2020 Blitz

The 2020 Blitz was held on Monday the 3rd of February. It was 9 rounds of 3m+2s and points earned count towards the 2020 Rapid Championships

Just over 40 players played


1st Alphaeus Ang 8 points
2nd Paul Garbett 7.5
3rd Jordan Lewis 7.0
4th Felix Xie 6.5

Final Night 2019

December 16th was the final night of the Auckland Chess Centre in 2019. We had the AGM, Prizegiving, pizza and a pairs tournament.

Photos by Nigel Metge and Simon Lyall are online


The council was elected unopposed with Nigel Metge replacing Bryan Latimer. Club Captain Simon Lyall also outlined the scheduled for 2020 saying there would be fewer round-robins and more FIDE- and NZCF-rated tournaments.


Winners of the major tournaments this year were announced and photos taken of those present (by Nigel Metge). Club President Bruce Wheeler also picked the “Centre Spirit” winner who was Yolanda Chang.

Centre Spirit Winner Yolander Chang

Pairs Tournament

The 4 round pairs tournament was run (2 people on each team, alternating moves) with the highest rated players paired with the lowest.

Winners were the mid-range pair of Stephen Peak and Jeffrey Yu with 3.5/4

Second equal were 3 other teams led by Paul Garbett, Bruce Watson and Alexei Kulashko all on 3 points.

2019 Spring Cup – Round 7

The Spring Cup was the last main competition of 2019. It was 2 7-round Swiss grades with about 42 players in each grade.

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

Spring Cup Round 7 PGN by Ewen Green

A Grade

Mike Steadman vs Alphaeus Ang – White picked up a free pawn in the opening and kept his advantage for the rest of the game. 1-0

Nigel Metge vs Daniel Runcan – White made a mistake in the opening to give Black a led and then White gave up a piece. 0-1

Felix Xie vs Bruce Watson – Black got a better opening and White tried giving up an exchange to generate counter-play. Black was still better and was able to get two passed pawns. Black then gave up a piece to draw away White’s pieces and then pushed though his passed pawn to the 8th rank. 0-1

Xie vs Watson. Black to play 26. ..Rxa4 giving up the Bishop but the B-pawn is unstoppable.

John Duneas vs Philli Park-Tamati – Black resigned for some reason in an even position. I think he believed he’d made a blunder and was lost. 1-0

Don Eade vs Paul Macdonald – Black lost a piece and resigned in the face of losing another. 1-0

Paul Garbett vs Scott Treanor – Black played a dubious opening line and was quickly under attack. 1-0

Jasmine Zhang vs Simon Lyall – White got the better of the early game but after some swaps the position was even. Black then managed to create a passed pawn with an extra pawn and one of White’s pieces was stuck on the wrong side of the board.

Alex Nagorski vs Winston Weng – White picked up a pawn early but Black got it back and by move 28 they just had a rook and some pawns each. White picked up a pawn but it wasn’t enough for a win. Draw

Daqi Mao vs Tim Ha – An even opening with Black deviating from standard lines but White was not able to find the best reply. Which tried some tricks but they backfired and he was left a piece down. 0-1

Jordan Lewis vs Aaron Wang – After a even game they players swapped to a King and pawn endgame that was wining for Black. 0-1

Hao Tang vs Jeffrey Yu – Black lost and exchange and then his position fell apart. 1-0

Abraham Deng vs Karl Holdo – Steady swaps until White made a mistake and Black picked up a pawn. Black threw away his lead and settled for a repetition. Draw

Kenny Zhang vs Grant Burrows – Black got away with an offbeat line thta left White with a very bad pawn structure. The game swapped to an endgame but Black made a fatal pawn push. 1-0

Lakshmi Ravi vs Rauen Le Grange – Black exposed his position to Bxh7 and almost lost quickly but came out “just” and exchange down. Black tried some tactics but White had little trouble. 1-0

