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New Zealand Chess

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A chess calendar giving detailed information on forthcoming chess events in New Zealand, plus international events of significance to New Zealand players. New Zealand Open Championship
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Batumi Olympiad
Batumi Olympiad 2018
Chess Calendar
Results page
2017 Poison Pawn Grand Prix in Association with D & D Financial Consultants Ltd
2017 Interschools Calendar
2017 Interschools Results
2017 Finals - information
Contact us
Go to the Resources Page for NZCF information, including Registrations, Ratings, Fee Payments, Vega, Arbiters, the Handbook, Master Points, etc.
100 Greatest Sportspeople

Looking for a Christmas present?
FM Martin 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

Bruce Watson & Ewen Green

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 Results page.


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.

Eugene Torre & Paul Spiller

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 -
Follow the events on Vega:
Asian Seniors 50+
Asian Veterans 65+
Live games now running, thanks to Shaun Press:

Pictured: GM Eugenio Torre, top seed in the Veterans, with organiser (and player) Paul Spiller.


September 30th - October 8th 2017 - George Trundle NZ Masters Tournament, Auckland.
1st= FM Ben Hague (Trophy for Best NZ Player) & GM Darryl Johansen
3rd FM Nic Croad
4th FM Daniel Gong
1st= Kirill Polishchuk & Michael Nyberg
3rd= Gordon Morrell, CM Allen Fan & CM Jack James
1st= CM Alex Nagorski & CM Richard Meng
3rd= WCM Nicole Qin & Philip Mukkattu

Full results and pgn downloads/playthrough on Vega:
Photos will follow - check out

Live game links:
Masters (4 boards); Masters (one board); Masters (pgn4web display)
The Masters was also live on Chess24:
...and additionally on FollowChess. Check out the app or see!trundle-masters-2017
Qualifiers (4 boards); Qualifiers (one board); Qualifiers (pgn4web display)
Reserves (4 boards); Reserves (one board); Reserves (pgn4web display)

Alphaeus Ang

Straight A's for Alphaeus Ang
Six NZCF 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 Championship;
NZ Junior Rapid;
NZ Junior Blitz (joint champion with FM Daniel Gong);
North Island Championship;
NI Rapid (joint champion with FM Ben Hague);
NI Blitz Championship.
Full results, links, and more photos can be found on our Results Page.

John Francis & Bob Smith

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.

GM Eugene Torre

2017 Asian Seniors - Auckland
NZCF is 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.

Demuth & Libiszewski New Zealand Open Championship
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 France.
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 2018.

Alexei Kulashko, Martin Dreyer, Ben Hague

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.
Full details and many photos can be found via our Results Page.

Hisham al-Tahir & Paul Spiller

NZ success at the Oceania Zonal Championships
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 Championship cycle.
Pictured: Oceania Zone President and tournament organiser Paul Spiller (right) presents a kiwi to Hisham Al-Tahir, General Secretary of the Asian Chess Federation.

Arbiters and Organiser

The Oceania Zonal Championships are Ready to Go
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.

Dale & Wastney

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.

Dresden Olympiad 2008

Murray Chandler becomes a Member of the NZ Order of Merit
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 chess.
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).

Poison Pawn Grand Prix logo

Grand Prix funding increased for 2017 and 2018
The New Zealand Chess Federation is delighted to announce increased sponsorship for the next two years. The new name of the GP will be:
The Poison Pawn Grand Prix in Association with D & D Financial Consultants Ltd
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 details.

Viv and Bob Smith

Meritorious Service Awards
Paul Spiller (Oceania CF President), Grant Kerr and Nigel Metge represented New Zealand at the Asian Chess Federation Chess Summit in Al Ain, UAE, August 29-31. During the event, NZ successfully bid for the Asian Seniors, which will (subject to approval) be held in Auckland in October 2017. Oceania was granted the right to hold annual youth events with direct titles available. And NZ received a considerable accolade, with Meritorious Service Awards for both Viv and Bob Smith (pictured).

