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View Full Version : 128th NZ Chess Congress, Palmerston North, 2-12 Jan 2021



Keong Ang
02-01-2021, 07:21 PM
128th New Zealand Chess Congress, Palmerston North, 2nd to 12th January 2021 is now in progress.
Incorporates multiple events including NZ Open, Major Open, NZ Rapid, NZ Lightning.

Event progress can be viewed through the various tournaments Vega webpages.
There are 4 DGT Smart Boards broadcasting games on the DGT Livechess Cloud.
Many photos are being added to and published in a Facebook Photo Album.

All of the above and more information are available from
https://newzealandchess.nz/128th-nz-chess-congress-2021/
that would be continously updated.

Bill Forster
03-01-2021, 11:30 AM
I feel honour bound to point out that the top story on the NZCF homepage https://newzealandchess.co.nz/ "Congress - Quick Links", is also available as a somewhat lighter weight way of getting to the most relevant information quickly :-)

Desmond
03-01-2021, 11:52 AM
There's live games with 4 boards going here: https://view.livechesscloud.com/#2fdc73a8-16b0-4da1-aff7-722257615587
Round 2 currently underway.

CivicChessMan
06-01-2021, 07:18 PM
Covid-19 has stopped foreign players from competing in this year's NZ Open. As a result, the tournament has what used to be the traditional New Zealand look to it. There are 24 players in the Open with ratings from 2497 down to 1630. Although the tournament is "open", I think that players with ratings less than 2000 should normally not be eligible. This would have resulted in a field of 14 players. Adding players from 1800+ would give 20 players.

From the top 50 ranking, the tournament has players ranked 1, 3, 4, 6, 15, 16, 18, 33, 38, 38 and 46. Notable players missing are two of last year's co-champions : Kirill Polishchuk and Paul Garbett and the leading NZ junior players, Alphaeus Ang, Daniel Gong and Allen Fan. Otherwise the makeup of this year's tournament is quite similar to the New Zealand contingent in last year's Mount Maunganui tournament.

After 5 rounds, Ben Hague (1), Nic Croad (3), Anthony Ker (4) and Bob Smith (16) have 4 points. Russell Dive (6) and Felix Xie (46) have 3.5 points. Leonard McLaren (15) and David Cilia Vincenti (18) have 3 points. This group also has Michael Sole, who is not ranked in the top 50.

MichaelBaron
06-01-2021, 08:31 PM
Covid-19 has stopped foreign players from competing in this year's NZ Open. As a result, the tournament has what used to be the traditional New Zealand look to it. There are 24 players in the Open with ratings from 2497 down to 1630. Although the tournament is "open", I think that players with ratings less than 2000 should normally not be eligible. This would have resulted in a field of 14 players. Adding players from 1800+ would give 20 players.

From the top 50 ranking, the tournament has players ranked 1, 3, 4, 6, 15, 16, 18, 33, 38, 38 and 46. Notable players missing are two of last year's co-champions : Kirill Polishchuk and Paul Garbett and the leading NZ junior players, Alphaeus Ang, Daniel Gong and Allen Fan. Otherwise the makeup of this year's tournament is quite similar to the New Zealand contingent in last year's Mount Maunganui tournament.

After 5 rounds, Ben Hague (1), Nic Croad (3), Anthony Ker (4) and Bob Smith (16) have 4 points. Russell Dive (6) and Felix Xie (46) have 3.5 points. Leonard McLaren (15) and David Cilia Vincenti (18) have 3 points. This group also has Michael Sole, who is not ranked in the top 50.

It is a fantastic effort by you guys to have an OTB national event!

Capablanca-Fan
07-01-2021, 10:52 AM
Although the tournament is "open", I think that players with ratings less than 2000 should normally not be eligible. This would have resulted in a field of 14 players.
Or we could go even further and make it a 12-player round robin. A novel idea, I realize.

CivicChessMan
08-01-2021, 09:23 AM
Surprisingly, there was just the one draw in round 6, the game on board 9. Ben Hague and Nic Croad defeated Bob Smith and Anthony Ker respectively to move to 5 points. 12 year old junior, Felix Xie is half a point behind the two leaders. The peloton consists of Smith, Ker. Leonard McLaren, who won in 74 moves against Russell Dive and David Cilia Vincenti. Croad and Hague have already met in the previous round so the championship may well be decided by who gets the most favourable run in the last three rounds. In round 7. it is Xie vs Croad, Hague vs McLaren, Vincenti vs Smith and Ker vs Edward Lee.