Isabelle Ning vs Yolanda Chang – White got a better position out of the opening. Black was tied up and on the defensive but managed to wriggle out. After some swaps the position was even but unbalanced. White was able to prevail. 1-0

Arkadi Polyakevich vs Anya Thurner – A lot of back and forth. Black went into the endgame a little better but made a couple of mistakes and White was able to win. 1-0

Upsets in A Grade Round 7

Simon Lyall beat Jasmine Zhang
Don Eade beat Paul Macdonald
Winston Weng drew with Alex Nagorski
Aaron Wang beat Jordan Lewis

Final Result Spring Cup A Grade

1st Mike Steadman 6.0
2nd Daniel Runcan 5.5
3rd= Ben Hague, John Duneas, Alphaeus Ang, Bruce Watson, Don Eade 5.0

B Grade

Lucas Xiao vs David Zhu – A steady swap of pieces and a draw agreed in an even position. Draw

Tracey Tang vs Mukammad Razzaq – Black made a strong pawn push (supported by pieces) against Black’s castled King which Black was unable to defend. 0-1

Mike Steiner vs Alan Leach – Steady piece swapped into a draw.

Upsets in B-Grade Round 7

Anas Al-Afaghani beat John Liu
Bevis Jiang beat Philbert Zhai
Hunter Po’e-Tofaeono drew with Wayne McDougall

Final Results Spring Cup B Grade

1st Mukammad Razzaq 5.5
2nd= Thomas Zhang, Lucas Xiao, David Zhu 5.0

2019 Spring Cup – Round 6

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

Spring Cup Round 6 PGN File

A Grade

Ben Hague vs Mike Steadman – White missed some good moves and then after Black captured a pawn in the centre White’s position fell apart. 0-1

Alphaeus Ang vs Philli Park-Tamati – Black Castled Kingside when White had an open g-file. White was able to create an attack and after Black’s desperate counter-attack failed White was completely winning. 1-0

Paul Macdonald vs Nigel Metge – White pushed an early attack but over-reached and lost a piece. Black quickly won with the extra material. 0-1

Bruce Watson vs Hao Tang – White picked up two exchanges(!) and then countered Black’s mate threat with a mate-in-two of his own. 1-0

Alex Nagorski vs Don Eade – Intent on his own mating attack White miscalculated his defence against Black’s attack. 0-1

Scott Treanor vs Jasmine Zhang – White managed to get a pawn and a strong position with an outpost Knight. The players settled for a Draw.

Aaron Wang vs Felix Xie – White tried an all-out attack but ended up losing an exchange. Black was left with a won endgame. 0-1

Stephen Peak vs Paul Garbett – Black rolled forward his pawns against White who cracked and lost a piece. 0-1

Simon Lyall vs Abraham Deng – Black allowed attack on f7 winning a rook and then didn’t get time to recapture the Knight on h8. White swapped down to be 4 pawns up in the endgame although took a while to win due to being in time trouble. 1-0

Boyuan Zhang vs Rauen Le Grange – After some sharp tactic the players swapped down to a rook and pawn endgame. A couple of inaccurate moves by Black gave White a passed pawn. 1-0

Yolanda Chang vs Jordan Lewis – Black created a half open file which he used to pressure White and create a passed pawn. 0-1

Karl Holdo vs Isabelle Ning – Both players followed a standard line which appeared to be better for White. After some exchanges White put pressure on Black with mate threats and a passed pawn until she cracked. 1-0

Jeffrey Yu vs Grant Burrows – Black got lost in his opening and gave White the initiative. He was able to keep up the pressure. 1-0

Ajit Pendharkar vs Daqi Mao – White made some opening mistakes and allowed Black to pick up 2 pawns. White tried some attacks but Black was able to hold and then win. 0-1

Anya Thurner vs Lakshmi Ravi – White had a good start goign a pawn ahead but Black managed to get it back and swap to a King and pawn endgame. White then quickly made a fatal mistake. 0-1

Arkadi Polyakevich vs Andrew Michael – A long game with chances for both players. Black managed to get the better of the maneuvering. 0-1

