About Sue

Hi readers,

In case you didn’t know or realize, I’m Gawain’s wife and we’ve been together just over 4 years and married for nearly 6 months now! I added an About Sue, for readers to get to know me a little more as I write the majority of blog posts.

Me in Iceland, climbing a (small) glacier. One of my favourite countries to visit!

My name is Sue and I’m Gawain’s wife. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and lived there with my family which consists of me, my parents and my younger brother Andrew who is trying to be a professional rugby league player. I met Gawain in 2008 and my life has been better for it since!

I’m also a chess player, I was New Zealand’s top female player until I recently switched to England and I’m also a WIM. I won this with Ga’s help in the 2009 Oceania Zonal. I love to travel, bake and eat cakes! In my free time, I play tennis, sort out all the “logistics” of Gawain’s career and study mandarin. I love taking photos and after selling my old camera I now have a shiny new one to start clicking away.

I do most of the writing here but you’ll have to bear with me as I currently part time nanny and part work at Chess and Bridge. Between my jobs I do luckily get to visit Ga in some of these cool (and some not so cool) places where I can play tourist and update his website. I’m improving my chess slowly so hopefully will eventually be able to comment on the games as well as bringing you lovely pictures.


Being a chess player and now trying to break into being 2100, I’m known for my aggresive style. Here’s a game where I could have/maybe/potentially/if the stars aligned differently won this game! Notes are by our friend Rory Quinn and you can find the original post on his website.

Sue Maroroa WIM – Vlad Jianu GM Ennis 2011 (Notes by Quinn)
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.0-0 Nxb5 7.Nxb5 d6 Gawain considers 7…d5 more critical in his 2008 book on the Grand Prix. 8.d3 Bd7 9.Nc3 Bc6 10.a4 Nf6 11.Qe1 Qd7 12.e5!? Nd5 13.Ne4 f5 14.Neg5 h6 15.Nh3Gawain had thought that maybe the immediate e6 is stronger here however after 15…Qc8 16. Nf7 Rg8! 17.Nh4 Nc7 whites position starts to fall apart 15…Nb4 16.e6!? maybe not the best, Sue said afterwards that she missed that Black is rounding up her e pawn after Rf8 and Rf6 16… Qc8 17.Qe2 Bd5 18.Re1 Rf8 19.c3 Nc6 20.Nh4 Rf6 21.Nxg6 Rxe6 22.Ne5 I have to give Sue full marks so far for sheer chutzpah. This lady certainly knows how to attack!

22…Nxe5?! It’s understandable that the GM doesn’t want to enter the murk of 22… dxe5 23.c4. However it looks like the tactics are in his favour 23..exf4 24.Qh5+ Kd7 25.Qxf5 Ke8! 26.Qh5+ Kf8 27.Qf5+ Bf6 28.Rf1 Nd4! and it seems black will keep his extra piece. 23. fxe5 Rxe5 24.Be3 Bf7 I had seen this position before leaving to grab some sleep before round 4 and rather naively assumed Black was winning and indicated as much in my report. Things aren’t so clear however, especially as we are playing a fast time control 90 minutes for all moves + a 10 second increment per move and in such a complicated position with the clock ticking it’s very easy to go wrong. 25.Nf4 Qc6 26.Qf2 b6 27.Qg3 Kf8 28.Ng6+ Bxg6 29.Qxg6 Qe8 30.Qg3 Qh5 31.Rf1 Kf7 32.d4 Re6 33.Rxf5+ Qxf5 34.Rf1 Qxf1+ 35.Kxf1 cxd4 36.cxd4 Rf8 37.Qh3?

Black to play

Here black misses 37…Bxd4! 38. Bxd4 Kg8+ 39.Bf2 Ref6 40.Qg3+ Kh8 41.Qe3 Rxf2+ and black is much better. White should have played 37 Ke2 on her last move. By now the players were blitzing out the moves.37…Rc8 38.Ke1 Rc1+ 39.Kd2 Rf1 40.g4 Rff6? after this whites gets the advantage41.Qh5+ Kg8 42.Qd5 a5 43.Qa8+?! Here Sue misses a chance to notch her first grandmaster scalp, after 43.h4 followed by g5 blacks predicament is becoming critical. Kh7 44.Qb7 Rf7 45.Qd5 Ref6 46.h4 Rf3 47.g5 hxg5 48.hxg5 Kh8 49.Qe6 R3f5 50.Qb8+ Kh7 51.Qb7 e5 It’s not often you see a game where its move 51 before Black moves his e pawn! 52.Qxb6 exd4 53.Bxd4? white can still draw after 53 g6+ Kxg6 54.Qxb6+ Kh5 55.Bxd4, unfortunately for Sue the immediate Bxd4 loses. 53…Rd5! 54.Ke2 Bxd4 An exciting struggle! 0-1