Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Queenstown Chess Classic

A strong Palmy Club contingent is heading to Queenstown where their will be more Grandmasters in New Zealand than has been seen in many years.

2012 Queenstown Chess Classic,

New Zealand
15th-23rd January 2012
Incorporating the official NZCF 119th NEW ZEALAND CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS
A cash prizefund of NZ $30,000 is guaranteed 

Complete info here

Entries so far (January 2012 FIDE ratings; italic are NZCF national ratings):

1 2693 GM Li Chao (CHN)

2 2653 GM Gawain Jones (ENG)

3 2639 GM Surya Ganguly (IND)

4 2592 GM Eduardas Rozentalis (LTU)

5 2572 GM Sune Berg Hansen (DEN)

6 2569 GM Zhao Jun (CHN)

7 2553 GM Dejan Bojkov (BUL)

8 2551 GM Zhao Xue (CHN)

9 2537 GM Klaus Bischoff (GER)

10 2459 IM George Xie (AUS)

11 2455 GM Kivanc Haznedaroglu (TUR)

12 2422 Trevor Tao (AUS)

13 2414 IM Akshat Khamparia (IND)

14 2403 GM Darryl Johansen (AUS)

15 2401 IM Herman Van Riemsdijk (BRA)

16 2388 FM Max Illingworth (AUS)

17 2376 IM Moulthun Ly (AUS)

18 2375 IM Stephen Solomon (AUS)

19 2375 FM Bobby Cheng (AUS)

20 2359 IM Anthony Ker (NZL) NZ Champion

21 2354 IM James Morris (AUS)

22 2349 FM Junta Ikeda (AUS)

23 2345 IM Russell Dive (NZL)

24 2325 wgm Irene Sukandar (INA)

25 2323 IM Guy West (AUS)

26 2294 FM Dusan Stojic (AUS)

27 2290 IM Paul Garbett (NZL)

28 2277 Domagoj Dragicevic (AUS)

29 2273 FM Bob Smith (NZL)

30 2266 FM Tim Reilly (AUS)

31 2261 FM Stephen Lukey (NZL)

32 2259 FM Chris Wallis (AUS)

33 2258 FM Mike Steadman (NZL)

34 2244 wgm Xiaobing Vivian Gu (CHN)

35 2241 Marc Repplinger (GER)

36 2234 wgm Kruttika Nadig (IND)

37 2216 Andrew Bird (AUS)

38 2215 IM Andrew Brown (AUS)

39 2210 FM Ove Hartvig (DEN)

40 2188 Eugene Schon (AUS)

41 2182 Daniel Shen (NZL)

42 2167 wgm Karolina Smokina (MDA)

43 2167 Laurence Matheson (AUS)

44 2167 Yi Liu (AUS)

45 2165 Luke Li (NZL)

46 2132 Malcolm Pyke (AUS)

47 2129 Andy Machdoem (NZL)

48 2127 Quentin Johnson (NZL)

49 2123 wim Christin Andersson (SWE)

50 2092 FM Brian Jones (AUS)

51 2087 John Duneas (NZL)

52 2079 Alan Ansell (NZL)

53 2068 John McDonald (NZL)

54 2066 Noel Pinic (NZL)

55 2060 Ivan Dordevic (NZL)

56 2056 Pengyu Chen (AUS)

57 2053 wim Ingrid Lauterbach (ENG)

58 2052 Stephen Fairbairn (CAN)

59 2036 Alek Safarian (AUS)

60 2031 Fuatai Fuatai (NZL)

61 2030 Jason Tang (AUS)

62 2022 Chris Burns (NZL)

63 2020 wim Sue Maroroa (NZL)

64 2016 Malcolm Armstrong (ENG)

65 2010 wim Emma Guo (AUS)

66 2008 George Lester (AUS)

67 1999 Leon Kempen (AUS)

68 1994 Ari Dale (AUS)

69 1991 Peter Stuart (NZL)

70 1990 Karl Zelesco (AUS) 71 1989 Andrew Janisz (NZL)

72 1985 Justin Davis (NZL)

73 1979 wfm Helen Milligan (NZL)

74 1965 Hilton Bennett (NZL)

75 1961 Mathew King (NZL)

76 1959 Adrian Flitney (AUS)

77 1958 Dennis Holland (AUS)

78 1947 Ross Jackson (NZL)

79 1945 Nathan Goodhue (NZL)

80 1939 David Lovejoy (AUS)

81 1933 Richard Voon (AUS)

82 1924 Chris Benson (NZL)

83 1924 Hans Gao (NZL)

84 1922 Kian Hwa Lim (MAS)

85 1916 Matthias K├Ârber (GER)

86 1914 Kenneth Holt (AUS)

87 1910 Bill Forster (NZL)

88 1908 Hamish Selnes (AUS)

89 1884 Harry Press (AUS)

90 1883 Angelo Tsagarakis (AUS)

91 1873 Roy Seabrook (NZL)

92 1872 Edward Rains (NZL)

93 1865 Efrain Tionko (AUS)

94 1850 Federico Roura (NZL)

95 1849 William Zhang (NZL)

96 1848 Andrew Brockway (NZL)

97 1846 (?) Hacer Haznedaroglu (TUR)

98 1834 Tony Booth (NZL)

99 1834 Arie Nijman (NZL)

100 1830 Hamish Gold (NZL)

101 1823 Bruce Kay (NZL)

102 1807 Winston Yao (NZL)

103 1802 David Capper (NZL)