CivicChessMan
08-01-2021, 05:00 PM
A pawn up, Ben Hague could not break down Leonard McLaren's fortress and the game ended in a draw after 49 moves. This means that Nic Croad after his win over Felix Xie is now the outright leader on 6 points. Ben Hague is on 5.5 points followed by Bob Smith and Anthony Ker on 5. In the penultimate round, it is McLaren vs Croad, Hague vs Ker and Smith vs Xie,

Adamski
08-01-2021, 09:08 PM
Do the players have to wear masks in NZ - like they do at Rooty Hill?

Craig_Hall
09-01-2021, 06:30 AM
Do the players have to wear masks in NZ - like they do at Rooty Hill?

No. We obviously wouldn't prevent them from doing so, but nobody has been.

Had the eligibility to enter the Championship been as per the NZCF Tournament Rules, 14 eligible players entered the Championship, so an additional 6 would have had to be invited to make up 20. This would be done in rating order by continuing to inviting players in the Major Open until we hit 20.

This rule hasn't been applied for years with approval from AGMs either directly or via delegated authority to Council, so it might be time to review the Tournament Rules, particularly the NZCF events to have the Tournament Rules reflect actual practice.

Keong Ang
09-01-2021, 05:46 PM
No. We obviously wouldn't prevent them from doing so, but nobody has been.

Had the eligibility to enter the Championship been as per the NZCF Tournament Rules, 14 eligible players entered the Championship, so an additional 6 would have had to be invited to make up 20. This would be done in rating order by continuing to inviting players in the Major Open until we hit 20.

This rule hasn't been applied for years with approval from AGMs either directly or via delegated authority to Council, so it might be time to review the Tournament Rules, particularly the NZCF events to have the Tournament Rules reflect actual practice.

NZCF Tournament Rules haven't been completely applied for official NZCF events in nearly 10 years. Would be interesting to see what rules NZCF Council would implement for next year's 129th NZ Chess Congress 2022 in Christchurch.

Auckland Chess Centre submitted a bid for 2022 Congress that was rejected by NZCF Council back in August 2020. I believe that upon rejection of the 2022 Congress bid, another bid for 130th NZ Chess Congress 2023 in Auckland (https://newzealandchess.nz/130th-nz-chess-congress-2023/) with exactly the same rules had been submitted. As far as Auckland Chess Centre is concerned, these are non-negotiable when Auckland Chess Centre organises and pays for Congress. Especially the part about NZ Championships being a 10 player single round robin of 9 rounds and how these 10 players are automatically and compulsorily obtained from the 9 round swiss system NZ Open.
Maybe this is a good thing since it forces NZCF to pay smaller clubs to organise Congress and other official events in other parts of NZ. Players based in Auckland can usually play in a local open tournament monthly, juniors can almost play every week. This is in addition to the regular weekly internal club games where it is possible to play every weeknight at different clubs.

CivicChessMan
10-01-2021, 01:43 AM
Draws on the top two boards between Leonard McLaren and Nic Croad, Ben Hague and Anthony Ker, and a win on board three to Felix Xie over Bob Smith give the following standings with one round to play. Croad leads with 6.5 points, half a point ahead of Hague on 6 with a further half point back to Xie and Ker on 5.5. These are the contenders for the NZ Championship. Xie and Ker must both win and then hope Croad loses his unbeaten record. If Croad draws then only Hague can catch him if he wins against Xie. A win to Croad will give him his second NZ title outrighr. He won his first in 2015 when 10 (not a typo) players shared the title.

CivicChessMan
10-01-2021, 01:47 AM
Especially the part about NZ Championships being a 10 player single round robin of 9 rounds and how these 10 players are automatically and compulsorily obtained from the 9 round swiss system NZ Open.

Will this 10 player round robin be restricted to New Zealand players only?

Craig_Hall
10-01-2021, 01:04 PM
NZCF Tournament Rules haven't been completely applied for official NZCF events in nearly 10 years. Would be interesting to see what rules NZCF Council would implement for next year's 129th NZ Chess Congress 2022 in Christchurch.

