2018 Presidents Report

posted 3 Feb 2019, 00:23 by simon dale

2018 was a successful year for Melbourne Chess Club, with strong membership numbers and tournament entries, participation in the wider chess community, healthy financial accounts, growth in volunteers and a dedicated and enthusiastic committee.

The club is going from strength to strength based on the hard work of the committee members over many years. This year's committee is mostly comprised of new members, Hans Gao, Tony Tosevski, Chris Kolak and Aleksei Khamatgaleev, supported by long term members Elizabeth Warren, Thai Ly and myself, Simon Dale. I have really enjoyed working on this team who all take a professional and generous attitude to their volunteer work and a willingness to collaborate for the good of the club. It has been a real pleasure working with them last year.

As a president I am really privileged having the previous president Elizabeth Warren remaining active in the committee. Her willingness to share her knowledge and experience has made my job a lot easier.

This year we had 230 members including 35 life members. This is a record membership since I have been associated with the club, and demonstrates the effectiveness of the committee's long term strategy in the chess community.

In 2018 the club had 456 entries into our 8 club long play events, up 9% from last year. The community has responded to some committee initiatives with an significant increase in strength in our two main events the MCC Championship and MCC Open. It has been very pleasing for me to to see a permanent arbiter Aleksei Khamatgaleev who has done a wonderful job arbiting during the year. Without his contribution we would not be able to keep these tournaments FIDE rated.

Two years ago we decided to stop running the Christmas Swiss as a FIDE tournament. I am pleased to report that Elizabeth Warren has introduced a replacement MCC Fast Play Championship which looks like it will become a regular event in the calendar.

The club continued its contribution to the wider chess community, contributing to the Olympiad appeal, running 2018 Vic Open, providing the venue as sponsorship for the GM and IM norm tournaments, and the Vic Blitz championship. This year’s GM norm tournament saw two club members, Bobby Cheng and Karl Zelesco, achieve their GM and IM titles respectively.

Saturday afternoon Allegro has maintained itself as one of the main activities for club members during the year. Chris Kolak has done a fantastic job at running this event so smoothly during the year.

Increased numbers for the MCC Blitz on Tuesday evening means that this weekly calendar event now seems secure.

There has been increased activity in non-tournament initiatives. Saturday morning coaching for juniors was well attended. This year we continued the coaching through the holidays and many of the juniors came through to Saturday afternoon Allegro.

Wednesday night Novice Night has been rebranded as Wednesday Night Social night under Hartley Shawcross with help from other volunteers. Many of the Wednesday night players are also now playing the Monday night competition and Allegro.

Thursday evening group coaching with WGM Julia Ryjanova has continue throughout most of the year. It was great for the club to be able to offer coaching for both juniors and adults, so we are really excited to see this initiative continuing.

Despite all this activity and success we have been unable to open any extra days during 2018. We would love there to be events on every night, but this requires more volunteers. Please be aware that for every event the club opens there are at least two or three committed volunteers required to make it work.

We also need more volunteers to help with the online presence for the club including updating the website, and promoting events on social media. There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved with the club and make a real difference.

With sadness I have attended the funeral of two members of the club during the year. Alec Knox, who has been a member of the club for more than 25 years and Anthony De Fazio who has been running the sausage sizzles at Allegro and long play tournaments for the last 5 years.

In summary I want to make sure the all members are aware of the huge amount of volunteer work that has gone on and continues to go on to make MCC the vibrant community that it is.

Simon Dale, Melbourne Chess Club President 2018

Get your MCC 2018 Club Calendar

posted 3 Jan 2018, 03:25 by simon dale

The 2018 MCC club calendar is ready for you to download

Dismantling the Sicilian

posted 27 Sept 2017, 01:56 by simon dale   [ updated 27 Sept 2017, 02:01 ]

Lecture by GM Max Illingworth
Topic: Dismantling the Sicilian
When: Wednesday 1st Nov, 7.30pm
Where: Melbourne Chess Club, 66 Leicester St Fitzroy
Cost: MCC Members free, $5 non-Members

GM Max Illingworth reveals secrets from his new book on Updating 'Dismantling the Sicilian'. The book has not yet been launched so this is a sneak preview. He will be showing an unpublished tournament game where he uses analysis from the book to comfortably defeat a titled player. He will also share what he learned from writing the book.

