Entries are open for the 9-round international open which the Irish Chess Union is organising to be played in Dublin over Easter 2019, with GM and IM title norm possibilities. There will be a 9 rounds in 6 days and also blitz and rapid side-events. For full details on this and other Irish events, see the Irish Chess Union website.
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. chairpreson 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.
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).
Any Senior players interested in playing for Ireland in the World Senior Team Championships in April (which unfortunately coincide with the Dublin open) should read the information on our calendar page and then contact the I.C.U. secretary or chairman.
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.
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 last week.
Alex Lopez won the annual Mulcahy Memorial open tournament held in Cork last weekend (11-13 January) but we do not know the full results. The web pages for the Cork club and its congresses seem to be two years out of date! Somebody down South needs to get their act together!
The ever-popular Gonzaga charity tournaments (25-27 January) will be held on the last weekend of January, followed by Bunratty on 22-24 February. The Irish chess calendar is getting very crowded.
Irish chess last year lost one of its leading figures of the past half-century. FM Philip Short, originally from Cork, died in Galway on 31 August at the age of 58. He was several times Irish Champion, most recently in 2017 (jointly with Alex Lopez) when he made an IM norm. He will be sadly missed by family, friends and the whole Irish chess community.
The Irish Open team at the Batumi olympiad had a somewhat disappointing finish, but achieved two draws against Russia in the second round. The Women's team performed above their seeding.
The 2018 Irish Championships were held in Dublin (3-12 August). IM Alex Astaneh Lopez was the convincing winner of the main event ahead of the largest and strongest field for the event in many years. Entries are already open for the 21019 Championship to be played at the same venue.
There were 36 competitors, including one grandmaster, three other IMs and seven FIDE Masters. (Philip Short scored a creditable 5.5/9 in this, his last tournament.)
There was also a programme of supporting events held over the two weekends with a smaller midweek open. The tournament, moved to August from the normal July dates, was played in excellent conditions at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Dublin under the efficient ditection of Ivan Baburin.
Ireland has a new International Master: David Fitzsimons, whose title was confirmed at the FIDE Congress in September. He completed his qualification in the ninth round of the 4NCL in May when he won his game to earn his third IM norm. David had previously reached the 2400 rating threshold.
Further Irish chess links and information may be added later.
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