NZ Chess News logo Home Calendar Results About
NZ Chess News logo

New Zealand Chess News

Bay of Plenty Rapid

1st FM Ben Hague
2nd Kirill Polishchuk
3rd= FM Mike Steadman, Noel Pinic, IM Paul Garbett, CM Helen Milligan (under2000), Richard Dare (under1900)

1st Laurens Goormachtigh
2nd Luis Angel Duran Rubalcava
3rd= Asheesh Gautam, Leyton Hackney, Simon Lyall, Neil Cruden, Timothy Ha, Philli Park-Tamati (under1600)
under1400 Jie Gong

1st= Aidan Morgan, Leo Kim, UOG Udala Nethmina Bandara
under12years Kevin Li
under10years Hannah Xu

Full results on Vega: A-Grade , B-Grade , Junior

Kirill Polishchuk

Kirill Polishchuk (Best BoP player)

Auckland Anniversary Weekender

1st with 6/6: FM Ben Hague
2nd= CM Alphaeus Ang, FM Bob Smith, IM Paul Garbett, CM Allen Fan, Gino Thornton, CM John Duneas

Under 1800: 1st CM Oliver Picken
2nd= Laurens Goormachtigh, Caroline Yan, Karl Holdo, Oliver Dai, Roy Seabrook, Stephen Peak

Under 1500: 1st Tom Fu
2nd= Sarah Yan, Jacob Barry, Philli Park-Tamati, Uday Jain, Aaron Wang, Isabelle Ning, Abraham Deng

Under 1200: 1st Kendrick Zhang
2nd Felix Xie
3rd Boyuan Zhang

Full results on Vega: Anniversary Weekender

FM Ben Hague

FM Ben Hague

Funeral for Peter Stuart

The funeral for Peter Stuart will be held at 11am on Monday 19th February at Forrest Funeral Services, Glen Road, Browns Bay.

Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart RIP

2018 New Zealand Chess Champions

The New Zealand Open finished with the visting French GMs in 1st and 2nd places, but the more important local fight for the title of 125th New Zealand Champion was decided by a last-round battle. Alphaeus Ang won quickly, reaching 6/9, and was able to watch most of his challengers fall behind - Mike Steadman and Bob Smith lost to the Frenchmen, and Allen Fan was held to a draw by Australian GM Darryl Johansen. That left a fascinating game with Daniel Gong (on 5½) trying to hold off the challenge of Russell Dive (on 5). Dive eventually won, and shared the title with Ang.

Alphaeus is only 15 - the same age as GM Murray Chandler, back in the 1975/76 event, where Chandler scored his first Championship. A sign of great things to come? We can certainly hope so! In any case, it is clear that Youth is finally making a breakthrough against Experience in New Zealand!

Full details can be found in the dedicated NZ Congress 2018 webpage.

New Zealand Champions

CM Alphaeus Ang (left), IM Russell Dive (right)

Results of the election at the NZCF AGM

Download the Minutes here (pdf document).

To summarise, we lost the election to the other ticket. The policies that we promoted that were expressed through remits from North Shore Chess Club and Mount Maunganui RSA Chess Club were also lost, although voting for the Mount Maunganui remit and the first North Shore remit (on registration fees) were tied and defeated by chairman Murray Chandler's casting vote.

The full details of the votes were as follows:

Election for Council (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Councillors)
5 votes for us (1 Mt Maunganui, 3 North Shore, 1 Papatoetoe)
21 votes against us (5 Auckland, 2 Canterbury, 2 Hamilton, 1 Hawkes Bay, 2 Howick-Pakuranga, 2 Otago, 2 Upper Hutt, 1 Waitakere, 4 Wellington)

Mt Maunganui Remit, to require open tender process before NZCF can contract out events.
12 votes for (5 Auckland, 1 Mt Maunganui, 3 North Shore, 2 Otago, 1 Papatoetoe)
12 votes against (2 Canterbury, 2 Hamilton, 1 Hawkes Bay, 2 Howick-Pakuranga, 1 Waitakere, 4 Wellington)
2 votes abstaining (2 Upper Hutt)
Murray Chandler cast the chairman's vote to defeat the remit.

North Shore Remit1, to cut NZCF annual player registration fees to $10.
12 votes for (5 Auckland, 1 Mt Maunganui, 3 North Shore, 1 Papatoetoe, 2 Upper Hutt)
12 votes against (2 Canterbury, 2 Hamilton, 1 Hawkes Bay, 2 Howick-Pakuranga, 1 Waitakere, 4 Wellington)
2 votes abstaining (2 Otago)
Murray Chandler cast the chairman's vote to defeat the remit.

