Ballarat Chess Club - chess for everyone!
26 players participated in the 1st Rapid Play tournament of the year, a healthy turnout for this unrated event. Simon scored 6 of 6, a point ahead of Bas, who was a point ahead of the next four players all on 4 points.
Simon scored the full picket fence followed 1.5 points behind by Bas. Leonard and Justin were top of the juniors on 4 points - very respectable!
In 2020 Ballarat Chess Club is formally engaging FM Simon Rutherford of Central Highlands Chess to oversee the coaching of juniors at the newly re-established Ballarat Junior Chess Club every Thursday evening at 6:00pm.
The Ballarat Junior Chess Club is for players of all levels, Beginners to Advanced. Each week we will hold a lesson that is appropriate to the skill level of the children - Beginners will learn the rules of chess and how to play, progressing to basic checkmates, tactics and strategies. Intermediate and Advanced players will learn opening theory, tactics, strategies and endgames, working on improving their game, and expanding their ability to calculate and make plans. There will also be time to play friendly and competitive games and to solve stimulating chess puzzles.
About 5 o'clock on a dreary afternoon is the best time to visit the Smokery at the Mechanics' Institute.
“Out in the street The wind blaws as t'wad blaw its last, The rattling showers rise on the blast”.
But whistling wind, sleety rain, and bitter cold are all forgotten once you enter the cheerful smokery, the air of which is a fog produced by more or less fragrant tobacco. Nearly all the chairs are occupied. Fine, solid old-fashioned chairs they are! Some of them. black and shiny with the friction of thousands of trousers, must be a hundred years old.
Duels of grim earnestness are being fought across the chess and draught tables, for you must certainly know that the Smokery has produced at least three chess players considered good enough to play for Victoria against New South Wales, and today John Armstrong, a son of the Smokery is playing off for the draughts championship of Australia. Around each table is a group of onlookers ever ready to give unsolicited advice how the game should have been played. No insult will silence them!
In the mid-1960's, a fresh group of energetic chess enthusiasts, led by new President Andy Miitel, reconstituted the Ballarat Chess Club, and separated it from the Mechanics Institute, although they later returned in later years.
The founding meeting of the current Ballarat Chess Club occurred on Oct 1st.1964. It was held in the home of the first president, life-member Andy Miitel. For several years, Andy’s house was the venue where the weekly club evenings were held, for which he received the princely sum of 4 pounds (?) for the wood, needed for heating.
Following are the minutes of the first meeting of the Ballarat Chess Club in 1964, marking the revitalization of the club and the start of a new chapter of the Chess Club, the Kevin Perrin Era.
Notable amongst those present at this meeting were S.Jacobs, the father of Rod Jacobs (the most recent life member of the club). Rod joined the club in 1967. Don Maciulaitis left Ballarat for Melbourne two years later, to become one of the stalwarts of the Melbourne chess scene, mostly as an administrator.
Coffee and Chess
Homeground on Sturt St next to BMI, Frangos up from Myers, and The Building at 30 Main Rd now all have chess sets donated by BCC, available for use by patrons - have a coffee and a game! Below, Kevin and grandson, Monty, enjoy a game in the sun! Rob has an the ongoing challenge match with Patrick.
Bas' Chess Columns
From April 1991 until March 1993, Bas wrote a fortnightly chess column for the Ballarat Courier. Read them here