104 1802 Nigel Cooper (NZL)

105 1798 wfm Natasha Fairley (NZL)

106 1787 Bruce Gloistein (NZL)

107 1781 Huseyin Yeten (CYP)

108 1771 Enzo Pieri (ITA)

109 1760 Erlend Millikan (USA)

110 1752 wfm Viv Smith (NZL)

111 1746 Stewart Holdaway (NZL)

112 1737 Tim Rains (NZL)

113 1728 Kevin Brown (AUS)

114 1719 John Beckman (AUS)

115 1715 wfm Nicole Tsoi (NZL)

116 1703 Roland Brockman (AUS)

117 1677 Ryan Louie (AUS)

118 1672 William XW Li (NZL)

119 1672 Bob Mitchell (NZL)

120 1668 Elliott Renzies (AUS)

121 1643 Leteisha Simmonds (AUS)

122 1643 Alphaeus Ang (NZL)

123 1619 Gary Judkins (NZL)

124 1618 Leighton Nicholls (NZL)

125 1587 Leo Zhang (NZL)

126 1581 Shanon Vuglar (AUS)

127 1571 Jean Watson (AUS)

128 1529 Robert Clarkson (NZL)

129 1495 Hamish Shierlaw (NZL)

130 1385 Seong-June Her (NZL)

131 1006 Brian Liu (NZL)

132 1003 Carlssen van Rooyen (NZL)

133 unrated Maris Cekulis (AUS)

134 unrated Ben Clayton (NZL)

135 unrated Jamie-Lee Guo (AUS)

136 unrated Jack Hughes (AUS)

137 unrated Jared Louie (AUS)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

Congratulations to GM Mark Noble on winning Palmerston North's strongest ever Club Championship.

Click on table to enlarge

Saturday, December 10, 2011

4th Gordon Hoskyn Memorial

Grandmaster Clash

The debate for the title of "Strongest Chess Club in New Zealand" hotted up yesterday at the 4th Gordon Hoskyn Memorial Rapid in Palmerston North.
Palmerston North Star players have been dominating NZ Chess of late. Wellington Club fearing Palmy top players GM Mark Noble and FM "Big Ben" Hague, sparing no expense cunningly brought in a ringer, a big ringer, former World Champion no less! former World junior under 20 Champion GM Helgi Gretarrsson (2462) from Iceland !
This brought an very exciting Grandmaster vs Grandmaster Clash with palmy's own local GM, in small little outback palmy, a place regarded as an intellectual backwoods by the big centres, a mighty battle unfolded. If this wasn't exciting enough two more titled players had also shown up including the Current New Zealand Champion IM Ker.
Sadly absent was one of Palmy's best FM "Big Ben" Hague rumored to have been kidnapped by NZ Grand Prix staff in order to avoid giving him Grand Prix points.

Prize winners


1st GM Helgi Gretarrsson (2462)
2nd IM Anthony Ker (2375)
3rd= FM Scott Wastney (2283)
John McDonald (2029)
Michael Nyberg (2026)

1st= Ross Jackson
Justin Davis
Mathew King
Bill Forster
Jack James
Chris Smith
James Stewart

1st Jack James
2nd= Layla Timergazi
Nicholas Moore
Brent Cooze

"17 out of 22 players received prizes including grade and upsets prizes"

More results to follow.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

Click on the scoretable to see it more clearly

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Palmy Players Dominate NZ Chess

Over the past few months it is clear Palmerston North Chess has had a certain chess explosion.
All results are in more detail here
Palmerston North Players are in bold.

September 24th-25th 2011 - Interschools Finals, Mount Maunganui.
1st Auckland Grammar (26) Hans Gao (6/7) Daniel Shen (7/7), Luke Li (7/7), Alex Huang (6/7) 2nd Macleans College (18) Leo Zhu (3/7) Alan Chen (4.5) Henry Jiang (6/7) Bill Li (4.5)
3rd Palmerston North Boys High (16.5) Jack James (3) Michael Yuan (4.5) Daniel Yuan (3.5) Sam Li (5.5)
A great achievement for Palmy Boys High considering the level of competition faced

Special mention to James, Jack who is NZ under-14 Rapid Champion

October 8th 2011 - Kapiti Rapid, Kapiti.
1st Ben Hague (2292) 5½/6
2nd= Mark Noble
& Anthony Ker 4½
1st= Michael Yuan & Daniel Yuan 4½
3rd= David Paul, Jack James & Itay Ben-Dom 4
1st= Henry Li & Layla Timergazi
3rd= Robert List, John Gillespie, Dylan Frater & Nicholas Moore

October 16th 2011 - Hamilton Chess Club Mooving Rapid, Hamilton.
1st Ben Hague with 6/6.

October 29th - 30th 2011 - Merv Morrison, Auckland. Open:
1st= John Duneas and Ben Hague 5½/7

This latest win for FM Ben Hague at the Merv Morrison was a fine achievement. Coming into the final round Ben needed a win against one of New Zealand's most active FM's Michael Steadman to guarantee first prize. Here is the result.

Hague,B (2292) - Steadman,M (2269) [A80]
Merv Morrison (7), 30.10.2011

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.d5!?
Not a very popular move which seems to take the game away from normal Dutch type positions. FM Steadman seemed surprised by this move judging by his play over the next few moves.


