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The first night of the 2018 John Kingston Memorial Trophy, which is played at a 55+5 time control, was another success. You can see Alan Winfield’s excellent win over Mark Woodward here. The first round had no major surprises, with Ross, Alan, David P, Gordon, Guy, Lars and Alistair all coming away with good wins. Unfortunately, owing to an error, the round cannot be rated with the NZCF. However, the next round of the tournament (which takes place next Tuesday) will be rated as usual. Full results here.

We also saw our first game of the ladder tournament, with Paul Frost defeating Rose Kingston. Ladder challenges can be played on any night after a player’s regular game, so it is good to see this getting underway. See here for more details about the ladder and the current standings.

The first night of the Blitz tournament, and the first night of play for the Kapiti Chess Club in 2018, was a success, with Paul Frost emerging as the front-runner. His near-perfect score of 7.5/8 outmatched many contenders, including second-equal Alan Winfield and Lars Dobbertin-King who only achieved a score of 5.5. Top junior was Valera, who scored 3.

Full results table here. This was the first of four series in the Blitz tournament. The next night of Blitz action will be May 8. Next week we begin the John Kingston Memorial trophy, played at a 55+5 time control.

The AGM was held. The two major points were a change in the Club Officers and Club Membership Fees.

Club Officers:
Club President – Alan Winfield
Club Captain – Lars Dobbertin-King
Club Treasurer – Guy Burns
Club Secretary – Rose Kingston
Junior Representative – Mark Summers
Committee Members – Ross Jackson + David Paul

Membership Fees
It was agreed to increase club membership to $170.00 and that all members of the club become registered with the NZCF so that all players may have their games rated and obtain a NZ Chess Rating.   Consequently, in addition to the increase in membership a $20.00 levy will also be payable HERE for further details.  

Play Start Times
The new management committee is keen to see the club run more formally/efficiently and as such it is intended to commence play of tournaments promptly at 7.45pm. The club rooms will be open from 7.30pm. Any member who intends to play but feels they may be delayed must notify a club official prior to 7.45pm in order to qualify for a bye or possibly start time delay (with opponents agreement).

After consulatation the 2018 Calendar has been approved; see website for details.
Our first meeting is 6 February: AGM and Ladder games.

Well it is all over and the dust has settled on a very competitive NZ Congress
NZ Open Championship – Ross Jackson
By volunteering to be elevated into the NZ Open to even out both tournaments, Ross really put himself in the firing line, competing with both Male and Female International Chess Masters.  To his credit he beat those rated below him and took very credible draws from much stronger opposition, especially in the first round against FM Robert Smith, a 2200+ rated player who finished 7th. Finishing in 30th place on 3.5 pts in a strong field, though he would have wanted to score higher, this is a respectable score.  Well Done Ross.

NZ Major Open Championship – Alan Winfield
Alans penultimate Game against the tournament Leader, Leon Kempen was not an easy one, especially when Alan, overestimating his attacking chances, let his Queens Knight get trapped on its home square!!. Not a good plan.   To his credit he battled on and obtained 2 central pawns for the Knight. Though with good play White should have gone on to win the game, an error in the ending allowed Alan to sacrifice a pawn, and counter attack with his King, forcing white to go into a drawn ending.   The draw kept Alan in the mix just one point behind the leader and half a point behind the leading NZers (Highest NZ player wins Major OpenTitle).

Round 9 saw Alan drawn against up and coming Wgtn player Sarah Yan who was playing well above her rating in the tournament with a score of 5 points.   The way the draw came out meant anyone in the top 7 could win or share the tournament.    Though Alan saved his best till last, with a very controlled victory of Sarah, other results did not go his way, with both the top two seeds wining their games and taking out both the Tournament (Australian – Leon Kempen) and the Major Championship – Aucklander Stanley Lee. All was not lost for Alan however.  His strong finish with the draw against Leon and the win over Sarah, elevated him into 3rd place–well done Alan.

The last four rounds have been pretty hard on Ross.  Unfortunately he has only been able to pick up a draw, suffering 3 losses.  This has seen him slide down the table to 35th place on 2 points. Also a mixed bag of result for Alan.   After shooting up the top of the table with 3 wins from the first 3 games, Alan found it was tough at the top, with two consecutive losses.  The pressure experienced over our club championships proved to invaluable and he was able to bounce back with two big wins elevating him to 3rd position and in with a chance to win the tournament.  His last game against Wellington Club Player Michael Sole, turn out to be a 80 move, 5 ½ Hours marathon. Coming away with a win was extremely satisfying for him.

