41st Trusts Open
New Zealand's biggest (and best? - perhaps we shouldn't be the judge) weekend open is coming up fast. You can't enter on the
day, so don't leave it to the last minute, get your entry in right now. All the details are on the Calendar Page.
The picture shows founder and chief organiser Bob Smith cutting the 40th Birthday cake last year. (Shouldn't that be 39th birthday? - there are only two fundamental
problems in the universe; death, taxes and off by one errors). Bob and Viv haven't lived in Auckland for several years, yet this great
tournament is still very much their baby. Chess in New Zealand is absolutely dependent on the hard work of
dedicated people like Bob and Viv.
Gawain Jones Simul
English GM Gawain Jones, pictured here with wife Sue Maroroa, is of course a great friend of New Zealand Chess. These days Sue
plays for England too. At least she still supports the All Blacks :-) Who knows, maybe the change from NZL to ENG is temporary and
eventually Gawain and Sue will come home and live in New Zealand!
In the meantime we'll happily settle for occasional visits to family and friends. One is coming up this month and during their time
here Gawain will be playing a simultaneous exhibition at the Howick Bowling club on May 29th. If you get in quick you can play!
Details are on the Calendar Page.
New Zealand Chess History Project
Eagle-eyed visitors to this site may have noticed a new section. The NZ Chess History Page is a new project. The
idea is to create a digital archive that captures the most important history of chess in New Zealand in one well organised place.
The page as it exists at the moment serves just to establish a starting point. As the old story says, the longest journey begins
with the smallest step. Hopefully in time we will have very complete records of major tournaments in New Zealand, a great collection
of photographs, PDFs of recent NZ Chess magazines and scans of older magazines, and a host of other material.
Making this possible will require some newer website technology, some wider collaboration, some things we haven't even thought
of yet. Stay tuned.
Important Update: NZCF has obtained permission to make the games database curated by the late Peter Stuart freely available. Check
the history page for more information.
Appointment of Women’s Team Captain for Batumi
NZCF is pleased to announce that Brazilian IM Herman van Riemsdijk has agreed to take the role of Women's Team Captain for Batumi 2018.
Herman is a frequent visitor to NZ and is very familiar with the NZ chess scene. Many NZ players have had the opportunity to meet him or
play against him during his visits here. He has had considerable Olympiad experience as a player for Brazil and we are sure that his
input will be invaluable to the Women’s team, both before and during the Olympiad.
There's more Olympiad information on the Olympiad Page.
First 2018 Grand Prix Results
A new Grand Prix season is under way and 2018 GP administrator Michael Freeman (also a sponsor let's not
forget) has posted the first report here (pdf document).
Amongst the cast of "usual suspects" some notable performances catch the eye. Ben Hague (of course!) jumps out ahead to
his customary leading position in the Open field. Alphaeus Ang is his closest challenger in the Open and heads the Junior section.
A less familiar name to many will be Wellington 15 year old Ryan Winter who locals have enjoyed watching take giant strides recently.
Actually enjoyment isn't really the right word for it when you're on the wrong end of defeat as your web administrator found at the
Wellington Open. Ryan is second in the U2100 section and near the top of the Junior section.
There's more information about the Grand Prix on the Grand Prix page. There's also pictures of 2017 prizewinners
picking up their prizes on the Facebook page. Thanks as always to 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 Wellington Open was held again at the CQ Hotel in downtown Wellington. A strong field showed up headed
by Wellington's IM duo Anthony Ker and Russell Dive. For once they never played each other (it really was a strong
tournament), Russell losing early to young Palmerston North CM Jack James. Jack also took the only lost half point off Anthony
and may have done even better if a car breakdown hadn't caused an unfortunate round 5 default. In fact the region's youthful contingent
featured strongly throughout - starting with a killing quick Black attack in a round one upset of Mike Steadman by local
junior Michael Sole, and continuing through a marathon round 5 clash between Ker and Ryan Winter, another rapidly improving local junior.
WFM Layla Timergazi was another youngster who installed herself on the top boards early and she ended up amongst those 2nd= after
Anthony Ker as you can see on the Results page.
