2018 Spielvogel Memorial

2018 Champion: Patrick Cook

Spielvogel Round 7: Patrick prevails

After Patrick drawing with Rob, not even Ruari's defeat of Kevin could affect the outcome: Patrick's second Spielvogel title. Patrick noted after the tournament that it'd been a while between tournament wins, and that it felt good to be on the up. Rod commented that with upcoming players of Ruari's calibre the old guard may soon be taking a back seat!

Rod and Tom play the Barnett sisters, with the Begonia imminent Ruari takes on a somewhat preoccupied Kevin, and Rob and Patrick draw.

Spielvogel Round 6

Tournament leader, Patrick Cook, got a freebie from a no-show which propelled him into an unbeatable position. Whether he shares the prize with Ruari or not depends on last round outcomes - Rob vs Patrick, and Ruari vs Kevin. Obviously underrated Ruari defeated one of the club's strongest players, Rod Jacobs, showing he is another young rising star of the club. Kevin's concentration held and he took a point from Jamie. Rob and Harrison both won their games against lower rated opponents. Caitlin Barnett is now the best performing junior in this tournament with 3.5 points. Kiki, Louis and Chantelle are all following with 3 points.

Ruari on the rise, Rob and Anna chat pre-game, Marley and Karthik start their battle.

Spielvogel Round 5

Patrick's 'steady as she goes' approach against Rod stood him in good stead as he showed that gambits don't always succeed against a calm, logical defence. Jamie and Rob had an even game up until late in the night when Rob, up the exchange and a pawn, couldn't summon the energy to fight on with two Rooks and a Bishop versus two Bishops and a Rook on an open board, and offered a draw. Underrated Tom Oppenheim lost a pawn race late in the game as Ruari took advantage of a pawn majority he had created very early in the game, to Queen on a1 covering Tom's queening square. In the big upset of the night, Jasan drew with Harrison, a player nearly double his rating!

Patrick unfazed by the Von Hennig Schara gambit, Rob and Jamie grind out a draw, and new member, Karthik, defeated by Leonard.

Spielvogel Round 4

Rod continued his run with a win against Jamie; it was an even game until some miscalculations resulted in Black trying to survive down 2 exchanges. Ruari conceded a draw to Patrick in a slightly favourable position, after an even game. In Harrison vs Bas, Black had his a pawn on a2 by move 15! White's unusual opening resulted in a cramped position and an uncastled king. Black soon overwhelmed White's king near the centre of the board. Ben and Rob both took the point in their games.

Anna, Rod and Tom get ready while Jasan finalises the draw.

Spielvogel Round 3

After 3. .., Ra6, a classic Surrealist opening in top seed Harrison's repertoire, Patrick's solid play and a timely push with central pawns was enough to take the whole point. Rod, facing second seed Bas, took advantage of somewhat sloppy opening play by White to gain the exchange and then after facing off a short-lived king-side attack by White, continued his attack on the queen-side, culminating with a pawn advancing to c3 and Bas' resignation. Jasan took advantage of Kevin's lapse in concentration and gift of his queen to secure a win against the veteran. Rob L, in trying to avoid swapping queens, dropped the exchange and Tom's continuing solid play eventuated in a draw regardless. Jamie, Ben and Ruari all made sure of the point in their games against lower rated opponents.

Bas couldn't pull the rabbit out of the hat after an opening slip up. Jamie on full points. Ben's second win

Spielvogel Memorial

24 players are competing in the Spielvogel Memorial; a good entry spread over the A grade and the Reserves. Top seed and 2017 winner Harrison H. will be looking to keep the title for a third time.

After 2 rounds, 5 players are on 2 points and some important games are set to be decided next Thursday in Round 3. Top seed in the Reserves, Jasan Barnett, played a good game against Bas last week and will be trying to improve on his play even more this week against Kevin Perrin.


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.