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Opening night 2024

Opening night for junior chess was buzzing with 28 members playing some fun casual games. We also extended a warm welcome to 8 new members who seemed to really enjoy themselves. Next week will be another casual night before we get down to business with the first tournament of the year! More on this to follow.

In the senior  club, we held our opening night AGM followed by some casual chess. The Club reported a successful year for 2023 with highlights including a booming junior club, record turnouts for it’s two open tournaments, a strong online presence, and a healthy financial position. The committee, fees and calendar of events for 2024 were set, along with some great discussion and ideas on a range of other business. However, the highlight of the night was the awarding of a Life Membership to long-time Club stalwart Guy Burns. More on that in an upcoming post. A record of the AGM will be posted here soon. Next week we’re back into business with our annual Freebird tournament.


Final night fun and prizegiving

It was a great finish to the year this week as both Junior and Senior sections of the club had their final night get together and prizegiving.

There was a fantastic turnout of 40+ kids and parents for the final Junior night. After a bit of casual Chess, the kids was split into 5 teams, joined by a further team of parents, and we ran a fun Chess-themed set of 20 multi-choice questions. For example, ‘what is it called when a Knight attacks more than one piece at once’. A: spoon, B: fork ,or C: knife?  ok, maybe you know that, but how about ‘who was the the longest reigning Chess world champion?’ or ‘what is the longest ever recorded game of chess (in moves)’? In the end, the kids acquitted themselves well, with the top team scoring 17 out of 20. For the record, the parents did not do as well!

Prizegiving followed the quiz. Cups, certificates, medals were awarded as follows, and a number of NZCF badges and medals were also awarded.

Junior Club Championship (senior division)
Junior Club ChampionJacob Bayler
Runner-upBrock Clement
Third equalCobus Potgeiter, Daniel Fay & Isaiah Heta
Junior Club Championship (junior division)
First placeTuatua Chadwick
Second placeRonan McGrath
Third placeCharlotte Liu
Player of the YearIsaiah Heta
Most Improved PlayerCharlotte Liu

Photos of all the winners and lots more from the night can be found here. Congratulations to everyone!

Prizegiving for the Senior Club followed. It was decided to repeat the Junior quiz for the Senior Club. Members,  partners and parents split into two teams and some fun and some madness ensued for a while. It was close battle in the end with just one point in it, but both senior teams still scored slightly short of the top scoring junior team earlier!

This was followed by  prizegiving. Congratulations to all the winners, in particular to Gordon Lyall who reclaims the Club Champion title and A grade Cup for 2012, amongst a number of other trophies. The full list of event and trophy winners can be found here: here

The night concluded with some enjoyable food and beverage at a local pub. More photos of the night can be found here.

That’s it for 2023. Thanks to all members and supporters for a great year. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2024. Stay tune in January for details when.

Club Champions decided!

A great finish in both the Junior and Senior Club Champs this week.

In the Senior Club:

Congratulation to Gordon who beat Jacob to clinch the 2023 Club Champion title and A grade trophy. This goes with his three titles from 2018 to 2020. In a very tight battle for runner-up, Brandon played well to get himself into a strong, maybe winning, position against last year’s co-champion Ross, but Ross came back to win and take clear second place. Lars needed Ross to lose, and himself to beat last year’s other co-champion Levi to secure runner up, but neither eventuated and both Lars and Levi finished the comp sharing third place.  The B-grade trophy for players rated under 1600 went jointly to Brandon and John both finishing a creditable 4 points from 8. With a number of new members and several from the Junior Club playing both Junior and Senior Champs, there was a great spread of players and clashes this year. It was great to be able to award the C-grade trophy to two deserving up and coming juniors Jacob and Brock. Jacob also took out the Junior Club Champion title – see below.  Congratulations to all. Full results here.

In the Junior Club:

It was an exciting conclusion to the Junior Club Championship. In the Senior grade, the top match went down to the wire, with Cobus, playing white, taking down the tournament leader Brock (see photo). This enabled Jacob, with his win on board 2 against Jingwei, to slip passed Brock into first place with a score of 5½ from 7. Julia was edged out of third spot by Isaiah, who shared third place with Cobus and Daniel.