North Shore Remit2, to make NZCF tournament levies inclusive of FIDE rating fees.
10 votes for (5 Auckland, 1 Mt Maunganui, 3 North Shore, 1 Papatoetoe)
12 votes against (2 Canterbury, 2 Hamilton, 1 Hawkes Bay, 2 Howick-Pakuranga, 1 Waitakere, 4 Wellington)
4 votes abstaining (2 Otago, 2 Upper Hutt)

North Shore Remit3, to revert interschools levies back to $5 per team. No extra charge to teams for playing in national finals.
5 votes for (1 Mt Maunganui, 3 North Shore, 1 Papatoetoe)
17 votes against (5 Auckland, 2 Canterbury, 2 Hamilton, 1 Hawkes Bay, 2 Howick-Pakuranga, 1 Waitakere, 4 Wellington)
4 votes abstaining (2 Otago, 2 Upper Hutt)

These were the delegates casting the clubs' votes at the AGM.
5 votes, Auckland, Mike Steadman.
2 votes, Canterbury, Edward Rains.
2 votes, Hamilton, Murray Chandler.
1 vote, Hawkes Bay, Bernard Carpinter.
2 votes, Howick-Pakuranga, Stan Yee & Tony Booth.
1 vote, Mt Maunganui, Helen Milligan.
3 votes, North Shore, Helen Milligan.
2 votes, Otago, Leighton Nicholls.
1 vote, Papatoetoe, Helen Milligan.
2 votes, Upper Hutt, Anton Reid.
1 vote, Waitakere, Bob Smith.
4 votes, Wellington, Ross Jackson & Russell Dive.

Peter Stuart RIP

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of our friend and colleague Peter Stuart. We offer our condolences to all his family and friends. Further details will be posted here on our website when we have them.

I'd like to write a few lines about Peter. I moved to New Zealand in 2007 so I have not known him as long as most of you have. However, during that time, he became a good friend and a trusted advisor. He was a man of complete integrity and the highest principles, dedicated to chess and particularly to juniors and club players. He was a stickler for correct procedures and cost-effective organisation. His enthusiasm and constant hard work kept our club active and involved in every aspect of Auckland chess - ACA Interclubs, NZCF Interschools, Jenkins Trophy matches, internal tournaments in a variety of categories, time controls, and even chess variants (Fischer Random for example), and of course our annual North Shore Open, which he organised and directed.

Peter has also been involved in every aspect of NZ chess on a national scale - Editor of the magazine, President of the federation, International Arbiter and International Organiser, Life Member. At international level he has been a player for NZ (most recently at the World Seniors Team Championship in 2014) and a captain (e.g. the Women's Olympiad team in 2014). His contribution to chess here in NZ is incalculable. And of course he has been North Shore's club champion more times than I can readily count on the trophy sitting in front of me…

We have been honoured to have him on our ticket. His input to our policies was substantial and he shared our vision for junior development and organisational upgrade. In particular, we were encouraged by his confidence in our ability to put our policies into practice. He will be sorely missed by our team and by North Shore Chess Club - but we will continue to present our ideas for the future of NZ chess, knowing that he will be cheering us on.

Helen Milligan

Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart RIP

Nominations for election of NZCF Council at the NZCF AGM

At the NZCF AGM in January 2018, there will be an election to choose between two nominations for Council. It is the first time an election has been held for nearly 20 years. Usually, Council changes by means of a gradual process as people retire or take a break from duties. So usually, there is no need for chess clubs and chess players to get seriously involved or consider different approaches. This time it is different. There are two clearly different approaches on offer. We would like you to consider our agenda.

A chess federation run by volunteers for the benefit of the amateur chess community

Our policies:
bullet Slash costs for everyone
bullet Enrich junior development
bullet Enhance tournaments/events
bullet Cultivate chess excellence

The core team of volunteers nominated by North Shore Chess Club is as follows:
President Keong Ang
Vice-President Peter Stuart
Secretary Helen Milligan
Treasurer Tingling Wei
Auckland Councillor Pierre Braganza
Auckland Councillor Arnold van den Heuvel
Auckland Councillor Kitty Lu
Auckland Councillor Simon Lyall

Volunteers are capable people who freely contribute their time, talent, and effort for NZCF to be well run. Of course, it would be good if we could have a full-time paid administrator, taking care of every organisational detail and answering all queries. Over the past few years we have indeed had someone who was effectively full-time, though paid at a part-time level. The net result has been that she has worked many hours to collect money which has not been sufficient to pay a living wage for the person doing the collecting. Our conclusion is that this does not work and is not improving the state of NZ chess. The people who make up the chess community in New Zealand are chess amateurs for whom chess is not a source of income, and they do not generate (cannot generate!) sufficient funds for us to treat chess as a professional sport and fund administration accordingly.

Chess in New Zealand is an activity that many parents consider useful for their kids, alongside physical sports, music, and of course schoolwork. In later years schoolwork, exams, and university entrance become overwhelmingly important. We therefore have a large and constant supply of young schoolchildren, who are not likely to be treating chess as a potential career or even a main hobby. This is the population we need to cater for, and it is the population from which we should be seeking support, as the parents are understandably anxious to give their kids good opportunities to improve and win titles and awards!

