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Irish Championship 2022

  • 26-06-2022 3:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    It is very clear to anyone that follows chess tournaments online that a lot of our better players are quite happy to play in the 4 NCL and other foreign tournaments but consider themselves above playing in Irish tournaments , even the Irish Championship. As things stand 8 of our 10 highest FIDE rated players can't be bothered supporting their national championship and if you look further down the rating list many are quite happy to support foreign tournaments but not our own. When people stop bothering to organize or sponsor tournaments in Ireland we will know who to blame.



  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ zeitnot

    The entry seems low all right. Only 18 (with one player listed twice). Still some time to go to enter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    It was a mistake to move it from August because of the Olympiad as most of the Olympiad teams haven't entered anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    The venue isn't as good as Scoil Eanna either

  • Registered Users Posts: 65 ✭✭ corkcitychess

    Looking forward to the online coverage

    best of luck to all those playing...9 days is a big comittment and you all have my respect.

  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ checknraise

    Everyone playing in the 4ncl are or have been some of the best and most active players in the country. Understandably there hasnt been a huge amount of tournaments in the last year or so with Covid.

    Plenty of time for more people to enter but even if more dont the tournament is still pretty strong. The last 4/5 years were exceptional with the majority of our top players playing. I dont think we can expect that to happen every year.

    You also have to consider quite a few of the Irish playing 4ncl do not live in Ireland and accommodation is a nightmare to get in Dublin. Makes playing really expensive for anyone outside of Dublin.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    I haven't seen many of the 4NCL participants at Irish tournaments in recent years. The excellent Bolger Cup held last year in Rathfarnam had more foreign players than domestic as far as I remember.

    I agree with you about the cost of staying in Dublin. Scoil Eanna is much easier to get to than Stillorgan for most of us that do live outside Dublin

  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ checknraise

    The Bolger Cup clashed with a 4ncl weekend which would have prevented lots of people from playing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ checknraise

    Irish players have been playing 4ncl chess since it started. If anything tournament organiser should consider 4ncl dates if they want our best players playing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 590 ✭✭✭ Retd.LoyolaCpt

    Eanna not available - it was a huge committment from them to house us the last few years; I know from running the Irish Open in Gonzaga for 6 days how much hard work can go into trying to just maintain the place, let alone run the event.

    I made the judgement call to run it in July rather than August - we also didn't really have a choice in the end as no venues were available in August for 9 consecutive days. It'll likely be back to August next year which was always the plan. We were probably just due a down year; both from a player and organiser impetus point of view. There was certainly less feedback from players from an early stage for this one - whether it was going to be in June, July or August. Just hard to keep going at the levels we were at; particularly in covid times when player pull-outs are demoralising. Not as simple to say "run in August, the players will come" - the lack of olympiad players means no norm chances, which means less 2200+ players, which has the same drip down effect all the way to your 1900 players.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ zeitnot

    18 entries now: it seems Mark Quinn has dropped out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Millwall

    @sodacat11 Pipe down brother. No need for all of this, if they don't want to play, they don't have to, they're not obliged. Who says they think they're above everyone else? They may very well still enter. The venue is 10x better than Eanna as well, so much easier for people to get to. I appreciate what Eanna have done to make chess events great but the Talbot has always been the majorities preferred venue. The spaciousness, the facilities, the everything. So much based. Here's hoping more people enter and I hope for a cracking event, but if not, it eeeeeez what it eeeeeez

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    You've obviously never played in an Irish Ch in the Talbot or maybe you like music from a wedding reception and paying 4 euro for a cup of coffee while you are playing?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    I presume (hope) that the inclusion of a 1600 rated player is a mistake? My understanding is that you must be over 1900 on either the ICU or FIDE rating list.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Millwall

    @sodacat11 I'd say 95% of people find the Talbot way more accessible to get to and more of a suitable venue. Eanna is so far out there. Do you know that there will be a wedding reception this year or something? It depends on the music to be fair, I don't mind a bit of R&B. I agree that the prices at the bar are a bit steep but then again, so is everywhere, prices have shot up on everything!! I've played many classical events at the Talbot and I've never had a bad experience to be honest. Obviously the best scenario would be a venue in the city center but the Talbot is still a class venue and so much goes into organising it.

    As for the 1600 on the entry list for the championships, perhaps he was chosen as a wildcard? No big deal regardless. There are in fact 4 players there towards the end that "don't qualify", but they should still be allowed play in my opinion. The more people representing this tournament, the better.

