Home Page Stories, 2010

Grand Prix winners 2010

Grand Prix 2010 Winners

This year's Grand Prix went down to the line, with the last event of the season, the MIT Rapid, determining the final list of prizewinners. Bob Smith (centre) won the event and secured first place in the Open category. Other winners include: Under 2000 Noel Pinic (bottom left), Under 1700 Luke Li (bottom right), Under 1400 David Rong, Junior Hans Gao (top right), Senior Peter Stuart (top left), Female Helen Milligan, Under 14 & Under 1400 Scott Yang.
Full results on the Grand Prix page.

Queenstown Chess Classic 2012

2012 Queenstown Classic - confirmed!

New Zealand's most prestigious international Open tournament, The Queenstown Chess Classic, will return for a 3rd edition 15th-23rd January 2012. The $50,000 in sponsorship is being provided by New Zealand Chess Grandmaster Murray Chandler.
As with the previous Queenstown events (in 2006 and 2009), the 2012 Classic will be a fully-fledged International Open tournament. It will feature nine rounds over nine days, and will incorporate the 119th New Zealand National Championship.
The tournament website will be updated regularly over the coming months.

Ajit Pendharkar and Bruce Wheeler

Labour Weekend

Two big events took place over the weekend. In the South Island, Ben Martin won the All-Canterbury championships with a perfect 6/6. In Auckland up north, Bruce Wheeler won the Open section of the Merv Morrison, ahead of Noel Pinic and Luke Li. Another impressive result from Luke, who had the highest performance rating of the tournament (2290). Winner of the B-grade and the Merv Morrison trophy was Ajit Pendarkhar. Full results can be found on our Results page.
Pictured: Ajit Pendharkar with the Merv Morrison trophy (left) and Bruce Wheeler.

Mammoths in Khanty

Olympiad Results

Khanty-Mansiysk proved to be a fascinating place, with even a herd of bronze mammoths among its attractions. The hotel was finished in time, chefs and staff were brought in from St Petersburg, and a fleet of buses meant we hardly had to step out into the cold at all. Full results are available at
Pictured: mammoths at the Archaeopark.

Olympiad composite

Olympiad Team fundraiser

Bids are open for a stay of 1 or 2 weeks in a deluxe self-contained one bedroom apartment to be used by end June 2012 (July and August 2011 excluded). The highest bid/s will go the 2010 Olympiad Appeal - less $100 per each week to cover overheads. More than one bid may be accepted and it is transferable to other people. Bids should include name, email, bid amount per week and number of weeks sought. Please send by email to Paul Spiller. Closing date 20th September 2010. Successful bids will have the same priority as regular bookings.
See our Olympiad page for more details and see for pictures of the apartments.

Ted Frost RIP

Ted Frost - 1927-2010

Ted Frost - known as the great statesman of New Zealand Chess - died peacefully in his sleep on July 15th in Wanganui Hospital. He was 83. During his long services as a chess administrator, Ted held at various times all the major roles in New Zealand Chess - President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor of the New Zealand Chess Magazine. He introduced ratings to New Zealand chess, and established the Chess Friends Trust. Wellington Chess Club in particular benefited from his leadership skills. The full tribute by the club's current President, Ross Jackson, can be read on

Volcanic pool at Rotorua

Call for Expressions of Interest for Zonal places

Oceania Zonal, January 25th-31st 2011: New Zealand is entitled to nominate one player for the Open Zonal and one player for the Women's Zonal to receive free entry and free accommodation. If you are interested in taking the free place, please email Paul Spiller before 30th September. More information about the Zonal can be found on our Zonal Website. Selections will be made by the end of October. Please note that all New Zealanders are welcome to play on payment of the entry fee.
Photo: hot pool at Rotorua.

Mike Steadman and Guy West

George Trundle 2010 NZ Masters

The Masters was won by Australian IM Guy West with the overwhelming score of 8½/9. Mike Steadman was second with 6½, collecting the George Trundle trophy for the best New Zealander, and also his first IM norm. Third was Bob Smith and the juniors Bobby Cheng and Daniel Shen tied for fourth. The concurrent Qualifiers' event finished in a 4-way tie for 1st between (in tie-break order) Bob Gibbons, Helen Milligan, Alan Ansell and Tony Dowden on 6/9. Full details on our Results Page.
Pictured: Mike Steadman (left) and Guy West.

