The Chess Power Champions Trophy events were held on Sunday 23rd October 2022, following the conclusion of the Teams Nationals the previous day. The onsite and online tournaments saw 178 and 93 competitors, respectively, taking to the chessboard. Qualifiers included those throughout 2022 who had individually placed in the top three individuals in their divisions at regional tournaments across New Zealand, alongside those who had gained an entry by finishing in the top ten individual standing at the Teams Nationals the day before.
With each player competing against nine other individuals of similar age and ranking, the tournament saw fantastic chess and close results reflected by the final standing across both formats and all divisions.
The Junior division saw Grayson Po’e-Tofaeono backup the previous day’s performance, this time with an outright first place scoring 8.5 out of nine. Following Grayson were four players all tied with a score of 7 with tie-breaks used to determine placings, Koki Hara (second), Eden Xu (third), Khelan Shors (fourth) and Oscar M Petersen (fifth), rounding up a close top five players.
The online Junior division’s top prize went to Oscar Cui with a perfect nine from 9 score. Harvey Zhang finished in second with a score of 7.5, while Dorian O’Rourke placed third on tie-break with Great Boyou Lau placing fourth with 6.5 points.
Hunter Po’e-Tofaeono won the Intermediate division with a perfect score of nine from nine. Second placed Zane Sarmad finished with a 7.5 score, and four players all scored 6.5 with tie-breaks used to separate them, Darie Bernard Robinson (third), Buthsara Hettiarachchi (fourth), Aaron Li (fifth) and Bodhi Denhauser (sixth).
The online Intermediate division came down to the last round which saw Artem Anikonov take first with a score of 8. Just behind on 7.5, Daksh Bhatt finished a close second. Matthew Keith (third), Arush Gupta (fourth) and Ayaan Vasudeva (fifth) completed a full podium all sharing a score of 6.5 with tie-breaks used to separate them.
The Open division had a close-finishing top three with Anya Thurner taking top spot with a score of 8. Victor Coen, just 0.5 behind finished in second, with Michael Lin just another 0.5 further back with a score of 7 in third.
The online Open division saw Leo Malcolm (first) and Levi Paxton (second) both finish at the top with a score of 8 with tie-breaks used to separate them. Ishaan Singh (third) was just one point behind, finishing with a score of 7.
The following players were awarded the Junior Master title to recognise their exceptional performance at the Champions Trophy: Koki Hara, Eden Xu, Khelan Shors, Oscar M Petersen, Zane Sarmad and Hasnula Babaranda.
Below are the links to the complete onsite and online results for the Champions Trophy.
Photos are available at https://photos.app.goo.gl/HHTT264eUgMq8mCd8. All photos attributed to Leidy Monsalves.
The Supporter of the Year award recognises outstanding support for children in Chess in the community. The winner for 2022 was Kristina Barrett-Boyes. Kristina has been a keen supporter of chess both in Rotorua and in Tauranga. She is always looking at ways to promote chess to the wider community. She has two learning impaired children at home, one of whom plays chess, and she goes to incredible lengths to support his chess. What is remarkable is she has done all this despite having some severe health problems herself.
Kristina accepted the award with this response, “I was very sorry that I was unable to be there this year. I have been to the last three Nationals and they are always very exciting and are a fantastic experience for all involved. Being involved in one of your chess tournaments (even just watching one), can show kids how to be gracious, resilient, kind, patient, and fair. The humility and skills they learn through chess can be transferred to all areas of their lives. Our little family has had an extremely challenging year. To get an award like this means the world to me. It really does. I was gutted that I couldn't be there to help you and the team, as I always enjoy it.”
Posted: Wed 26 Oct 2022