Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club News

Gentil Knight Lightning 9/12/08

There were 26 players to start with, a record for this tournament, making the draw very difficult. We played a Cyclical Round Robin with Group A comprising of 14 players, and Group B comprising of 12 players. Group A was won by Ben Lim with 7 from 7, followed by Stan Yee and Scott Plyler with 6.5. The top three from each group go through to the finals. Group B was won by Paul Morten and Jim Benson, each with 6 from 7, followed by Henry Jiang with 5.5. In the finals, a five rounds Round Robin, Yee had a won position with Plyler having only one second on his clock but Yee didn't notice it, and lost on time himself. Lim scored 3 with wins against Yee, Benson and Jiang. Yee scored 3 with wins against Morten, Benson and Jiang. Morten scored 2.5 with wins against Lim and Benson, and drawing with Plyler. Benson scored 0.5. Plyler scored 4 with wins against Lim, Yee and Jiang, and drawing with Morten and Benson. Jiang scored 2 with wins against Morten and Benson. Yee was the defending champion.

The Results: 1st Plyler 10.5/12, 2nd= Lim 10, 2nd= Yee 9.5, 4th Morten 8.5, 5th Jiang 7.5, 6th Benson 6.5.

Booth Challenge Shield 2/12/08

Round 7 Board 1 Luke Li vs Stan Yee, Li played the opening without a plan and lost a pawn early. Yee simplified by forcing off several minor pieces. Li tried 27.Bh5? offering a Bishop sacrifice to open up the Black King position, but Yee didn't take it, and instead replied 27...f5! attacking the Knight on e4 and leaving two White pieces en prise. 28.Ng3 was clever, still offering the poisoned Bishop, but again Yee didn't take it, and replied 28...Qg5! with double attack on the Knight on g3 and Bishop on h5 winning a piece. Board 2 Tony Booth vs Paul Spiller, Booth as White seemed unfamiliar with the Dutch Defence and after opposite castling forced 10.e4?!, but 10...Bxc3! posed the question of what to recapture with, and Booth chose 11.Bxc3? moving away from the protection of the e3 square. After 12...Ng4! the win of the exchange was inevitable. Board 3 Olivia Dong vs Scott Plyler, Dong blundered with 14.f4? and was set to lose the exchange but Plyler decided to take the h2 pawn instead with 15...Nxh2+?! But the losing move was 21.dxc4?? and 21...dxc4+ was discovered check on the King on g2 and the Bishop on d2 was unguarded. Stan Yee retains the Booth Challenge Shield for the third year with 6.5 from 7, Paul Spiller comes second with 6, and Scott Plyler comes third with 5, his best performance to date.

Most improved player for the year is Alex Pan 929 to 1182 or increase of 253, 2nd place Katy Qiu is 687 to 918 or increase of 231, 3rd place Scott Plyler 1389 to 1539 or increase of 150.

Juniors vs Seniors Challenge Night 14/10/08

Well, what a night! The final score of 9:1 does no justice to the Juniors, who fought very well indeed! The Seniors took eight wins and two draws, with the Juniors taking two draws. Board 1 Edwin Yip vs Ben Lim, an exciting game with Lim as Black in a brilliant tactical attack. Yip barely held on, and was lucky to gain counterplay, and it fizzled out into a draw. Very well done to Yip. Board 2 Stan Yee vs Henry Jiang, Yee as White created a big space advantage, then attacked and set the trap by relying on a long combination. Part way through the combination he pulled out - an almost fatal error, as Jiang trapped the lone Bishop on h7. Post mortem analysis proved that Yee's original combination was correct, and would have won. Jiang later made a mistake in interpolating his Queen rather than Rook on g7, costing him a Knight and the game. A very good game by Jiang. Board 3 Alan Chen vs Jim Benson, an evenly fought game, but as more material went off the draw became inevitable. Again, a very good game by Chen. Board 4 Scott Plyler vs Katy Qiu, a closed game with opposite castling, Qiu as Black correctly sacrificed a pawn with ...b5, which Plyler unbelievably took, allowing a semi-open file to his King on c1. But a weak follow up with ...Qb3 and the exchange of Queens saw White get away with it, and Plyler played for Kingside pressure and won.

Howick-Pakuranga Club Championship 07/10/08

Board 1 Ben Lim vs Stan Yee, a good positional struggle with neither side making headway, so a draw was agreed. Board 2 Craig Blaxall vs Jim Benson, an interesting game with Black cramped but solid, but Black blundered the exchange. Board 3 Edwin Yip vs Alex Pan, a very good positional game by Yip, out playing Pan on the light squares. First he won the exchange, then the King! Board 4 Kees van den Bosch vs Scott Plyler, Plyler winning the exchange in a very good tactical combination. Congratulations to Ben Lim in retaining the Club Championship.

