Bulletins January 2022

© New Zealand Chess Federation Inc 2022

Download games as PGN here

Crowd-sourced Congress Highlights

Some Congress highlights, starting with Punsalan-Lee from Round 4, highlighted as an impressive game by Timothy Ha. The other crowd sourced game is an impressive win by Felix Xie against Stephen Lukey in the penultimate round, bringing him within a point of the leader Daniel Gong. Please email your suggestions, preferably annotated!, to either the current web administrator billforsternz@gmail.com or the future one timothyha@gmail.com.

Vyanla Punsalan - Edward Lee

NZ Championship 2022

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 Bxc5 6.b4 Bb6 7.Nf3 Qc7? An unhappy innovation  8.Bd3 ( Missing 8.c4! with an immediate advantage, although perhaps building up first is a reasonable stylistic preference ) 8...Nc6 9.Bb2 a6 10.Nbd2 f5 11.Rc1 Nh6 12.O-O O-O 13.c4 Qe7 14.Qe2 Bd7 15.Bb1 Rad8 16.Ba2 Clearly White's slow build up disguises a lot of latent energy  16...Bc8? Black has to be very careful (16...Be8! was a better option, shifting a defender towards the exposed king ) 17.h3 g5?! Black is trying to sell the idea that he wants to be the one playing on the kingside, a dubious proposition  18.cxd5 White is provoked into action, time to open some lines  18...exd5 19.e6! g4

Moves are clickable

(19...Bxe6 20.Rfe1 and the pins help White's attack. Or White can respond as she did in the game... ) 20.Rxc6! bxc6 21.Qe5 Bxe6 This leads to carnage (21...d4 22.Nxd4 Bxd4 23.Bxd4 Rxd4 24.Qxd4 was ugly too but getting more wood off the board would likely have left Black with better chances of grovelling successfully ) 22.Qh8+ Kf7 23.Qg7+ White avoids taking off the h-pawn to make sure there's no unwelcome counterplay down the 'h' file. The greedy computer engine would have grabbed that pawn  23...Ke8 24.Qxh6 gxf3 25.Re1 Kd7 (25...Rd6 was a little better, but Black is objectively lost here too. His pieces don't cooperate while White's flow into stronger squares creating more threats ) 26.Nxf3 Rg8 27.Ne5+ Kd6 28.Qf4!


Insisting on a powerful discovery, this wins material...  28...Qe8 (28...Bc7 hopes for something like  29.Ng6+ ( but  29.Qd4! instead puts Black in an almost comical dilemma ) 29...Kd7 30.Nxe7?? Bxf4 31.Nxg8 Rxg8 ) 29.Nc4+!! ...or forces mate  29...Ke7 30.Rxe6+ Kxe6 31.Qe5+ Kd7 32.Nxb6# Very good sportsmanship from Eddie Lee, a beautiful mate like this deserves to be seen on the board, others please take note. 1-0

Dive, Russell - Gong, Daniel

2022 New Zealand Championship

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.d4 d6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.e4 e5 6.Be2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Rb1 a6 9.b4 b5 10.Qc2 Qc7 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.Be3 Be6 14.Rfc1 Rfc8 15.Qd1 bxc4 16.Qf1 c5 17.b5 axb5 18.Rxb5 Ne8 19.Rcb1 Nd6 20.Rxc5 Qd8 21.a4 Rxc5 22.Bxc5 Qc8 23.Bb6 Bd8 24.Qd1 Qc6 25.a5 Nb7 26.Nd5 Bxd5 27.exd5 Qd7 28.Bxd8 Rxd8 29.a6 Nd6 30.Qd2 Qa4 31.Rb6 Ne4 32.Qe3 c3 33.Rc6 Qa1+ 34.Bf1 Nd2 35.Qe2 g6 36.d6 Nxf1 37.Qxf1

