The home of chess in Galway
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.
The next weekend congress near to Galway will be in Ennis on the weekend of Friday 11 to Sunday 13 May. Further details are here.
The May blitz, played on Thursday 3 May, proved another triumph for youth, with all prizes going to players under 17. First equal were Denis Ruchko and Zalan Nemeth on 5½ points: they drew with each other, lost one game each against the older folk (to Ger Abberton and Pete Morriss, respectively), and won all five of their remaining games. The grading prize was won, for the second month in a row, by Kynesha Ryder, with 4 points. There was an above-average size turnout, incidentally, which has encouraged us to keep the monthly blitzes going throughout the summer. Dates will be announced shortly.
This year’s Galway Rapidplay will take place on Saturday 26 May, at the Bridge Centre, St Mary’s Road, Galway. (For directions to the Bridge Centre, see here.) The format will be seven rounds, with each player having 15 minutes to make all their moves, plus an extra ten seconds for each move. The event will start at 11 a.m. (prompt!), and we expect that it will finish by 7 p.m. Full information about the tournament, including how to enter, is available in the Rapidplay 2018 tab above.
Coffee, tea, and soft drinks will be available to purchase at the venue, and we expect to also provide sandwiches and other nourishment.
We are looking forward to seeing you – if you have any queries please do ask us.
Our next blitz tournament will be on Thursday 3 May, at the Bridge Centre (upstairs), St Mary’s Road. Start time is 7.45, and, as usual, it will consist of seven rounds with each player having 5 minutes per game for all their moves, plus an increment of 5 extra seconds per move. We expect the tournament to finish before 10.30, and all equipment will be provided. All standard of player – from experienced to beginner – are welcome; if you are interested in chess, and have maybe played on-line, but have never played in an over-the-board tournament, this would be an ideal opportunity to try it out in a friendly environment.
The April Blitz, held on 19 April, proved to be a triumph for youth. The winner was the youngest player, fourteen-year old Denis Ruchko, who swept all before him, winning all seven games. And second was the second-youngest, Kynesha Ryder, who is sixteen, and scored 5 points out of 7. (The oldest entrant was third, but there are no prizes for being third.) Kynesha’s performance was particularly noteworthy as, in a strong field, she was eligible for the grading prize; despite the standard rule that the grading prize is not given to anyone who wins a place prize, she was awarded the grading prize as well, in recognition of her achievement. Which is not to take anything away from Denis – who is also the current holder of the Galway Winter League title, and the (adult) Connaught champion) – who was simply in a league of his own.
This month’s Blitz tournament will be held on Thursday 19 April. (Please note that this is not the date originally announced, which was 12 April; unfortunately we have had to postpone it for a week. Many apologies.) As usual, it will be held in Galway Bridge Centre (upstairs), starting at 7.45, and will consist of 7 rounds, finishing about 10.30. All equipment will be provided. Non-members are welcome, as well as club members.
Congratulations to both Denis Ruchko & Andrejs Koslovs, long time friends they were winners at the Connaught Senior Chess Championships. Denis is Senior Champion and Andrejs is the Intermediate Champion of Connaught.
Also this week-end (just down the road) the Irish junior Championships are being held in Co. Clare .. anyone wishing to join the boys in Shannon .. click here for details.
The March Blitz, held on Thursday 15 March, had the lowest turnout for a couple of years – perhaps either because of the proximity to Patrick’s Day, or because it was arranged at very short notice. But, with eight participants and the prospect of seven rounds, at least the organization was easy, as it could be played as an all-play-all. This added to the excitement, as, by chance, the two leaders didn’t meet until the final round, when Jason Rawlinson, who had led throughout, lost to Pete Morriss, who thus overtook him to win, with 6 points out of 7. Jason was second, with 5½. The grading prize was won yet again by Andrejs Kozlovs, who scored 4 points, including a comprehensive win against the eventual winner.