Upcoming EventsJune 29th
19:45 in the Bridge Centre
Entry open to all: €5
Blitz: 5 mins per game +5 secs per move
The home of chess in Galway
This year’s FIDE-rated Galway Rapidplay was held on Saturday 27 May. The day started out ideal for chess (cold and wet), but, despite that, numbers were disappointingly down on previous years: it seems that there was a plethora of weddings, funerals, and first communions on that day, which prevented several regulars from attending, and doubtless the blitz and the rapid tournaments in Dublin in the week proceeding our event, both arranged at short notice, lured away some who would otherwise have travelled to Galway to get their fix of fast chess. Those who did play seemed to enjoy it, and the tournament ran smoothly: the arbiter was again grateful to all the players for the fine spirit in which they all played. We also managed to finish earlier than advertised, mainly because there were few long-drawn-out endgames.
So, to the results. The tournament was won by top-seed Colm Daly, who led from start to finish to end on 6½ points from 7. The one draw he conceded was to the 2016 champion Rob Lydiard, who again came over from England to play here. It wasn’t all plain sailing for Colm, who looked in trouble in one or two of his games, but his class ensured that he could survive any difficulties that his other opponents could cause him. Gerardo Artola Pola (5½ points) secured second place with a fine last round victory against Rob in a complicated game; Gerardo is originally from Argentina, and currently on loan from Galway Club to Dublin Club. Third place was shared between the previously mentioned Rob Lydiard and Ciaran Quinn (5 points), from Dublin¸ who recovered well from an unfortunate loss on time in the first round when his hand got to the clock just a fraction of a second too late. The subsidiary prizes all went to Galway club regulars. The under-1400 Rating prize was shared between Fintan Hegarty and Kynesha Ryder (4 points), and Kynesha Ryder was also the highest placed female player. The Junior prize was won by Denis Ruchko (4½ points); despite losing to one of his junior rivals in the first round, Denis won the prize with a round to spare after storming through the field (conceding only a draw to Gerardo) to end up on top board in the last round, when he was unfortunate not to hold the draw against Colm.
The full standings and cross table are available here, along with photos of the happy prize winners receiving their prizes.
The April Blitz, played on 20 April, was won by Winter League winner and top seed Denis Ruchko with seven straight wins; the only time this season that anybody has achieved that feat in our blitz tournaments. Second was Pete Morriss on 6 points, whose one loss was, of course, against Denis. The rating prize was won by Billy Delee, who scored 4 points.
The annual FIDE-rated Galway Rapidplay will be on Saturday 27 May, in the Bridge Centre, St Mary’s Road; games will start at 11 a.m., but entrants must arrive by 10.45 to register. Full information is here. There is a guaranteed prize fund of €550, which will increase if there are more than 50 entries. To enter, email us at galwaychess [at] gmail [dot] com by midday on Friday 26 May (please include your name, and either your ICU and FIDE ID numbers if you have them or your date of birth; also please specify whether you are eligible for the Junior and/or Female Prizes) and pay €15 on registration, or turn up on the day and pay €25. A map showing the location of the Bridge Centre is here.
The March Blitz tournament, held on 30 March, was won by Fintan Hegarty with an excellent 6½ points out of 7 (conceding one draw to Zalan Nemeth, and winning all the rest). Fintan (who also won last December) was rated eighth of the eleven players, but his current rating is not an accurate reflection of his prowess at blitz. Second was Denis Ruchko on 5½ (he won all his games except against the Hegartys: losing to Fintan and drawing with brother Conall). The grading prize was won, for the second month in a row, by Kynesha Ryder, who was fourth equal on 4 points.
It’ll be no surprise to members of the Galway chess club that these 3, have followed up their impressive form in the Galway winter league with title wins at this year all Ireland event. Denis is the Irish junior champion & Zalan is the U-16 Irish junior champion. Kynesha was 2nd in the girls u-16 event. Congratulations !
Over 120 students from 12 schools took part in this years Galway national schools Chess finals .. the top 2 schools go forward to the the national finals, to be held in Gonzaga College on Saturday 22nd April. Event report here.
Just under a hundred players took part in the 2017 Galway Congress. The numbers were reduced a little as inexplicably the Leinster Schools Chess Association chose to schedule its finals on a date that clashed, thus depriving many of the most active juniors in Leinster of the opportunity of playing in one of Ireland’s leading tournaments. There was also a comparatively small field in the Masters section, despite it being very strong at the top with two GMs and three IMs. Nevertheless, the hundred who did play seemed to enjoy themselves, and the building work in the hotel was scarcely noticeable: if we had known that the resulting disruption would be so insignificant, we wouldn’t have compensated by reducing the entry fees!
The prize winners were
Masters: First: GM Oleg Korneev (Spain); Second: IM Alex Lopez (Ireland); Third equal: GM Alex Baburin (Ireland) and IM Craig Pritchett (Scotland); Grading: Peter Cafolla; Connaught Champion: FM Philip Short
Major: First: Christopher Young; Second equal: Anastasia Mohylna, James Danaher, Robert Murtagh, Jason Rawlinson, James Naughton; Grading Prize 1: Adam Murphy (also second equal); Grading Prize 2: Eoin Hunter
Minors: First: Hugh O’Connor; Second equal: Aidan O’Sullivan, K S Gopal, Dylan Murphy; Grading Prize 1: Andrejs Kozlovs (also second equal); Grading Prize 2: Jack McIntyre.
A fuller report, plus photos, can be found under the Congress 2017 link above.
On Friday the 3rd of March, the Bridge Club Galway played host to the 4th edition of the Connaught Cup .. here is a link for the full results .. many of the players involved will be in action again next w/e in the Galway Congress !
The largest contingent of Galway players for some years headed down to Bunratty to play in the 2017 Bunratty Chess Festival.
The strongest two performances were by Galway residents Philip Short, who scored 3½ points out of 6 in the Masters section, which secured 15th place (one place ahead of Grand Master and previous world title contender John Speelman!), and Wade Courson, who is new to Galway and did us proud with 4/6 in the Challengers and eleventh place. Others in the Challengers section were club regulars Jason Rawlinson, Zalan Nemeth, and Denis Ruchko, who each scored 3 points, and David McCann and Pete Morriss, who both finished on 2½.
In the Major section, our best performer was Andrew Barber, with 4 points and 15th place. Paul Ward scored 3½, David Baird 3, Kevin Fitzpatrick 2, and Oisin Hodgins, playing in his first tournament, 1½.
In the Minor section, Alan Delahunty came seventh equal with 4½ points, with Kynesha Ryder close behind on 4 and Bill Delee just behind her with 3½.
Apologies to anybody who hasn’t been mentioned: get in touch and you will be added in!
There were rather fewer players in the February blitz, held on Thursday 23 February, than there have been over the past few months; nevertheless, many exciting games were played and there were some unexpected results. The grading prize went to Kynesha Ryder, for the second time in three months, with an excellent 4 out of 6. Second place went to Denis Ruchko, with 4½, while the winner, for the second month in a row, was Pete Morriss with 5½ points out of 6. Pete dropped his half point in a wild game with Denis in which he was a piece down for most of the time, before recovering to reach a won ending which he then threw away. Denis’s chances were rather spoiled by losing in the first round to Kynesha, whilst Kynesha dropped points to last month’s grading prize winner Gopal and also Zalan Nemeth, with whom she shared third place, whilst beating fourth seed Jason Rawlinson as well as Denis.