Westlake Boys

2016 Interschools Final, Palmerston North
40 elite regional qualifying teams competed in the NZ National Interschools final, staged by the Manawatu Knights Chess Club over the weekend of 24th-25th September. Congratulations to the winning teams in each division:
Secondary: WESTLAKE BOYS HIGH SCHOOL -National Finals Secondary
Intermediate: AUCKLAND NORMAL INTERMEDIATE – National Finals Intermediate
Primary: FORREST HILL SCHOOL – National Finals Primary
Photo: winners of the Secondary division: from left, Winston Yao, Hao Jia, William Zhang and William Li

Scott Wastney

IM Norm for Scott Wastney at Olympiad
Congratulations to Wellington’s Scott Wastney, who scored a coveted “20-game” International Master norm at the recent Baku Olympiad. His superb result on board two for New Zealand also gained him 33 rating points. The popular professional chess coach now needs just one more norm to gain the IM title. New Zealand Individual Open team results were: Board 1: Alexei Kulashko 4.5/10; Board 2: Scott Wastney 6/9; Board 3: Russell Dive 4.5/9; Board 4: Ben Hague 6/9; Board 5: Stephen Lukey 3/7. The team was captained by Grandmaster Dejan Bojkov from Bulgaria (thanks to generous sponsorship from NZ former international player Grant Kerr). Photo: FM Scott Wastney

Canterbury and ACC logos

Overseas IMs for Trundle & South Island
Three International Masters (Gary Lane and Stephen Solomon from Australia, and Peng Kong Chan from Singapore) will tour New Zealand shortly for 14 days of intensive chess. In the George Trundle Masters (Auckland Chess Centre, 9th-17th July), their participation creates the possibility of international master norms, should any Kiwis play well enough. Then it is off to the 2016 South Island Championship, 19th-23rd July in Christchurch. The South Island – sponsored by Southern Trust, Benson Insurance Brokers, and Dancing Wines – is an Open event, where anyone can enter. For details on playing see the Canterbury Chess Club website

Warren Flaunty

39th Trusts Open, Waitakere
A bumper field and a rare picket fence. The long-established tournament, organised by Waitakere Chess Club in Auckland, attracted over a hundred entries at Queen’s Birthday Weekend. FIDE Master (FM) Ben Hague became only the second player to win all six games in the A tournament, a feat also achieved by Grandmaster Gawain Jones in 2009. For detailed results see our Results page.
Photo: Warren Flaunty from the Trusts Community Foundation, the main sponsor, makes the symbolic first move on board 1.

Pratik Jadhav & Alex Huang

New monthly JUNIOR RAPID for Auckland Chess Centre
An exciting new series of tournaments for juniors will be starting on 3rd July. The ACC JUNIOR RAPIDS will take place one Sunday per month, July-December. Each tournament will feature $360 in guaranteed prizes, and will count both for official NZCF rating points, and for the NZCF Poison Pawn Grand Prix. For details and entry form see our chess Calendar Page. All tournaments will take place at the Auckland Chess Centre in Mount Eden. There is a maximum of 54 players per tournament, so early entry is advised.
Photo: ACC Junior Rapid Organiser Alex Huang (right) will be assisted by Pratik Jadhav (left).

Trusts Open

Coming up - the 39th Trusts Open, June 4th-6th
A total of $4,500 in prizemoney will be on offer at the 39th Trusts Open, being played over Queen’s Birthday Weekend (June 4th-6th). Organised by the Waitakere Chess Club in Auckland, and supported by principal sponsor The Trusts Community Foundation, this long-running and popular annual tournament features three main sections (A, B and C grades), plus a junior group. Early entries include International Master Russell Dive (Wellington), and Fide Masters Ben Hague (Auckland), Mike Steadman (Auckland), Bob Smith (Mount Maunganui) and Mark Noble (Feilding).
The playing venue is the Te Pai Centre, corner of Lincoln Rd and Te Pai Place, Henderson - for details on how to enter download the entry form on our Calendar page.

Dejan Bojkov

World-class coach for New Zealand Olympiad Teams
NZCF is very pleased to announce that Grandmaster Dejan Bojkov will be the coach for the New Zealand teams. He will be with the teams in Baku, and will also provide some coaching to each player before the event.
GM Bojkov has advanced the careers of many strong players - the name most familiar to us is probably that of the former Women's World Champion, GM Antoaneta Stefanova. He is a lecturer in chess, an author, a journalist, and a very strong and active player. His long experience of training players of all ages throughout the world will be of great benefit to the New Zealand teams.