Auckland Chess Centre submitted a bid for 2022 Congress that was rejected by NZCF Council back in August 2020. I believe that upon rejection of the 2022 Congress bid, another bid for 130th NZ Chess Congress 2023 in Auckland (https://newzealandchess.nz/130th-nz-chess-congress-2023/) with exactly the same rules had been submitted. As far as Auckland Chess Centre is concerned, these are non-negotiable when Auckland Chess Centre organises and pays for Congress. Especially the part about NZ Championships being a 10 player single round robin of 9 rounds and how these 10 players are automatically and compulsorily obtained from the 9 round swiss system NZ Open.
Maybe this is a good thing since it forces NZCF to pay smaller clubs to organise Congress and other official events in other parts of NZ. Players based in Auckland can usually play in a local open tournament monthly, juniors can almost play every week. This is in addition to the regular weekly internal club games where it is possible to play every weeknight at different clubs.

I was at the Council meeting in August which discussed the ACC bid, and it was approved by Council with the caveat that the definition of a New Zealand player is prescribed in the Supplementary Regulations, and therefore eligibility for the New Zealand championship section would need to be the top 10 players who met the definition of a New Zealand player, or a notice of motion put to AGM to change the definition or waive it for that event as it was outside Council's authority to agree to that specific point (Tournament Rules at 2.1.7 allow changes of formats and dates by Council but eligibility is not on that list). To clarify for others reading, the bid advised that it would be the top 10 players registered with FIDE as NZL, not New Zealand players (to quote the Supplementary Regulations, “New Zealand chess player" means one who holds New Zealand citizenship or who is normally resident in New Zealand and has been resident in New Zealand for at least one year prior to the commencement of the event in which the player intends to play), in the championship. That was prior to the deadline for notices of motion to AGM, so something could have been drafted by ACC for AGM (which was last night), and it may have been agreed as a one-off. Obviously this was unacceptable to ACC, but my understanding was that the bid had been withdrawn rather than specifically rejected later, but I guess it's semantics since the outcome is the same either way.

129th Congress in 2022 will be held in Christchurch with the same dates and format as this Congress - this was approved by Council in December and AGM last night. Congress will also include the NZ Junior Championship in the mornings, also as approved by AGM.

I also noted at AGM and to Council prior that the Tournament Rules are in need of review in terms of NZCF tournaments and their dates, formats, eligibility etc. because they no longer reflect actual practice in many cases, and that I was happy to work on that including consultation with clubs this year, and notices of motion would follow for AGM 2022. I figure a discussion paper would be helpful as the first order of business so to speak, so comments in here are useful toward that (I will also scour old threads).

Craig_Hall
10-01-2021, 02:38 PM
Congratulations to Clinton Wells, NZ Major Open Champion!

Congratulations to Nic Croad, NZ Champion!

CivicChessMan
10-01-2021, 04:36 PM
Congratulations to Nic Croad, NZ Champion!

With his win over David Cilia Vincenti in the final round, Nic Croad wins his second NZ Championship. He wins the tournament outright with 7.5 points. Croad's first title was in 2015 when he shared the honour with nine other players. Croad was unbeaten with 6 wins and 3 draws. In second place is Ben Hague on 6.5 points. He was also unbeaten with 4 wins and 5 draws. Hague and Felix Xie drew as did Anthony Ker and Bob Smith. This resulted in a three way tie for third with Xie, Ker and Leonard McLaren on 6 points.

CivicChessMan
10-01-2021, 06:04 PM
... the bid advised that it would be the top 10 players registered with FIDE as NZL, not New Zealand players (to quote the Supplementary Regulations, “New Zealand chess player" means one who holds New Zealand citizenship or who is normally resident in New Zealand and has been resident in New Zealand for at least one year prior to the commencement of the event in which the player intends to play), in the championship.

{This discussion probably belongs on a separate thread.}

There can be a number of different reasons why a New Zealand chess player is registered to another Federation. That should NOT be a factor in determining a player's eligibility to play in the New Zealand Championship. Of the current top 50 players, there are five players who are registered to other federations.

CivicChessMan
11-01-2021, 02:57 AM
The Wellington Club Championship finished a few weeks before the NZ Championship. In that tournament, Nic Croad had lost to Anthony Ker, Russell Dive and David Cilia Vincenti to finish on 6.5/10, a massive three points behind winner Ker. Quite sure Croad is delighted to have turned that around with wins against Ker and Vincenti and a draw with Dive.

Adamski
11-01-2021, 06:07 PM
Huge congratulations to Nic. What a great turn-around from that earlier tournament!

