NZCF Online Interclub Match to be held on April 28

Thanks, everybody for participating in the Auckland v Wellington match on April 1, which was a success with a high turnout of 110 players, 65 from Auckland and 45 from Wellington (and some guests playing for Wellington). Auckland won with a score of 485 to 408. 598 blitz games (time control 3+2) were played with a total of 41,995 moves. The PGN of the match (edited by Bill Forster) can be downloaded here.

Since then we had another match on Easter Monday, April 13, which Auckland team also won. 94 players from 4 teams (Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington and Auckland University Chess Association (AUCA)) played.

After the Easter Monday match, a committee was formed to prepare an NZCF-sanctioned Interclub match. For this purpose, it was decided to enrol purely club teams, such as Auckland Chess Centre (instead of all-Auckland), Wellington CC, Canterbury CC, AUCA and others. And if any club doesn’t have an online team yet, NZ players and anybody currently living in NZ can also play in a generic NZCF team. All details on how to run a club online and play in the matches can be found on the New Zealand Chess Federation website, in the “NZCF Online” section. And the match has now been announced at (“An Official NZCF Online Interclub Competition”).

For ACC members, past and present, it means the following:

To celebrate the creation of the regular (every fortnight) NZCF Interclub match, a lottery will be drawn after the match and one randomly chosen winner will be able to choose one of the following items (priced up to 40 NZD, donated by an ACC player – the gift is non-monetary and not physical, as are the matches and the games that will be played!)

P.S.: Auckland Chess Centre members also meet every Monday on at 7:30 PM and every Friday on Lichess at 7:30 PM for friendly games among themselves and friends from other clubs and cities. Please join us!

Online match between Auckland and Wellington chess players, April 1, 7:30 PM

Online chess is having a surge during these COVID-19 days.  Many clubs are having OTB replacement matches online, including New Zealand ones.  Just recently, Waitakere CC started a “Lockdown tournament” with long (60+30) online games.  Wellington CC and Auckland Chess Centre held a blitz arena each.

With many chess players turning to online games — now that the “real” and “true” OTB games can’t be played for a long while — we’d like to announce a match that is being organised by Auckland and Wellington clubs.

It will be an online blitz arena on platform with the following parameters:

  1. Date and time: Wednesday, April 1, 7:30 PM
  2. Time control: 3m+2s blitz
  3. Arena format with duration of 2 hours.  Arena means you can join, pause or leave the match at any time.  If you can’t commit to the whole time period, you can still play a few games, then stay and watch others playing on and cheer for your teammates.  When you finish a game and do not pause or leave, if an opponent from the other team is also free, you’ll be paired for another game.  This goes on until the time runs out for the match.

If you are a chess player living in Auckland, please join via – during registration please add a note to tell us your real name and the club you’re going to (no club is also OK) (Timothy Ha will confirm your registration).

If you live in Wellington or Lower/Upper Hutt, please join via (Ian Sellen will confirm your registration).  Since chess population in Wellington is less than in Auckland, maybe some Christchurch players will also join.  Auckland players are OK with that.

After you have joined your team, join the match here: — note: if you belong to both teams on Lichess, be careful and choose the right side.  You should know where you live in New Zealand 🙂

If this is successful, maybe one day we’ll have a regular online (Internet-based) intercity chess league in New Zealand?

March 31 update: initial text specified neither online nor Internet-based, just intercity chess league. For which we received the following correction.

Michael Freeman, the NZCF delegate at FIDE, commented, “The comment about an intercity chess league is obviously from a newer person. The oldies know about the Bledisloe and the Blackburn Cups. Hopefully, they will be dragged out of the closet during these changed times.

New Zealand was one of the earliest countries to make use of telegraphic interclub chess as a method of play. Christchurch beat Nelson in two consultation games in 1866. The first interclub match was played between Canterbury and Otago in 1869. The Bledisloe Cup, presented by the Governor-General in 1933, is competed for annually in this way, and the Blackburn Cup is the subject of a competition among minor clubs.

