Go to the Resources Page
for NZCF information, including Registrations, Ratings, Fee Payments, Vega,
Arbiters, Titled Players, the Handbook, Master Points, etc.
Congress 2020 - Don't Miss Out
An important reminder from Congress Organiser Bob Smith: the first
deadline for payment is fast approaching. Save yourself some money
and get your entry in for the NZ Open or Major Open by 1st November.
The first ever Congress in Tauranga is shaping up to be one to
remember, with three GMs and five IMs already confirmed.
What better way to spend the height of summer than playing chess
in one of the country’s most beautiful and popular holiday spots?
Rooms are still available at the venue, the 4.5 star Trinity Wharf
(right on the water), but may not be for much longer.
Book now by phone 0800 5778700, and quote "New Zealand Chess
Champs" for a 20% discount.
The New Zealand Chess Federation is inviting applications for selection for the Open and
Women’s teams to participate in the 44th World Chess Olympiad, Khanty-Mansisyk, Russia,
1st to 15th of August 2020. There are five places in each team.
To apply players must complete the linked application form (PDF
and editable DOC) and ensure it reaches the NZCF
Secretary by the 15th December, 2019. Selections will be announced by NZCF on or before
the 15th February 2020, after the selection panel takes into account results in the New
Zealand Championship in Tauranga in January.
One place in the Olympiad Open team can be won automatically by a player becoming outright
New Zealand Champion in Tauranga. That player may take up their place even if they have
not previously applied for selection.
Applicants should proceed on the basis that they will be required to pay their travel costs
to and from the Olympiad, although NZCF will seek to organize fund-raising
to reduce this if possible. As usual with chess Olympiads, food and accommodation are provided
free of charge.
The South Island Championship in Hanmer Springs is underway and has attracted a strong field. You can
follow it on Vega here.
Chief organiser and arbiter Craig Hall is getting games from the top ten boards onto the Vega
page promptly (each round is loaded by the end of the following round), and is also updating
a master consolidated PGN here.
Note that a South Island Rapid champs will go ahead, not at Hanmer (the venue wasn't available) but
next month at the Canterbury Chess Club (see the calendar).
Thanks to Philip Hair for completing another set of scans of enjoyable old New Zealand chess magazines, this time the
New Zealand Chess Gazette from the 1930s, which are now available here (look to the bottom of the page).
Thanks also to Hilton Bennett who provided these magazines.
2019 Summit Rapid
The Summit Chess Club is still the new kid on the block as far as the Auckland chess scene is
concerned. But Ying Wang is an energetic organiser and the Summit club is determined to make
some noise and be noticed. The second annual Summit Rapid weekend open is coming up on November
17th. There are numerous attractive features, including the superb Alexandra Park venue and
a generous $1450 (Poison Pawn, D & D Financial Consultants Grand Prand Prix Class 1) prizefund.
Check out more details on the Calendar Page
2019 Interschools Finals
Mark Noble reports: The National Interschools Finals was held on the 28th & 29th of September.
A total of 66 Teams and over 270 players played in the event. A great spectacle to see.
In the Secondary Section Auckland Grammar were clear favourites to win the event with
Olympiad player Daniel Gong leading their side. The rug was quickly pulled out from
under their feet as Euan McDougall came in with the upset win against Daniel in the
4th round. This left the path open for Macleans College to sneak past and secure
The Intermediate Section was a smooth path to victory for the top seed Takapuna Normal.
This team managed the feat of winning all of their matches and with a score of 23 wins,
4 draws and only 1 loss.
The Primary Section was very tightly contested between Milford, Pinehurst and Hillborough
with all three finishing on a score of 11/14 Match points. Milford and Pinehurst even
had the exact same number of games won in the event (21) and so a second tie break was
needed to declare Milford the Primary National Champions.
It is great to see such tight competition and will be very interesting to see how these
teams get on in future years.
Results are on the Interschools Results Page.
A Couple of NZCF Announcements
1) Interschools Finals 2020 – Expression of Interest invited
NZCF Council invites Expressions of Interest from organisers wishing to stage the
Interschools Finals, 26-27 September 2020. The Interschools Finals is the premier
team event for junior players in New Zealand. School teams qualify for the national
finals from Regional competitions played throughout New Zealand, in which over 2000
individual pupils traditionally take part.