CivicChessMan
11-01-2021, 07:10 PM
Just 4 rounds played on day 1 of the NZ Rapid Championship with a further 5 scheduled for tomorrow. Fifty players are competing to become the 29th NZ Rapid Champion.

The headline grabbing news is of Felix Xie. In round 3, he knocked off the 2020 champion Anthony Ker then followed that up with a win over new NZ Champion Nic Croad in round 4. Xie has a perfect 4 out of 4. Also with the same score is Russell Dive so it will be Dive vs Xie in round 5. Ben Hague and Bob Smith drew their game in round 4 to be on 3.5 points. Ten players have 3 points including Ker, Croad and 2019 champion Ralph Hart. On board 2, Hague plays Croad and on 3, it is Hart versus Smith.

Craig_Hall
12-01-2021, 07:39 AM
Round 5 saw Dive and Xie draw after Xie blunded a piece and Dive blundered it back shortly after. Results are being updated after each round via Vega on the NZCF website at www.newzealandchess.co.nz .

CivicChessMan
12-01-2021, 07:47 AM
Round 5: Russell Dive, Felix Xie, Ben Hague 4.5; Ralph Hart, Anthony Ker, Chris Burns, Kayden Loke, Euan McDougall 4; Bob Smith, Simon Lyall 3.5; Nic Croad ++ 3.

Round 6: Xie vs Hague, McDougall vs Dive, Ker vs Loke, Burns vs Hart and Smith vs Lyall.

CivicChessMan
12-01-2021, 07:52 AM
Round 6. Comfortable win to Russell Dive and he leads "in the clubhouse" with 5.5 points.

CivicChessMan
12-01-2021, 08:03 AM
Ben Hague blunders his queen to gift the win to Feiix Xie and a share of the lead on 5.5 points. Ralph Hart overcomes Chris Burns to move to 5 points. Kayden Loke produced the game of his life to hold Anthony Ker to a draw although he made it difficult for himself trying to push for a win.

CivicChessMan
12-01-2021, 08:51 AM
The two leaders, Felix Xie and Russell Dive (5.5) play Ralph Hart (5) and Bob Smith (4.5) respectively. There are three more players on 4.5, Ben Hague and Anthony Ker who play each other and Kayden Loke who meets Nic Croad (4).

Results: Hart 1/2 Xie , Dive 1-0 Smith, Hague 1/2 Ker, Loke 1/2 Croad (after 109 moves!)

Dive takes the outright lead on 6.5 with 2 rounds to play. Xie is half a point back on 6 with a further half point back to Hart on 5.5. There are six players on 5 points, all of whom are still in with a slight chance of winning the tournament. but needing a deal of good fortune.

CivicChessMan
12-01-2021, 10:10 AM
Ben Hague (5) needs to win against Russell Dive (6.5) to stay in contention. Felix Xie (6) plays Kayden Loke (5), Anthony Ker (5) versus Ralph Hart (5.5) and Josh Langford (5) vs Dylan Piwari (5).

Ben Hague won against previous leader Russell Dive to move to 6 points, still half a point behind Dive. The new leader is Felix Xie on 7 points with a win over Kayden Loke. Also on 6 points is Dylan Piwari and Ralph Hart. Hart drew with Ker, eliminating defending champion Ker from retaining his title.

CivicChessMan
12-01-2021, 11:48 AM
Final round pairings are: Dylan Piwari (6) vs Felix Xie (7), Russell Dive (6.5) vs Thomas van der Hoorn (5.5), Ralph Hart (6) vs Ben Hague (6) and Nic Croad (5.5) vs Anthony Ker (5.5). A draw is enough for Xie to become NZ Rapid Champion but that will give Dive a chance at winning his 9th title.

Once again, Dive is in the clubhouse, leading the tournament with 7.5 points after van der Hoorn blundered early on. Felix Xie is now the only other NZ Champion contender.

Felix Xie is the NZ Rapid Champion. He finishes on 8 points, half a point ahead of Russell Dive. Ralph Hart beats Ben Hague to finish third on 7 points.

Congratulations to Felix Xie. He is the youngest NZ Rapid Champion at just 12 years old. Puchen Wang won the title when he was 16.

Craig_Hall
12-01-2021, 12:05 PM
Dive wins first, other games still going.

Capablanca-Fan
13-01-2021, 01:46 PM
Huge congratulations to Nic. What a great turn-around from that earlier tournament!

Yes, it was well deserved. He won several long games with superior positional judgment and grit.