In a pre-Internet age, chess moves were transmitted using Morse code. A very old piece of unusual legislation required the NZ Post Office to provide a free circuit to the four major centres for an annual chess match over 20 boards. Took about 10 hours to complete the match.”

“As far as I can figure out,” — Michael recalls, — “it was last played July 1988 when Auckland beat Otago (though got some reason the Bledisloe Cup is in Dunedin). The Blackburn Cup was between the provincial clubs outside the four main centres. Probably last held by Wanganui.”

This photo was taken by the Otago Daily Times. Note the letters on the board squares used for the Morse code combination of four letters / the from square and to square of a move. Bob Smith played as white in Auckland vs Michael Freeman in Dunedin on 30th June 1984. Bob Smith won in 39 moves.

Monday Night Chess Cancelled though to June

The ACC committee has decided with regret, to extended the cancellation of Monday Night Chess though till the end of May. Further extensions are possible.

  • The Summer Cup will be cut short to the 5 rounds already played. Results will be sent in for rating.
  • The Autumn Rapid is cancelled, potentially it might be played later in the year.
  • The Autumn Cup is cancelled.
  • We are going to stop taking subscription fees for now. Some of the 2020 fee may be credited towards the 2021 subscription. Detail will be worked out when chess restarts
  • Events to be played in 2020 will depend on when chess restarts.

Chess Events cancelled in Aus/NZ

Following the impact of Covid19 various other Chess events have been cancelled.

The Latvian Gambit Chess tournament which was supposed to happen on March 21 has been postponed

The New Zealand Seniors has been postponed to September.

Other tournaments in Australia have also been cancelled.

NZ Chess News is maintaining a page with a list of NZ and Australian events and activities that are affected. Also the New Zealand Chess calendar will have updates.

ACC Monday Night Events Suspended

With the spread of Covid19 overseas, it is increasingly likely that it will be spreading in Auckland before the end of March.

To ensure the safety of our members and their families, we have decided to cancel the March 16 and March 23 Monday night Chess.

Please check the club website and Facebook page regularly for updates. We will post news there.

We will be creating fields and entries for the Autumn Rapid and Autumn Cup in case these go ahead. We are also looking at options for online games. The remaining two rounds of the Summer Cup may be played later or we may reduce it to five rounds.

Updated Guidelines for Playing Nights

We have the following additional guidelines for when Club Nights restart.

A reminder that players can request half-point byes for any reason. Please text Simon on 021 575 233.

We would ask the following not to come to the club:

  • People who have been outside New Zealand in the last two weeks
  • People who are in close contact with somebody who has been outside New Zealand in the last two weeks
  • People who are ill with Colds, Cough, Runny Nose, Flu or other infectious illness
  • People with compromised immune systems

At the Club

  • We will be working to add more soap and other cleaning options.
  • Players should wash their hands with soap regularly, especially after using the toilet.
  • Players should reduce direct physical contact, including no handshakes at the start of games.
  • Players can wear masks to reduce risk of picking up an infection. But if you are sick yourself you should stay home.

2020 Summer Cup Round 5

There were a large number of players taking byes in Round 5 due to exams and concerns over Covid-19. A reminder that half point byes are always available on request provided they are notified before 6:45pm on Monday evening.

We will do a further post on the weekend regarding Covid-19 and the Chess Club.

For now a reminder that entries for the Autumn Rapid and Autumn Cups are now open for all players who played in the Summer Cup.

A Grade Round 5

Allen Fan and Alphaeus Ang got wins to share the lead. Daniel Gong is just behind on 4 points. Another 7 players are on 3.5

Upsets in A Grade Round 5

Rauen Le Grange drew with Gordon Morrell
Euan McDougall beat Nigel Metge
Virginia Milne drew with Abraham Deng

B Grade Round 5

The Leader from round 4, Neil Sonnekus was beaten by the underrated Anderson Chen.

Anderson is now in the lead by himself with Neil, Mike Steiner and Baraa Al-Afaghani half a point behind.

