NZCF Notices

© New Zealand Chess Federation Inc 2022

Covid-19 (updated advice 14.03.22)

NZCF Council advises approval of NZCF official tournaments and Open tournaments only if CVC compliant, in all regions designated by Government as 'Red', 'Orange' or 'Green' under the Covid-19 Protection Framework. Wearing of masks is recommended.

President’s Newsletter
11th March 2022

Greetings Fellow Chess Players!

Sorry for rather late report on our first Council meeting of the year. I have been following the desperately sad news from Ukraine. I have former students and colleagues in both Ukraine and Russia and hear from some directly. As already noted, FIDE has withdrawn the Olympiads from Russia and we await advice on their new location and dates.

  1. On a more cheerful note, Congress and its associated Championships were conducted under excellent playing conditions by Canterbury Chess Club. Thanks especially to Chief Arbiter Craig Hall, IA Ying Wang and NA Richard Christie who now qualifies as FIDE Arbiter.
  2. At the AGM, the revised Tournament Regulations were adopted and now posted on our website.
  3. There was a useful discussion of our Chess Development Plan 2021-23 and a revised version will be posted.
  4. Council has decided that Club games played at "traffic light Red" will be eligible for NZCF and FIDE rating.
  5. The question of official NZCF and Open tournaments at "Red" setting will be reviewed at our next Council meeting 14 th March.
  6. Updated regulations for Inter-Schools Regional Competitions will be approved by Council and posted next week.

Nigel Metge

129th New Zealand Chess Congress report
6th February 2022

A very thorough report was submitted by IA Craig Hall on how the Congress (Jan 2-11, 2022) was run, plus recommendations for future organisers. You can download it here. Also mentioned in the document is a sample registration form for the event.

President’s Newsletter
15th December 2021

Season’s Greetings Chess Players!

1. Online Seniors & Veterans Championship
Congratulations to Bob Gibbons and Hilton Bennett who jointly won the first NZCF Online Championship! Thanks to International Arbiter Bruce Pollard and Technical Director Timothy Ha who as usual did an excellent job. I thoroughly enjoyed playing on the Lichess platform, despite losing most of my games, and hope we can run more such tournaments in the New Year.

2. South Island Championship
Congratulations to David Cilia-Vincenti who won the first NZCF tournament conducted under CVC Compliant regulations with experienced International Arbiter Craig Hall. The field was small but strong.

3. Congress 2022
This year’s Congress will of course be played under CVC Compliant regulations and Organiser Craig Hall has updated Covid precautions on the website entry form.

4. Chess Papers Sent to Clubs 15th Nov
All Club Secretaries will have received the following papers for discussion and remits for decision at AGM. Delegates should be notified to the treasurer Richie Christie, email

5. Workshops and AGM On the evening of Tuesday 11th Jan 2022, we have allocated two 1-hour workshops for Club delegates to discuss Tournament Rules Review (Chair Craig Hall) and Chess Development Plan 2021-23 (Chair Paul Spiller). I hope this type of workshop becomes a regular part of Congress in the future to help guide your Council on chess directions and priorities. This will be followed by the AGM -so a long but constructive night.

It remains only to wish peace on Earth and goodwill to all people, especially chess players! I wish you all a joyful time with family and friends and good luck for those playing in Congress.

Nigel Metge

President’s Newsletter
4th December 2021

1. Update on Chess under Covid-19 Protection Framework
NZCF Council advises approval of NZCF official tournaments and Open tournaments only if CVC compliant and in regions designated by Government as ‘Orange’ or ‘Green’ (but not ‘Red’) under the Covid-19 Protection Framework.

Organisers must advise potential players in advance of the tournament of all Covid safety precautions required as well as contingency planning such as player sickness and event cancellation.

CVC Compliance is defined in this link. This applies to all persons present in the playing arena including players, officials and spectators:

Further guidance is available from Sport NZ here.

2. South Island Championship and Congress
These tournaments will proceed as scheduled by Canterbury Chess Club so long as Christchurch is designated ‘Orange’ or ‘Green’ under current framework. Organiser Craig Hall will shortly communicate publicly additional Covid safety precautions and other contingencies.

3. New Secretary and Treasurer
Winsome Stretch had previously announced her retirement from these positions and brought this forward to 30th November. Council thanks Winsome for her valuable service over 4 years and wishes her well in her retirement. Bob Gibbons is appointed Secretary and Richard Christie as Treasurer effective 3 December 2021.

4. FIDE Funded Programme for Junior Coaching, Trainer and Arbiter Education
This exciting programme is now rescheduled for Jan-Feb 2022 and details will be made public shortly.

