Vega pages have been started with entries for the Spring Rapid and Winter Cup. Please check to see that you are entered if you want to be.
The Spring Rapid is a 6-round Rapid tournament held over 2 nights. Entries so far are here.
The Winter Cup is 2 round-robin grades plus a Swiss C Grade. For now I have put all players in C Grade but the top 16 will be moved to A and B grade before things start. The list of entries for the Winter Cup is online here.
Entries for both tournaments can be via txt or email to the Club Captain or via the signups sheets at the club.
This week is the last round of the Club Champs. A reminder to sign-up to the Spring Rapid and Winter Cup via the sign-up sheet, txt or email. Also a reminder that catchup games should be played or scheduled soon.
B Grade, Round 7, Simon Lyall vs Nicole Qin – A very cramped French position with on one exchange in the first 30 moves. Eventually White made a mistake and gave up an exchange and a pawn. Black had few problems converting.
Round 8 – A Grade
Duneas vs Fan – White got lost at the end of his opening theory and ended up slightly worse after 20 moves. A few moves later Black sacrificed a piece for a dangerous looking attack (see diagram below) but it was only good enough for a draw
Morrell vs Goodhue – A unusual looking opening left white slightly better. Both players locked together pawn chains which left no real options for breakthroughs. Draw.
Hague vs Ang – Black made an opening slip and got his Queen trapped. He gave up a bishop for White’s h&g pawns. White then made a miscalculation and lost a piece back. After the dust cleared around move 38 the players each had a bishop (opposite coloured) and white had 4 pawns to black’s two. White then spent 60 moves trying to win before agreeing on a draw on move 92.
Zhang vs Steadman – 15 moves of theory left and another 20 moves left neither playing with much. Draw
Gong vs Watson – White seemed to have a good opening and after opposite side castling launched a pawn push on the Kingside against Black’s king. A few moves later Black made a mistake and lost a piece. Unfortunately White tried a sacrifice a few moves later which was unsound and lost the piece back. With two rooks and 5 pawns each black was a little better and played the endgame more accurately. After some swaps (including two promotions each) black won. 0-1
Only a single win in this round. The grade is now led by Ben Hague and Bruce Watson on 6.5 points. They will face each other in the last round. Leo Zhang (3rd on 5.5) and Alphaeus Ang (4th on 5.0) also face each other in the last round.
Ha vs Peak – After a quiet opening the game was about even. However White managed to get ahead by one threat breaking up Black’s mutual defense and allowing a follow-up attack which picked up an exchange. White speculatively sacrificed the exchange back (Tim says “He was low on time and I wanted to be a safe pawn up without any chance for him to roll pawns up in the centre, supported by a bishop” ) and Black looked okay but made a mistake and allowed a mate. 1-0
Qin vs Yan – A very even looking opening and middle game. However Black made a mistake and allowed to pickup a pawn and get a passed pawn. However White lost the pawn and the players agreed to a draw in a Knight and Pawn endgame. Draw
Ward vs Lyall – Black got into trouble early in the opening and White created a very strong attack. However White took off the pressure for a couple of moves and black was able to develop his pieces and swap off Black’s attackers. Black picked up a pawn but White force a swap to an opposite-coloured Bishops endgame which was Drawn.
Brimble vs Eade – Fairly even for most of the game, the players slowly swapped down to a Queen, rook and some pawns each. White picked up a pawn and some pressure after the Queens were off, and looked to have a won endgame but failed to find the right moves. Black held on just in the endgame and it look like a draw but White blundered and lost. 0-1
Nagorski vs Wu – White came out of the opening better, putting pressure on Black in the early middle game. Black managed to swap things down and equalize. However Black made a mistake at the end and white was left with a winning position in a king-and-pawn endgame. He failed to find the correct moves and the game was narrowly drawn.
Caroline Yan and Keith Ward and leading the grade on 5.0 ahead of 3 other players on 4.5. Caroline and Keith are playing each other in the last round.
Steiner vs Seabrook – After a good start by Black he managed to put White under pressure. White tried to pick up a pawn but miscalculated and was left a piece down, he then resigned. 0-1
Euan McDougall vs Aaron Wang – White missed his chance to go a piece ahead after Black played a badly-calculated tactic. The game swapped down to a Rook and pawn endgame with Black ahead. Just when he was about to win black blundered a pawn and the game was drawn.