Mark Noble, Correspondence GM

A Grandmaster for New Zealand

Congratulations to 47-year-old Mark Noble (Lower Hutt), on achieving a life-long dream with his recent qualification as a Correspondence Chess Grandmaster. Although these days played via the Internet, correspondence games can still take a considerable time to complete. Mark's final game (achieving his third and final norm) was against Jiri Soudny of Russia, and lasted some 60 moves and 22 months. The links below give the tournament cross-tables detailing Mark's wonderful achievement:

Eachen Chen, Judy Gao, Helen Milligan, Sue Maroroa

Girl Power at the Waitakere Licensing Trust Open

Grandmaster Gawain Jones duly won the Open with a perfect 6/6. During the event, there were several match-ups between members of the Open and the Women's teams. The Women came out on top by a margin of 2½ to 1½: Eachen Chen beat Gino Thornton, Helen Milligan drew with Gino, Sue Maroroa drew with Mike Steadman, and in the last game to finish (123 moves) Helen drew with Bob Smith. Sue, Helen, Eachen and Judy Gao all collected grading prizes. Pictured: (top) Eachen Chen, Judy Gao, (bottom) Helen Milligan and Sue Maroroa.
Full crosstables and lots of photos available on our Results Page.

Olympiad composite

Teams announced for the 2010 Olympiad

The Open team, in alphabetical order:
Daniel Han, Stephen Lukey, Bob Smith, Michael Steadman, Gino Thornton.
The Women's team, in alphabetical order:
Eachen Chen, Natasha Fairley, Sue Maroroa, Helen Milligan, Shirley Wu.
Open team captain and overall manager: Hilton Bennett. Women's team captain: Viv Smith.
Full details can be found on our Olympiad Page, where we are also starting an Appeal for help with the travel costs.

Dejan Bojkov and Helen Milligan (by Sadami Konchi)

Kiwis Abroad

There was a Kiwi presence in three major international events over Easter. FM Mike Steadman went in search of IM norms at the Doeberl Cup and Sydney International Open in Australia - and made it clear that he will soon be achieving them. Hilton Bennett and Helen Milligan put in supporting performances at Doeberl, and the three were joined by Daniel Shen, Alan Ansell and Sue Maroroa at SIO. Bob and Viv Smith travelled to the Kuala Lumpur Open in Malaysia. Full results can be found on the Results Page.
Pictured: 1st on tiebreak at the SIO was Gambit author Dejan Bojkov. The tournament was enlivened by the presence of artist Sadami Konchi; on the right is her impression of Helen.

Gawain Jones and Sue Maroroa

2010 Bay of Plenty Rapidplay

A one-two for Gawain and Sue! GM Gawain Jones won the Open section with a perfect 6/6. He was perhaps lucky to avoid a pairing against his fiancée, WIM Sue Maroroa, who carved her way through a strong field to finish second. The B-Grade was won by Luke Li. Full results and more photos can be found on our Results Page.

Olympiad in Dresden 2008

2010 Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk

The NZCF is calling for 'Expressions of Interest' from players and team captains for both the Open and Women's teams for the Chess Olympiad which is scheduled to take place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, from 19th September to 4th October 2010. An Expression of Interest is not an application for selection, but will ensure that those who are interested in selection will be informed directly about news and developments related to the Olympiad. It is expected that applications for selection will close on April 16th, allowing players to include the results of major events taking place around Easter in their applications. The NZCF Selection Panel intends to finalise selections in early May. See our Olympiad Page for more information and updates.
Pictured: Dive, Lukey, Nokes and Chandler at the 2008 Dresden Olympiad.

Shirley Wu and Anthony Ker, New Zealand Champions

117th NZ Chess Championships, January 2nd-14th 2010

IM Anthony Ker of Wellington (pictured right) has won a magnificent 11th New Zealand Championship title at the recent NZ Chess Supplies Congress in Auckland, half a point ahead of Nic Croad in second. The event was especially hard fought, with the lead changing hands a number of times. There was a fine victory in the Major Open section, for 12-year-old Alan Ansell (New Plymouth), ahead of many adult competitors. Congratulations also to Shirley Wu (Auckland; pictured left). As the highest-placed female player in the Major Open, she receives the Mabel Abbot Trophy and the title of NZ Women's Champion. Full information, including games, photos, and Rapid/Lightning scores, can be seen on our Results Page.

FM Robert Smith

2010 Millennium Hotels NZ Chess Grand Prix

Congratulations to FM Bob Smith (pictured) who won the Open section of the 2009 Grand Prix.
Bob is the administrator of the Grand Prix, and he has some important advice for you for 2010 - see the Grand Prix Page.
There has been an important change to the Grand Prix rules for 2010. The requirement for a tournament to have three players in a division before Grand Prix points are awarded has been removed. This will benefit strong players who travel to the more distant events - Open Grand Prix points will now be awarded even if there are fewer than 3 players rated over 2000.