Expressions of interest may be emailed to the NZCF Secretary
by 15th October 2019, for consideration at the NZCF Council meeting end of October.
They've taken a while to come through, but thankfully new direct titles from the Guam Oceania Zonal, and
the Auckland Oceania Junior Championship events have now been awarded. From the Guam event, John Duneas is
now an FM and Tony Dowden a CM. From the Oceania Junior Alphaeus Ang and Allen Fan are now FMs. There are
also a number of titles pending achievement of rating minimums, as follows;
Meng, Richard - FM title Conditional 2100 rating
Renjith, Sravan - FM title Conditional 2100 rating
Qin, Oscar - CM title Conditional 2000 rating
Zhang, Kendrick - CM title Conditional 2000 rating
Zhang, Jasmine - WIM title Conditional 2000 rating
Braganza, Nadia - WFM title Conditional 1900 rating
Yuan, Kimberley - WCM title Conditional 1800 rating
Ning, Isabelle - WCM title Conditional 1800 rating
Xu, Hannah - WCM title Conditional 1800 rating
These titles now appear on the lists in the Resources page. Keong Ang reports that
Jasmine Zhang should achieve the rating threshold this Sunday September 1 when the next FIDE rating list is announced (Update: Confirming that Jasmine reached the threshold and her WIM title is now officially confirmed on the FIDE website).
The North Shore weekender is a long standing fixture on the chess calendar. Now renamed for
its late founder, the Peter Stuart Memorial was held this year on the weekend of 24th and 25th
August, and the Open Tournament finished in a three way tie between Alphaeus Ang, Evan Capel and Ben
Hague. The photo (credit: Helen Milligan) shows Felix Xie receiving a prize from club Vice President Neil Gunn. Felix
was the lowest rated player in the Open, but scored very well. See the Results page and also the new Archives pages.
The NZ Chess History project is slowly making progress. Not only are the Archives pages taking shape,
the first tranche of 23 issues of the impressive New Zealand Chessplayer magazine is now complete, it
can be viewed here. Thanks to Philip Hair for the hard work of scanning these magazines.
Last but not least Michael Freeman has delivered a Grand Prix progress report (see the GP Page).
South Island Championships in Hamner Springs
New Zealand’s most picturesque spa town will be the location of this year's South
Island Championship, October 5th-10th. Open to all (including overseas players),
the event features $5000 in prizes, thanks to generous support from NZCF and
Benson Insurance Brokers.
The venue is the fine Heritage Hotel in the Hanmer Springs town centre. The top
South Island Player will be crowned 2019 Champion, while all New Zealand players
will be eligible to win New Zealand National Master Title Points for coming in
1st-4th place. For Entry form and further details see the Calendar page.
FIDE Arbiters' Seminar in the Solomon Islands
A FIDE Arbiters' Seminar is going to be organized from 4th to 6th September 2019 in Honiara, Solomon Islands, by the Solomon Islands Chess Federation, under the auspices of FIDE.
The venue of the Seminar will be the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands Conference Room in Honiara.
The Lecturer will be IA Press, Shaun (PNG), FIDE Lecturer.
The Seminar will give norms and titles of FIDE Arbiter, according to the Regulations for the titles of Arbiters.
For more detailed information:
Email: email@example.com Phone: +677 7246165
All Oceania Federations are invited to send participants to this seminar. The Oceania Chess Confederation may be able to offer some funding to assist with expenses.
Senior, Junior and Oceania Senior Champions
The Howick-Pakuranga Festival tournaments are complete, and the trophies and prizes have been
distributed. All the results are on the Results page.
The photo montage shows NZ and Oceania Senior Champion Mike Steadman and NZ Junior Champion Alphaeus Ang along
with organiser and Howick-Pakuranga stalwart Dr Tony Booth.
See also the NZCF Facebook page.
Special thanks to sponsors Poison Pawn and D & D Financial Consultants.
Howick-Pakuranga Festival of Chess
Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club are marking their 50th anniversary in appropriate fashion by running a series
of important tournaments, as can be seen on the Calendar. First up is the NZ
Junior Championship, shown in our action shot here. Next comes the Oceania & New Zealand Senior Championship,
update: which is now underway,
liveboard link here.