Andrew Michael vs Oscar Qin – White had a good start pushing Black back and winning a pawn. White Sacrificed an exchange for a winning attach but couldn’t find the right line and took a draw.
Isabelle Ning vs Sarah Yan – Black made 2 blunders that allowed White winning tactics. White found the second of them. 1-0
Upsets in C Grade Round 8:
Winston Wng beat Grant Burrows
Isabelle Ning beat Sarah Yan
Jacob Chai beat Jainbo Yu
Hugh Gao beat Ying Wang
Felix Xie beat Leo Li
Roy Seabrook is 1 point ahead of 4 other players ( Aaron Wang, Isabelle Ning, Euan McDougall and Andrew Michael).
These are games from A and B grade not played on the Monday night.
Zhang vs Gong – A Grade round 3 – An even start with long pawn chains blocking the centre. Black pushed his Kingside pawns while White’s pieces were on the Queenside. Black sacrificed a piece for the attack but failed to find the best continuation. White stopped the attack and then took Black’s pieces to eventually mate. 1-0
Gong vs Morrell – A Grade round 4 – Passive opening play by White allowed Black to push a little early in the game. The middle game was even with both players having chances as pieces threated many parts of the board. Black made a mistake and resigned after the loss of a key pawn let his position unholdable. 1-0
Wu vs Qin – B Grade round 5 – White gave up and early pawn and was unable to get it back and looked in further trouble when he lost another. White tried an attack against Black’s king and Black played the wrong move and lost to mate. 1-0
Brimble vs Nagorski – B Grade Round 6 – Some interesting tactics in an open position. Black resigned after he miscalculated a sequence and was left a piece down. 1-0
A Grade round 7
Morrell vs Duneas – Both players spent the first 40 movies maneuvering their pieces around threatening various things and trying to gain an advantage. After swaps white had a difficult position and eventually lost on time. 0-1
Goodhue vs Zhang – White’s feel for his typical positions gave him a good start but the position was equal after 20 moves and just two major pieces left each. Black got a little better of the endgame before the players agreed on a draw.
Steadman vs Hague – A fairly even game for most of the opening and middle game. White looked a little better a times but both players had chances. However Black blundered a piece in the endgame and resigned. 1-0
Ang vs Gong – Black pushed his Kingside pawns white White pushed his Queenside ones. Black managed to pickup a pawn and swapped the game to a bishop+pawns vs Knight+pawns endgame. However he got stuck in an endgame position and took a draw.
Watson vs Fan – A even position went bad very quickly for black as white advanced some pawns to get an advanced chain. Black game up a Knight for two pawns to save the position. However white was able to efficiently use his extra piece. 1-0
After 7 round Ben Hague is still in the lead but now only half a point ahead of Bruce Watson. Both players have difficult opponents in round 8 and face each other in round 9.
Nagorski vs Ha – White picked up a pawn in the middle game but they players agreed on a draw has black gained it back.
Wu vs Brimble – White speculatively gave up an exchange. However the loss of a rook a few moves later lacked any compensation. 0-1
Eade vs Ward – White had a better opening but black pulled ahead and by move 20 looked better. white made an error on defending an gave black a mate. 0-1
Yan vs Peak – A fairly even game. After the swap to the endgame white looked much more comfortable. Black had one chance which he missed and soon afterwards white picked up pawns and then got a passed pawn to win. 1-0
Caroline Yan, Keith Ward and Mark Brimble share the lead on 4.5 points with 2 other players just half a point behind.
Seabrook vs Isabelle Ning – A strange opening line from Black game White an early pawn. White picked up an exchange an another pawn to give himself a winning endgame. 1-0
S Yan vs Michael – After the opening game Black a good attack against White’s castled King she had it flee to the centre. Black’s attack petered out a little afterwards but a mistake by white forced her to give up her queen for a rook and bishop. White was unable to hold her position after that. 0-1
Milne vs E McDougall – The position swung back and force several times as both players made tactical mistakes. After the dust settled black was left with a rook+paws vs just some pawns. 0-1
Upsets in Round 7:
Tom Fu beat Daniel Morrin
Sylvia McDougall beat Zyre Milina
Uday Jain beat Hugh Gao
Felix Xie beat Ying Wang
Roy Seabrook is back by himself in the lead. Half a point behind him are Aaron Wang, Euan McDougall and Andrew Michael.
