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New Zealand Chess

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This is the official website of the NEW ZEALAND CHESS FEDERATION INC, the governing body of chess in New Zealand.
For information on forthcoming chess events click on our Chess Calendar.


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2019 Interschools Calendar
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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.

More details on the entry form on the calendar page

Any queries email Bob or phone 0274786282.


Olympiad 2020 – Player Applications Invited

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.

Summit chess club logo

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
Photo courtesy of NZ Chess News

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 victory.

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.

2) Measles Advisory

Please check the NZCF Measles Advisory.

Oceania Youth 2019

Titles for NZ Players

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).

Felix Xie with Neil Gunn


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).

Heritage Hotel, Hamner Springs

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.

Solomon Islands

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:
Anthony Maelasi
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.

Mike Steadman, Alphaeus Ang, and Dr Tony Booth

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.

NZ Junior Champs Panorama

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.

New Zealand Chessplayer Magazine

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).

There's also 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.

Bob Mitchell


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 (v8.1.1.1 currently). Download instructions are on the Resources page.

Peter Stuart Training Tourney Promotion

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 game.

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 Master Points.

Any Master Points that players have previously won shall continue to be valid.

More detailed information is available in this document.

Comments or suggestions for NZCF Council to consider may be emailed to by 25th June.

Evan Capel wins the 42nd Trusts
Evan Capel, photo courtesy of NZ Chess News

42nd Trusts Open

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).

Some games are available from the Vega page (see the Results page), others are still currently available from the weekend's live link (thanks Ying Wang), and many more will appear in the Peter Stuart NZ Database as soon as possible.

Kapiti Rapid, juniors at the front
Photo credit: Gordon Lyall

Tournaments Small, and Big

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.

Feet up on chess board
The simplifying changes means that organisers and officials can now hopefully put their feet up a little more

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.

Jennya Charomova

Jennya Charomova vs The Public

Paul Spiller reports on some welcome coverage of chess in the mainstream media. Jennya Charomova represented NZ at the 2002 Bled Olympiad and was NZ Women's champion in 2005 (see the NZ Chess report). After many years away from NZ, she's back, studying in Christchurch, and playing chess. This NZ Herald story tells the story, including an upcoming (at the time) public simul in Christchurch. Paul tells us that the simul went well with Jennya scoring 14-2 against the public.

Kiwi chess logo

Bids invited for staging NZCF official events in 2020

NZCF invites all member Clubs and any other interested parties to consider bids for organising the following official events in 2020:

  • North Island Championships
  • South Island Championships
  • New Zealand Junior Championships
  • New Zealand Senior Championships
Please send expressions of interest by 15th June 2019 to the NZCF Secretary Winsome Stretch: email

Mike Steadman wins 2019 North Island Champs
Mike Steadman receives the trophy from chief tournament organiser Ross Jackson

North Island Championship

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.

Thames v Franklin

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 available here.

Poison Pawn Grand Prix logo

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 Opening
Photo credit: Paul Spiller

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 Winners
Happy prize winners set to enjoy some fine Hawkes Bay produce. L to R; Tobey Hughes, Bob Smith, Felix Xie, Evan Capel, William Duncan, Stephen Lukey, Viv Smith and Bernard Carpinter. No doubt Felix will be cellaring his prize for ten years or so.

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.

GM Gareyev Simul
GM Gareyev puts in the miles as he takes on twelve locals in Wellington. The joint NZ Champions can be seen carefully studying their empty boards. Club Captain Phil Rossiter handles the move calling duties.

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 here.

Congress Blitz
The spirit of chess on display as congress wraps up (this is round 8 of 9 in the Blitz Championships). Locals Ralph Hart and Evan Capel are about to beat a Russian GM and an Australian IM respectively

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 Results Page.

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 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 page Results
George Trundle PGN rounds 1 to 9 here
Oceania Juniors Open U20 PGN rounds 1 to 9 here


Older Items....

An archive of all NZCF website front page stories since 2007 is available here.

NZCF Facebook page
New Zealand Chess Clubs
NZ Chess Magazine Archive
NZ Chess Bulletin
NZCF Junior Badges
NZCF Junior Badges
Links page
Cheap Chess Equipment for Schools
Correspondence Chess in NZ
New NZ Chess History Project

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