The 127th NZ Open Chess Championships sponsored by KCFAP was held in the popular city of Tauranga in the eastern Bay of Plenty on the North Island of New Zealand from January 14 – 24, 2020.
NZ has the oldest national championship of any FIDE country, dating back to 1879 and a magnificent championship trophy known as the ” Silver Rook”.
This year’s championships attracted three overseas grandmasters and three international masters and players from Russia, Australia, Brazil, England, Guam, Philippines and Malta.
Second seed , grandmaster Daniel Fernandez from England was in excellent form to win convincingly with a score of 8/9, drawing with the other two GM’s Vasily Papin and Darryl Johansen and winning his other 7 games.
Second place on 6.5 points was Russian GM Vasily Papin who was also undefeated but conceded several draws.
Third place was shared between 7 players on 6 points. GM Darryl Johansen ( Australia), IM Brandon Clarke ( England), IM Herman van Riemsdijk (Brazil) , NZ IM’s Paul Garbett
& Russell Dive, FM Ben Hague and Kirill Polishchuk. Kirill Polishchuk seeded only 13th put in an excellent performance and was close to making his first IM norm.
The NZ Chess Federation would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia Pacific which has given NZ the ability to hold strong events and give opportunities for NZ players to compete against world class competition.
Report by NZCF vice- president Paul Spiller