Go to the Resources Page
for NZCF information, including Registrations, Ratings, Fee Payments, Vega,
Arbiters, Titled Players, the Handbook, Master Points, etc.
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 (v184.108.40.206 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
Paul Spiller becomes a Member of the NZ Order of Merit
Paul has been at the heart of New Zealand chess administration since the 1970s.
He has been instrumental in three Oceania Zonals and many congresses, including the memorable
triplet of Queenstown congresses. Paul is chief organiser of the upcoming 126th
NZ Congress, hosted by Howick Pakaranga, Paul's longstanding club.
Starting with the Burroughs GM tournament in Wellington in 1978, Paul has helped bring
international competition and a host of colourful international competitors to our shores.
Paul has served as Editor of NZ Chess, and was NZCF
president for eight years. He is currently FIDE Oceania Zone president. Listen to a
a short Radio New Zealand interview here.
Congress on the Chessbase Home Page
The front page of Chessbase.com is one of the very highest profile online spots in the chess
world. It's rare to see New Zealand chess featuring there, so make sure you check out
this article, anticipating the 126th NZ Congress coming up soon!
Summer of Chess
New Zealand chess fans, especially Aucklanders or people prepared to jump on a plane, are in for a fantastic holiday season.
First up comes the prestigious George Trundle family of tournaments (January 4th-12th). These tournaments are highly regarded
by the purist, and showcase classical chess at its best, with a superb one round a day, round robin format. The top players
play in the George Trundle Masters grade, there are always interesting visiting masters involved (one of the main ideas of the
tournament is to create IM Norm opportunities for the local contingent). One of the players this year is GM Timur Gareyev,
pictured during one of his famous blindfold simultaneous exhibitions (yes he is pedalling a stationary bike at the same time).
Amazingly Auckland Chess Centre are also running a huge Oceania Youth Championship at essentially the same time
(January 5th-13th), at the larger Alexandra Park venue not far away. This is an opportunity for local fans to see
the stars of tomorrow.
Last but definitely not least is the NZ Open Championship that follows these events, allowing players to play in two big tournaments
back to back. GM Gareyev, GM Vasily Papin (Russia), and strong IM Kanan Izzat (Azerbaijan) are amongst those playing in two
tournaments. The Howick Pakuranga chess club are organising this tournament as part of the 126th NZ Congress to be held from
January 14th to 24th at the popular Waipuna Hotel.
The October 2018 issue of New Zealand Chess is on its way to subscribers, and sadly it's
the last issue. There are some silver linings though. Firstly a large and growing collection of the magazines
are now freely available to view electronically on this website. Thanks to Philip Hair for labour
and Michael Freeman for funding. A permanent
link to the collection
is now in place on the right, underneath chess clubs.
Additionally, if you take a look at the new October 2018 issue as it appears in the electronic archive,
you will see that not only can you look at the PDF, you can enjoy all the chess in the issue using an
"Interactive" button. The interactive button takes you here.
This is homegrown, bespoke technology. It is actively under development and will improve over time. In
particular some more work is needed before the interactive edition looks as good and works as well on all
If there is
sufficient interest shown, this facility will be retrofitted
to older issues. And (again, assuming support from the chess community) this will perhaps be a preview of one
of the ways New Zealand chess content will be delivered in the future.
NZ Oceania Youth Official Representatives
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.
New Zealand's Official Representatives have been selected as follows;
Anya Doris Wu Thurner
Sarah Yan Ying
Note that applications are still being accepted for the three vacancies. Although these
players are the official NZL representatives, other NZL players can of course pay their
entry fees and play in the tournaments. Further details, including for example eligibility for direct titles can be
seen on the Calendar Page.
Prolific veterans Mike Steadman and Stephen Lukey were the winners of the recent North
Island and South Island championships respectively (results page).
It was Lukey's 10th such victory. Both players are providing annotated games for the NZ Chess
magazine, which will be made available online here. Currently
the most recent ten years of magazines are available, soon there will be many more as Philip
Hair is scanning in older copies. Older results have now been restored to this website (see
the bottom of the Results page), and Michael Freeman has provided
material from the preceding years that will soon be added. Ross Jackson has found some
information about the early European career of Ortvin Sarapu that eminent chess historian
Edward Winter has published here.
Ross McKerras reports that he has made some simple 'chess teaching life' Youtube videos
here and here. The
website editor would be interested to know if there are any other Kiwi chess youtubers out there.
Update: Ryan Winter pointed out this effort from Mark Noble. It's instructive and entertaining.
