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Irish Championships 2021



  • 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 “

    Yes. I've been looking forward to playing in the final weekender but I very much doubt if that will go ahead given the bombshell news this week although I'll be happy to be proven wrong. Thankfully we're a few weeks behind the UK so that should be informative by the 19th but it doesn't look good. #covidfatigue.

  • Has the ICU posted any advice on this?

  • Joedryan wrote: »
    Has the ICU posted any advice on this?

    Government might make an announcement on July 15 about what will be allowed. So unless the ICU has the ear of a government minister, we must wait.

  • Government might make an announcement on July 15 about what will be allowed. So unless the ICU has the ear of a government minister, we must wait.

    I think the ICU needs to be pro-active and contact the office of the Minister (Catherine Martin) seeking to be allowed play the Championship as a pilot event even if other indoor events are forbidden. They can point out how they safely ran the event in 2020.

    It will certainly be a pity, though, if the full programme of events cannot go ahead or needs to be postponed.

    The good news that Ireland will be buying an additional million doses of MRNA vaccines from Romania may make a big difference, depending on when they arrive.

  • No reason why some sort of a tournament can't be held for fully vaccinated people, obviously it wouldn't be an Irish Championship but it could still be a strong well attended tournament.

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  • I guess no news yet from ICU?

  • The post from the ICU on July 13th implies the event is still on. It would be great if someone from the ICU could explain the reason for this optimism! At that moment, all indoor group events are banned. The only indoor activity that's being talked about in terms of opening up is restaurants and pubs, but access to that is based on vaccine certs. Overall, our covid numbers are sky rocketing again. So why does the ICU think that in just over 2 weeks time, 48 potentially un-vaccinated people will be allowed to spend 4-5 hours in a hall together?

  • thanks, just saw the ICU post, thats re-assuring.

    so I understood there was due to be some govt announcement today?

    I imagine given that that the championship has the green light then all is good.

  • Under Covid guidelines:

    Items 2, 3, partly 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 18 and 19 are indoor and permitted. We fit perfectly under none of these items but I would argue that we are close in scope to items 3 and 13 which state:

    "Up to 50 patrons permitted, with protective measures in place."

    "Can open with protective measures in place."

    I would argue that we are significantly safer in a chess hall with masks, barriers and in well ventilated rooms than, for example, theaters and cinemas - where masks weren't strictly enforced last time I was in one and ventilation wasn't up to what we would have in Eanna.

    2 weeks ago, when I first made this argument, it already looked likely that we were headed into 3rd/4th wave. I guessed we would have 1000 daily cases by the time of the Irish. It now looks like the numbers will be greater than that given we almost hit that today. However, our closest neighbours are further into their latest wave and rather than raising their restrictions, they have done the opposite; leaving aside England who have, to use our vernacular, gone on-tilt restriction-wise (not for the first time), Scotland, Wales and NI are opening further despite rising cases. I would guess this is because hospital admissions have remained low during this wave and vaccines have presumably helped in this department. Our government have been paving the way to lift restrictions further for the last two weeks. It is likely we will see some lifting come into place on the 19th or 26th.

    So, with that in mind, I'm currently confident in saying that our event is safe given the measures we have in place, permitted under guidelines for similar events of our nature, and with the slight guesswork that the government are more likely to have eased than increased restrictions by August 8th and so can go ahead as planned.

  • Could we designate the championship as either a wedding or a funeral? That would have us covered for 50 people :-)

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  • What about the weekenders and morning tournament? Do you still expect them to go ahead?

    I agree with anchor that there are likely to be large numbers of unvaccinated kids and adolescents (the latter due to be vaccinated when they return to school) so maybe switch the championship to the mid-term break in late October and start in August with a tournament or two for players with the new vaccination certs only.

    Indeed it qould make sense to move the 50+/65+ Championship to August instead of late September?

  • I genuinely hoped you had something stronger than this to be honest.

    For a start, I think you're missing one of the basic points of public health restrictions. Any type of gathering involves some element of risk however big or small. Any type of opening up involves some benefits however big or small. So when decisions are made to open up different parts of society, it involves both an assessment of the risks and the benefits. This leads to all sorts of apparent contradictions - a wedding is allowed with up to 50 guests so why on earth can you not have a baptism? 50 people are allowed into an indoor cinema, but if a sports team is training outdoors, why can there be only 15 present? However, these contradictions don't exist because of stupidity. They exist because we can't open everything up, so some things which are regarded as important (e.g. pubs and restaurants because of their economic value) are allowed to open, and to balance that out, some other things are required to remain closed.

    In that context, it doesn't matter if you think that the Irish Ch will be safer than a theatre or cinema. I'm sure you're right in that assessment, but it's not relevant. The government has chosen to generally ban 'organised indoor events' but has chosen to specifically mention some indoor events that are exempt from the bans, including cinemas etc. They didn't name chess tournaments as something that's exempt from the indoor events ban, so therefore they're not exempt. As a further point, they specifically say that all indoor sports are banned, and that's what we claim to be.

