The New Zealand Chess Federation

While the very first chess club in New Zealand was formed in Dunedin, September 1863, it wasn’t until the 1870’s that the New Zealand Chess Association , later renamed the New Zealand Chess Federation, was formed. The name change came with the association’s re-founding in 1892.

Today, the New Zealand Chess Federation is involved in virtually all of the major chess related events in the country. One of the most prestigious of these is the annual championship, which is usually held over the Christmas and the New Year holidays.

According to Australian master, C. J. S. Purdy, New Zealand holds the world record for having the most annual tourneys as far as national chess championships are concerned. Purdy made this statement in 1955.

New Zealand is also notable for being one of the very first countries to make use of the telegraphic interclub chess as a method of playing the game. 1866 was a notable year for the New Zealand Chess Federation since it was the year that Christchurch won out over Nelson in two consultation chess games. It was in 1869 that the first interclub match was held between Canterbury and Otago. The New Zealand Chess Federation is also noteworthy for supporting the Bledisloe Cup in 1933, which was presented by the country’s Governor-General. Until recently this event was played every year.

The federation’s officers are Graham Haase and Bill Poole as vice-patrons; Ted Frost, Peter Stuart, Gordon Hoskyn, and Arie Nijman, who are designated as life members; Bob Smith, who serves as President; Paul Spiller as Vice President; Bob Mitchell in the position of Secretary; Anthony Whitehouse the Treasurer; Vivian Smith and Michael Steadman, who are the councilors for Auckland; Michael Freeman, Quentin Johnson, Craig Hall, Hilton Bennett, and Ross Jackson, who are all regional councilors; Bob Mitchell, Bob Smith, and Craig Hall, who are all part of the rules revision committee; Bob Smith, Paul Spiller, and Hilton Bennett, who are in charge of tournaments; Vivian Smith, Felicity Timings, Michael Steadman, Quentin Johnson, Gary Judkins, and Jacinta Buist of the junior division; Paul Spiller, Michael Steadman, and Bob Smith, who are in charge of sponsorship and publicity; Vivian Smith as the Rating Officer; Bob Gibbons who is in charge of ratings; Rowan Wood as the Rating Administrator; Grand Prix members Hilton Bennett, Bob Smith, and Alexei Kulashko; Vivian Smith and Jacinta Buist who represent the Women’s division; Bob Mitchell as the Registrar of Master Points; Editor of the New Zealand Chess Magazine Graeme Trass; Michael Freeman, Russell Dive, Bob Gibbons, and Richard Sutton as selectors; and Michael Freeman as the delegate to FIDE.

The headquarters of the New Zealand Chess Federation can currently be found at PO Box 216, Shortland Street, Auckland, New Zealand.