September 14, 2017

St Andrews Charity Classic

Details of a new tournament received from Ross Beatty. The inaugural St Andrews Charity Classic will take place in St Andrews College, Blackrock from the 29th September to the 1st October. It’s already shaping up to be a strong event. Discounted entry is available til the 27th September.

August 19, 2017

Upcoming Local Events

WFM Diana Mirza is giving a simultaneous display at the Bridge Centre, St. Marys Road, Galway on Saturday 26th August. Entry is €10 and proceeds go to help fund Dianas trip to the World Youth Chess Championships in Uruguay in September.Contact Brendan Buckley ( for more information. A fundraising page has been set up for Diana for anyone who wishes to contribute.

The Munster Chess Championships takes place in Ennis from the 22nd to 24th September in the West County Hotel. The Senior Championship is a 5 round FIDE rated event while the U1500 Joe Browne Cup is a 6 rounder. Contact John Cassidy on 087 2495913 for more information.

The Limerick Open takes place in the Kilmurry Lodge, Castletroy from 28th to the 30th October. There are two sections, the Philip Hogarty Open and the U1400 Major. As usual John Cassidy is the contact for this tournament.

August 6, 2017

Lopez and Short win Irish Championships

The Irish Senior Championships finished earlier today and there were joint winners as IM Alex Astaneh Lopez and FM Philip Short tied for first on 7 from 9. Well done to both. Philips score had a symmetry about it as he started a little slowly with two draws before an excellent run of 5 wins and then finished with two draws to make a IM norm as well as tie for first. Alex Lopez put together a nice run of his own winning his last 4 games to take a share of first also.

20170806_174837 - Copy

Joint Winners – Alex Lopez and Philip Short

In the other placings FM Conor O’Donnell finished third on 6.5 and GM Alex Baburin finished fourth on 6. I finished in joint tenth to twelfth place on 3.5 points. I probably would have hoped to have done a little better but it was a tough tournament with a lot of hard fought games. Final standings and games are available here

The second weekender finished in a tie between IM Alvaro Valdes Escobar and David Murray. Jan Heinrich and Colm Egan finished in joint third and fourth. Grading prizes were won by Dara Moran and John Hennessy. Full results available from the Irish Chess Union website.

July 30, 2017

5 way tie in the first weekender

There was a 5 way tie for first in the first of the weekenders in the Irish Championships which finished earlier today. Ravshan Khadyarov, John McMorrow, Eoin Govers, Martin Crichton and Jan Heinrich all scored 4 out of 5. An excellent result in particular for Eoin Govers who posted a performance rating more than 600 points higher than his current rating and will likely pick up a lot of rating points.

Live boards were down in the Irish Senior Championships today as owing to noise in a nearby room the players had to move rooms shortly after the start of the round. Things should be back to normal tomorrow. Links to results and pairings from all tournaments so far are available at the Irish Chess Union website.

July 22, 2017

Irish Championships 1 week to go

The Irish Championships starts in Ennis a week from today. There is still time to enter the weekend events. Details on the attached flier. If you wish to enter online, see the current list of entries or for more information, please visit this page at the Irish Chess Union website. For accommodation inquiries, please contact John Cassidy.

The Irish Championships Open Weekender will be held on the second weekend of the competition (4-6 August) and is currently headlined by top seed IM Alvaro Valdes Escobar. Enter that event here.

Games from the Senior Championship will be broadcast live on Chess24

July 4, 2017

Irish Championships 2017

The Irish Senior Championships and associated events take place in the West County Hotel in Ennis from 28th July to 6th August. To the best of my knowledge this is the first time in the 130+ year history of the event that it has been held in Ennis, though I am open to correction on that. Certainly if it was held in Ennis previously, it was a long time ago. It’s nice for local players to have such a prestigious event taking place nearby.

There is still plenty of time to get entries in for what promises to be a great event. Entry to the senior championships (limited to 1900+ rating) and the weekend events is via the Irish Chess Union website.As usual and in addition to the title there is an automatic spot on the 2018 Irish Olympiad team for the winner. For those who can’t make it all games in the Senior are due to be broadcast online so you can still follow the games.

Sponsorship is provided by Clare County Council (senior event and second weekender) and EI Electronics (first weekender).

