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.