It seems many moves are possible here but Be7 I don't think is best.3...exd5 4.Qxd5 d6 5.g3 Nf6 6.Qb3 Na6 7.Be3 d5 8.Bg2 c6 9.c4 dxc4 10.Qxc4 Bb4+ 11.Nbd2 Qd5 12.0-0 Qxc4 13.Nxc4 Bc5 14.Rfd1 Bxe3 15.Nxe3 Ke7 16.Nd4 g6 17.Nc4 Nc5 18.Na5 Ne6 19.Nxe6 Kxe6 20.Rd3 Re8 21.Rad1 Kf7 22.Kf1 Re5 23.Nc4 Rc5 24.b3 Nd5 25.Bxd5+ cxd5 26.Rxd5 Rxd5 27.Rxd5 Be6 28.Rd4 Kf6 29.Ke1 b5 30.Na3 Rb8 31.Rd6 a5 32.Nc2 Ke7 33.Ra6 a4 34.Nd4 Bd7 35.Kd2 Rc8 36.Rb6 Rc5 37.e3 axb3 38.axb3 Kf7 39.b4 Rd5 40.h4 Kg7 41.Ke2 Kh6 42.Nb3 Re5 43.Nc5 Be8 44.Re6 Rxe6 45.Nxe6 Bf7 46.Nf4 Bc4+ 47.Kd2 g5 48.hxg5+ Kxg5 49.Ng2 Kf6 50.f4 Ke6 51.Nh4 Bf1 52.Kc3 Bh3 53.Kd4 Kd6 54.Nf3 Bg2 55.Ng5 h5 56.Nf7+ Ke6 57.Ne5 Kd6 58.Nd3 Bf3 59.Nc1 Bg2 60.Ne2 Bf3 61.Nc3 Bc6 62.Kd3 Ke6 63.Kd4 Kd6 64.Nb1 Bf3 65.Nd2 Bc6 66.Kd3 Ke6 67.Nb3 Kd5 68.Nc5 Kd6 69.Kd4 Bg2 70.e4 fxe4 71.Nxe4+ Ke6 72.Nc3 Kf5 73.Nd5 Bf3 74.Ne3+ Kf6 75.Kc5 Be2 76.Nc2 Bf1 77.Nd4 Bd3 78.Nxb5 Kf5 79.Nd6+ 1-0 Vachier Lagrave,M-Vaisser,A/Mulhouse FRA 2011

3...Bd6!? 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e4 Bb4 8.e5 Qe7 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.bxc3 exd5 12.c4 dxc4 13.Bxc4+ Kh8 14.Re1 Nc6 15.Qd5 a5 16.a4 Nb4 17.Qd2 Qc5 18.Bb3 Ra6 19.h4 Rg6 20.h5 Rg4 21.e6 dxe6 22.Ne5 Rd4 23.Ng6+ Kg8 24.Qe3 Nd5 25.Bxd5 Rxd5 26.Nxf8 Qxe3 27.Rxe3 Kxf8 28.Rd3 Rxd3 29.cxd3 Bd7 30.Rc1 c6 31.f3 Ke7 32.d4 Be8 33.Kf2 Bxh5 34.Rb1 b5 35.axb5 cxb5 36.Rxb5 a4 37.Rb7+ Kf6 38.Rb8 Ke7 39.Ke3 Be8 40.Rb6 g5 41.d5 exd5 42.Kd4 h5 43.Kxd5 f4 44.Ke5 Bd7 45.Rg6 a3 46.Rg7+ Ke8 47.Rxg5 1-0 Yermolinsky,A-Poehlmann,R/San Francisco 2003

4.dxe6 dxe6 5.Qxd8+ Bxd8 6.e4! Nc6

6...fxe4 7.Ng5 Nc6 The computer still gives this position as equal but why give yourself a weak pawn on e6.

7.exf5 exf5 8.Bc4 Nf6 9.0-0


The position looks deceptively drawish,black has certain problems with development and King position he must solve and this move helps neither. Better is 9...Bd7 10.Nc3 Be7 11.Bf4 0-0-0 White has only a small edge.

10.Re1+ Be7 11.Bf4 Kd8 Black is now clearly worse, it is hard to believe Steadman has done anything really wrong to deserve being on the edge of defeat.

12.Nc3 g5?

This is already the losing move! h6 and g5 have done nothing for black's position while white has made clear quiet but forceful moves directly helping his position. Black has huge development problems, note white's rooks are ready to infiltrate black's camp while black's rooks haven't moved and have no clear way to enter the game. [12...Bb4 13.Ne5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Bd7 15.Rad1 Rf8±]

13.Ne5! Nxe5

13...gxf4 14.Nf7++-

14.Bxe5 Rh7

Better is 14...Rf8


This is still winning but white could mop up the game even quicker with... 15.Rad1+ Bd7 16.Be6 White is winning a piece at minimum here.

15...Bd7 16.Bxc7+

16.Rad1 This is stronger again.

16...Ke8 17.Bd6 Rc8 18.Bxe7


White is winning an exchange as well as having an enormous positional advantage.

These comments were made by the arbiter on chess chat about this game.

Steadman looked drained of energy to me after round6 where he had a short draw. Recall he even needed a nap before round7. Probably not helped by warm stuffy conditions in the tournament hall and the neighbour building a garden shed with loud metal grinder noise. Certainly not conducive for a chess tournament.

Quite a pathetic argument. Ben travelled 500+ kilometers to play in this tournament which is in Steadman's back yard and Ben had the same tournament condition's as everyone else. The reality is he got caught out in an opening he didn't really know and simply got crushed by a very Strong opponent. It happens to all of us.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

The palmy champs are slowly moving in the direction of the finish line and at this point Ben Chris and Mark are the favourite's to win. This coming Wednesday will see the two top players Ben and Mark face off where if Ben is able to win would put him firmly in the driver's seat for first.