Upsets in B Grade Round 5

Anderson Chen beat Neil Sonnekus
Pranav Shenoy beat Adam Macauley
Charles Liu beat Lucas Xiao
Adam Ali beat Luiz Stephany Filho

Registration for 2020 Autumn Rapid and Autumn Cup

The Autumn Rapid will be starting on March 30th while the Autumn Cup is on April 20th. Due to lack of space we are limiting entries to both and opening entry in stages. Please read below for details.

Limit on Field Sizes

Autumn Rapid – 75 players
Autumn Cup – 85 players

Entry dates

Entries should be via the sheet at the club or a text or email to Simon Lyall ( 021 575 233 ). Text message is preferred

6pm March 8 – Open for players who played in the Summer Cup A Grade

6pm March 13 – Open for players who played in the Summer Cup B Grade (plus players above)

6pm March 20 – Open for all

Entries are first-in-first served within each group. Players will be expected to have payed subscriptions before the start of the rapid. Early entries will be ignored.

Entries are not confirm until posted on website.

Grades in the Autumn Cup

Sorted of players will be via Current FIDE rating with NZCF rating as a backup.

2020 Summer Cup Round 4

Registration for the Autumn Rapid and Autumn Cup will go up in the next few days. Due to lack of physical space at the Club there will be restrictions on numbers in both tournaments.

A reminder that if you are sick and possibly infectious then please do not come to club nights. You can get a half-point bye for any round of a Swiss tournament bye texting Simon Lyall on 021 575 233 before 6:45pm.

A reminder that the draft draws below is not final. It will change when people takes byes. Also if you turn up at 7 on a Club night and are listed as a bye then please tell Simon and stick around for a while. We will try and pair you with somebody whose opponent hasn’t turned up.

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

A Grade

The two leaders in round 3, Allen Fan and Alphaeus Ang drew so they are now joined by two other juniors (Daniel Gong and Felix Xie) in 1st equal with 3.5.

The adults from A Grade are all half a point behind on 3.

Upsets in A Grade round 4

Daqi Mao beat Abraham Deng
Muhammad Razzaq beat Grant Burrows
Akshay Sharma drew with Alex Nagorski
Felix Xie beat Gordon Morrell
Jeffrey Yu beat Joe Wang
Boyuan Zhang beat Simon Lyall
Winston Weng beat Eric Wu

B Grade

Neil Sonnekus is now the sole leader, undefeated on 4 points. Just behind on 3.5 are Alan Leach and Anderson Chen

Upsets in B Grade round 4

Sophia Feng beat Hunter Po’e-Tofaeono
Anderson Chen beat Wayne McDougall
Adam Ali beat John McClory
Pranav Shenoy beat Ayaan Vasudeva

Potential Draws for round 5

These will change due to byes

2020 Summer Cup Round 3

Remember to keep an eye on the New Zealand Chess Calendar for upcoming national events.

The 2021 NZ Chess Congress has just been announced. It will be in Palmerston North at the start of January 2021 and comprise 7 tournaments including the NZ Open Championship. An Entry form with details is online.

Vega Links: A Grade , B Grade

A Grade

There are now just two players on 3 points. Allan Fan (who beat Bruce Watson in Round 3) and Alphaeus Ang.

The Black player was also the winner on the bottom 6 boards.

A Potential draw for round 4 is below.

Upsets in A Grade round 3

Allen Fan beat Bruce Watson
Lewis Jordan drew with Gordon Morell
Hugh Gao drew with Kenny Zhang

B Grade

Fewer upsets on the top boards in B grade than A. There are 3 leaders Mike Steiner, Neil Sonnekus and Jacob Yuan on 3 points. 3 others are just back on 2.5 points.

Upsets in A Grade round 4

Sai Somearaju beat John McClory (986 point rating difference!)
Sophia Feng beat Liuz Filho
Anderson Chen beat Sylvia McDougall
Eden Oshri beat Ying Wang

Possible Draws for Round 4

This will change due to byes