2016 Hjorth Brilliancy Prize Winner

posted 10 Jul 2017, 05:52 by simon dale

Hjorth Brilliancy Prize Winner 2016 Announced!

This is to announce the winner of the 2016 Greg Hjorth Brilliancy Prize: GM Max Illingworth.

16.Rxf6! was inspired, as was the simplification to an ending an exchange down but with plenty of pawns to secure a winning advantage.

Max can make his own selection of books / DVDs from Amazon, the MCC bookshop or wherever, provide receipts and be reimbursed up to $300 by the club. The Hjorth Brilliancy Prize is selected annually from the brilliancies played in the club's nine tournaments. All the more reason for you to play *brilliantly* at the upcoming Vic Open!

[Event "Hjorth Open"]
[Site "Melbourne"]
[Date "2016.10.29"]
[White "Illingworth, Max"]
[Black "Yang, Ray"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. e3 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4. Bb2 d5 5. c4 c6 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O Bf5 8. Nc3
Nbd7 9. Nd4 e5 10. Nxf5 gxf5 11. Qc2 e4 12. f3 Ne5 13. fxe4 fxe4 14. Rf5 Ng6
15. Raf1 Rc8 16. Rxf6 Bxf6 17. Rxf6 Qxf6 18. Nxd5 Qd8 19. Nf6+ Kh8 20. Qc3 c5
21. Nxe4+ f6 22. Nxf6 Qxf6 23. Qxf6+ Rxf6 24. Bxf6+ Kg8 25. Bf3 Kf7 26. Bc3 b6
27. Kf2 Rf8 28. g3 Ke6 29. d4 h5 30. Kg2 h4 31. Be4 hxg3 32. Bxg6 gxh2 33. d5+
Kd6 34. Kxh2 Rf2+ 35. Kg3 Rxa2 36. e4 Ra3 37. Bf6 Rxb3+ 38. Kf4 a5 39. Be8 Rb4
40. e5+ Kc7 41. d6+ Kb7 42. d7 Rxc4+ 43. Kf5 1-0

Jack Puccini and Ari Dale to spearhead MCC's Saturday junior training in 2017

posted 27 Jan 2017, 16:32 by simon dale   [ updated 27 Jan 2017, 16:34 ]

Jack Puccini and Ari Dale to spearhead MCC's Saturday junior training in 2017

The Melbourne Chess Club is pleased to announced that FM Jack Puccini and IM Ari Dale will be instructors in the Club's Saturday morning junior training starting on Saturday 4 February 2017.

Jack and Ari, two of Australia's leading young players, are both products of the Melbourne Chess Club's junior training program, having first attended the program while still in primary school.

Their growth as chess players has seen them represent themselves and Australia with distinction on the international stage. Now they will be repaying the favour by passing their knowledge on to the next generation of junior chess stars.

Jack and Ari's 2017 tenure coincides with a pilot expansion to the Melbourne Chess Club junior program.

This expansion will see junior classes divided into a beginner and an advanced section. This division aims to enable greater attention to each junior player, thus accelerating their development. The pilot expansion will be running over terms 1 and 2 of 2017 and will be assessed afterwards for possible permanent adoption.

The junior training program is open to players from 6 to 18 years of age.

Further details about the Melbourne Chess Club's junior program, including Jack and Ari, can be found at on the Club's website.

We look forward to everyone coming along and developing their game in 2017!