Our Initiatives

bullet Slash costs for everyone

Our policy of a volunteer organisation means an immediate saving of $1250 per month, currently paid by NZCF for a combination of book-keeping, website management, and general administration. This would allow an immediate reduction of costs. Remits submitted by North Shore CC to the AGM include the following:
bullet Reducing annual player registration fees by 50% (from $20 to $10).
bullet Including FIDE rating charges as part of tournament levies.
bullet Reversing interschool levies from the recent increase back to $5 per school team.
We believe these would all be very popular measures. Currently anyone who plays chess outside the major centres (Auckland and Wellington) is likely to complain about having to pay the $20 registration fee for only a couple of events per year! FIDE ratings are popular and with a monthly update they provide a certain 'instant gratification' which is mandatory in today's fast-moving world. Interschool levies are a burden to those trying to run school events in areas of low income.

Many tasks performed by chess organisers involve a lot of repetitive work. A major project to alleviate the burden through automating most work that is currently done manually is a priority. For example, it would be possible to set up a system where tournaments were advertised online, with online entry fee payment and registration, leading to automatic updates of Vega files, with further integration into the NZCF ratings database and Grand Prix points calculation. This is not something that would happen overnight - but we have computer experts on our ticket who could work on this project, not to mention considerable computer expertise in the general population of chess players!

bullet Enrich junior development

One of our mottos might be to ensure that every child in an Interschools event is capable of mating with queen or two rooks against bare king - and perhaps also capable of avoiding a quick end by Scholar's Mate! If we accept that our main challenge is to promote chess among young schoolchildren, then we must look at providing them with the coaching they need to make the most of their years of chess activity. Not everyone aspires to be a Grandmaster - but in the long run, if we want Grandmasters, then a large pool of well-educated children would be essential.

We would like to promote coaches on our official website, and our long-term plans include provision of weekly opportunities for kids to play and have their games analysed by coaches. Maybe, one day, a real National Chess Centre?!

bullet Enhance tournaments/events

Competitive chess includes regional and national Interschools events, weekend events run by clubs and other local organisers, internal rated club events, and the array of official NZCF Championships. We would facilitate all of these, with various targeted initiatives.

Recently, organisation of regional Interschools events (where 'regional' includes the events in Auckland areas and in Wellington) has faltered. NZCF has attempted to revive these by giving lucrative contracts to outside organisers (replacing the local clubs, who traditionally ran these events). While this approach may have short-term advantages, in our opinion it needs to be more open, with opportunities for talented organisers to bid for events that local clubs have given up on. Mount Maunganui RSA Chess Club has submitted a remit to the AGM calling for an open and transparent procurement process, and we support this.

The mechanics of running events are another area where we would hope to be involved. Chess players are happiest when tournaments run smoothly, according to the schedule, with results promptly posted online. For junior chess players (and their parents), it is important that events are rated, preferably in both the NZCF and FIDE lists. All this is possible (and indeed normal) when events are run by well-trained, competent arbiters using up-to-date pairing software (ie Vega). It is our intention to train local arbiters around the country, to increase the pool of people happy and confident with the use of Vega and implementation of FIDE regulations. We would also train arbiters to use DGT boards for live games.

Being an arbiter is perhaps something that not many people would be interested in. Chess also needs people who understand the logistics of running an event - particularly events with large numbers of people, such as Interschools. We would like to harness parent power to help with these events, with the idea that the parents of one junior generation would then pass on the knowledge to parents of younger kids as they come into the chess world. Of course we would also welcome student power - the teenaged organisers of the highly successful NZ Girls' Team Championships have our great respect!

bullet Cultivate chess excellence

Progress in chess means improving, obtaining norms, and obtaining titles. At present this is really only possible if you (or your parents) can fund trips abroad, to play in strong international events where norms are possible or direct titles on offer. There are a few opportunities in NZ: the George Trundle Masters annually offers norm possibilities; the top section at Congress sometimes has norm opportunities; rare events such as the Zonals or the recent Asian Seniors offer direct titles.

We would continue to facilitate participation in international junior tournaments abroad (with direct titles). Recent NZCF policy has been to allow anyone to play in these, with selection procedures only if more than one player applies for a place in the same category of an event with free board and lodging for national representatives. Players are assumed to benefit from the experience, even if they are weak relative to others in their age category in NZ, and unlikely to do well in the chosen event.

Where we beg to differ from the current administration is in our support for local players in direct title events in New Zealand. We would be much more proactive in bringing Asian continental events to NZ, and when we obtain permission to run such events (which might include Asian Youth, Asian Junior, Asian Seniors, etc) we would make NZ results a priority, with support for our own top players rather than for high-profile foreigners.


The members of NZCF, according to our constitution, are the clubs. It is the affiliated clubs that will vote at the AGM. As a member of a club, you have probably voted for your club committee. Your committee will appoint a Delegate with instructions to vote at the AGM. Please, talk to your committee, and make sure they vote on the issues. This is an important moment in NZ chess, with a choice of roads forward.