Estonian-born Ortvin Sarapu arrived in New Zealand in 1950, after winning several international chess tournaments. He found no local players of his standard, but through encouragement and example served to boost the general level of New Zealand chess. Between 1952 and 1990 Sarapu won the New Zealand chess championship 20 times, a record still unbeaten in 2014. He was awarded the MBE and became known as ‘Mr Chess’.
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