Begonia Open

Every March

Ballarat Chess Club - chess for everyone!

Blitz #2 - online!

This event was played online at Simon took out first place by half a point from James, and a full point from Ruari. It was fast and furious but with no pieces flying! It was challenging for everyone playing on an unfamiliar platform, but the juniors and seniors alike all struggled through. Some didn't have a chat capability, some did but couldn't find where it was on the screen. Some joined the club but didn't click the Join tournament button in time for the first round. Whatever your difficulty, please remember that the next tournament will be on slower time controls so you will be able to have a more normal chess playing experience! Thank you to everybody for making yourselves known via Profile so your opponent could see who they were playing.
The results can be seen here on or the crosstable only on our website here.

Holiday program online

Next Thursday evening we will hold 2 tournaments simultaneously, to try to cater for the different levels of our members, in particular Junior members, or those new to chess. They will share the same time control, 10 minutes with 0 seconds increment, and will run for 1 hour and 10 minutes. This format is called 'Arena' on, and the winner is the one who amasses the most points in the allocated time. Juniors and players rated under 1000 in the club, can join either tournament (Arena 1 or 2) but those above 1000 ACF rating must opt for Arena 1. There is no pressure to start next games immediately after you finish a game, so, unlike the Blitz tournament, toilet breaks are a possibility!! (Kevin had to change batteries in his mouse mid-game last tournament - very hard to accomplish in a 5 0 blitz tournament online!) The committee is investigating how we can continue our Junior Coaching program online, and there will be more news about this shortly. These are difficult times that require some flexibility and willingness to adapt - two traits of every good chess player! Please feel free to contact Rob about issues you have with the online environment - email, or Kevin about membership queries

Ballarat Chess Club online

Begonia Open 2020

The Begonia Open has been running continuously for the last 54 years - and this year was not to be an exception. 132 participants competed for the Kevin Perrin Trophy and rich prizes. Some of our local players took home a good prize and everyone enjoyed the modern facilities offered by the Ballarat Tech School. The success of the tournament in the new locale has been an encouraging pat on the back to the organising committee. Kevin, Anna, Rob, Patrick and Ben all put in many hours behind the scenes to make it happen. Several club members and family helped with setup, canteen and pack up - we're grateful to Ruby, Eef, Bill, Simon, Tom, Mike, Ian and probably others I'm missing (sorry!) for running the canteen, Harrison, Ruari and Jamie for help with the tables and chairs. There are more and thank you to you as well. Patrick has written a report so have a look at the photos and details on the Begonia Open web site, recently updated.

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BCC Covid-19 Response

The Executive Committee has decided to enact a temporary cessation of chess club gatherings effective immediately until April 16th, the first night of the club championship. All Junior Chess Club classes with Simon will also be put on hold until then (more information to follow soon re Junior Chess Classes). If the situation changes and requires a further extension, we will notify members at that time. We will be in touch with members about an idea of Jasan's - an Online Chess tournament to keep us chess addicts in form while we await an amelioration to the Covid-19 crisis.

Spielvogel Results >

BMI closure

In accordance with updated advice from Federal and State governments, the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute will be closing the library and suspending all activities in the building until such time as the threat of COVID-19 has subsided and government advice changes.
This closure will be in place from Tuesday 24th March at 3.00pm.

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Four weeks into the first term of the Ballarat Junior Chess Club attendance has exceeded our expectations. We have 15 regular students across a range of age, ability and experience. Due to the high response, the Ballarat Chess Club committee already agreed to bolster the coaching ranks, by adding Jasan and Ruari to assist Simon. The group is currently split into 2 sections (Simon is coaching the most advanced 6 students, and Jasan and Ruari are combining duties for the least experienced players), but we have flexibility to change the coaching structure as the club develops and coaching needs change. We remain hopeful more students will enrol as the year unfolds.

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For info re coaching, junior tournaments, study resources etc.. visit the Ballarat Junior Chess Club pages.

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 New to Chess?


A great site for learning the basics from a cool video, improving your chess with puzzles, and playing against QWERTY the chess computer, check out
How to write down your games - Chess notation made easy here!

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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