The RJ Shield events are the longest running series of junior chess tournaments in Australia. They were first started by Hilda O'Callaghan in 1994 and known simply as "Novice Tournaments". They were later named after legendary International Master and former Australian Chess Champion, Robert Jamieson. Robert is still involved with these events; if you start playing in RJ Shield's you might just be lucky enough to meet him one day!
Today we run a number of smaller RJ Shield events in various locations - points scored in these events qualify you to the end-of-year finals.
You may not believe it, but before 1995 there was only one junior chess tournament each year in Victoria!
Thankfully a lady named Hilda O’Callaghan moved to Melbourne from the progressive city of Perth, where junior tournaments were held on a more regular basis. She organised the first “Novice Tournaments” in Vermont South; but sadly returned to Perth all too soon.
David Cordover, recently crowned Australian Junior Champion and with energy to burn. David’s coach, friend and mentor was International Master Robert Jamieson. In honour of Robert Jamieson’s (too many to mention) achievements the 1996 RJ Shield Novice Tournaments were born.
Now, 20+ years later, we are lucky enough to have Robert Jamieson attending events, inspiring kids and handing out trophies. You never know; if you do well enough you might even win a lesson with the legendary Robert Jamieson!
IM Robert Jamieson Age: 59 and 3/4 Rating: 2438 Country of Birth: Australia School Attended: Haileybury Favourite sports/hobbies other than chess: Tennis, gardening, eating chocolate. Greatest Chess Achievement: IM title at Zonal in 1975 and GM norm at Lugano Olympiad 1982 (shared bronze medal for board 2 with Kasparov). Greatest Coaching Achievement: Coaching David Cordover (Aust. Junior Champ 1996) and helping him get interested in chess. Greatest non-Chess Achievement: Treasurer, Australian Davis Cup Tennis Foundation. One thing to get more kids playing chess: Kids need heroes/role models so invest heavily in the very best juniors (like Bobby Cheng). Favourite holiday spot: Metung Pets: 2 dogs, 2 chooks, 7 ducks, 4 guinea pigs and some goldfish. Best chess quote: "Chess is a constant battle against your own stupidity." Best chess joke: The ACF website. Favourite player: Karpov, followed by Purdy.