Archive for March, 2011

Chess in prison

Posted: 29/03/2011 by Scott in Club News

I spent an interesting few hours at a prison on Sunday. No, I have not been bad, not even naughty. But the inmates do spend a lot of time playing chess, and so I was looking at how feasible it was to support that need. Being a community volunteer in a prison is an interesting experience. Sure, there are police checks, and photo id to show each time, but the whole process is fairly easy to use and is not onerous. Your personal safety is always an issue anywhere you go, but it cannot be any worse in a prison, the way I can see it working.

I am thinking of holding a session on a regular basis, for say 3 hours, one unit per visit. A unit consists of say 40-60 prisoners. The whole prison may hold 1000 prisoners. Sure, not all units or all prisoners will be interested in chess. But what I can do is not limited – teach chess, just play some chess, hold a simul or an event amongst the prisoners – and would be in response to their needs. If it gets organised enough, it could be inter-unit competitions – the winner to hold the conquest cup!

If anyone has any suggestions, or has had experience before or whatever, please get in touch.

Note that in NZ, volunteers do receive a $150 (3 x $50) petrol voucher following 6 prison visits a year.


The New Zealand Chess Federation has $2800 in grants available to assist junior players to participate in next January’s prestigious Queenstown Chess Classic. Thanks to generous sponsorship from The Friends of Chess and The Steel Trust, there are seven grants available of $400 each.
Any New Zealand junior player under 18 on the date Queenstown begins (15th January 2012) is eligible to apply. Please e-mail your name, rating and a brief supporting paragraph to the NZCF Secretary Helen Milligan on

Initial applications will close on May 15th 2011. In June the selectors will announce the first four successful applicants, and the remaining three
grants will be awarded following the NZ National Junior Championships in July 2011.

A stock news break

Posted: 24/03/2011 by Scott in Club News

Just in case you missed it, the Hamilton Press ran a story yesterday about the Lara Stock/Michael Stock affair, with a picture and some quotes. See the article WGM wins Hamilton Rookies Shield 23Mar2011. It looks fairly accurate – I just thought they could have added a mention of this site as well.

Contributions most welcome!

Posted: 16/03/2011 by Scott in Club News

If you would like to contribute posts or images to this site, or be an author or editor for instance, then please get in touch! So come on, all those budding reporters or photographers out there – make a name for yourself.

Rookies Shield round 2, 10 Apr 2011

Posted: 14/03/2011 by Scott in Club News

Our now world famous Rookies Shield series of events will hold its second round on 10 April. Full details are here. This is already shaping to be our biggest and best event so far, with 20 entries already! We hope to use the large upstairs space for the games, and keep the usual club room downstairs for fun/analysis chess between the ‘serious’ stuff upstairs. So please register online so we can plan our resources for the big day!

Edit 4/4/11: So far we have 22 players (18 juniors) registered, to make it an interesting day this Sunday. A few more game adults would be appreciated! And a new entry fee: usually it is normally $15 for adults, but now it is just $10 if also entering a juniorcome on you parents – take up the challenge and mix it up with your kids!

With fantastic weather, we had 17 players (11 juniors) contest 6 hard fought rounds. Richard Dare went through undefeated with 5.5. Judd Zhan won the U1400 rating group and Benjamin Symon won the ‘U1200 and U12′ group. We were also entertained throughout the day with music wafting across from the other side of the river – perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but still it provided an edge to some people’s play (or their grating teeth).  Full results are here.

Our next Sunday event is the Round 2 of the (world famous) Rookies Shield on 10 April. Please register for that here.

Hamilton Rapid – coming soon!

Posted: 06/03/2011 by Scott in Club News

Putting other interesting and well reported events behind us [two masked visitors and the new club site web address ( – but if you are reading this you have already found us], it is time to focus on our next important tournament! The NZCF rated Hamilton Rapid is on this Sunday (13th) at the Hamilton Chess Centre from 10am to 4.30pm. There will be 6 rounds of 20+5 chess.

Cash Prizes will be given for overall 1st and 2nd, the highest scoring adult, highest unrated player, and for the best U18, U16, U14, U12, U10 and U8 players (players can only win one prize). The prize pool is 80% of entry fees after expenses *.

Please go here for more information or to register see here.

Players must be NZCF registered or pay the NZCF registration fee ($20) before round 1.

Entry fees:
$20 for adults
$15 for juniors and Hamilton Chess Club members
$0 for GM, IM, WGM, WIM

Be there from 10am – and there will be a 35 minute lunch break after round 2.

* Notes:

  • The organiser reserves the right to accept or reject any entry.
  • The event will be conducted under the FIDE laws of chess and the Hamilton Chess Club code of ethics (see library).
At great expense to the Hamilton Chess Club management, two strong chess players were secretly imported from Europe to test the resolve and current skill level of the Waikato juniors and beginners on 20th Feb. Lara Stock (wgm) and her father Michael Stock (2200+) cleverly kept their relationship, ages – she was over 18 – and identities secret (by using false names) and both convincingly blitzed the field of up and coming but unsuspecting budding chess enthusiasts. We all enjoyed the lessons learned – both on and off the chess board, of honesty and integrity or what happens when there is a lack of it. Stay tuned for the next secret mission of the management – we may be able to exhume Bobby Fischer yet! Some pics of our undercover chess players are below. Update 05/03/2011: You may also wish to follow where else the pair have been, and other Australian/New Zealand reaction here.  


Club Rapid Championship Update

Posted: 01/03/2011 by Scott in Club News

This 7-round 20+5 tournament started 4 weeks ago (we are playing 1 round on each club night). After 4 rounds, and with a few players taking the odd 1/2 point bye, Hilton Bennett is the outright leader. See the current cross table under events, that also includes the provisional draw for the next round. Go Stefan to reign in the bolter!.