  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭ spidersweb

    First thing to do is forget the ratings the players are listed as. It's totally IRRELVANT. It is a Fide rated event and it is the Fide ratings that matter for seeding and pairings. The ones displayed are ICU only.

    The seedings thus in reality will be different. Compare the rating of Anthont Doyle who is 2100+ Fide. So please put out of your mind these ratings as displayed.

    There are 4 players below 1900 as far as I can see. The last player to enter is 1700+ something. 3 playrs are 1800+ something and all of these players are easily worth 1900, or on a good day even more. They are all very young and if one considers the massive distortions of ratings during the PANICdemic and huge lack of opportunties for younger, or up and coming players to compete and get their rating up, then a little bit of slack can be shown without any negative impact.

    Sure it is annoying to play lower rated players that technically are below the 1900 threshold but they are likely all stronger enough to deserve the benefit of the doubt and chance to play in such a strong event. The latest entry, whom I know nothing about other than he is 1700+ and born in 2009 is so young that I assume he may well be much better than his rating anyway.

    It is really not a big deal to be a bit flexible when chess is trying to recover and find it's feet again. What are the odds one or two of these sub 1900 players end up doing better than you? (sodcat) You are rated 1900+ yet you have drawn and beaten players hundreds of points higher. Do you really think players see you as just a 1900+ player? I don't think so, it's all relative and you often can and do play up. Goodness forbid your ratings both ICU and Fide drop below 1900 and you were a lowly 1800+ player. Honestly don'tthink anybody would mind or comlain if you still played in an Irish ch.

    These players will probably do the same and are willing to give up 9 days in such a tough event so Id cut them some slack and welcome them to the most prestigious tournament we have.

    This year is still incredibly strong no matter what metric used. Any of about 7 players are very serious contenders.We have Heidi replaced with J Ryan , both now two time champs and we lose Murphy and Fitzsimons and get Henry li. Overall a very compettitive field with the top seed GM Baburin probably the favorite but really no way to pick a likely winner as has been the case for a few years now. Last time there was anything close to a dominant or and convincing win was 2018 by IM A Lopez.

    Last few years have all been deserving and yet also lucky to a certain extent.

    I am going to bet on Joe Ryan winning it this year. But then I also predicted that Furija would finnish last in the candidates and Nepo would finnish third or 2nd at best! Fabi being my number one bet. Thankfully I did not bet very much and am reluctant to bet on any event that I might be playing in.

    Word on the street is that Peter Caffolla has been studying and training for months like the bejasus and is going to go all out this year and shock everybody with the performance of his life and destroy the field.

    Like I say, I aint betting on anybody anymore.

    7.5 will win it!

  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭ spidersweb

    Correction. The number one seed is now FM Tom O Gorman as GM Baburin has lost 3 rating points in the July list. Ah well, close enough. Probably joint favorites ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    Not everyone lives in Dublin so a city centre venue is a nightmare for anyone travelling from outside the Pale or from abroad. Accommodation, traffic and parking make city centre venues a complete no no as far as I'm concerned. Also, organsisers have to pay much more to rent city centre venues, when the City of Dublin was being held in that awful venue the Findlater Hotel (or whatever it was called) it was costing literally thousands to rent.

    I have no problem playing in open tournaments and frequently do. For an Irish Championship strict qualifying criteria which should be observed. I don't buy this "never mind the quality feel the width" approach. Of the four technically "non qualified" players on the list for the Irish two have proved in numerous tournaments that they are 1900 level or better and will undoubtedly outperform their ratings so I can accept their inclusion but the other two are "iffy" at best and I certainly won't be travelling up to Dublin with petrol prices what they are to play someone rated under 1700. If I am drawn against him I will forfeit the game and go play golf or watch Wimbledon instead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ checknraise

    The rating difference is much worse for the top seeds when they have to play a 1900!

    Having played the bottom seed he is definitely a talented player who has a bright future and I expect him to perform well. It wasnt that long ago when Henry and Tom were below 1900 and playing the Irish. Look at where they are now.

    Prediction wise its hard to look past Tom, Tarun and Conor. All 3 are active playing regularly and should be the players to beat.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    Yes the rating difference is worse for top players playing 1900s but "them's da rules". My preference would be for the Irish Championship to be a 10 player round robin for players rated over 2200 but it isn't.

