The Hawke's Bay Chess Club's first national-level event, the Hawke's Bay Rapid in Napier last Saturday 2 March 2013, ran very successfully.
Thirty-four players, including some from Auckland and Wellington, entered and the Open winner was former New Zealand champion Bob Smith from Mount Maunganui. Correspondence Grandmaster Mark Noble from Palmerston North and Tony Carpinter (Bernard's brother) from Auckland tied for second.
Fourth prize was shared by New Zealand Chess Federation president Paul Spiller from Auckland and Hamilton's Michael Freeman, who is also a top correspondence player and an NZCF councillor.
Organiser Magnus Macfarlane was very appreciative of the support and assistance from the NZCF. Two other NZCF members attended: Helen Milligan played and won the prize for the best Art Deco costume, and Keong Ang very generously offered to act as arbiter.
Martin Stafford and his computer ran the pairings system very efficiently and Bernard Carpinter's job as tournament director proved an easy one as there were no disputes.
Manawatu player Dion Charles won the junior section for players under 14 and Wellington's Andrew Brockway took the B Grade ahead of our Justin Reichs. The total prize pool was $1400 and most prize-winners also received bottles of Vidal Reserve Syrah 2010, a gold-medal-winning wine.
Magnus plans to make the tournament an annual event and hopes for more entries from Club members next year. In future the event will probably include a separate tournament for under-14 players, who this time played in the B Grade (for players rated under 1800).
The tournament was a category-one round of the Myer Tan New Zealand Chess Grand Prix series and it was the first time for many years that a national-level chess tournament had been staged in Hawke's Bay.
Hawke's Bay Rapid B Grade