Sunday, May 12

New Zealand Championship: Rollicking chess

We conclude our series of reports on the New Zealand Championship with a further selection of games from the event.  Our Antipodean friends are capable of producing some rollicking chess, as is evidenced, for example, by the following battle royal.  The winner, Mr. Kelling, finished in 6th place, with a score of 5 1/2 from 11 games; the loser, Mr. Dodds, finished 8th, with 4 1/2.

Mr. Dodds appears to be a particularly feisty player, though perhaps lacking a bit in steadiness and technique.  Witness the following clash, in which, unfortunately, one poor move near the finish undoes much earlier good work.

Having presented two of the gentleman's losses, it seems only just to offer a victory by Mr. Dodds.  Here he sacrifices a Knight early in the game and reaps the rewards nearly twenty moves thereafter:

A fighting spirit characterized the tournament, with players often displaying bulldog tenacity in difficult positions.  Here, in a clash between two of the three top finishers, Mr. Grierson, the eventual Champion, wins the exchange against Mr. Hicks, only to fall victim to his opponent's clever and unyielding resistance:


Finally, a striking reminder that the driest of positions can suddenly burst into flames.  We urge our readers not to overlook this encounter, in which a Rook endgame dry as driftwood leads to a heated race between passed pawns.  There is, in addition, a mystery at the close - see the note after Black's 45th move.


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