The 2020 Galway Chess Congress will be held on the weekend of 20th to 22nd March, at the Menlo Park Hotel, Galway. There will be three sections, for players of different strengths, so it is suitable for everybody from Grandmasters to beginners. (We have one Grandmaster entered already.) You can get full information about the tournament in the “Galway Congress 2020” tab, above, or you can just skip directly to entering online here.
The first Blitz Tournament of the new year was held on Thursday 9 January, and again there was a good showing, including some newcomers and also some old faces we haven’t seen for several years, who we were glad to welcome back. Strangely, although there were nearly 30 players at one or other of the December and January blitzes, only five people attended both – which perhaps indicates the pressure of other activities at this time of year. This led me to look back to see how many people played in one or more of the 2019 blitzes, and the total comes to 47. Another 5 came along in January who had not played in any of the 2019 blitzes, making a total of 52 in the thirteen months. That does suggest that there is a considerable interest in playing (over-the-board) chess in Galway. Although we would be rather overwhelmed if all 52 turned up at once, we do hope that we will see all of you again at least once this year, and hopefully more often. And some more newcomers as well, of course.
Turning to the January results, the tournament ended in a tie for first place between Diego Rodriguez and newly-crowned Irish over-65 champion Pete Morriss, on 6 points out of 7. (Pete won their individual game, but then lost in the next round to Conall Hegarty, who was one of those making a welcome return to Galway Blitzes.) The grading prize was won by Niko Istuk, with a commendable 3½ points against a strong field, including wins against both players who had jointly won the ‘Halloween’ tournament. Niko is clearly one to watch for the future.
Congratulations to all the participants of this year Connaught Junior Championship .. many of these young champions are now looking froward to the Galway Congress in March. Results and tables .. here!
Our end-of-year Blitz, held on 19 December, saw the welcome return of a couple of members we haven’t seen for several years – and the equally welcome arrival of a new player – in addition to slightly more regulars than appeared last month. Michael O’Donnell was the runaway winner, finishing on 6 points out of 7 – conceding just one draw, against Felix Calleja, and also receiving a half-point bye for missing the first round. Second equal were last month’s winner Brian Gallagher and top-seed Johannes Hertel, on 4½ points. The rating prize went to thirteen year-old Eoghan Collins, who scored an outstanding 4 points in his first Galway Blitz. We look forward to seeing much more of him over the next few years.
The usual prize for the best offering of Christmas fare was not awarded this year, but the Best Festive Jumper award went to Shane O’Connell – though, to be fair, he faced very little competition in the absence of last year’s winner Yuliya Makarenko.
The Club will return from its christmas break for another blitz tournament on Thursday 9 January.
Held on: Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th Jan. 2020.
Venue : The Bridge Club, St. Mary’s Road, Galway
Prizes: There are trophies for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place in the following age groups. Any player can win these pirzes. Sections: U-11, U-13, U-15. Plus titles of “Connaught Champion” for boys and girls in each section.
Note : Saturday one day events. (1) Girls only competition & (2) RapidPlay competition .. both on the 4th of Jan, starting at 13.30 pm.
All the event details here .
To enter simply email .. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our end-of-year blitz tournament will be on Thursday 19 December, at our regular club venue: upstairs in the Galway Bridge Centre, St Mary’s Road. Starting time is 7.45 p.m., and there will be 7 rounds, played at a rate of 5 minutes per player per game plus 5 seconds per move. We provide all sets and clocks, so all you need to bring is yourself (and perhaps a few chess-playing friends). We expect to finish at about 10.30. There is no entry fee, and, as a consequence, no financial prizes – nut there is the glory and fame, which of course is priceless. Given the time of year it is, we expect that there will be some seasonal goodies provided. Looking forward to seeing you.
After that the club will close for a couple of weeks; it will reopen on 9 January, with another blitz tournament. (Maybe we are getting a bit predictable?)
Rounds 3 & 4 of the Munster League were on Sunday in Charleville, players were Diego Rodriguez, David Andreu, James Blackwell, Zoran Dragic and Scott Reilly.
We ended up winning both games against strong competition!
We finished with a score of 3 – 2 against Cork B, with some hard fought wins.
Our second game finished 4 – 1 against Dungarven, a great result to end the day.
The scoring actually works by match results with points scored used as a tiebreaker. As a result we have won 3/4 of our matches and are sitting tied second with Cork B behind Charleville who are on 4/4.
Our next games will be against Tralee and Charleville on the 9th of February. Hopefully we can get revenge on Charleville this time around!
Well done to David and Scott on playing their first games for the Club!
Match results and rankings can be found here, though not all games reported yet.
Individual game results can be found here
The November Blitz saw a rather disappointing turnout: less than half the number we had in October. Where were you all? You missed a very exciting tournament, with the lead changing hands several times, and eventually ending up in a four-way tie on 5 points out of 7, between Brian Gallagher, Jason Rawlinson, Pete Morriss, and James Blackwell. We’ve never had a four-way tie before, and it was decided to resolve it in favour of Brian Gallagher, on the grounds that he missed the first two rounds, and although he got some compensation, he still had much the best average per game. (This ad hoc decision will not be repeated, so don’t think that to win the tournament all you have to do is turn up over half an hour late!) The grading prize went to Ger Abberton, who scored 4 points out of his full 7 games.
Our November Blitz will be on Thursday 28 November, just getting in before the end of the month, at our usual venue of upstairs in the Bridge Centre, St. Mary’s Road. We’ll play seven rounds, at 5 minutes each per game plus an increment of 5 seconds a move. Start time is 7.45, and we expect to finish before 11.
Looking forward to seeing you all.
Over the weekend the Galway team played in the first 2 rounds of the Munster League, players were Diego Rodriguez, Jason Rawlinson, Andrew Finnerty, James Blackwell and Zoran Dragic. Ian Finnerty could not be convinced to play and instead helped as team cheerleader.
Each round consisted of 75 min + 15 sec games, first against Charleville (relegated from Div 1 last year) and Ennis B.
We finished with a score of 1 1/2 – 3 1/2 against Charleville, though we had opportunities to score higher it wasn’t a bad start against strong competition.
Our second game finished 3 1/2 – 1/2 against Ennis B, which helped balance things out finishing on an even 5/10.
Our next games will be against Cork B and Dungarven on the 15th of December. If you are interested in joining the panel (teams ranged from 1900-800 ratings so we should be able to find a spot for you) for these ICU rated games please let us know!