Archive for ‘chess’

November 9, 2022

Limerick Open Results

More than 100 competitors from all over Ireland and abroad took part in the Limerick Open in the West County Hotel last weekend. The tournament was run in 2 sections The Philip Hogarty Open and the Major (U1400). Both tournaments finished in a two-way tie for first which necessitated blitz playoffs to decide the champions.

In the Philip Hogarty Open, Blair Connell defeated CM Shane Melaugh in the last round to finish on 4.5/5 and he was joined by Limerick Chess Clubs James Naughton who defeated IM Oleg Gubanov to reach the same score. The blitz playoff was played at 3|2 time control and was decided on the best score from three games. The first two games were drawn and James won the third to take the title.

Both sets of players getting ready for the blitz playoff.

Philip Hogarty Open Prizewinners

1/2 J, Naughton (wins tournament in blitz playoff), B. Connell 4.5 from 5

3/4/5 K. Weih, FM R. Quinn, A. Collins 4 from 5

Grading Prizes in the Open

K. O’Brien (U1700), C O’Reilly (U1400), A. Brennan (Unrated) all 3.5 from 5

In the U1400 Ennis chess clubs Roy Marshall finished in joint first place with Gabriel Mirza both on 4.5 from 5. In the blitz playoff Gabriels experience won out as he won the first two games to take the title.

Major Prizewinners

1/2 G Mirza (wins tournament in blitz playoff), R. Marshall 4.5 from 5

3/4 S. Loughlin, S. Fitzgerald 4 from 5

Grading Prizes in the Major

A. O’Rourke, A Newaskar, A. D’Souza all 3.5 from 5

Full results and standings for both tournaments are available on

James Naughton receiving the Philip Hogarty Open Trophy from organiser John Cassidy
Blair Connell finished joint first in the Open
Gabriel Mirza receiving first prize in the Major

Roy Marshall finished joint first in the Major
November 3, 2022

Limerick Open 2022

The Limerick Open takes place in the West County Hotel, Ennis this weekend. The tournament is a 5 round Swiss and there is an Open and an U1400 section. Unfortunately, unlike previous years, the tournament won’t be FIDE rated this year but it should be an interesting event nonetheless. There is still time to get your entry in if you feel like playing. Online entry is available via the Irish Chess Union website.

October 23, 2022

Ennis win Munster League Division 1

Some unfinished business in the Munster League concluded today as the final 2 rounds from the COVID interrupted 2019-2020 season were played. It was tight at the top as Sarsfields, Cork A and Ennis all battled for the title. Cork A led the way going into today but a defeat to 2nd placed Sarsfields in the first match of the day, meant Ennis could go first if we beat Limerick A.

Limerick A 1-4 Ennis

  1. J. Naughton 0-1 O. Gubanov
  2. C. Kirby 0-1 R. Quinn
  3. D. Chaudarov 0.5-0.5 O. Murchadha
  4. R. O’Brien 0-1 T. Dunne
  5. G. Stack 0.5-0.5 K. O’Brien (Capt.)

Winning 4-1 meant we had a slender lead over Sarsfields going into the last round. However, our last round game was against Cork A who could still win the title themselves by beating us, whereas Sarsfields played Limerick B which, on paper, was an easier match. A stunning victory in the last round meant we won the title for the first time since the 2016/2017 season.

Ennis 4.5-0.5 Cork A

  1. O. Gubanov 1-0 S. Murphy
  2. R. Quinn 1-0 H. de Jonge
  3. O. Murchadha 1-0 H.R. Manasa
  4. T. Dunne 0.5-0.5 S. Lawrence
  5. K. O’Brien (Capt.) 1-0 M. Bradley

Ennis B also had a match today and finished the season on a high with a win against Cork B.

Ennis B 5-0 Cork B

  1. L. Daros (Capt.) 1-0 M. Watkins
  2. N. Whelan 1-0 M. McGrath
  3. R. Marshall 1-0 S. Shindgi
  4. P. Timlin 1-0 H.S. Muhammad
  5. J. O’Sullivan w/o

Ennis A – Munster League Division 1 Winners 2019-2020 Season
October 13, 2022

Euro Club Cup 2022 – Ennis Roundup

Ennis squad at European Club Cup 2022. Photo taken 3/10/22. Photo courtesy F. Antoni.
Squad photo taken before Round 1.

The European Club Cup finished last Sunday in Mayrhofen, Austria. After 7 rounds Ennis finished in 60th place out of the 70 competing teams. So, we finished a little below our initial seeding of 56th. A major factor in this was losing our board 1 to illness halfway through the tournament. Simon wasn’t feeling well from the start of the tournament but was still playing well and we had reached 33rd place before he had to withdraw. This meant the rest of the team had to play up a board in the remaining matches which obviously made our task more difficult. Also, in some matches we didn’t capitalise on the chances we did get. Overall, it was a mixed performance by the team. Highlights for the team were probably Round 4 where we beat a higher ranked Austrian team and Round 1 where we competed well with a much higher ranked Dutch team Our round-by-round results are below. Full results for the tournament are at chess results.

