THE 2009 George Trundle Qualifier, a 10-player all-play-all tournament, held side-by-side with the 2009 New Zealand Masters, was won by 14-year old Daniel Shen with 6½ points from 9 games. Shen spearheaded Auckland Grammar team as Secondary Champions in the National Interschool Finals held at Palmerston North just before the Qualifier. Shen will see action in the New Zealand Masters next edition.
In solo second place is 51-year old Bruce Wheeler, just one-half point behind the winner. Bruce could have altered the final picture if not for an upset lost to Edward Tanoi in round 3 in the event’s shortest game.
Veteran player and organizer Bennett Hilton, 54 years old, scored 5.5 points to win third place honor. Hilton is the only undefeated player in the event.
WFM Helen Milligan, 47, formerly of Scotland, won his last round game with black against Bob Gibbons that secured for her a fourth-place finish. Milligan is the webmaster of New Zealand Chess website.
Here is the score of the tournament's winner-defining game between Wheeler and Tanoi.
Wheeler, Bruce (2077)—Tanoi, Edward (1967) George Trundle Qualifier 2009(3), 2009.09.28 C47-Four Knights Opening
1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3?! Bc5 5. Nxe5?? (Almost a reflex reaction. With a black bishop at c5 and a knight at c6 White’s knight pseudo-sacrifice followed by the pawn push to d4 was ‘standard play’. The problem was it doesn’t work in conjunction with 4.g3)Nxe5 6. d4 Bxd4! 0-1(White resigned, realizing that he cannot recapture with 7.Qxd4 because of 7…Nf3+, winning White’s queen. Not possible if only the g-pawn was still in its original square!)
Games of the combined event may be downloaded from here.
A collage of photographs from the event taken and placed in the public domain by Simon Lyall may be found here, here and here. .