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CHANDLER STAGES BIGGEST NZ CHESS TOURNAMENT IN QUEENSTOWN
[January 06, 2006]

CHANDLER STAGES BIGGEST NZ CHESS TOURNAMENT IN QUEENSTOWN


(New Zealand Press Association Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Wellington, Jan 7 NZPA - New Zealand's only grandmaster Murray Chandler is staging the country's biggest-ever open chess tournament in Queenstown later this month.

With a prize fund of $30,000, Chandler hopes the Queenstown Chess Classic will attract more than 200 players -- including many from overseas. The tournament will double up as the New Zealand championships for 2006.

Chandler will play, as will Australia's top player and grandmaster Ian Rogers. Other countries represented will include Britain, Germany, Slovenia, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Japan, Canada and Switzerland.

Of the resident New Zealand players, international master Anthony Ker from Wellington is an early entry.

New Zealand's first chess master, Bob Wade, is returning at the age of 84 to play in the tournament.

Born in Dunedin, Wade left New Zealand in the late 1940s to play chess in Europe. He had already won the New Zealand championship three times. In 1950 his results earned him the international master title and he won the British championship in 1952 and 1970.



Originally from Wainuiomata in the Hutt Valley, Chandler left New Zealand as a 15-year-old to play chess around the world. Basing himself in Britain, he became one of the world's top 20 players at his peak and is now a leading writer and publisher of chess books.

His last New Zealand tournament was the Plaza International in Wellington in 1988, when he tied for first with former world champion Boris Spassky and Russian grandmaster Eduard Gufeld.


``Now I want to give something back to New Zealand chess,'' Chandler said.

The tournament runs from January 15 to 24, with additional rapid-play and lightning chess events on January 25 and 26.

Chandler, who bought an apartment in Queenstown after visiting four years ago, is banning agreed draws in less than 30 moves.

``I want to see some real fighting chess, not tame draws where people don't even try to win,'' Chandler said.

NZPA WGT nb

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