Hugh Gao vs Virginia Milne – White was goign well until be blundered a piece. 0-1

Upsets in A Grade Round 6

Daqi Mao beat Ajit Pendharkar
Don Eade beat Alex Nagorski
Scott Treanor drew with Jasmine Zhang
Mike Steadman beat Ben Hague

Alphaeus Ang and Mike Steadman lead on 5 points with 3 players just behind on 4.5

B Grade

Upsets in round 6

Mantra Bhatt beat John Liu
Daksh Bhatt beat Eden Oshri

5 Players share the lead on 4.5 points. Thomas Zheng, Lucas Xiao, Tracey Tang, David Zhu and Mukammad Razzaq.

2019 Spring Cup – Round 5

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

Spring Cup Round 5 PGN by Ewen Green

A Grade

Alphaeus Ang vs John Duneas – White was slightly better though most of the game. Black managed to get an even endgame but then made a mistake and White had a win. 1-0

Daniel Runcan vs Alex Nagorski – Black made a mistake in the opening and lost a piece. 1-0

Philli Park-Tamati vs Scott Treanor – Black lost a piece.

Mike Steadman vs Paul Garbett – Black got a pawn storm against White but miscalculated and lost two pawns. White was then able to counter-attack and swap pieces to a win. 1-0

Tim Ha vs Nigel Metge – After Black got the better opening White missed his chance to win a Queen (see diagram) and instead ended a piece down. 0-1

Ha vs Metge. White to play and win.

Isabelle Ning vs Bruce Watson – Black swapped to a slightly better ended game and then was able to outplay White. 0-1

Jasmine Zhang vs Joe Wang – White picked up an exchange and then swapped to a won-endgame. She picked up a bonus piece on the way.

Felix Xie vs Ajit Pendharkar – White was able to squeeze Black’s position until he eventually trapped and won Black’s Queen.

Jeffrey Yu vs Don Eade – Black blew a hole in front of White’s king and then was able to attack it with a horde of pieces

Rauen Le Grange vs Simon Lyall – A fairly even game with both neither player getting ahead. Draw agreed in an even endgame. Draw

Hao Tang vs Karl Holdo – An even game until at the end White had a Queen vs a Rook and Knight and Black made some errors and was quickly lost. 1-0

Daqi Mao vs Aaron Wang – Black was slightly better most of the time and managed to get a better endgame and then convert it into a win. 0-1

Jordan Lewis vs Stephen Peak – A Quick draw.

Andrew Michael vs Erwin Koestanto – Opposite side castling and both players attacked. But White missed his chances and allowed black to overwhelm him. 0-1

Grant Burrows vs Arkadi Polyakevich – After some chances for each playing the the early middle-game White picked up a pawn and then swapped down to a won endgame. 1-0

Kenny Zhang vs Hugh Gao – The game swapped to a drawn king-and-pawn endgame but Black pushed the wrong pawn. 1-0

Lakshmi Ravi vs Virginia Milne – Black allowed Bxh6 and a quick mate. 1-0

Upsets in A Grade Round 5

Danial Runcan beat Alex Nagorski

Ben Hague is leading with 4.5 while 4 players are on 4 points.

B Grade

Baraa Al-Afaghani vs David Zhu – White gave up a piece for a couple of pawns but Black quickly went on the offensive and then won another piece. 1-0

Ying Wang vs Saheb Saahir – White got a piece up but then gave it back, she managed to just hold the draw.

Tracey Tang vs Ethan Liu – A complicated game with lots of tactics. Black eventually made a big mistake and White was material ahead. 1-0

Eric Fan vs Mike Steiner – White got an attack but failed to find the best continuation. The payers swapped down to a draw.

Upsets in B Grade Round 5

Grayson Po’e-Tofaeono beat John Liu
Michael Malcolm beat Neil Sonnekus
David Zhu beat Barra Al-Afaghani
Pranav Shenoy beat Maxwell Xiao

After 5 rounds Thomas Zheng leads on 4 points with Jacob Barry on 3.5.