The photo shows the happy winner with arbiter Ian Sellen. Many thanks to Ian and the other organisers at the Wellington Chess Club and
Grand Prix sponsor Michael Freeman.
One of New Zealand's favourite annual events has been successfully hosted again
by the Howick-Pakaranga club. Many thanks to the organising club, sponsor Martin Dreyer of D & D Financial Consultants,
and arbiters Bob Gibbons and Ying Wang.
The photo shows eventual A Grade winner FM Alexei Kulashko and FM Bob Smith steeling themselves for the
final round on top board.
More pictures are on the Facebook page and of
course results for all grades are on the Results page.
The Grand Prix prizegiving was held at this tournament, there will be more information about that
at a later date.
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 Melbourne from July 9th to 13th 2018. NZ was represented in 2017 by Daniel Gong.
For more information and to apply for one of the spots please download the application form.
Direct titles opportunity at 2019 Oceania Junior in Auckland
New Zealand will play host to the OCEANIA YOUTH & OCEANIA UNDER 20 CHAMPIONSHIPS,
January 5th-13th 2019 in Auckland. This is an official FIDE (World Chess Federation) competition.
As such there are direct titles on offer, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. For example:
U20 section - the gold medal winner can potentially win a Grandmaster norm. Players who are first equal may gain an instant International Master (IM) title.
U18 - potential IM titles (and norms) to be won.
U16 – potential IM norms and FM (Fide Master) titles.
U14 and u12 sections – potential FM and CM (Candidate Master) titles.
U10 and U8 - gold, bronze and silver medal winners may win a CM title.
Further details about eligibility for direct titles can be
seen on the Calendar Page.
Oceania countries eligible to participate are: New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Papua New
Guinea, Solomon Islands, Palau, Guam and Nauru plus for this event non-member French
Polynesia (including New Caledonia).
The Championships are being organised by the Auckland Chess Centre, to be staged at
Alexandra Park, Greenlane. This will be an opportunity not to be missed. Players from abroad
can stay on in Auckland and play in the New Zealand Open Championship starting January 14th.
NZCF appoints Trophy Custodian
Stan Yee (Howick-Pakuranga Club) has taken on this newly created role. The plan is to keep track
of NZCF trophies with a comprehensive location list (including photographic records where appropriate),
which will assist organisers to get annually awarded trophies to where they need to be for the next event.
NZCF is keen to track down trophies from the past that may have fallen off the radar, and Stan will
also be investigating NZCF providing miniatures for some events, so winners can retain a permanent
momento. Stan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Battle of the Bays
The Bay of Plenty Rapid was the first New Zealand 25+5 rapid. It has become a
fixture on the NZ chess calendar and 2018's event was another successful event
with a quality field. Ben Hague won with 5.5 from 6,
(check the Results page) just like last year.
Ben seems to rack up an amazing number of tournament wins.
One day we'll have to get NZCF ratings officer Rowan Wood to explain why his
NZCF rating hasn't leapt to Carlsenesque heights.
Hot on the heels of the BOP Rapid comes the Hawkes Bay Rapid on Sunday 11th March.
Now in its 6th year the Hawkes Bay event is still the new boy in town comparatively
speaking. But it offers a similar formula in a similarly attractive part of the
country. Both events are class one Grand Prix events.
Check the Calendar page for more details.
Information for organisers - updated NZCF Tournament Rules
Two new tournament rules have recently been added by
Rule 1.1.8 (NZCF website shall be official website) makes
it a requirement that the most important NZCF tournaments
(such as Congress, New Zealand Seniors, New Zealand Junior,
etc) are run on the official NZCF website www.newzealandchess.co.nz.
This applies whether NZCF is organising the events directly or
has licensed a club or other third party.
Rule 1.1.9 (Entry form) makes it a requirement that any NZCF
or FIDE rated tournament in New Zealand (but excluding internal club events) must promptly supply
the Entry Form in digital format to NZCF for approval and listing
on the Calendar page of the official NZCF website. The contact
email address is NZCFcalendar@newzealandchess.co.nz. The Entry
Form published on the NZCF website shall be the official and
These rules will ensure a high quality of dependable information
is available promptly to participants, sponsors and spectators.
