There are two months to go to the start of the 9-round international open which the Irish Chess Union is organising in Dublin over Easter 2019, with GM and IM title norm possibilities. There will be 9 rounds in 6 days and also blitz and rapid side-events.
There are now at least 50 entries, including 10 GMs, though not all are yet listed at the chess-results website. This is probably going to be the strongest chess tournament ever held in Ireland.
For full details on this and to enter online, see the Irish Chess Union website. Sponsors MHL Hotels have special offers for overseas visitors.
16-year-old Henry Li has now passed 2300 on the live ratings so will be awarded the FIDE Master title. This achievement was completed only a few days after Henry won the Dublin Rapid Championship held on 10 February, ahead of IM Sam Collins, whom he defeated, FM Conor O'Donnell and other strong players in a field of 52. Henry's FIDE rating is now 2287 so he is closing in on the
The annual Bunratty festival will be played this coming weekend, 22-24 February. This will be followed by the Irish Team Blitz Championship (a new event) in central Dublin on 3 March, followed by the Galway Congress in March. For details see the Irish Chess Union website. The Irish chess calendar is getting very crowded!
The Irish 50+ and 65+ teams for the World Senior Team Championships in April (which unfortunately coincide with the Dublin open) are now finalised. CM Gerry MacElligott is head of delegation and captain of the 50+ team. The line-ups are:
50+: FM John Delaney, Paul Wallace, CM Gerry MacElligott, Brendan Lyons, and Gabriel Matthews.
65+: Orison Carlile, Pete Morriss, Jim Murray (captain), John Gibson, and Peter Lynch.
There are still vacancies on the Irish teams for the European Senior Team Championships, to be held in Croatia in the last week of September. Anyone interested in playing should contact the I.C.U. secretary or chairman. The teams will not be finalised until the organisers publish the full regulations and accommodation prices, which are not expected for another couple of months.
PREVIOUS IRISH EVENTS IN 2019
In the first week of this year, the I.C.U. organised an enormously successful festival of round-robin tournaments, in memory of former I.C.U. chairperson Philip Hogarty who was tragically killed at a very young age in a road accident. The festival included title norm events, and a Swiss-system Senior Championship (50+ and 65+) which attracted 42 entries.
GM Igor Glek won the grandmaster norm tournament with 6/9. The best Irish result was 5/9 scored by Alex Lopez and Sam COllins, who finished joint fourth. The IM norm event was won jointly by FM Michael de Verdier from Sweden (an Irish resident) and IM Andre Greet from Scotland who both scored 6.5/9. Unfortunately De Verdier missed the IM norm by half a point.
The best Irish score was Tom O'Gorman's 5.5 points in fourth place. A very strong blitz tournament on the final evening was won by Irish Champion Alex Lopez on 9/11 ahead of FM Conor O'Donnell 8.5 and three players on 8 points: GM Glek, IM Collins and Killian Delaney.
The Senior tournament was won by Paul Wallace and Gerard MacElligott on 5.5.7; they share the Irish 50+ Champion title. The Irish 65+ title was shared by Anthony Doyle and Tim Harding, who finished half a point behind them along with 50+ age group players, Peter Cafolla, Tim McCarthy and FM Robin Moss (England).
Subsidiary round-robin tournaments, in rating groups, were also run during the week. The nine-round events were won by Luke Scott and Donatas Jocius while the 7-round event for players rated below 1400 was shared by Max Tempany, Arman Arshakyan, and Luke Hayden, who all scored 5.5 points.
Congratulations to young Irish player Conor Murphy who earned a 10-game IM norm (his first) when he finished in a six-way tie for first place at Hastings in early January.
Alex Lopez won the annual Mulcahy Memorial open tournament held in Cork (11-13 January). Sadly the popular Cork chess player G. Gerry McCarthy died a few days later.
Further Irish chess links and information may be added later.
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