Richard Sutton Cup 12/08/08

Round 7: Board 2 Stan Yee vs Leonard McLaren, Yee attacked, McLaren countered with a typical but brilliant Sicilian exchange sacrifice 14...R(c8)xc3! to shatter the White King position and gain a lasting initiative, then it was Yee who had to create counterplay with 18. g6? but Mr Fritz says White should have played it safe with 18.Re3! A very wild position developed with Black even offering his Queen with 23...Ke8! and it looked like White was lost, but the cunning 24.Qg8! pins the Bishop which was threatening Mate and tied down the Black pieces, and White later won. Board 3 Scott Plyler vs Richard Taylor, Plyler blundered the exchange. Board 4 Temu Mararoa vs Craig Blaxall, Blaxall won two pawns, Mararoa played an unsound sacrifice with 33.Nh5? and Blaxall gave the piece back with 34...Bxe5? then 37...Qe6?? should have lost the game but after the clever 38.Rg5+! White failed to simply capture the Black Rook with 39.Qxa2 and inexplicably grabbed a pawn with 39.Qxh5? The ending saw Mararoa with a Queen against two Rooks and the Black King not able to hide from perpetual check, but White lost on time. Board 7 Tony Booth vs Kees van den Bosch, Booth sacrificed a pawn for a clear advantage in development, then grabbed a poisoned pawn with 15.Bxa7? and 15...b6 trapped the Bishop. Some brilliant wriggling saw White almost win the piece back, and 19.Qd3+! and 20.Qxa6 would have saved the day, but he didn't see it. Board 10 Luke Li vs Olivia Dong, Dong cleverly trapped the White Knight on g5. Board 13 Struan Ferguson vs Catherin Chen, an even game which Ferguson eventually won.

A huge welcome to our new Club members, Struan Ferguson, Andrew Ferguson, William Zhang, Jim Cater and Nathan Horsfall. And welcome back to Temu Maroroa and Ben Lim. Also to our prodigal son Edwin Yip, after an absence of more than two years! Hope I haven't forgotten anyone! We had a record 27 entries for a Club night tournament.

Firstly, rapid games do not have to be recorded. But, many thanks to those players who did record their games. This can enable that player to claim a draw by repetition, or reset from an illegal position. It can also help if you want your game to feature as the "Game of the Week"! Or if you happen to be a Grandmaster and want your young fans to play through your games ... Or for post mortem analysis. Of course only recorded games can be reviewed here.

"Game of the Week" is Stan Yee vs Leonard McLaren. Congratulations to Richard Taylor, the first winner of the Richard Sutton Cup. He receives the shining new cup and $80. This tournament was renamed from the Swiss Rapid, which Ben Lim won in 2007 and was therefore the defending champion. The Swiss Rapid started in 2006 and was won by Leonard McLaren, but the title went to the highest placed Club member (unknown), and we never had a trophy. Our Club Patron His Honour Justice Paul Heath has kindly donated the Richard Sutton Cup in recognition of the work of Richard Sutton in establishing our Club in 1976, 32 years ago. Richard Sutton is still actively playing at the Otago Chess Club in Dunedin. Also congratulations to 2nd-5th Paul Spiller, Ben Lim, Stan Yee and Craig Blaxall $50 each, and to 6th Leonard McLaren $20. N.B. The prize money has been increased to a total of $300 to meet the minimum prize fund under Grand Prix rules, so 1st $80; 2nd $70; 3rd $60; 4th $40; 5th $30; 6th $20.

Due to popular demand I have posted explanations of M-Buch. and Buch. at the foot of the "Current results" page, but please do not email me any questions as it is far too complicated - just trust me!

NZ Junior Championship 10/07/08, and NZ Junior Rapid 11/07/08

REVIEW by Stan Yee
NZ Junior Championship, and NZ Junior Rapid results have been posted. Congratulations to Edwin Yip for coming 4th in the Championship and 2nd-5th in the Rapid, to Edward Huang for coming 5th-11th in the Championship and 6th-10th in the Rapid, and to Wan Xin Chen coming 12th-17th in the Championship and 18th-25th in the Rapid. Four other Howick-Pakuranga players also scored very well in the Championship: Alan Chen, Henry Jiang, Luke Li and Alex Pan. Also scoring well in the Rapid: Henry Jiang, Katy Qiu and Alan Chen. See "Current results".

