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Irish Championships 2021

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  • Yeah, if the vaccines work and if the pubs can get back to normal, then I don't see why any precautions at a chess game would still be needed tbh. It's right that the Irish Championships has precautions at the moment though. But I'm not sure the screen is really that much of an issue.




  • I played last year.

    Once the game starts, you really wouldn't notice the screen at all. I found it so unobtrusive that its hardly worthwhile having a debate about them, but maybe some of the other players found them distracting.

    You'd notice the mask alright. Its a bit uncomfortable wearing it for an extended period but its definitely bearable.

    If I was to pick one change, I'd get rid of the double boards, I found them to be the biggest distraction.

    I'm not sure the time will be right to go without masks by early August, and I even find it a bit scary that society might find that acceptable. We won't have achieved a sufficient level of vaccination by then to give herd immunity because of a combination of vaccine hesitancy, adults awaiting their second dose and under 18s waiting on their first dose. So a highly contagious illness and no herd immunity implies some degree of physical distancing will still be required.

    I'm a bit more hopeful that we could have a more normal looking chess scene by say October, where the wearing of a mask could be entirely optional. Bring it on, I can't wait to get back.




  • Signed up for the 2nd weekend. Looking forward to it, nice to have OTB competition to aim for




  • 48 entries in the main event so entries now closed. A waiting list now open in the event that we need to replace pullouts or in the event that we can have more than 48 entries.




  • anchor4208 wrote: »
    I played last year.

    Once the game starts, you really wouldn't notice the screen at all. I found it so unobtrusive that its hardly worthwhile having a debate about them, but maybe some of the other players found them distracting.

    You'd notice the mask alright. Its a bit uncomfortable wearing it for an extended period but its definitely bearable.

    If I was to pick one change, I'd get rid of the double boards, I found them to be the biggest distraction.
    .
    Agree completely, the double boards were a pain.


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  • anchor4208 wrote: »
    I played last year.

    Once the game starts, you really wouldn't notice the screen at all. I found it so unobtrusive that its hardly worthwhile having a debate about them, but maybe some of the other players found them distracting.

    You'd notice the mask alright. Its a bit uncomfortable wearing it for an extended period but its definitely bearable.

    If I was to pick one change, I'd get rid of the double boards, I found them to be the biggest distraction.

    I'm not sure the time will be right to go without masks by early August, and I even find it a bit scary that society might find that acceptable. We won't have achieved a sufficient level of vaccination by then to give herd immunity because of a combination of vaccine hesitancy, adults awaiting their second dose and under 18s waiting on their first dose. So a highly contagious illness and no herd immunity implies some degree of physical distancing will still be required.

    I'm a bit more hopeful that we could have a more normal looking chess scene by say October, where the wearing of a mask could be entirely optional. Bring it on, I can't wait to get back.


    Why would you think that? Most countries are getting on with it and trying to get back to normal even now, by August there is a fair chance we are down to a close to zero Covid scenario, it would seem bizarre to enforce masks on people in those circumstances.




  • I think once there is suitable distancing (which of course there will be) it should be possible that masks are not necessary at boards, similar to restaurants, but there should be still a requirement to wear them while moving around unless government guidance changes by then.

    The latest provisional plans are 100 at wedding receptions from August, so may even be possible the entry limit of 48 could be increased?




  • Joedryan wrote: »
    Why would you think that? Most countries are getting on with it and trying to get back to normal even now, by August there is a fair chance we are down to a close to zero Covid scenario, it would seem bizarre to enforce masks on people in those circumstances.

    Are there (m)any countries trying to get completely back to normal, and completely abandoning physical distancing and masks? Life might appear normal when you're living in New Zealand but it certainly isn't normal when you're trying to get into the country. Even in Israel, with roughly 60% of the population fully vaccinated, they've re-opened everything but there's still a requirement to wear a mask when mixing indoors. And in Israel, they still have a policy of local shutdowns where cases flare up. Having 60% of your population fully vaccinated doesn't stop that from happening, and the estimates are we'll need an 80%+ vaccination rate to reach herd immunity.

