Home Page Stories, 2008

Steadman, Thornton and Cruden

Final results in the 2008 Millennium Hotels NZ Chess Grand Prix

Top prize of $750 in the Open section went to Mike Steadman (shown top right). Other prizewinners included Gino Thornton (bottom left), winner of the under-2000 section, and Neil Cruden (bottom right), winner of the under-1700 section.
Full results are available for download (Word document). More details are available on the Results Page, and the full results for all sections are available here.

IM Bob Wade at the 4NCL

Robert Graham Wade 1921-2008

With great sadness we report that chess legend Bob Wade has died in London (29th November, about 3 am UK time) after a sudden respiratory illness. Bob was born in Dunedin, and won the New Zealand Championship three times in the 1940s before moving to England. He was a prominent player, coach, author and organiser, and a pioneer in chess book publishing. Many New Zealand players touring Europe over the years will recall time spent at Bob's huge chess library, which he generously made available to anyone doing research. In 2006, aged 84, Bob revisited New Zealand to perform creditably in the Queenstown Classic. Tributes have already appeared on TWIC, ChessBase and BCM.

Bosnia versus New Zealand

Results from Dresden Olympiad

The individual performance charts for the New Zealand teams at the Dresden Olympiad are now published on our Results Page. For the Open team, it proved a roller-coaster ride. An historic 7th round win over Bosnia and Herzegovina catapulted New Zealand to board five, a pairing against the mighty Ukraine, and a rough landing in the final rounds. The New Zealand Women's team finished creditably (ahead of Australia) with a fine 3½-½ victory over Wales.
Photo: the chart next to the boards in Dresden records what may be New Zealand's finest ever match result. (Photo by The Closet Grandmaster)

Daniel Baider

$1000 incentive for IM norms in Queenstown Classic

Equipment firm Chess Enterprises New Zealand have announced a $1000 bonus award for a New Zealand player who successfully achieves an International Master norm in Queenstown. The award will comprise a generous $1000 contribution towards tournament expenses, for attending any subsequent elite chess event during 2009 (such as Australia's Parramatta Chess Festival or the Oceania Zonal Chess Tournament). If more than one New Zealand player makes an IM norm, the award will be shared.
Photo: 14-year-old Daniel Baider from Wellington. Could this fast-improving junior be in contention for an IM norm in Queenstown?

Roger Nokes

October 2008 Newsletter - Olympiad team ready for Dresden

Click here to download a report by NZ Chess Federation President Paul Spiller on recent happenings. Shortly the New Zealand teams will leave for the World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, November 13th-25th. Ongoing results of all teams should be available on and other chess websites.
Photo: Olympiad board 4 (and South Island Champion) Roger Nokes, in action at the recent Kaikoura International.

Generous donation from Pub Charity

Generous Chess Equipment Grant from Pub Charity

The New Zealand Chess Federation (NZCF) has received a grant for $6,588 from Charitable Trust Pub Charity, to fund the purchase of 40 DGT XL electronic clocks, and 2 state-of-the-art DGT boards (for displaying games over the internet). This new equipment will be a permanent asset for New Zealand chessplayers, and will receive its first outing at the Queenstown Chess Classic in January 2009. Queenstown incorporates the NZ National Championships, and is open to all (reminder - late fees apply if entering after November 1st). Entries to date include 36 titled players from 17 different countries.

Bobby Cheng in Vietnam

Strong kiwi contingent at the World Youth

A 20-strong New Zealand delegation has now arrived in Vung Tau in Vietnam for the 2008 World Youth Chess Championships. This includes parents, supporters and 9 players: WFM (Women's FIDE Master) Sue Maroroa, Ivan Dorofeev, Daniel Shen, Nicole Tsoi, Bobby Cheng, Karl Zhu, Katy Qiu, Judy Zhu, and Winston Yao. The official website is and scores will also be posted here on our Results Page.
Photo (courtesy of Frank Cheng): on arrival in Vietnam, NZ representative Bobby Cheng makes friends with some locals...

The men who made it happen - Chris Benson and Kevin Tetley.

Kaikoura Event a Resounding Success

The 2008 South Island Championship (October 8th-12th) featured a prestigious field and a truly atmospheric tournament venue. Surrounded by oak casks and bottles of Pinot Noir (fortunately with some extra lighting and heating) 44 players did battle in the rustic cellar of the Kaikoura Winery. Scoring 7/9 were GMs Johansen, Chandler, and IM Solomon, while South Island resident Roger Nokes on 6/9 took the official title - see Results Page for the full crosstable.
Photo: the men who made it happen - joint organisers/sponsors Chris Benson (Benson Insurance Brokers) and Kevin Tetley (of Sunrise Bungalows).

