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?

Plenty of chess action this week as Series 2 of the Leo Eichholtz Rapid kicked off. The competition was boosted by the return of two travellers, Guy Burns and Brandon Holman from some weeks overseas,  both getting a point from the night, and Brandon almost securing a valuable second point against top-rated Ross Jackson. With a pawn on the 7th,  and some material gains forced, Brandon unluckily dropped his queen, to allow Ross to snaffle a late win. See latest results here.

Junior coaching continues, with Club President Gordon this week covering some opening theory.

Brandon Holman v Ross Jackson (14/5/2019)

Kapiti Chess festival time!

The annual Kapiti Rapid tournament and the inaugural Kapiti School Region Tournament are in a few weeks time. The Kapiti Rapid is now established as an annual grand prix 3 graded rapid tournament, with a competition format that will suit all grades. The Kapiti School Region tournament is a new tournament being run concurrently with the Rapid, and designed to promote chess for young people and schools in the region. Suitable for absolute beginners to already rated players. Prizes for both the best individuals and a cup to the best school.  The day promises to be a festival event, packed with chess,  including a food and drink stall. Come and support chess in Kapiti. Entry form and details for the Kapiti Rapid here, and entry and details for the Kapiti School Region tournament here.

The first series in the annual Leo Eichholtz 25+5 rapid wrapped up with Rounds 7 and 8 this week. Gordon Lyall and David Paul hold the honours with an impressive 7 from 8. Ross Jackson in third. Geoffrey Gunawan is leading the juniors and in 6th overall, with Valera Bonyushkin the current second placed junior. Results and standings here.

The third week of the Leo Eichholtz 25 + 5 Rapid continued this week with Rounds 5 and 6 played. Three players, Rick Lowe, David Paul and David Scott secured the maximum two points. This leaves David Paul and Gordon Lyall neck and neck leading into the final two rounds next week, with several others also in contention, including Geoffrey Gunawan who currently heads off the other junior members and sits in fifth place overall. The Round 6 match up between Neels Du Plessis and David P was a classic rapid tussle, with David showing some mastery in rapid play to come back with seconds left on the clock, from an inferior position, to eventually overcome the club’s Blitz night winner. David is turning out to be an angel of death, as several now have succumbed to him from superior or winning positions. Full results here.

Junior sessions continued this week, with the introduction of the NZCF badge scheme to the Club. This went down well, with everyone showing near perfect knowledge with the Level one “Pawn badge” test. Well done!

Sean Doyle v Hamish Lester, round 5, Leo Eichholtz Rapid played 30/4/2019.

NZCF Badge Scheme introduced for Club Juniors                      


Easter chess

While some took the opportunity to get away over the School holiday/Easter/ANZAC breaks, three Kapiti club members Geoffrey Gunawan, David Scott, and Ross Jackson, decided to spend four solid days competing in the annual Wellington Chess Club Easter tournament, which this year doubled as the North Island Chess Championships.

Our club members held their own against one of the largest, most competitive fields playing this event (a total of 56 players, including many of the top NZ players, more than a third of the field rated over 2000, and an average tournament rating of around 1800).

Geoffrey considering his opening options…. f5 again?

Geoffrey (rated 1445) continued with his promising progress of late, scoring 3 from 8 (and a very respectable performance rating near 1500). This  included a good win and a draw against 1700+ opposition. David S (rated 1666) scored a solid 4 from 8, managing a placing in the B-grade.

Special acknowledgement should be made to dual citizen member Ross (he is also President of the Wellington Chess Club), who not only played, but was the chief organiser of this successful event. Ross (rated 1928) scored 4/8 against tough competition, including a missed opportunity against current NZ champion Russell Dive. You can see this game, and ones from Geoffrey and David here. A full run down event results can be found here.

Chief Tournament organiser, WCC Club President and KCC member Ross Jackson

…And in matching blue designer top, David Scott

Meanwhile, round two of the Leo Eichholtz 25-5 rapid competition continued at the club this week. While a number were away on holidays,  it was great to see former Club Captain Lars back visiting. Club Champion, Gordon Lyall rolled on with his winning ways – with wins over Ross Jackson and David Paul. Geoffrey also secured a full two points for the night, and currently sits in second place with David P.

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.