    We're not doing badly at all on the vaccination front but I wouldn't be cocky about us getting to 60% of the population fully vaccinated by the start of August. Latest government predictions are we'll get at last one jab into 80% of the adult population by mid July, but that excludes the under 18s, and in many cases, it will only be the first dose. So that's why I expect there will be still some masking requirement in place by August. And that's why I'd be hopeful that by October, we might have the prospect of national herd immunity.

    What vaccines are bringing us is the chance to play OTB chess at all, along with the chance to go out to shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. Getting those things back is the big gain, having to wear masks for a wee bit longer is a small price to pay.




  • I think once there is suitable distancing (which of course there will be) it should be possible that masks are not necessary at boards, similar to restaurants, but there should be still a requirement to wear them while moving around unless government guidance changes by then.

    The latest provisional plans are 100 at wedding receptions from August, so may even be possible the entry limit of 48 could be increased?

    Given the dates and figures announced by the Taoiseach today, 48 is the right number for the Irish Championship (and also the midweek event and first weekender), allowing for two arbiters/organisers in the room also.

    The provisional announcement for an uplift in early August would mean almost 100 players could be accommodated for the second weekender and subsequent events.

    As pilot cultural events are envisaged, ICU might also consider looking for permission for one or two smaller test tournaments in July, if a venue is available, maybe a junior event, a 70+ weekender and the Ladies Championship.

    I think the 50+/65+ Championship must wait for September because a lot of the 50+ who are getting AstraZeneca won't be fully vaccinated before then. It would also be good if we could play without masks by then.




  • I’m disappointed that there is no 50+/65+ in August :-(


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  • I’m disappointed that there is no 50+/65+ in August :-(

    Yes i'm disappointed by this as well but I think the prediction is probably correct in relation to 50+/65+. However I do think a 65+ is doable. I'm 68 and had my first AZ shot on 21 April. 12 weeks hence is 14th July plus two weeks is 28th July. They were rolling down the years by the day in the 65-69 age group so that leaves that group within July - just about. Providing there's enough interest.




  • Okay let's have a real 65+ event without those pesky "babies" influencing the result.




  • Had a call on this today so the slate of National Championship events in the calendar now up to end of September - junior championships is the next priority. Events until the end of August are subject to restriction of 48 players per event for the moment. We'll have 2 buildings in use for weekenders - so can have 48+48 playing in different competitions as long as they don't mix (to limit contacts).

    The Irish Women's Championship 2021 - first up in Portlaoise.
    https://www.icu.ie/events/1453

    Irish Championship Challengers + National Team Championships round 1-5: 23-25 July, Colaiste Eanna
    https://www.icu.ie/events/1447
    https://www.icu.ie/events/1458

    Irish Championship (main event): 31 July-August 8th, Colaiste Eanna; https://www.icu.ie/events/1409
    Weekday championship: 2nd-6th August, Eanna; https://www.icu.ie/events/1454
    Irish Open: 6th-8th, Eanna; https://www.icu.ie/events/1460

    Irish Championship Major+ National Team Championships round 6-9: 20-22 August, Colaiste Eanna
    https://www.icu.ie/events/1448
    https://www.icu.ie/events/1459

    Hoping to accommodate more than 96 players from September but that would depend on progress against Covid. Event run by Colaiste Eanna and LCU.
    (Provisional) City of Dublin: 10-12 September, Colaiste Eanna
    https://www.icu.ie/events/1349

    Irish 50+/65+: 24-26 September, venue TBD
    https://www.icu.ie/events/1457




  • Thanks for your work. Colaiste Eanna are playing a blinder hosting these events. Appreciated.




  • It's certainly good to see a provisional timetable.

    Is there some reason why no event is scheduled for the 13-15 August weekend?
    Maybe a one-day rapid could be accommodated?




  • RooksPawn wrote: »
    It's certainly good to see a provisional timetable.

    Is there some reason why no event is scheduled for the 13-15 August weekend?
    Maybe a one-day rapid could be accommodated?