Darryl Johansen and Andras Toth

George Trundle NZ Masters Tournament, September 27th-October 5th

Spectators are welcome at the Auckland Chess Centre. Round times: 1pm every day except the last round on October 5th which is at 10am. This is an all-play-all event with IM norm possibilities. Competitors: IM Stephen Solomon AUS 2478, GM Darryl Johansen AUS 2452, IM Andras Toth HUN 2401, FM Bob Smith NZL 2316, FM Nic Croad NZL 2290, FM Stephen Lukey NZL 2288, FM Bruce Watson NZL 2280, FM Tim Reilly AUS 2271, Mike Steadman NZL 2226, Daniel Baider NZL 2091.
There will be daily updates for this and the concurrent Qualifier event on our Results Page.
Photo: Darryl Johansen and Andras Toth, just arrived.

Olympiad Women's Team (Sue, Helen, Viv, Judy, Natasha)

New Zealand Olympiad Squads ready for Dresden

The German organisers have confirmed that 153 nations will compete at the prestigious FIDE World Chess Olympiad to be staged in Dresden, 12th-25th November. The New Zealand teams are confirmed (in board order) as:
Open Team: GM Murray Chandler, IM Russell Dive, FM Robert Smith, FM Roger Nokes, and FM Stephen Lukey. Team Captain: Hilton Bennett.
Women's Team: Helen Milligan, Sue Maroroa, Judy Gao, Vivian Smith, Natasha Fairley. Team Captain: John McDonald.
Pictured: the New Zealand Women's team at a recent pre-Olympiad preparation meeting in Auckland.

Sunnybrae Normal Primary School

Results Round-up

Final scores of the 2008 North Shore Open (held August 30th-31st) and the Auckland Intermediate and Primary Schools Championships (September 5th) can be seen on our Results Page.
Photo: the victorious Sunnybrae Normal Primary School team: William Li, Tiaming Jiang, Weber Wang and Jack Liu.

Woman Grandmaster Alina Motoc (photo provided by Alina)

NZCF July 2008 Newsletter

Click here to download a report (pdf format) on recent happenings by NZ Chess Federation President, Paul Spiller.
Photo: WGM (Women's Grandmaster) Alina Motoc. The 23-year-old Romanian star has now confirmed her participation in the Queenstown Chess Classic (incorporating the New Zealand Open Championships), January 2009.

North Island Champion Anthony Ker, and Hilton Bennett

Ker dominates in Tauranga

International Master Anthony Ker (Wellington) was a comfortable winner of the 2008 North Island Championship, July 15th-19th. He finished a point ahead of Peter Stuart (North Shore) in second place. For the full crosstable see our Results Page. Photo: Ker is presented with his trophy by co-organiser Hilton Bennett, who the next day himself finished joint first with Anthony in the North Island Rapidplay.

NZ Girls under-8 champions with John Francis

2008 New Zealand Junior Championships

Results of this event (played in Howick-Pakuranga, July 7th-10th) are now posted on our Results Page. Pictured: the Girls Under-8 Champions. Prizes were presented by the sponsor John Francis of Quality Solutions, a firm which produces annual diaries for Intermediate and Secondary schools throughout New Zealand.

Players at the 2008 New Zealand Championships, Auckland

New Zealand selections announced for the World Youth Championships

Selections have now been made for the World Youth Chess Championships, taking place in the resort town of Vung Tau, in Vietnam, 19-31 October. New Zealand will be represented in several of the age categories, and there was competition for a number of the places. Applications are now closed.
Our selected Junior representatives are: Girls under-8 Judy Zhu; Boys U-8 Winston Yao; Boys U-10 Karl Zhu; Girls U-12 Nicole Tsoi; Boys U-12 Bobby Cheng; Boys U-14 Daniel Shen; Boys U-16 Ivan Dorofeev; Girls U-18 Sue Maroroa.
Photo: some of New Zealand's top juniors at the NZ Championships, Auckland 2008.

GM Klaus Bischoff

13 grandmasters already confirmed for $50,000 Queenstown Chess Classic

Several months before the event begins, the Queenstown Classic (main event January 15th-24th 2009) has had entries from a remarkable tally of overseas Grandmasters. Entrants include GM Eduardas Rozentalis (Lithuania), and English GMs Gawain Jones and Peter Wells. The top-ranked entry to date is GM Victor Mikhalevski (Israel), rated 2597. Also playing is the former German blitz champion GM Klaus Bischoff (pictured), while creating added interest is the entry of several young wgms (Women Grandmasters). Queenstown will incorporate the 116th New Zealand Championship, and is an event open to all players. A list of entrants to date is now being posted to the Queenstown Classic website.