Duneas vs Watson – All the pieces moved to the Queen side in a melee. White initially looked good but black checked him and then tied his pieces a little defending each other. A inaccurate move later and white was two pieces down. 0-1
Fan vs Ang – An even start but Black game up a pawn on move 18. A couple of moves later things got a lot more complicated as Black forced white to give up a Knight for some pawns and then got a dangerous attack. By the time the dust had settled. Black was a rook and Knight vs a rook with near-even pawns and won the endgame. 0-1
Gong vs Steadman – Black got off to a good start using his h-pawn to punch a hole in White’s kingside. The next 30 moves saw Black’s advantage reduced as White gained space and threats. The position swapped to a rook and pawn endgame with white better. Black missed a chance to draw and white won. 1-0
Hague vs Goodhue – Black made a series of tactical mistakes as White put pressure on him. 1-0
Zhang vs Morrell – White pushed his a-pawn to a7 and picked up two of Black’s pawns in the confusion. Black tried sacrificing a piece but white just gave it back to stay ahead. 1-0
Ben Hague stills leads with 6/6 ahead of Bruce Watson and Leo Zhang on 4.5 . There are a couple of games till to be played however.
Ha vs C Yan – An interesting opening. White ended up pushing forward his Queen-side pawns but made a mistake and gave up a pawn as the players circled and traded to a rook and pawn endgame. Black pushed for 40 moves but eventually had to settle for a draw.
Peak vs Lyall – White made a mistake in the opening a lost a Knight for two pawns. But Black game up a pawn and then swapped all material down to a position where he had a bishop and 4 pawns vs white with 7 pawns. Niether player was able to make progress and the game was a draw.
Qin vs Eade – A fairly even game at the start but black had most of the initiative. After some swaps things evened out but black allowed white to threaten a passed pawn. He then made an error in his defense and lost a piece stopping it. 1-0
Ward vs Wu – A fairly quiet opening and early middle game as the players swapped off pieces. Black looked slightly better and picked up a pawn and pressure around move 30. However white defended correctly and then pushed forward a passed pawn. However Black managed to push Queen his own passed pawn just in time and threaten perpetual check. Draw
The Grade is still very close with 3 players on 3.5 and 2 on 3.0 with a couple of games unplayed.
S Yan v A Wang – A fairly even game. Neither player seemed to get any real advantage and their repeated positions after 27 moves. Draw
O Qn vs Seabrook – White failed to press his better opening position and allowed black to equalize. He then played waiting moves while Black built up an attack and after a slip Black was a piece ahead. 0-1
I Ning v Burrows – Fairly even until Black had an error and White picked up a pawn, a back-rank pin and a passed pawn in quick succession. 1-0
E McDougall v X Liu – White got a good attack but missed the best lines and after the dust cleared was “only” 2 pawns up. This proved enough however when he swapped to a won endgame. 1-0
Upsets in Round 6:
Isabelle Ning beat Grant Burrows
Tom Fu beat Zyre Milina
Toby Zhang beat Mathew Steadman
Abraham Deng beat Jianbo Yu
Roy Seabrook, Isabelle Ning and Sarah Yan are now first equal on 5.0 points with 4 players just behind on 4.5
Duneas vs Zhang – White got a little off-opening after a few moves and black ended up slightly better in the early middle game. White was looking in a bit or trouble but managed to force a draw with a perpetual check. Draw
Morrell vs Hague – A fairly even looking game for the first 30 moves. White’s Queen got a little cramped but he was able to swap the attacking pieces. White made an error on move 35 when he allowed a tactic which one a piece. 0-1
Goodhue vs Gong – Whites flank openings again got him a good position. After pawn and piece swaps the position was still fairly even with two rooks, a bishop and 3 pawns each by move 35. However Black picked up a pawn and then white lost the exchange getting it back. With rook+pawn vs Bishop+pawn black carefully timed giving up his rook for whites bishop and pawn to leave himself with a winning king+pawn position. 0-1
Steadman vs Fan – Black got a bishop sidelined and then trapped and capture soon after the opening. Black got a Rook back but his pieces were blocked or undeveloped while white was charging down the center. 1-0
Ang vs Watson – A very sharp game with a pieces hanging on both sides. Black got a rook ahead. However White managed to get it back and then force a perpetual check. Draw
Ben Hague is still leading with 5 out of 5.