    Don’t have a venue as yet. There’s a lot more equipment to ship around now so that becomes an actual challenge. And a lot of those events are falling on a small number of volunteers (both in Eanna and ICU), so going week after week is probably too taxing. Not ruling out events on any of the spare weekends, but atm, I think we’d need someone to run with one of the weekends in a different venue.

    The 50+/65+ will be in the Talbot most likely if Eanna is unavailable. As previous poster points out, they’ve done more than their share already so would be very understandable if they aren’t available for anymore than what’s currently there.




  • Fair enough. Maybe one or two of the big clubs could arrange something on the weekends when ICU doesn't have an event.

    Not necessarily in Dublin.




  • The Ballyroan Community Chess Club playing as The Knights of Éanna are proud to be the host venue for this year's 100th Nationals' we are determined to make our venue as comfortable as possible for all the players in each event. We very much appreciate the support and confidence in our club from the ICU. We are cognoscente the club is based in a school, which in turn limits the availability of services to players. We will have outside seating/picnic area, smoking area, coffee dock with light refreshments and both indoor/outdoor analyzing boards. If players have any request for improvements on the venue feel free to express them here, we won't take it personally.




  • dave grant wrote: »
    The Ballyroan Community Chess Club playing as The Knights of Éanna are proud to be the host venue for this year's 100th Nationals' we are determined to make our venue as comfortable as possible for all the players in each event. We very much appreciate the support and confidence in our club from the ICU. We are cognoscente the club is based in a school, which in turn limits the availability of services to players. We will have outside seating/picnic area, smoking area, coffee dock with light refreshments and both indoor/outdoor analyzing boards. If players have any request for improvements on the venue feel free to express them here, we won't take it personally.

    I really appreciate all your work as well as that of the ICU. So much looking forward to play otb.




  • I think that any players on the waiting list for the Irish Championship who are rated over 1900 should immediately replace any of the earlier entrants whose rating is below 1900. It is not right that eligible players are denied a place when people who aren't qualified to play get in. What is it about Ireland that people can't abide by rules and that it is always a case of "Oh sure whatever you're having yourself" ?


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  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    I think that any players on the waiting list for the Irish Championship who are rated over 1900 should immediately replace any of the earlier entrants whose rating is below 1900. It is not right that eligible players are denied a place when people who aren't qualified to play get in. What is it about Ireland that people can't abide by rules and that it is always a case of "Oh sure whatever you're having yourself" ?

    Everyone entered currently is either 1900 ICU or 1900 FIDE or was rated 1900 on one of the two lists since January 2020.

    Those on the waiting list will take precedence over those applying for wildcards in the event of more spaces becoming available.




  • Everyone entered currently is either 1900 ICU or 1900 FIDE or was rated 1900 on one of the two lists since January 2020.

    Those on the waiting list will take precedence over those applying for wildcards in the event of more spaces becoming available.

    Well at least one that I checked isn't 1900 on either list now. We all know that FIDE ratings can often be very inflated, it is an Irish Championship so Irish ratings should take precedence unless a player is living abroad. Another solution would be to take the average when you add a player's ICU and Fide rating together. It seems crazy that someone like David Murray who has an I.M norm and who is capable of beating anyone on his day can't get in yet some much weaker players can. Sean Murphy is also over 2000 compared to some entrants whose ICU ratings wouldn't even make them favourites to win the Irish Intermediate.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    Well at least one that I checked isn't 1900 on either list now.

    You've just been told the rating rule - the above isn't it. Past champions and qualifying event winners also permitted.
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    We all know that FIDE ratings can often be very inflated, it is an Irish Championship so Irish ratings should take precedence unless a player is living abroad.

    One rule for some and another for others - are you literally trying to make my life hell?
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    Another solution would be to take the average when you add a player's ICU and Fide rating together. It seems crazy that someone like David Murray who has an I.M norm and who is capable of beating anyone on his day can't get in yet some much weaker players can. Sean Murphy is also over 2000 compared to some entrants whose ICU ratings wouldn't even make them favourites to win the Irish Intermediate.

