Kapiti Chess Club - Promoting The Art Of Chess
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Kapiti Chess Club – Visitors Always Welcome!

Kapiti Chess Club meets 7:30pm, Tuesdays at the Salvation Army rear Hall, 41 Bluegum Road, Paraparaumu Beach. Juniors meet before this at 7:00pm for coaching and casual games before the formal club games. This is a great way to learn or improve your game with experts, and have a bit of fun with other juniors.

KAPITI RAPID REGIONAL CHESS TOURNAMENT Saturday May 25. Full info and entry form here.

KAPITI REGION SCHOOL CHESS TOURNAMENT Running in conjunction with the Kapiti Rapid, this new tournament is open to all primary and secondary school students, as individuals, or teams. Full info and entry form here.

Feel free to contact us, if you have any questions.

Chess, is it an art, science or sport?

Leo Eichholtz kicks off

The Club’s annual Leo Eichholtz tournament kicked off this week. These games are played in the ‘rapid’ format of 25 minutes per player with 5 seconds added per move.  The first two rounds saw the top ranked players (Gordon Lyall, Ross Jackson and David Paul) all leading with maximum points, although some were made to work hard. Geoffrey Gunawan, in particular, playing himself nicely into a great position against David Paul, before losing.  David Scott also failing to find a killer blow in his game against David. Results from week 1 here.

The club also welcomed newcomer Ben, who played some competitive games in his first night at the Club – in fact,  nearly upsetting Club Champion, Gordon, in his first club warm-up game!

Kapiti Chess Club Junior Members Compete in Training Tournament

Well done to Junior Club members, Geoffrey Gunawan, Mark Summers and Valera Bonyushkin, who competed in a Training Tournament at Johnsonville on Sunday 14th April. The 3-member team all had good wins against a strong field comprising other students from schools in the Wellington Region. The youngest competitors were 7 years old and there were also several girls competing. The training event, organised in collaboration with International Chess Master, Scott Wastney, provided good experience for the juniors ahead of the Kapiti Region School Chess competition, scheduled for 25th May.

On Tuesday 9th April, Kapiti Chess Club was privileged to host two of New Zealand’s top players, International Masters Russell Dive and Anthony Ker. Between them, they have won or jointly won the New Zealand Chess Championship 20 times, and both have represented New Zealand at the Chess Olympiad since 1988. The presentation featured analysis of their favourite games from the 43rd Chess Olympiad, held last year in Batumi, Georgia (see games here). The Chess Olympiad is massive with the best players of nearly every country competing every two years for the title of best Chess country in the world.

Masters at work

This much anticipated evening was a great success, with virtually full attendance from Club members, as well as a number of keen visitors. The session was entertaining, fascinating, inspiring, as well as highly instructive to all in attendance.

Russell and Anthony consider my suggestion for what move to play next.

Junior members Hamish Lester and Savannah Edwards present gifts to IM’s Russell Dive and Anthony Ker, with Club President Gordon Lyall alongside.



On Tuesday, 9th April, the club is privileged to host two top New Zealand players, current joint New Zealand chess champions and FIDE International Chess Masters, Russell Dive and Anthony Ker.

This is an exciting opportunity to listen and learn from the best. They will be sharing some of their games and experiences from the recent World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia. They are brilliant communicators with a gift of explaining the complex simply and logically, showing both the art and science of chess. Their visit and coaching session last year was one of the highlights of the chess calendar.

The event is open and free to anyone interested. All are welcome. It starts at 7:30pm at the Salvation Army Hall at 41 Bluegum Rd.

Russell and Anthony are the current joint New Zealand chess champions. Anthony has been New Zealand Champion 14 times and Russell 6 times.  Russell first won in 1986, Anthony in 1988. Only Ortvin Sarapu who died in 1999 with 20 wins has won it more often. Recently when blindfold, world record holder Grandmaster Timur Garayev played 12 games blindfold simultaneously at Wellington Chess Club, they played him to a draw. They were also unsighted, with advantage of only being able to mentally visualise onto an empty board and record the moves.
Here they are winning the New Zealand Championship in January 2019.


This week saw the first Blitz chess event of the year, and was a great success and a fun night for all. There was a strong turnout, and after some exciting, sometimes frantic games, in the super-fast time format, the event was taken out by a visitor to the Club, Neels Du Plessis. Losing only one game, Neels comfortably took top spot. His only loss was to another visitor, Jacob Wiringi, who also played some strong chess. The club’s best players were left licking their wounds. 

 Junior coaching continues to prove very popular, with all juniors attending again this week. The topic moved on to Fundamental Middlegame Combinations. What a combination is and when to look for them over the board was covered. In addition, the various types of combinational methods were highlighted and the focus was on “Pins and Skewers”. All material will be provided in pdf and pgn formats to members.