    In my mind, the proposed event is a clear breach of the restrictions. I suppose the big question for the ICU is what's at risk if it proceeds. To be fair, I don't think it would be a big health risk either, so the main risks would be that the ICU would be fined ( and the fine is relatively small at €500), that the event would have to be cancelled after its already started, and maybe some poor publicity.

  • Back on 28 May I suggested the ICU seek explicit permission from the Minister for some chess tournaments to be approved as pilot cultural events.

    It seems now that they haven't done that and it's possibly too late but they could still try asking.

  • I do appreciate the condescending message suggesting I don’t understand the concept of risk, offsetting public and private benefit and what every government has tried to do for 18 months.

    In any case, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t concur that the guidelines outlaw this type of event.

  • I thought you’d already been warned about having two accounts.

    Why in gods name do you think this hasn’t been done and been unanswered, why mention it in every single post for 3 months - the government doesn’t provide information in April, May, June or even early July for small niche events running primarily in August. They’ve a tough enough time arranging restrictions for one week at a time.

  • Apologies, my intention certainly wasn't to condescend to you. You've had a hugely beneficial impact on Irish chess and I'm always happy to acknowledge that. Its mainly for that reason that I had hoped that you had found something in the regulations that I'd missed. As it turns out ,your argument is simply that X is safer than Y, the same argument that every disgruntled sector has been making since lockdowns began. My post was simple to argue why I thought that missed the point. You've kind of played the man rather than the ball in response, but yeah, we can agree to disagree, and no disrespect intended.

  • It seems the best thing for the ICU is to keep the heads down and continue along the path it has chosen. The planning and organisation around the Irish Championship has been excellent. If we make too much of a song and dance before the event, we might only attract the attention of other disgruntled sectors. After the event(s) are over, hopefully, the ICU can generate some positive publicity from having run chess events safely in difficult circumstances.

  • I don't know who you think you are talking to; I only have one account on

  • This suggestion I interpreted to be as sarcasm and am shocked that it wasn't.

    I would be against this, I think we should be publicing the event. Otherwise I would argue that we then know it to be in breach of COVID guidelines/regulations and it's why we are being hush hush about it.

    I'm happy it's going ahead but a bit disappointed that the reasoning isn't more solid. If a hotel won't permit the event to run in their venue or boardgame/cardgame stores won't permit events to run - I think that would be an indicator that the event shouldn't be permitted. Maybe the easing of restrictions would permit this?

    At the moment I don't know how or what would cancel the event... what restrictions would have to be reintroduced for the event to be canceled?

    I'm almost certain we would fit under 15. Other indoor leisure facilities or 4. Organised indoor events (such as large conferences, concerts and shows) - hell even 9. Exercise and sporting activities would prohibit the event from taking place (it says no matches).

  • If anyone is worried about the Irish Championship then they just shouldn't play in it. Last year's event was excellently run and perfectly safe. We have to get back to live chess some time so it might as well be now.

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  • I have to second that emotion. OTB tournaments are being played in many countries now.

    I just worry that if the event goes ahead ICU need to be certain that it's not contrary to regulations, else they and the hosting venue could be in trouble. It shouldn't be Golfgate if everyone is careful. There are 42 entries currently according to the ICU website this morning so room for a few more.

    Still no word on whether the first weekender is going ahead? I suppose ICU is waiting on any Government announcements on indoor dining etc.

    It looks as if the team event must be postponed due to lack of interest?

  • Quite right, but all I'm worried about is that it goes ahead :)

  • From the rate at which infection numbers are increasing, I suspect some restrictions will be re-introduced in August/September. But I'm reasonably confident that nothing will happen before the championship is finished :-)

  • The first (rating-limited) weekender is due to start tomorrow evening and there is nothing on the ICU website to say it's cancelled, so presumably it is on. If so and nothing goes wrong, then presumably the other scheduled events will go ahead.

    Only the team event is announced as postponed (due to clear lack of interest).

    Any live boards?

  • Not sure which room the weekender will be played in but in the main playing hall the majority if not all the boards are live boards.

  • Hi, where can you see the live boards?

  • If you click the player names at the top you get the full list and can switch to other games.

  • This website has become ridiculously complicated recently, I don't know why they just couldn't have left well enough alone. I have posted a tipping competition thread somewhere but God knows where it ended up. Perhaps one of our brainy moderators can retrieve it?

    New rules this year, you can predict as many games each day as you like scoring 1 pt for a win for the higher rated player, 3 for a draw and 5 if the lower player wins, the snag is that if even one of your predictions is wrong you score nothing for that day>

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  • Your post seems to be there anyway.

    The new site - yeah, it takes a bit of getting used to, but I think it's ok once you do, and you can see it being improved regularly, so that's something at least.