    These rules haven't changed since the start of this process. Players were made aware of the limited spaces at the same time we were made aware. It would seem crazier to boot someone out whose had their place confirmed and qualified under the stated rules.

    In reality, what will happen is we'll have our usual few pullouts due to illness, work or family, and these few players will have their chance to enter. Or we'll get better news on the restriction front and be able to accommodate more than 48 entries.

    Its unlikely this scenario (too many entries during a pandemic) will happen again so its not something I'd consider a rule change for.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    I think that any players on the waiting list for the Irish Championship who are rated over 1900 should immediately replace any of the earlier entrants whose rating is below 1900. It is not right that eligible players are denied a place when people who aren't qualified to play get in. What is it about Ireland that people can't abide by rules and that it is always a case of "Oh sure whatever you're having yourself" ?

    Didn't everyone have the same chance to enter before the list filled up?

    I agree, though, that it looks as if some people in the Wildcard and Waiting lists simply entered the wrong event and intended to put their names down for a weekender and/or the midweek event.
    Players rated 1352 or below, or unrated, could probably be beaten by the top seeds playing blindfold.

    But there is also the issue that some young or previously unknown players may have been playing online 24/7 for the past 18 months and might turn out, when they start playing real tournament chess, either to be quite strong or else will find that their Lichess/chess.com ratings are grossly inflated.




  • RooksPawn wrote: »
    Didn't everyone have the same chance to enter before the list filled up?

    I agree, though, that it looks as if some people in the Wildcard and Waiting lists simply entered the wrong event and intended to put their names down for a weekender and/or the midweek event.
    Players rated 1352 or below, or unrated, could probably be beaten by the top seeds playing blindfold.

    But there is also the issue that some young or previously unknown players may have been playing online 24/7 for the past 18 months and might turn out, when they start playing real tournament chess, either to be quite strong or else will find that their Lichess/chess.com ratings are grossly inflated.

    I wouldn't compare online chess in anyway shape or form to classical chess.




  • Are we still on course for 50 people allowed indoors and therefore able to hold the Irish Championship as planned?
    It isn't easy to get up to date information and government regulations seem in flux :-(




  • Are we still on course for 50 people allowed indoors and therefore able to hold the Irish Championship as planned?
    It isn't easy to get up to date information and government regulations seem in flux :-(
    Indoor activities, such as organised events, return of service in bars and restaurants, group training, exercise and dance will not yet proceed, pending the implementation of a system to verify vaccination or immunity. Government will devise an implementation plan by 19 July, following further consideration and consultation with relevant sectors.

    We won't know until the 19th of July I guess!




  • Yeah, but the clear message seems to be that access to indoor activities will depend on vaccination, and maybe, just maybe, it might also include testing. We could perhaps run a chess tournament in that way (i.e. for vaccinated people only) but we couldn't run an Irish Ch. and exclude people who are of an age where they won't have the possibility of getting a vaccination. For example, the current champion couldn't play. Testing isn't really practical - those players might have to get tested 2-3 times over the course of 9 days.
    Up until now, I've been very optimistic. Feeling a bit more pessimistic now.




  • anchor4208 wrote: »
    Yeah, but the clear message seems to be that access to indoor activities will depend on vaccination, and maybe, just maybe, it might also include testing. We could perhaps run a chess tournament in that way (i.e. for vaccinated people only) but we couldn't run an Irish Ch. and exclude people who are of an age where they won't have the possibility of getting a vaccination. For example, the current champion couldn't play. Testing isn't really practical - those players might have to get tested 2-3 times over the course of 9 days.
    Up until now, I've been very optimistic. Feeling a bit more pessimistic now.

    by pessimistic what are you suggesting? That the tournament wont happen?

    Surely beginning of August is the best date to get it going?


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  • Joedryan wrote: »
    by pessimistic what are you suggesting? That the tournament wont happen?

    Surely beginning of August is the best date to get it going?

    From the Irish Times:
    “ Asked whether recent trends were indicative of a fourth wave, Dr Holohan told a briefing “there is every reason to believe…that we are facing a significant wave of Delta-driven transmission” alongside the rest of Europe “


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