2019 Rapid Champs – Final Results

The three legs of the 2019 Rapid Champs were the Blitz in February, The Autumn Rapid and the Spring Rapid.

Points were calculated by adding scores in all three tournaments with the scores in the Rapids Doubled. So 4.5 in the Blitz was worth 4.5 but 4.5 in a rapid was worth 9.

The final placings favored those who played in all 3 tournaments, with only 2 players who missed the Blitz in the top 10.

1st     Alex Nagorski       24.0
2nd     Euan McDougall      23.5
3rd     Nigel Metge         21.5
4=      Felix Xie           21.0
4=      Bruce Watson        21
6=      Tim Ha              20
6=      Winston Weng        20
8       Philli Park-Tamiti  19.5
9=      Erwin Koestanto     19.0
9=      Nathan Goodhue      19.0
9=      Boyuan Zhang        19.0

2019 Spring Cup – Round 4

A few upsets and byes means that some of the top players are still spread throughout the field in both grades.

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

Spring Rapid Round 4 PGN by Ewen Green

A Grade

Nigel Metge vs Ben Hague – After an unusual opening and a good start White allows a back-rank mate. 0-1

Paul Garbett vs Daniel Runcan – The players steady swap down before Black puts in a twist and gives up a Knight for a passed pawn. He misses the winning move (see diagram) and settles for a draw.

Garbett vs Runcan after 41. Nb3. Black to play and Win.

Simon Lyall vs Mike Steadman – White loses a couple of pawns and then a piece. Black handles a few tricks and it’s all over. 0-1

Winston Weng vs Alphaeus Ang – The opening leaves White with a bad pawn structure. Black puts pressure on the exposed pawns and White scrambles to defend. But eventually the buildup breaks through. 0-1

Alex Nagorski vs Hao Tang – White gives up an opeing advantage but then is able to kick around White’s Queen to develop and attack and go a piece ahead. 1-0

Scott Treanor vs Felix Xie – After a fairly even game White picks up a pawn and then swaps a rook for two pieces to give himself two bishops against a Rook. He then handles the endgame well giving Black no chances. 1-0

Don Eade vs Phill Park-Tamati – White makes a mistake in the opening and allows Black to pout pressure on c2 with a Knight, Bishop and rook. Black wins a pawn and keeps up the pressure until White makes another mistake. 0-1

Bruce Watson vs Rauen Le Grange – White splits back’s position with a centre pawn push. But White swaps off one of his attackers and Black manages to sneak in along the a-file and capture 3 pawns and attack White’s King. But Black misses the win and White is able to scramble a perpetual-check. Draw

Aaron Wang vs Jasmine Zhang – White pushes a passed pawn though Blacks position and swaps off everything except a rook and some pawns each. Draw.

Tim Ha vs Andrew Michael – A complex tactical position arises and after mistake by both players White ends up material ahead and winning. 1-0

Stephen Peak vs Boyuan Zhang – The computer is unimpressed by either player. Draw

Karl Holdo vs Grant Burrows – White tries some openign innovation but gets away with it and the game is fairly even. But after white picks up a pawn in the endgame Black resigns. 1-0

Hugh Gao vs Jeffrey Yu – White has a good middle game pickign up a pawn and harrassing Black with two Bishops. But Black manages to push a passed pawn to the 7th rank and White resigns, although the computer says White may have been able to hold the position. 0-1

Ajit Pendharkar vs Kenny Zhang – After some dubious opening innovations Black gets an attack but then leaves a piece en-pries. White takes it and is able to easily convert. 1-0

Arkadi Polyakevich vs Daqi Mao – White picks up material due to tactical miscalculation by Black but then miscalculates himself and loses a piece. 0-1

Yolanda Chang vs Anya Thurner – Material is steadily swapped. Black picks up a pawn but has trouble making progress and the players agree on a draw.