One of the big upsets of the tournament was Jack James 1784 win over John McDonald 2114
The following position is from their game White(John) to move

John tried 17. d5? and lost after 14 odd moves in a rather unusual game. The position is quite tricky anyway but white's best chance was 17.Ne4!? when 17...Nxd1 runs into Nxd6+ followed by Rb3 when white is better so black's best is 17...Bf8 keeping the position balanced if tricky.

This next position is from last week's game Chris Burns - Mark Noble black to move.

Black with more time on his clock now than at the start of the game played the shocker 41...Rd7? and simply resigned after 42.Rxc5! when black cannot recapture because of the Bb3 threat to pin the Queen to the King. Better is 41...Kh7 or Qe7 and we have a pretty equal endgame.

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

Latest Results


FM Mark Noble 2300 - Mathew King 1990 1-0
FM Ben Hague 2292 - James Stewart 1890 1-0
Justin Davis 2082 - Jack James 1784 1-0
John McDonald 2114 - Chris Burns 2119 0-1


FM Mark Noble 2300 - John McDonald 2114 1-0
FM Ben Hague 2292 - Justin Davis 2082 1-0
Chris Burns 2119 - Mathew King 1990 0-1

Current Standings

1. Chris Burns 2119 6/7
Mathew King 1990 4.5/8
FM Mark Noble 2300 4/4
Justin Davis 2082 3.5/8
John McDonald 2114 3/7
6. FM Ben Hague 2292 3/3
Jack James 1784 2/6 2/7
James Stewart 1890 0/8

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

The Palmerston North Club welcomes it's newest member FM Ben Hague who has a FIDE rating of 2292 which makes him the highest rated member in the club. Winner of the Waikato Open last year he will definitely add to the Palmy Club's prestige. The Strongest ever Palmerston North Chess Championship just got stronger!

Latest result's


FM Mark Noble 2300 - Justin Davis 2082 1-0
Jack James 1784 - Mathew King 1990 0-1
James Stewart 1890 - Chris Burns 2119 0-1


Justin Davis 2082 - FM Ben Hague 0-1
Mathew King 1990 - James Stewart 1890 1-0
Jack James 1784 - John McDonald 2114 0-1

Current Standings

1. Chris Burns 2119 5/5
2. Mathew King 1990 3.5/6
John McDonald 2114 3/5
. Justin Davis 2082 2.5/6
5. Jack James 1784 2/6
FM Mark Noble 2300 2/2
6. FM Ben Hague 2292 1/1
James Stewart 1890 0/7

The B grade is being led by Club President Dennis Davey who has been a member of the club for 30 years!

*Please note all rating's are NZCF except for FM Ben Hague which is FIDE

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Palmerston North Club Championship Round 5


FM Mark Noble 2300 - James Stewart 1890 1-0
Chris Burns 2119 - Justin Davis 2082 1-0
John McDonald 2114 - Jack James 1784 0-1

Monday, September 12, 2011

Palmerston North Club Championship Round 4


Mathew King 1990 - Chris Burns 2119 0-1

Justin Davis 2082 - John McDonald 2114 1-0

James Stewart 1890 - Jack James 1784 0-1

Friday, September 2, 2011

Club Championship Round Three


Chris Burns 2119 - FM Mark Noble 2300 Postponed

James Stewart 1890 - Mathew King 1990 0-1

Jack James 1784 - Justin Davis 2082 0-1

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Death of the "Dark Horse" Star - Genesis Potini (1965 - 2011)‏

Star of the award winning 2001 documentary "Dark Horse" - Genesis Potini has died of a Heart Attack aged 46 on the 15th August 2011

Genesis Potini - Gisborne's speed chess maestro, specialized in running opponents up against the clock, often trash-talking his way to victory. He was also known as a formidable communicator, a teacher , chess coach and up-front advocate for Mental Health issues.

Widely respected for his phenomenal achievements in promoting the educational benefits of chess, particularly in the poor communities.

Genesis' thoughts on the benefits of chess in education at

Dark Horse Star in action !

Genesis Potini (1613) vs Justin Davis (1647)
Waitakere 2006
White to Play

Black concerned at White's forces aiming at his King, decides to play it safe with 13...h6
but Genesis has seen further and unleashes a nasty surprise ......

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The World Championship Cycle

Today the 2011 FIDE World Cup was officially opened by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Tomorrow the first round is scheduled at 15:00 local time (11:00 CET). 128 participants from all over the world will fight in a knock-out that will last more than three weeks and should deliver three participants for the next Candidates tournament/matches, as part of the new World Championship cycle.
Rotorua hosted the Oceania Zonal which was won by Australian Zhao, Zong-Yuan . This enabled him to compete in the World Cup, there is a extensive interview on him here. Unfortunately no New Zealand players managed to qualify for the full list of participants here is the official site

Friday, August 26, 2011

Club Championship Round Two


Justin Davis 2082 - FM Mark Noble 2300 Postponed

Chris Burns 2119 - James Stewart 1890 1-0

John McDonald 2114 - Mathew King 1990 1-0

Jack James 1784 -Bye

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chess at the Square

Below is part of a recent article from the Mawatu Standard. Palmerston North Club official's helped set this up in the square.