It will also enable important tournament information to be
reliably archived by NZCF for long term future reference.
The full wording of the two rules can be seen
at http://www.newzealandchess.co.nz/resources.html, Tournament
Rules section. Most events in New Zealand will already be compliant –
those that are not are kindly asked to rectify this as soon as possible.
Final 2017 Grand Prix Results
Final 2017 Grand Prix Standings are now available here (pdf document) and
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.
The remarkable 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.
Martin Dreyer will make some Grand Prix presentations at the Latvian Rapid on
March 24th (see the Calendar). If you've won a prize email the
NZCF Treasurer Winsome Stretch at
to discuss collecting your prize.
43rd World Chess Olympiad, Batumi
The NZCF selectors have chosen the New Zealand squads for the Batumi Olympiad, September 23rd – October 7th.
In provisional board order they are:
1. IM Russell Dive
2. FM Ben Hague
3. FM Alexei Kulashko
4. IM Anthony Ker
5. FM Daniel Gong
1. CM Helen Milligan
2. WCM Vyanla Punsalan
3. WFM Jasmine Zhang
4. WCM Joy Qin
5. WCM Nicole Qin
The teams are chosen from a list of players who have confirmed themselves available.
Head of Delegation is Hilton Bennett. The Open Team Captain/Coach is Bulgarian Grandmaster
Dejan Bojkov, while the Women’s Team Captain is yet to be confirmed.
ACC Junior Chess Series announced
Alex Huang has organised a new
series of junior rapid tournaments, held monthly at the Auckland Chess Centre.
All tournaments are NZCF rated and part of the Poison Pawn Grand Prix.
See the Calendar Page for details.
A Successful 125th NZ Congress
The tournament wraps up today (Jan 12) with a public simultaneous exhibition by French GM Fabien Libiszewski.
All results are on the Results Page. Congratulations to chief organiser Mark Noble
and his team, and head arbiter Keong Ang for a very successful event.
Pictured: Hannah Xu collects her 1st, Blitz under 1300 prize and helps the photographer frame the photo.
Photo courtesy of Simon Lyall.
More of Simon's congress photo albums:
Vive La France
Rowan Wood once again sums things up perfectly.
It's a French quinella for the 2018 New Zealand Open. GM Adrien Demuth has won the tournament with 8/9,
a full point ahead of GM Fabien Libiszewski. Before the start of the final round, seven players were in
contention to be NZ Champion. From this group emerged two players, Russell Dive and Alphaeus Ang.
Six points is the magic number. Dive took control of his game with Daniel Gong on move 31 and went on
to win in 53 moves. Ang established an advantage as early as move 14 against Hans Gao, winning in just
26 moves. This is Alphaeus's first New Zealand Champion title and Russell's
fifth (86/87, 95/96, 98/99, 2015 and now 2018). Congratulations!
The New Zealand Major Open was won by Australian Leon Kempen with 7.5 points, ahead of Stan Yee on 7 with
three players tied for third on 6.5 points: Laurens Goormachtigh (BEL), Ryan Winter and Alan Winfield.
Rapid final standings: Fabien Libiszewski, Mike Steadman (NZ Rapid Champ) 7.5; Adrien Demuth 7;
Darryl Johansen 6.5; Russell Dive, Alphaeus Ang, Anthony Ker and Jack James 6.
125th New Zealand Congress
Congress started on January 1st.
Stop Press: 1st Adrien Demuth (9), 2nd Fabien Libiszewski (8), 3rd= and joint NZ Champions Alphaeus Ang and Russell Dive (6)
Rowan Wood on ChessChat sets the scene for an exciting final round to the MillenniumHotels.com NZ Open:
The final round of the New Zealand Open takes place Tuesday (NZ time). It's fairly safe to say that GM Adrien Demuth of
France has the tournament in the bag with a clear point lead over his compatriot GM Fabian Libiszewski. Demuth needs only a
draw with white against Bob Smith to win outright. Mike Steadman has black against Libiszewski while Daniel Gong, the third
of the New Zealand trio on 5.5 points plays four time winner Russell Dive. .
