Report about official NZCF National Interschools Chess Finals held on 26th and 27th September 2020 at Mount Maunganui College.

NZCF National Interschools Finals 2020

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NZCF National Interschools Finals 2020

Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th September 2020

COVID-19 Situation

This year has been and still is a difficult one for interschool chess due to COVID-19. It is impossible to socially distance when playing chess over the board. Both players of a game are less than a meter apart from each other for the duration of the game and would often touch the same objects. This national finals would be similar to national finals in the past where people from all parts of New Zealand would be indoors where social distancing would be difficult and impractical.

COVID-19 banner

A courageous decision was made to take the elevated risk for this prestigious event to go ahead as planned on 26th and 27th September, providing that the Bay of Plenty is in level one. This overrules the COVID-19 contingency plan that was made after mid-August COVID-19 lockdown and then incrementally modified on 27th August and 5th September that would have cancelled the national finals.

We know of 207 players in 48 teams competing over 3 divisions with most teams coming from Auckland where the COVID-19 community outbreak is located. Auckland teams are distributed between divisions as follows; 7/14 teams in Secondary, 10/16 teams in Intermediate, 10/18 teams in Primary. The event would be severely diminished if the Auckland teams that have usually dominated the competition cannot participate.

Mount Maunganui College should be especially appreciated for providing the venue to host what could still possibly be a COVID-19 super-spreader event despite not having a chess team! Just budgeting for potential deep cleaning costs alone (of around $30,000 if an infectious person was present) shows an admirable depth of commitment by a school whose students have practically no chess activity.

Auckland based participants and spectators would find it a relief to have some respite from lockdown life for a weekend. The Bay of Plenty is within convenient driving distance to be free of Auckland’s higher COVID-19 alert level restrictions.

Event Information


Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th September 2020

Mount Maunganui

Although NZ Chess News is based in Auckland, the national finals is a significantly large event to warrant dispatching our people to check out the location. Monday 21st September was a beautiful sunny day for a trip around Mount Maunganui. We recommend the place and enjoyed our respite from Auckland’s COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of tourist type photos here are some photos that would be of more practical use for those who come here.


Mount Maunganui College, 565 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui.


The event comprises three sections/divisions:

  1. Primary (years 1-6 students).
  2. Intermediate (years 7-8 students).
  3. Secondary (years 9-13 students).

Each section will be run as a Swiss with 7 rounds.

All games in all sections/divisions are UNRATED.

Time Controls

The time control will be 25 minutes plus 5 seconds increment per move using digital chess clocks.


Start Time Date
Players assembly 10am Saturday 26th
Round 1 10.20am Saturday 26th
Round 2 11.30am Saturday 26th
Lunch Break 12.30pm Saturday 26th
Round 3 1.30pm Saturday 26th
Round 4 2.40pm Saturday 26th
Round 5 3.50pm Saturday 26th
Round 6 10am Sunday 27th
Round 7 11.10am Sunday 27th
Prize giving 12.30pm Sunday 27th


National Final Organiser: IO/FM Bob Smith

Chief Arbiter: Bob Smith

Arbiters (Intermediate): Scott Wastney, Nicole Qin.

Arbiters (Primary): Vivian Smith, Wayne McDougall, Anton Coppens.

All arbiters are unlicensed and the event is UNRATED.


Orion Webpage View

We have collated comprehensive tournament information about teams and their players from multiple sources.

Link to Orion webpages for Secondary, Intermediate, and Primary.

Note that Orion webpages are unofficial and official tournament information may differ slightly.


Medal winning teams.

Position Team Players
1st Auckland Grammar A FM Daniel Hanwen Gong, FM Allen Chi Zhou Fan, Aaron Ziwen Wang, Francisco Calvalcanti.
2nd Westlake Boys High CM Richard Meng, Jeffrey Yu, Pridiyathon Kulchayodom, Kevin Shen Su.
3rd Hamilton Boys' High Eushin Kang, Michael Lin, Max Stephens, Nathanael Loy.
1st Takapuna Normal Intermediate Matthew Chen, Eddie Kim, Yitian Chen, Ruichen Wang, Bevis Jiang.
2nd Auckland Normal Intermediate oscar Shu Xuan Qin, Jacob Yuan, Michael Ma, Jerry Dai, Zihao Lin.
3rd ACG Parnell Felix Xie, Allen Weng, Ethan Zhang, Lanjun Liu.
1st Pigeon Mountain Primary Zikun Kenneth Liu, Anthony Hu, Alexander Hanrui Pan, Annie Yue.
2nd Hillsborough Primary Hunter Po'e-Tofaeono, Grayson Po'e-Tofaeono, Ayaan Vasudeva, Xabi Jenkyn-Jones, Nithya Anegondi.
3rd Pinehurst Nicholas Xu, Jerry Yang, Shuntaro Nozaki, Ivan Wu, Richard Zheng.

Top scoring players by board.

Board Score Player Team
1 7/7 FM Daniel Hanwen Gong Auckland Grammar A
2 6.5/7 Michael Lin Hamilton Boys' High
3 5.5/7 Max Stephens Hamilton Boys' High
4 7/7 Francisco Calvalcanti Auckland Grammar A
1 7/7 Oscar Shu Xuan Qin Auckland Normal Intermediate
2 6/7 Arthur Chu The Gardens
3 6/7 Eric Mironov ACG Sunderland
4 6/7 Lanjun Liu ACG Parnell
1 6.5/7 Isabelle Yixuan Ning Kristin
2 6.5/7 Kendrick Botong Zhang Kristin
3 7/7 Alexander Hanrui Pan Pigeon Mountain Primary
4 7/7 Annie Yue Pigeon Mountain Primary


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