Saturday, June 22, 2024

Chess foundation launched

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New foundations, from left, Grant Kerr, Luna Xu, 9, [gold medal winner in the recent under 10 Oceania Girl’s Championships in Canberra], MP David Seymour, Paul Spiller and Martin Dreyer. Photo Cadence Weiyang Yu
A new group promoting chess and its benefits has been formed.

The Middle Game Chess Foundation Trust was launched at Art Select Gallery in Newmarket last Friday.

Howick’s Paul Spiller – a trustee and vice-president of the New Zealand Chess Federation – said the foundation’s mission is to promote, encourage, assist, develop and support education in the game of chess throughout New Zealand.

“Chess [is] educational and good for mental health and personal development. All Kiwis, from schoolchild to senior citizen, will have the opportunity to learn chess and enjoy its many mental and social benefits.”

Spiller formerly held the post of Oceania President of the World Chess Federation and has been a councillor and president of the NZ Chess Federation (NZCF) of which he is a life member.

“There was an excellent turnout of around 50 guests including MP for Epsom David Seymour and former National MP Maggie Barry, whose husband Grant Kerr is one of the trustees,” said Spiller.

Kerr, who represented NZ in three Chess Olympiads, is a life member of the NZCF and is a former NZCF councillor.

The other trustees are Russell Dive and Martin Dreyer. D

ive represented New Zealand in 12 Chess Olympiads and has won or jointly won the New Zealand Chess Championship seven times. He is an International Master.

Dreyer is a two-time New Zealand Chess Champion and has represented the country in three Chess Olympiads. He is a FIDE Master.

Spiller says the foundation supports chess in the community and will do this through holding and investing funds prudently to fund the development of programmes at various levels for youngsters as young as five to the age of 18.

It would also provide financial support to men’s and women’s teams selected to represent New Zealand at the biennial World Chess Olympiads.

The foundation would also bring international grandmasters to New Zealand to play in the top tournaments giving Kiwi players the opportunity to compete at the highest level.

“We know that chess can widen worlds, challenge minds and lead to better lives,” he says.

“Whatever their backgrounds and economic status, children taught chess tend to do better in school and better in life.”

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