The tournaments are being held at the Howick Bowling
Club and spectators are welcome. So if you're in Auckland, why not drop in and check out the action. Thanks
to sponsors Poison Pawn and D & D Financial Consultants.
Peter Stuart NZ Database Update
After negotiating some initial speedbumps the Peter Stuart NZ Chess Database is now being
smoothly updated. This project has its home on the History page. The
latest update includes
all the A Grade games from the 2019 edition of NZ's biggest Open, the 42nd Trusts (thank you Bob Smith - see another
contribution from Bob here).
now a complete collection of 2018 North Island Championship games, plus Bob Mitchell's World Amateur
Championship games and other games from recent NZ Chess Bulletins.
There's not only some very recent
Auckland Interclub games, there's also a game from the 1947 Auckland Interclub. From the 2nd grade fixture
between the Dominion Road and Papatoetoe chess clubs to be precise. That might not sound very exciting,
but it was actually a fabulous game with a beautiful mating finish. One of the great things about our game
is how amazing action highlights can be preserved in perfect fidelity forever.
The 1947 game was transcribed from the first issue of The New
Zealand Chessplayer magazine. We are steadily scanning and uploading all 23 issues of this excellent older
magazine. All the chess from the first
issue has been transcribed and made live and interactive.
And of course all the NZ games that were transcribed are in the latest
version of the Peter Stuart NZ database. Some excellent Bob Wade games that don't appear in the standard
databases are amongst the gems here.
The latest issue of the experimental NZ Chess Bulletin interactive magazine is now available.
It features a report from Bob Mitchell (pictured) on his remarkable victory in an Amateur Senior World
Championship tournament last year! Amongst other things we learn that as the wins rolled in Bob
allowed himself a dram or two. A must read!
One of the benefits of an online magazine is that past mistakes can be rectified, and a small article from Bob Smith that was inadvertently omitted
from he June issue has been added in July.
The traditional Upper Hutt tournament was won by Scott Wastney, completing a Wellington
Open Rapid double after his recent Kapiti win. One of Scott's wins features in the
NZ Chess Bulletin discussed above (thanks Brian Nijman for happily annotating a loss!).
Check the Calendar for an exciting new venue for the North Island championships in July next year.
Finally a plea from Stan Yee for tournament organisers to make sure they're using the
latest Vega (v126.96.36.199 currently). Download instructions are on the Resources page.
Peter Stuart Training Tournament
Eagle eyed visitors to our tournament Calendar will have noticed a new event
was recently added for the weekend of July 20th and 21st.
The Peter Stuart training tournament is an innovation from North Shore Chess Club. As
the name suggests, the emphasis of the tournament is on training and improvement. The
tournament is funded by Peter Stuart's bequest to North Shore chess club and the goal
is to further Peter's vision of promoting junior chess and instilling love for the
The key innovation in this tournament is on-site coaching from GM Dejan Bojkov and
others for immediate feedback between rounds. Truly striking while the iron
is hot and helping players improve their thinking process while their game thoughts
are still fresh in their minds! North Shore are promising more initiatives in a similar
vein so stay tuned. All the details are on the Calendar Page.
Revamp of the New Zealand National Master Title
NZCF Council has drawn up new rules for qualifying for the title of New Zealand
National Master, and is inviting public consultation before they come into
effect in July. The structure will remain the same as previously, where 100
Master Points (gained from good results in tournaments) will qualify for the
National Master Title, or 40 Master Points will gain the Candidate Master Title.
However the range of events whereby players can qualify for master points has
been greatly broadened. Previously master points could only be won in a handful
of official NZCF events. Under the new rules all significant Open and All-Play-
All events staged in New Zealand can now potentially qualify for the awarding of
Any Master Points that players have previously won shall continue to be valid.
