The next big chess event in New Zealand is the 118th New Zealand congress. As a 1964 NZCF and a 1959 Fide rated player I find the Championship entries list to be rather troubling. In my opinion, I give you a list of the only exceptions a player should be granted entry into the Championship if they don't meet the rating requirements.
1) A current North or South Island champion
2) A promising junior rated atleast over 1800
3) Last years Major open winner
In all other cases such exceptions granted only lessen the quality of the New Zealand championship and take away from the Major open. Apart from this the 118th Chess Congress looks like a good event.
The 118th New Zealand Chess Championship will be an 11-round Swiss system tournament, with a minimum of 18 players, open to all NZ players with a current NZCF standard rating of 2000 or higher, or a FIDE rating of at least 2100. In the event of fewer than 18 qualified players entering, sufficient Major Open entrants will be invited, in order of rating, to bring the field up to 18. In the event of no more than 12 entries being received, the Championship will be conducted as a round robin of 12 players.
The Championship will be FIDE rated and overseas players may be invited by the NZCF council. Players are reminded that the North Island Champion, South Island Champion, and Junior Champion are eligible to play in the Championship.
Any NZ player who does not fulfil the rating requirements set out above may apply to be treated as a special case; the player must demonstrate exceptional circumstances. Please apply to the NZCF, Box 216, Shortland Street, Auckland 1010.
Entries so far (NZCF November ratings, with November FIDE in brackets): IM Russell Dive 2460 (2375), IM Anthony Ker 2444 (2336), FM Scott Wastney 2375 (2300), FM Bob Smith 2371 (2287), FM Mike Steadman 2362 (2285), Daniel Shen 2258 (2187), Leonard McLaren 2244 (2207), Bruce Wheeler 2190 (2122), Helen Milligan 2148 (2028), Matthew Barlow 2137 (2140), Antonio Krstev 2129 (2094), Noel Pinic 2121 (2035), Bob Gibbons 2086 (2022), Ivan Dordevic 2080 (-), Peter Stuart 2070 (2025), Richard Taylor 2065 (1929), Alan Ansell 2050 (2001), Hilton Bennett 2046 (1974), Nathan Goodhue 2030 (1996), Fuatai Fuatai 2027 (2017), Ross Jackson 2013 (1966), Luke Li 1992 (1943), Bill Forster 1990 (1908), Hans Gao 1987 (1842), Judy Gao 1964 (1897), Hamish Gold 1927 (1841), Winston Yao 1676 (-).
This is an NZCF Grand Prix Superclass event, the first of the 2011 season.
The Major Open will be an 11-round Swiss system tournament open to all NZ players with a current NZCF standard rating of under 2000. Players with a current NZCF rating over 2000 are not eligible.
Entries so far (NZCF November ratings): Peter Fraemohs 1999, David Evans 1984, Caleb Wright 1936, Bruce Kay 1802, Don Stracy 1796, Arthur Casilang 1746, Bob Mitchell 1726, John Pakenham 1715, Nicole Tsoi 1711, Simon Lyall 1695, Wayne Puepuemai 1687, Scott Yang 1648, Eric Wu 1624, Michael Roberts 1622, David Rong 1604, Malo Puepuemai 1501, George Chen 1473, Hao Jia 1459, William J W Zhang 1409, Hristo Kolev 1397, Andrew Geng Li 1354, John Ansell 1320, Cathy Fan 1308, Alphaeus Ang 1235, Leo Zhang 1209, Linton Rudkins 1141, Allen Fan 1018, Olivia Dong 1000, Bella Qian 975, Brian Lim.