An early upset in the New Zealand Chess Championship has put 12-time national champion Anthony Ker on the back foot.
Top seed Ker, of Lower Hutt, was defeated after a blunder against fellow Wellington player and 10th seed Brian Nijman when the event kicked off on New Year's Eve.
"It's not the type of game I'd put in my memoirs. I can still win, but it's going to be hard," the 45-year-old veteran of 33 national championships said.
He was philosophical about the first-round loss as he prepared yesterday to take on rising star William Li, 14, of Auckland, who also lost in the first round.
The 18th-seeded teenager began playing when he was 5 and was modest about being flagged as an emerging talent. Ker went on to beat him.
Eighteen players are competing for the national championship at CQ Hotel in Cuba St.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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