    I've been playing in Irish Championships for decades and just qualifying to play in it used to be a big deal but over the years the whole thing has been devalued and has lost its mystique, now it is just another glorified open tournament. I was looking forward to playing this year but now I've lost interest and have seriously considered withdrawing. I'm going to play because I've made domestic arrangements to enable it but this will probably be the last time I bother unless there is some change in the future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ zeitnot

    The ICU can invite two players and the organisers can invite one, regardless of rating. This was voted in at an AGM (basically, greatly narrowing the list of exceptions and tightening up qualifications). Maybe it's more noticeable now that the field is much smaller than in the last four years.

    At present, there are 21 players. I assume there will be some final adjustment to ensure an even number of players. It would make no sense to stretch the rules and create a bye at the same time.

    "Just hard to keep going at the levels we were at" (Rtd.LoyolaCpt earlier): yes, the last few championships have been exceptional all round. Just one statistic: before 2018 there had never been two consecutive championships with 30 or more players. Each of the last four exceeded that threshold.

  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭ spidersweb

    The latest entry is 1746– not 1600? – and used to be 1800 too.

    I imagine he will be well able to play to the standard of 1900 and above during his first Irish Ch. Refusing to play him would deny yourself a chance to beat a player who in years to come may become much stronger than you?

    It is also disrespectful to yourself and the tournament and not least the young lad himself, who is after all totally innocent and just wants to play chess and doubtless would look forward to playing against players like yourself whom he would probably look up to and want to learn from and yes beat you too!

    Of course you have every right to be annoyed at having to play a player who technically is below the required rating standard. Nevertheless, given that a decision has been made to allow him entry I think you can easily just lodge a complaint to register your unhappiness and they may consider that for future events. Such an isolated and rare exception serves to prove the rule which you want to see adhered to so strictly.

    However to openly declare you won’t play a player is at the least bad form, unsporting and unbecoming of a player of your experience and age. Presumably the main thing with an Irish ch s to get some interesting chess played, and while at times it can be unpleasant, even at times irritating playing such young players so much lower rated than us, it is just part of it all?

    Also, as I mentioned, owing to the huge effects of the last few years with the PANICdemic and resultant effects on chess tournament (Look at the ICU calendar since 2020) that has denied so many players from normal rating reflection a case can easily be made to be less strict with ratings. Maybe next year or the year after such flexibility would or could be greatly curtailed as per a complaint by you to remind of keeping such standards.

    Don’t forget that the main idea of setting a rating standard is to try maximize the minimum level of play and encourage players to aspire to such a playing standard and there are bound to be cases where a player is already of such a laying level but this is not not reflected in their rating yet. 99% of the time we can say, too bad, just bad luck, but every now and then we can acknowledge that a young and or upcoming player and Irish chess beneifits from encouraging such a player with such an opportunity.

    The notion that the Irish ch has lost it's prestige is just wrong. It has gone through periods when it was less than ideal and even poor yes, but in recent years it has been as strong or stronger than ever. I can't think of hardly a single example of, in the last maybe 10-15 or even 5 years, where there was a player not worthy of participating in terms of their playing strength. Feel free to point one example of players you think did not justify their participation in terms of playing to 1900 level. I might be mistaken but I am not able to think of any, off the top my head.


  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭ spidersweb

    As regards your "predictions/projections" lol) Nah that is superficial and wishful thinking surely?

    Might be true in the two games a day faster time limit tournaments alright, but here,with one game a day and a longer time control at move 40 for the Irish ch? Endgame skills might come more into play too?

    The older more experienced crafty over 50s brigade of GM Baburin 2400, FM Ryan 2270, FM Daly 2190, all previous winners too, as compared with FM O’ Gorman 2403 (only one of the under 23s Brigade here to have won it yet) FM Kanyamarala 2379 FM O`Donnell 2269, will have too many tricks up their sleeves and they will just reel in the young ones like fish, not exactly in a barrel, but perhaps on a hook dangled in front of them and after they have taken the bait?

    Might be a few instances of “Doing a Killian” and traps abounding of all sort, confounding and confusing the hungry and impressionable young minds here and there as they plunge perilously to their doom just when they think its’ all over?

    As you know well yourself the Irish ch can be such a dream killer and replete with diabolical twists and turns that can cause any reasonable strong player to sometimes despair and just give up.