NZ Seniors

NZ Seniors 2016 - Dive wins at the Mount
International Master Russell Dive (Wellington; centre) has scored 5/6 to take the New Zealand Senior Championship at his first attempt. Although currently 49 years old, Dive was eligible as he turns 50 during the current year. In second place was local FM Bob Smith (right)– a creditable result given the distractions of also being a tournament official. Best veteran (aged 65 or over) was Grant Kerr, who finished in a 3-way tie for third place overall along with Helmut Marko and Hilton Bennett. The enjoyable tournament, played over ANZAC Weekend, was well organised by the newly established Mount Chess Club.
Full details on our Results Page.

Auckland Chess Centre

Olympiad stars turn out for ANZAC Weekender
Getting in some pre-Baku training, the New Zealand Olympiad representatives turned out in force for the 2016 Auckland Chess Centre ANZAC weekend tournament. Along with 6/6 tournament winner Ben Hague, participants included Olympiad Board 1 Alexei Kulashko, and the entire New Zealand Women’s Squad – Helen Milligan, Jasmine Zhang, Kate Song, Nadia Braganza and Eva Lourenco. The Auckland Chess Centre is New Zealand’s most active club, and operates weekly club nights on Mondays, plus a special club for juniors from 6.30pm on Fridays. The permanent club-rooms are at 17 Cromwell St, Mount Eden – see for details.

North Shore Chess Club

NZ Games Database – 2016 edition just out
Long-time North Shore player and organiser Peter Stuart has just released the latest version of his database of New Zealand games. There are approximately 45,000 chess games in total, up to and including the 2016 New Zealand Congress played in Devonport. The database is available on CD-ROM at $80 including post/packing. Upgrade from 2015 is $30, or earlier $40 – when upgrading please return the old CD to Peter at 9A Merriefield Ave, Forrest Hill, Auckland 0620. Cheques can be made payable to Peter Stuart, or to pay via internet banking please e-mail for account details.

Rowan Wood

Life Membership award for Ratings Officer Rowan Wood
The New Zealand Chess Federation (NZCF) official rating lists appear three times per year – 1st March, 1st July and 1st November. The recently released March 2016 Standard list is headed by International Master Puchen Wang on 2465 rating points, ahead of IM Russell Dive 2452, FM Scott Wastney 2448, FM Alexei Kulashko 2429, FM Ben Hague 2428, and IM Anthony Ker 2415. The NZCF Rating List has been overseen for many years by volunteer Rowan Wood, notwithstanding even his relocation to Norway! In January of this year Rowan was awarded a richly deserved Life Membership of the Federation, in recognition of his extraordinary and ongoing contribution to New Zealand chess.

Interschools logo

Junior chess helpers needed!
The New Zealand Chess Federation (NZCF) is currently seeking volunteer junior chess organisers in the following areas (for staging our Regional Interschool chess competitions and other events): Auckland, Northland, Wanganui, South Island (excluding Canterbury and Otago).
If you feel you can help, we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail NZCF Secretary Helen Milligan on with brief details of which area you live, and any past chess or teaching experience.

Mount Chess Club logo

2016 NZ Seniors at The Mount
Anyone aged 50 and over (or turning 50 in 2016) is eligible for the NZ Seniors Championship, which will take place 23-25 April in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga. The tournament will be FIDE and nationally rated. The winner will take away a $400 first prize, trophy - and title of NZ Seniors Chess Champion 2016. View the entry form on our Calendar page, and contact organiser Bob Smith on

Olympiad logo

New Zealand Olympiad teams announced
Open Team
1. FM Alexei Kulashko
2. FM Scott Wastney
3. FM Luke Li
4. IM Russell Dive
5. FM Ben Hague
Women's Team
1. CM Helen Milligan
2. WCM Jasmine Zhang
3. Joy Qin
4. Kate Song
5. Nadia Braganza
Visit our Olympiad page for more information.