Megan du Plessis

Young and Old shine in Gordon Hoskyn Memorial, Sunday June 14th

Flu was not enough to slow down IM Russell Dive, who paused only for a draw with John McDonald, on his way to a comfortable victory ahead of 44 other players. Also playing was NZ correspondence chess legend SIM Michael Freeman (2453 ICCF). Dave Capper, in his eighties, but playing 30 years younger, took 1st= in the B-grade and best Senior. Arguably the real star was 13 year old Megan du Plessis (pictured): 1st in Junior grade, 1st= in C-grade, 1st= B-grade, and taking best Female and best upset in round 6. For full results see our results page. There were 28 prizes, including books and approximately $1300.

Steadman, Garbett, Thornton (with trophy), McCrone and Zhang

Waitakere Open staged for 31st consecutive year

The hard-fought Waitakere Licensing Trust Open, over Queen's Birthday weekend, resulted in a 5-way tie for first between (photo, left to right) Mike Steadman, Paul Garbett, Gino Thornton, Jeffrey McCrone and Peng Li Zhang. There were 101 participants spread over four events (see results page).
Waitakere also qualifies for the rarely achieved Superclass status, in the ongoing Millennium Hotels Grand Prix. Waitakere Club President Bob Smith founded the event, and has been the principal organiser for all but one of its 31 years.

Russell Dive and Vivian Smith

New Zealand Olympiad Teams Announced

The NZCF selectors have chosen the following players to represent New Zealand in Dresden (not necessarily in board order):
Open team: Murray Chandler, Puchen Wang, Russell Dive, Bob Smith, and Roger Nokes. 1st Reserve: Stephen Lukey, 2nd Reserve Michael Steadman.
Women's team: Helen Milligan, Sue Maroroa, Judy Gao, Vivian Smith, Natasha Fairley. 1st Reserve: Evgenia Charmova, 2nd Reserve: Cecily Liu.
The Olympiad will take place from 13th-25th November 2008 in Dresden, Germany. Pictured: Olympiad stalwarts Russell Dive and Vivian Smith.

Daniel Shen (North Island 2007)

Applications for 2008 World Youth Championships, Vietnam

NZCF is inviting applications from juniors wishing to represent New Zealand - for further details see our NZ Chess Calendar, under the dates 19-31 October. The tournament website is
The World Youth will take place in Vung Tau, a resort town in the province of Dong Nai, 125 km from Saigon. New Zealand is entitled to one official representative in each age group category, who will receive free food and accommodation, while additional players may participate at their own expense. Pictured: Auckland's Daniel Shen, who finished with a creditable 6/11 in the Under-12 in 2007 in Turkey.

Logo of Dresden Olympiad

NZCF Olympiad Funds Appeal

In November 2008 the prestigious FIDE (World Chess Federation) Olympiad will take place in Dresden, Germany. The massive chess Olympiads are staged at two year intervals. For this coming event, New Zealand has an historic opportunity to send what may well be our strongest ever men's and women's teams. The New Zealand Chess Federation is now launching an Olympiad Appeal fund, to raise essential travel funds to assist the 10 team members and accompanying managers. Full details of how to donate can now be found here. The NZ team selectors are currently deliberating, with our squad of five men and five women due to be announced in early June.

Natasha Fairley, Judy Gao, and Helen Milligan

NZCF May 2008 Newsletter

Click here to download the NZCF May 2008 newsletter (pdf format) from NZ Chess Federation President Paul Spiller. Pictured: Three new first-time champions! Natasha Fairley, Judy Gao, and Helen Milligan were joint winners of the hard-fought New Zealand Women's Championship held at the Auckland Chess Centre from April 30th-May 4th 2008. For cross-tables, games and more photos see our results page.