Moves are clickable

A tough tactical and strategic battle in which White missed chances to take control has reached crisis point  37...Qa4! A very precise move in a position where both players are walking a tight-rope, due to the tactical nature of these positions with mutual active heavy pieces. Qa4 is by far the best move forcing liquidation of all the queenside pawns. ( Embarrassingly I immediately assumed 37...Qxf1+?? was an option, using the c-pawn to distract the rook, but actually since White has two advanced pawns to one this just loses horribly and trivially  38.Kxf1 c2 39.Rxc2 Rxd6 40.Rc8+ Kg7 41.a7 ) 38.Rxc3 ( Forced since 38.Rb6?? loses  38...c2! eg  39.Qc1 Qd4! ) 38...Rxd6 39.Rc1 Qxa6 40.Qxa6 Rxa6 Although R+3 v R+2 with all pawns on one side is very drawish, R+4 v R+3 is actually very unpleasant for the defender. The conclusion is beyond my pay grade I'm afraid. Not for the first or last time in the tournament, Daniel shows himself to be a very good technical player.  41.h4 Kg7 42.g3 Kf6 43.Rc7 h5 44.Kg2 Ke6 45.Kf3 f6 46.Rc4 Ra3+ 47.Ke2 Kf5 48.Rb4 Ra5 49.Kf3 Ra1 50.Rc4 Re1 51.Rc5 Rd1 52.Ke2 Rd4 53.Ke3 Ra4 54.Rc3 Ra6 55.Rc4 Ke6 56.Rc3 Rb6 57.Ra3 Kf5 58.Ra4 Rb3+ 59.Ke2 e4 60.Ra5+ Kg4 61.Ra6 Rf3 62.Re6 Kh3 63.Rxe4 Kg2 64.g4 Rxf2+ 65.Ke1 Kg3 66.gxh5 gxh5 67.Re8 Rf5 68.Rg8+ Kxh4 69.Rg6 Kh3 70.Ke2 h4 71.Ke3 Kh2 72.Ke2 h3 73.Ke3 Kh1 74.Ke2 h2 75.Ke1 Rg5 76.Rxf6 Kg2 0-1

Gong, Daniel - Lee, Edward

2022 New Zealand Championship

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 d5 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Bg3 O-O 8.Nbd2 b6 9.Qe2 c4 10.Bc2 b5 11.e4 Be7 12.Bh4 b4 13.e5 Ng4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.O-O a5 16.Rfe1 Bd7 17.Rac1 f5 18.exf6 Qxf6 19.Nf1 Rae8 20.h3 Nh6 21.N1h2 Qf4 22.g3 Qf6 23.Kg2 Rf7 24.h4 Ref8 25.Rf1 Nf5 26.Ng4 Qg6 27.Nge5 Nxe5 28.Nxe5

Moves are clickable

28...Nxh4+! 29.Kh3 Qh6 30.gxh4 Rf4! 31.Kg2 Rxh4


White is in a lot of trouble here Black threatens ...Qg5+. Moving the f pawn doesn't provide air it just loses the Queen to ...Rh2+. In fact there's only one resource available to keep White in the game  32.Bxh7+!! Giving back the piece to allow effective defence with Rh1  32...Kxh7 (32...Qxh7! is less attractive because it gives up the ...Qg5+ threat, but it's actually somewhat better  33.Rh1 Rf5 renewing threats against g5  34.f3 Rg5+ 35.Ng4 Rh6 and Black's attack continues ) 33.Rh1 Rff4 34.f3 Qg5+ 35.Ng4 Kg8 36.Rxh4 Qxh4 37.Qe5 and with the attack waning Black chose to keep the initiative with  37...Rxg4+ but the Black bishop is a poor piece and once White got both pieces working he could take over completely  38.fxg4 Qxg4+ 39.Qg3 Qe2+ 40.Kh1 Qe4+ 41.Kg1 bxc3 42.bxc3 Qd3 43.Qg5 Qf5 44.Qd8+ Kh7 45.Qh4+ Kg8 46.Rf1 Qg6+ 47.Kh1 Qe4+ 48.Qxe4 dxe4 49.Kg2 g5 50.Rb1 Kf7 51.Rb7 Ke7 52.Rc7 Kd6 53.Rc5 g4 54.Rxa5 Bc6 55.Re5 Bd5 56.Kg3 Kc6 57.Kxg4 Kb5 58.Kf4 Ka4 59.Rxe4 Bxe4 60.Kxe4 Ka3 61.d5 1-0