More detailed information is available in this
Evan Capel took care of business in the 42nd Trusts Open to win New Zealand's biggest
weekend prize. With multiple winner Ben Hague absent, and top seed and defending champion
Anthony Ker out of form, Evan did what he needed to do conceding just two draws and scoring
a solid FIDE 2300 performance. Others to impress included dark horses John Duneas (2nd= with
upset wins over Ker and Steadman), David Vincenti (2nd= and undefeated) and Bob Gibbons
(6th, upset 1st round win over Ker, +44 FIDE points and U2200 1st).
The annual Kapiti Rapid is an important event in the Wellington region. This
year's version featured a happy and surprisingly large (see photo) crowd for
what is usually a small affair. A new generation competed in a both the main
event and a separate junior tournament. FM Scott Wastney held off rivals
IMs Dive and Ker for first prize, and Aucklander Romie Guerro slipped
through the gap to take second (see Results). Thanks to Gordon Lyall and
the re-energised Kapiti Club management for a very successful event.
By way of contrast, the Trusts Open is by far the biggest weekend
tournament, and the 42nd annual tournament is taking place on Queens Birthday weekend June 1st-3rd,
so act quickly and secure your place. All the details are on the Calendar.
New NZCF Constitution
At the NZCF AGM in January a new Constitution was approved by member clubs to simplify administration.
Regular tournament players are no longer required to be individual direct members of NZCF at a cost of
$20 each. Henceforth simply being a member of any NZCF Affiliated or Associated Club now entitles a
player to participate in NZCF rated tournaments.
As a result the charging system for Clubs to be registered for 2019 is now also changed, with Clubs
paying a flat-rate charge of $10 per club member as follows:
NZCF Affiliated Clubs: Will declare their Club Membership figures (emailing the list of names to NZCF)
on 15th November 2019. Affiliated Clubs will be invoiced $10 per Club Member to retrospectively cover
the year 2019, with payment due by 31st December 2019.
NZCF Associated Clubs: Will declare their year 2019 Club Membership figures (emailing the list of
names to NZCF) no later than 31st January 2020. Associated Clubs will be invoiced $10 per Club
Member to retrospectively cover the year 2019, with payment due by 28th February 2020.
This new system removes a great deal of needless bureaucracy that was affecting tournament organisers and
Club officials, and it also supports Members Clubs by making club membership compulsory.
Mike Steadman won last year's North Island Championships in Palmerston North in dominating fashion with
a picket fence scoreline. To his credit, Mike is travelling south again to defend his title. This time he will have
to get past each of the four "big dogs" (this is Mike's own idiosyncratic term) from the nation's capital, as well
as perennial contender Bob Smith and a host of other worthies if he wants to hold onto his title.
The tournament (which incorporates the traditional Wellington Easter Open) is being held at
the CQ Hotel in downtown Wellington over all four days of Easter.
Follow on Vega here.
Update: Fifth seed Mike delivered in emphatic fashion, scoring 7.5/8 against a much stronger field than
last year, with a FIDE 2448 performance rating and a gain of 40 FIDE Elo points as rewards to go with the prize
money and trophy.
Interclub Chess Match between the Franklin Chess Club and the Thames Chess Club
A report from Ron Lanning of the Franklin CC:
On Saturday 23rd March the Franklin CC travelled to the Thames CC to
play an interclub match. The event was accompanied by a morning tea of biscuits, chocolate
eggs, tea and coffee. The Match was officially won by the Franklin team by 6-4 but it was
a close run thing, it was 3 games each after 6 games! The Games were played in tremendous
spirit and the day was a very enjoyable one for all involved. Interclub matches between
the two clubs will be run twice a year. Contact details for both clubs are on the Chess Clubs page.
Many thanks to Russell from the Thames Club for organising the match and to Age Concern Thames
for allowing us to use their premises.
JETS Junior Training
The New Zealand Chess Federation is pleased to announce that we have the opportunity for
two young New Zealand players to attend the Australian JETS (Junior Elite Training Squad) camp
to be held in Adelaide from July 10th to 14th 2019. Note: Applications close April 15th.
For more information and to apply for one of the spots please download the application form.
2020 Congress Entry Form
A comprehensive entry form containing all the details about the exciting Tauranga Congress in January 2020
is now available. See the Calendar page.
