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Olympiad Appeal

The members of the Olympiad squad are responsible for their own travel costs to the event. At present, there is no sponsorship for them at all. The New Zealand Chess Federation is appealing for donations to help, not just with travel costs, but with other costs as well (possible costs include a team coach and/or expenses related to sending very young players who require a parent/guardian to travel too). Send cheques, payable to NZCF, to PO Box 216, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140, or make contributions directly to ANZ Bank 01 0535 0073257 00 - please send me an email to confirm you have done this ( Contributors will be listed on this web page.

Thanks to:
Neil Gunn.
All competitors in the May Olympiad Fundraiser event.
All competitors in the Howick-Pakuranga CC Fundraising Blitz
(especially Jasmine Zhang, Ewen Green, Tony Booth, and Jim Benson, who gave additional donations).
Garry Kasparov, for signing some boards and books for our fundraising efforts.
All competitors in the June Olympiad Fundraiser event.
All competitors in the Otago Spring Rapid.
New In Chess, for providing some books for prizes., who gave free access to their website for all Olympiad teams before and during the event.

Olympiad Updates
New Zealand Team Captains(29th April 2014)

The New Zealand Chess Federation is pleased to announce that the team captains will be:
Open: Hilton Bennett
Women's: Peter Stuart.

New Zealand Teams for Tromsø 2014 Olympiad (2nd April 2014)

The New Zealand Chess Federation is pleased to announce the following teams in board order for the 2014 Tromsø Chess Olympiad:

Open Team
1. IM Puchen Wang
2. IM Russell Dive
3. FM Luke Li
4. IM Anthony Ker
5. FM Ben Hague
Non-travelling reserves: David Guthrie, FM Bob Smith, FM Stephen Lukey

Women's Team
1. WFM Helen Milligan
2. WIM Marany Flack
3. WFM Judy Gao
4. WFM Nicole Tsoi
5. Layla Timergazi
Non-travelling reserves: WFM Vivian Smith, WFM Natasha Fairley, Evguenia Charomova

The number and quality of the applicants for the 2014 Olympiad has been exceptional and NZCF is pleased to be able to enter strong teams in both events. To those selected best wishes with your chess preparation and travel organisation, particularly those taking part in their first Olympiad. The selection of Team Captains is underway and will be announced in the next fortnight.

Request for Applications: Captains (19th March 2014)

NZCF invites applications for the roles of Open Team Captain and Women's Team Captain for the 2014 Tromsø Olympiad. The job of Olympiad Team Captain is a non-paid role for NZCF. Team Captains will be responsible for their own travel costs and arrangements in the same way as players. They will receive free, full board for the duration of the Olympiad. They will also receive a share of contributions and fund-raising towards travel expenses on the same basis as players. Please download the application form (Word document). Completed application forms should be returned to NZCF President Paul Spiller ( no later than the 29th March.

Official Invite Received (1st March 2014)

The Norwegian Chess Federation and the organisers of the 41st Chess Olympiad 2014 in the city of Tromsø have now issued an official invitation to all federations to participate in the event. This confirms the dates for the Olympiad as the 1st to 14th August, with the accompanying FIDE Congress taking place between the 5th and 13th August. The playing venue is 'Mackhallen,' the 7000 square metre site that was once an historic brewery in downtown Tromsø. All official hotels are within walking distance of the playing venue in the downtown area.

The provision of accommodation for the event looks very encouraging with 2 double and 2 single rooms being allocated for each team. Each federation is invited to send both an Open Team and a Women's Team. Other aspects of the organisation and logistics are detailed on the new event website, along with information on the city, history, and surrounding region:

It has also been noted that there is a possibility that teams may be eligible for some travel grants from the organisers, but this cannot be confirmed until NZCF has some more information about requirements for eligibility.

Here are a few of the rules that are particularly relevant: phones can't be taken in at all; there will be a 30-move rule; zero default time will be in operation; captains/players must stand behind their own players while watching games and can't go round to the other side of the board.

Request for Applications: Players (14th February 2014)

NZCF is now requesting formal applications for the Olympiad Open and Women's teams. Please fill in the application form and send if by email to the NZCF Olympiad Coordinator, Hilton Bennett ( or post to NZCF, PO Box 216, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140.

Applicants for the Open team should have an NZCF rating of at least 2200, or expect to be near that strength by the time of the Olympiad. Applicants for the Women's team should have an NZCF rating of at least 1600, or expect to be near that strength by the time of the Olympiad. Please download the Player Application Form. All applicants should read the Player Agreement, which they will have to sign in due course (but not yet!).

Please, send the form back as soon as you can, at the latest by February 28th.

Players can expect to bear their own travel costs and the cost of extra nights in Tromsø if required. In recent years, players have been expected to arrange all their own travel, though help/advice will be given if requested. Any player under 15 must expect to have to meet the costs of taking a parent/guardian as an accompanying person.

Information about the Olympiad (14th February 2014)

Unfortunately we have no further information as yet. We anticipate that the official invitation will be issued on March 1st. This will be made available here, as soon as possible. For the moment we know only that the Opening Ceremony takes place on August 1st, and the Closing Ceremony on August 14th. The venue was stated to be the Tromsø cruise ship terminal. Things we don't know yet include costs (registration, entry fees, transport to/from airport and/or venue), likely hotels, room distribution (all doubles or not), whether there will be a Team Manager position with board&lodging supplied (as in Istanbul) or not. Things we do know: Norway looks like a fantastic country to visit!

Initial Expression of Interest (6th November 2013)

Requests for an initial informal Expression of Interest will be distributed by email soon. All players over 2200 (NZCF) and all female players over 1600 are invited to register an expression of interest by emailing Hilton Bennett ( Anyone who is below the rating limit but feels he/she is improving rapidly enough to be over it soon is also invited to contact Hilton. Anyone interested in being a team captain should also get in touch now.

Draft Player Agreement (29th August 2013)

The Player Agreement has been updated. The draft can be downloaded here (pdf document). There may be some further changes to the wording before it is finalised. Players will be asked to sign this, when they are invited to be a member of the team. Please be aware that breaking the Player Agreement will mean that your participation in future team events for New Zealand will be discussed by the NZCF Council.

The process is starting.... (29th June 2013)

We will soon be calling for expressions of interest, with a view to settling the Olympiad teams in plenty of time for the Tromsø Olympiad, to give players time to prepare properly. Some things to note - as with all international events, NZCF requires a parent or guardian to travel with any player aged under 15. This of course means extra travel costs, and we will take this into consideration.

Doping control (for reference)

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances can be downloaded here (pdf document). If you are taking any of these for medical reasons, then you need a letter from your doctor, to present to the FIDE medical team if you are selected for dope testing. Pseudoephedrine (a component of many cold & flu remedies, outside NZ) is no longer a banned substance (except in huge doses). The official WADA rules for the sampling procedure are available here (pdf document). (Note that FIDE doesn't take blood samples).


August 1st - 14th 2014 - Olympiad, Tromsø, NORWAY.
Teams of four players, one reserve, and one captain, in the Open and Women's sections. Selection criteria will be advertised in due course. There is no 'activity rule' but selectors will take proven current form into account. Official website:

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