The last two days of the 2018 NZ Chess Champs have been a mixed bag for our two entrants. Round 3 Saw Ross gain his first win. Playing White against Nicole Qin of Auckland.  Though Miss Qin put up a good fight, Ross seemed to have control of the game.

A good Round for Alan who was drawn against one of the two Australians in the tournament, Bevan Clouston.   Alan didn’t disappoint and came away with a good win.  Playing black with the Sicilian Defence he had a little luck when his opponent missed a good sacrifice on f7 and shortly after made an error in trying the move when Alan was in a better position to defend, by exchanging his Queen for two Rooks.

Round 4 Saw Ross also playing an overseas visitor playing White against a German WFM Manuetta Schmitz. Unfortunately the tournament has not published this game.  From viewing the Board it was a fairly even contest and eventually both agreed to a draw.  This result gave Ross 2 pts from 4 and places him =17th. Not a good Round for Alan who was drawn against one of the top seeds in the tournament, Martin Post of Wanganui.   With both players on 3 pts, the winner would lead the tournament outright. Playing his Favourite London System opening, Alan got off to a good start and held the initiative all through the game, culminating in a break through after 23 moves.   However, after all his hard work, and in a complete control of the game, made one of the most basic errors in chess.   Moving on impulse without considering his opponents reply he lost a piece to check.!!

 Happy New Year to All

Some of you will know that the NZ Chess Championships are underway in Palmerston North and two club members are taking part.  Alan Winfield and Ross Jackson. Ross is playing in the NZ Open and Is seeded 30th  in a field of 38 players and Alan is seeded 12th  in a field of 44 players in the Major Open. Here’s how Ross and Alan went:

NZ Open Round 1 – Ross Jackson
Ross’ first match was against one of NZ senior players ‘Bob Smith” who with a rating of 2201 almost 200 pts higher than Ross, was going to be a challenge.  Ross rose to this extremely well and came away with a highly credible draw.

NZ Major Open Round 1– Alan Winfield
Being in the top half of the draw, Alan had a little easier pairing against John Lui a Junior at Auckland Chess Club.  Coming away with an expected victory was a good way to start the tournament. 

NZ Open Round 2 – Ross Jackson
The 2nd round for was again a tough one with him drawn against Belgian Fide Master   Johan Goormachtigh, Despite a solid game the Belgium took the game.  With a draw and  loss Ross stands at 27th place.   Flying the flag for our region, IMs Anthony Ker and Russell Dive are in a 3 way tie at the top.

NZ Major Open Round 2 – Alan Winfield
Round 2 saw Alan drawn White against Oliver Dai of Howick -Pakuranga .   Using his favourite London System Opening Oliver succumbed to king side pressure and blundered a piece after 17 moves.  The game carried on for a further 20 moves before Black finally resigned.

Chess for 2017 is over, rover. We finished the year with prize-giving and a shared meal. Full detailed results for 2017 can be found Here.
We meet next in 2018 on the first Tuesday in February, the 6th…see you then.

All 2017 Championship games are now finished–full and final results Here.

Last week we were able to announce the Winner of the A Grade with one round remaining.  Though not affecting the top position, the final round saw Gordon and Alan agreeing to a draw and David Paul beating John Whibley, the points gained helped both players, to elevate themselves into a share of =2nd.

The B/C grades however went down to the wire with the final game of the tournament deciding who would be the minor grade champions.  The top two (Mark Summers and Rick Lowe) were both on 10 points.  Would there be an outright leader of the pack or was it going to be shared. Mark S played Mark W last week and his loss helped Rick join him at the top.  The roles were reversed this week with Rick having the tougher of the two matches playing Mark W and Mark S  paired against Rose Kingston.  Results were Mark S proved to be too strong for Rose and like Mark S last week, Rick found Mark Woodwood too strong.   These results left young Mark Summers on top alone with 11 points and Rick coming in as runner-up on 10 points. As this tournament was a combined B/C Grade, Mark as the highest C grade player wins the C Grade Champions Trophy and Rick as the highest placed B Grade player, takes home the B Grade Champions Trophy.

Our congratulations to both Mark Summers and Rick Lowe on their success this year.

Allowing 2 weeks for all trophies to be engraved, our last club night and prize giving will be on Tuesday 19 December 2017.  As tradition calls, all members are invited to come along (bring a friend or partner) and if possible a plate of something for all to share. After prizes and awards are distributed, again, following on recent tradition – The new Club Champion will attempt to get a credible score in playing a simultaneous match against all wishing to take part. Next Tuesday (12 Dec) will be a general night where those turning up can take part in a friendly mini tournament of blitz.