Saturday, March 9, 2013


It's the Labour Day Long Weekend in Victoria which ironically means a day off for everyone! Chess players in Victoria know this weekend to be the time of the year when the Ballarat Weekender occurs. Ballarat is traditionally the strongest weekend event in Victoria and the biggest. This year 125 players are competing including 2 IM's, Stephen Solomon and James Morris.

Young Victorian IM James Morris

Top seed IM Stephen Solomon
The tournament is in it's 47th edition (only 3 years to the big 50!) and Ballarat continues to attract top class fields. Though last year may have been the strongest of all, this year's field comprises 2 IM's, 5 FM's and 21 players above 2000. The event has again been accelerated which is not necessary in my opinion but as I'm not playing I'm not going to complain too loudly. I will complain about the drive to Ballarat which took me for ever as there were big traffic jams due to careless driving crashing into each other on a very hot day. So I arrived just as the opening ceremony was taking place. In fact I walked in the door and the first thing I knew was Thai Ly shouting my name out.. So much for a quiet entry! In fact I was selected for an appeals committee, which hopefully won't mean me doing too much!

The opening ceremony saw IA Gary Bekker welcoming the players and setting out the rules. Ballarat Chess Club, the organisers of the event was represented by Patrick Cook who then went on to cause one of the biggest upsets of the round drawing with ex-Australian Champion FM Doug Hamilton. The other speaker was President of Chess Victoria IM Leonid Sandler who like me is a non player.

IM Leonid Sandler, CV President
The first round went without too many upsets. The main upset has been about use of accelerated pairings, and before round 2, there was already an official complaint from FM David Hacche who was black in round 1 and then was paired as black against top seed Stephen Solomon in round 2. It has to be said that 2 blacks in a row feels harsh, especially when you get paired up on board 1. The arbiters are with him at this moment. One person with no complaints was James Morris. Before the first round I asked him what colour he would prefer in the first round. With no hesitation he replied black! To his reasoning it should give him white in his first big round against a very strong opponent in round 5, assuming he wins all his games up to then....also he said he prefers playing with black!

I'll be posting a lot more over the weekend, including some positions from the games. The top 10 boards are being published by the organisers on the tornelo website.


  1. update? tornelo not working here

  2. Live games not working?

  3. again,live games not working?