Go to the Resources Page
for NZCF information, including Registrations, Ratings, Fee Payments, Vega,
Arbiters, Titled Players, the Handbook, Master Points, etc.
Summer of Chess in Full Swing
The George Trundle and the Oceania Youth Championships are finished. Full results are available on the
Results Page. All eyes now turn to Congress starting on Monday (January 14th).
NZ Open Championship top boards live on Chess24
Round 7Round 8 NZ Open Championship PGN rounds 1 to 7 here NZ Major Open PGN rounds 1 to 5 here NZ Open Championship Vega page NZ Major Open Championship Vega page NZ Open Junior Championship Vega pageResults George Trundle PGN rounds 1 to 9 here Oceania Juniors Open U20 PGN rounds 1 to 9 here
Paul Spiller becomes a Member of the NZ Order of Merit
Paul has been at the heart of New Zealand chess administration since the 1970s.
He has been instrumental in three Oceania Zonals and many congresses, including the memorable
triplet of Queenstown congresses. Paul is chief organiser of the upcoming 126th
NZ Congress, hosted by Howick Pakaranga, Paul's longstanding club.
Starting with the Burroughs GM tournament in Wellington in 1978, Paul has helped bring
international competition and a host of colourful international competitors to our shores.
Paul has served as Editor of NZ Chess, and was NZCF
president for eight years. He is currently FIDE Oceania Zone president. Listen to a
a short Radio New Zealand interview here.
Congress on the Chessbase Home Page
The front page of Chessbase.com is one of the very highest profile online spots in the chess
world. It's rare to see New Zealand chess featuring there, so make sure you check out
this article, anticipating the 126th NZ Congress coming up soon!
Summer of Chess
New Zealand chess fans, especially Aucklanders or people prepared to jump on a plane, are in for a fantastic holiday season.
First up comes the prestigious George Trundle family of tournaments (January 4th-12th). These tournaments are highly regarded
by the purist, and showcase classical chess at its best, with a superb one round a day, round robin format. The top players
play in the George Trundle Masters grade, there are always interesting visiting masters involved (one of the main ideas of the
tournament is to create IM Norm opportunities for the local contingent). One of the players this year is GM Timur Gareyev,
pictured during one of his famous blindfold simultaneous exhibitions (yes he is pedalling a stationary bike at the same time).
Amazingly Auckland Chess Centre are also running a huge Oceania Youth Championship at essentially the same time
(January 5th-13th), at the larger Alexandra Park venue not far away. This is an opportunity for local fans to see
the stars of tomorrow.
Last but definitely not least is the NZ Open Championship that follows these events, allowing players to play in two big tournaments
back to back. GM Gareyev, GM Vasily Papin (Russia), and strong IM Kanan Izzat (Azerbaijan) are amongst those playing in two
tournaments. The Howick Pakuranga chess club are organising this tournament as part of the 126th NZ Congress to be held from
January 14th to 24th at the popular Waipuna Hotel.
The October 2018 issue of New Zealand Chess is on its way to subscribers, and sadly it's
the last issue. There are some silver linings though. Firstly a large and growing collection of the magazines
are now freely available to view electronically on this website. Thanks to Philip Hair for labour
and Michael Freeman for funding. A permanent
link to the collection
is now in place on the right, underneath chess clubs.
Additionally, if you take a look at the new October 2018 issue as it appears in the electronic archive,
you will see that not only can you look at the PDF, you can enjoy all the chess in the issue using an
"Interactive" button. The interactive button takes you here.
This is homegrown, bespoke technology. It is actively under development and will improve over time. In
particular some more work is needed before the interactive edition looks as good and works as well on all
If there is
sufficient interest shown, this facility will be retrofitted
to older issues. And (again, assuming support from the chess community) this will perhaps be a preview of one
of the ways New Zealand chess content will be delivered in the future.
