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2019 Summer Cup – Round 6

Just one more week left in this tournament. If you are in A, B or C grade please check the results of all your games are listed and let Simon know if they will be played or there are results missing.

Round 6 PGN by Alex Nagorski and Tim Ha

A Grade

Allen Fan vs Mike Steadman – White allowed Black to get some mobility early on. An exchange sacrifice by Black left White desperately trying to hold the position but he eventually gave up a piece. 0-1

Alex Huang vs Alphaeus Ang – 18 moves of theory and then White grabbed a pawn. This proved unwise as it tied down a Bishop and allowed Black to get a pawn on the 6th rank in front of White’s King. The Bishop had to go backwards to prevent mate and White lost an undefended piece. Black quickly picked up a couple more pieces. 0-1

Nigel Metge vs Daniel Gong – A nice opening by White left him with a good position. However Black was able to swap off pieces to neutralise Whites advantage and the game swapped to a drawn endgame. Draw

Alexei Kulashko still leads the Grade by half a point from Daniel Gong.

B Grade

Caroline Yan vs Don Eade – White got better out of the opening and was a pawn up with a nicer position. Black tried some sharp play to get back in the game but miscalculated and lost a piece. 1-0

Paul Macdonald vs Clinton Wells – See Paul’s commentary in the PGN – White got the better opening and pushed forward a big centre of pawns which Black was unable to counter and got into time pressure. Black resigned after White punched a hole through Black’s cramped position and was about to win Black’s Queen. 1-0

Jasmine Zhang vs Euan McDougall – After an even start White jumped quickly ahead with two bishops raking Black’s position, threatening and pinning pieces. Black tried some unsound desperation tactics but White found her way through. 1-0

Simon Lyall vs Alex Nagorski – After early exchanges White was left with isolated pawns on the d file. He failed to find the best moves and ended up a pawn down and with a losing endgame. 0-1

Alex Nagorski keeps his lead. He is now 1.5 points ahead of Jasmine Zhang with just one game left.

C Grade

Karl Holdo vs Winston Weng – White looked a little meek in the opening but found a way to break out and put pressure on Black’s King. Black was able to swap things back to even and after further swaps the players had a King and 7 pawns each with no pieces. White made a mistake and Black’s King was able to invade and win. 0-1

Aaron Wang vs Xinyang Liu – White miscalculated some swaps and left Black with a passed pawn. To stop it Black had to trap a piece in the corner and Black was able to dominate the position. 0-1

Akshay Sharma vs Felix Xie – White was better throughout most of the game but Black managed to just hold on for a draw.

Jordan Lewis vs Tim Ha – A steady swap down to a drawn endgame. Each player had some chances but neither got significantly ahead. Draw

Felix Xie still leads, half a point ahead of Jordan Lewis.

D Grade

A strange pattern of wins and losses. White won the top 4 games, then Black the next 7, then White the next 3, etc.

Upsets in Round 6

Thomas Zheng beat Grant Burrows
Bashar Mohammad beat Mike Steiner

Jeffrey Yu now leads the grade by himself. He is half a point ahead of Anya Thurner and Joe Wang.

2019 Summer Cup – Round 5

Please make sure you sign up for the Autumn Rapid starting on April 1st. Signup sheets are at the club or contact Simon.

Draw: A, B, C (round-robin schedule)
Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade , C Grade , D Grade

PGN for Round 5 by Ewen Green

A Grade

Nigel Metge vs Nathan Goodhue – Blacks position got constricted early but he often plays these positions. After 5 0 moves of back and forth Black was up a pawn but game was constricted by a lareg pawns mass in the centre. However around move 60 White invaded on the 8th ranks with his rooks and picked up an exchange. He then swapped all the pieces into a winning endgame. 1-0

Daniel Gong vs Alex Huang – Black was even to better until he moved a Night to the sideline and was unable to counter White’s threats. 1-0

Alphaeus Ang vs Allen Fan – 14 moves of theory and then White got a lot of pressure and managed to pick up two pawns. After a swapoff some endgame care was needed but he managed it. 1-0

Michael Steadman vs Alexei Kulashko – White resigned after he made an error which allowed Black a much better position. 0-1

Daniel Gong and Alexei Kulashko lead the grade on 3.5. However Alexei has a game in Hand

B Grade

Simon Lyall vs Caroline Yan – A fairly even game with Black a little better for most of it. The players swapped down to an opposite color bishop endgame but White was unable to hold it and Black broke though. 0-1

Alex Nagorski vs Jasmine Zhang – Black made an error in the opening ( see diagram ) but White missed the complicated followup. They then got in a complicated position which the computer says Black is winning but after some back and forth White came out ahead. 1-

Nagorski v Zhang – Black player 13. ..Nxe5. Why is this a mistake?

