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15-04-2021, 07:23 PM
History of the Geelong Chess Club


15-04-2021, 07:41 PM
Trove History of the Geelong Chess Club.


15-04-2021, 07:44 PM
Further Trove History of the Geelong Chess Club


17-04-2021, 08:36 AM
A Melbourne Chess club was first formed in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition in London.


17-04-2021, 05:09 PM
[SIZE=3]The Melbourne Chess club was reformed in 1855


18-04-2021, 07:53 PM
The third iteration of the Melbourne Chess Club.


19-04-2021, 07:28 AM
“The Chess Player's Chronicle, founded by Howard Staunton and extant in 1841–56 and 1859–62, was the world's first successful English-language magazine devoted exclusively to chess.”



The magazines are viewable online courtesy of Google Books, the National Library of the Netherlands, Harvard University, the New York Public Library and the Bavarian State Library.


19-04-2021, 08:07 AM
“Bell's Life... was a group of newspapers produced in Australia in the mid-nineteenth century based upon the English publication Bell’s Life in London. Most publications lasted a short duration. The subtitles were usually sporting chronicle.

The Sydney and Melbourne and papers were precursors of the Australasian Post.”



19-04-2021, 01:25 PM
Edward’s Rosenblum’s “Seventy Years of Victorian Chess” written in 1926, seems to regard the beginning of the Melbourne Chess Club as being in 1866. The club has probably enjoyed an unbroken history since that time.

He comments on the open chess knockout handicap tournament:

“Seventy Years of Victorian Chess


There may be no surviving record of chess in the very
early days of Victoria, but, nevertheless, we feel sure that
there were enthusiasts among the pioneers who brought with
them from the Old Country their love of the game, and who
essayed their favourite gambits with as much enthusiasm as
ever beneath the Southern Cross.

There must have been many chess players among the
red-shirted gold seekers of the ’fifties, for it was in 1855, when
Staunton was the recognised champion of English chess, and
the meteoric Morphy was still a student at St. Joseph’s College,
Alabama, that the first organised chess championship took
place in Victoria in the form of a series of matches of three

The last three survivors were Mr. A. G. McCombe, Mr.
Hamel and Mr. Watts, and the final match between Messrs.
McCombe and Watts resulted in victory for the latter player,
who won the first game and drew the other two.

Mr. Watts, whose record was reputed to go back to days
in London when he had conceded pawn and move to Staunton,
was then acclaimed as the first champion of Victoria. This
match had roused great interest in Melbourne, and for a time
chess was very popular.”

I could not find on Trove a final result for that tournament which occurred in 1856 not 1855 as Rosenblum states, but Watts was a likely winner.

Seventy Years of Victorian Chess. 1926 by Edward Ivan Rosenblum is easily viewed from the State Library of Victoria web site

Copy the above title and paste it into a browser.

19-04-2021, 10:48 PM
Thomas Harlin, a former president of the Melbourne Chess Club, editor of the chess column in “The Australasian”, mathematician and school master gives a similar account of the 1856 tournament to Rosenblum in Bignold’s “Australian Chess Annual” published in 1896.

Thomas Harlin obituary.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/143301262?searchTerm=Thomas%20Harlin%20%20%20%20%2 0Chess

The Australian Chess Annual.

21-04-2021, 06:20 AM
Robert Brooking's account of the formation of the Melbourne chess club.


21-04-2021, 01:04 PM
Robert Brooking's account of the formation of the Melbourne chess club.

And I believe Robert Brooking is still alive!

21-04-2021, 01:15 PM
And I believe Robert Brooking is still alive!

Chapter 10 the Latvian Legacy includes an interesting anecdote on MCC gaining inheritance of the Late Rudzitis but also...a mention of Ozols as many time Victorian Champion....but no mention of his War Crimes. I guess if MCC wants to produce a new edition/edit the electronic version...may be a little (or not so little) note about it could be added.
Needless to say, I understand that the book was produced years ago when there may have been no knowledge of Ozols's war crimes.

21-04-2021, 03:05 PM
And I believe Robert Brooking is still alive!

I wondered about that. Perhaps someone could enlighten us.

21-04-2021, 03:17 PM
To recap, the first Melbourne Chess Club of 1851, lasted only a few weeks. The 1855 club organized the first Victorian Chess Tournament in 1856 and initiated a correspondence match with South Australia. It expired in 1857 and handed over the reins to new management. The 1857 club, according to Brooking, lasted a year then no MCC until 1866.