July 2, 2017

Results of Jim Hussey rapidplay

The Jim Hussey Memorial Rapidplay took place yesterday in the West County Hotel. The format was 6 rounds at 20 minutes aside with time handicaps applying to higher rated players. 41 players took part in the event.


There were some interesting games played in the event, the time handicap element evened out the rating disparities a bit. In one of my games I had the following pawn structure with white to play (I was black), I think 7 isolated ones is a record for me!


I managed to win the tournament ahead of Eric Bennett and James Naughton who is on a good run on results lately. Jana Solomatina put in an excellent performance to take the U1200 grading prize.
1. R Quinn 6
2-3 E Bennett and J Naughton 5
U1200 J Solomatina 4

Full results and standings here

Well done to John Cassidy for organizing and Ray O’Brien who kept track of results and did the draws. Both also found time to play in the event. Thanks to all who came and played in the event, hopefully all enjoyed themselves.


June 7, 2017

Jim Hussey Rapidplay

The Jim Hussey Rapidplay takes place on 1st July in the West County Hotel. Format is a 6 round twenty minute a side tournament. Time handicaps will be applied according to rating. Entry is just 10 euro for adults and 7 euro for juniors. Contact John Cassidy on 087 2495913 for more information or to enter.

Congratulations to Tom O’Gorman who attained a FIDE rating of 2300 and who subsequently becomes eligible for the FM title. Tom is doing a 20 board simultaneous display at Dun Laoghaire Chess Club on 21st June. Entry is free. See the Irish Chess Union website for details.

May 26, 2017

Judit Polgar at UCD

Judit Polgar is in Ireland at the moment as a guest of the recently formed UCD chess society and gave an interesting talk last night in Belfield. The theme of her short talk was Play Your Way to Success and it was followed by a wide ranging and really engaging Q and A. It was particularly interesting to hear the thoughts of a woman player who reached the very top level in what was (and probably still is to a large extent) quite a male dominated domain.

Judits talk

Judit spoke about the importance of pattern recognition in developing ones understanding of the language of chess and how success is the culmination of a long series of incremental steps. She identified a number of ingredients in her recipe for success including goal setting, focus, critical thinking, balance and respect with practice, perseverance and passion being the most important.

Following the talk Judit was presented with a James Joyce award by UCD. There was also a presentation to Diana Mirza who put in a great performance recently at the FIDE World Girls Schools Under 17 competition.

Presentation to Diana Mirza

After the talk the inaugural UCD blitz took place. Judit didn’t play which gave us mere mortals a chance! Irelands top womens player Monika Gedvilaite must have taken some inspiration from the talk as she put in a really good performance including a last round win over the number 2 on the Irish FIDE list IM Sam Collins and I think was just edged out on tiebreak for a place. Killian Delaney took first place on tiebreak from Colm Daly in second with Sam Collins taking third place on tiebreak. Overall it was a nice evenings entertainment and hopefully chess in UCD will go from strength to strength.

May 21, 2017

Ennis win Munster League

Ennis A won Division 1 of the Munster League earlier today in Charleville. We needed a win over Cork A to make sure of the title. Cork were missing a couple of players which helped take the pressure off a bit though we won the match over 3 boards in any case.

Ennis A 4-1 Cork A
1.R Quinn 1-0 H Doyle
2.T Dunne 0.5-0.5 K O’Mahony
3.M O’Donnell 0.5-0.5 T McGrath
4. J Cassidy w/o
5. A Nguyen w/o

In addition to the above, Jacob Miller played most of the games this season and Nick Larter, Denis Ruchko, Gerry Casey and Kieran O’Brien also made appearances so well done to all! Adare finished in second place and CCYMS, who were the only team to beat us in a match this season, came third.

L-R: A Nguyen, M O’Donnell, R Quinn, J Cassidy (Missing T Dunne)

The AGM took place after the prizegiving and there aren’t too many changes for the forthcoming season though for 2018/2019 the first division will be reduced to 6 teams. How exactly this will be achieved wasn’t decided upon at the meeting. Various options e.g. 3 teams relegated or 4 team playoff or 2 teams relegated and a 2 team playoff will be discussed at a later date. Minutes will be at the Munster Chess Union website.