A junior chess event has been organised in collaboration with International Master Scott Wastney for Sunday April 14 at the Johnsonville Community Centre, from 1:30-4:30pm. This will give the juniors a chance to play against other students from the Wellington area in a team format. It is hoped a team of 4 juniors can represent the Club. A fee of $5 will be charged to contribute to the hire of the hall. Details will be provided to members and parents in the next few days.

Below: John v Geoffrey and Rick v Hamish battling it out on Blitz night, 2/4/2019.

This week saw the final round of the John and Rose Kingston Memorial with Gordon Lyall continuing his winning ways, outplaying Brandon Holman in an interesting rook and pawn endgame, to take out the tournament with an impressive 7/8. Ross Jackson was second with David Paul, Alistair McGowan and Guy Burns tied for third place. The best placed juniors were Geoffrey, Mark and Valera all scoring some nice wins over the tournament. Well done! Full results here.

The second week of the new 7 pm coaching saw a full complement of juniors attending, showing their strong interest in developing their chess ability. It was also great to see two of our younger juniors, Savannah and Valera, notating their game (featured here). This week’s topic covered “Opening Principles of Chess” and featured the game Tarrasch-Mieses from 1916. Each lesson will be available in pdf and pgn formats.

A reminder that the annual Kapiti Rapid regional chess tournament is on Saturday May 25 and is open to all levels, grades and ages. Full info and entry form for the tournament can be found here.

And finally, a reminder that subs are also now due. See here for details.

2019 Kapiti Rapid

The Kapiti Rapid is on! This cool little annual regional chess tournament will be on Saturday May 25, in Paraparaumu, and is open to all levels, grades and ages. This is a Grade 3 Poison Pawn Grand Prix event rated with the New Zealand Chess Federation.

Full info and entry form for the tournament can be found here.

Whether you’re a serious competitive player or a more social player, come along and support Kapiti chess, and have a bit of fun playing the best game in the world. 


The new 7 pm start with coaching for juniors was a big success. All juniors attended and the coaching covered chess notation and the use of chess databases to enhance learning and enjoyment of the game. The feature game was Deep Blue (IBM Super Computer) v Garry Kasparov. Coaching was delivered using a projector so all students could easily view the lesson material which was delivered using chess database software. Lessons will be available to all members in pgn format.

This week was Round 7 of the John and Rose Kingston Memorial Tournament. With a crowded table and only one more round after this, there was a lot to play for. Front-runners Gordon Lyall and Alistair McGowan were paired against David Scott and Ross Jackson. Gordon methodically dispatched David after putting file pin pressure on his opponent’s king and queen which eventually resulted in an exchange of rook, bishop, knight and 1 pawn for queen and 3 pawns – materially even, but positionally lost for David. Ross v Alistair was the potential match-up of the night. However, Ross running extra late tonight, found a generous Alistair willing to waive his otherwise win on time, and play. The better news for Ross was that he went on and won. All this left Gordon in clear first, going in the final round, with Ross and Alistair a point behind, and Guy in fourth place, half a point behind, after his win over Geoffrey. Amongst the juniors Asher had a nice win over Hamish to gain another full point for the tournament. Results here.

Subscriptions are now due and should be paid by 30th April. See here for more details.

Great news for junior members! Commencing next Tuesday, 19th March, the Club will start at 7pm. The idea is to allow more time for juniors to play casual games and get some coaching, before their formal club matches. Gordon will be announcing more details on this soon.

A reminder also that the annual Kapiti Rapid tournament is on the 25th May. More details to follow soon.

This week saw Round 6 played in the John and Rose Kingston Memorial tournament with the competition really starting to heat up. Front runner Alistair masterfully put paid to David S’s Petroff, while fellow front runner Gordon also had a win over Geoffrey. Both retaining their position as joint leaders. Meanwhile, there were two closely fought battles, between Ross and Guy, and Brandon and David P looking to get back some of his winning form. Proving that chess blindness can sometimes be contagious, Ross prevailed in the end over Guy, after blundering a piece, only to have Guy reciprocate by setting up a helpmate. David v Brandon was quite a tussle until the 31st move when Brandon took a gamble, which didn’t come off, and it was downhill from there. Mark W, Valera and Savannah also all had wins resulting in a relatively crowded table (see here), and plenty to be decided in the final two rounds!

Finally a reminder, following on from the Club Captain’s announcement, that we aim to start all games each week promptly at 7.45pm.

We had our AGM and a new Committee has been elected. Gordon Lyall has been elected President, Mark Summers (Junior Representative), Guy Burns (Vice-President), David Paul (Club Captain), David Scott (Secretary), Brandon Holman (Treasurer) and Ross Jackson (Committee Member). Fees remain the same and a new category of ‘unwaged’ has been introduced ($100). Full details Here