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Irish Championships 2021



  • I miss important features we used to have:

    a) Edit your last post to fix typos or add new information;

    b) Go directly to your first unread post in a topic;

    c) See at a glance in the chess topics listing which threads have updates you have not seen (these are bold, the others not).

    Both a) and b) are available on the English Chess Forum for example.

    So far I think the new version is a major disimprovement.

  • You can edit your post by clicking on the three dots on the top right of the post and clicking Edit (but only within 24 hours of the post - I think this time limit is common enough)

    First unread post is a bit of a mixed bag, but I found this by the usual way (on desktop) of My Threads and clicking on the down arrow under the thread. Can't remember how to do it on mobile, but it's possible.

    Yes, the unread posts now show as a closed envelope, which isn't as clear, but it may be part of the changes being done at the moment.

  • Down to 40 entrants now (ICU website as of Tuesday morning the 27th).

    Peoples and Keogh seem to have withdrawn.

    Will any of the wildcard entries be admitted?

  • Yes - the 40 entrants includes a wildcard to balance it out.

  • Thank you for that information.

    Looking at the revised list, title norms are just about possible if pairings work out. In practice, depending on actual results, it might be impossible.

    In the field there is 1 x GM, 2 x IM (two others originally entered but are no longer listed), 1 x WIM.

    Of course this is a consideration chiefly for the higher-rated FMs and also Trisha Kanyamarala who could be seeking a WGM norm, and Alice O'Gorman who could be seeking a WIM norm.

    It would be necessary for them (apart from getting the required rating performance of course) to be paired with sufficient titled opponents.

    These players would all need to meet the one GM, both IMs and EITHER at least two FMs OR one FM plus Trisha (who of course cannot play herself so she would need two FMs). Alice can omit the GM or one of the IMs if she plays Trisha.

    Anyone fortunate enough to meet the right balance of opposition and skilful enough to achieve a high score would probably also need to avail of the provisions of FIDE Handbook clause 1.46b if one of their early opponents was low-rated.

    Calculating the Rp for the IM norm allows a player to raise the rating of ONE opponent to the adjusted rating floor of 2050. (The FIDE rating of the first round opponent of all plausible candidates is sure to be lower than that.) The adjusted rating floor for Trisha's first opponent would be 2000.

    (This is not relevant to Alice, should she score well enough, since the floor for WIM is 1850 and all players in the tournament are currently rated above that number by FIDE - unless a lower rated player comes in as a late entry.)

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  • I count 15 of the original entries have now withdrawn. That’s a pity 😕

  • It was 13 out when I looked after breakfast but now it's 15, maybe more to come? Two FMs among the recent withdrawals. Current entry list is 37. If it stays at 37, what's the plan?

    Admitting late entries to balance numbers (two already in) isn't making much sense as there could be more dropouts?

    This is very hard on the organisers, but also on the remaining competitors who are probably wondering can an advance draw be posted, and if so when?

    I also see an unfamiliar name on the Waiting List added since yesterday. I see no such player with a FIDE rating. Are they even eligible?

  • Yeah, I know these are strange times, but I agree it's a bit unfair on everyone to be withdrawing this late in the day.

    Two wildcards are in the 37 - do you now add a third to balance the numbers again? But three wildcards really starts lowering the quality of the tournament (and I say that as a wildcard). Or do you tell one of the wildcards they're not needed now, and thanks? That also seems unfair to players who have made plans for the next week.

  • I wouldn't worry about wildcards - a player who was 1700 at the start of the pandemic might well be 1900 today anyway, especially juniors. There should probably be extra wildcards allowed this year, to allow for players not being able to improve their ratings for over a year.

    I don't think you should take away places once they have been offered. The ICU could offer one of the remaining wildcard hopefuls a place subject to there being an odd number of players at the start tomorrow.

  • A few of the withdrawals were very predictable as they are always entering tournaments only to withdraw before the start. I won't name names but I think everyone knows who they are.

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  • I am not sure who you mean but I think the two latest withdrawals (both FMs) certainly don't fall into that category.

    There could be many reasons for a late withdrawal, e.g., somebody might be informed they are a close contact of a new confirmed case of Covid-19.

    I guess ICU chiefs were all at work when these withdrawals were notified but they really should make some announcements tonight, e.g., how soon before the start should players arrive, will they be temperature-tested, should they bring their vaccination certs if they have them, what are the rules about consumption of beverages, chocolate etc. during games, can players remain after their game to spectate, etc. etc.

    Some of that information could have been communicated after they saw how things went last weekend, not waiting until the night before the first round.

