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2018 NZ Champs Report

2018 NZ Champs Report

2018 NZ Champs, Napier, 15 - 16 July
Hosted by John Chen

Report by Colin Grierson


Kevin told me many people from Tony Li’s Go club are going down to Napier. “They are taking a bus. You should join them.” So, somewhat belatedly, I did and on Friday 1pm about thirty of us set off in a convoy of vans and cars. Not all were players, many people have bought partners partners and children who will explore Napier while we play. We had plenty of time, I had a very comfortable trip with a nice sleep from Hamilton to halfway along the Napier Taupo highway. Thanks to my drivers Tim Zhou and Hanping Li for a smooth ride.

John’s house is HUGE! 500 square metres. He’s not just organising the tournament, he’s hosting it and housing about half of the players, and providing food and the party on Saturday will be here too. This is truly the John Chen 2018 New Zealand Championships!

We unpacked, got things somewhat prepared for tomorrow, shared a glass of John’s wine and it was time for bed. I got a couch in the main playing room to sleep on. Very comfortable.


There is … some disorganization. The tournament was advertised as 6 rounds. However John tells me the Auckland contingent needs to get home at a reasonable time and our published schedule finishes too late.  Okay, we’ll change to 5 rounds as the tournament has been the last few years. Done and announced. I’m running the main draw - 24 people, Kevin is looking after the children’s tournament, unfortunately instead of the 5 we expected there are just three people in this.

Round 1

I have a win against Gary Zhang :-)

John wants to change again and play 4 rounds today as well as holding the AGM and a dinner for all contestants and the post dinner party. No! Not reasonable and some people would have to default the fourth round. Instead the start time for Sunday is changed to 8am so can leave earlier.

Round 2

Tony Li is tough, too tough for me. Juhau Zhou has a draw yet again, this time playing Jack Yao. Juhau has had more draws than anyone else in New Zealand tournaments, he also plays some of the nicest Go, striving for balance and correct moves. Is this coincidence?

Round 3

I had a lucky win against Cheng Bo.

Kevin Liu and Longyang Li are top, undefeated. Jack Yao and Zuhau next with two wins and a draw.


I don’t like AGMs. They are always too long, too officious and have too much arguing (Yes - I’m as guilty as any) and I keep getting re-elected. I lost the debate regarding how to handle tournaments where we finish with several players equal top. I advocated simply recognising the players as first equal using logic to make my case. Graeme Parmenter spoke passionately about finding a champion to honor. The superior orator carried the day.  

Dinner and Party

John has organised a meal for us all. With crayfish and paua! Wow! Very nice and many thanks to the cooks! As for the party - well we played Go. What could be better?


Round 4

Another lucky win for me, coming from behind against YuCong Phease. 3 wins out of 4!

Kevin Liu beat Longyang and is out in front. Juhau Zhou is next with three wins and a draw.

Round 5

Kevin is our champion.

I lost against Su Chang, but it was a much closer game than I expected. And he says I would have had a good chance if only I had invaded one space away from where I actually played… But I did not, and he deserved the win.

John says we are doing well for time, can we play another round? No!

Prize giving

In my spare time I’ve been trying to get John’s printer going, but failed. We can’t present certificates. My fault, I should have printed them in advance.

Our champion, Kevin, is announced and honored. Longyang Li, Tony Li and Su Chang are next with one loss. Juhau Zhou and Jack Yao follow with one loss and one draw. Andy Wu won the children’s tournament. Photos are taken and thanks are given.


Quite abruptly people are packing and want to go - now. Sorry, I have to check I have all the equipment I bought down - I tour the house and find several things that are mine. I really want to check I have everything it’s all been pack - I hope -  into several cars and everyone wants to go. Farewell John thanks again for your hospitality and generosity.


An easy trip back. We stop at Taupo for dinner and a break then our van visits Huka falls. Tony and Hanping have not been here. I love this place and almost always stop when I’m passing. The water is low today and the sky dark but you can still feel the power and the colour is lovely. At 9:30 we are back in Auckland. Do I want to join others for dinner and more Go? Thanks, but no, home for me.

(Alas, not everything came back. I’m short 5 clocks and 9 boards. A couple of days later John confirms they are still in Napier.)


Lots of energy and life, lots of noise at times too. I like the energy, not so keen on the noise.

Cold floors. One pair of socks were not enough to keep my feet warm. John provided slippers for all.

Technical hitches. Probably John has not had so many people in the house before and consequently all the lights on. The fuse tripped. Several times. On Saturday, he replaced about 50 incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, fixing that problem. But we did not find why the the power was totally off - lights and power points - in some of the rooms. Nor did I get his printer to work.


Great to see Yu Cong and Graeme Parmentier again, few of us old timers are left. Also great to meet Joshua Scott, young and enthusiastic, running the Go scheme in Wellington. Su Cheng who has a go club at his school in Whangarei. Joe Zhou, who is supporting Tony's club in Auckland and Zhou Wanxin who hosts go at his shop, Rosewood Furnishings 694 Gt Sth Rd every Saturday and other days who the mood is right.

John Chen keeping everything running without appearing to get too flustered or stressed. There was even a meeting the Napier Chinese society on Sunday while we were playing.

Immersive, welcoming, full on, sometimes chaotic, sometimes comic. A lot of fun. Warm and friendly. The fun and friendship easily dominates. I had a great time.

Many thanks John for all you did.

Also to Tim Zhou for taking me down in your van.  


Place Name Club 1 2 3 4 5 Points
1 Liu, Kevin Akl 23+ 14+ 3+ 5+ 6+ 5
2= Li, Longyang Akl 19+ 8+ 4+ 6- 11+ 4
2= Li, Tony Akl 15+ 9+ 1- 10+ 12+ 4
2= Su, Chang Whg 16+ 10+ 2- 7+ 9+ 4
5= Yao, Jack Akl 13+ 6= 22+ 1- 16+ 3.5
5= Zhou, Juhau Akl 7+ 5= 11+ 2+ 1- 3.5
7= Parmenter, Graeme Dun 6- 18+ 24+ 4- 15+ 3
7= Bo, Cheng Akl 20+ 2- 9- 17+ 14+ 3
7= Grierson, Colin Akl 18+ 3- 8+ 15+ 4- 3
7= Li, Hanping Akl 12+ 4- 17+ 3- 13+ 3
7= Zhou, Wan Xin Akl 17+ 22+ 6- 14+ 2- 3
12 Liu, Shu Yuan Akl 10- 24= 18+ 22+ 3- 2.5
13= Du, Si Yong Akl 5- 15- 20+ 21+ 10- 2
13= Luan, Xiao Akl 24+ 1- 19+ 11- 8- 2
13= Phease, Yu Cong Wtn 3- 13+ 16+ 9- 7- 2
13= Chen, John Nap 4- 20+ 15- 19+ 5- 2
13= Luan, Linxue Akl 11- 21+ 10- 8- 20+ 2
13= Zhang, Gary Akl 9- 7- 12- 24+ 21+ 2
13= Xie, David Nap 2- 23+ 14- 16- 22+ 2
20= Xie, Fang Akl 8- 16- 13- 23+ 17- 1
20= Chen, Tony Nap 22- 17- 23+ 13- 18- 1
20= Zhou, Shuai Akl 21+ 11- 5- 12- 19- 1
20= Fan, Xiayang Akl 1- 19- 21- 20- 24+ 1
24 Hong, Fulin Nap 14- 12= 7- 18- 23- 0.5