NZCF logo

New Zealand Chess

Chequered kiwi logo

This is the official website of the NEW ZEALAND CHESS FEDERATION INC, the governing body of chess in New Zealand.
For information on forthcoming chess events click on our Chess Calendar.


Batumi Olympiad
Batumi Olympiad 2018
Chess Calendar
Results page
Poison Pawn Grand Prix in Association with D & D Financial Consultants Ltd
2018 Interschools Calendar
Contact us
Go to the Resources Page for NZCF information, including Registrations, Ratings, Fee Payments, Vega, Arbiters, the Handbook, Master Points, etc.

Information for organisers - updated NZCF Tournament Rules

Two new tournament rules have recently been added by NZCF Council:

Rule 1.1.8 (NZCF website shall be official website) makes it a requirement that the most important NZCF tournaments (such as Congress, New Zealand Seniors, New Zealand Junior, etc) are run on the official NZCF website This applies whether NZCF is organising the events directly or has licensed a club or other third party.

Rule 1.1.9 (Entry form) makes it a requirement that any NZCF or FIDE rated tournament in New Zealand must promptly supply the Entry Form in digital format to NZCF for approval and listing on the Calendar page of the official NZCF website. The contact email address is The Entry Form published on the NZCF website shall be the official and definitive version.

These rules will ensure a high quality of dependable information is available promptly to participants, sponsors and spectators. It will also enable important tournament information to be reliably archived by NZCF for long term future reference.

The full wording of the two rules can be seen at, Tournament Rules section. Most events in New Zealand will already be compliant – those that are not are kindly asked to rectify this as soon as possible.

Poison Pawn Grand Prix logo

Final 2017 Grand Prix Results

Final 2017 Grand Prix Standings are now available here (pdf document) and 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.

The remarkable 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.

Martin Dreyer will make some Grand Prix presentations at the Latvian Rapid on March 24th (see the Calendar). If you've won a prize email the NZCF Treasurer Winsome Stretch at to discuss collecting your prize.


43rd World Chess Olympiad, Batumi

The NZCF selectors have chosen the New Zealand squads for the Batumi Olympiad, September 23rd – October 7th. In provisional board order they are:

Open Team

1. IM Russell Dive
2. FM Ben Hague
3. FM Alexei Kulashko
4. IM Anthony Ker
5. FM Daniel Gong

Women’s Team

1. CM Helen Milligan
2. WCM Vyanla Punsalan
3. WFM Jasmine Zhang
4. WCM Joy Qin
5. WCM Nicole Qin

The teams are chosen from a list of players who have confirmed themselves available. Head of Delegation is Hilton Bennett. The Open Team Captain/Coach is Bulgarian Grandmaster Dejan Bojkov, while the Women’s Team Captain is yet to be confirmed.

Poison Pawn Grand Prix logo

ACC Junior Chess Series announced
Alex Huang has organised a new series of junior rapid tournaments, held monthly at the Auckland Chess Centre. All tournaments are NZCF rated and part of the Poison Pawn Grand Prix.
See the Calendar Page for details.

Blitz under 1300 winner

A Successful 125th NZ Congress

The tournament wraps up today (Jan 12) with a public simultaneous exhibition by French GM Fabien Libiszewski. All results are on the Results Page. Congratulations to chief organiser Mark Noble and his team, and head arbiter Keong Ang for a very successful event.

Pictured: Hannah Xu collects her 1st, Blitz under 1300 prize and helps the photographer frame the photo.
Photo courtesy of Simon Lyall.
More of Simon's congress photo albums:
Day 7  Day 8  Day 9  Day 10  Day 11

French Flag

Vive La France
Rowan Wood once again sums things up perfectly.
It's a French quinella for the 2018 New Zealand Open. GM Adrien Demuth has won the tournament with 8/9, a full point ahead of GM Fabien Libiszewski. Before the start of the final round, seven players were in contention to be NZ Champion. From this group emerged two players, Russell Dive and Alphaeus Ang. Six points is the magic number. Dive took control of his game with Daniel Gong on move 31 and went on to win in 53 moves. Ang established an advantage as early as move 14 against Hans Gao, winning in just 26 moves. This is Alphaeus's first New Zealand Champion title and Russell's fifth (86/87, 95/96, 98/99, 2015 and now 2018). Congratulations!

The New Zealand Major Open was won by Australian Leon Kempen with 7.5 points, ahead of Stan Yee on 7 with three players tied for third on 6.5 points: Laurens Goormachtigh (BEL), Ryan Winter and Alan Winfield. Congratulations!

Rapid final standings: Fabien Libiszewski, Mike Steadman (NZ Rapid Champ) 7.5; Adrien Demuth 7; Darryl Johansen 6.5; Russell Dive, Alphaeus Ang, Anthony Ker and Jack James 6.

Top Boards Round 4

125th New Zealand Congress
The 125th Congress started on January 1st.

Stop Press: 1st Adrien Demuth (9), 2nd Fabien Libiszewski (8), 3rd= and joint NZ Champions Alphaeus Ang and Russell Dive (6)

Rowan Wood on ChessChat sets the scene for an exciting final round to the NZ Open:

The final round of the New Zealand Open takes place Tuesday (NZ time). It's fairly safe to say that GM Adrien Demuth of France has the tournament in the bag with a clear point lead over his compatriot GM Fabian Libiszewski. Demuth needs only a draw with white against Bob Smith to win outright. Mike Steadman has black against Libiszewski while Daniel Gong, the third of the New Zealand trio on 5.5 points plays four time winner Russell Dive. .

These are the leading scores for New Zealand players: Smith, Steadman and Gong 5.5; Allen Fan, Dive, Hans Gao and Alphaeus Ang 5. Out of contention now are Ben Hague and thirteen time winner Anthony Ker on 4.5 points.

Six points appears to be the popular score for winning the Silver Rook. Smith and Steadman have Black against the French GMs and probably would be happy with half-a-point to move to 6. They will then hope that Dive does not lose to Gong. A draw moves Gong to six points while Dive must win to get there. Gao and Ang face off in a potential winner takes all while Fan has a difficult task with black against Australian GM Darryl Johansen. All this speculation counts for nothing though if any of the leading three players can win their round 9 games.

Be sure to watch the live action here.

Quick links to final standings in the classical tournaments:
Latest Open Crosstable
Latest Major Open Crosstable
Please see the Congress Page for more information, including links to all Vega files (including pairings) for all tournaments, and links to live games.

Simon Lyall's congress photo albums:
Day 1  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4  Day 5  Day 6
Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart, RIP

Peter's funeral will be held at Forrest's Funeral Chapel, 8 Glen Road Browns Bay, Monday 19th February at 11am.

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of our friend and colleague Peter Stuart. We offer our condolences to all his family and friends. Peter's contribution to NZCF and New Zealand chess has been immense.
Please see for more information.

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.

New Zealand Chess Clubs
Correspondence Chess in NZ
Cover of New Zealand Chess Magazine
Subscribe to the Magazine.
NZCF Junior Badges
NZCF Junior Badges
Hire of NZCF Equipment
Links page

| Home | Calendar | Results | Resources | Links | Clubs | Interschools Calendar | Contact us | Poison Pawn Grand Prix in Association with D & D Financial Consultants Ltd |