You should consider playing in next year's South Island Championship, it's in beautiful Hanmer Springs.
Planning is advanced and an entry form is already available on the Calendar.
At the other end of the time spectrum, the popular Merv Morrison weekender was held in mid October, see
the Results Page, and the Summit Rapid, a new Auckland one day rapid tournament
is now on the calendar, it's being held on November 18th.
Interschools Finals 2018
One very significant New Zealand Chess event that inexplicably didn't
get a mention in the 'Peak Chess' item a week or so ago is the National
Interschools Finals, held at Mt Maunganui on the weekend of 29th-30th
This annual event is the culmination of a huge program of regional
qualifiers. Organisers Bob and Viv Smith report on the event, and
present a heap of photographs on the Interschools Results Page.
NZ at the 2018 Olympiad
Some brief commentary was posted here as the event progressed and can still
be seen on the Olympiad Page. New Zealand's
final performances were very close to par expected scores. China scored a
rare double Gold, winning both events on tiebreak.
Open NZ ranked 77th out of 185
Final place 87th, Match points 5.5 from 11, Game points 24/44
Round 1 NZ 3.5 - 0.5 Seychelles (ranked 170)
Round 2 NZ 1.0 - 3.0 Algeria (57)
Round 3 NZ 3.0 - 1.0 Wales (114)
Round 4 NZ 2.0 - 2.0 Costa Rica (68)
Round 5 NZ 1.0 - 3.0 Ireland (66)
Round 6 NZ 1.5 - 2.5 Slovenia (26)
Round 7 NZ 1.0 - 3.0 Panama (89)
Round 8 NZ 4.0 - 0.0 Bermuda (146)
Round 9 NZ 4.0 - 0.0 Trinidad and Tobago (104)
Round 10 NZ 0.0 - 4.0 Indonesia (69)
Round 11 NZ 3.0 - 1.0 Angola (98)
Women NZ ranked 78th out of 151
Final place 94th, Match points 5 from 11, Game points 20/44
Round 1 NZ 0.0 - 4.0 India (5)
Round 2 NZ 4.0 - 0.0 Lesotho (128)
Round 3 NZ 0.5 - 3.5 Moldova (46)
Round 4 NZ 3.5 - 0.5 Netherlands Antilles (111)
Round 5 NZ 0.5 - 3.5 Turkmenistan (54)
Round 6 NZ 3.0 - 1.0 Venezuela (55)
Round 7 NZ 2.5 - 1.5 Iraq (95)
Round 8 NZ 0.5 - 3.5 Jordan (85)
Round 9 NZ 1.5 - 2.5 Montenegro(70)
Round 10 NZ 2.5 - 1.5 Nicaragua (101)
Round 11 NZ 1.5 - 2.5 Sweden (59)
A period of intense chess activity looms up. On the international
stage our intrepid Open and Women's teams
front up in Batumi in Georgia (pictured) for the 43rd Chess Olympiad. The
official site is currently
extraordinarily useless (it doesn't even tell us when the tournament is going
to be held - September 23rd - October 7th), but will no doubt improve during the event.
Domestically both the North Island and South Island championships are coming up.
The South Island version is being held by the Canterbury Chess Club from 29th September to 3rd October
(ironically I got the dates wrong when this item was first posted - sorry) and is sponsored by Benson Insurance Brokers. The North Island event is part of a complete chess
festival being organised by the Manawatu Knights Chess Club in Palmerston North from 1st to 11th
October. The chess festival is sponsored by Millennium Hotels. See the Chess Calendar for more details.
Another NZ Games Database Update
Helen Milligan has provided Peter Stuart's final NZ Games Database work-in-progress file
(thanks Helen!). The first NZCF supplement to the NZ games database (see previous
article) has been completely reworked around this contribution, it's now much more
compatible with the conventions of Peter's database. One highlight: Peter included
17 games from a 1979 blindfold simul by Ewen Green in Hamilton. Unsurprisingly it seems this
is the Australasian record. Ewen scored an excellent +13 =1 -3.
NZ Games Database Update and a Games Email Address
The first serious NZCF supplement to Peter Stuart's NZ games database is now available.
See the History Page for more information about the database,
and for download links for the database itself and the new supplement. Reaching and
then maintaining the curation standards Peter achieved will remain a major challenge,
but it is vital that we try and that everything possible is done to record and store for posterity the
games played in important tournaments in New Zealand.
