Term 2 news update

On the 27th of July, Ballarat Clarendon College participated in their very first over the board chess tournament for 2.5 years at Bialik College in Melbourne. 64 players in total played in the Chess Victoria Zonal event from 6 different schools. The tournament was a primary only tournament and was played in a wonderful friendly, competitive spirit. The result was a triumph for Ballarat Clarendon College, winning by 2.5 points. It felt so great to be back travelling to a tournament again, watching students make new friends in celebrating chess. We look forward to semi finals and potentially state finals later in the year. Well done team! 

Ray Bi won the tournament individually with 6.5/7 showing some Houdini-like defensive skills on the way. Nethu Liyanapathirana also won the best girl prize with 4.0.The four other players who contributed to Clarendon College's winning score were John Lang (5.5), Joshua Nguyen (5.5) Levi Wang (5.0)  and Junior School Semester 1 Champion from 2021, Ivan Ju. (5.0)

The Junior School currently has 60 participants in its chess club whilst the Middle Schools has around 70. Chess is in a good healthy place at the school as we rebuild momentum lost by the lockdowns.  More reports to come, watch this space! 

Final Scores:

Ballarat Clarendon College 26.5

St Andrews CC 24

Bialik College A 21.5

Christ Church Grammar 21

Bialik College B 14

Leibler Yavneh College 10

Hotham St 6.5

St James PS 5

Ray & Josh (left) Ivan & Lucas (right)


Lashen & Rey

The Team

Term 1 news update

Bishops and Kings Term 1:

1st: Om O'Carroll: 7

2nd: Vishnu Neralla 7

3rd: Dan Wang 5

Unfortunately covid 19 had a detrimental effect on the attendance of the amalgamated Bishops and Kings League. However, it certainly didn't prevent the tournament from being diligently fought. Om O'Carroll was a very well deserving winner with Vishy Neralla showing excellent consistency to stay in the running to keep Om very honest. I anticipate greater exciting match ups in this division for term 2 with the resurgence of Dan and Andrew Wang. The class will continue their exploration of the history of the Women's World Championship. The expectation of a friendly match or even the resumption of inter-school chess is something everyone is very much looking forward to. This will vehemently demonstrate that chess is fully back alive and well in schools.

Pawns & Knights Term 1:

1st: Patrick Frost 6.5

2nd: Abtin Feizollahi 5.5

3rd: Joey Wang 5.5

A closely contested term went down to the final round with Patrick Frost solidifying his favoritism to graduate to the higher league by winning the term 1 Pawns & Knights League tournament. The state finalist demonstrated great technique against Abtin Feizollahi to win a key game in a queen and pawn ending. Abtin played well all term; having come from Pleasant St in 2021 where he achieved third place in their end of year event. An honorable shout of recognition must also go out to Maggie Cai who was in prime contention all term and dealt Patrick his only loss. Maggie had a tough loss to Joey Wang in the last round. Term 2 League begins on the 26th of April and should prove exciting!

Clarendon Junior School: Prep-Yr 2 (Wed)

Equal 1st:

Wendy Tian 7.0

Scott McKay

Jay Mutha

It was a fantastic close final two weeks and the top three in this tournament ultimately could not be separated. Wendy Tian made a triumphant return to the junior school chess club with two beautiful final mates in consecutive weeks. Jay Mutta's logical eager creativity was also on display; his piece development and general playing style showing great maturity. It was also Scott McKay's first chess term at the junior school, his sister Sasha paving the way for him. Scott's fine win against Wendy was her only loss; a result of complex tactical imbalances well handled by Scott. The playing level of this trio was most impressive and will no doubt inspire others to keep at it! Book prizes were awarded to all three for their achievements.

Clarendon Junior School Yr3-4 (Thurs)

1st: Rey Mukherjee 6.5

2nd: Lucas Yang 6.0

3rd: Jimmy Zhang 5.5

This tournament always delivers fascinating encounters and term 1 2022 was no exception. Rey Mukherjee showed great steely determination to win this hotly contested tournament. He has slowly but surely made some positional improvements on his aggressive attacking style and was tough for many regular students to break down. Lucas Yang returned to chess after making a sparkling debut in 2021 where he really shook up the established leadership and won several exciting games. His second place was well deserved, out-scoring even returning 2021 champion Ivan Ju who will hope to rebound in term 2. Third place was the ever energetic Jimmy Zhang who had a colossal tussle with Rey and very nearly went over the top to win. Their exciting roller coaster game petered out to a draw but was one of the most memorable of the term. The quiet achiever Sasha McKay won the best girl prize by coming equal fourth; a fantastic result. Junior chess is in a wonderful place at the school and the capacity of 30 has already been met. I certainly can't wait for more chess action! 

Pleasant Street Primary Term 1:

1st: Harry Poyner 6

2nd: Cooper Horsley 5

3rd; Will Brunsden 4.5

With the absence of Paul Dao from the club, the tournament play at Pleasant St was much more wide open. The rapid rise and prominence of Harry Poyner was staggering to witness at times; as he produced some lovely creative and tactics laden victories. Cooper may have caught him if not for other sports activities competing for his attention! His logical, well considered classical style is also a good model for other developing players. In third was a happy Will Brunsden, a player who thrives on the chaos he manages to conjure on the board, often drawing players into messy awkward positions. He had a great term and I hope will return for more in term 2!  Pleasant St has grown wonderfully and is a very healthy place for members.  

Chess instructor Rob Bailey brings you the latest updates with Ballarat Junior Chess tournament results and annotated games!