NZ Oceania Youth Official Representatives
New Zealand will play host to the OCEANIA YOUTH & OCEANIA UNDER 20 CHAMPIONSHIPS,
January 5th-13th 2019 in Auckland. This is an official FIDE (World Chess Federation) competition.
New Zealand's Official Representatives have been selected as follows;
Anya Doris Wu Thurner
Sarah Yan Ying
Note that applications are still being accepted for the three vacancies. Although these
players are the official NZL representatives, other NZL players can of course pay their
entry fees and play in the tournaments. Further details, including for example eligibility for direct titles can be
seen on the Calendar Page.
Prolific veterans Mike Steadman and Stephen Lukey were the winners of the recent North
Island and South Island championships respectively (results page).
It was Lukey's 10th such victory. Both players are providing annotated games for the NZ Chess
magazine, which will be made available online here. Currently
the most recent ten years of magazines are available, soon there will be many more as Philip
Hair is scanning in older copies. Older results have now been restored to this website (see
the bottom of the Results page), and Michael Freeman has provided
material from the preceding years that will soon be added. Ross Jackson has found some
information about the early European career of Ortvin Sarapu that eminent chess historian
Edward Winter has published here.
Ross McKerras reports that he has made some simple 'chess teaching life' Youtube videos
here and here. The
website editor would be interested to know if there are any other Kiwi chess youtubers out there.
Update: Ryan Winter pointed out this effort from Mark Noble. It's instructive and entertaining.
You should consider playing in next year's South Island Championship, it's in beautiful Hanmer Springs.
Planning is advanced and an entry form is already available on the Calendar.
At the other end of the time spectrum, the popular Merv Morrison weekender was held in mid October, see
the Results Page, and the Summit Rapid, a new Auckland one day rapid tournament
is now on the calendar, it's being held on November 18th.
Interschools Finals 2018
One very significant New Zealand Chess event that inexplicably didn't
get a mention in the 'Peak Chess' item a week or so ago is the National
Interschools Finals, held at Mt Maunganui on the weekend of 29th-30th
This annual event is the culmination of a huge program of regional
qualifiers. Organisers Bob and Viv Smith report on the event, and
present a heap of photographs on the Interschools Results Page.
NZ at the 2018 Olympiad
Some brief commentary was posted here as the event progressed and can still
be seen on the Olympiad Page. New Zealand's
final performances were very close to par expected scores. China scored a
rare double Gold, winning both events on tiebreak.
Open NZ ranked 77th out of 185
Final place 87th, Match points 5.5 from 11, Game points 24/44
Round 1 NZ 3.5 - 0.5 Seychelles (ranked 170)
Round 2 NZ 1.0 - 3.0 Algeria (57)
Round 3 NZ 3.0 - 1.0 Wales (114)
Round 4 NZ 2.0 - 2.0 Costa Rica (68)
Round 5 NZ 1.0 - 3.0 Ireland (66)
Round 6 NZ 1.5 - 2.5 Slovenia (26)
Round 7 NZ 1.0 - 3.0 Panama (89)
Round 8 NZ 4.0 - 0.0 Bermuda (146)
Round 9 NZ 4.0 - 0.0 Trinidad and Tobago (104)
Round 10 NZ 0.0 - 4.0 Indonesia (69)
Round 11 NZ 3.0 - 1.0 Angola (98)
Women NZ ranked 78th out of 151
Final place 94th, Match points 5 from 11, Game points 20/44
Round 1 NZ 0.0 - 4.0 India (5)
Round 2 NZ 4.0 - 0.0 Lesotho (128)
Round 3 NZ 0.5 - 3.5 Moldova (46)
Round 4 NZ 3.5 - 0.5 Netherlands Antilles (111)
Round 5 NZ 0.5 - 3.5 Turkmenistan (54)
Round 6 NZ 3.0 - 1.0 Venezuela (55)
Round 7 NZ 2.5 - 1.5 Iraq (95)
Round 8 NZ 0.5 - 3.5 Jordan (85)
Round 9 NZ 1.5 - 2.5 Montenegro(70)
Round 10 NZ 2.5 - 1.5 Nicaragua (101)
Round 11 NZ 1.5 - 2.5 Sweden (59)
A period of intense chess activity looms up. On the international
stage our intrepid Open and Women's teams
front up in Batumi in Georgia (pictured) for the 43rd Chess Olympiad. The
official site is currently
extraordinarily useless (it doesn't even tell us when the tournament is going
to be held - September 23rd - October 7th), but will no doubt improve during the event.
