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New Zealand

  • Last updated on 8/21/07, 12:41 PM.

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In 1863, the first New Zealand chess club, the Dunedin Chess Club, was formed.  In 1879, the first New Zealand Chess Championship was  held.  The winner was 55-year old Henry Hookham (1824-1898) of Christchurch.  The next New Zealand Championship was held in 1888/1889 and won by Arthur Morton Ollivier (1850-1897).  In 1890, 66-year old Henry Hookham won the championship for the 2nd time.  In 1890/1891 Richard James Barnes (1860-1929) won it for the first time.  He would also win it in 1896/7, 1897/8, 1901/2, and 1906/6.  In 1900, William Edward Mason (1876-1960) won the event.  He also won it in 1903/4, 1910/1, 1911/12, 1913/14, and 1919/20.  In 1951/52, Ortvin Sarapu, (1924-1999), born in Estonia, won the event.  He also won it in 1952/53, 1953/54, 1954/55, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1962/63, 1965/66, 1966/67, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1972/73, 1973/74, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1985/86, and 1989/90.  Sarapu won it 20 times from 1951 to 1990.  He also won the New Zealand Correspondence Chess Championship in 1965, 1968, and 1969.  The current New Zealand champion is Puchen Wang.

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