January Blitz Results
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.