NZ Chess Bulletin, March 2019
A second issue of the experimental NZ Chess Bulletin online magazine is now
2018 Grand Prix Results
2018 Grand Prix Standings are now available on the Grand Prix page.
A total of $6520 of prizes are to be distributed amongst 31 players competing in 10
categories. The Grand Prix is designed to reward consistent good performance in
tournaments throughout New Zealand.
Ben Hague once again takes out the top prize of $1500.
NZCF would like to once again thank the Grand Prix sponsors, Poison Pawn and
D & D Financial Consultants, and the people behind those organisations Michael
Freeman and Martin Dreyer for their continuing generous support.
The official prizegiving will once again be at the Latvian Rapid on
March 16th (see the Calendar). If you've won a prize email the
NZCF Treasurer Winsome Stretch at
to discuss collecting your prize.
Guam Oceania Zonal
The picture shows FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich playing the ceremonial first moves against Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio of Guam to
mark the opening of the 2019 Zone 3.6 Championships being held there from February 18th to 23rd.
As revealed in the pilot (trial?) issue of The New Zealand Chess Bulletin the tournament featured
a massive upset in round 1.
Hawkes Bay Rapid
Weekend tournaments in two of the most beautiful parts of the country are a perennial highlight of this time of year. A visitor from the south swept
in to pick up first prize at the Hawkes Bay Rapid, see the Results page. Next
up is the Bay of Plenty Rapid on February 23rd, see the Calendar page.
Blindfold Clock Simul in Wellington
Blindfold king Timur Gareyev took on twelve players in a hastily organised evening exhibition
on the first Wellington club night of 2019. Juniors Ryan Winter and Michael Sole managed
a win and a draw respectively, while the grandmaster scored eight wins. The other two
games were also draws, and were distinguished by the novelty feature of IMs Ker and Dive
playing blindfold themselves. On the plus side they did have scoresheets and empty boards but
playing without increment was a significant handicap, especially as Russell tried to convert
a winning ending. Down to less than a minute, Russell sportingly continued to write down his
moves before pressing his clock, and a gentlemen's draw was really the only satisfactory
conclusion. Coverage (including a short video) on Stuff.co.nz here.
A Successful 126th Congress
Thanks to Chief Organiser Paul Spiller, hosts Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club, chief sponsor
Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia Pacific, Grand Prix sponsors Michael Freeman and Martin Dreyer,
plus arbiters Bruce Pollard, Craig Hall and Ying Wang for putting on another great tournament
at a great location. The overseas marquee
players showed their class. GM Gareyev followed up his unbeaten equal first in the NZ Open
with dominant 8.5/9 and 9/9 scores in the Rapid and Blitz respectively. Amongst the locals, the
established elite showed they aren't ready to relinquish their grip in classical chess, but a new
generation shone in rapid and blitz. All results on the Results Page.
Summer of Chess in Full Swing
The George Trundle and the Oceania Youth Championships are finished. Full results are available on the
Congress is now complete as well. In the Open Championship Clarke draws in the last round, Gareyev wins to join him as 1st= on 7/9. IMs Ker and
Dive both draw to finish as NZ leaders and so joint NZ champions on 6/9. For more see the Results Page.
The Rapid and Blitz championships were held on the last two days. Links:
NZ Rapid Championship Vega page NZ Lightning Championship Vega page
Rowan Wood on Chesschat.org sums up the Rapid Tournament. "GM Timur Gareyev has won the NZ Rapid tournament with 8.5
points after he defeated Anthony Ker in the last round. He finished one and a half points clear of three players, including
the new NZ Rapid title winner, Ralph Hart. Hart won the title with a win over David Notley. Congratulations. In a surprising
second place for the NZ title is Sravan Renjith with 6.5 points. He was undefeated with 4 wins and 5 draws. GM Gareyev was
the only other unbeaten player. Renjith won his last round game against Johnson Li. On 6 points, Anthony Ker and Russell Dive."
NZ Open Championship PGN rounds 1 to 9 here NZ Major Open PGN rounds 1 to 9 here NZ Open Championship Vega page NZ Major Open Championship Vega page NZ Open Junior Championship Vega pageResults George Trundle PGN rounds 1 to 9 here Oceania Juniors Open U20 PGN rounds 1 to 9 here
An archive of all NZCF website front page stories since 2007 is available here.