Chess pieces a good Start

After spending millions of dollars making Palmerston North’s Square attractive, it’s time to look to the details that will make people want to linger there.
Visiting urban design guru David Engwicht said without things that encouraged people to participate in the life of the space, The Square would be ‘‘used as a corridor, to get from one place to another’’

A International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster for Manawatu

Mark Noble (pictured below) has currently moved to the Manawatu area and is currently playing in the Palmerston North Club Championships. He is best known as a International Correspondence chess Grandmaster and has recently qualified for two world finals where he will try and battle his way to becoming World Champion! Both of these are outstanding achievements.

More information can be found here and a radio interview here.

His over the board play also put's him at the top New Zealand chess. He is a former New Zealand Junior champion 1981-2, former 2 time North Island champion, he achieved his FIDE master title in 1992, represented New Zealand at the 1996 Yerevan Olympiad and played in two New Zealand championship's.

Outside of the major cities Palmerston North must now be the strongest club in New Zealand. A good club needs strong organisers as well as strong players to make it successful, hopefully we can attract more master strength players to our region to encourage this growth.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Club Championship's Round One

The A grade had a last minute entry in FM Mark Noble which was a welcome surprise.

Round One results

A Grade
Chris Burns 2119 - Jack James 1784 1-0
James Stewart 1890 - John McDonald 2114 0-1
Mathew King 1990 - Justin Davis 2082 1/2-1/2
FM Mark Noble 2300 - Bye

A Grade Draw Round 2 24th August

Justin Davis 2082 - FM Mark Noble 2300
Chris Burns 2119 - James Stewart 1890
John McDonald 2114 - Mathew King 1990
Jack James 1784 -Bye

B Grade Results
Martin - Dennis 1-0
Stewart - Yuri 1-0
David- Cedric 0-1

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wanganui Congress 2007 Rapid Championship

The video features two top class players which I am sure one will remember more fondly than the other. video link

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Game Viewer 2

Game Viewer

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Strongest ever Palmerston North Club Championship

Since I have been a member of the Palmerston North Chess Club we have the strongest field that I have ever encountered, I would say the strongest of all time unless someone more knowledgeable in Palmy chess can refute my statement. In either case in looks to be an exciting event. It is especially good to see the return of Martin Sims one of the strongest local players and more competent chess organisers in New Zealand.

Round One starts this coming Wednesday the 17th of August. One game per night at a time control of 75 minutes with a one minute increment.
A Grade is a double round robin.
Anyone is welcome to play in the B Grade.

A-Grade entries

1.Chris Burns 2119
5. John McDonald 2114
4. Justin Davis 2082
3. Mathew King 1990
2. James Stewart 1890
6. Jack James 1784

Draw for round one

Chris burns 2119 v Jack James 1784
James Stewart 1890 v John McDonald 2114
Mathew King 1990 v Justin Davis 2082

Round two

Chris Burns 2119 v James Stewart 1890
John McDonald 2114 v Mathew King 1990
Jack James 1784 v Justin Davis 2082

B Grade is an open ended round robin (full details available from club captain) headed by Martin Sims and Stewart Holdaway. The draw will be done on the night but be early to catch it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Palmerston North NZCF Active Rating List

The red column is the National rank, blue column is Standard rating followed by date of last active period and green is Rapid rating followed by date.

i - inactive

* - Provisional

j - Junior

s - Senior

unr - unrated

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Royal Game

But is it not an offensively narrow construction to call chess a game? Is it not a science, a technique, an art, that sways among these categories as Mohomet's coffin does between heaven and earth, at once a union of all contradictory concepts: primeval yet ever new; mechanical in operation yet effective only through the imagination; bounded in geometric space though boundless in its combinations... as proved by evidence, [chess is] more lasting in its being and presence than all books and achievements; the only game that belongs to all people and all ages; of which none knows the divinity that bestowed it on the world, to slay boredom, to sharpen the senses, to exhilirate the spirit . . .
Children can learn its simple rules, duffers succumb to its temptation, yet within this immutable tight square it creates a particular species of master not to be compared with any other - persons destined for chess alone, specific geniuses in whom vision, patience and technique are operative through a distribution no less precisely ordained than in mathematicians, poets, composers, but merely united on a different level.

Stefan Zweig

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Upper Hutt Rapid Photos

Palmerston North Chess Club is Moving

On Wednesday the 29th the Palmy chess club is moving to a much nicer venue at the Hearing house 435 Church street. Two rooms will be available one for analysis and drinks the other for serious games. The club will be open by 7:30pm sharp.

The following club night is on a Tuesday July the 5th, and from then on every Wednesday.

The first tournamnet of the new venue is the Rapid Championship played at a time control of 25 +5 at two rounds per night with a total of 6 rounds.

Two club tournaments have recently been completed the 60/60 which Mathew King won with a perfect score and the 10/10 which Justin Davis won with a perfect score.