Fairhurst Pawn 08/07/08

NOTES ON GAMES by Richard Taylor
The final round of the Fairhurst Pawn - which I and Paul Spiller have won quite few times over the years. Tony Booth may have also, and Stan Yee. Leonard McLaren won and takes the title from last year’s winner Stan Yee. However, he coaches at Howick-Pakuranga and it is good that he plays, and as he is now a member he rightly took first place. Indeed he risks rating points - this time he conceded draws to Stan Yee, Fuatai and Paul Spiller. Before the last round Stan Yee thanked Phillip Makkuttu and Fuatai Fuatai for playing. Leonard won, and I came second. I played well over all considering I am now 60! That said the last round - redrawn because of the absence of Fuatai (and Jim Benson etc). I at first refused, then agreed to play Edward Huang. It turned into an interesting struggle with me playing inaccurately after sacrificing for the attack. Edward found a defence and a clever move and I was suddenly facing a possible loss. Tragically for Edward I was able to baffle him into a "time tunnel" and "swindle" a draw, although even with a rook down (!), while being objectively lost, the game was still unclear. Time trouble (Edward's - he was down to less than a minute and I had 20 minutes!) was my guardian angel and I managed to win! Edward Huang has shown that overall he is improving - he needs (apart from taking a more confident approach, which I find is a problem with many juniors, as young player I was always attacking!) perhaps to study attacking methods e.g. “The Art of Sacrifice” is a good book (or more recent equivalents) but otherwise his positional chess is very good. A feature of this Fairhurst Pawn has been the inclusion of some potentially good junior players - who are playing well despite that most of them are not getting one to one coaching of some of the ACC players for example. But it is good to see them. Philip Makkuttu's win over Fuatai was something he can be pleased with. Stefan Kolev from Bulgaria - is showing he is rapidly getting a good "handle" on the game. Stan Yee was out of form in the main. Craig Blaxall, getting back into serious chess in the last 2 years or so, played good chess overall. All did well. Noise problems were mainly overcome by the simple expedient of getting casual games to be played in "The Den".

We must congratulate Leonard on coming first alone and taking the Fairhurst Pawn (it is actually the Dr. W Fairhurst Summer Trophy) as he is a member. This tournament was played strongly by Leonard McLaren, a New Zealand Master, who coaches the juniors and ranked 14th in NZ - he plays with great fighting spirit and imagination. And he risks losing! Some highly ranked players - perhaps for good reason - don't have such courage. And it wasn't that easy for Leonard - in some ways l also find it more difficult or stressful to play when my opponents are generally lower ranked than I am - so I can sympathise with Leonard’s “dilemma” - but he left nothing to chance and the presence of such a strong player is an inspiration to our Club, especially to the juniors present, and indeed to all players participating. Kees van den Bosch is meanwhile keeping an eye on the juniors and managing secretarial and financial matters, which puts stress on him also. Tony Booth played some nice games, as did Edwin Yip, who defeated Paul Spiller in the last round. Paul (the President of the NZ Chess Federation) and Jim Benson (Patron of the NZ Chess Federation), Peter Morton (Club President), and Tony Booth (very active committee member) all had the difficulty of playing while "on duty" as did Stan Yee (Club Captain). Scott Plyler (1. d3 and university exam addict!) played well considering his rating (which has improved as has his play overall) and his university commitments. Edwin Yip and Stan Yee are also busy with university studies. Henry Jiang and Alexis Carlier showed their potential, as did Wan-Xin Chen, and Catherin Chen our youngest player who battled courageously. And it is good to see them trying out ideas and leaning in struggles versus the seniors – and visa versa! No one should feel disappointed - whatever one's rank. Chess is a very difficult (surprise!!) but fascinating game. But while it can bring sorrow at losses it gives pleasure and is a game of striving, beauty, and ideas. Thanks to all for struggling through the winter months in our Fairhurst Pawn.

Short History of the Dr. W Fairhurst Summer Trophy
The Dr. W Fairhurst Summer Trophy (referred to as the Fairhurst Pawn) is named after the very strong player Dr. Fairhurst who was several times Scottish Champion and (I think at least once) the British Champion and played among such greats as Capablanca, Reti, and Vidmar etc - he once gained a draw with Capablanca. He was an engineer (as is Peter Morten) and his company designed the new bridge over the River Tay in Scotland. He used to battle it out with such as Richard Sutton who started the Club. I met him when he was a member (he moved to NZ in his later years) about 1979 or so. His legacy is recalled through the illustrious Pawn.

