Matt claims chess title

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By SHELLEY TOPP

Rangiora’s Matt McNabb has won the South Island Chess Championship for the second year in a row.

Last year Matt, a 41-year-old computer programmer, shared the title with Edward Lee, of Invercargill. This year Matt won the title outright.

He is also the 2019 New Zealand Correspondence Champion. He has been playing chess since he was five and taking part in competitive chess since he was nine.

His love of chess came from his late maternal grandfather, Stan Shaw, of Kaiapoi, who bequeathed him a hand-carved chess set.

Matt was initially taught to play by Stan, but also learnt from a computer programme and library books.

He also took part in a junior coaching session in Christchurch when he was nine.

Matt, who is a member of the Canterbury Chess Club, says every game is different. “There are no random elements. It is all down to skill.”

Matt has met one of New Zealand’s most famous chess players, the late Genesis Potini, whose life was portrayed by Kiwi actor Cliff Curtis in the 2014 film The Dark Horse

This year’s South Island Championship was hosted by the Otago Chess Club in Dunedin from October 3 until October 10.