Domestically both the North Island and South Island championships are coming up.
The South Island version is being held by the Canterbury Chess Club from 29th September to 3rd October
(ironically I got the dates wrong when this item was first posted - sorry) and is sponsored by Benson Insurance Brokers. The North Island event is part of a complete chess
festival being organised by the Manawatu Knights Chess Club in Palmerston North from 1st to 11th
October. The chess festival is sponsored by Millennium Hotels. See the Chess Calendar for more details.
Another NZ Games Database Update
Helen Milligan has provided Peter Stuart's final NZ Games Database work-in-progress file
(thanks Helen!). The first NZCF supplement to the NZ games database (see previous
article) has been completely reworked around this contribution, it's now much more
compatible with the conventions of Peter's database. One highlight: Peter included
17 games from a 1979 blindfold simul by Ewen Green in Hamilton. Unsurprisingly it seems this
is the Australasian record. Ewen scored an excellent +13 =1 -3.
NZ Games Database Update and a Games Email Address
The first serious NZCF supplement to Peter Stuart's NZ games database is now available.
See the History Page for more information about the database,
and for download links for the database itself and the new supplement. Reaching and
then maintaining the curation standards Peter achieved will remain a major challenge,
but it is vital that we try and that everything possible is done to record and store for posterity the
games played in important tournaments in New Zealand.
The current supplement includes games from 21 tournaments in 2017 and 2018. There are
missing tournaments and not all tournaments are complete. Some of the gaps might be
fixable, but a particular concern is the 2018 NZ Open. Congress is our premier event each
year, and it seems that nearly half of all games in the Open (top) grade have been lost
forever. Only games that were electronically recorded are available. Fortunately ten electronic
boards were deployed, but games on boards 11-19 are missing. If the reader participated in any
of these missing games, please help out by sending in a scan of the scoresheet or (preferably)
a pgn of the game to Games@newzealandchess.co.nz.
This is a new NZCF email address, and has been setup to make it as easy as
possible for people to send in games (not just missing games from the last congress!).
Players and tournament organisers are encouraged to
send in everything from individual games to whole tournaments. Please
use .pgn and/or .cbv format if at all possible. All
games received will be considered for future editions of the NZ games database. Annotated
games will be considered for publication on a new facility on the NZCF website which will
be developed to compensate for the cessation of the NZ Chess magazine at the end of the
NZ Player Registration Change Proposal
NZCF Council have released a consultation document for member Clubs, with a proposal to greatly simplify
the way individual players are registered each year. The plan is to abolish $20 player registration fees
- from 2019 simply membership of a Club will be sufficient to enable a player to participate in NZCF and
FIDE rated tournaments throughout New Zealand.
Murray Chandler, NZCF President, said: "Reform has been talked about for years, and I’m pleased we now have
a firm proposal on the table. This system is designed to reduce administration all round, and will result
in many more players being eligible to participate in rated events, at a lesser cost".
Expressions of Interest invited: Interschools Finals 2019
The New Zealand Chess Federation is calling for expressions of
interest from Clubs or individual organisers to stage the
Interschools Final, 28-29 September 2019.
The long-running NZCF Interschools competition is a team event
comprised of Regional Competitions staged throughout New Zealand.
Around 2500-3000 school children take part each year. The event
culminates in the prestigious National Finals staged in the
last weekend of September.