5. Sponsorship by Respectrum Insurance Brokers Ltd
I am delighted to advise we have new sponsorship from Respectrum Insurance Brokers Ltd run by Chris Benson. His company has arranged insurance for NZCF assets including Silver Rook and is covering the cost. This is most welcome and has already saved us several hundred dollars. This is the first time NZCF has had comprehensive insurance of its assets.

Nigel Metge

Respectrum Insurance Logo


President’s Newsletter
5th November 2021

1. Update on Chess under Covid Restrictions

NZCF Council met by Zoom last Sunday 31st October. There has been extensive and ongoing email discussion including input from external sources. After thorough discussion, the following decision was agreed by majority:

  • NZCF Council advises Clubs that each Club, as an independent entity, must decide for themselves, and bear responsibility for their decision, if over-the-board Club play is safe for their members at current Government defined ‘Level 2’. Such Club games will be eligible for NZCF and FIDE rating. Obviously, all Government mandates must be followed regarding registration, sanitation, social distancing, mask wearing etc.

Of those Councillors that did not support this decision, two have requested their names be public
Ross Jackson and Stan Yee.
NZCF Council is not collectively qualified to judge safety risk of Covid infection during Club play. We do however urge a strongly precautionary approach and made the following decision unanimously:

  • NZCF Council recommends to Clubs that all persons present on Club premises wear masks, be fully vaccinated and do not consume food and drink.

Note that there is no change to Council advice that no NZCF official tournaments will be conducted (nor should Open tournaments be conducted) until the Covid-19 Protection Framework (‘traffic light system’) is formally in place and the legal definitions of ‘Red’, ‘Orange’ and ‘Green’ are available.

The Government is due to make an announcement on implementation of Covid-19 Protection Framework on 29 th November. Council will meet 30 th November and will advise chess community how this system affects official tournaments, Congress in particular.

2. FIDE Grant for Junior Coaching, Trainer Development, Arbiter Training

Paul Spiller and I attended by Zoom a meeting of FIDE’s Planning & Development Commission (PDC). Following encouragement from the Chair, we put together a proposal for online development activities in December which we are delighted to advise was approved for funding. Hilton Bennett is our delegated Organiser and will announce details soon.

3. Asian Chess Federation Online Tournaments and Trainers Seminar

There has been a remarkable number of online tournaments this year, mostly for Juniors, organised by Asian Chess Federation. These have been well attended by our Juniors in various age groups despite the quite high entry fees. Since my last newsletter in August, our Juniors have performed creditably in Eastern Asia Youth Chess Championship (host Thailand Chess Association) and Asian Youth Championship (host All India Chess Federation). Daqi Mao scored a notable 7/9 in the Asian Youth sharing 5 th place in field of 250. The Asian Amateur Championship (host: Oman Chess Committee) will be played this month. These tournaments create a lot of work for the Secretary of NZCF and for me, but I particularly want to thank Timothy Ha who has indefatigably convened, supervised and problem-solved all these events. Thanks Timothy! Evguenia Charomova (and I as guest) participated in a FIDE Trainers Online Seminar. This was a set of Zoom lectures over three nights lasting past midnight! We hope to get the recorded lectures available for use by NZCF.

4. NZ Seniors and Veterans Online Championship

In view of Covid restrictions the formal over-the-board Championship is replaced with our first NZCF online event. Although played at standard time control there is an element of fun in this tournament played on a trust basis and open to international players. Thanks to Paul Spiller (Organiser), Bruce Pollard (Arbiter) and Timothy Ha (Convenor) who made this happen!

Nigel Metge

President’s Newsletter - COVID Update
5th October 2021

NZCF Council met by Zoom last Sunday 3rd October. We discussed the latest Covid update and the implications for over-the-board (OTB) play. It is obviously distressing to all of us that tournaments are being cancelled or postponed. We cannot predict if, and when we will reach ‘Level 1’.

For the moment NZCF advice is unchanged – there will be no official NZCF tournaments and no games NZCF or FIDE rated at Level 2 or above. But we are watching closely Government updates and what other associations of ‘mind sports’ like bridge are doing. There is another Council meeting 31st Oct and I will provide a further update immediately after that.

Nigel Metge

National Interschool Finals postponed until December

Notice dated 7th September 2021

The National Interschool Finals will now be held on 18th and 19th December.

The venue remains Alexandra Park in Auckland and all other details are the same.

With Auckland still in Level Four and very unlikely to reach the required Level One by the original dates of 2nd and 3rd October, NZCF’s Interschool Committee and National Finals Organiser Bruce Pollard have decided that the change of dates will give participating schools more certainty and make it easier to plan travel and accommodation.

