IM Tarun and WIM Trisha Kanyamarala are in Mexico City, playing in the Open and Girls Junior World Championships which are 11-round tournaments ending today.
Trisha won yesterday and is now in joint second on 7.5/10 with two other players. (The leader is a whole point ahead.) Today she has a tough pairing as Black against American IM Carissa Yip and this could be well worth watching on chess24 (or elsewhere), starting at the earlier hour of 5pm (Irish time).
Tarun unfortunately lost again and is now on 5.5/10.
Meanwhile a record six Irish teams are in Albania to compete in the European Club Cup which starts at 2.15pm Irish time and runs for a week. The top Irish match is Ennis v Werder Bremen which will possibly be shown live. Teams from Gonzaga, St. Benildus, Malahide and Galway are also there.
For the first time there is an Irish team (representing UCD) in the Women's European Club Cup: Diana Mats, Alice O'Gorman, Lara Putar and Diana Mirza. Good luck to them.
The ICU annual general meeting was held on Sunday at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin. It started at 4pm and did not end until almost 7pm. Some members also attended, spoke and voted via Zoom link. Topics were wide-ranging as this was there was much to discuss following the resurgence of Irish chess after the Covid pandemic.
The ICU website will no doubt report on the meeting's decisions in due course. The retiring Treasurer reported on a healthy surplus and said he was transferring to the role of Development Officer for 2023/4 as he hoped to obtain sponsorship.
There were no contested elections for the 2023/24 executive committee. The proposed new executive committee was approved but there remains a vacancy for Women's Officer.
Tom O'Sullivan was elected Honorary Life Member, a well deserved honour.David Murray is retiring after eight years as Ratings Officer but is helping with the transition to the new officer who will have much to do becaus eof impending FIDE changes.
Various issues to do with eligibility of immigrants to play in the national championship and national teams, and with the orgamnisation of tournaments were discussed in detail. Motions proposed by the executive were largely accepted and those proposed by members mostly were not.
For the calendar of tournaments upcoming later in 2023 and early 2024, please see the calendar on the ICU website where most of these events can be entered online.
The Irish 65+ senior team has completed its programme at the World Senior Team Championships, which were held in North Macedonia over 9 rounds. In the last round they lost 1-3 to the higher-rated team from the host country, but Jim Murray won this brilliancy on board 4 against M. Trajkovski:
1. d4 f5 2. Bg5 g6 3. Nc3 h6 4. Bh4 Bg7 5. e3 Nf6 6. Bd3 d6 7. Nf3 e6 8. Qe2 O-O 9. O-O-O c6 10. h3 b5 11. Rdg1 Qa5 12. g4 b4 13. Nb1 fxg4 14. hxg4 g5 15. Bg3 e5 16. dxe5 Bxg4 17. exf6 Rxf6 18. Bf4! Bxf3 19. Qxf3 gxf4 20. Qe4 Kf8 21. Rxg7! 1-0.
Ireland won one match and drew two. They were 24th seed of the 26 teams entered in the 65+ tournament but finished 25th, which is a slight disappointment. This chiefly resulted from an unfortunate default on one board in an earlier match that were expected to win.
Our players in board order were Eddie O'Connor, Kevin James, Colm Quigley and Jim Murray, while the reserve is low-rated Sean Reinhardt who played one game but lost badly. Unfortunately Ireland was not able to send a 50+ team.
The prospects for 2024 FIDE Seniors tournaments are better than this year's, with more accessible venues: the European Senior Team Championships after Easter in Slovenia and the World Senior Teams likely to be held in Krakow, Poland, in mid-summer. Let us hope we can plan for strong Irish representation in those congresses.
Jim Murray and Patrick Daly are the only Irish entries for the World Seniors individual championships which start in Sicily in late October. Please see our seniors news page for more information about tournaments for the over-50s.
The Irish Chess Union has announced a busy programme of events for the New Year and Easter periods, including a 7-round international open (no IM norm round-robin this time) and senior tournaments. They envisage holding a seniors event on the final weekend of the 2024 Irish Championships to help reduce the numbers entering the Open Weekender which was chaotic this year because the entry was too large.
The Irish Women's Championship was played from 18-20 August over five rounds at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin. The new champion is Polish-born Antonina Gora who has been living in Ireland for many years. Her photograph can be seen on the ICU website.
The tournament winner, Diana Mats, scored four and a half points but she cannot win the title for another year and will not be eligible to represent Ireland in team events until 2026 unless a motion to reduce the waiting period for immigrants is passed at the agm.
We originally thought that 24-year-old Mats was the new champion because she had transferred her FIDE registration to Ireland recently. It now appears that she was declared ineligible to win the title because she has less than two years residence in Ireland.
Therefore the runner-up, Gora, was declared champion. She was a Polish junior international several years ago, but has been living in Ireland since 2018 (at least) and has also now transferred to an IRL registration. She lost to Mats in round 2 and won her other games. The tournament field, which was of very mixed strength, included two previous champions, Alice O'Gorman and WFM Diana Mirza.
Our updated report on the 102nd Irish Championships can now be found on a separate page.
The Irish junior teams at the Glorney Cup in Scotland seem to have been much weaker than usual and as a result did poorly. Perhaps the dates were too close to the Irish Championships. The clash of dates with our women's championship was also unfortunate as three girls were playing in Scotland who had competed in the 2022 championship.
At the agm, the chairman mentioned that it is our turn to host the Glorney Gilbert in 2024 but but with Ireland due to host a major European junior tournament next May he wonders whether some other organiser will take on this event. Part of the problem, frankly, is that England is too strong and Wales too weak for a satisfactory competition.
We had no team in the Gilbert Cup (for Girls under-18) as our girls, as mentioned above, were needed to fill mixed teams in the Stokes (Under-14) and Robinson (Under-12) competitions. All matches against the Welsh were won, and all against the Scots were lost but the Robinson team did manage to draw their second match with England 3-3.
Great credit goes to two individuals who did perform well. On board 6 in the Robinson, Conor Sheehan scored 5.5/6 even making a plus score against his English opponent, while for the Glorney team, Adam Collins was also unbeaten with 4.5/6 which was the best score on top board. Of the many under-18 players who contested the 102nd Irish Championship, he wa sthe only one to go to Scotland.
Honourable mention also goes to Arthur Moull who made a plus score on board 4 for the Glorney team.
Also, chess officials please read our page for chess arbiters.
For further information on Irish chess, including ratings, how to join, a tournament calendar and a list of officials, please see the Irish Chess Union website.