These are the leading scores for New Zealand players: Smith, Steadman and Gong 5.5; Allen Fan, Dive, Hans Gao and Alphaeus Ang 5.
Out of contention now are Ben Hague and thirteen time winner Anthony Ker on 4.5 points.
Six points appears to be the popular score for winning the Silver Rook. Smith and Steadman have Black against the French GMs
and probably would be happy with half-a-point to move to 6. They will then hope that Dive does not lose to Gong. A draw moves
Gong to six points while Dive must win to get there. Gao and Ang face off in a potential winner takes all while Fan has a
difficult task with black against Australian GM Darryl Johansen. All this speculation counts for nothing though if any of
the leading three players can win their round 9 games.
Be sure to watch the live action here.
Quick links to final standings in the classical tournaments:
Simon Lyall's congress photo albums:
Latest Open Crosstable
Latest Major Open Crosstable
Please see the
for more information, including links to all Vega files (including pairings) for all tournaments, and links to live games.
Peter Stuart, RIP
Peter's funeral will be held at Forrest's Funeral Chapel, 8 Glen Road Browns Bay, Monday 19th February at 11am.
It is with great sadness
that we have learned of the death of our friend and colleague Peter Stuart. We
offer our condolences to all his family and friends. Peter's contribution to
NZCF and New Zealand chess has been immense.
www.newzealandchess.nz for more
Looking for a Christmas present?
Dreyer has written a book which might be just the thing for your friends and
relatives: The 100 Greatest Sportspeople of All Time. Does it have any
chessplayers in it? You'll have to check that yourself!
Buy it at
IM norms for New Zealand
FM Bruce Watson
picked up a medal and an IM norm in the Seniors and FM Ewen Green did the same
in the Veterans. Hopefully, the first of many!
For full results see our
GM and GM-elect
IM Mahmood Lodhi (right)
from Pakistan won the Asian Seniors 50+, collecting his 3rd and final GM norm.
He has already made the required 2500 rating, so his GM title should be in the
post soon. He will become Pakistan's first grandmaster. Here he is pictured
with New Zealand's first (and only) GM, Murray Chandler. For full results see
our Results page.
October 9th-15th 2017 - Asian
Senior Championships, Auckland.
Download full details here (pdf
document). All queries/entries should be addressed to Organiser IO Paul Spiller
the events on Vega:
Live games now running, thanks to Shaun Press:
GM Eugenio Torre, top seed in the Veterans, with organiser (and player) Paul
September 30th - October 8th 2017 -
George Trundle NZ Masters Tournament,
1st= FM Ben Hague (Trophy for Best NZ Player)
& GM Darryl Johansen
3rd FM Nic Croad
4th FM Daniel
1st= Kirill Polishchuk & Michael
3rd= Gordon Morrell, CM Allen Fan & CM Jack
1st= CM Alex Nagorski & CM Richard
3rd= WCM Nicole Qin & Philip Mukkattu
Full results and pgn
downloads/playthrough on Vega:
follow - check out www.facebook.com/NZChessFederation
boards); Masters (one
board); Masters (pgn4web
The Masters was also live on Chess24:
on FollowChess. Check out the app or see
Qualifiers (4 boards);
Qualifiers (one board);
Qualifiers (pgn4web display)
Reserves (4 boards);
Reserves (one board);
Straight A's for Alphaeus Ang
Championships were held over a period of two weeks in July - and in every
event, CM Alphaeus Ang was winner or joint winner:
NZ Junior Rapid;
NZ Junior Blitz (joint champion with FM
North Island Championship;
NI Rapid (joint champion with FM
NI Blitz Championship.
Full results, links, and more photos
can be found on our Results Page.
40th Trusts Open
John Francis (left) and FM
Bob Smith, organisers of the Trusts Open, are shown cutting the cake to
celebrate the 40th edition of this event. Winners included FM Ben Hague &
IM Russell Dive (A-Grade), WCM Vyanla Punsalan (B-Grade), Sean Myers & Hugh
Gao (C-Grade) and Abraham Deng (Junior).
Full results and more photos can be
found on our Results Page.