The Peter Stuart Memorial Tournament
The North Shore Chess Club has chosen to rename the North Shore
Open to the Peter Stuart Memorial. A
nice gesture that will no doubt be widely appreciated. Peter
was the founder and motivating spirit of this important and popular
tournament. The 46th edition, and its first without Peter is in just
four weeks time (25th-26th August). You can find the details
you need to get your entry in in a timely fashion on the
Bids invited for NZCF Congress 2020 and 2021
NZCF Council is inviting bids / expressions of interest from Clubs
or individual organisers interested in staging the New Zealand Chess
Championships as follows:
127th NZ Chess Congress - to be staged in January 2020
128th NZ Chess Congress – to be staged in January 2021
Please submit bids or expressions of interest by 1st September 2018
with as much detail as possible on
the proposed event, such as intended venue, prize fund, playing
schedule and subsidiary events.
The annual New Zealand Chess Congress has a rich history, dating back
to 1879. The Waipuna Conference Centre (Auckland) will be the venue
for the upcoming 126th Congress in January 2019, hosted by
Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club.
Photo: souvenir mug from the well-organised Congress in Palmerston
North, hosted by Manawatu Knights Chess Club last January.
Another Successful George Trundle Masters
This year's Masters grade was keenly contested as always. The tournament ended on a dramatic note. The fate of
Ben Hague's IM Norm and first prize depended on Gong-Hague, the final game to finish. Playing Black Ben needed a win for
the Norm and lone first place. But for most of the game Daniel looked the likely winner. Daniel let his winning
chances slip and eventually it was he who was fighting for a draw. Entering the sixth hour of play the draw was
finally clear to all. Daniel to play simply needed to swap queens and the handshake would be inevitable. No doubt
demoralised at his missed opportunities, Daniel made an incomprehensible blunder apparently thinking he could delay
the trade. But allowing Ben to trade instead made a vital tempo difference to the resulting pawn ending. Game over and
a bemused but happy Ben Hague wins the tournament and gets the IM Norm he should have got in last year'e event.
See the Results Page for full results.
Photo: Tournament organiser Mike Steadman and Gordon Morrell at the prize giving. They
were in dominant form in the Qualifers Grade - each scoring +7 =2 -0.
Grand Prix Sponsorship Renewed for 2019
NZCF is delighted to announce that our Poison Pawn/D & D Grand Prix
sponsorship is now confirmed for the year 2019. The popular year-long
competition rewards consistent good performance in tournaments
throughout New Zealand. Regional tournaments also benefit, as the
lure of GP points helps encourage the participation of top players.
Many thanks to our two sponsors for their generous ongoing support:
Michael Freeman (Poison Pawn) and Martin Dreyer (D & D Financial
Consultants). Both of these individuals also do a great deal of
voluntary work behind the scenes for New Zealand chess.
The Grand Prix prize fund for 2019 will remain unchanged at $6500
per year, with first prize in the Open section $1500.
Upper Hutt Rapid
The Upper Hutt Rapid, held on Saturday 30th June, attracted 75 players, the most for over twenty years.
Four of NZ's very best competed in the A Grade, Ben Hague just managed to get over the line. The big
four were kept honest by promising local juniors. Layla Timergazi drew with Scott Wastney in the last
round and Ryan Winter looked ominously at home on the top boards, playing three of the top four, holding
Ben comfortably and nearly tipping over Anthony Ker. Full results on the Results Page.
Photo: Anton Reid's wife Nora and daughter Helen have been helping out at this tournament for over
forty years. The Upper Hutt is old fashioned, in a good way. Where else in NZ chess do you get endless free
coffee and tea poured for you? - with a generous assortment of Kiwi favourites like Mallowpuffs, Toffee Pops,
and Tim Tams to boot!
Official selections for Oceania Zonal, Guam, 18-24 February 2019
Although anyone from a FIDE Zone 3.6 Federation can participate, there are two
"official" places available to New Zealand at this World Championship qualifying
tournament (one place for the Open Championship and one for the Woman's Championship).
