A northern hemisphere dark-horse scooped the top-prize at the 2011 Kapiti Rapid Chess Tournament held 8 October in Paraparaumu.
40 players player attended this important regional chess tournament. A new format was used this year with 3 separate tournaments within the Rapid, and players reported that switch to be a great success.
FIDE Master (FM) Ben Hague pipped NZ Champion International Master (IM) Anthony Ker and Grand Master (correspondence) Mark Noble by a clear point each. Pundits expected the Ker versus Noble game to be the Tournament’s decider, but Hague was unbeaten on the day with 5 wins—only to be held to respectable draw by FM Scott Wastney.
Palmerston North and Kapiti players played exceptionally well. Twins Michael and Daniel Yuan (Palmerston North) won the B Grade. Kapiti’s local chess champion David Paul and talented junior player, Itay Ben-Dom, along with Palmerston North’s Jack James (current under NZ under 14 Rapid champion) came runners-up, followed by Kapiti’s Alastair McGowan and Club President Guy Burns.
The C Grade was also won by junior players, a reflection how strong and popular NZ junior chess has become. Henry Li and Layla Timergaze won this section. Kapiti players; mighty Mike O’Rorke and Joe Tyler followed closely, on 3 points.