The European Club Cup 2017 starts in Turkey on Sunday (7 rounds).
Ireland are represented by teams from Gonzaga, Benildus (competing for the first time?) and Adare.
Good luck to them all. It should be possible to follow top games on chess24 and the results on:
Trinity came third in the NCC but very few of our team were interested in going so Adare replaced us.
Kramnik leads the top-seeded team Globus but he will need a huge result if he is to regain the FIDE rating points lost at the Isle of Man and revive his hopes of making the Candidates.
Benildus competed in 1985 in a way; it was actually Dundrum, who had strong links with the school teams before merging in 1991. Brief bit on that campaign here - http://www.irlchess.com/2012/03/31/mtk-budapest-dundrum/
Kevin McHugh will be a link between the 1985 and 2017 teams.
Off topic, I know, but I see Kramnik played Caruana in the first round of the IoM.
Instead of a normal Swiss, they had the top seeds go on stage in turn and draw their first round opponent out of a hat. Then from the second round, it was a normal Swiss.
Interesting idea - albeit maybe slightly unfair on Kramnik in the end?!
Amazingly, Hou Yifan - who protested at playing too many women players in Gibraltar this year - drew herself out against Alexandra Kosteniuk.
From memory, her random pairing was against a woman and she was also paired with women from rounds 2, 3 & 4. She paired herself out in the next round - which isn't uncommon for players in the IoM. There would have been several other female players on the same score as her at that stage (I think I read 8 were on the same score).
It seemed like a great tournament for the top women with Nino Batsiashvili claiming her third GM norm and thus the GM title after just 6 rounds. She becomes the 36th female GM in history. Anna Rudolf got off to a very fast start too but trailed away in the second half of the event while Anna Zatonskih missed out on a GM norm by 0.5 (2582 RP) - her best result being a win against Gelfand.
In a roundabout way of getting back on topic - FM Stephen Jessel got back in form at the IoM with a 2400+ RP with a couple of impressive wins with black against 2460s. He leads the line for Gonzaga on board 1. The majority of our club will be in Millfield (both as players and coaches) for the first weekend of the ECC so we were short numbers until the last minute - thankfully Eddie O'Connor joins us from Dublin CC for the week.
Round 1 pairings are now up at:
Play starts at 3pm local time, 1pm our time.
Play has started. Live boards only for the four top matches.
Commentary in English by Turkish masters at https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/european-club-cup-2017/1/1/1
Irish match-ups are:
LSG Leiden (Netherlands) v Gonzaga
Adare v Riga Technical University (Latvia)
Besiktas (Turkey) v Benildus
cdeb is providing some coverage of the Benildus games on the club's site: https://stbenilduschessclub.wordpress.com/
The round one report is up now.
Thanks for the link. Round 2 pairings are now up.
Still no Kramnik.
The most interesting Irish pairing today is Gerry O'Connell v young Norwegian star Arjan Tari.
There is also Irish interest with Kieran O'Driscoll on the White Rose team. He earned a draw against a GM rated almost 500 points above him in Round 1
Benildus play Adare today in the fourth round.
Adare must be favourites because of their two Romanian mercenaries (or friends of Gabriel Mirza?) on the high boards.
Gonzaga meet a Turkish team they heavily out-rate and should win 6-0.
It looks like Adare will win the match. 3-0 now, though their IMs are finished and the remaining boards are mostly showing small advantages to Benildus.
Gonzaga are 3-1 up. Killian Delaney seems to have just hung a rook against a 1500. We've all had days like that.
Very embarrassing indeed; the FIDE rating list shows that Killian's opponent was a teenage girl born in 2002.
Gonzaga won 5-1. It looks like Benildus will score 1.5 as White is about to win on board 3 and 4.
LATER: Benildus only scored 1 point. Lokasto was a clear pawn up but seems to have missed something shortly before the time control. 36 g4 looked strong to drive off the black knight and break his R into the black position via the f-file. But maybe the online engine was misleading me.
Plenty of teenage girls born in 2002 could kick your butt Tim! Not, hopefully, a 1500 though :-)
Today the recipient of Killian's generosity is playing Mihajlo Manojlovic (born 2000). This match is Benildus's best chance of a win; Gerry is rested.
Kramnik will be playing today, Black against Naiditsch.
Their top two boards are underrated in fairness. They played quite well again today, given their ratings. KIllian's conqueror took a draw off Mihailo, but we're looking like 5.5 anyway
Good luck in Turkey today to the Irish teams.
At home, it might be a good afternoon to tune into the chess24 commentary. Ding Liren v Kramnik!