Brows will be furrowed in intense concentration when about 120 players compete in the 2009 Queenstown Classic International Chess Festival, which begins today.
Players of all skill levels are expected at the open tournament and it has been billed as the strongest field of chess players assembled in Oceania.
There will be 39 titled competitors going head-to-head, including 11 grandmasters and six women grandmasters.
Players hail from Australia, England, Germany, Norway, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania, Moldova, Greece, Russia and Israel.
A record $50,000 in prize money is on offer, with $10,000 going to the winner.
Festival promoter Murray Chandler, of Auckland, is this country’s most successful chess player and was ranked in the elite world top 20 in the 1980s when he played professionally full-time.
He is the current New Zealand champion and represented his country on board one at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden.
“The festival is an extraordinary opportunity for New Zealand players of virtually any strength to play against top international players,” Chandler said.
“It’s a tournament when everybody plays in one big event. For example, a novice could play a grandmaster in the first game, because everyone starts with zero points.
“The top players take these early games seriously. The thing about chess is, if you make one mistake you lose.”
The festival will run until January 24 at the Millennium Hotel, in Queenstown.
A total of 62 boards have been set up in the Galaxy Ballroom, the top six linked to a global audience via www.newzealandchess.co.nz.
Here is the full article.
Sign up for my free email chess course for Beginners and Club Players. In this free course, I focus on helping beginner chess players see the entire board. You will learn how to attack your opponent from move 1 and create a new threat with every single move! I’ve created this series of lessons designed to help beginner and club level players understand the game at a deeper level so that you can start beating higher rated players immediately. Start getting free tips from me directly to your inbox!
– GM Susan Polgar