Upcoming Events for Galway Chess Club
October 1st: Casual meeting in Monroe’s Tavern from 8pm
October 8th: Monroe’s 8pm
October 10th: Grand re-opening of club – October Blitz: 7.45 pm upstairs in the Bridge Club on St. Mary’s Road.
The home of chess in Galway
Our Grand Reopening October Blitz, held on October 10th, had more entries than any blitz for many months, including a fair number of completely new players, which bodes very well for the coming season. It also had a surprisingly exciting finish: surprising, because after five of the seven rounds, Diego Rodriguez had built up a lead of 1½ points by scoring five straight wins, and had just defeated his main rival, top seed Johannes Hertel, so victory seemed in the bag. However, Diego then seemed to run out of steam, losing both his remaining games, whilst many-times previous winner Jason Rawlinson came through with a late spurt, beating Diego in round 6 and then Johannes in the final round. Thus the winner, with 5½ points was Jason Rawlinson, and second equal on 5 points were Diego Rodriguez, Ger Abberton (who beat Diego in the last round, having previously drawn with Jason to seemingly put him out of contention) and Brian Gallagher. Brian also finished with a flourish, winning his last four games, and, as an unrated player in his first Galway Blitz, was deservedly awarded the prestigious rating prize.
After the summer’s abeyance, the club shall re-open on October 10th with a Blitz competition. Registration is at 7:45pm, with kick-off at 8pm (upstairs in the Bridge Club on St. Mary’s Road).
Entrants will play 7 games, with a total of 5 minutes per game plus 5 seconds extra per move. If you run out of time, you lose, so there will undoubtedly be some very questionable moves made under time pressure.
Entry is free and open to all, so come along – it promises to be great fun!
We’ll put together a more concrete calendar in the near future, but members can look forward to further blitzes, the notorious Winter League, chess training, and more.
If you have any questions, shoot us an email at galwaychess[at]gmail[dot]com .
September’s Blitz, held on Thursday 19th, saw an encouraging number of newcomers, all of whom confessed to playing chess on-line but were now keen to try playing an opponent they could actually see. We hope the sight didn’t put too many of them off, and that all will become regular club members. Conversely, all our juniors were absent, which was a pity. In their absence, we had the closest finish for several months: after five rounds, three players – Pete Morriss, Diego Rodriguez, and Fintan Hegarty – were tied for first with 4 points, a point ahead of the field; the three had already played each other, and therefore had to face lower-scoring opponents. So in round 6, when Pete managed to scrape a draw, he thought that that would put him out of the running for prizes – only for him then to discover that the other two front-runners had both lost, so he was then leading, with four players now sharing second place just half a point behind him. But order was restored somewhat in the final round, when the chastened three scored three wins, thus all emerging to share the prizes: Pete Morriss was first with 5½ points, and Diego Rodriguez and Fintan Hegarty shared second with 5 points. The grading prize went to one of our newcomers, James Sharkey, with 4 points, including a win in round 6 against one of the eventual runners-up.
Just wanted to give you an update, there will be a blitz next Thursday the 19th 7.45pm in the Bridge Club.
The AGM will then take place on the 26th at 7.45pm.
A detailed agenda has been sent out, if you didn’t receive an email please let me know.
The two main points of discussion will be:
1. A small increase to the membership rate to cover the cost of Public Liability Insurance.
2. Proposal to join the Munster League – details are in the agenda and if you are interested in joining please let me know so I can get a gauge on interest.
All the best
Slightly more players attended the August blitz, held on Thursday 29th August, than in the previous couple of months, doubtless due to the end of the unfortunately warm and dry weather we were suffering from in June and July. The tournament was tightly contested, but in the end the winner, as in January and March this year, was Zalan Nemeth, with six points out of seven. This will presumably be Zalan’s last blitz tournament for a while, as he is leaving us to go to university in Dublin; we wish him well there, and do hope to see him whenever he is able to visit Galway.
There was a tie for second place between Brendan Buckley, Denis Ruchko, and Pete Morriss, all on five points; Denis, incidentally, was the player who managed to take a point off Zalan, though he somehow didn’t manage to repeat that feat against Brendan and Pete. The rating prize, for the best player rated in the bottom half, was won by Paul Ward with 4 points, beating Pete and last month’s winner Jason Rawlinson, amongst others. Paul is usually considered to be too strong to be eligible for the rating prize, but this tournament was a particularly strong one, so that the cut-off point for the prize had to be set at under-1600.
Our August Blitz Tournament will be held on Thursday 29 August, upstairs in the Bridge Centre, St Mary’s Road, starting at 7.45 p.m. As usual, there will be seven rounds, at a speed of 5 minutes for the game plus an increment of 5 seconds per move, so we would expect to finish at about 10.30. We will provide all equipment; there will be an entry fee of €5, and any money left over after we’ve paid for the rent of the room will be returned in PRIZES! Visitors to Galway are very welcome to enter – as are Galway residents, of course.
Galway’s Denis Ruchko and Kynesh Ryder are both currently playing in the European Youth Chess Championship in Bratislava: Denis in the under-16 (open) and Kynesha in the under-18 girls. Both tournaments are dauntingly strong, with the top players rated over 2400, so Denis and Kynesha have their work cut. Most, though not all, of the games are being shown live should you wish to follow them – as I write, Denis seems to have a promising position against a higher-rated opponent who has had the audacity to play the Benko Gambit against him.
July’s blitz, like June’s, had fewer entries than normal – quite possibly because the spell of unusually dry and warm weather did not break until the day after the one we had picked for our tournament, which was a shame. Although few in number, the participants were an interesting mix of regulars, newcomers, and returnees, unlike in June, which had consisted mainly of regulars. At the final reckoning, the tournament was won by a multiple previous winner, Jason Rawlinson, who beat everybody to record seven straight wins. Second equal were tournament organizer Pete Morriss and David Cunningham on 5½ points (drawing with each other, both losing to Jason, and beating the rest). David Cunningham also won the rating prize, by a very long way, as the other eligible players all came equal on 1 point. This was David’s first Galway blitz, though last month he won a rating prize and the under-12 prize in the Galway Rapidplay (scroll down for a Report, and also a picture of David receiving one of his prizes from – perhaps fittingly – Pete Morriss) and a few weeks prior to that he had come first in the Irish under-10 championship. So David is on a roll, and deservedly so judging by the standard of play he showed in this blitz tournament, in which he beat several much higher-rated and more experienced opponents.
Our July Blitz Tournament will be held on Thursday 18 July, upstairs in the Bridge Centre, St Mary’s Road, starting at 7.45. As usual, there will be seven rounds, at a speed of 5 minutes for the game plus an increment of 5 seconds per move, so we would expect to finish at about 10.30. We will provide all equipment; there will be an entry fee of €5, and any money left over after we’ve paid for the rent of the room will be returned in PRIZES! Visitors to Galway are very welcome to enter – as are Galway residents, of course.
The surprisingly hot weather was perhaps responsible for the small turnout at our June Blitz tournament, held on Thursday 27th, though it did mean that the standard was a bit higher than it has been in some other months. No-one had a higher standard than Denis Ruchko, who beat everybody to finish clear winner with seven points out of seven. Second equal, a long way behind, were Brendan Buckley and Jason Rawlinson, with five wins and two losses (Brendan winning their individual game). The rating-prize, which was set at under-1500 this month to reflect the higher standard and absence of our usual ‘tail’, was won by Ger Abberton, with 3 points.