Final standings for the senior grade:

  1. Jacob 5½/7
  2. Brock 5/7
  3. Cobus, Daniel & Isaiah 4½/7

In the Junior grade, the tournament leader, Tuatua capped off a strong tournament with a win against Orlando on board  1. Ronan prevailed against Ewan on board 2, and Charlotte ended the tournament strongly with 3.5 points from her last 4 games. Final standings in the Junior grade:

  1. Tuatua 6/7
  2. Ronan 5.5/7
  3. Charlotte 5/7

Next week is our final club night for the year, including prizegiving for both juniors and seniors. 

Club champs heat up in penultimate round

The penultimate round of the Club Championship saw the juniors perform admirably. Roy got the better of Robert in a close game which went to a king and pawn endgame. Jacob prevailed in his clash with Tim, winning a lively game with a nice back rank mate. Brock had a tough match against Brandon, who played a solid game and eventually won in 49 moves. On top board, Gordon had a small advantage against David, with pressure along the half open file after the opening. However, David defended accurately and emerged with a definite advantage heading towards the endgame when he overlooked a tactical motif which handed the game to Gordon. Results and standings can be found here. All games are available on Lichess Study, including a full analysis of the top game, at the following link: https://lichess.org/study/OARe49y6

Top game in the junior club championship was a excellent game between, Brock and Jingwei, which went all the way to a K+R+P versus K+R. With the only pawn on the h file, the game was possibly a technical draw. However, Brock managed to convert the endgame, and he now leads with 5 points from the six rounds completed. On board 2, Jacob prevailed with the Black pieces against Isaiah, while Daniel and Cobus played out a nice game to a drawn endgame. With one round to go Brock leads by half a point from Jacob (4.5) and a further point to Jingwei on sole third (4).

In the junior grade, Tua playing black got the win against tournament leader Ronan. Orlando prevailed on board 2 against Milo, and Charlotte had a good win against Alex on board 3. Tua now jumps to the top of the table with 5 points from 6, Orland and Ronan are close behind on 4.5, with Charlotte and Ewan on 4 points each.

With only one more round to go it is set up for an exciting finish to all Club championships, with no guarantees and everything to play for!

Club champs update

Junior Club

Round 5 saw tournament leader Isaiah go down to Jingwei playing the black pieces. There were also good wins for Julia playing black against Tal, and Elane who, after a struggle, managed to convert a king and rook versus king endgame. Brock with a win over James, shares equal first with Jingwei on 4 points. They are closely followed by Jacob and Isaiah a half point adrift. In the junior division, Ronan prevailed in a tough struggle against Alex on top board, and now has sole lead by a half point from Tua who had a good win against Riki on board 2. There were also good wins for Orlando, Charlotte, Ewan and Chester. With 2 rounds to go the chasing pack consists of Alex, Milo and Orlando on 3 points. It’s going to be an exciting race to the finish, and still too close to call.

Senior Club

Round 6 of the Senior Club champs saw most games go to the stronger player. Gordon over David S, Ross over Brock, Levi over Roy, Lars over Jacob, Brandon over Robert, and Tim over Tal. With two rounds to go Gordon leads on 5, followed by Ross and Lars on 4½, and Levi and the two David’s on 3½. See results and table here. The junior players playing in both junior and senior club champs continue to give the seniors a good run for the money. Jacob played well against Lars to get into a drawn endgame position (see photo), but unluckily slipped at the end.

Blitz Cup decided


It was the second leg of the Blitz Cup this week in the senior section of the Club. Ten rounds of 3m+2s games were played. The usual fun and madness prevailed and at the end of the night, the honours went to Levi and Gordon both scoring an impressive 9½ points. In next place was Lars on 8  followed by David S on 6. When scores form this leg are combined those from Series 1 played back in May, the overall winner of the Blitz Cup for 2023 was Levi , with Gordon in second place, and Lars third. Congratulations! Results and standings here.