  • It would be nice to see John McMorrow re-entering if he could manage to play :-)

  • Under the calendar item on the left of the ICU homepage, it flags the Covid-19 guidelines & walkthrough (

  • Thanks for that.

    • That page maybe should have been flagged on the main page IMHO.
    • It says "The usual Irish Championship time control will apply; 105 mins + 30 second increment for move one plus 30 minutes after move 40."
    • On the other hand the PDF flier for the event still linked from the event page, says the rate of play is 105 minutes plus 35 second increment with no time added after move 40.
    • Reverting to the two-period system means a longer time spent indoors with increased risk, does it not?
    • Maybe it's not too late to have a change of mind about this.

  • The T&C page ( says

    "Appendix 2: Amendments for 2021 event.

    a. In 2020, we had the attached note: (However, for 2020, this will be simplified to 135 minutes + 35 second increment for all moves). We believe this is unnecessary for 2021 and so would revert to the standard time control."

    It looks as if the "105 minutes plus 35 second increment" from the flyer may have been a misprint? I assumed that all along either the 2019 (105 minutes for the first 40 moves + 30 minutes for the rest of the game + 30 second increment from move 1) or 2020 (135 minutes + 35 second increment for all moves) would be used.

    Going back to the 2019 time limit addresses one of the (few) complaints from last year, which was that the games were very long.

  • The tournament director has now posted the entry list and tournament parameters on and it says Time control 105+35

    There is no draw up yet, possibly because the organisers still hope to even the numbers to avoid a bye?

    I would imagine most games would be longer if the 40-move control with 30 minutes added is used.

    I think the extra 5 seconds on the increment in 2020 was intended to balance the inconvenience of two boards or other distractions last year and I don't see the point of it this year.

  • 35 when I last looked

  • Yep, it was 36 earlier this evening but it's 35 now.

    This is all getting a bit farcical to be honest.

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  • Looks like we've settled on 35 with a sub to fill in for byes (as last year I think)

    So I guess let's those of us left get on with the action!

  • Tony Fox v Tim Harding is a very interesting game so far (rd 2 after the opening a Caro ..exf6)

  • I'm enjoying the games and really enjoyed the Oissine Murchadha (0) vs Alice O' Gorman (1) game in rd 2. I especially liked Alice's 45...Ra7 before pushing on.

  • I'm enjoying the games very much as well. Outstanding effort by the organisers in this, as in so much else.

    I'm following the LiveChess rather than Chess24, in an effort to put myself in the player's position as much as possible. Mostly this serves to remind me that it's a good thing I'm not playing. But occasionally I manage to do better -- I had worked out how to save David Murray's position against Heidenfeld at the end, before he went wrong.

    Round 3 board 1 is very interesting (currently after Black's move 10). White has B + N for R + 3 P. For all I know this is theory--Murphy has used very little time, Heidenfeld quite a bit more.

  • Yes I agree with you. I'm following LiveChess as well.

  • Tom may still have an outside chance of an IM norm? He has met his GM and two IMs but only one FM and has an untitled opponent in round 8. He needs to meet one of the three available FMs (or Trisha) in the final round and (without doing any calculations) he probably needs 2/2.

  • No! Pretty unlucky, that. Norms for 9-round tournaments go up to 7/9, so he would never have needed two wins. But his average opponent's rating (after bringing one opponent up to 2050) had to at least reach 2230 (possibly after rounding up). Being paired against Sean Murphy, he can't now go any higher than 2216.444. (If I'm calculating correctly.)

    I was surprised to see Heidenfeld agree a draw today, since it seemed he would need a win, especially given that he will lose out on tie-break if he and O'Gorman end up on the same score. **But does he know that?** Perhaps someone should check!

  • ... 2219.222, actually (with correct ratings). Not enough.

    I don't understand why it's S. Murphy rather than C. Murphy as white on board 1.

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  • I'm not 100% sure why this happened either, but the the FIDE rules seem to explain it:-

    a) Tom O'Gorman (6 points) cannot play the players on 5.5 or 5 (he has already played Mark Heidenfeld and Tarun Kanyamarala, and both himself and Colm Daly have had 2 whites in a row) so he has to be paired with the players on 4.5.

    b) As a result, the top 8 players are paired together.

    c) Because half the group of 8 have been downfloated, the group is paired according to the players' tournament seeding (not their current standing in the tournament). This means that Conor Murphy is paired before Tom O'Gorman, and is allocated Colm Daly. Tom is 4th of the 8 players by seeding and is paired against the 8th-ranked player, Sean Murphy.

    That's my theory, anyway ... Maybe the tournament controller can explain.