Euan McDougall vs Paul Macdonald – See Paul’s full analysis in the PGN. White made several inaccuracies soon after the opening and then missed a tactic that allowed Black to win a piece.

Clinton Wells vs Don Eade – Black miscalculated a series of swaps and white was 2 pawns ahead. He was then able to swap steadily and win the endgame. 1-0

Alex Nagorski leads the grade with 4 points.

C Grade

Jordan Lewis vs Karl Holdo – White was better for most of the game and then was able to pick up a pawn and force though a passed-pawn. 1-0

Tim Ha vs Akshay Sharma – Black picked up a pawn in but it wasn’t enough and the players settled for a draw.

Felix Xie vs Aaron Wang – An even game until White made an error and allowed Black to pick up a piece. 0-1

Despite his loss this round Felix Xei still leads the grade.

D Grade

Philli Park-Tamati vs Jeffrey Yu – White pressed an attack but black held it and launched a strong attack himself. They players agreed on a draw in what the computer says is completly won position for Black. Draw

Upsets in Round 5

Jacob Chai beat Dario Giuliani
Lucas Xiao beat Mike Steiner
Jack Chen beat Erica Hu
Ethan Liu beat Jacob Yuan

Philli Park-Tamati and Jeffrey Yu still lead the grade but there are 5 players just half a point behind them.

2019 Summer Cup – Round 4

Signups are now in place for the Autumn Rapid on the 1st and 8th of April. Please signup on the Sheet in the main playing room at the Centre of via text to Simon. The Autumn Cup will start on April 15th.

A Grade Interclub will also be playing in May. We will be signing up a team soon.

Draw: A, B, C (round-robin schedule)
Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade , C Grade , D Grade

PGN for Round 4 by Tim Ha and Alex Nagorski

A Grade

Nathan Goodhue vs Mike Steadman – White got his usual long pawn chains and closed position. Black opened things up but White had more mobile pieces. Black resigned after White got 2 pawns up in the endgame. 1-0

Alexei Kulashko vs Alphaeus Ang – A fairly short game, Black got a little better and White offered a perpetual check. Black accepted rather than risk playing on. Draw

Allen Fan vs Daniel Gong – White miscalculated a centre pawn-push and found himself in a cramped position. Black was able to push White around and slowly pick up material. 0-1

Alexei Kulashko and Daniel Gong share first on 2.5 points. There are several games unplayed, however.

B Grade

Caroline Yan vs Clinton Wells – After an even opening White picked up a pawn and then an exchange after Black missed a tactic. White then swapped down and Black’s Bishops were no match for White’s rook in the endgame. 1-0

Don Eade vs Euan McDougall – White got a piece trapped early on but got an attack as compensation. After some wild swaps White was a Q and 6 pawns vs a Knight, Rook and Bishop and 2 pawns. However White failed to find the best lines. 0-1

Eade vs McDougall after 33. f4

Paul Macdonald vs Alex Nagorski – See Alex’s commentary in the PGN – White made an error and gave up a pawn early. White complicated the game but Black mostly found the best replies. Black swapped down to a rook and pawn endgame with Black being two pawns up and Black had a fairly easy time winning from there. 0-1

Jasmine Zhang vs Simon Lyall – Black got a little lost in the opening and lost a pawn and then after getting some distance back lost another. White then had a strong attack and and a win after Black failed to find the best moves to defend. 1-0

Jasmine Zhang is leading the grade with 2.5 and a spare game. Several other players have games in hand.

C Grade

Karl Holdo vs Xinyang Liu – White pushed on the Queen side which allowed Black to punch a hole in the King side and quickly win as a pawn chain left White unable to get to the King side to defend. 0-1

Holdo vs Liu. After 23 dxc6. Black to play and win

Winston Weng vs Felix Xie – After White locked up the pawns White managed to punch a hole though and then convert his better position to a material advantage. 0-1

Aaron Wang vs Tim Ha – White had a better position from the opening but on move 22 after Black got a little better the players took a draw.