This time the tournament came first and the formation of the chess club came second. But what happened in the intervening years? In 1858 and 1859 there was a regular chess column in Bell’s Life in Victoria. Between 1860 and 1865 there was little mention of chess except for a short lived column by Delta. In 1866 we are back to a regular weekly chess column all about The Tournament.
1866 also saw the Argus newspaper giving an almost daily account of this new and wonderful thing, The Tournament.

Bells Life in Victoria 1858.


Bells Life in Victoria 1859.


Bells Life in Victoria 1860-65


Bells Life in Victoria 1866


21-04-2021, 03:29 PM
The Argus Newspaper's extraordinary coverage of the 1866 chess tournament:


22-04-2021, 05:41 PM
By 1869, there was a chess club at St Kilda and one at Emerald Hill, now known as South Melbourne. The Melbourne Chess Club had played its first telegraphic match against Adelaide the year before and was to organise a Victoria versus New South Wales match in 1870. For all the goss about their disputes, meetings, games, dinners, banquets and tournaments, read The Leader Chess column for 1869 below.


27-04-2021, 12:09 PM
The active and innovative Ballarat Chess Club is recording its own well written and extensive history which apparently began in 1856 during the Gold Rush era. “Bas van Riel has been actively collecting newspaper articles, searching Trove, and over his time living in Victoria, met many of the “recent” chess personalities of Ballarat.”


27-04-2021, 01:32 PM
John Wisker was an English chess player and journalist. By 1870, he was one of the world's ten best chess players, and the second-best English-born player, behind only Joseph Blackburn.
For health reasons, Wisker emigrated to Australia in 1876 living firstly in Brisbane then moving to Melbourne. In Australia, he wrote a chess column for the Australasian. In 1884, aged 37, Wisker died from bronchitis and tuberculosis. He is buried at the Boroondara Cemetery in Kew, Victoria. Below are his chess columns for 1881 and 1882.



11-05-2021, 01:01 PM
John Wisker died in January of 1884.


04-06-2021, 08:29 AM
Grand Master Ian Rogers lectures at the Melbourne Chess Club.

These lectures remembered, in particular, the life and games of International Master Greg Hjorth, (1963 - 2011). They feature his games against Robert Jamieson, Stephen Solomon, Tony Miles, Gary Kasparov, Bill Jordan, Serge Rubanraut and others.

The lectures have been progressively uploaded to YouTube by the Melbourne Chess Club.


08-06-2021, 08:01 PM
Two Hundred and Sixty Melbourne Chess Club Videos.

Master level lectures by Grant Szuveges, Ari Dale, Robert Jamieson, Julia Ryjanova, Ian Rogers, Guy West, David Smerdon and others aimed at club players. Around 262 videos, some just for fun.


20-06-2021, 07:32 AM
Grant Szuveges is the founder of GS Chess, Melbourne and former President of the Melbourne Chess Club.


FIDE Master, Dr Grant Szuveges on Junior Chess.


23-06-2021, 06:43 AM
Video edited by Patrick Cook, President of the Ballarat Chess Club.


29-08-2021, 09:13 AM
2011 Senior Oceania Zonal Championship.

Run by the Box Hill Chess Club. Tournament bulletins, photos and round by round cross tables. Thirty players competed.


1. Rujevic, Mirko VIC 2306 6
2 Kerr, Bill SA 1946 5.5
3 Jones, Brian A NSW 2069 5

12-09-2021, 09:13 AM
“H.E.Grant, born in Bengal during the mutiny and saved by his Indian ayah, became secretary (Of the Melbourne Chess Club) in 1897 and served the club as an office-bearer for the next 35 years. Champion of Victoria in 1907, and chess editor of the Leader from 1910 until 1931, this vast and witty man was the best of members, contributing to the game as strong player, writer and administrator. His work for the club was marked by various presentations.: the purse of sovereigns in 1912: the book of problems composed in his honour in 1914; the case of pipes at the dinner given by the Gundersens in 1925. Grant gave his life to the club for all these years, and when in 1931 he died at the age of 76 nearly half the club turned out for the funeral.”

From Bob Brooking’s https://www.melbournechessclub.org/care-for-a-game

Trove does not seem to have scanned the chess column in the Leader between 1919 and 1934.
Below are two examples of his column from earlier years.

Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918, 1935) Sat 5 Feb 1910

Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918, 1935) Sat 2 May 1914

On his death in 1931:
The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) Sat 5 Dec 1931
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/140844378?searchTerm=H%20E%20Grant%20%20%20%20ches s