These two official representatives are entitled to free entry and free room-share accommodation.
New Zealand players who wishes to apply for selection for one of these official spots can do so
by emailing email@example.com by 30th
September 2018. Selection results will be notified by 15th October.
For details on how to enter the Guam Zonal, see our tournament calendar page.
Photo: The hotel where the tournament is taking place. Nice.
Upper Hutt Rapid - Coming Soon!
One of New Zealand's most popular and long standing tournaments
is fast approaching. The tournament is on Saturday 30th June
but entries after Monday 25th incur a late fee. The tournament is
a Class 1 Grand Prix event, and features four separate grades and
a $1400 prize fund. See the Calendar Page for more details.
Thanks to Anton Reid and his team for putting on
the tournament so successfully, for so long.
Photo: Last year's A Grade winner Scott Wastney collecting his cheque.
The New Zealand Chess Federation Interschools competition is expanding
rapidly, and for 2019 the NZCF Council is seeking organisers willing to
stage Regional Qualification events around the country. Areas of particular interest are:
Northland, Gisborne, Nelson/Tasman, Marlborough, West Coast and Southland.
Applications from both clubs and individuals are welcome, to be sent to
by June 30th 2018. Existing regional organisers will be contacted automatically.
Last year over 600 school teams participated in the official NZCF Regional
Qualification events. Top teams qualify for the New Zealand Chess Federations
National Finals, staged each year at the end of September.
Photo: 132 pupils in action last month, at the East Auckland Primary qualifier
41st Trusts Open
A near record breaking 113 players turned up for New Zealand's biggest
weekender in West Auckland on Queen's Birthday Weekend June 2nd-4th.
The picture tells the story as many time NZ Champion Anthony Ker took the A Grade trophy back to Wellington. Anthony's
tournament room-mate Russell Dive had brought the trophy up for the weekend. The organisers sensibly
didn't trust Anthony to get the trophy engraved, so it does stay in Auckland for a short while longer.
Anthony was the first to admit his tally of 5/6 owed a lot to a supremely well judged Swiss Gambit
as you can see in the full results via the Results Page.
The picture also features Trusts Community Foundation representative Linda Cooper, Waitakere Chess Club President
John Francis, and founder and chief organiser Bob Smith (who shrugged off the burden of organisation to make
a very impressive result as 2nd= with Mike Steadman, Ben Hague and Alexei Kulashko on 4.5/6).
North Shore Chess Club are in the Money
Helen Milligan of the North Shore Chess Club has got in touch to
report that the club has received $3985 from Pub Charity Limited. They
plan to spend the money on a computer, printer, and 60 LEAP FIDE-approved clocks.
This will expand North Shore's ability to run Interschools and other large junior
(and indeed all other) events.
Club officials elsewhere should take note. There are many other trusts and charitable organisations
that make grants to worthy community initiatives, and chess clubs can make a good case that
they are deserving recipients of this kind of largesse.
41st Trusts Open
New Zealand's biggest (and best? - perhaps we shouldn't be the judge) weekend open is coming up fast. You can't enter on the
day, so don't leave it to the last minute, get your entry in right now. All the details are on the Calendar Page.
The picture shows founder and chief organiser Bob Smith cutting the 40th Birthday cake last year. (Shouldn't that be 39th birthday? - there are only two fundamental
problems in the universe; death, taxes and off by one errors). Bob and Viv haven't lived in Auckland for several years, yet this great
tournament is still very much their baby. Chess in New Zealand is absolutely dependent on the hard work of
dedicated people like Bob and Viv.
Gawain Jones Simul
English GM Gawain Jones, pictured here with wife Sue Maroroa, is of course a great friend of New Zealand Chess. These days Sue
plays for England too. At least she still supports the All Blacks :-) Who knows, maybe the change from NZL to ENG is temporary and
eventually Gawain and Sue will come home and live in New Zealand!
