Galway Rapidplay 2022

There was a big entry for the 2022 edition of the Galway Rapidplay which took place in the Bridge Centre in Galway today. FM Colm Daly took first place on 6.5 from 7. I shared joint second with S. Anand Kumar on 6 from 7. Alice O’Gorman took the ladies prize and there were lots of junior prize winners with the organisers adding extra prizes due to the large turn out. I can’t remember all and don’t want to leave anyone out. Results and a full list of prize winners will likely be available at the Galway chess website in the coming days.

The event had an international flavour with players from many countries participating including a number of players from Ukraine who have certainly added a lot to the Irish chess scene since arriving. My only loss was to a player from Trinidad and Tobago who is currently studying in Dublin. I took a slightly risky approach with the black pieces saccing a pawn in the opening for an attack, but my opponent played well and was better until he missed a tactic that left the position very unclear. I failed to follow up correctly though and my opponent was able to go into a winning ending which he duly converted.

Other Ennis players competing were Mike O’Donnell, Roy Marshall and George Stack (who also won a prize). The tournament was fun. I like the format, it’s possible to play reasonably good chess but still fast enough that one doesn’t have much time to dwell on a loss, as the rounds come and go quickly and the whole event can be played in a day. It would be nice to see more of these type of rapidplays in the West.

On a sombre note, sad to hear today that Paddy Quinlan passed away recently. Paddy was a real chess aficionado, not only playing regularly in chess tournaments and leagues but also finding time to organise very enjoyable tournaments in Tramore and Waterford over the years. May he rest in peace.

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