Ben Hague

FM Ben Hague dominates 2015 Poison Pawn Grand Prix
Scoring exactly 100 points, Ben Hague comfortably picked up the trophy and the $700 first prize in the 2015 Poison Pawn Grand Prix. For full results of all sections, see our Grand Prix page. The keenly-contested annual competition measures results across multiple tournaments played in New Zealand during the year, and features an overall prize fund of nearly $5500. The New Zealand Chess Federation gratefully acknowledges the generous support of CM Michael Freeman and his company Poison Pawn Ltd, and we are delighted to announce the sponsorship will continue for the year 2016. Poison Pawn Ltd is a company that specialises in assignments in the fields of local government and information technology.
Photo: Ben Hague is presented with his Poison Pawn winner’s trophy at the recent Auckland Chess Centre Anniversary Weekend tournament.

Natasha Fairley & Nigel Short

Beauty v Beast Simul sparks press interest
The media turned out in force to cover Nigel Short’s simultaneous exhibition in Aotea Square on January 13th. The English Grandmaster, keen to promote women’s chess in New Zealand, took on 20 female players simultaneously. A fun day was had by all, with Short ultimately winning all games, despite some commendable performances. Links to TV coverage:
NZ Herald

NZ Open

2016 New Zealand Open, 2nd-12th January
This takes place in Devonport at the National Chess Centre, 100b Victoria Rd.
Information for Players - pairings/results on:
Information for Spectators: viewing times for the main event are 1.30pm-5.30pm daily. There will be a range of chess books and equipment for sale. The chess Bookstall will open 12.30pm on 2nd January, and thereafter will operate 9.30am-6pm daily.
Live Games
Single board
Four boards
Single board for iPads etc

The Poison Pawn Grand Prix

Everything to play for in Poison Pawn Grand Prix
The 2015 Grand Prix remains up for grabs in all divisions, as the final event approaches – the 123rd New Zealand Congress in Devonport. In the top section Auckland’s Ben Hague has the first prize of $700 in his sights, having amassed 100 points (ahead of Steadman 76.4 and Noble 75). But even he can be caught, now that the annual NZCF Congress counts as both the first and last event of the season.
The Poison Pawn Grand Prix measures results of New Zealand players over multiple tournaments during the year. For 2015 the Prize Fund totals $5470. Current scores can be found on our Grand Prix page.

Scarecrow cafe

Casual chess in the Auckland CBD
Spotted at the trendy new Scarecrow café and artisan grocer (corner of Victoria and Lorne St): a chess set for customer use. Great coffee and well worth a visit!

Congress 1896

Grant from Grant rescues historic photos
The New Zealand Chess Congress has an illustrious history, dating back to 1879. Now thanks to the generous support of Auckland chess benefactor Grant Kerr, the NZ Chess Federation is currently restoring a series of classic Congress photos which had fallen into neglect.
After expert work by the specialist Conservation Research Centre at the Auckland Art Gallery, the photos will be framed with conservation glass by John Leech Framing to ensure their preservation for decades to come. The photographs will be on display at the 2016 Congress in Devonport.

GM Ju Wenjun

Entries for New Zealand Congress, January 2016
Players are reminded to get their entries in by 31st October, to avoid a late entry surcharge. This applies to the three main tournaments:
NEW ZEALAND OPEN 2nd-10th January;
MAJOR OPEN 2nd-10th January;
The Open Championships will take place in Devonport, Auckland – details at 2016 New Zealand Congress.
Photo: Fast-improving 24-year-old Chinese Grandmaster Ju Wenjun, rating 2542, is the sixth seed. But emulating the success of last year’s winner Zhao Xue will not be easy, in a field which this year includes English Grandmasters Nigel Short and Gawain Jones.