2017 Asian Seniors - Auckland
delighted to announce that living legend GM Eugene Torre will be taking
part in the Asian Seniors event to be held in Auckland in October. Torre became
Asia's first grandmaster in 1974 and has remained one of the Philippines'
strongest players ever since. At his 23rd Olympiad in Baku last year, GM Torre
made it quite clear that he is still right at the top of his game, by scoring
10/11 and winning the bronze medal for board 3. He currently holds the record
for the most games played in Olympiads (270). Recently, he was honoured by the
Philippine Sportswriters Association with their Lifetime Achievement Award.
The photo was taken in the late 1970s at an event in New Zealand.
MillenniumHotels.com New Zealand Open
Mark Noble, chief organiser of the 125th NZ Congress in
Palmerston North, has confirmed that he has already lined up two GMs to play.
They are Adrien Demuth (left) and Fabien Libiszewski, both from
Congress will take place from 1st to 12th January at the Copthorne
Hotel in Palmerston North. Full details of all events can be found on our
dedicated webpage: New Zealand Open
2017 Latvian Rapid
This year's Latvian
Rapid, sponsored by D&D Financial Consultants, broke all previous records
with 115 players. The sponsor, Martin Dreyer, is seen here with the A-Grade
trophy, which was shared by FM Alexei Kulashko (left) and FM Ben Hague.
details and many photos can be found via our Results
NZ success at the Oceania Zonal
New Zealand achieved some excellent results at the Zonal
Championships: IM Antony Ker finished 2nd= in the Open, CM Daniel Gong upgraded
his title to FM, and WFM Layla Timergazi won the Women's event in fine style to
gain the WIM title and a place in the next stage of the Women's World
Pictured: Oceania Zone President and tournament
organiser Paul Spiller (right) presents a kiwi to Hisham Al-Tahir, General
Secretary of the Asian Chess Federation.
The Oceania Zonal Championships are Ready to
The Oceania Zonal Championships, being held at the Waipuna Conference
Centre in Auckland, are already a success for Chief Organiser and Zonal
President Paul Spiller with a with a record 140 entries. In the Open, the top
seed is young IM Anton Smirnov, who is followed by two fellow Australians in
the second and third places, newly crowned Australian Open Champion GM Max
Illingworth and IM Gary Lane. New Zealand Champion, FM Scott Wastney, is
the fourth seed, while recent New Zealand Open winner IM Ari Dale is seeded
eight. The Women's Championship has New Zealand's WFM Layla
Timergazi as the top two seed.
Pictured: the arbiters (from left) Brian
Jones, Bob Gibbons, Ying Wang, Keong Ang and Craig Hall, and Organiser Paul
Spiller on the right.
Ari Dale Wins NZ Open; Wastney is NZ Champion
The final round of the NZ Open proved stress-free for the leader,
Australian IM Ari Dale (left), a point clear of the field and playing New
Zealand junior CM Daniel Gong of Auckland. Early leader FM Bob Smith was beaten
in round 7 by Dale. However, there was some serious fighting on the lower
boards, as the title of New Zealand Champion was still undecided. FM Scott
Wastney (pictured right) made up for a couple of earlier losses by defeating
fellow Wellingtonian CM Bill Forster who had aspired to the title. Wastney then
had to wait some considerable time to see if Smith could triumph over fellow FM
Tim Reilly and in the end that game was drawn, leaving Wastney the outright
winner of the title.
Murray Chandler becomes a Member of the NZ Order of
In the 2017 New Year Honours list, the Queen has appointed Murray
as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit, in recognition of his services to
Pictured: another great occasion for Murray, when he led the NZ team
to victory over Bosnia/Herzegovina at the Dresden Olympiad 2008 by beating
Nikolic. (Left to right: Dive, Lukey, Nokes and Chandler).
Grand Prix funding increased for 2017 and
The New Zealand Chess Federation is delighted to announce increased
sponsorship for the next two years. The new name of the GP will be:
Poison Pawn Grand Prix in Association with D & D Financial Consultants
The total prize fund will increase to $6500 per year, with first
prize in the Open section now $1500 (up from $700 in 2016). This popular event
rewards consistent good performance in tournaments throughout New Zealand
see our Grand Prix page for further