FIDE Article 8.1 "In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in the algebraic notation (Appendix E), on the ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition. It is forbidden to write the moves in advance, unless the player is claiming a draw according to Article 9.2 or 9.3. A player may reply to his opponent's move before recording it, if he so wishes. He must record his previous move before making another. Both players must record the offer of a draw on the scoresheet."
FIDE Article 8.7 "Even if incorrect, this result shall stand, unless the arbiter decides otherwise."

If a player cannot make a round of any tournament please email the arbiter by Monday at the latest.

ABSOLUTELY NO non-tournament games in the tournament room. For future rated tournaments anyone wishing to play a casual game must remove themselves from the tournament area whilst the tournament is in progress, i.e. play in the analysis room.

FIDE Article 12.2.2 "It is strictly forbidden to bring mobile phones or other electronic means of communication, not authorised by the arbiter, into the playing venue. If a player's mobile phone rings in the playing venue during play, that player shall lose the game. The score of the opponent shall be determined by the arbiter.
FIDE Article 13.7.2 "It is forbidden for anybody to use a mobile phone in the playing venue and any area designated by the arbiter."

Juniors vs Seniors Challenge Night Rapid 29/04/08

Tonight's JUNIORS vs SENIORS CHALLENGE NIGHT RAPID was a great success, with lots of Juniors, lots of parents, lots of fun, and of course lots of food. The Seniors squeaked home with 7 wins to the Juniors 5, a remarkable feat by the Juniors! The five Junior victories were: on Board 6 Alex Pan beat Steve Varga, Board 7 Catherine Chen beat Kees van den Bosch, Board 9 Henry Jiang beat Clive Wilson, Board 11 Katy Qiu beat Sachinta Ambanpola, and Board 12 Olivia Dong beat Christine Qiu. For more click "Current results". These are the names to look for in the future! The whole idea of the Juniors vs Seniors tournaments is to give the Juniors a taste of what it is like playing at the Senior level, and they certainly rose to the challenge. Thanks to parents for all their support in getting the Juniors to the tournament, and everyone for all the delicious food. Looking forward to the next challenge on 15th July - see "Club Schedule".

Allegro Rapid 22/04/08

Round 7: The final round, Jim Benson lost to leader Craig Blaxall, Edward Huang drew with Richard Taylor, Scott Plyler drew with Stan Yee, and Paul Spiller beat Kees van den Bosch. Congratulations to the winner Craig Blaxall. "Game of the Week" is Jim Benson vs Craig Blaxall. For more click "Current results".

The Results: Blaxall wins the tournament with 6.5, Taylor 2nd on 5.5, Spiller and Huang 3rd= on 4.5.

Parkinson Cup 25/03/08

Round 6: 4th seed Richard Taylor as White drew with 2nd seed Stan Yee in the final round (click "Games"), with Yee winning the tournament. 11th seed Peter Morten lost to top seed and defending champion Paul Spiller. 3rd seed Craig Blaxall as White beat 5th seed Jim Benson in what looked like an even game. 12th seed Kees van den Bosch as White got too aggressive too early against 6th seed Tony Booth and lost a piece.

The Results: So, Yee wins with 5.5/6, Blaxall and Spiller coming 2nd-3rd on 4.5, followed by the main bunch: Taylor, Booth, Edward Huang and Scott Plyler in a four-way tie for 4th-7th on 3.5. Taylor made a comeback after beatings from Spiller and Blaxall in rounds 2 and 3. Booth, Huang and Plyler all won in the final round to achieve their well deserved placings.

Annual Latvian Tournament 16/03/08

The Results: Well, it was close in the "A" Grade, with a four-way tie for first place between Bob Smith, Mike Steadman, Paul Garbett and Gino Thornton. In the "B" Grade Richard Taylor took first place, followed by an even closer finish with a five-way tie for second place between Dimitry Litvinov, Andy Chen, Tony Booth, Devon Smith and Zulkifli Aziz (click "Current results").

Gentil Knight Lightning Tournament 11/12/07

Well, what a heart-stopper! We were all exhausted after this tournament. There were 14 players to start with, making the draw difficult. We played a Cyclical Round Robin with Group A comprising of 8 players, and Group B comprising of 6 players. Group A was won convincingly by Craig Blaxall with 7 from 7, and Ben Lim 2nd with 6 from 7. The top two from each group go through to the finals. Group B was won by Stan Yee with 4 from 5, but there was a three-way tie for 2nd with Richard Taylor, Scott Plyler and Peter Maddison on 3 from 5. So they went to a tie-breaker, and Taylor won with 2 from 2. In the finals Yee and Blaxall tied for 1st with 2 from 3, so they went to a tie-breaker, which Yee won.