Upsets in A Grade Round 4

Daqi Mao beat Arkadi Polyakevich
Rauen Le Grange drew with Bruce Watson
Scott Treanor beat Felix Xie
Aaron Wang drew with Jasmine Zhang
Daniel Runcan drew with Paul Garbett

Ben Hague leads on 4/4 ahead of John Duneas on 3.5 and several players on 3 points.

B Grade

Jacob Barry vs Baraa Al-Afaghani – Some wild exchanges, several of which appear to be unsound. The players agree on a draw in a position that is winning for Black. Draw

Lucas Xiao vs Thomas Zheng – White sacks his Bishop on h7 but gets nothing for it and his own King comes under attack. White manages to hold on and after Black makes a mistake they players agree on a draw.

Mike Steiner vs Ying Wang – White traps his queen. 0-1

Jacob Yuan vs Tracey Tang – White misses a tactic and instead allows a pawn push by Black which opens up the h-file and then win’s White’s Queen. 0-1

Upsets in B Grade Round 4

Bobby Peoples beat John Liu
Tracey tang beat Jacob Yuan
Saahir Saheb beat John McClory
Adam Ali beat David Zhu

Jacob Barry leads on 3.5 . 7 Players are just behind on 3 points.

2019 Spring Cup – Round 3

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

PGN of Round 3 of the Spring Cup by Ewen Green and Tim Ha

A Grade

Ben Hague vs Alex Nagorski – Black got behind in development at the start. He gave up a piece for two pawns in front of White’s King but White had no problems defending and was able to swap and win. 1-0

John Duneas vs Don Eade – Black had a good start and but allowed a tactic that gave up a pawn. After a complete exchange he ended up another pawn down. White was able to quickly win from there. 1-0

Danian Runcan vs Scott Treanor – Black got a worse opening and then had to manually move his King to the Queenside to escape threats. White used the time to prepare and mount an attack against Black’s split position. 1-0

Rauen Le Grange vs Paul Macdonald – A series of exchanges left White a piece down. 0-1

Nigel Metge vs Isabelle Ning – Black wasted time in the opening and her pieces then got kicked around as white pushed an attach straight through the middle of her position. 1-0

Mike Steadman vs Bruce Watson – White played an unusual f4, g3, Bg2, Nh3, O-O combination of moves. Black stayed a little better as the endgame swapped down before making a mistake that gave White the win. 1-0

Paul Garbett vs Abraham Deng – Black allowed white to push a couple of pawns right into his position and ended up losing a piece. 1-0

Winson Weng vs Erwin Koestanto – Default by Black 1-0

Felix Xie vs Karl Holdo – White tried a Kingside pawn push which Black defended. The position swapped to an even Rook and pawn endgame. White kept up the pressure and eventually Black made a fatal mistake. 1-0

Philli Park-Tamati vs Arkadi Polykevich – White did a Qucik attack against Black’s King and after some errors by Black in defending White was a piece up. 1-0

Grant Burrows vs Simon Lyall – After some sharp opening tactics Black was left with a big advantage. 0-1

Hao Tang vs Yolanda Chang – After an exciting but even game Black made a slip-up and White quickly won. 1-0

Andrew Michael vs Lewis Jordan – The players opposite castled. White Held his position and pushed a pawn-strong against Black who made a couple of of errors and lost quickly. 1-0

Jack Chen vs Stephen Peak – Black was winning from early in the game but took 77 moves to eventually overcome White’s defense. 0-1

Anya Thurner vs Ajit Pendharkar – White went a little wrong in the opening and allowed Black a strong attack that Kicked White around for 20 moves before winning a piece. 0-1

Kenny Zhang vs Lakshmi Ravi – A wide game, Black attacked and swapped pieces to have a close-to-won endgame. He then made a couple of bad moves and gave White a surprise win. 1-0

Virginia Milne vs Daqi Mao – White was going okay until she trapped and lost her Queen.

