Club History
After Teters’ return to Melbourne, the Club once more languished. However, in the mid-1960's, a fresh group of energetic chess enthusiasts, led by new President Andy Miitel, reconstituted the Club and separated it from the Mechanics Institute — although they later returned to meet in its rooms. A new Championship was instituted in 1966 and won by Andy Miitel (the Championship Shield is now named after him). This Championship has been played annually ever since and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Remarkably, one player, Kevin Perrin, has competed in all 50 tournaments, winning a total of seven (to date). The Club acknowledged this extraordinary achievement with the presentation of a special medallion to Kevin before the commencement of play in last year’s championship.
The Club’s new committee was very active, organising events in the Victorian Rural Chess League (which still arranges the Victorian Country Chess Championship), inter-club challenge matches against other Victorian country clubs, as well as Club tournaments. The decision was also made to organise a new weekend tournament over the Victorian Labour Day long weekend in March, to coincide with the Ballarat Begonia Festival. And so, the Ballarat Begonia Tournament was born.