Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Life's little coincidences

In 1986 I had an enjoyable two weeks in Melbourne, attending the Australian Junior Championship. While I was too old to play (I was 19 years old), I accompanied a couple of friends (Paul Ingwersen and Justin Marshall) who did take part. Apart from the chess I watched some cricket and saw a couple of interesting movies (The Wall, Where the Buffalo Roam, and Reefer Madness) and generally had a good time.
Fast forward 30 years and once again I find myself in Melbourne. Obviously I am a lot older, and my trip to Melbourne is due to work rather than chess. But in what is one of life's weird coincidences I find myself staying in  hotel located right next door to where the tournament took place in 1986 (on these very dates IIRC). At the time the Victorian Chess Centre was located in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, and the tournament was played in their rooms. Shane Hill (who later became an IM) won the 9 round event, ahead of what was quite a strong field.
The VCA maintained the premises up until 1990 when financial issues meant they had to give up the lease. But around this time the Melbourne Chess Club were able to sell their small premises in North Melbourne to purchase larger club rooms in Fitzroy, and provide a venue for future events in Melbourne (including the 1993 Australian Junior)


Anonymous said...

The VCA maintained the premises at Elizabeth St in a vain attempt to put Melbourne Chess Club, which had moved around the corner, out of business. The VCA no longer held events such as interclub and the Victorian Open at Melbourne Chess Club and therefore greatly reduced MCC's income stream. It was a vendetta which ultimately cost the VCA an enormous sum of money without achieving anything except temporarily upsetting MCC.

Graham Clayton said...

Is "Reefer Madness" that classic 1930's film?

Shaun Press said...

Yes it is. It may have been on a double bill with 'J-Men Forever'