The Irish Chess Union website successfully organised several tournaments, new to the Irish chess calendar, in the first week of January and again at Easter. These were played alongside various other tournaments.
Congratulations to IM Alex Astaneh Lopez (current Irish co-champion) who won the GM tournament and achieved his first GM norm. FM Suren Poghosyan of Armenia achieved an IM norm in the same tournament. Conor O'Donnell won the IM Norm tournament with 8/9 and achieved his first norm.
In the January tournaments, Sam Collins achieved his third GM norm, when tieing for first place in the 10-player round robin tournament. FM Stephen Jessel also made his fifth IM norm. Both these players now need to gain rating points to be awarded their titles.
An IM Norm tournament was also held in January and although nobody made a norm then, this provided good experience for several players.
The Irish Chess Union will shortly enter Senior teams for both the 50+ and 65+ World Senior Team Championships at Dresden in July. Details of the event can be seen here. In 2016 we had a 65+ team for the first time; this will be the first time to participate in the 50+ tournament. The team line-ups (not necessarily in board order) are as follows:
50+ team: FM John Delaney, CM Gerard MacElligott (captain), Martin Crichton, Brendan Lyons, and Bernd Thee.
65+ team: CM Tim Harding (captain), Kevin James, Pete Morriss, Matt O'Leary, and Frank McMahon.
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.
See the Irish Chess Union website for further details of all Irish competitions.
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.
12-year-old Irish-born Trisha Kanyamarala, who not long ago won a tournament in Iran with 9/9, has just finished competing in the extremely strong European Individual Championship in Batumi, Georgia. She scored 3.5/11 against strong opposition and must be very close to the 2000 rating target required to earn the FIDE Women's Candidate Master title.
Moreover her 13-year-old brother Tarun made the same score against mostly titled opposition; he, too, is also already rated above 1900 by FIDE. The I.C.U. understand that the family expect to return to Ireland quite soon when these two very promising youngsters will significantly strengthen our already strong junior squads.
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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