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 Gedvailite 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.

May 14, 2017

Miron wins Ennis Open

Lucian Miron won the Ennis Open for a second year in the row. He coasted home fairly comfortably in the end, 5 wins in a row meant a last round draw was all that was needed to take first place. Daniel Hristodorescu and Colm Daly tied for second/third.


Lucian Miron won the Open

The u1400 section was won by Ennis player Azzizbek Shamsiddinov with another Ennis player Aidan Coll tied in second through to fourth with Jonathan Kiely and Atanas Kouhtev.


Azzizbek Shamsiddinov won the U1400 section

Full results table on the Irish Chess Union website.

May 12, 2017

Ennis Congress Underway

The Ennis Congress gets underway shortly in the West County Hotel. With upwards of 100 entrants and counting it looks like being one of the largest yet. The top 2 boards in the Open and the top board in the U1400 are being broadcast live on the ICU website.

May 3, 2017

Ennis Congress and recent results

Under 2 weeks now to go to the Ennis Chess Congress which starts on Friday week in the West County Hotel. A 6 round weekend Swiss with an Open and an U1400 section, the congress runs from 12th to 14th May. Online entry to the tournament is available via the Irish Chess Union website.

Congratulations to two Irish players on excellent results recently FM David Fitzsimons who made his second IM norm at the 4NCL and WFM Diana Mirza who won the Girls U17 FIDE World Schools Championship in Romania. More details on Dianas win on the ICU website.

May 1, 2017

Munster League Div 1 and 2

Yesterday saw the penultimate round in the Munster League Division 1 and the final round in Division 2.

In Division 1 the A team maintained their position at the top of the table with two good results. A win in the last match will give this years title to Ennis but any other result and Adare can still win it.

Ennis A2.5-2.5 Adare
1. R Quinn 0.5-0.5 S Sudolski
2. J Miller 1-0 J Heinrich
3. T Dunne 0-1 K Butler
4. A Nguyen 0-1 B Thee
5. M O’Donnell w/o

Sarsfields 0.5 – 4.5 Ennis A
1. P Walsh 0.5-0.5 R Quinn
2. P Kiely 0-1 J Miller
3. F Noonan 0-1 T Dunne
4. L O’Brien 0-1 J Cassidy
5. J Kiely 0-1 A Nguyen

In Division 2 Charleville and Ennis B had a double header to see who would win the Division and gain promotion to Division 1. The first match was a draw so it all came down to the second match of the day and Charleville proved victorious to seal their return to the top division.

Ennis B 2.5-2.5 Charleville
1. A Daly 0-1 PJ Rea
2. G Casey 1-0 W Rea
3. J Dunne 0.5-0.5 K Cole
4. A Shamsiddinov 0-1 K Foley
5. D Murphy 1-0 P Meskell

Charleville 3.5-1.5 Ennis B
1. PJ Rea 0.5 -0.5 A Daly
2. K Cole 1-0 G Casey
3. W Rea 1-0 J Dunne
4. K Foley 0.5-0.5 A Shamsiddinov
5. E Barry 0.5-0.5 D Murphy

April 19, 2017

Galway Rapidplay May 27th

The Annual Galway rapidplay will take place on Saturday 27th May in the Bridge Centre, St Marys Road, Galway. It’s a 7 rounder with 15 minutes per game per player and a 10 second increment per move. Play starts at 11am. Full details at Galway Chess.

April 17, 2017

Tralee 2017

The Tralee tournaments finished earlier today. No Irish norms were gained though Alex Lopez came close. He went into his final round game against Matthew Turner knowing a win would give him a GM norm. But in the end it was the former Countdown champion who prevailed winning the tournament in the process, as Nevednichy and Feller drew. The B tournament was won by Polands Miroslaw Grabarczyk with Conor O Donnell finishing best of the Irish in third place. Paul Walsh won the C tournament and Hugo Fowler the D tournament. Full details on the Irish Chess Union website.

April 10, 2017

So wins US Chess Championships

Wesley So has just won the US Chess Championships beating the surprise package Alex Onischuk in a playoff after both finished tied on 7 points. Caruana, Nakamura and Akobian were all tied a half point further back on 6.5 in what was a competitive tournament.

A little closer to home there are norm tournaments taking place in Tralee later this week with Collins and Lopez going for norms in the GM tournament while those battling for norms in the IM tournament include O’Donnell, Daly, Delaney and Li.

In the Irish Junior Championships which finished in Sligo last weekend, Limericks James Naughton put in a fine performance to win the U14 outright on 5.5 points while Denis Ruchko who played for Ennis in the last round of the Munster League came joint first in the U19s. Next years Irish Junior Championships will be held in Ennis.

April 6, 2017

Lopez and Murray finish first in Cork

Local master Alex Lopez and Gonzagas David Murray finished in joint first place on 5 points from 6 in the Cork Congress Masters last weekend. Henry Li finished in third place on 4.5. Fionn O Neill and Devan Patel finished in joint first place in the Major. Hugh Moran, Bryan Chan and Max Tempany all top scored on 5 points in the Minor. Looks like it was quite a successful congress overall with well over 100 participants across the three sections. Full standings are on the Cork Chess website.