  1. Ennis 2.5 – 3.5 LSG Leiden 1 (Netherlands)
  2. Ennis 2 – 4 Viking CC (Iceland)
  3. Ennis 3.5 – 2.5 Gonzaga (Ireland)
  4. Ennis 4 -2 SK Zell/Zillertal (Austria)
  5. Ennis 1-5 De Plus Pion Wachtebeke (Belgium)
  6. Ennis 2-4 Amevo Apeldoorn (Netherlands)
  7. Ennis 2-4 Drejtesia (Kosovo)

I was happy with my own performance scoring 5 out of 7 with a rating performance of 2319 and making the FM title, which was a nice bonus! It could have been even better, as one of my losses was on time a couple of moves before the time control in an unclear position and in the other, I over pressed in a position where I had a bind after my opponent defended well.

With more places open to Irish teams in the competition than ever before, the European Club Cup represents a great opportunity for Irish players to test themselves against strong opposition. Next year’s tournament is due to take place in Albania, I’d highly recommend Irish clubs to go and compete.

October 1, 2022

European Club Cup 2022

Some of the best chess players in the world will descend on Mayrhofen in Austria in the next couple of days in preparation for this year’s European Club Cup, including world number one and man of the moment Magnus Carlsen. Top seeds in the Open by some distance are the Romanian team CSU ASE Superbet with Vishy Anand on top board and an average team rating of 2713.

Ennis are seeded 56th out of the 70 teams in the Open and are the highest seeded of the Irish teams in the event. I think this is the highest we have ever been seeded in an ECC and as in any team event the initial goal will be to at least finish at or above our seeding. Our squad is as listed previously except for Oscar Culbeaux who apparently withdrew late due to work commitments, which is a pity as I’m sure there were other players who might have liked the opportunity to participate.

There are some good players on our team and it will be interesting to see how we get on. The ECC is always an enjoyable and very strong tournament to play in. Of course, a patzer like myself is likely to struggle at such a high level but I’ll do my best. There is a preview of the event at chessbase. The tournament website has some information and of course results will regularly be updated on chess results. Usually at this event some of, if not all, the games are broadcast live so for anyone interested in watching how the matches unfold in real-time, I’m sure most of the major chess sites will carry coverage.

September 9, 2022

Ennis Squad for the European Club Cup 2022

With no national club championships taking place for the last few years due to COVID, clubs who wished to compete in the European Club Cup were asked to forward expressions of interest in competing to the Irish Chess Union. This years event will take place in Mayrhofen in the Austrian Tyrol in October and Ennis were one of the clubs who expressed in interest in playing. Our squad for the event in rating order is …

  1. GM S. Williams
  2. FM G. Jahncke
  3. IM O. Gubanov
  4. B. Connell
  5. FM O. Culbeaux
  6. R. Quinn
  7. B. Thee
  8. J. Cassidy (Captain)
September 6, 2022

Ennis tournament Nov. 4th-6th

Pre-Covid the Limerick Open was traditionally held in Limerick in October but is moving to Ennis, for this year anyway. The event will take place in Ennis from November 4th to the 6th. This will be a 5 round event and contact John Cassidy on 087 2495913 or by email for more information. Further details will follow.

John also asked me to mention another event that has moved location, the Cork Congress, which will take place in the Blarney Woollen Mills Hotel from the 30th September to the 2nd October this year. There are 3 sections a masters, major and minor and you can enter via the Irish Chess Union website This was always a nice event to play and the new venue looks very nice!

September 2, 2022

Ennis U16s win gold

Well done to all the Clare chess players who took part in the All Ireland Community games finals recently. Congratulations in particular to the Ennis U16 team and their coach John Cassidy who won the gold medals beating Monaghan in the semi final and Sligo in the final.

August 30, 2022

Irelands newest IM

Well done to Tarun Kanyamarala on becoming just the 10th ever Irish player to achieve the international master title at chess. Achieving the title at a young age gives Tarun a great chance to become the first ever Irish player to achieve the chess grandmaster title should he wish to pursue this goal.

In other news Alexander Baburin and Tom O’Gorman came joint first in the recent Bray rapidplay on 6 points from 7. Four players tied in second to sixth a half point behind the leaders. Oleg Gubanov and myself traveled from Ennis to compete, Oleg finished 16th and I in 11th.

August 13, 2022

Uzbekistan win Chennai Olympiad

With Russia prevented from participating and China choosing not to, there were probably quite a few teams that quietly fancied their chances of finishing among the medals in the recent chess Olympiad in Chennai, India. I’m not sure how many people expected Uzbekistan, who started as 14th seeds, to win the Open event, but that they did, sealing the gold medals with a last round victory over the Netherlands. 12th seeded Armenia finished in second place. It is customary in Olympiads that the host country can field a second team and in fact India fielded three teams and India 2, which was made up of junior players, took the bronze medal. It shows the strength in depth of Indian chess that their second team went close to winning the event.

The main story of the Irish team was Conor Murphys spectacular performance on board 2. He scored six points from his first six games (including wins in successive rounds over two 2600+ players) and 7.5 from 9 overall, to make a GM norm and was among the best performing players on board two in the Open. Irish champion Tarun Kanyamarala also gained some rating points scoring 6.5 from 10 while the other players, Alexander Baburin, Tom O’Gorman and Mark Heidenfeld held their own more or less. The Irish team were seeded 59th in the Open and finished in 60th place.

The womens event went along more predictable lines than the open as the top 3 seeds all finished in the medals. The second seeds Ukraine won the event, with a traditional power house of womens chess Georgia finishing second and India finishing in third. Alice O’Gorman was top scorer on the Irish womens team finishing on 7 points from 9 on board two. The team were initially seeded 51st and finished in 59th place.