GM Nigel Short

20 Women v Nigel Short - in Aotea Square
Now this is going to be fun! On Wednesday 13th January (following the New Zealand Open), English Grandmaster Nigel Short (pictured left) will play a 20-board simultaneous exhibition with a difference – his opponents will all be women. The “Beauty v the Beast” simul will take place from 11am-2pm in the heart of the Auckland CBD, thanks to kind assistance from “Summer in the Square.” If you are female and interested in playing, please contact

North Shore Chess Club

42nd North Shore Open, Devonport
Prizes of $2,400 will be on offer over the weekend 19th-20th September 2015 at the annual North Shore Open tournament, organised by North Shore Chess Club. The event comprises an Open, B-Grade and separate junior tournament, and will be staged at the New Zealand National Chess Centre, 100b Victoria Rd, Devonport. For details on how to enter see our Calendar page. Entries are listed at North Shore Chess Club. The event qualifies as a Poison Pawn Grand Prix class 1 event.

NZCF logo

2015 NZ Interschools National Finals – September 26th-27th
Schools nationwide who have qualified are reminded to confirm their participation in the official NZ Interschools National Finals, being hosted by the Manawatu Knights Chess Club, Players' assembly is 10am on Saturday, September 26th, at Palmerston North Boys High, 263 Featherstone St, Palmerston North. The event is comprised of three sections: Primary (years 1-6 students), Intermediate (years 7-8 students) and Secondary (years 9-13 students). Winning teams become the official New Zealand Chess Federation Interschools Champions for 2015. For further information contact the Finals Organiser Mark Noble or Interschools Coordinator Craig Hall.

NZ Girls Interschool Chess Championship

New Zealand Girls Interschool Chess Championship
The popular event attracted more than 30 teams of girls. Top prizes went to St Cuthberts (Primary: Zoe Guan, Kimberley Yuan, Brena Merz, Jaclyn Wang), Bucklands Beach (Intermediate: Jasmine Zhang, Jayti Pattni, Selena Guo, Manleen Kaur), and Mt Roskill Grammar (Secondary: Caroline Yan, Sarah Yan, Cathy Fan, Kirushni Suthakaran). Congratulations to the young organisers (Melissa Tsoi, William Li, Hans Gao, and others) and thanks to Waitakere Chess Club, Auckland Chess Centre, and the Ministry of Youth Development. Full results can be found on our Results page; see also for links and photos (no login required).

Waikato Open

Waikato Open coming up
The annual Waikato Chess Open will be staged August 7th-9th 2015, at Saint Paul’s Collegiate School, Hukanui Rd, Hamilton. Round 1 begins 7.15pm, with a players meeting 7pm, and if notified in advance a half point bye is allowed in either round 1 or 4. The Open section will be FIDE rated, and both sections will be eligible for Poison Pawn Grand Prix points. Cash and chess book prizes totalling $1400 are on offer - see our tournament Calendar page for entry form and other details.

Gawain Jones & Nigel Short

English Superstars will head 2016 NZ Open
Two regulars in the English Olympiad Squad will be top two seeds at the 2016 New Zealand Congress in January.
Pictured left: Grandmaster Gawain Jones, rated 2647, has been a popular and regular visitor to New Zealand shores, having married WIM Sue Maroroa from Auckland (thanks to John Saunders for the photo).
Pictured right: Grandmaster Nigel Short heads up the field, with a FIDE rating of 2683. Short, a former World Championship Challenger, is a perennial globe-trotter, but this is his first ever tournament in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Chess Federation acknowledges the generous support of Martin Dreyer of D & D Financial Consultants, and Chris Benson of Benson Insurance Brokers Ltd, in bringing these renowned Grandmasters to NZ. The 123rd NZCF Congress will take place 2nd-12th January, in Devonport, Auckland.

Edward Rains & Daniel Gong

CM titles for New Zealand at the Oceania Zonal
Despite a change in the rules that made gaining titles tougher than before, both Edward Rains (pictured left) and Daniel Gong (right) managed to score enough points to qualify for the CM title at the recent Oceania Open Zonal. Alphaeus Ang (already a CM) also put in a fine performance, gaining almost 70 rating points and beating IM Ari Dale in the process. Australian IM Max Illingworth won the event after a tie-break match with felllow countryman Brodie McClymont. Links to full results can be found on our Results page.