Upsets in A Grade Round 3

Andrew Michael beat Jordan Lewis
Daqi Mao beat Virginia Milne

There were no draws this round with large gaps between most players ratings.

B Grade

John McClory vs Jacob Barry – A Dubious opening ( 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 2 3. d3?! h6?! ) but then Black miscalculated and was left 2 pawns down. After a lot of mistakes by both players Black won. 0-1

Upsets in B-Grade Round 3

Bevis Jiang beat Alan Leach
Grayson Po’e-Tofaeono beat Neil Sonnekus
Saahir Saheb beat Steve Vezich
Narasimha Ravi beat Michael Ma

2019 Spring Cup – Round 2

The Spring Cup is a Swiss tournament played across 7 rounds in October, November and December. There are two Swiss Grades of around 40 players each, the split is roughly at the 1500 NZCF July 2019 rating.

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

2019 Spring Cup Round 2 PGN by Ewen Green

A Grade

Boyuan Zhang vs Ben Hague – Black gets in a quick attack on the King side and Black is soon lost. 0-1

Scott Treanor vs Mike Steadman – Black miscalculates, loses a piece and resigns. 1-0

Yolanda Chang vs John Duneas – White plays some bad lines in the opening and Black is able to string together threats to win two pawns. Black is able to cruise from there. 0-1

Alex Nagorski vs Philli Park-Tamiti – Black makes a hasty move that loses a piece. He resigns on move 16. 1-0

Don Eade vs Hao Tang – A series of exchanges leaves Black’s King exposed in the centre. White is able to pick up a couple of pawns and then a piece when Black resorts to tricks. 1-0

Bruce Watson vs Winston Weng – White gets the better of middle-game swaps and ends up with 3 connected passed pawns. 1-0

Joe Wang vs Paul Garbett – White manages to counter just about everything that Black throws against him and create his own threats. White eventually forces perpetual check. Draw

Alphaeus Ang vs Jeffrey Yu – Black gets a piece trapped and then loses an exchange. 1-0

Paul Macdonald vs Anya Thurner – See Pauls commentary in the PGN. White got a better position and Black made a series of mistakes as she got low on time. 1-0

Daqi Mao vs Danial Runcan – A long game. Fairly even but Black has most of the pressure and eventually picks up a piece in the endgame. 0-1

Stephen Peak vs Nigel Metge – White had a good start and early middle game but ended up with some holes in his pawns that Black was able to infiltrate (supported by two rooks on an open file). 0-1

Jordan Lewis vs Rauen Le Grange – White mixed up his opening a little but got away with it. The game was very even until White drove Black’s King forward to g3 where it unexpectedly was able to support Black’s Queen attack. 0-1

Abraham Deng vs Jack Chen – Some mid-game swaps left White two pawns up and he was able to Queen one of them. 1-0

Lakshmi Ravi vs Tim Ha – White was better (a pawn up and a protected passed pawn) but left a hole in his position though which Black pushed his Queen and won 4 pawns for an exchange. White tried a counter-attack but Black found the correct moves to hold. 0-1

Karl Holdo vs Kenny Zhang – 1-0

Ajit Pendharkar vs Grant Burrows – A very back and forth game with mistakes on both side. 0-1

Arkadi Polyakevich vs Virginia Milne – White counted Black’s opening sidelines with his own innovations. An unwise pawn-push by Black opened up her position and allowed Black to invade. 1-0

Upsets in Round 2 of A Grade

Scott Treanor beat Mike Steadman
Joe wang drew with Paul Garbett
Rauen Le Grange beat Jordan Lewis

B Grade

Philbert Zhai vs Mike Steiner – A quick draw.

David Zhu vs Vincent Cai – Another Quick draw. Black was better.

Upsets in Round 2 of B Grade

Hunter Po’e-Tofaeono beat Neil Sonnekus
Bryan Kang drew with Jacob Yuan
Charles Lu beat Joseph Xin
Adam Ali beat Michael Ma
Narasimha Ravi drew with Alan Leach