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2019 Freebird Trophy concludes

The final night of the 2019 Freebird Trophy last week saw Ross Jackson impressively clean the board with four wins from four, to follow his four wins from four the previous week. Congratulations Ross! Runner-up was Gordon Lyall with 7 from 8, followed by David Paul on 6. Full results here.

Junior coaching continues to be popular and well-attended. A little under half the club membership are now juniors, adding a lot to a good club atmosphere, and promising well for the future.

This week saw a change to the published calendar with a great night of casual chess. Next week will be a Blitz night, which have been very popular this year. All welcome.

Freebird underway

This week, the Club shifted into a different gear with the start of the 2019 Freebird Trophy, four rounds a night of rapid 10m + 5s games.

Ross Jackson, in good form, led the night with four wins from four, ahead of David Paul, Gordon Lyall, David Scott and Geoffrey Gunawan on 3. See here for full results from the night. The competition continues next week with Rounds 5-8.

2019 Winter Cup – decided

The sixth and final round of the inaugural 2019 Winter Cup this week saw David Paul convincingly take it out, sealing the deal with a win against incumbent Club Champion Gordon Lyall, in a great game (see here). David [pictured below] scored 5.5 out of 6, a clear 1.5 points ahead of Ross Jackson, Guy Burns, and David Scott on 4. The top Juniors were Geoffrey Gunawan and Mark Summers on 2.5 points. Full results can be found here

The Winter Cup is one of four Club competitions  that count towards the Glenys Mills Memorial Trophy – A ‘Grand Prix’ style award for the consistently best performing club player over the year. At this stage, it is Ross Jackson who is leading this, just a whisker ahead of David Paul.

Next week sees the start of the Freebird Trophy, eight rounds of 10 minute rapid play games, played over 2 weeks. This promises to be a fun couple of weeks ahead of the Club Championships. 

You can click on these links if you’d like to find out more information on the club’s tournaments and trophies, and past winners.

Winter Cup heats up

Round 5 of the Winter Cup was played this week, and with one round to go, there was plenty to play for with several players in the running still for the top prize.

Gordon Lyall secured a hard-fought half-point from Ross Jackson (see photo below), while Guy Burns had a win against Savannah Edwards. Along with so far undefeated front runner David Paul, all three are in the running to win the cup in the final round next week. Good luck! Amongst the juniors, Geoffrey Gunawan grabbed a win from Mark Summers to grab the leading juniors spot heading into the final round. See latest results here.

Check out also a great game here  from last week’s Round 4 between Guy Burns and David Paul.

Blitz madness!

What a crazy night this week, as we took a break from the long play format of the Winter Cup for something a bit different…. handicap blitz.

All games were 10 minutes – with no time added on. The club’s top players had just 1 minute against the club’s bottom players (anyone 600+ rating points lower), while moderately better players had 3 minutes against their opponent’s 7 minutes (anyone 250+ rating points below). Everyone else had 5 minutes each. Rounds followed continuously until not enough players were left or the pairings was exhausted.

Congratulations to Guy Burns (pictured below against Liam Parkes), who emerged victorious after 8 rounds, with David Paul, Gordon Lyall and Neels Du Plessis second equal on 5 points. See the full results here.

The night was a bit of fun, plus a chance for players to taste victory against people they’ve never beaten, or don’t normally beat, and there certainly were some giant slayings during the evening. Geoffrey topped the juniors with 4.5 from 8 rounds, but considering that most juniors aren’t able to stay the full night, it was great to see many securing good scores for the rounds they played, and the odd prize scalp or two along the way.

 “The truth is, blitz chess is not only insanely fun but extremely good training to develop intuition for slow chess.” [unnamed online source ]   or……

“It’s just not real chess, is it…” [unnamed Club member]

Winter Cup continues

Round three of the Winter Cup was played this week. All results went to the higher rated player, and full results can be found here.  David Scott tried hard to upset this pattern against higher-rated Ross, and although he never had any winning chances, he did have opportunities to draw. You can see this game here, along with the game between Alistair McGowan and Geoffrey Gunawan here. After three rounds, David Paul and Guy Burns lead with the maximum 3 points.

Next week the Club takes a short break from the long format of the Winter Cup, with a one-off handicap rapid/blitz night. This promises to be a lot of fun, with a time handicap aimed to even things out a little. Players will play either 1 v 9, 3 v  7, or  5 v 5 minute games depending on the difference in rating between them and their opponents.

KCC members at elite chess coaching seminar

Kapiti Chess Club members, Geoffrey Gunawan, David Paul and Gordon Lyall attended an elite chess coaching seminar on Saturday 13th July. The coaching seminar was given by Chess Grandmaster Dejan Bojkov, a FIDE Senior Trainer and coach to the New Zealand Olympiad team.

Dejan is a Bulgarian grandmaster, who has a background in sport science and many years of experience as a professional chess player. For a number of years he has worked with top juniors in Europe, U.S.A., and Asia, as well as former Women’s World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova, and various national teams, plus league teams in Europe. He is part of the FIDE elite FST (FIDE Senior Trainer) panel and produces training material for a number of online chess platforms. He is also the author of several books.


Photo: GM Dejan Bojkov (left) gives some coaching to KCC members David Paul (centre) and Geoffrey Gunawan (right)

The event was hosted by Wellington Chess Club and was attended by a number of talented junior players as well as the regions top senior players, including  14 time New Zealand Champion, International Master Anthony Ker. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all and provided great insight into elite level chess.

 Some of the concepts and advice from GM Bojkov will be presented at local coaching sessions for juniors, held at Kapiti Chess Club every Tuesday at 7 pm.

Chess Trivia—Part Two:   Chess grandmaster admits to cheating

From the archives

The Kapiti Chess Club is now in its 35th year since its beginnings back in 1984, so we thought it might be interesting to look back to some of its earlier days.

It is also an opportunity to recognize our longest standing member, John Whibley, who has been a regular Club member for over 30 of those years. Exactly how many he can’t quite be sure, but a pretty impressive record. Here is a photo from 25 years ago – the 1994 Club prize giving at Kapiti College, where the Club met at the time. Although John admits he can “hardly recognize the handsome young man in the white shirt”, it shows  him as co-winner of the Leo Eichholtz rapid trophy that year, along with A-grade champions,  Earl Roberts (holding the Tom Powell cup) and Alvaro Lacunza. Also shown is Bert Leggett, winner of that year’s Gufeld Trophy for winner of the C grade.

Round 2 Winter Cup Action

This week saw a good turnout along for Round 2 of the Winter Cup, boosted also by a few past and prospective members. Top boards saw last week’s winners square off. John Whibley was not able to repeat his underdog win from last week, dropping a piece to David Paul, while a typically close struggle between Guy Burns and David Scott saw the latter miscalculating a queen-exchange tactic to double his pawns and struggle into an endgame which he could not salvage the draw from. Top seeds Ross and Gordon also had wins closing up the standings for minor places after two weeks.  Full results here.

Photo: In the juniors, Savannah has a nice win over newest member Jerry to go with her bye from last week…making her 2 from 2 and current joint leader with David and Guy, and could expect a tough game next week!