Tomorrow: Annual Bench & Bar v Solicitors Chess Match


The 30th Annual Bench & Bar v Solicitors chess match will be held on Thursday, 30 November 2023. Any chess enthusiasts amongst the Bar or Judiciary are invited to participate in this annual event.

This longstanding tradition has seen matches every year since 1993, with the exception of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Typically held on a weekday evening, the games last approximately two hours, followed by a social gathering that extends the evening from 6.00 to 10.00pm.

The number of players can vary each year, with teams ranging from 12 to 20 participants on each side. In its early years, the barristers boasted a formidable team, led by Terrey Shaw, an international master who represented Australia in chess Olympiads for several decades.

John Purdy, a former Family Court judge and two-time Australian champion in his 20s, was another formidable player. While the top boards maintain their strength, what adds to the charm of the match is the inclusion of casual players on both sides—individuals who seldom engage in competitive chess but share a love for the game.

This year's venue is the Allens Sydney office on Phillip Street, two of whose partners are playing in the solicitors' team. It is a wonderful venue complete with catered refreshments. New players are always welcome, and if you're interested in joining this year, please reach out to us at

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