sodacat11 Registered User
#1

There seems to be more tournaments in Ireland than ever before and the quality of the tournaments has markedly improved also. The venue in which the City of Dublin was held this weekend was excellent as is the proposed venue for the FIDE tournaments in January and next years Irish Championship.Another innovation which has caught on (probably thanks to Gonzaga) is the five round FIDE rated weekender. Three games on a Saturday is very offputting for most of us oldies so having only two is much more civilised as it means we can have a lie in and get home at a reasonable hour.
The upcoming St Andrews tournament looks like being very strong but I would have much preferred had it been FIDE rated and only five rounds. The proposed 75minute + 30 sec time limit is not condusive to decent chess. Much better to have 4 hour games or at the very least 90 minutes +30 seconds as we did this weekend.

cdeb Moderator
#2

Can't agree on the City of Dublin venue - there was an open balcony at one end down to the bar area where parents were waiting; the sound of babies crying wafting up through the playing area is not what I'd call "excellent". Also, silent starts are very distracting to the people already playing; the Masters needs to be in a separate room if it's on a different time control.

That said, it is good to see the variety of tournaments these days, and they do tend to be very well run in general.

sodacat11 Registered User
#3

cdeb said:
Can't agree on the City of Dublin venue - there was an open balcony at one end down to the bar area where parents were waiting; the sound of babies crying wafting up through the playing area is not what I'd call "excellent". Also, silent starts are very distracting to the people already playing; the Masters needs to be in a separate room if it's on a different time control.

That said, it is good to see the variety of tournaments these days, and they do tend to be very well run in general.


No one quicker to complain about noise at a chess tournament than me but while I find two people talking or whispering very distracting it doesn't bother me at all if there is a lot of sound such as a band playing. There was such a wall of sound at the weekend that it was almost as good as complete silence.
I'm not sure what you mean by a 'silent start' ?? maybe it was a typo and you meant a silent fart??

cdeb Moderator
#4

In fairness, there certainly wasn't a wall of silence in the venue. Lovely place, just not suited to a chess tournament in my view.

The silent start is when the Masters are all in the middle of their games and everyone else comes in chatting for the start of their round, which has a different start time. And, to a lesser extent, vice versa.

Joedryan Registered User
#5

On the 3 days on a Saturday agree completely-
The last rd on a Saturday was frequently more poker than chess.
5 rd weekenders are much more civilised - if organizers are fixed on an outright winner then have a blitz playoff, more fun and entertainment for all.

Joedryan Registered User
#6

On the 3 days on a Saturday agree completely-
The last rd on a Saturday was frequently more poker than chess.
5 rd weekenders are much more civilised - if organizers are fixed on an outright winner then have a blitz playoff, more fun and entertainment for all.

Joedryan Registered User
#7

I've posted that twice, no idea. Mods spring into action.

Tim Harding Registered User
#8

The venue was picturesque but totally unsuitable for future events, potential organisers please note.

1. It was only possible because there was no performance in the Smock Alley Theatre those evenings, only technical rehearsals. Otherwise the noise from theatregoers (and perhaps from the theatre itself) would have been unacceptable.

2. Access issues for some people: no lift just a very long ramp for wheelchair users.

3. Toilet problems. The ladies' had to be made unisex for days 2 and 3 because we were denied access to the ones off the auditorium itself.

4. Infant school chairs.

So let's not go there again except perhaps for junior events in the morning.

Retd.LoyolaCpt Registered User
#9

I just wanted to add a little bit of colour on the choice of Smock Alley as I was somewhat involved in finding a venue. Firstly, I know that over the course of the summer - the organisers contacted every hotel in Dublin that would hold an event with 150+ entrants once it emerged that the Gresham are renovating until November. Of all the usual venues, only the Plaza was available - but only with capacity for 100 at a push.

Apart from hotels - the Teacher's Club and ALSAA were also unavailable as were the schools/colleges that are sometimes used. Its basically just a bad time of year to find somewhere with schools/colleges just back, combined with being on the weekend in between the two All-Ireland finals which creates a bit of a rush for venues for the other 2/3 weekends in September. Hence, this was a last resort.

On the other comments: I'm also a big fan of 5 rounds over 6. I think the "wall of noise" may not have been as bad for the masters situated at the far end of the room and it didn't bother me personally but I could certainly understand how it would bother others. I will say that I think the noise was coming from the Challenger section rather than the balcony/lobby - I thought the staff (and parents etc) sitting in the lobby did a great job of keeping the noise to a minimum. I will echo the comments that the venue was undoubtedly picturesque.


For next year:
I think the consensus is that the event will return to a hotel (probably the Gresham) with 6 month notice and most other factors remaining the same. No clash with the Olympiad this cycle thankfully so we can hopefully expect another strong event.

The clamp down on rating bands seemed to really strengthen the Championship in particular which I thought was a great improvement and made that section extremely competitive - Harding, O'Neill, Khaydarov, Halley, Haque, Martinez, Pachalov, Casey, Scott, Scallan, Haque2, Boyle, Artola, McLoughlin, Bolkeny, Peoples etc etc. They have nearly all been in the masters in the past or will soon be at that standard.

160+ was a great turnout so well done to the organisers - personally thought it went very well.

sodacat11 Registered User
#10

Retd.LoyolaCpt said:



For next year:
I think the consensus is that the event will return to a hotel (probably the Gresham) with 6 month notice and most other factors remaining the same. No clash with the Olympiad this cycle thankfully so we can hopefully expect another strong event.

The clamp down on rating bands seemed to really strengthen the Championship in particular which I thought was a great improvement and made that section extremely competitive - Harding, O'Neill, Khaydarov, Halley, Haque, Martinez, Pachalov, Casey, Scott, Scallan, Haque2, Boyle, Artola, McLoughlin, Bolkeny, Peoples etc etc. They have nearly all been in the masters in the past or will soon be at that standard.

160+ was a great turnout so well done to the organisers - personally thought it went very well.


The only problem that I had with the tournament was the dreadful chairs we had to sit on which were really only suitable for children.
I hadn't played in the C.O.D for some years because I hate any venue around O'Connell St or Parnell Square but I returned this time because the venue was on the right side of the Liffey and because the venue looked so attractive in the photo that was on the ICU website. Whatever venue is to be used in future I hope that the organisers will give some consideration to people who have to travel to the venue by car from outside Dublin. The city centre is a nightmare trafficwise. Venues like Gonzaga and Malahide are much more accessible.
I have noticed this season that many tournaments have begun to observe the rating floors much more strictly (perhaps due to my continual ranting) and this has made tournaments a much more attractive proposition. I was almost giving up competitive chess a year ago but now I am looking forward to playing more in the next twelve months than I have for ages. Tournaments like St Andrews, Gonzaga, the over 50s , Malahide,Galway, Cork, Ennis, Bunratty, Kilkenny and the Irish Ch are all much easier for me to access than anything in Dublin City Centre whereas anyone that actually lives in Dublin has the motorway and Irish rail to get to anywhere in the country. I am sure that it would be cheaper for organisers to book hotels or schools outside the city too, better to save that money and use it for prizemoney or the provision of tea and coffee at tournaments.

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