English chess player and Grandmaster (GM) Gawain Jones has won the inaugural Howick chess tournament honouring legendary New Zealand chess player, the late Bob Wade.
Wade, an International Master whose 100th birthday fell on Saturday, was born in Dunedin and was twice British Champion. He was a prolific author and an International Arbiter and spent most of his professional chess career in England and travelled the world.
The Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club, in conjunction with the NZ Chess Federation (NZCF), also hosted a memorial dinner on Saturday to celebrate Wade’s birthday.
Invited speakers included Grandmaster Murray Chandler, NZ Webmaster Bill Forster and former NZ Olympiad representative and NZCF Vice Patron Grant Kerr. MC was Howick Pakuranga Chess Club’s Paul Spiller who is also NZCF Vice President.
Meanwhile, 88 players competed in the tournament at Howick Bowling Club on Saturday.
GM Gawain Jones won the inaugural Bob Wade Memorial tournament with 5.5/6, completing a very successful few weeks of chess events in NZ, scoring an impressive 19 wins and only 1 draw (against FIDE Master Mike Steadman) in his 20 over-the-board games.
He drew with former New Zealand Champion Mike Steadman who finished in second place on 5 points.
Third place was a tie between current New Zealand Rapid Chess Champion 12-year-old Felix Xie and another young talented player (and former NZ Champion) Alphaeus Ang.
“The Bob Wade Memorial dinner was a great opportunity for chess friends to reminisce about their encounters with Bob in the past and to celebrate his exceptional life as a chess player, coach, mentor, author, administrator and friends,” said Spiller.