Editor: Dr Tim Harding
© Dr Tim Harding
22 March 2023
This coming weekend, 24-26 March, the DCU Open (a new event) will be held at the Dublin City University campus in north Dublin. This will be followed by the Irish Junior Championships at Colaiste Eanna (31 March-2 April) when a National Arbiter training course will also be held.
Coming up to Easter (8-10 April), the Malahide Millennium Congress returns after a three year absence at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport. This event incorporates the Leinster Championship.
On 15 April a 7-round unrated rapid tournament will be held at UCD to support earthquake relief in Turkey. Then the Drogheda Congress will be held on the June bank holiday weekend after which there seems to be a fallow period until the Irish Championships in early August.
The Galway Congress was played last weekend, won by Rory Quinn. The results can now be seen on the Galway Chess Club website.
In July there will be another chance for our Senior teams to travel abroad, when the 2023 European Team Championships will be played in Swidnica, Poland (not far from Wroclaw). For details, which have just been published, please see our seniors calendar. Irish 50+ and 65+ players can register their interest free of charge on the ICU website or contact Jacob Flynn who has been named as co-ordinator for our teams.
Unfortunately FIDE has not yet decided where and when the 2023 World Senior team championships will be held but they have received four bids to host it. There is also no decision yet about the World Senior individual championships which were taken away from Russia.
The recent Sligo Congress seem to have been successful on the whole, but we heard harsh criticism of the hotel venue and of the way two of the lesser tournaments were decided with blitz game play-offs.
In general blitz tiebreaks are undesirable to decide a classical tournament. In this case it was particularly invidious because players who had won their individual game in the main event had to meet the same opponent in blitz. The Irish Chess Union should make a regulation to prevent this kind of thing happening in future. If necessary a motion should be brought to the next agm. Where two players tie in a tournament and their individual game was decisive, this should always be the tiebreak rule.
Please visit the calendar at the ICU website for details of the above and other scheduled events including the Irish Championships to be held early in August.
At the start of 2023, a New Year festival was held at the Talbot Hotel in Stillorgan, Dublin, also returning for the first time since January 2020. These events, run by Ivan Baburin and John Loughran for the ICU, included GM and IM norm tournaments, the annual Seniors Championships (65+ and 50+), the Leinster Junior Championships and various subsidiary events for lower-rated players.
See our Seniors news page for a brief report on the two tournaments for older players. The 65+ Championship attracted a record large entry and ended in success for Irish National master Eamon Keogh who will be 79 years old later this year. So big congratulations to Eamon.
For news of the other tournaments played in Stillorgan please see the ICU website. That congress was followed by a two-day tournament in Cavan (14-15 January), the first there for many years.
Early in November, 13 Irish senior chess players returned home after a successful visit to Dresden, Germany, where all three of our teams finished above their seedings and most of the squad improved their ratings. This was the largest contingent Ireland has sent to a Senior event abroad and we had the best result so far.
Especially notable were the results of our top board players: FM John Delaney who scored 6.5/8 in the 50+ section, IM Mark Orr who scored 5.5/9 for Ireland-1 in the 65+ tournament and Colm Quigley who scored 5/9 for Ireland-2. Paul Wallace, on board 2 for the 50+ team, also did very well, scoring 5.5/8.
The first Kilkenny congress since the Covid pandemic was held at the end of November 2022. For a report in words and pictures see the ICU website. That was the last major Irish event of 2022 but an arbiter training seminar was also held in which six Irish-registered players earned a norm towards the FIDE Arbiter title.
18-year-old James Naughton scored a notable double in Irish tournaments late last year. He shared first in the second section at Kilkenny. Previously in the Limerick Open (4-6 November) he tied first with Blair Connell (England) on 4.5/5 and actually had the superior tiebreak but the two did not meet. In the last round Naughton defeated Ukrainian IM Oleg Gubanov; the half point he dropped was actually an elective bye in round 3.
A few weeks previously Naughton had shared first in the Cork Congress, with 4/5, again with the superior tiebreak compared with the Irish champion IM Tarun Kanyamarala; they had drawn their game. Naughton's FIDE rating is still below 2000 but that should change on the December listing.
Club chess was a major casualty of the pandemic but the Leinster Chess Union has now relaunched its league competitions. Entries for the top five divisions and the fixture list can now be seen on the chessleague.net website.
The Rathmines Chess Club lost its premises and decided to mergd with the Rathfarnham-based Knights of Eanna, a fairly new club, who otherwise would not have had teams in the higher divisions. Rathmines (founded in the late 1880s) was the second oldest chess club continuously existing in Ireland. The merged club will meet at Colaiste Eanna, Ballyroan, and I believe the club night is Friday.
Unfortunately there are no teams representing Trinity College whose club effectively collapsed in the season preceding Covid. We hope that they can be reconstituted for next season.
Older news from 2022 has been stripped from this page to make room for new announcements and news as play resumes.
Also, chess officials please read our new page for chess arbiters.
For further information on Irish chess, including ratings, how to join, a tournament calendar and a list of officials, please see the Irish Chess Union website.
Irish chess history and news site
Chess discussions on boards.ie
Irish Correspondence Chess Association