The Results: 1st Yee 7/9, 2nd Blaxall 9/11, 3rd Lim 7.5/10, 4th Taylor 5.5/10. Yee was the defending champion, and has successfully retained the Gentil Knight Lightning Trophy for 2007. What the other players don't know was that Yee was in great pain from toothache this morning, and credits his win to his Endodontist (root canals) Dr Hani Naoum at Endodontic Solutions on Beach Road.

Booth Challenge Shield 20th Anniversary 4/12/07

The Booth Challenge Shield was donated in 1987 by Tony Booth, to fill a need for another rated tournament at the Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of this tournament. This year was the longest tournament, held over eight rounds with a time control of 75 minutes plus 30 seconds per move. The last round was finally played on Tuesday 4th December 2007. It was another Tuesday with yet another surprise at the top of the table. On board 1 the tournament leader and 2nd seed Craig Blaxall was held to a draw by the 4th seed Tony Booth, after the ending fizzled out with Blaxall as Black a pawn up but with a bad Bishop against a White Knight. On board 2 the 3rd seed and Booth Challenge Shield title defender Stan Yee as White and 6th seed Jim Benson battled away in an ending with a White Rook and Knight versus a Black Rook and bad Bishop, but a mistake saw White break through to the seventh rank and the game was soon over. On board 3 the top seed Paul Spiller as Black faced prodigy Alan Chen, and Chen could not hang onto his pawns.

The Results: Yee becomes the 20th winner of the Booth Challenge Shield with 6.5 from 8, 2nd-3rd Spiller and Blaxall with 6, 4th-5th Clive Wilson and Scott Plyler with 5.5, and 6th Booth with 4.5. It is also worth noting that Blaxall was undefeated, and that Plyler, Chen and Alan Peng gained the most rating points from this tournament. So, this is the first time that Yee has successfully defended a chess title, having been unsuccessful in defending the Club Championship earlier this year - won by Blaxall and Ben Lim jointly. Yee defends his Gentil Knight Lightning title next Tuesday night.

The Legends: Booth and Spiller, for hanging around for so long, and still achieving placings! Club archives show Spiller was joint winner in 1988, and winner in 1990. Both Booth and Spiller have been in the Club since at least 1980!

Junior Championship 27/11/07
Old Name           Rd                               Colour    Score New Rating    
360 Linus Goh       1 X  b1 w0 b0 w1 1w b1 b1 b1 b1 wbbwbbwbb 7/11  347
301 Alexis Carlier  2 w0 X  b0 b0 b1 b1 1w w1 w0 w1 wwbbwbwbw 4/9   298 
291 Ben Nam         3 b1 w1 X  b1 w0 w0 w1 0w b1 wD wbwbwbwbw 5.5/9 287
316 Raymond Lee     4 w1 w1 w0 X  b1 b0 w1 b1 1w b1 wwbbwwbbw 9/11  354
199 Luke Li         5 b0 w0 b1 w0 X  b0 b0 b0 w0 1w wbwbwbbww 2/9   223
232 Shelton Leong   6 0b w0 b1 w1 w1 X  b0 w0 w1 bD bwbwwbwwb 4.5/9 236
219 Andrew Jiang    7 w0 0b b0 b0 w1 w1 X  b0 b1 bD bbwbbwbwb 3.5/9 209
246 Cameron Low     8 w0 b0 1b w0 w1 b1 w1 X  b0 w0 bwbwbwbwb 4/9   216 
195 Robert Shin     9 w0 b1 w0 0b b1 b0 w0 w1 X  b0 wbwbbwbbw 3/9   192
226 Alex Pan       10 w0 b0 bD w0 0b wD wD b1 w1 X  wwbwbwwbb 3.5/9 219
The Junior Championship is contested by ten finalists, who earn their place in the finals after surviving a series of round robin tournaments throughout the year, in an elimination process. After nine rounds the lead was tied, with Raymond Lee and Linus Goh both on 7 from 9. A playoff comprising two games saw Lee extent his lead to take out the tournament.

The Results: 1st Lee with 9 from 11, 2nd Goh with 7 from 11, 3rd Ben Nam with 5.5 from 9, 4th Shelton Leong with 4.5, and 5th-6th Alexis Carlier and Cameron Low with 4. Congratulations to Raymond Lee, the new Junior Champion for 2007.

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