2015 MCC Membership Fees, Discounts & Non-Member Price Changes.

posted 1 Sept 2014, 02:03 by Paul Cavezza

Dear players and families,

Please note the following changes to MCC fees for 2015

1. Discount for early renewal of membership increased.
$15 discount on MCC membership is now available to those renewing their membership on or before The Australia Day Weekender (1/26/2015)

2. Membership fees: (unchanged)
Adult, $170. 
Concession, $120.
Junior: $80
Family: TBA
Life: $2500
Senior Life: $1500
Visitor’s fee: $5

3. International Masters & FIDE Masters are required to be Club Members to receive free entry to events. Inter-state International Masters are exempt.

4. Allegro fees: 
Members: no change
Adults: $20
Juniors: $15

5. Slow-Play tournament fees:
Members: no change
Non-Members: pay a minimum $15 more than Members per event

6. Family membership policy: A family membership must include a member under the age of 18. Independent adult family members (e.g. Adult siblings, or Parents and Adult Children) do not qualify for a family membership.

7. “Half year” membership policy: Half year memberships (half price) are only available to first year members of the club. 

Where possible, the committee hopes to:

• Continue Membership renewal discounts. 
• Maintain Member entry fees at a steady price.
• Increase Non-Member tournament fees again in 2016.
• Support, recognise and encourage membership of the Club.

MCC Committee

2014 Greg Hjorth Brilliancy Prize!

posted 2 Jul 2014, 00:10 by Paul Cavezza

Announcing: The 2014 Greg Hjorth brilliancy prize.

A $300 Chess Book / Chess DVD prize for the best game played at the Melbourne Chess Club in the calendar year. This award is on top of our regular series of 9 brilliancy prizes offered at the club each year.

The winner can make their own selection of books / DVDs from Amazon or wherever, provide receipts and be reimbursed up to $300 by the club. Eligible games are the 9 brilliancy prize winners from our 2014 events and perhaps any notable "runners-up" in those competitions (tbc).

We are also in the process of re-stocking the book-shop and players are welcome to make selections from there too.

The next tournament at the MCC is the Malitis Memorial, starting on Monday July 14th, enter now (

) and be in with a chance to win the grand prize!

Current brilliancy prize winners are here:


and we're currently in the process of deciding the winner of the City of Melbourne Brilliancy prize.

The annual prize will be judged by a master level player with no conflict of interest (i.e. who doesn't have a game eligible of winning).

FM Chris Wallis Lecture now viewable on Youtube!

posted 10 Jun 2014, 20:46 by Paul Cavezza

Visit our youtube channel and Chris' lecture HERE

Andrew Saint & Hannibal Swartz

posted 2 Apr 2014, 18:41 by Paul Cavezza

Australian chess will be remembering Andrew Saint and Hannibal Swartz this week. Andrew gave a lot to Australian chess, South Australian Chess and The Melbourne Chess Club in particular, his service and his nature will not be easily forgotten by anyone who knew him. He remains a strong influence and though he is no longer with us so many people carry him close to their heart- he made the world a better place. 

I will remember his kindness, his humility, his openness and his non-judgmental way. You can watch a video of Andrew playing blitz at the MCC early last year here: 

You can also read the memorial page on our website about Andrew and Hannibal here:

We will also be remembering Hannibal Swartz (Nghia Nguyen) this week. Those wanting to contact Hannibal's family can send me an email at and I will pass on contact details. 

The MCC will be running The Andrew Saint & Hannibal Swartz memorial again this December and we hope to see many of you attend. 

I am pleased to report that others close to the events of last April are recovering well. James Morris has begun work on his university degree, Anthony Hain has completed training as a fitness coach and continues his work with Chess-Kids, and Dimitri Partsi is working on several creative projects which you can ask him about next time you see him. Alex Saint continues to be an example to those who know him, his positivity in the face of adversity is an example to everyone. 

MCC Member Discount (2014)

posted 14 Nov 2013, 03:28 by Paul Cavezza

Pleased to announce we're offering a $10 discount to existing members who renew their membership for 2014 before January 15th.

I'll be at allegro this week in case anyone wants to do so there.

Please pass the word around.

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