Schools now have until 1st October to confirm their entries and team lists, using the official entry form.

The deadline for payment of entry fees has been extended until 1st December.

Thank you to all the schools which have already confirmed their entries and paid the entry fee.

If the new dates change your decision please advise Bruce and me

We look forward to another enjoyable and exciting Interschool Final.

Bob Smith
NZCF National Interschool Co-ordinator

National Interschools Finals Update

Notice dated 4th September 2021

To provide some certainty about the upcoming National Interschool Finals in Auckland the following decisions have been made.

  • NZCF is currently still aiming to hold these on the 2nd and 3rd October at Alexandra Park.
  • Qualifying schools should have confirmed their entries and submitted team lists by 1st September.
  • The deadline for payment of entry fees has been extended until 25th September
  • A decision on re-scheduling the Nationals will be made by 25th September at the latest.
  • A definite back-up weekend of 18th and 19th December has been established, still at Alexandra Park.
My feeling is that Auckland is unlikely to drop to level one by 2nd October. NZCF’s policy is that over the board chess cannot be played in level two. Therefore schools should be aware that the National Interschool Finals will probably be moved to the weekend of 18th and 19th December – after the school term has finished.

Bob Smith
NZCF National Interschool Co-ordinator

President’s Year-in-Review
28th August 2021

Greetings fellow chess players!

I was on a recent Zoom meeting with other Asian Chess Federations and everyone was congratulating us on being able to play OTB chess… Alas, here we are back in lockdown with cancelled tournaments! It is so unfortunate for chess - but public health comes first.

Your NZCF Council continues to meet monthly by Zoom with all Regional Councillors engaged. I will talk more next month about all the initiatives underway.

Let’s recall some highlights of the year:

  • FM Nic Croad, our NZ Champion represented NZ in the first online Oceania Zonal. He came a very creditable 3rd after two grandmasters.
  • Timothy Ha is doing a great job maintaining our online activity. He captained several NZ teams in FIDE Cadets and Youth Rapid World Cup and right now our Online Olympiad team.
  • Vyanla Punsalan and Emily Gan competed in the Online Asian Women's Championship performing respectably in a tough field.
  • FM Ewen Green was awarded FIDE Veteran’s Support grant (out of 27 for the world!) after persistent lobbying by Council.
  • FM Allen Fan was selected to represent NZ in FIDE World Cup for the first time NZ has been invited! Right at the last minute he could not get an MIQ place for his return so had to cancel - to the regret of us all.
  • Paul Spiller our Vice-President, and Howick-Pakuranga Club inaugurated the Bob Wade Memorial Tournament in honour of our first IM. Won by visiting GM Gawain Jones, who is married to former NZ Women’s Champion Sue Maroroa.
  • This tournament concluded with the Bob Wade Memorial Dinner in which GM Murray Chandler, our Vice-Patron and former Olympiad representative Grant Kerr, CM Bill Forster, our Wellington Regional Councillor Ross Jackson, Peter Weir and Paul Spiller shared their warm reminiscences of Bob -a great New Zealander!
  • The Regional Interschools Championships and Auckland Schoolgirls Championship had record turnouts. Literally thousands of schoolchildren are playing competitive chess with clocks all under the watchful eyes of our International, FIDE and National Arbiters. With luck our National Finals may still yet proceed.
  • NA Richie Christie of Invercargill and NA Jingbo Wei of Auckland (and I) recently attended three 5-hour Zoom sessions on FIDE Arbiters’ Manual and passed the online examination -a prerequisite to becoming FIDE Arbiter.
  • CM Bill Forster, our Webmaster and Rowan Wood, our Rating Officer and NA Michael Freeman our FIDE Delegate, have improved the visibility and access to our NZCF Rating List which runs parallel to the FIDE Rating List.

Nigel Metge

Online Olympiad Application Deadline extended to August 6th

FIDE has extended its deadline to August 7th, so NZCF are extending the application deadline to Friday August 6th, 5pm NZ time.

Please send the following information to Michael Freeman and Timothy Ha
Full Name; as on passport or similar official identification
Birthdate; in style DD/MM/YYYY
FIDE Identification Number: as per FIDE website
Nickname on; if you are not registered, please do so now.

Update, The NZ squad is as follows;
Allen Fan, Dylan Piwari, Sophia Feng, Yolanda Chang, Oliver Picken, Isabelle Ning
Reserves: Felix Xie, Ryan Winter, Anya Thurner, Emily Gan, Alex Coates, Ritika Joseph
Captain: Timothy Ha, deputy captain Nigel Metge
New Zealand is playing in division 3, and play starts on August 20th. The official website is here.