    Agree that it seems very unlikely for that to happen with Tom, Tarun or Connor, and to their credit they have come back everytime the last few years too but as with the candidates tournament in Madrid right now, it is the older generation of the players who are mostly in the top half and all chasing for the top three places, the young Iranian falling flat and in last place being a curious outcome already!

    Notwithstanding that predicting is a mugs game (mostly projection and wishful thinking) I will be so bold as to suggest that

    Team over 50s Baburin, Ryan, Daly

    will end up with more points and ahead of

    Team under 23s O’Gorman, Kanyamarala, O Donnell

    at the end.

    Though we might still agree (or maybe not) that the winner will almost certainly be from one of those six players. Henry Li being a dark horse too admittedly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭ spidersweb

    "At present, there are 21 players. I assume there will be some final adjustment to ensure an even number of players. It would make no sense to stretch the rules and create a bye at the same time."

    Agree that having an even number and zero byes when possible is by far the best and most crucial thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Millwall

    I agree with @spidersweb . You should allow for such players to prove themselves against Ireland's elite. I think it would be incredibly poor form for @sodacat11 to forfeit against a player who is 'below him'. Imagine having to travel to the venue (which I still stand by, is a perfectly situated spot), only to find out that your opponent has forfeited. One would think that it would be because of an emergency, but no, it's because your opponent doesn't want to waste time on you, you'd feel a bit degraded to be honest. Surely if they're that much worse than you, you should put them away handy enough and gain a few points while you're at it? Should you lose, then that's that, they played better than you, that's the bottom line, and perhaps one day as Spidersweb mentioned, they will be the next big thing in Irish chess and chasing norms! It's all about experience for the up and coming generation, and it's great to see such interest especially after the hiatus we all had during Covid. I'd understand if there was a 1500 allowed enter but I firmly believe everyone on that list right now is capable of playing to 2000 strength (and more obviously) if they wanted to. You never hear of any of the titled players sulk about the precious ratings.

    "now it is just another glorified open tournament. I was looking forward to playing this year but now I've lost interest and have seriously considered withdrawing. I'm going to play because I've made domestic arrangements to enable it but this will probably be the last time I bother unless there is some change in the future." What does this even mean? It's hardly a glorified open tournament, it's still the mostly highly anticipated chess event of the year and it never disappoints with exciting games and twists and turns. Why don't you just suck it up and enjoy the chess? It's what we all have in common here, we all love the chess. What changes do you even want? Venue to be in Colaiste Eanna and only be for players with FIDE titles? Do me a favour.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,274 ✭✭✭ sodacat11

    He will not have to "travel to the venue only to find that his opponent has forfeited" I am giving plenty of notice as regards my intention to forfeit.

    If I never play another Irish Ch it is not going to make much difference to the tournament and I would be perfectly happy to go play in the British Seniors/Veterans instead where I am sure that all the contestants will have met the age criteria without exception.

    I'm not going to argue the point any longer. The Irish Championship has traditionally been for players over 1900 and I don't like how in recent years it has been devalued to suit sponsors, rich parents, club mates, coaches and other people of undue influence.

    As far as predictions go I'd tip Tom O'Gorman to win and Flynn and Daly to play above their seedings. Grading prizes to O'Cuilleanain and Cafolla

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Millwall

    @sodacat11 Fair enough re giving notice as you call it , but it's still a bit uncalled for to forfeit a game for such an unimportant reason. Just very over the top. Imagine forfeiting a game where you could easily get a result and gain rating by doing so. I don't understand, but anyway.

    You make it sound like it's a big conspiracy lol, it hasn't been devalued at all, you're the only one who thinks that. It can be a learning experience for those playing it for the first time, how to deal with the different time control, playing with the big guns and in an intense environment where the stakes are high; all very exciting stuff. We'll agree to disagree.

    I have no ideal who will win this year. Perhaps Alex Goss or Oisin O'Cuilleanain to win a grading, or maybe even the enigmatic Peter Carroll, they've all been playing well recently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 284 ✭✭ checknraise

    Team U23 for the win!

    1st Conor

    2nd Tarun

    3rd Henry

    Hard to know what the grading bands will be but I will go for Alice and John Kennedy.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 30 FMtoog

    Competition Tipping

    1st O'Gorman T

    2nd Kanyamarala

    3rd Baburin

    U2100 Grading Prizes: O'Gorman, A and Kavin Venkatesan

    Round 1 Tipping

    Ivanov draw

    Goss win

    O'Gorman T win