Akshay Sharma vs Jordan Lewis – White got into trouble early and then made a mistake that allowed an early checkmate. 0-1

Felix Xie is winning the grade with 4 wins out of 4 games. Three others are on 2.5

D Grade

Joe Wang vs Philli Park-Tamaki – After some wild swaps that left things even White miscalculated and ended up a piece down. Black quickly won. 0-1

There were 17 upsets across 28 games. The largest were:

  • Mohammad Bashar beat Dario Giuliani
  • Jack Chen beat Narasimhan Ravi
  • Alan Leach beat David Xu
  • Ariel Patdu beat Tama Austin

Philli Park-Tamati and Jeffrey Yu are the only players left on 4/4 while Stephen Peak is in 3rd on 3.5

2019 Summer Cup – Round 3

Due to the number of games missed in A, B and C Grade. The placings are a little confused. Games are being caught-up however.

Draw: A, B, C (round-robin schedule)
Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade , C Grade , D Grade

PGN for Round 3 by Ewen Green

A Grade

Nigel Metge vs Allen Fan – White pushed a fawn pawn to h6 but black did a quick counter-attack and picked up an exchange. Another tactic missed by White allowed Black to pickup a full piece and White resigned. 0-1

Daniel Gong vs Alexei Kulashko – White tried an obscure move on move 3 of the Sicilian! After some exchanges and tactics Black had an extra Bishop for 3 pawns. However White was unable to hold the position. 0-1

Alphaeus Ang vs Mike Steadman – Black gave up a pawn in return for mobility and development. The computer liked White’s position but Black’s attack left little margin for error. White eventually made a mistake and settled for a perpetual check. Draw

Alexei Kulashko and Allen Fan both led on 2 points. Alexei has a game and hand as do other players

B Grade

Euan McDougall vs Clinton Wells – White made some dubious opening choices and gave Black a better position. Black kept up the pressure and won and pawn and then more material. 0-1

C Grade

Lewis Jordan vs Aaron Wang – White game up and early pawn and then black just put pressure on and swapped. Black resigned after losing an exchange etc. 0-1

Tim Ha vs Winston Weng – Black got in a better position into the opening but miscalculated a tactic and gave up his two bishops for a rook. White’s Bishops and Black’s underdeveloped pieces quickly decided the game. 1-0

Felix Xei vs Xinyang Liu – White got a good attack but missed the followup moves and allowed Black to escape. After some tacic the position looked drawn but black made a mistake and gave white the win. 1-0

Felix Xie is leading the grade on 3/3. However Akshay Sharma has 2 points with a game in hand

D Grade

Upsets in Round 3:

Thomas Zheng beat Huge Gao
Neil Sonnekus drew with Abraham Deng

3 players are leading on 3 points: Joe Wang, Philli Park-Tamati and Jeffrey Yu while 7 more players are on 2.5

2019 Summer Cup – Round 2

The 2nd round of the Summer Cup was played on the 18th of February.

Draw: A, B, C (round-robin schedule)
Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade , C Grade , D Grade

PGN of Round 2 by Tim Ha

A Grade

Nathan Goodhue vs Alphaeus Ang – The players steadily swapped pieces with no real advantage to either side. Draw

Mike Steadman vs Daniel Gong – White got a slightly better position but settled for forcing a repetition. Draw

Allen Fan vs Alex Huang – Black got a little ahead and won, although the computer is unimpressed. 0-1

B Grade

Caroline Yan vs Euan McDougall – A seesaw game. Fair even until White lost a piece but then she picked up some pawns a few moves later as compensation. Another mistake ended it however. 0-1

Don Eade vs Simon Lyall – White got better in the opening and Black tried a dubious pawn push. White was better but after some swaps Black came out a pawn ahead with a winning endgame. Black missed the best moves and settled for a draw due to lack of time. Draw

Paul Macdonald vs Jasmine Zhang – Black came out of the opening a little better. White tried and exchange sac but gained nothing and after White held off Black’s threats, she swapped down to a won endgame. 0-1

C Grade

Karl Holdo vs Felix Xie – White got a little lost in his opening and wasted a couple of moves allowing Black to advance pawns to cramp White’s position. Black got an unstoppable passed pawn and White resigned. 0-1

Xinyang Liu vs Tim Ha – After some unusual opening moves Black picked up a pawn with a tactic and White resigned soon after when the king was trapped. 0-1

Winston Weng vs Jordan Lewis – White got a better position but missed the best continuation and the position swapped down to a draw.

Aaron Wang vs Akshay Sharma – Black made a push on the queenside and White eventaully made a mistake defending. Black came out 3 pawns ahead and White resigned. 0-1

D Grade

Upsets for Round 2:

Ariel Patdu beat Dario Giuliani
David Zhu beat Philbert Zhai
Narasimhan Ravi beat Hugh Gao
Mike Steiner beat Austin Tama


2019 Summer Cup – Round 1

The Summer Cup was the first big night at ACC. We had nearly 80 players and only managed to fit them in due to the emergency fit-out of the new playing room (aka the “VIP Room”). Big thanks to Ian McNally who was helped by Bruce and Simon. We plan to get more permanent tables and chairs in there shortly.