Brimble vs Ha – A fairly even game but a couple of miscalculations by Black allowed white to pick up a couple of pawns during piece swaps. The endgame was fairly simple after that. 1-0
Nagorski vs Ward – A straightforward game was briefly exciting when White dropped his Queen into Black’s back rank. But this was swapped off. Things looked even but black made a mistake and allowed white to get an attack and then resigned when he was losing material. 1-0
Lyall vs C Yan – White tried to invade blacks position with a Knight but when it became trapped game up his Queen for 2 pieces. Black then carefully attacked White’s uncoordinated position and was on the verge of winning with a huge advantage. White tried a desperation attack which Black ignored and to the surprise of both players White’s attack checkmated. 1-0
Eade vs Peak – Black lost a piece for two pawns to a tactic. Things swapped down to white being a piece up in an endgame and eventually won. 1-0
Alex Nagorski is currently leading the Grade on 3.5 points with 3 players on 3.0.
Seabrook vs S Yan – After an unusual opening ( 1. d4 d5 2. e3 ) white was better for most of the middle game. White game up two pieces for a rook and two pawns, but white one one back and swapped to two bishops plus 4 pawns vs white’s rook and 5 pawns in a very open position. Black then swapped things down nicely to two bishops and a pawn vs a rook and pushed the pawn to the 8th rank. 0-1
Xinyang Li vs O Qin – White misplayed the opening a little and Black was better. Around move 20 black picked up a bishop for 2 pawns. Play continued for a while. The pgn isn’t complete but shortly after the end of it White allow a fork to take his last piece. 0-1
Burrows vs Michael – A very long game with each player ahead in places although generally black was better. Eventually drawn after 71 moves. Draw
Aaron Wang vs Rodney Li – A fairly even game but White picked up a couple of pawns which was enough.
Major Upsets in Round 5
Leo Li beat Wayne McDougall
Sarah Yan beat Roy Seabrook
Isabelle Ning beat John Liu
Tobdy Zhang beat David Xu
The Grade is led by Sarah Yan and Oscar Qin on 4.5 points with 3 others just behind on 4.0 points
Ang vs Gong – Later round played early. Won by Ang, details when we get to that round.
Watson v Steadman – Black plays his usual Dutch. A fairly even game with players steadily trading pieces. An endgame with a rook, knight and 5 pawns was reached with each player have a 3:2 pawn advantage on one sides. The players maneuvered for 20 moves before Black made a mistake that lost a pawn and resigned. 1-0
Fan v Goodhue – White seemed to get the best out of the opening and early game but was unable to improve his advantage. By move 30 Black was a (passed) pawn up but White managed to force perpetual check. Draw
Hague vs Zhang – An interesting opening with White giving up two pawns in return for a large development lead. One simple mistake later and black was completely lost as his uncastled king came under an attack by all Whites pieces. 1-0
Ben Hague is currently in first place with 4 wins out of 4 games. However there are several games unplayed by others.
Ha vs Lyall – White lost a pawn soon out of the opening but Black made a dubious exchange sacrifice. After the dust had cleared White had a rook and two pawns vs Blacks Knight and 6 pawns. Black lost their nerve and offered a draw however rather than try and convert. Draw
Yan vs Eade – Black gained a good position out of the opening threatening to sideline White’s Queen but allowed a Queen swap which neutralized his advantage. White made some favorable exchanges and Black resigned in a position dominated by Whites pieces. 1-0
Peak v Wu – Black gained a slight advantage in the Opening but nothing decisive. For the 4th game in a row White managed a draw (this time after 25 moves) against a higher rated opponent. Draw
Qin vs Nagorski – Queen’s Gambit accepted but White came out a pawn ahead!? White slowly pressed her advantage while Black tried to hold the position. White got another pawn to be two up with only a Rook and Queen each. But an error allowed Black to force a draw.