Punsalan, Vyanla - Rains, Edward

2022 New Zealand Championship

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 e6 8.O-O Be7 9.a3 O-O 10.Qe2 b6 11.Rd1 Na5 12.Ba2 Bb7 13.Bd2 Rc8 14.Nc3 Nxc3 15.Bxc3 d5 16.Rac1 Nc4 17.Bb1 Bc6 18.g3 a5 19.h4 b5 20.Kg2 b4 21.axb4 axb4 22.Ng5 g6 23.Bd2 Nxd2 24.Qxd2 Kg7 25.Rh1 h6 26.Nh3 f5 27.Nf4 Qd7 28.g4 Bb5 29.gxf5 exf5 30.Rcg1 Kh7 31.Kf3 Rg8 32.h5 g5 33.e6 Qd6 34.Bxf5+ Kg7 35.Ng6 Rgf8

Moves are clickable

Vyanla's uncompromising attacking approach makes for good positions for the highlight reel. White is trying to use her King actively to hold her position together. It's actually working but she needs the fantastic knight on the board to retain some dark square control  36.Nxf8? (36.Kg4! ) 36...Rxf8 37.Kg4 Rxf5!! This is the problem, drawing the king into a very precarious spot  38.Kxf5 Bd3+! and without the knight controlling f4 the White queen is overloaded  39.Kg4 Qxe6+ 40.Kg3 Bd6+ The two bishops are fantastic and completely outclass the two rooks.  41.f4 Bxf4+ 42.Qxf4 gxf4+ 43.Kxf4+ Kf7 44.Re1 Qf5+ 45.Kg3 Qg5+ 46.Kf2 Qf4+ (46...Qf4+ 47.Kg2 Be4+ 48.Rxe4 Qxe4+ 49.Kh2 Qxh1+ 50.Kxh1 is a nice cold blooded way to wrap up that appeals to me ) 0-1

Langford, Joshua - Lukey, Stephen

2022 New Zealand Championship

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c4 b4 12.Nc2 a5 13.g3 Be6 14.h4 O-O 15.Bg2 Rc8 16.b3 Rb8 17.O-O Be7 18.Qd3 Qd7 19.Rad1 Rbd8 20.Kh2 g6 21.Qe3 Kh8 22.Qh6 f5 23.h5 Rf7 24.hxg6 Rg7 25.Rh1 Rxg6 26.Qh5 Bg5 27.Kg1 Rdg8 28.exf5 Bxf5 29.Nce3 Rh6 30.Qf3 Rxh1+ 31.Bxh1 Rf8

Moves are clickable

Stephen Lukey has specialised in amazing turnarounds against Wellington juniors in this tournament (winning a two pawns down rook and pawn ending versus Ryan Winter as well)  32.Nb6! Simply winning a piece  32...Qd8 33.Qxc6 Bxe3! creating weaknesses and eliminating an important piece, White's other forces are a little scattered and Black gets some serious counterplay going  34.fxe3 Qg5 35.Qf3 Rf7 36.Nd5 Be6! A very annoying move. White hasn't done too much wrong since winning the piece, but the computer now offers just one way for White to stay on top, and it's a very computer-ey move   37.Qe2? Qe4 or Qg2 are 0.00 moves, this is a blunder (37.Nf4!! exf4 38.exf4 and by giving the piece back White regains control with an extra pawn and pressure on d6. But this would be a very hard move to make after being apparently a safe piece up and cruising so recently ) 37...Bg4 and Black wins  38.Qe1 Bxd1 39.Qxd1 Qxg3+ 40.Bg2 Rf2 41.Nf4 Qxe3 42.Nd5 Qg3 0-1

Xie, Felix Xie - Lukey, Stephen

2022 New Zealand Championship

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 O-O 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Na6 8.g4 Nc5 9.f3 a5 10.h4 h5 11.g5 Nfd7 12.Qd2 Na6 13.b3 Ndc5 14.Rb1 Bd7 15.Nge2 Qe7 16.Nc1 c6 17.a3 cxd5 18.Nxd5 Qd8 19.b4 axb4 20.axb4 Ne6

Moves are clickable

21.Bb6 Nac7 22.Nxc7 Nxc7 23.Qxd6 Rc8 24.Nd3 Ne8 25.Qxf8+ Kxf8 26.Bxd8 Rxd8 27.Be2 b6 28.Kf2 f5 29.Rhd1 fxe4 30.fxe4 Nd6 31.Nc5 Bc8 32.Ke3 Ke7 33.Na4 Bb7 34.c5 Nxe4 35.Bf3 Ra8 36.Bxe4 Bxe4 37.Nxb6 1-0