The 2016-2017 season has gone quite well, with no obvious controversies.
With a few weeks to go before the 2017 Irish Championships, which start on 29 July, the Irish Chess Union website has announced a good number of forthcoming events, including some new to the Irish chess calendar.
Ireland has no new IMs as yet but several players are moving closer to that landmark, including David Fitzsimons who now has his second IM norm (of the three required). However he and Current Irish Champion Stephen Jessel (who already has three norms) need to raise their FIDE rating to the 2400 mark. Conor O'Donnell, who at 2389 is closer to that mark, is also on track to become an IM before too long, while the return of IM Alex Lopez to competitive chess in Ireland is welcome.
Significant progerss has also been achieved in the last year by 15-year-old Tom O'Gorman, who is now a FIDE Master, and the slightly younger Henry Li who has already beaten a grandmaster and raised his FIDE rating to 2247.
Irish women's chess is also becoming stronger. Another teenager, WFM Diana Mirza, won her age group title in the FIDE World Youth Championships not long ago. A significant recruit for future Irish teams is WFM Ioana Gelip (2192) who has transferred her registration to ireland after her marriage to an Irish player.
Senior chess blossoms in Ireland
For the first time in its chess history, Ireland sent a five-man team to Germany in June 2016 to compete in the 65+ Championship at Radebeul, near Dresden. The team finished in a respectable mid-table position butbwe did not enter a team in 2017 due to a clash of dates with the Reykjavik Open.
It is hoped that we can enter both 50+ and 65+ teams next year when the event returns to the same excellent venue. In the meantime, the I.C.U. has announced an attractive new championship event for seniors to be held in DUboin starting on 3 January 2018.
Further Irish chess links and information may be added later.
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