The Ballarat Handicap Chess Tournament 1866-Ď67

From "The Ballarat Star" dated 17 Sept 1866

The chess tournament has at length been finally arranged, under the most favorable auspices, and it has been decided by the committee that play shall commence on the evening of Tuesday, 11th September, at the Mechanicsí Institute. Fourteen days will be allowed for the first set of matches to be played off, and it is hoped members will not exceed that time, as by doing so the tournament will be protracted and the other competitors will be delayed from commencing the second series of matches. It has been arranged for the winners in the first set to play for the first, second and third prizes. The committee, with the view of equalizing the play, has taken great pains to discover the relative strength of the respective players, so that neither should have any undue advantage, and has accordingly divided them into four classes- the first class giving the second a pawn and move, the third a pawn and two moves, and the fourth class a knight.

The following is the list of entries, together with their classification:-

First Class- Messrs J.M.Connell, C.Fisher, and A.G.MíCombe.

Second Class-Messrs W.H.Batten, R.Bristow, H.Deveril, T.W.Gaggin, J.A.Harvey, W.Hogarth, R.S.Mitchell, A.Mongredien, D.OíConnor, J.B.Partridge, F.W.Tatham, and C.M.Watson

Third Class-Messrs Davey, Kennedy, H.M.Pascoe and J.Taylor

Fourth Class-Messrs J.Campbell, J.P.Fennings, G.Fisher, J.Holdes, and J.A.Wilson.


The players have been paired as follows by lot:-

Batten-Holdes 0-1                                           Bristow-Gaggin

Campbell-MíCombe                                       Connell-Taylor 1-0

Davey-Partridge 1-0                                        Deveril-OíConnor 1-0

Fennings-Hogarth                                             C.Fisher-Pascoe

G.Fisher-Harvey 0-1                                       Kennedy-Mitchell

Mongredien-Tatham 0.5-0.5                           Watson-Wilson0.5-0.5

From "The Ballarat Star" dated 25th September 1866.

The chess tournament, since its commencement has progressed favorably, and the chess-room is almost every evening crowded with players. Already no less than nine games have been played off, and more would probably have been concluded were it not that many of the competitors refrain from playing to the last moment, in order to make themselves proficient in the openings. The following is the list of the games already finished:- (see above, BvR).

We give in detail the game played by Messrs OíConnor (white) and Deveril (black):-

1.e4, e5; 2.Nf3, Nc6; 3.Bc4, Bc5; 4.c3, Nf6; 5.Ng5, d5; 6.exd5, Nxd5; 7.Ne4, Bb6; 8.b4, a6; 9.a4, Nce7; 10.Ba3, Bf5; 11.Qf3, c6; 12.a5, Ba7; 13.Bb3, 0-0; 14.c4, Bxe4; 15.Qxe4, Nf4; 16. Bc2, f5; 17 Qf3(a), Qd4;18.Nc3, Qxc4;19.Rb1, Qd4; 20.0-0(b), Qxd2; 21.Bb3+, Kh8; 22.Rbd1, e4(c); 23.Qg3(d), Qxc3; 24. Rfe1, Qxg3; 25.hxg3, Nd3(e); 26.Rxd3, exd3; 27.Rxe7, Rad8; 28.Re1, d2; 29.Rd1, Rfe8; 30 Kf1, Rd3; 31.Bc2, Rxa3; 32.Rxd2, Ra2; 33.Kg1, Bd4; 34.Rxd4, Rxc2; White resigns 0-1

(a) Taking the pawn would be ruinous

(b) By castling now white looses a pawn

(c) Black would now gain by taking the knight with his queen instead of advancing the pawn

(d) If, instead of this move, the rook takes the queen, white would have gained a pawn.

(e) A hasty move of blackís

From "The Ballarat Star" dated 10th October 1866.

Ballarat Chess Tournament.

The tournament ahs advanced another stage, and the winners are now placed against each other. The losers are also matched to play for the smaller prizes. The chess room was enlivened since our last report by a visit from the 2nd prize taker in the Melbourne tournament, and in a game which he had with one of our strongest players here he was worsted, but he pleaded as his excuse his want of practice for some months past. A chess match with Melbourne by correspondence has been spoken of, and it is probable that a series of games between the two clubs will shortly take place.

The pairs among the winners of the past contests who now play for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes are Mr.Davey v Mr Watson, Mr Deverill v Mr Connell, Mr Fisher v Mr Harvey, Mr Gaggin v Mr MíCombe, Mr Hogarth v Mr.Mitchell, Mr.Holdes v Mr Mongredien.

The losers in the first contest who play for the 4th and 5th prizes are paired as follows:- Mr Batten v Mr Fennings, Mr Bristow v Mr Taylor, Mr Campbell v Mr Kennedy, Mr G.Fisher v Mr Pascoe, Mr Tatham v Mr Wilson, Mr OíConnor v Mr Partridge.

From "The Ballarat Star" dated 9th November 1866.

The Ballarat Chess Tournament.

The chess tournament is now drawing towards its close, and since our last report of its proceedings, a very large number of games have been played. Only four players are now remaining, Messrs Fisher, MíCombe, Mitchell, and Watson. It is generally thought that the honor of first place will fall to the first-mentioned player, who has not yet lost a game in the tourney, but Mr.MíCombe brings with him a home reputation of no mean order, and Mr Watson, with the odds of pawn and move he receives, will stand a fair chance. The winners of the pairs previously given were Messrs Watson, Deveril, Fisher, MíCombe, Mitchell, and Mongredien, who were again divided, the result of their play being as follows:

Mr Deveril v Mr Fisher 0-2; Mr Mitchell v Mr MíCombe; Mr Mongredien v Mr Watson 0-2.

The games among those who lost in the first matches have resulted in leaving six players, the winners among whom will come for the 4th and 5th prizes. In the pairs previously mentioned in a report in the Star for these prizes, the winners are Messrs Batten, Taylor, Kennedy, G.Fisher, Tatham, and OíConnor who have been again divided by matching Mr Batten against Mr Taylor, Mr.Kennedy against Mr Tatham, and Mr G.Fisher against Mr OíConnor, but none of these opponents have as yet played off.

From "The Ballarat Star" dated 24th April 1867.

The Ballarat Chess Tournament has at length been concluded, resulting in the first prize falling to Mr.C.Fisher, second prize Mr.C.M.Watson, third prize Mr.A.M.McCombe, fourth prize Mr.C.Q.Kennedy, and fifth prize to Mr.W.H.Batten. The tournament has on the whole been a very successful affair.

A meeting was held on Wednesday last for the presentation of prizes. The first consist of a very handsome set of Stauntonís ivory chess men, in a carved ebony box, with handsome board, value ten pounds. The second prize is five volumes of Wrightís Encyclopedia, handsomely bound, value seven pounds. The remaining prizes are mostly books.

The annual meeting of the Chess Club was held last week, when the following gentlemen were elected office-bearers for the ensuing year:- President, Mr.C.Fisher; vice president, Mr.C.M.Watson; secretary and treasurer, Mr. J.A.Harvey; committee, Messrs OíConnor, Connell, Gaggin, and Fennings.