Tournaments coming up:

Draw: A, B, C (round-robin schedule)
Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade , C Grade , D Grade

Round 1 PGN by Ewen Green

A Grade

Allen Fan vs Nathan Goodhue – White Sacked an exchange to gain passed pawns. 1-0

Alex Huang vs Alexei Kulashko (annotated by lichess) – A straightforward win for Black.

Daniel Gong vs Alphaeus Ang – Black got his pieces stuck on the wrong side of a pawn-chain while White attacked his King. Black’s last minute tricks were unsuccessful. 1-0

B Grade

Jasmine Zhang vs Don Eade – After a sharp position with many pieces threatening each other White came out with QBB v RRB . But she made a couple of mistakes and allowed Black to even the position. Draw

Simon Lyall vs Clinton Wells – A Rusty Black used up a lot of time and allowed White to get some pressure. After a couple of mistakes he resigned. 1-0

C Grade

Aaron Wang vs Karl Holdo – After a long game Black got ahead and into a winning endgame. But he took a draw due to lack of time. Draw

Lewis Jordan vs Xinyang Liu – After a long game Black was winning with 5 pawns to one and a rook each. Unfortunately that pawn was passed and he defended incorrectly. 1-0

Tim Ha vs Felix Xie – Black picked up and exchange for a pawn and then was able to win a pawn by squeezing White. He then swapped back the exchange for a winning King and pawn endgame. 0-1

D Grade

Major Upsets:

Ethan Liu beat Uday Jain
Vincent Cai beat Neil Sonnekus
Jack Chen beat Ariel Patdu
Jacob Yuan beat Abraham Deng
Yolander Chen beat Grant Burrows
Kelvin Xiao beat Virginia Milne


2019 Summer Cup – Draw for Rd1

The first round of the Summer Cup is on February 11th. The Provisional Draw for grades A, B and C is linked below.

For D grade we had a large number of entries so are short of space. We are setting up some temporary tables but it is possible some players may have to wait to start their games. Due to lack of space no further entries will be accepted.

A reminder that if you are in D grade and unable to play on a Monday you must txt Simon (or inform Ying Wang) before 6:45pm. If you do so you/your child will get a half point bye. If you don’t inform ahead of time then you will get zero. People who regularly don’t notify absences may not be able to enter events.

If you are in a Round Robin grade you are expected to arrange an alternative day with your opponent and then inform Simon.

Draw for round 1 of the Summer Cup:

2019 Blitz

The Summer Cup starts on the 11th of February. We are close to full and any entries received after Feb 5th are not guaranteed a place.

February 4th was the first night back for Auckland Chess Centre in 2019. Due to Chinese New Year we didn’t fill up but we had 45 people playing in the Blitz Championship

This year the Blitz Championship counts towards the Club Rapid Championship[1] . Each point in the blitz will count for half as much as a point in the two club rapids

The Blitz results in Vega

The night was dominated by Alexi Kulashko who won 8 games in a row and only dropped gave up a draw in the final round for a final score of 8.5

Blitz Winner Alexei Kulashko (right) playing 3rd-place Alex Nagorski

Second place was Euan McDougall (who gain 100 FIDE ratings points in January) with 7.5 while Alex Nagorski was 3rd on 7 points.

We had several new players at the club. David McNeil from the US was visiting for the evening. Nigel Metge and Ajit Pendharkar both return to regular play. While Michael O’Callahan, Eden Oshri plus Grayson, Tyleah and Hunter Po’e-Tofaeono were all starting out.

More photos are online

[1] – Several people were concern that the cup should now be called “The Blitz and Rapid Championship” or similar. They are invited to buy (and have engraved) a new cup 🙂

Entries for Blitz and Summer Cup

We are now taking entries for the first two events of 2019

The Blitz will be on February 4th and is a 9 round 3m+2s event. Note that this close to Chinese New Year so check to make sure you don’t have something already planned. Points in this will go towards the Club Rapid Championship.

The Blitz event is in Vega

On February 11th we will have the first main tournament for 2019. The Summer cup will be 3 round-robin grades plus a Swiss. All will be Nationally rated.

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade , C Grade , D Grade

Note: To decide on entry to grades in the Summer Cup, Players will be ranked by February FIDE rating. The grades people are currently listed in is a draft.