Ari Dale Wins NZ Chess Congress, Wastney is NZ ChampionMonday, January 9, 2017
The final round of the New Zealand Chess Congress proved stress-free for the leader, Australian International Master Ari Dale, a point clear of the field and playing New Zealand junior Daniel Gong of Auckland.
Daniel was happy to take a quick draw and guarantee himself a handsome pay cheque, rather than try to take out the unstoppable Dale.
Early leader. FIDE Master Bob Smith, was beaten in Round Seven by Dale.
However, there was some serious fighting on the lower boards, as the title of New Zealand Champion was still undecided.
FIDE Master Scott Wastney made up for a couple of earlier losses by demolishing fellow Wellingtonian Candidate Master Bill Forster who had aspired for the title.
Wastney then had to wait some considerable time to see if Smith could triumph over fellow FIDE Master Tim Reilly and in the end that game was drawn leading Wastney the outright winner of the title.
Smith will have felt hard done by given he had played a much tougher field than Wastney who had avoided playing Anthony Ker, Russel Dive, Stephen Lukey, Nicholas Croad, and even Smith himself.
Report by Helen Milligan