Alphaeus Ang: bronze

Asian Schools Chess Championships, Singapore
Several of our juniors put in fine performances at this event: 17th for lowest seed in the under-15 Girls, Sarah Yan; 19th= for Jasmine Zhang and Caroline Yan in the under-13 Girls; 16th= for 28th seed Nicole Qin in the under-11 Girls; 6th= for Allen Fan in the under-11 Open; 13th= for Raivath Mallela in the under-9 Open; 7th= for 16th seed Oscar Qin in the under-7 Open. The best result was CM Alphaeus Ang's bronze medal in the under-13 Open, and he also picked up bronze in the under-13 Blitz. As a result, New Zealand picked up more medals than UAE, Australia, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, or South Korea!
Pictured, the prize-giving for the main event, with Alphaeus on the right.

Paul Garbett

38th Trusts Open
The outright winner of the A-Grade was IM Paul Garbett. After careful inspection of the trophy, it was discovered that this was his 13th title, so he has won about a third of the 38 events!
You can find the full results of this popular tournament on our Results page, along with links to many photographs of the action.

Maisuradze & Fier

Grandmaster couple enter NZ Open Championship
They must be one of the strongest married chess couples on the planet, and in January - courtesy of the New Zealand Chess Federation - they will be playing in Auckland. Grandmaster Alexander Fier (Brazil) and his WGM wife Nino Maisuradze (France) have confirmed their participation in the New Zealand Open, January 2-12th 2016.
GM Fier, 27 years old, has a current FIDE rating of 2632, making him the Brazil number one. WGM Maisuradze has won the French Women’s Championship in both 2013 and 2014.
The 2016 NZ Open will be staged in Devonport, Auckland, as part of the NZCF 123rd New Zealand Chess Congress. Concurrent events will include the Major Open Championship (for players under 2100) and the New Zealand Open Junior Championship (January 5th-10th). See the official web page for the event.

Ben Hague and Viv Smith

NZ Chess Champion wins in Napier
Early riser Ben Hague’s tough determination helped him win the Hawke’s Bay Rapid chess tournament in Napier. Hague, who got up at 5am to catch the plane down from Auckland, came first equal in the national championship in Auckland in January and he finished clear first in the Hawke’s Bay tournament, which is part of the national Poison Pawn Grand Prix series. But it was not easy playing six hard games after a very early start to the day, and he had to get out of serious trouble in at least two of his games. The key game was his clash with visiting Czech player Jaroslav Shanel, who finished second. Hague looked to be losing but never gave up and eventually his persistence enabled him snatch an unlikely-looking victory. He was also two pawns down in the final round against Joy Qin, but wriggled out with a draw and finished with 5½/6. Vivian Smith won the B-Grade, and Napier’s Charlie Li won the junior section.
Pictured: FM Ben Hague (left) and wfm Viv Smith. Thanks to Bernard Carpinter for the report. Full results on our Results page.

 GM Matthieu Cornette (France) and IM Deimante Daulyte (Lithuania)

First Grandmaster Entries for 2016 NZ Open
The New Zealand Chess Federation is delighted to announce that GM Matthieu Cornette (France) and IM/WGM Deimante Daulyte (Lithuania) have accepted invitations to participate in the 2016 Championships. 26-year-old Daulyte is a five-time winner of the Lithuanian Women’s Championship, while Cornette, 29, will surely be one of the tournament favourites with his current rating of FIDE 2588.
The 2016 New Zealand Congress will take place in Devonport, Auckland. The Open and Major Open will run from 2nd-10th January, followed by the traditional Quickplay and Lightning events 11th-12th January. A Junior Open will run in the mornings, January 5th-10th. See the official web page for the event.

Veterans analysis

Oceania Seniors Championship in Devonport
Clear winner of the Oceania Seniors was NZ National Master Leonard McLaren, adding the NZ Seniors title to his share of the NZ Championship at the same venue. There was a hard fight for the Veterans title, which Nigel Cooper could have won outright if he had beaten Hilton Bennett in the final round. That game was eventually drawn, after a very long Q+P ending, leaving the title shared between Cooper and Bob Gibbons. Pictured, Antonio Krstev (standing) shows Nigel how he could have won.
Full results and Vega link on our Results page.

