The Irish Chess Union website successfully organised several tournaments, new to the Irish chess calendar, in the first week of January. GM and IM round-robin norm events will be played during the last week of March, alongside other tournaments.
Congratulations to IM Sam Collins who achieved his third GM norm, when tieing for first place in the 10-player GM round robin tournament. FM Stephen Jessel also made his fifth IM norm. Both these players now need to gain a few more rating points to be awarded their titles.
An IM Norm tournament was also held and although nobody made a norm, this provided good experience for several players.
The Irish Chess Union has called for expressions of interest for Irish 50+ and 65+ teams to compete in the World Senior Team Championships at Dresden in July. We are still a few players short of the necessary. Details of the event can be seen here. You can register your interest with a simple online form at the ICU website, the sooner the better. In 2016 we had a 65+ team for the first time; we have as yet never entered the 50+ tournament.
The inaugural Irish 50+ and 65+ Championship tournament, played alongside over seven rounds in early January, attracted 38 players aged between 50 and 79 and was fiercely contested. Top seed Jonathan O'Connor won the 50+ title and tournament with an unbeaten 6/7, closely followed by Gerry O'Connell who was also unbaten but conceded three draws. In joint third on 5/7 were CM Gerry MacElligott and your editor, Tim Harding, the latter winning the 65+ title and prize. See also our new pages for Seniors chess.
The I.C.U. is now planning further events, to be held at the same venue, over Easter.
See the Irish Chess Union website for further details.
Significant progress 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 briefly raised his FIDE rating to 2247.
Congratulations to WFM Ioana Miller (née Gelip) on winning the Irish Women's Championship at the first attempt in November, ahead of an encouragingly large field. She has transferred her registration from Romania following her marriage to Jacob Miller a few months ago.
Irish women's chess is certainly becoming stronger. WFM Diana Mirza won her age group title in the FIDE World Youth Championships during 2017.
Further Irish chess links and information may be added later.
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