The current supplement includes games from 21 tournaments in 2017 and 2018. There are
missing tournaments and not all tournaments are complete. Some of the gaps might be
fixable, but a particular concern is the 2018 NZ Open. Congress is our premier event each
year, and it seems that nearly half of all games in the Open (top) grade have been lost
forever. Only games that were electronically recorded are available. Fortunately ten electronic
boards were deployed, but games on boards 11-19 are missing. If the reader participated in any
of these missing games, please help out by sending in a scan of the scoresheet or (preferably)
a pgn of the game to Games@newzealandchess.co.nz.
This is a new NZCF email address, and has been setup to make it as easy as
possible for people to send in games (not just missing games from the last congress!).
Players and tournament organisers are encouraged to
send in everything from individual games to whole tournaments. Please
use .pgn and/or .cbv format if at all possible. All
games received will be considered for future editions of the NZ games database. Annotated
games will be considered for publication on a new facility on the NZCF website which will
be developed to compensate for the cessation of the NZ Chess magazine at the end of the
NZ Player Registration Change Proposal
NZCF Council have released a consultation document for member Clubs, with a proposal to greatly simplify
the way individual players are registered each year. The plan is to abolish $20 player registration fees
- from 2019 simply membership of a Club will be sufficient to enable a player to participate in NZCF and
FIDE rated tournaments throughout New Zealand.
Murray Chandler, NZCF President, said: "Reform has been talked about for years, and I’m pleased we now have
a firm proposal on the table. This system is designed to reduce administration all round, and will result
in many more players being eligible to participate in rated events, at a lesser cost".
Expressions of Interest invited: Interschools Finals 2019
The New Zealand Chess Federation is calling for expressions of
interest from Clubs or individual organisers to stage the
Interschools Final, 28-29 September 2019.
The long-running NZCF Interschools competition is a team event
comprised of Regional Competitions staged throughout New Zealand.
Around 2500-3000 school children take part each year. The event
culminates in the prestigious National Finals staged in the
last weekend of September.
The Peter Stuart Memorial Tournament
The North Shore Chess Club has chosen to rename the North Shore
Open to the Peter Stuart Memorial. A
nice gesture that will no doubt be widely appreciated. Peter
was the founder and motivating spirit of this important and popular
tournament. The 46th edition, and its first without Peter is in just
four weeks time (25th-26th August). You can find the details
you need to get your entry in in a timely fashion on the
Bids invited for NZCF Congress 2020 and 2021
NZCF Council is inviting bids / expressions of interest from Clubs
or individual organisers interested in staging the New Zealand Chess
Championships as follows:
127th NZ Chess Congress - to be staged in January 2020
128th NZ Chess Congress – to be staged in January 2021
Please submit bids or expressions of interest by 1st September 2018
with as much detail as possible on
the proposed event, such as intended venue, prize fund, playing
schedule and subsidiary events.
The annual New Zealand Chess Congress has a rich history, dating back
to 1879. The Waipuna Conference Centre (Auckland) will be the venue
for the upcoming 126th Congress in January 2019, hosted by
Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club.
Photo: souvenir mug from the well-organised Congress in Palmerston
North, hosted by Manawatu Knights Chess Club last January.
Another Successful George Trundle Masters
This year's Masters grade was keenly contested as always. The tournament ended on a dramatic note. The fate of
Ben Hague's IM Norm and first prize depended on Gong-Hague, the final game to finish. Playing Black Ben needed a win for
the Norm and lone first place. But for most of the game Daniel looked the likely winner. Daniel let his winning
chances slip and eventually it was he who was fighting for a draw. Entering the sixth hour of play the draw was
finally clear to all. Daniel to play simply needed to swap queens and the handshake would be inevitable. No doubt
demoralised at his missed opportunities, Daniel made an incomprehensible blunder apparently thinking he could delay
the trade. But allowing Ben to trade instead made a vital tempo difference to the resulting pawn ending. Game over and
a bemused but happy Ben Hague wins the tournament and gets the IM Norm he should have got in last year'e event.
See the Results Page for full results.
Photo: Tournament organiser Mike Steadman and Gordon Morrell at the prize giving. They
were in dominant form in the Qualifers Grade - each scoring +7 =2 -0.
Grand Prix Sponsorship Renewed for 2019
NZCF is delighted to announce that our Poison Pawn/D & D Grand Prix
sponsorship is now confirmed for the year 2019. The popular year-long
competition rewards consistent good performance in tournaments
throughout New Zealand. Regional tournaments also benefit, as the
lure of GP points helps encourage the participation of top players.