Expressions of Interest - Online Olympiad - Fri 13th-Sun 15th August

FIDE has invited NZ to enter a team for the 2nd online Olympiad in ‘Base Division’.
Base Division will play 3 rounds per day for the 3 days above on platform.
Time control: 15 min + sec increment

The New Zealand team will consist of 6 members (with up to 6 Reserves).
The team shall consist of 3 female members including 1 under 20 years old (born 2001 or later) and 3 other players including 1 under 20 years old (born 2001 or later).
The Team Captain will be Timothy Ha.
Selection will be done by standing NZCF Selections Committee headed by FIDE Delegate Michael Freeman.

Expressions of interest close Thursday 29 July 5.00pm NZ time.
(NZCF must submit our team to FIDE by 31 July)

Please send the following information to:
Full Name; as on passport or similar official identification
Birthdate; in style DD/MM/YYYY
FIDE Identification Number: as per FIDE website
Nickname on; if you are not registered, please do so now

Change to Chess Badges
14th July 2021

Please see a notice to clubs and chess coaches and teachers here.

NZCF Chess Equipment for Sale
17th June 2021

NZCF has some surplus equipment which is available to buy at very reasonable prices. Use this form to order. The file is regularly updated to reflect the remaining stocks.

Asian Federation Online Tournament Workshop for Arbiters
15th June 2021

Arbiters may be interested in these online workshops, from June 24th-27th. Details are rather scant, but the major points are covered in this image. Only FIDE licensed arbiters (IAs, FAs, NAs) can attend. Participants must be registered by their national federation, so if you want to attend, please email your application to There is a maximum of five spots available, the first application received gets a free spot, others will have to pay a 30 Euro fee to the Asian Chess Federation themselves. Please indicate which session you want to attend, and include a 480x600 pixel ID photograph.

Applications are Invited for the FIDE Cadets and Youth Rapid World Cup
3rd June 2021

This online tournament is being run from August 1st - 31st. There are five different age groups (U10, U12, U14, U16, U18) and two sections, Open and Girls. Participants must have been age qualified on January 1st 2021. So for example U10 participants must have been under 10, i.e. had not yet reached their 10th birthday, at the start of this calendar year. NZCF may select up to three participants in each group and section, so up to 3 x 5 x 2 = 30 players in total.

The tournament will proceed in two stages, 10 round Swiss tournaments in the first stage (through August 20th), then a knockout stage for a limited number of qualifying players. More details are available on the FIDE Calendar here. Prospective players should note that the playing time is rather timezone hostile, play each day starts at 2AM NZ time.

To apply to play fill out this application form (pdf file) or (docx file) and send it to the NZCF secretary email: by June 24th at the latest. Please note that NZCF will collect the FIDE fees from selected players. Also note that NZCF may select players to play in a group or section other than the one they applied for.

A New Budget Process for NZCF Tournaments
7th May 2021

NZCF has changed the way it will partner with clubs to host NZCF annual events such as the NZCF CONGRESS, NZCF Junior Championship, NZCF South Island Championship etc.

As part of the expression of interest in hosting an NZCF event we are now asking clubs to submit a draft budget for an event. The event budget will be agreed between the host Club and NZCF and will contribute to the agreement of any guarantee against loss available from NZCF. This will give both NZCF and the host club certainty as to the financial outcome of hosting the event.

To use this process please use the NZCF tournament budget template. This document can also be found in its permanent home on the Resources page in the section NZCF Application Forms.

JETS Junior Training Opportunity
20th April 2021

JETS Junior Training Opportunity

The New Zealand Chess Federation is pleased to announce that we have the opportunity for two young New Zealand players to attend the Australian JETS (Junior Elite Training Squad) camp to be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland from June 28 - July 4 2021.
Applications close April 30th. The organisers apologise for the late notice to potential NZ players, this is a consequence of the complicated path to a functioning trans-Tasman bubble.

For more details, and to apply for selection, please download the application form.

NZCF Communications and Payments changes
8th April 2021

NZCF's hard working secretary Winsome Stretch needs chess players and clubs to be aware of the following changes.

NZCF’s banker, ANZ BANK, is phasing out the use of cheques during 2021. Please do not send cheques to NZCF. Please make payments via Bank Transfer to:
NZCF BANK ACCOUNT 01-0535-0073257-00

During 2021 NZCF will cease to use a PO Box. Please send all correspondence via email to:

Update: Another NZCF announcement concerns proposed status changes for Counties and Invercargill chess clubs as a matter of public record, in case concerned individuals wish to comment.