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.