Galway Winter League, Round 1.
Z. Nemeth G. Abberton Z. Dragic P. Morriss J. Rawlinson I. Finnerty D. Piercy K. O’Mahoney K. Asyraf J. Blackwell B. Delee A. Koslovs P. Ward I. Danial A. Zariq A. Barber K. Ryder BYE
The home of chess in Galway
As this year’s Galway Winter League is about to start, it might be worth pointing out that previous Winter League winners for 2015 (Gerardo Artola Palo) and 2017 (Denis Ruchko) are both currently playing in the European Club Cup in Greece – along with the likes of Magnus Carlsen, Mamedyarof, Ding Liren and other chess giants – but, alas, not for Galway: Gerardo is paying for Dublin and Denis for Ballinasloe. You can follow their results here.
Our blitz tournament, held on the 27th September, saw Brendan Buckley take an early lead in round 3, by which time he was the only player on 100%. He maintained that record in round 4, but was caught in round 5 when he was beaten by Zalan Nemeth. Brendan and Zalan then continued to beat all their challengers, opening up an increasing lead over the chasing pack, until they finally came first equal on 6 points out of 7, a point and a half ahead of the next best. The grading prize was won for the second month in a row by James Blackwell who scored four points, beating several of the top players, including eventual winner Zalan in the first round.
For young players interested in playing in this years west of IRL. chess league there’ll be a free training day for Galway teams this Saturday. If interested and ye can’t make Sat. please email me and I’ll try to get a team for everyone.
Galway Chess Club will resume its regular weekly meetings with our September Blitz tournament on Thursday 27 September. As usual, it will be held upstairs in Galway Bridge Centre, St Mary’s Road – opposite St Mary’s School. Please be there for 7.45 to enter; we expect it to finish around 11. As usual, there will be 7 rounds, at a speed of 5 minutes plus 5 seconds a move.
As this will be our first meeting of the regular season, there will be no entry fee (and therefore no money prizes). Instead, you will be able to pay your annual subscription – so that you can come to all our events for free throughout the autumn, winter, and spring. But anybody who is new to the club and is thinking of maybe, possibly, joining but isn’t sure what they will get for their (small amount of) money, is welcome to come along to the blitz and try it out, for free.
The August Blitz, held on Thursday 30 August, again attracted a good mix of regular attenders, newcomers, and people returning after several years’ absence (during which, it seems, life had got in the way of chess). Yet when the dust settled the prize winners were a fairly familiar bunch. First prize went to Pete Morriss, with six points out of seven; second to Andrejs Kozlovs (no longer eligible for the grading prize) with 5½; and the grading prize to James Blackwell, who also came third equal with 4½ pints.
Our August Blitz tournament will be held on Thursday 30 August in the Bridge Centre (upstairs), St Mary’s Road. Please be there by 7.45 for registration. There will be an entry fee of €5 to cover the cost of renting the room, with money left over being returned in PRIZES. There will be seven rounds; the rate of play is that each person has 5 minutes to make all their moves in each game plus 5 seconds for each move. We can provide all sets and clocks. The tournament is expected to finish between 10.30 and 11.
Visitors to Galway are very welcome to come along and play.
Andrew represented Ireland at the u-12 championships in Mureck Austria. And finished on 4pts. from 9 .. performing 500pts. above his Irish rating. Nice work !
The July Blitz, held on Thursday 19 July, continued the recent tradition of being dominated by our junior players. (See the reports on the blitzes in April and May; we did not hold a blitz tournament in June.) Denis Ruchko dominated from start to finish, scoring 6½ points out of 7 (conceding only one draw, to Jason Rawlinson), to add the July title to those he won in April and May. Kynesha Ryder came second, as she did in April, with 5½ points. The rating prize was won, for the third time this calendar year, by Andrejs Kozlovs, though this is almost certainly the last time that he will be eligible for this prize, as his rating has now risen to almost where it should be.
Galway Chess Club’s July Blitz will be held this Thursday, 19 July, at our usual venue, upstairs in the Galway Bridge Centre, St Mary’s Road. Please be there by 7.45 to register. As this is taking place outside our usual season, there will be an entry fee of €5: this is so that we can pay the Bridge Centre for the use of their room, with any money left over being returned in PRIZES.
The standard format will apply: 7 rounds in total, and each player will have 5 minutes per game, plus a 5 second increment per move. The club will provide sets and clocks.
Visitors to Galway are very welcome to come along and play.
The annual Galway Rapidplay, held on Saturday 26 May, was won convincingly by top seed International Master Álvaro Valdés Escobar, from Chile. Álvaro won his first six games seemingly comfortably enough, before conceding a draw in his final game to finish on 6½ points. In second place was Irish champion Philip Short with 6 points: Philip lost to Álvaro in the tournament decider in round 5, and won all his remaining games.
Whilst the first two places were decided quite early, the contest for the remaining prizes was a fierce one. Eventually they were shared amongst three players, all on 5 points: they were last year’s winner Colm Daly, Galway’s Denis Ruchko (who also won the junior prize for the third year in a row) and John Hensey from Westport (who also won the under-1500 rating prize). The highest placed female player was Kynesha Ryder, for the second year running.
John’s performance was particularly noteworthy: not only did he finish third when seeded 25th out of 31 players, but in the last round he beat an Irish international rated over a thousand points higher than him. Whilst on the subject of giant-killers, mention must be made of Galway’s Zoran Dragic, who was rated flat last (based on a provisional ICU rating obtained in Bunratty) yet nevertheless ended up joint 6th, on 4½ points, beating no fewer than three players nominally rated about a thousand points higher than him.
Full standings, crosstable and photos of prize winners are here.
And here is the happy winner receiving his prize from tournament organizer Pete Morriss.