Gordon Hoskyn

Gordon Hoskyn

One of New Zealand's greatest chess organizers, Gordon Hoskyn, passed away on the 1st of May 2008, after a long battle with cancer. Gordon was a former New Zealand Senior Champion, Wanganui Champion, and avid Correspondence Player. As President of the Wanganui Chess Club, he was the backbone of chess in Wanganui and the Manawatu for many, many, years, and much loved for his warm, kind and friendly manner. He made a huge contribution to NZ chess during his lifetime and will be sorely missed. Photo (courtesy of Justin Davis): Gordon at his final chess event, at the Wanganui Club in December 2007, taking his team to victory in The President's vs Club Captain's Team Match

wfm Sue Maroroa and wfm Natasha Fairley

Olympiad Selections for Dresden

The New Zealand teams for the World Chess Olympiad in November will be selected during May, and the teams officially announced on May 31st. For this Olympiad the World Chess Federation, FIDE, have announced a format whereby each Open team and each Women's team will contain five players. The New Zealand Chess Federation is requesting leading male and female players to advise their availability for Dresden, and also invites expressions of interest from potential team managers. An Olympiad fund-raising campaign will shortly be launched to assist with airfares.
Pictured: Sue Maroroa and Natasha Fairley, members of the NZ Women's team at the Turin 2006 Olympiad.

Scott Wastney and Anthony Ker

2008 Wellington Easter Congress

29 players (including two International Masters) competed for $1425 in prizemoney in the traditional Easter weekend tournament organised by the Wellington Chess Club. Playing conditions at the Wellington Bridge Club rooms in Thorndon were excellent - the organisers even thoughtfully provided small tables beside each board to cater for refreshments. An early loss left top seed Russell Dive with too much to do, and FM Scott Wastney and Anthony Ker (both pictured) shared first equal on 5/6. Crosstable and more photos - Results Page.

Paul Spiller, playing in the George Trundle Qualifier 2007

NZCF March 2008 Newsletter

Click here to download a report (pdf format) on recent happenings by the newly elected NZ Chess Federation President, Paul Spiller.

Neil Cruden

Inaugural "Second Sunday" rapidplay held at Auckland Chess Centre

The first in a new series of one-day tournaments attracted 39 players to the Auckland Chess Centre on March 9. The series is so-named as events will take place on the second Sunday of each month during 2008. The venue may vary - Hamilton is hosting the April 13th event. Congratulations to Gino Thornton (North Shore), who won the A-grade with a perfect 6/6. A special mention to the winner of the B-grade, Neil Cruden (pictured) - Neil generously donated his $120 prize to "Project Grandmaster," the campaign to fund talented junior Puchen Wang on his year of chess abroad.
Full cross-tables and more pictures on our results page.

Michael Steadman

Steadman steadies himself in 2008 Bay of Plenty Rapidplay

After conceding a first round draw, Mike Steadman (Auckland Chess Centre) won five games in a row to end up a convincing winner of the Bay of Plenty Rapid event, held on February 23rd 2008. The time control was 25 minutes per player per game, plus 5 seconds per move. A point behind, in second, were Gino Thornton (North Shore) and John Duneas (Mount Maunganui). For a crosstable of the event, see our results page.
In between chess events, Steadman is overseeing the "Project Grandmaster" fundraising campaign, to give norm opportunities to Puchen Wang during his year in Europe. Puchen is now in Budapest, after a creditable first event in Cappelle, France. Donations welcome - contributors gain access to a special website, including Puchen's ongoing diary and annotated games.

Project Grandmaster total donations

Project Grandmaster

Puchen Wang, one of the best chess-playing juniors New Zealand has ever produced, is taking a gap year before university to try to achieve the grandmaster title. The NZCF is seeking to provide the best tournament format and funding vehicle to maximise Puchen's chances for success - we estimate a budget of $50,000 is required. Donors will have access to a special website where Puchen will report his results, annotate some games, and keep us in touch with how he is getting on.
If you would like to be part of this project, then please, donate some money! You can make donations using the Direct Credit Form (jpeg image) - fill it in and send it to your bank. Or make an online transfer to account no. 01 0178 0069910 00 (e-mail Mike to get details of the special website for donors). Otherwise, contact Mike Steadman (phone 021 799 566 to find out what you can do to help Puchen.

New Zealand Champion Murray Chandler

New Zealand Chess Supplies 115th NZ Chess Congress

The Championship was won by Murray Chandler. 2nd equal were Russell Dive and Michael Steadman. The Major Open was won by 12-year-old Daniel Shen.
Games and results are available on the website of the Auckland Chess Centre. Information about the event can be found here. The Rapidplay was won by Herman Van Riemsdijk; 2nd equal (and holding the title of NZ Rapidplay Champions) were Bob Smith and Michael Steadman.
The NZ Lightning Championship was won by Pu Chen Wang.
Full results will appear on our Results page. Some photographs from the event can be found here.