GM Hans-Joachim Hecht            GM Hecht and the Club            Black survives the attack 
    The famous Tal - Hecht game          Visitors were welcomed      but White has better pawn structure
   at the Varna Olympiad in 1962
         Photo by Stan Yee                 Photo by Stan Yee                  Photo by Stan Yee          
3rd February 2009 Lecture by Grandmaster Hans-Joachim Hecht
Opening night with Juniors registration and Round Robins, Start 6.30pm. This will be followed by a lecture to the Seniors from Grandmaster Hans-Joachim Hecht 8.00pm to 9.00pm. Seniors and parents please bring a plate for supper, for Hans-Joachim's 70th birthday. Other clubs’ members are welcome.

Hans-Joachim Hecht was born on the 29th of January 1939 in Luckenwalde, Germany. Awarded the IM title in 1969, the GM title in 1973, and the IMC title in 1980, he was West German Champion in 1970 and 1973. In tournaments he was 1st= at Bad Pyrmont 1970, 1st at Olot 1971, 1st at Malaga 1972, 1st at Montilla-Moriles 1972 and 1st= at Dortmund 1973. He has also played for West Germany in a number of Olympiads between 1962 and 1986. Biography from

His latest international result was 12th= place in the Queenstown Classic in New Zealand in 2009. He was 4th= place in the Queenstown Classic in 2006. He celebrates his 70th birthday in New Zealand on Thursday 29th January 2009, in the company of his lovely wife. Yes, he brought his wife along for the lecture, thereby verifying his GM credentials!

GM Hecht talked us through his famous game against ex-World Champion Mikhail Tal at the Varna Olympiad in 1962. Tal left three pieces en prise including his Queen, and then sacrificed his Queen. Hecht survived the attack, and went into a Rook and pawn ending, but his pawns were shattered and his Knight was on the edge of the board. White eventually broke through with his Kingside pawn majority to win. It was a most instructive game, demonstrating the power of the coordinated White pieces against the undeveloped and uncoordinated Black defence.

This famous painting was found by GM Hecht, of his own game, so of course he had to buy it! It has the Black pawn missing from c5. 1962 M Tal vs H Hecht 1-0

Another game that GM Hecht lectured on was his game against GM Raymond Keene, author of numerous chess books. It was played in Brunnen, Switzerland in 1966. This is an incredible game, for two reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates the power of attacking the Black King. GM Hecht had seven pieces at his disposal, and they danced to his music. Secondly, the analysis proves that a correct defence was available and would have won. Of course this is always difficult to find in practice. 16/05/66 H Hecht vs R Keene 1-0

         NM Leonard McLaren                   NM Leonard McLaren
   White develops classical style         Black violates the opening                
                                          principles by moving pawns
         Photo by Stan Yee                    Photo by Stan Yee                  
15th July 2008 Lecture by National Master Leonard McLaren
National Master Leonard McLaren, our Club Coach, gave the Seniors a lecture tonight. It was a great opportunity to hear Leonard provide a unique insight into chess strategy. The basis of his lecture was "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy" by IM John Watson. It is a book for strong club players, who already have a grasp of the general principles of "classical" chess, as espoused by the dogmatic Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch and Aaron Nimzovitch, and advocates a strategy of exceptions. So, basic established key general principles such as developing Knights before Bishops, don't play a Knight to the edge of the board, and Bishops being worth more than Knights, are replaced by the modern Watson thinking of analysing a specific line to conclude, say, whether to exchange a particular minor piece. Watson calls that "rule independence". Leonard gave a good example of this from a Pirc Defence game, where Black had moved pawns for most of the opening and had only developed his Queen, whilst White had developed all his pieces except one Rook, yet Black forced the White King to the embarrassing e3 square and won.