Ward vs Brimble – Early pressure by Black turned into a counter-attack by White. White then seemed to have the advantage as both players moved their pieces around an open centre. Eventually Black lost a piece and resigned a few moves later.
Caroline Yan and Keith Ward are leading the grade on 3/4 with a few others just behind.
A Wang vs Seabrook – Black got a more active position and picked up a pawn with a cute tactic (see diagram). Black then swapped pieces gain 2 more pawns in the process. Black then pushed more pawns in a rook+pawn endgame than White could stop. 1-0
Oscar Qin vs Sarah Yan – White was better for much of the game but the players agreed on a fairly early draw.
Louie Wei v Xinyang Liu – 1. d4 Nf6 2. f4?! is apparently a real opening, although with only 230 games and a 34% success rate in my database. The players then ignored each other for 10 moves while their put their pieces on nice squares. A few moves later White made a mistake and Black picked up a piece or so. 0-1
Upsets in Round 4:
Isabelle Ning beat Virginia Milne
Samuel Sajch beat Brian Zhao
Eric Liang beat Ying Wang
The leader is Roy Seabrook on 4 points with Sarah Yan, Oscar Qin and Xinyang Liu on 3.5
A reminder to let Simon know if you are missing any games due to the School Holidays. Thank you to those who filled out forms. Also a reminder that there is still time to enter the NZ Junior and North Island Champs that will be being playing at the centre during the JuneJuly School Holidays. Entry forms for all these on the NZ chess Website.
Hague vs Duneas – Opening was a book line of the Steinitz French that generally favours White. Then say an opportunity to play f5 and open up Blacks position when all Black’s pieces were on the Queen side. A few moves later white scooped up 3 pawns and had a winning attack. 1-0
Zhang vs Gong – postponed
Morrell vs Fan – A quick draw
Goodhue vs Watson – White played Bird’s opening with double fianchetto. Black swap some pieces and built a wedge of pawns that game him more mobility for his minor pieces. Black sac’d and exchange to invade white’s position and white was unable to defend. 0-1
Steadman vs Ang – A couple of bad moves and White’s position just fell apart. HE resigned on move 22 in a lost position. 0-1
Ben Hague is in 1st place after 3 rounds as the only player on 3 out of 3. However Leo Zhang has one game still to play.
Ward vs Ha – White played the opening better and black was in a cramped position and under attack. He spent another 50 moves trying to hold on to no avail. 1-0
Brimble v N Qin – A slightly unusual French line which left both players with long pawn chains. Black made a small mistake in a piece exchange and left white slightly better. White then opened up the A-file to allow his rook to invade and help the Queen mate. 1-0
Nagorski vs Peak – Both players survived a sharp Kings-Gambit line and some sharp tactics after that. They agreed on a draw however in a even endgame position. Draw
Wu vs Sarah Yan – Another French (about the 4th in the A/B grade tonight) with White playing unusually (Kf2 -> Kg1 stepping around the f1 bishop) but ending up a little better and playing f5 to open Black’s position. Black played a desperate Knight attack to try and got lucky when white blundered into a fork and lost two pieces. 0-1
Eade vs Lyall – Black got a slightly better position out of the opening but allow white to advance his centre pawns to win a piece. White was able to win easily after that. 1-0
After 3 rounds the grade is very open with 5 players in 1st-equal on 2 points.
Aaron Wang v Tony Wang – Aaron won his second default game in a row when Tony didn’t turn up. He won a friendly game however.
Seabrook v Euan McDougall – White swapped all Bishops to leave Black’s pawns a little messy but black managed to get a Knight onto a outpost of f3. However a few moves later after some swaps white ended up with a much better position and things looked over with white 3 pawns ahead. Although white gave a few pawns back he maintained his led. 1-0
Burrows vs Oscar Qin – White got into trouble early. I believe he resigned when he touched the wrong piece. 0-1
Milne vs Louie Wei – White blunder and lost her Queen on move 13. 1-0
Jeffery Yu beat Zyre Milina
Winston Weng beat Paul Yu
Oscar Qin beat Grant Burrows
Shawn Hui beat Eric Liang
C Grade now has 5 players leading on 3 points plus another on 2.5.