In the meantime we'll happily settle for occasional visits to family and friends. One is coming up this month and during their time
here Gawain will be playing a simultaneous exhibition at the Howick Bowling club on May 29th. If you get in quick you can play!
Details are on the Calendar Page.
New Zealand Chess History Project
Eagle-eyed visitors to this site may have noticed a new section. The NZ Chess History Page is a new project. The
idea is to create a digital archive that captures the most important history of chess in New Zealand in one well organised place.
The page as it exists at the moment serves just to establish a starting point. As the old story says, the longest journey begins
with the smallest step. Hopefully in time we will have very complete records of major tournaments in New Zealand, a great collection
of photographs, PDFs of recent NZ Chess magazines and scans of older magazines, and a host of other material.
Making this possible will require some newer website technology, some wider collaboration, some things we haven't even thought
of yet. Stay tuned.
Important Update: NZCF has obtained permission to make the games database curated by the late Peter Stuart freely available. Check
the history page for more information.
Appointment of Women’s Team Captain for Batumi
NZCF is pleased to announce that Brazilian IM Herman van Riemsdijk has agreed to take the role of Women's Team Captain for Batumi 2018.
Herman is a frequent visitor to NZ and is very familiar with the NZ chess scene. Many NZ players have had the opportunity to meet him or
play against him during his visits here. He has had considerable Olympiad experience as a player for Brazil and we are sure that his
input will be invaluable to the Women’s team, both before and during the Olympiad.
There's more Olympiad information on the Olympiad Page.
First 2018 Grand Prix Results
A new Grand Prix season is under way and 2018 GP administrator Michael Freeman (also a sponsor let's not
forget) has posted the first report here (pdf document).
Amongst the cast of "usual suspects" some notable performances catch the eye. Ben Hague (of course!) jumps out ahead to
his customary leading position in the Open field. Alphaeus Ang is his closest challenger in the Open and heads the Junior section.
A less familiar name to many will be Wellington 15 year old Ryan Winter who locals have enjoyed watching take giant strides recently.
Actually enjoyment isn't really the right word for it when you're on the wrong end of defeat as your web administrator found at the
Wellington Open. Ryan is second in the U2100 section and near the top of the Junior section.
There's more information about the Grand Prix on the Grand Prix page. There's also pictures of 2017 prizewinners
picking up their prizes on the Facebook page. Thanks as always to 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.
The Wellington Open was held again at the CQ Hotel in downtown Wellington. A strong field showed up headed
by Wellington's IM duo Anthony Ker and Russell Dive. For once they never played each other (it really was a strong
tournament), Russell losing early to young Palmerston North CM Jack James. Jack also took the only lost half point off Anthony
and may have done even better if a car breakdown hadn't caused an unfortunate round 5 default. In fact the region's youthful contingent
featured strongly throughout - starting with a killing quick Black attack in a round one upset of Mike Steadman by local
junior Michael Sole, and continuing through a marathon round 5 clash between Ker and Ryan Winter, another rapidly improving local junior.
WFM Layla Timergazi was another youngster who installed herself on the top boards early and she ended up amongst those 2nd= after
Anthony Ker as you can see on the Results page.
The photo shows the happy winner with arbiter Ian Sellen. Many thanks to Ian and the other organisers at the Wellington Chess Club and
Grand Prix sponsor Michael Freeman.
One of New Zealand's favourite annual events has been successfully hosted again
by the Howick-Pakaranga club. Many thanks to the organising club, sponsor Martin Dreyer of D & D Financial Consultants,
and arbiters Bob Gibbons and Ying Wang.
The photo shows eventual A Grade winner FM Alexei Kulashko and FM Bob Smith steeling themselves for the
final round on top board.
The Grand Prix prizegiving was held at this tournament, there will be more information about that
at a later date.
JETS Junior Training
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 in Melbourne from July 9th to 13th 2018. NZ was represented in 2017 by Daniel Gong.
