For those of you who weren't there, no controversial decisions were taken, and subscription rates remain the same as last year.
After the meeting, 11 of us had a round robin blitz tournament, with Anthony Ker challenging himself by giving himself the handicap of playing with 1 minute against his opponents' 5. He only lost 2 games and came joint first with me.
Here is my Club Captain report, which just briefly summarises our 2013 year.
Captain’s report 2013
After the shake-ups of the previous year, 2013 was partly a year of consolidation, and settling into our new home. This was our first full year of being in the Wellington Bridge Club building, and I think on balance we can declare the move to have been a success.
The great advantage of the Bridge Club is the extra space we have to accommodate the increased membership. On one occasion towards the end of the year we had 42 members attending and playing competitive chess, which would have been pretty much impossible in Turnbull House. Of course, this number pales in comparison with the bridge players next door, but I suppose this gives us something to aspire towards.
Our removal from Turnbull House did not render us immune from the consequences of earthquakes - far from it. We were forced to play the blitz tournament and the first rounds of the Club Championship in the small upstairs room while the bridge players requisitioned our room after the large July earthquake damaged the roof in the main room downstairs. This was far from ideal.
The weather also affected play - on one occasion a violent storm nearly blocked the Ngauranga gorge, and on another heavy rain caused a huge internal flood in the Southeast corner of the playing room. On both occasions our valiant members by and large gritted their teeth and carried on playing.
The year started very strongly, with our club organising the 2013 New Zealand Congress in the CQ Hotel in Cuba Street. This was a great success, and is, I hope, the start of a long and fruitful partnership between the Club and this superb venue. Many thanks to Alan Aldridge for setting this up for us. Scott Wastney’s amazing string of victories at the Championship will no doubt be talked about for many years to come!
Whether it was the enthusiasm generated by the championship, or some other reason, numbers were certainly up from the previous year. A total of 45 players were signed up for the Summer Cup, and, after a dip in the middle of the season, numbers went up again for the Julian Mazur Memorial, with 43 players registered. As always, there was a certain turnover of members, and it was sad to say goodbye to Mike Turner (relocated to Singapore) and Matt Veldhuizen (to Auckland). But we have a whole load of fresh new faces at the club, some of them very young indeed, and chess in Wellington seems to be in good health. One welcome change is that we now have four female members playing regularly at the club, whereas only a couple of years ago we had none.
For me, there were quite a few highlights this year. Of course there was the championship where Scott Wastney laid waste to the opposition with 10 out of 11, but there was also Russell Dive’s return to form with, for example 8/8 in the North Island Championship and 9/9 in the Club Championship. Then there was Layla Timergazi winning (jointly) the NZ Under 18 Rapid title at the tender age of 12. Towards the other end of the age scale Pat Cunningham increased his rating by over 300 points, and Don Stracy achieved his highest ever NZCF rating. On a personal level, I managed to beat Anthony for the first time ever, and made it into the top 50 players in New Zealand, although this is likely to be short-lived.
Once again thanks are in order to the hard-working members of the committee, particularly Ross Jackson who also serves on the NZCF committee, Andrew Brockway for his exemplary work in the under-praised role of treasurer, secretary Brian Nijman, and Bill Forster who deserves a special mention for his editorship of the NZ Chess magazine, and for his educational and highly entertaining reports on the club website.
1. Scott Wastney 7.5/8
2-3 Mark van der Hoorn, Ian Sellen 6/8
4-5 Anthony Ker, Andrew Stone 5.5/8
Winners: The Crazed Wildebeests (Scott’s team)
Runners up: The Divebombers (Russell’s team)
A Grade 1. Anthony Ker 4.5/5 2. Scott Wastney 3/5 3-4. Brian Nijman, Mark van der Hoorn 2.5/5
B Grade 1. Ian Sellen 4/5 2-5 Alan Aldridge, Ross Jackson, Rama Rao Miriyala, Michael Nyberg 2.5/5
C Grade 1 Peter Stoeveken 3.5/5 2-3. Philip Rossiter, Bruce Kay 3/5
D Grade 1 Don Stracy 4/5 . 2. Lawrence Farrington 3.5/5 3 Robert List 3/5
E Grade 1 Pat Cunningham 6/6 2. Roshan Wevita 5/6 3 Andrew Sknar 4/6
1 Russell Dive 9/10
2 Anthony Ker 7.5/10
3-4 Alan Aldridge, Ross Jackson 6.5/10
1 Russell Dive 5/5
2 Anthony Ker 4/5
3 Michael Nyberg 3/5
1 Russell Dive 9/9
2 Anthony Ker 7.5/9
3 Mark van der Hoorn 5.5/9
1 Ross Jackson 7.5/10
2 Layla Timergazi 7/10
3 Efrain Tionko, Rama Rao Miriyala 6.5/10
1 Andrew Brockway 7.5/9
2 Ken Heaton 7/9
3 Pat Cunningham 6/9
1-2 Karthik Konakanchi, Joshua Wight 8/10
3 Taina Walters 6/10
Julian Mazur Memorial
1-2 Scott Wastney, Russell Dive 6.5/8
3-4 Anthony Ker, Mark van der Hoorn 6/8