This "rules versus analysis" strategy does not come as a surprise, given the advent of computers in chess and the ensuing analysis by computers to find the best line. A good example of this at the highest level is ex-world champion GM Vladimir Kramnik who as Black regularly plays the Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 conceding his castling rights. A modern GM playing White would say it loses tempi in the opening and allows doubled pawns, so is anti-positional despite having the two Bishops. Fritz 10 gives the position as += (0.42) Depth=20.45 or slightly in White's favour. The irony is that even Dr. Tarrasch played it as Black versus Moritz Porges in 1892 and won, then played it as White versus Emanuel Lasker three years later, and also won! So, Kramnik is from the same school of thought as Watson, and puts far more emphasis into analysis than general principles or rules. He puts a lot of preparation into computer work, and plays much like a computer, and his match versus Deep Fritz in 2002 was reflective of this.

Another book Leonard referred to was "Chess for Zebras" by Jonathan Rowson. This book provides a unique or unconventional way, as the title suggests, to improve your chess. It attempts to improve your play by using a psychological approach.

           FI Tal Granite                 Tal Granite gives lecture 
 Photo           Photo by Stan Yee                  
6th May 2008 Lecture by FI Tal Granite
FIDE Instructor Tal Granite from Israel is visiting New Zealand and accepted an invitation to visit our Club. So we were more than happy to slot him in rather than play the planned Lightning Round Robin. It was a good opportunity to hear him give a lecture. Tal led us through the process that he went through to become a FIDE Instructor in 2006, from his travel arrangements to the different aspects of training required at the FIDE Academy in Berlin. He also explained the structured process in teaching chess to juniors. Tal is holidaying with his wife and family, doing it in true Kiwi fashion - they are travelling around the North Island in a campervan! He was even brave enough to drive himself to and from our Club, at night. A quick quiz showed he did know his way around Auckland, but he did mention that he had to accustom himself to driving on the left hand side of the road. Safe driving Tal, and happy holidaying! P.S. Tal, a list of New Zealand Chess Clubs and their emails and club nights can be found at NZ Chess Federation and we are sure you will be most welcome.

A FIDE Instructor or FI is required to have 2 years experience and a minimum rating of 1800. A FIDE Trainer or FT is required to have 5 years experience and a minimum rating of 2300 i.e. be a FIDE Master, and submit a 12 page trainer paper. New Zealand currently has only 2 FT and 4 FI: FT Ewen Green (HP), FT Bob Smith (WT), FI William Lynn (HA), FI Vivian Smith (WT), FI Victor Wang (CA) and FI Bruce Wheeler (AC).

      IM Herman van Riemsdijk         Fischer always played the Sozin        f5 is the thematic move 
      Photo by Helen Milligan                Photo by Stan Yee                  Photo by Stan Yee
5th February 2008 Lecture by IM Herman van Riemsdijk
International Master Herman Claudius van Riemsdijk was born on the 26th of August 1948 in Tiel, The Netherlands. He is a citizen of Brazil. He was Brazilian Champion in 1970 and 1973 and Pan American Champion in 1977. He was awarded the International Master title in 1978.

We have been fortunate in the past to have had two Grandmasters in Julen Arizmendi and Stuart Conquest to give lectures. In fact we can probably boast more top class lectures than any other New Zealand club. Herman is a great lecturer and has just had a top result in the Australian Championship, finishing 2nd= on 8/11 with IM Stephen Solomon. He also finished 4th-7th in the New Zealand Championship, and won the New Zealand Rapid.

Herman gave a lecture based on Bobby Fischer's favourite Leonhard-Sozin Attack, after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bc4, and demonstrated with several games how Fischer was such a master of that type of position. Herman then showed us what he had learnt from Fischer, achieving similar positions and using the thematic f5 to force Black to play ... e5 and thereby create a weak square on d5 for a White Knight outpost. Then he proceeded to show us how to win from that position. We stopped for a great supper, but Herman carried on informally, showing a crowd of keen players more tips from games on his laptop - so we took the supper to him! We all had a fantastic evening, and made a donation to help him get back to Brazil ... His last stop is Hamilton, for another lecture, before flying back home. Thanks Herman, and have a safe trip back!