For more information and to apply for one of the spots please download the application form.
Direct titles opportunity at 2019 Oceania Junior in Auckland
New Zealand will play host to the OCEANIA YOUTH & OCEANIA UNDER 20 CHAMPIONSHIPS,
January 5th-13th 2019 in Auckland. This is an official FIDE (World Chess Federation) competition.
As such there are direct titles on offer, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. For example:
U20 section - the gold medal winner can potentially win a Grandmaster norm. Players who are first equal may gain an instant International Master (IM) title.
U18 - potential IM titles (and norms) to be won.
U16 – potential IM norms and FM (Fide Master) titles.
U14 and u12 sections – potential FM and CM (Candidate Master) titles.
U10 and U8 - gold, bronze and silver medal winners may win a CM title.
Further details about eligibility for direct titles can be
seen on the Calendar Page.
Oceania countries eligible to participate are: New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Papua New
Guinea, Solomon Islands, Palau, Guam and Nauru plus for this event non-member French
Polynesia (including New Caledonia).
The Championships are being organised by the Auckland Chess Centre, to be staged at
Alexandra Park, Greenlane. This will be an opportunity not to be missed. Players from abroad
can stay on in Auckland and play in the New Zealand Open Championship starting January 14th.
NZCF appoints Trophy Custodian
Stan Yee (Howick-Pakuranga Club) has taken on this newly created role. The plan is to keep track
of NZCF trophies with a comprehensive location list (including photographic records where appropriate),
which will assist organisers to get annually awarded trophies to where they need to be for the next event.
NZCF is keen to track down trophies from the past that may have fallen off the radar, and Stan will
also be investigating NZCF providing miniatures for some events, so winners can retain a permanent
momento. Stan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Battle of the Bays
The Bay of Plenty Rapid was the first New Zealand 25+5 rapid. It has become a
fixture on the NZ chess calendar and 2018's event was another successful event
with a quality field. Ben Hague won with 5.5 from 6,
(check the Results page) just like last year.
Ben seems to rack up an amazing number of tournament wins.
One day we'll have to get NZCF ratings officer Rowan Wood to explain why his
NZCF rating hasn't leapt to Carlsenesque heights.
Hot on the heels of the BOP Rapid comes the Hawkes Bay Rapid on Sunday 11th March.
Now in its 6th year the Hawkes Bay event is still the new boy in town comparatively
speaking. But it offers a similar formula in a similarly attractive part of the
country. Both events are class one Grand Prix events.
Check the Calendar page for more details.
Information for organisers - updated NZCF Tournament Rules
Two new tournament rules have recently been added by
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 www.newzealandchess.co.nz.
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 (but excluding internal club events) 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 NZCFcalendar@newzealandchess.co.nz. The Entry
Form published on the NZCF website shall be the official and
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 http://www.newzealandchess.co.nz/resources.html, 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.
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:
1. IM Russell Dive
2. FM Ben Hague
3. FM Alexei Kulashko
4. IM Anthony Ker
5. FM Daniel Gong
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.
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.
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 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11
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.
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.
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 MillenniumHotels.com 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.
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
www.newzealandchess.nz for more
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
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
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.
GM Eugenio Torre, top seed in the Veterans, with organiser (and player) Paul
September 30th - October 8th 2017 -
George Trundle NZ Masters Tournament,
Auckland. Masters: 1st= FM Ben Hague (Trophy for Best NZ Player)
& GM Darryl Johansen 3rd FM Nic Croad 4th FM Daniel
Gong Qualifiers: 1st= Kirill Polishchuk & Michael
Nyberg 3rd= Gordon Morrell, CM Allen Fan & CM Jack
James Reserves: 1st= CM Alex Nagorski & CM Richard
Meng 3rd= WCM Nicole Qin & Philip Mukkattu
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.
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.
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.
MillenniumHotels.com 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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