Upper Hutt Rapid

No Name Loc Total 1 2 3 4 5 6

1 FM Scott Wastney 2253 6 19:W 13:W 4:W 2:W 5:W 3:W
2 Brian Nijman 1997 5 8:W 6:W 3:W 1:L 15:W 5:W
3 Justin Davis 1973 4 7:W 18:W 2:L 16:W 6:W 1:L
4 Ben Thomas 1986 4 10:W 9:W 1:L 5:L 14:W 8:W
5 Alan Ansell 2087 4 11:W 15:W 16:W 4:W 1:L 2:L
6 Mathew King 1901 4 12:W 2:L 7:W 17:W 3:L 11:W
7 Jack James 1496 3.5 3:L 21:W 6:L 11:W 9:D 15:W
8 Lawrence Farrington 1744 3.5 2:L 12:W 18:W 15:D 13:W 4:L
9 David Paul 1768 3.5 20:W 4:L 17:L 12:W 7:D 16:W
10 David Capper 1572 3.5 4:L 20:W 15:L 18:W 16:D 17:W
11 Bruce Kay 1594 3 5:L 14:W 13:W 7:L 17:W 6:L
12 Nicholas Moore 1223 3 6:L 8:L 19:W 9:L 20:W :W
13 Ross Jackson 1929 3 14:W 1:L 11:L 20:W 8:L 21:W
14 Robert List 1455 3 13:L 11:L 21:W 19:W 4:L 18:W
15 Alistair McGowan 1798 2.5 21:W 5:L 10:W 8:D 2:L 7:L
16 Stewart Holdaway 1763 2.5 17:W 19:W 5:L 3:L 10:D 9:L
17 Brian Luo 967 2 16:L :W 9:W 6:L 11:L 10:L
18 Layla Timergazi 947 2 :W 3:L 8:L 10:L 21:W 14:L
19 Andrew Brockway 1749 2 1:L 16:L 12:L 14:L :W 20:W
20 Dylan Frater unr 1 9:L 10:L :W 13:L 12:L 19:L
21 William Qihao Zhang 1217 1 15:L 7:L 14:L :W 18:L 13:L

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Waitakere and ICC Tournaments

National Master Leonard McLaren won the Waitakere Licensing Trust Open with a score of 5/6, Palmerston North was represented by Justin Davis who finished on 2.5/6. Crosstable taken from here, full results here. The Waitakere is clearly one of the bigger and better tournaments on the New Zealand chess calendar. Unfortunately the games from these tournaments are not easily available which is rather sad.

I was unable to take part in the Auckland tournament and had to console myself with the Internet Chess Club Open. Top prize of $600 was won by World Number 8 Hikaru Nakamura. The attractive part of the tournament were the grading prizes including u2200, u2000, u1800 and u1600 each 1st place was worth $200 2nd $100 and 3rd was a years free membership to ICC. I finished out of the prizes but had some interesting games along the way.

The ICC open consisted of 4 qualifiers of 11 rounds, in the game below I am white.
The time control is 3 0 so moving quickly is quite important so when I played 20.Qg5 threatening mate I thought maybe I have a chance until my opponent bashed out 20...Nb3# oops. Luckily I was able to redeem myself on the very last game of the tournament

I am white in the position below

My opponent rated 300 points higher than me hammered down the move 10...b5 allowing a 11.Nf6# and probably one of my quickest wins in blitz.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Waitakere Licensing Trust Chess Open

The biggest tournament before Queenstown in January will be the Waitakere Licensing Trust Open June 4th-6th. Nearly $7000 in prizes and a great way to play people close to you in rating, avoiding the annoying swiss pairings of playing only people alot higher or alot lower rated than you.

All Details can be found here

Palmerston North Blitz Championship

The Blitz tournament is normally the first event every year at the club and finished in March.
Group sections are double round robin
Quarter final best of 3
Semi and Final's best of 5

Group A

Mathew King 4
Jack James 4
Stewaret Holdaway 4
Yuri 0

Group B

Justin Davis 6
Dennis Davey 4
John Baker 2
Jacob Donnelly-King 0

Quarter Finals

Justin - Yuri 3-0
Mathew - John 2-1
Stewart - Dennis 2.5- .5
Jack- Jacob 2-0


Justin - Stewart 3-1
Mathew - Jack 2.5-3.5 (after going up 2.5 to .5 I proceeded to lose all games from then on.)


Justin - Jack 5-0

For four years running I believe Justin Davis takes the title of Palmerston North Chess Club blitz champion.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

North Island Championship

Photo's Courtesy of Shaun Waugh

Turnbull house the excellent venue for the North Island Championship. To the right out of the picture is the Beehive.

Round Two

A former NZ Champion following the games

Saturday, April 30, 2011

North Island Championship 2011

Congratulations to FM Robert Smith on winning the North Island championship.

This years tournament attracted a pathetic number of entries, only 25 with a large number of local players missing from Wellington and other near by towns. The venue and playing conditions were very good, no dirty plastic sets were used only nice quality wooden ones and their was no major noise issues. Palmerston North was represented by myself and Jack James. I placed 4th equal on 5/8 and had chances for more. Jack is Palmerston North's highest rated Junior and is clearly improving winning against two higher rated opponents in Stracy and Dolejs, his score of 4/8 enabled him to take a share of first place in the C grade. The tournament was top heavy with IM Ker, IM Garbett and FM Smith well above the rest and it was no surprise whoever won this mini tournament would take first place. Smith was able to beat Ker and all other games between them were drawn so once again Congrats to Bob on winning with a convincing score of 7.5/8

Results can be found here and here

Monday, April 18, 2011

North Island Championship 1981 and now

Going over some old New Zealand chess mags I stumbled upon a stellar issue from 1981 which included an article about the North Island championship. As I am competing in this years North Island championship it was with great interest to me what happened some 30! years ago. The tournament was held at New Plymouth between May 18-23 and attracted a "good field" of 54 players. The "leading lights were Paul Garbett, lasts years co-winner Mark Levene,Premier reserve champion Tony Dowden and Aucklanders Ewen Green,Robert Smith,Peter Stuart and Peter Weir". It may seem funny now but smoking was prohibited in the building which was not the norm some 30 years ago.
Going into the final round the top of the crosstable was Weir 6 Garbett 5 1/2 Green, Levene, Stuart, Dowden, Sarfati, Spiller, Gibbons, Lynn 5. In stunning fashion Garbett was able to beat Weir in the final round to become the 1981 North Island champion. Palmerston North was represented by 19th placed Dave Cooper on 4.5 (ahead of former NZ champ D Lynch 4) and 41. R. Wood 3.

