The Irish Chess Union held a large program of tournaments in Dublin between 2 and 6 January in memory of the late FM Philip Short. Ireland now has its first Women's International Master (once her title is ratified): WFM Trisha Kanyamarala (born in Ireland in 2005).
Several 10-player all play-all tournaments included a GM norm and two IM-norm events and two other FIDE-rated sections open to all, were contested along with a record field of 48 in the popular 7-round Swiss system Irish Senior Championship which had increased prizes this year in both the 50+ and 65+ age groups.
The stars of the norm tournaments were two Irish teenagers who each tied first in their event. Trisha completed her qualification for the WIM title with several rounds to spare, and finished ahead of GM Alex Baburin on tiebreak with 6.5/9. This gives her a first norm towards the WGM title and she may also have gained enough rating points for the FIDE Master title. She only missed an IM norm by half a point.
Trisha's brother Tarun (born 2004), who is already an FM, tied first in the other IM norm event, on tiebreak from Killian Delaney whose own rating is now close to the 2300 required for the Fide Master title. Since returning to Ireland during 2019 these Irish-born siblings have been playing just about every available event (winning several) and have become a great asset for Irish chess. Moreover, their mother, Nandita, is now Junior Officer on the ICU committee.
It is probably thanks to her that the Indian ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Sandeep Kumar, attended the prizegiving ceremony and made an encouraging speech. He was undoubtedly pleased to see that the winner of one of the subsidiary tournaments was another Irish teenager of Indian ancestry, Utkarsh Gupta.
The GM norm tournament was won by grandmaster Matthew Turner of Scotland; nobody achieved a norm there. GM Nicholas Pert won the blitz tournament on tiebreak from IM Alex Lopez.
The hard-fought Senior championship saw a three-way tie on 5.5/9 among the 50+ leaders with Jonathan O'Connor taking the title (for the second time) on tiebreak from FM John Delaney.
Also on the same score was English FM Robin Moss who was ineligible for the title; prize money was shared. The grading prize for the best result among sub-1750 players in the 50-64 age group was won by Jimmy Deneher with 4/7.
In the 65+ age group there was a four-way tie on 5/7 between (in tie-break order) Pete Morriss, Eamon Keogh, Tim Harding, and Jim Murray. The grading prize was won by Michael Joseph O'Connell with 3.5 points.
For more information on recent and future Irish events, please see the Irish Chess Union website.