Many thanks to our two sponsors for their generous ongoing support:
Michael Freeman (Poison Pawn) and Martin Dreyer (D & D Financial
Consultants). Both of these individuals also do a great deal of
voluntary work behind the scenes for New Zealand chess.
The Grand Prix prize fund for 2019 will remain unchanged at $6500
per year, with first prize in the Open section $1500.
Upper Hutt Rapid
The Upper Hutt Rapid, held on Saturday 30th June, attracted 75 players, the most for over twenty years.
Four of NZ's very best competed in the A Grade, Ben Hague just managed to get over the line. The big
four were kept honest by promising local juniors. Layla Timergazi drew with Scott Wastney in the last
round and Ryan Winter looked ominously at home on the top boards, playing three of the top four, holding
Ben comfortably and nearly tipping over Anthony Ker. Full results on the Results Page.
Photo: Anton Reid's wife Nora and daughter Helen have been helping out at this tournament for over
forty years. The Upper Hutt is old fashioned, in a good way. Where else in NZ chess do you get endless free
coffee and tea poured for you? - with a generous assortment of Kiwi favourites like Mallowpuffs, Toffee Pops,
and Tim Tams to boot!
Official selections for Oceania Zonal, Guam, 18-24 February 2019
Although anyone from a FIDE Zone 3.6 Federation can participate, there are two
"official" places available to New Zealand at this World Championship qualifying
tournament (one place for the Open Championship and one for the Woman's Championship).
These two official representatives are entitled to free entry and free room-share accommodation.
New Zealand players who wishes to apply for selection for one of these official spots can do so
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th
September 2018. Selection results will be notified by 15th October.
For details on how to enter the Guam Zonal, see our tournament calendar page.
Photo: The hotel where the tournament is taking place. Nice.
Upper Hutt Rapid - Coming Soon!
One of New Zealand's most popular and long standing tournaments
is fast approaching. The tournament is on Saturday 30th June
but entries after Monday 25th incur a late fee. The tournament is
a Class 1 Grand Prix event, and features four separate grades and
a $1400 prize fund. See the Calendar Page for more details.
Thanks to Anton Reid and his team for putting on
the tournament so successfully, for so long.
Photo: Last year's A Grade winner Scott Wastney collecting his cheque.
The New Zealand Chess Federation Interschools competition is expanding
rapidly, and for 2019 the NZCF Council is seeking organisers willing to
stage Regional Qualification events around the country. Areas of particular interest are:
Northland, Gisborne, Nelson/Tasman, Marlborough, West Coast and Southland.
Applications from both clubs and individuals are welcome, to be sent to
by June 30th 2018. Existing regional organisers will be contacted automatically.
Last year over 600 school teams participated in the official NZCF Regional
Qualification events. Top teams qualify for the New Zealand Chess Federations
National Finals, staged each year at the end of September.
Photo: 132 pupils in action last month, at the East Auckland Primary qualifier
41st Trusts Open
A near record breaking 113 players turned up for New Zealand's biggest
weekender in West Auckland on Queen's Birthday Weekend June 2nd-4th.
The picture tells the story as many time NZ Champion Anthony Ker took the A Grade trophy back to Wellington. Anthony's
tournament room-mate Russell Dive had brought the trophy up for the weekend. The organisers sensibly
didn't trust Anthony to get the trophy engraved, so it does stay in Auckland for a short while longer.
Anthony was the first to admit his tally of 5/6 owed a lot to a supremely well judged Swiss Gambit
as you can see in the full results via the Results Page.
The picture also features Trusts Community Foundation representative Linda Cooper, Waitakere Chess Club President
John Francis, and founder and chief organiser Bob Smith (who shrugged off the burden of organisation to make
a very impressive result as 2nd= with Mike Steadman, Ben Hague and Alexei Kulashko on 4.5/6).
North Shore Chess Club are in the Money
Helen Milligan of the North Shore Chess Club has got in touch to
report that the club has received $3985 from Pub Charity Limited. They
plan to spend the money on a computer, printer, and 60 LEAP FIDE-approved clocks.
This will expand North Shore's ability to run Interschools and other large junior
(and indeed all other) events.
Club officials elsewhere should take note. There are many other trusts and charitable organisations
that make grants to worthy community initiatives, and chess clubs can make a good case that
they are deserving recipients of this kind of largesse.
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.
An archive of all NZCF website front page stories since 2007 is being prepared. If it's not in place
by June 1st, feel free to complain the website administrator!