         IM Puchen Wang              What kind of a move is that?       Oh, better give the camera one 
     Photo by Helen Milligan              Photo by Stan Yee                   Photo by Stan Yee
29th January 2008 Simul by IM Puchen Wang
International Master Puchen Wang
was born on 20th January 1990 in China, and citizen of New Zealand - 18 years old. He participated in the Olympiads of 2004 and 2006. He became the New Zealand Champion, Rapid Champion and Lightning Champion in January 2007. In May 2007 he was unbeaten in the Zonal Tournament of Oceania, played in Fiji. His score of 6˝/9 was enough for second place and the award of the International Master title. He was invited to the Euwe Stimulus Tournament in Arnhem, The Netherlands, 17-26 August 2007. It was an invitational tournament in the format of a nine round Round Robin. Together with this group, ten players competed in a regional group. Players included Grandmasters Barua, Panno, Olafsson and Gaprindashvili. The tournament was won by Simutowe, and Puchen was placed third. He was not able to defend his New Zealand Champion title in January 2008 as he was due to sit an exam, but he did retain his Lightning title.

Puchen played a simultaneous display against members and playing guests John McRae and Bob Mitchell, with moral support from non-playing guest FIDE Master Ewen Green, to help launch Puchen on his attempt on the Grandmaster title in 2008. Puchen will be travelling to Europe mid-February 2008 to play in several strong events to gain experience and provide opportunities to ultimately becoming New Zealand's second Grandmaster. He is being supported and project managed in this by the New Zealand Chess Federation, and there was a "launch" at the 115th New Zealand Chess Congress in January 2008 of "Project Grandmaster". Donations at Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club exceeded $700, and we all wish Puchen every success. P.S. Puchen won all 25 games!

Project Grandmaster Puchen Wang, one of the best chess-playing juniors New Zealand has ever produced, is taking a gap year before university to try to achieve the grandmaster title. The New Zealand Chess Federation is seeking to provide the best tournament format and funding vehicle to maximise Puchen's chances for success - we estimate a budget of $50,000 is required. Donors will have access to a special website where Puchen will report his results, annotate some games, and keep us in touch with how he is getting on. If you would like to be part of this project, then please, donate some money! You can make donations using the Automatic Payment form - right click and "Save Target As" to save the jpg file to your hard drive, then double click the file and print from your hard drive. Fill it in, inserting your name in "Details to appear on payee's Bank statement", and send it to your Bank. Or set up an online Automatic Payment, or make an one-off lump sum online payment, to the NZCF Puchen Wang Trust at ANZ Milford Branch account no. 010178-0069910-00, remembering to insert your name in "Details to appear on payee's Bank statement". Email Mike Steadman to get details of the special website for donors. Otherwise, contact Mike phone 021-799-566 to find out what you can do to help Puchen.

Wikipedia on Puchen Wang

 NZ Champion 2008, GM Murray Chandler         2nd= IM Russell Dive & Mike Steadman
 Photo by Helen Milligan                             Photo by Helen Milligan
15th - 25th January 2008 New Zealand Chess Supplies 115th New Zealand Chess Congress
A lot of our players were at the 115th New Zealand Chess Congress from 15th January to 25th January. It was held at the Copthorne Harbourcity Hotel in Downtown Auckland, part of the Millennium Hotels and Resorts which is the sponsor of the nationwide chess Grand Prix tournaments.

All Final Results and Games from the New Zealand Chess Congress
Major Open Final Results and Games from the New Zealand Chess Congress
Photos from the New Zealand Chess Congress

       GM Stuart Conquest 
     Photo by Helen Milligan              
4th September 2007 Lecture by GM Stuart Conquest
English Grandmaster Stuart Conquest
gave a lecture at our Club. The photo was taken on 16/09/07 with Stuart on his way to winning the Devonport Rapid. He also visited our Club again on 25/09/07 to look at our Swiss Rapid tournament. See "Photos".

       GM Julen Arizmendi 
     Photo by Paul Spiller?              
18th April 2006 Lecture by GM Julen Arizmendi
Spanish Grandmaster Julen Arizmendi
giving a lecture on the Slav Defence, whilst on honeymoon in beautiful New Zealand. Yes, he brought his wife along for the lecture! See "Photos".

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