Next week the Senior Club  resumes long format chess with Round 5 of the Club Champs, while the Junior Club continues with Round 4 of their Champs. 

Club champs heat up!

The Club Champs are now in full swing for both the Junior Club and the Senior Club with some great match ups and results this week.

Round 2 of the junior A grade saw Brock win over Jacob in one of the longest games of the night, with Jacob unluckily losing a rook in an otherwise even battle where both sides had chances. This leaves Brock clear leader on 2 points after 2 rounds. In the junior B grade, Ewan and Riki both won their games to lead the grade unbeaten on 2 points after 2 rounds, just ahead of a large pack following half a point behind. However, the game of the night was between Devon and Isaiah. In an exciting close finish, and with only seconds remaining on both clocks, neither player could find a decisive advantage, and so agreed a well-earned draw. Well-played both! They both share second place with Tal and Yoav half a point behind Brock. See photos (including video of Devon and Isaiah clash) here.

In the Senior Champs, there was also plenty of action and some great match-ups. The two David’s battled to a draw, while up and coming juniors Brock and Roy (playing in both the Junior and Senior Champs) showed some solid form to secure a win and a draw respectively against more experienced members John and Brandon. See their games here. However the game of the night  was the top board clash between Lars and Ross. Ross gets a two-pawn advantage but Lars applies careful pressure with his central pawns building an attack which proves decisive in the end. See the game here. The result leaves Lars clear leader on 3½ at the half-way stage of the Champs. Full results and standings here.


Senior and Junior Club Champs progress

Round 3 of the Senior Club Championship was played this week, and it’s all still pretty crowded at the top. Ross and Gordon played out a draw to see them both maintain their lead, along with Lars, on 2½. David Paul who had a win over last year’s Champion Levi last week, this week fell to Guy, and they both share the next spot on 2 points, along with David Scott, and Jacob who had a win over John. Jacob is one of four promising junior members playing up in the senior competition. Current standings can be found here.

The first round of the Junior Club Championship got under way with 39 juniors registered. The tournament is split into two, with a senior and a junior sections. The tournament is a Swiss format with 6 rounds and the time control is 10 minutes plus 5 second increment. There were some strong match ups in the first round. Cobus playing white against a Isaiah was a tense game in which Isaiah prevailed. in another top match-up, Devon won with the white pieces against Jingwei. In the junior section there were good wins for Charlotte, Oscar L, while Ronan let a win slip with a stale mate draw with Joshua.

Success at Manawatū school pupil champs

Big congratulations to two Kāpiti Club members Levi Paxton and Brock Clement, who took out first and second place respectively, at the  at the recent Manawatū School Pupil Chess Championship. This is the second year in a row for Levi, who was also co-Club Champion in 2022 in the senior section of our Club. Brock is a member in our Junior Club. Both attend Horowhenua College in Levin. Well done both!


Junior T3 Rapid and badge awards

It was an exciting finale to the Junior T3 Rapid. Going into the last round Roy and Jacob were on 4.5 from 5, followed by Isaiah, Cobus and Devin, all on 4. With Roy and Devin away, the pivotal match up on top board was between Jacob and Isaiah. In a good game, it was Jacob who prevailed and took first prize with an impressive 5.5 points from 6. Cobus also had a strong tournament and came through to claim joint second on 5 points, along with Roy. Devin narrowly edged out Isaiah, Milo and Jingwei to claim the bronze medal with 4.5 points.

In what was the last official junior club night of term 3, there were some NZCF Badge Scheme awards presented. Pawn Badge (Level 1) awarded to Alex and Knight Badges (Level 2) to Cobus, Brock and Isaiah.  The challenging Bishop (Level 3) award was achieved by Jingwei, Devin, Ewan and Jed. Congratulations to all.

The junior Club will be on next Tuesday for a catch-up night, which will be followed by a one week break before T4 starts.


After 6 rounds in the senior club Spring ‘play something different’ tournament, Gordon leads on 6, followed by Ross on 5, and Lars and Levi on 4. Current standings here.