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Olympiad Appeal

The members of the Olympiad squad are responsible for their own travel costs to the event. At present, there is no sponsorship for them at all. The New Zealand Chess Federation is appealing for donations to help, not just with travel costs, but with other costs as well (possible costs include a team coach and/or expenses related to sending very young players who require a parent/guardian to travel too). Send cheques, payable to NZCF, to PO Box 216, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140, or make contributions directly to ANZ Bank 01 0535 0073257 00 - please send me an email to confirm you have done this ( Contributors will be listed on this web page.

We are grateful for contributions from:
Simon Lyall
Tony Dowden
Barry Hooton

Olympiad Updates
Lists of Teams (10th August 2016)

The official website now lists teams:
and Women's
These are not necessarily in board order; in the case of NZ they are just in the order in which I added the names.


The organisers of the Olympiad have altered the method of applying for visas. Electronic visas will now be issued. However, it is now critical that the information provided is in a suitable format. ID photos must have a white background. Passport scans must be in colour. Please would all members of the NZ Delegation (players, captains, HoD, Delegate) check the documents they sent to me and replace if necessary - most ID photos that I have do not have a white background, for example...
Further information, as follows, is required urgently from each of you:
Home address with post code
Phone number with country code
Have you visited Azerbaijan before (give full details and visa details/number, if so)
Have you ever visited Nagorno-Karabakh.

Send to me:

Captain/coach for the Women's team (17th June 2016)

The organisers of the Olympiad have generously allowed countries to bring a Head of Delegation free, in addition to a Captain for each team. This has allowed NZCF to promote Hilton Bennett to Head of Delegation, and employ a captain/coach specifically for the Women's team, leaving GM Bojkov to concentrate on the Open team.
We have been very fortunate to obtain the services of the experienced coach Peter Long, of the KL Chess Academy in Malaysia. Peter has been active for many years as a player, arbiter, organiser, and trainer. His record in developing young chess talent is particularly notable and we hope that our (mostly) young Women's team will benefit from this.

Teams update (23rd May 2016)

Unfortunately, and again as a consequence of the changed dates, there has been another forced withdrawal from the squad. FM Luke Li has had to pull out, and will be replaced by FM Stephen Lukey. We now have:
Open Team
1. FM Alexei Kulashko
2. FM Scott Wastney
3. IM Russell Dive
4. FM Ben Hague
5. FM Stephen Lukey
Women's Team
1. CM Helen Milligan
2. WCM Jasmine Zhang
3. Kate Song
4. Nadia Braganza
5. Eva Lourenco

World-class coach for New Zealand Olympiad Teams (4th May 2016)

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.
Follow his Blog at

Invitation received (21st April 2016)

The official invitation has been received, and registration has been opened. The invitation, with important information, can be read here (pdf document). The official website is

Teams update (3rd April 2016)

Unfortunately the change in dates has cost us the participation of Joy Qin in the Women's team - she has university commitments. She is replaced by the first reserve, Eva Lourenco. The team is now as follows:
Women's Team
1. CM Helen Milligan
2. WCM Jasmine Zhang
3. Kate Song
4. Nadia Braganza
5. Eva Lourenco

Mascot competition announced (11th March 2016)

There is still no official invitation to the Olympiad, but the organisers are getting on with things apparently - they have announced a mascot competition:

Teams announced (20th February 2016)

The New Zealand Chess Federation is pleased to announce the following teams in board order for the 2016 Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan:
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

The quality of the applicants for the 2016 Olympiad has been very high with a number of new faces which is exciting for NZ chess. NZCF is pleased to be able to enter strong teams in both events. To those selected best wishes with your chess preparation and travel organisation, particularly those taking part in their first Olympiad. The selection of Team Captains and non-travelling Reserves will be announced by NZCF at a later date.

Dates changed (17th February 2016)

FIDE has reported that the dates have been changed to September 1st-14th.

Venue confirmed (18th November 2015)

FIDE has reported on the inspection of the venue: see Nothing so far on accommodation though.

The Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan.
NZCF is calling for player applications (August 25th 2015)

The New Zealand Chess Federation is inviting player applications to represent NZ teams at the 42nd Chess Olympiad to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from the 17th to 30th September 2016. Applications must be made on the application form (Word document), which can be returned by email to:
Hilton Bennett
Alternatively it can be printed and returned by post to:
New Zealand Chess Federation, P.O. Box 216, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140
Applications close on the 30th November 2015 and must be received, either by post or email, on or before this date. NZCF aims to complete the selection process as soon as possible after the 2016 NZ Congress, in order to give selected players maximum time to make travel arrangements and prepare themselves for the event. An Open and a Women's team will be selected, each with five players and two non-travelling reserves.

Unlike many federations NZCF does not have a specific activity rule requiring a minimum number of tournament games to be played before a player can be considered for selection. However, the federation wishes to remind players that tournament results and active participation in tournaments are important to the national selectors in establishing current playing form. Without recent activity it is difficult to establish if a player's rating is a reasonable indication of his/her current playing strength. Various tournaments are available to NZ-based Olympiad applicants leading up to the NZ Congress in Devonport in January, as well as club tournaments. The NZ Congress in particular is a focal point of national chess activity and provides an excellent opportunity for applicants to support their application through chess performance.

(n.b. NZCF retains the option of reopening applications if it considers it necessary).

Player Agreement (August 2015)

The Player Agreement from the 2014 Olympiad is available here (pdf document). There may be some further changes to the wording before it is finalised. Players will be asked to sign this, when they are invited to be members of the team. Please be aware that breaking the Player Agreement will mean that your participation in future team events for New Zealand will be discussed by the NZCF Council.

The process is starting.... (August 2015)

We will soon be calling for expressions of interest, with a view to settling the Olympiad teams in plenty of time for the Baku Olympiad, to give players time to prepare properly. Some things to note - as with all international events, NZCF requires a parent or guardian to travel with any player aged under 15.

Doping control (for reference)

The Olympiad is a FIDE event where dope-testing may take place. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances can be downloaded here (pdf document; 2015 version). FIDE's rules regarding Anti-Doping can be downloaded here (pdf document; dated 1/1/2015). If you are taking any medications on the banned list (for example, steroids in asthma inhalers, or amphetamines in ADHD treatments) then it is possible that you will need a Therapeutic Use Exemption certificate (see section 4.4 of the FIDE document). This is something you should discuss with the Team Manager well before the event.


September 1st-14th 2016 - 42nd World Chess Olympiad, Baku, AZERBAIJAN.
Teams of four players, one reserve, and one captain, in the Open and Women's sections. Selection criteria will be advertised in due course. There is no 'activity rule' but selectors will take proven current form into account. There is no official website yet but you might like to visit Azerbaijan at

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