Many of the strong players from 1981 some 30 years ago are still around and still at the top of New Zealand chess, both FM Smith and IM Garbett are competing in this year's North Island and will be among the favourites again to win the NI title.

Monday, February 7, 2011

118th New Zealand Chess Championship

International Master Anthony Ker is again New Zealand champion finishing on 9/11 1.5 points ahead of the field. Not only was he undefeated but he beat all his close rivals leaving a strong impression of dominance. Results and games

FM Steadman,M (2362) - IM Ker,A (2444) [A41]118th NZ Championship 2011 Auckland Round 3 Board 1, 04.01.2011
Round three of the championship and it is Ker's first titled opponent and an expected rival for first place.
1...d6 2.d4 Bg4
The Wade defence an expected choice from IM Ker. It is quite surprising that Ker does not deviate from his opening repertoire trusting he will know his pet lines better than anyone.

Other more popular moves include 3.c4 Nd7 4.Nc3 e5
3.e4 Nf6 (3...Nd7 4.c4 e5 5.Be2) 4.Nc3 e6 5.h3 Bh5 6.Qe2 (6.g4!?)
3.Nbd2 Nf6 4.h3 Bh5 5.e4 e6 6.Bd3
3...Nd7 4.c4 e5 5.Nc3 Ngf6 6.Be2 c6 7.0-0 Be7 8.e4 0-0 9.Be3 Bh5 10.Nd2 Bg6 11.d5 Nc5 12.f3 a5 13.Nb3 Nfd7 14.Nxc5 Nxc5 15.Qd2 Qc7 16.Rad1 Rfd8 17.g4 h6 18.Kg2 a4 19.Rh1 Bh4 20.Kh3 Qe7 21.Qc2 a3 22.b4 Na6 23.Qb3 c5 24.bxc5 Nxc5 25.Bxc5 dxc5 26.d6 Qg5 27.Rd3 h5 28.Rf1 hxg4+ 29.fxg4 Qh6 30.Kg2 Bg5 31.Rh3 Bh4 32.Rd1 Rd7 33.Bf3 Ra6 34.Nb5 Qg5 35.Qd3 Qf6 36.Qd5 Rc6 37.Rd3 Bg5 38.Rxa3 Ra6 39.Rxa6 bxa6 40.Qa8+ Rd8 41.Qxa6 Be3 42.Qa5 Bxe4 43.Qe1 Qf4 44.Qg3 Bxf3+ 45.Qxf3 Qxc4 46.Qxe3 Qxb5 47.Qxe5 Re8 48.d7 0-1 Tregubov,P-Akobian,V/Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2009
3...Nf6 4.Be2 c6 5.c4 Qc7 6.Nc3 e5 7.h3 Bh5 8.b3 Nbd7 9.Bb2 Be7 10.Rc1 e4 11.Nd2 Bg6 12.g4 h6 13.h4 Rd8 14.b4 d5 15.cxd5 Bxb4 16.dxc6 Qxc6 17.Qb3 Qd6 18.Nc4 Qe7 19.a3 Bxc3+ 20.Bxc3 Nd5 21.Bb4 Nxb4 22.Qxb4 Nf6 23.Ne5 Qxb4+ 24.axb4 Nd5 25.Kd2 h5 26.g5 Bf5 27.b5 f6 28.gxf6 gxf6 29.Nc4 Bg4 30.Bxg4 hxg4 31.Rcg1 f5 32.Ra1 Rh7 33.Rxa7 Rc7 34.Ra4 Kf8 35.b6 Rc6 36.Rb1 Rdc8 37.Rb5 Ne7 38.Kc3 Rh6 39.Rc5 Rb8 40.d5 f4 41.d6 Ng6 42.h5 g3 43.fxg3 fxg3 44.hxg6 Rxg6 45.Ra1 Kg7 46.Rc7+ 1-0 Bischoff,K-Schlindwein,R/Germany 2001
4.c4 Nd7 5.Be2 e5 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Bxf3 g6 8.Nc3 Ngf6 9.0-0 Bg7 10.b4
10.d5 c5
10...0-0 11.b5 Qc7 12.bxc6 bxc6 13.Ba3 Rfe8
13...exd4 14.exd4 Nb6 15.Qd3

The following pawn sac by Ker is interesting. White could decline the pawn by 14.Qd3 and finish development but white has no reason to step away from complications.
14...Nxe5 15.Bxd6 Nxf3+ 16.gxf3 Qd7 17.Kg2 Red8 18.Bh2 Qe6 19.Qe2

For the sacrificed pawn black has damaged white's King safety caused the bishop on h2 to be out of play and currently has the initiative. It must also be realised the extra pawn is doubled and will be hard to convert a win with even in an endgame.
19...Nh5 20.Rac1 Bxc3
It may seem strange to swap black's good bishop for white's knight but 20...Qe7 21.Ne4 f5 22.Ng3 Nf6 Black's attack is not progressing.
21.Rxc3 Rd4 22.e4
22.Rh1 Rad8 23.Rc2 R4d7
22...Rad8 23.Qe3 c5 24.Qg5 Rc8 25.Qe5 Qa6
Maybe better is 25...Qd7 26.Qg5² Both sides have equal chances although white's position is harder to play. (26.Rb1? f6-+)
26.Rb1 Qxa2 27.Rb8± Black has got his pawn back but white now has chances for a good counter attack.