Duneas vs Steadman – Draw agreed after a few moves.
Ang vs Goodhue – White picked up an early pawn but swapping pieces whittled away his advantage until Black had an even endgame. However, White gained a passed pawn. 1-0
Watson vs Morrell – After an even start, Black made an error. White gave some pressure and caught one of Black’s rooks with no safe squares. White went an exchange ahead and then picked up an additional pawn. Black ran out of time trying to hold his position. 1-0
Fan vs Zhang – White made a nice start with Black a little confined. He miscalculated a push and had to scramble to save it though, which allowed Black to even things. After some maneuvering and opening position White made a mistake and Black gained enough material to win. 0-1
Gong v Hague – Very exciting. Black gave up 2 pawns (and later other material) for a series of attacks. White struggled to defend and almost succeed. However, he eventually made the fatal mistake. 0-1
Leo Zhang and Ben Hague are in 1st Equal on 2 points.
Ha v Eade – A much better start for Black who more quickly and better developed. White tried swapping but his position deteriorated. He resigned in face of an imminent passed pawn. 0-1
Lyall vs Wu – White blundered an exchange early in the game. He attempted to hold the position but eventually Black broke though. 0-1
Caroline Yan vs Nagorski – Black was slightly ahead at the start but White successfully navigated the position before losing an exchange. Black then exchange pieces into a completely winning position. 0-1
Peak vs Brimble – Boring Italian game followed by an early draw agreement.
Nicole Qin vs Ward – TIL that 1. d4 d6 2. c4 e5 is the “English Rat defense”. Black continued by aggressively pushing pawns although. After aggressive swaps and locked pawn structures, the players maneuvered for a while. Black spotted a chance one move too late which allowed White a draw due to threatened perpetual check. Draw.
Eric Wu is in first place on 2 points ahead of Alex Nagorski on 1.5.
The first round of the club champs started with a huge number of upsets in the A and B grade. Of the 10 games only 1 was run by the higher rated player, 4 were draws and 5 were won by the lower rated.
A reminder that the New Zealand Junior Championship and the North Island Championships tournaments will be played at the club during the July School Holidays. Entry forms are on the New Zealand Chess Calendar page
Gong v Duneas – White quickly moved off opening theory and gave Black a good start. Some 30 moves of sharp tactics followed with Black having the better attach but his king being open if he allow white time. White eventually force a draw.
Hague v Fan – In this game Black wandered off standard lines and was behind after the opening. After some great tactics white ended up well ahead in material and Black resigned. 1-0
Zhang v Watson – A fairly even start but black opened up the position when White had two nicely placed Bishops (vs Black’s 2 Knights). White then broke up the pawns in front of Black’s king to attack while Black’s pieces were on the wrong side of the board. 1-0
Morrell vs Ang – Black unwisely advance the pawns in front of his King when White had castled the other side and was already lining up an attack. He survived the attack but White swapped down to a winning endgame. 1-0
Goodhue v Steadman – After an almost-conventional opening the players were fairly even for most of the middle game. Black ended up a little better however after some swaps. However White was able to even things and the players agreed on a draw.
Qin v Ha – After a good start White got herself stuck behind the central pawns. Blacks pieces had more freedom and he picked up an exchange, then a pawn and then some central passed pawns pushed White back to her back rank. 0-1
Ward v Peak – After a fiery opening ( Goering Gambit, double pawn sacrifice) white kept up the pressure on Black but black managed to defend well. The players abruptly agreed on a draw with black ahead but lowish on time. Draw
Brimble v Yan – A cramped opening. White looked better due to a big hole in Black’s position exposing her King. Black forced a swap of some major pieces which evened up the position. White then gave up a piece and a few moves later Black Queen’d. 0-1
Nagorski v Lyall – Black made some mistakes after the opening and white obtained some pressure. White managed to lock up the position and it was eventually a draw although both players missed chances. Draw
Wu v Eade – White managed to get rid of a couple of Black’s kingside pawns to give him some holes to attack though. Black was keen to attack however and unwisely moved his Queen away from defence. This allowed White to spring a quick mate. 1-0
There were relatively few upsets in C grade due to large rating differences in the first round. However: