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.