White misses his chance 28.Rcb3!? Black is forced to bring his Queen back to defend which costs him a pawn leaving white clearly better. 28...Qd2 29.Qe7 Rf8 (29...Rxb8 30.Rxb8 Rxb8 31.Bxb8 Nf4+ 32.Bxf4 Qxf4 33.Qxc5±) 30.Rxc8 Rxc8 31.Rb7 Nf4+ 32.Bxf4 Qxf4 33.Rxa
28...Rd2 29.Bg1 Qa1 30.f4?
30.Rb8 Rxb8 31.Qxb8+ Kg7 32.Rb3 (32.Qe5+ Nf6 33.f4 Qe1 34.Kh2 Rd1-+) 32...Qd4 33.Rb7 g5 34.Rxa7 Nf4+ 35.Kh1 Qc3 36.Kh2 Ng6 (36...Qxf3 37.Qe5+ Kh6 38.Qf6+ Kh5 39.Qxf7+ Kh4 40.Qxh7+ Nh5 41.Qf5) 37.Qg3 h6 black still has a nice edge and will break through soon anyway.
30...Rd1-+ 31.Bh2 Rh1 32.Qd5
32.Rb8 Qf1+ 33.Kf3 Rxb8 34.Qxb8+ Kg7 35.Qe5+ Nf6 36.Kg3 h5 37.h4 Qe2 38.Kg2 Re1 39.Re3 Qf1+ 40.Kg3 Rxe3+ 41.fxe3 Qxc4 42.f5 Qxe4 43.Qxe4 Nxe4+ 44.Kf4 Nd2 45.e4-+]
32...Qf1+ 33.Kf3 Rf8 White resigns
33...Rf8 34.Bg3 Rxh3 35.Qg5 Qd1+ 36.Ke3 (36.Kg2 Qh1#) 36...Rh1 37.f3 Nxg3 38.Qxg3 Re1+-+ 0-1

Sunday, January 2, 2011

118th NZ Chess Championship Round One

More information can be found here

Round One Championship results

No Name Result Name
1 Russell Dive 1:0 Peter Stuart
2 Richard Taylor 0:1 Anthony Ker
3 Robert Smith 1:0 Alan Ansell
4 Hilton Bennett 0:1 Michael Steadman
5 Bruce Watson ½:½ Nathan Goodhue
6 Fuatai Fuatai ½:½ Daniel Shen
7 Leonard McLaren 1:0 Ross Jackson
8 Luke Li 1:0 Helen Milligan
9 Matthew Barlow 1:0 William Forster
10 Hans Gao 1:0 Antonio Krstev
11 Noel Pinic ½:½ Judy Gao
12 Hamish Gold 0:1 Robert Gibbons
13 Ivan Dordevic ½:½ Winston (Yow-Jen) Yao

The first round had a couple of upset results. The position below is from Luke Li (1992) verse WFM Helen Milligan (2148). Luke has just tried an interesting knight sac on c5 for 2 pawns unfortunately for Helen she continues in Luke's spirit of sacrificing and play's 21....Rxf5? and then falls apart later with 24...b5?? With the sequence 21...Ne3 22. Bxd7 Nxc7 23.Bxe8 Nxa1 24. Rxf8+ Kxf8 25.Bd7 Ne8! to hold up d6 which is more important than retreating the knight. 26. Bf5 Nd6 27. Bd3 Bg7 White is in the game, although this line does look complicated as black's knight has to stay on a1 with no way of getting out so it seems even better is 21...Qg7 and then 22....Ne3 with equal chances although black's position requires high energy to maintain.

The next position shows a missed opportunity by FM Bruce Watson (2321) against Nathan Goodhue (2030). The game ended in a draw but right here White can snip another pawn by 27.Bxe5 and black cannot take back because the queen would be pinned by white's rook to his King. White played the routine 27. h3 and had to be satisfied with a draw at move 51 after some up and down play by both sides.

The next position below is Matthew Barlow (2137) verse Bill forster (1990). Bill has played a good game so far but now loses the plot and plays 32...Nd4 forgetting about his a pawn which Barlow swiftly takes after 33. Bxd4 Bxd4 34.Qxa5 white won in 63. Black had the much better 32...Bd4 with equal play.

The top seeds had their usual easy first round game. Below is IM Russel Dive (2460) verse Peter Stuart (2070). Dive has trotted out his usual English opening which Stuart seems to be coping with so far, until now. Black tries a trick with 33. ...Nf5 which just drops a piece after 34. Rxf8 Rxf8 35. Bxf8+ +\-. 33...Ng8 was best although white is still slightly better because of his Q-side majority but black is still well in the game.

The position below is from the wild game Ivan Dordevic (2080) verse Winston Yao (1676). White has bashed out a dubious attack against black's Sicilian dragon and has come to the moment of victory. Crushing is 27.Bxf7+ when kxd7 leads to mate after 28. Qxg6+ and if 27...Kd7 28. fxg6 and the g pawn is crushing. Instead perhaps due to some sort of chess karma white plays Qh7 losing all of his advantage and black manages to force a perpetual at move 45.