Layla Timergazi & David Vincenti

Surprise winners of the Wellington Open
With IMs Ker and Dive and FM Croad taking part, and a whole load of Wellington stalwarts, it must be admitted that the eventual winners of the event came out of the blue! First equal with 5/6 were WFM Layla Timergazi, one of New Zealand's rising stars, and CM David Vincenti, resident here but a regular member of the Maltese Olympiad team. See our Results page for full details, and a games file.
Pictured: Layla and David.

Zhao Xue & Murray Chandler

2016 New Zealand Championship returns to Devonport
Following the success of the previous Congress, the New Zealand Chess Federation is delighted to announce the 2016 National Championships will once again be staged in Devonport, Auckland, beginning 2nd January. The Championship will again be open to players of all nationalities. In addition to the Open , Rapid and Blitz events, the organisers are adding a separate MAJOR OPEN (under 2100), a separate JUNIOR OPEN, and other subsidiary events.
The 123rd New Zealand Chess Congress will take place from 2nd-12th January 2016. Venue: New Zealand National Chess Centre, Devonport St Paul's, 100b Victoria Rd, Devonport, Auckland.
Photo: Last time's winner GM Zhao Xue, with tournament organiser GM Murray Chandler

Mathew and Mike Steadman

Super Class Latvian
With sponsorship from D&D Financial Consultants, this year's Latvian Rapid was a super class Poison Pawn Grand Prix event, for the first time. The increased prize money attracted a strong field - full results can be found on our Results page, with links to the Vega files. FM Mike Steadman (pictured, right) shared the A-Grade Championship with FM Ben Hague, and was delighted when his son Mathew (pictured, left) made it a double by finishing 2nd= in the C-Grade. Of course, with super class points awarded, there are big changes in the Grand Prix standings - check out our Poison Pawn Grand Prix page too!

50 moves cover

Australia reports on the 2015 New Zealand Open
50 Moves Magazine, the newly established e-magazine from Australia, has featured an extensive report on the NZ Open. The report includes an interview with winner Zhao Xue, game analysis by IM Irene Sukandar and some great photos. The rest of the magazine is well worth a read - over 80 pages of great content!
Full Report:

Zhao Xue & Maggie Barry

China's Zhao Xue wins the 2015 New Zealand Open
A fantastic event - including a 10-player pile up for the NZ Closed Championship Title! Full results and photos are available on our Results page.
Results on Vega: Open; Rapid; Lightning
Left: GM Zhao Xue pictured at the prizegiving ceremony with Maggie Barry MP.

Bischoff versus Howell

High Drama in Devonport
Round 6 of the 2015 New Zealand Open saw three decisive games on the top four boards, including an upset on board 1 when Grandmaster Klaus Bischoff (Germany) defeated pre-tournament favourite David Howell (England). With three rounds to go the leaders are 1-2 Bischoff and Xue Zhao (China) 5½/6, 3-5 Irene Sukandar (Indonesia), Hans Gao (NZ) and Paul Garbett (NZ) 5 points.
Photo: Bischoff versus Howell, just before the start.
Play starts 1.30pm daily at the National Chess Centre in Devonport, with Rapidplay and Blitz events following over the weekend of January 10th-11th.

Playing hall

2015 New Zealand Open
115 entries - including four International Grandmasters - and 15 nationalities represented. The prestigious 2015 NEW ZEALAND OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP is underway! Play starts daily from 1.30 pm at the New Zealand National Chess Centre, Devonport St Pauls, 100b Victoria Rd, Devonport. Spectators are welcome, and there is a chess bookstall selling equipment and literature.
The main event runs January 1st-9th, and there is still time to enter the Rapid (weekend of 10th-11th January) and Blitz (Sunday 11th January), open to all.

Victoria Road, Devonport

2015 New Zealand Open
Last-minute entries are still coming in for the 2015 New Zealand Open Championship, starting January 1st. Top-seed English Grandmaster David Howell (FIDE rating 2670) heads the field of 115 players, from 14 different nations. The Open Championship runs for 9 days, followed by the New Zealand Rapid and Blitz Championships over the weekend of 10th and 11th January.
Photo: A giant tournament banner now graces Victoria Rd, courtesy of the pro-active Devonport Business Association. The NZCF Championships, spanning 11 days, are estimated to bring $200,000 worth of business to surrounding businesses and accommodation providers.

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