Left: Leonard McLaren receiving his New Zealand Master Certificate from New Zealand Chess Federation
President Paul Spiller at the Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club on 18th March 2008. Photo by Stan Yee.
Right: NM Leonard McLaren - the speech. Photo by Stan Yee.
Congratulations to Leonard McLaren for achieving the National Master title
Leonard McLaren becomes the 27th National Master after finishing 4th-8th in a very strong field in the
New Zealand Chess Championship
at Auckland in January 2008. From the field of 22 there were no less than 14 Masters: 1 Grandmaster (NZL), 4 International
Masters (including one from Brazil), 6 FIDE Masters (including one from Denmark and one from Australia) and
3 National Masters. Medium Elo was 2241 and the strongest field of the New Zealand Chess Championship. We in the chess world
all know that this does not happen with just one tournament, but has taken many years to achieve.
Leonard McLaren was born in 1964. He learned to play chess aged 4 and joined a club aged about 11. He won the New Zealand
Schoolpupils Championship in 1980 (jointly) and 1981. During the 1980's he won the Wellington Championship three times. He
holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from Victoria University, Wellington, graduating in 1986.
From 1989-1991 Leonard based himself in London and played in about 100 tournaments in Greater London and England during this
time, including 3 British Championships scoring 5/11, 5/11 and 6/11 respectively. He returned to New Zealand in September
1991 with a wealth of experience, and then took a year off from chess. In late 1992 he got back into chess, and over the
next several years slowly and painstakingly started to accumulate those National Master points. He was 3= in the
New Zealand Championship in 2001. He was North Island Champion (jointly with Paul Garbett) 2004, 2006 and (jointly with
Don Eade) 2007.
Just before the New Zealand Championship in January 2008 he had accumulated 88 Master points. An outstanding performance of
4th= at that tournament saw him break the 100 points barrier required to achieve his National Master title.
One interesting achievement by Leonard was his victory over Grandmaster Drazen Sermek of Slovenia (Elo 2577) at the Auckland
International Open Tournament in 2003 that our Club stalwart Paul Spiller organised at the Pakuranga Country Club. It was
during the last round and cost Drazen the chance of first place. He considers this to be his best result in an individual
31/01/2003 L McLaren vs D Sermek 1-0
The highest FIDE rating he has achieved was 2283 and he is currently rated at 2227 (October 2008).
The Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club extends our whole-hearted congratulations to Leonard on this lifetime achievement.
We are fortunate enough to have Leonard McLaren coaching our Junior classes every Tuesday night. We rotate our Juniors so
that Leonard takes about 12 children in each class, so that all 60-70 children get some coaching about once every two months.
Leonard has also given his time to playing a Simultaneous Display against the rest of the Club. On occasion a very strong
player will run a group training session, open to Juniors and Seniors. Photo by Craig Blaxall.
One-on-one coaching is not offered by the Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club, but can be arranged for your child with
a Freelance Coach. Leonard McLaren or Ewen Green are mobile Freelance Coaches, and will call at your home.
NM Leonard McLaren - Freelance Coach
A National Master, Leonard actively teaches at clubs and schools in a range of locations in the Auckland area. He is the
official Coach of the Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club.
Leonard is based in Onehunga, Auckland. He is mobile, and teaches at your home. You will need to make separate payment
arrangements with Leonard for your child's Freelance Coaching. Photo by Helen Milligan.
Phone: (09) 622 3289
FM Ewen Green - Freelance Coach
Former New Zealand Champion, Olympiad player, FIDE Master (World Chess Federation Master) and FIDE Trainer. Ewen actively
teaches at clubs and schools in a range of locations in the Auckland area.
Ewen is based in Mt. Eden, Auckland. He is mobile, and teaches at your home. You will need to make separate payment
arrangements with Ewen for your child's Freelance Coaching. Photo by Helen Milligan.
Phone: (09) 630 2042 and ask for Ewen
Mobile: 021 266 4678