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17-02-2020, 23:16   #1
sodacat11
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Bunratty 2020

I have always wondered how big the gap is between the top boards in the Challengers and the bottom boards in the Masters so it will be interesting to see how the sixteenth seed from the Challengers gets on in the top section this year.
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18-02-2020, 05:56   #2
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Surely you're not suggesting they suffer the indignity of playing amongst the peasants in the Challengers section?
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18-02-2020, 09:33   #3
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Surely you're not suggesting they suffer the indignity of playing amongst the peasants in the Challengers section?
Of course not, that would be like telling Karpov or Kasparov that they have to go through qualifiers to play in the Candidates or making Bjorn Borg qualify to play at Wimbledon. ABSURD.
The Challengers in Bunratty may be for peasants but it is a highly competitive section where probably as many as thirty players have a realistic chance of winning the top prize, compared to the Masters where there are only three or four realistic contenders.
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18-02-2020, 11:16   #4
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Huge entry in that challengers. 87

I have no idea how many contenders from Ireland there have been in previous years but it does seem like there are more Irish in the top 15 seeds than usual (7) - from a quick scan of the finishers over the last 6-7 years, it looks like we are a good bit more competitive. I would say there are maybe 8 people who could contest for top prize if you think that there could be a gang of 4 or 5 on 5/6 - but from an outright winner perspective, I would agree; maybe 3-4. Kavin at 11 in the masters might be the first so young since Howell (at 9 or 10 years old in '00).
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18-02-2020, 11:33   #5
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I wouldn't mind a few quid each way on Tarun in the Masters. Impossible to predict the Challengers, I've played in it for the last two years and although I haven't lost a game I haven't been able to get into any kind of realistic contention, maybe third time lucky.
Apart from the competitive nature of the Challengers another thing I enjoy is the much better lighting that you get compared to some boards in the Masters where I would need a miner's lamp to see the board and pieces. This has been a problem for years but it doesn't surprise me that the hotel is so slack about fixing it as they are invariably slack about a lot of things. Last year I left my phone charger in my room and I still haven't got it back. The bar is always very understaffed and breakfast is a chaotic affair. Just as well that the chess itself is always so good!!
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21-02-2020, 12:53   #6
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I wouldn't mind a few quid each way on Tarun in the Masters.
Given his progress recently, he was part of my "contenders" in the previous message.

354 entries now (2nd biggest) with 94 in the challengers (biggest).
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24-02-2020, 12:51   #7
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I noticed a number of very short games in the Masters section where high rated( and these are usually FIDE ratings) foreign players who are really just here for the beer and whose ratings don't get affected, offered quick draws to much lower ICU members because they were hungover or tired after very late nights. This leads to distortion of our rating system and undermines the very integrity of the rating system itself. I was originally thinking that the Sofia Rule might stop the rating anomalies that occur but probably if the guys with hangovers were forced to play longer games all that would happen is that they would end up blundering and losing and giving even more unmerited rating points to ICU members. maybe the only solution is to ban alcohol or make the Masters a non rated tournament altogether.
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24-02-2020, 15:46   #8
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If you can stay sober for the weekend in Bunratty you probably deserve a rating boost!
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24-02-2020, 16:51   #9
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If you can stay sober for the weekend in Bunratty you probably deserve a rating boost!
Maybe a religious medal or a pioneer's badge would be more appropriate.
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26-02-2020, 11:47   #10
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One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to see from the wildly erratic rating performances which visiting players in the Masters spent most of their weekend propping up the bar. Perhaps these players should be invited to the Easter norm events to give our home grown players a better chance of norms? Actually if we extend this idea further why not find a few alcoholic IMs and GMs somewhere and invite them too? From what I can see players with hangovers at Bunratty were on average performing almost 200 points below their ratings , if this pattern holds true then all an aspiring Irish player would need against a sozzled field of 2500 GMs is a 2300 performance to get a 2500 RP. I am sure that Guinness or Heineken would be delighted to sponsor such an event.
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27-02-2020, 08:43   #11
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Go on then Dr Watson, reveal all! Your observations look like a lot of guesswork to me. A more likely explanation is that those who did well are just more experienced and/or better at coping with a tough weekend tournament schedule. With the relaxed atmosphere and lack of pressure probably even adding to relative performance. And the alcohol perhaps even working as a stimulant rather than an inhibitor.

If I were looking to target people to be cannon fodder in norm tournaments there may even be more value in targeting those who did well rather than those who did badly....

Still maybe your thesis is right, and there are concerning signs of Irish players being unable to handle the booze, and of juniors hitting the bottle from an early age
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27-02-2020, 09:39   #12
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If I were looking to target people to be cannon fodder in norm tournaments there may even be more value in targeting those who did well rather than those who did badly....
I don't quite get this?

Still maybe your thesis is right, and there are concerning signs of Irish players being unable to handle the booze, and of juniors hitting the bottle from an early age
On the contrary, Irish players seem to have done well against the boozers. if they were up late they either didn't drink much or can handle their booze better than the visitors (nothing new there).
I didn't see any juniors drinking alcohol at all over the weekend and besides no junior performed hugely below their rating.
My point is that in every tournament there is always someone (often me) who plays two or three hundred points below their rating but in Bunratty this seems to happen in clusters and the people in these clusters are the very same people who don't get to bed until 4 a.m. They aren't too bothered at what state they arrive at the board the next day because their ratings aren't affected so the knock on effect is that they bestow soft rating gains on anyone fortunate enough to play them thereby undermining the integrity of our ratings.
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27-02-2020, 19:09   #13
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I don't understand the notion being put forward about players being social and drinking over the weekend as if this had any negative impact on their chess at all. From what I can see, things for the most part, went very much according to seeding and strength of the players.

1 GM Short, Nigel 5.0 M 2626 2658 +0.27 2403.0 21.5 19.0 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½
2 Paehtz, Elisabeth 4.5 M 2472 2561 +0.76 2364.5 23.5 18.0 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½
3 GM Arkell, Keith 4.5 M 2454 2477 +0.25 2277.8 20.0 15.5 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1
4 IM Fitzsimons, David 4.5 M 2341 2478 +1.10 2275.8 20.0 15.5 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1
5 IM Bates, Richard 4.5 M 2366 2392 +0.26 2157.5 19.0 15.5 1 1 0 ½ 1 1
6 GM Williams, Simon 4.0 M 2473 2440 -0.16 2284.3 22.0 14.5 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½
7 GM Turner, Matthew 4.0 M 2516 2402 -0.73 2281.0 21.5 14.0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1
8 GM Lalic, Bogdan 4.0 M 2400 2407 +0.15 2266.3 20.5 15.5 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½
9 IM Lopez, Alex 4.0 M 2441 2366 -0.37 2194.8 21.0 14.5 1 ½ ½ 1 0 1
10 FM Li, Henry 4.0 M 2295 2308 +0.15 2070.3 18.5 12.5 = ½ ½ 1 ½ 1
11 FM Brady, Stephen 3.5 M 2288 2339 +0.52 2308.3 23.0 14.5 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0
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27-02-2020, 19:12   #14
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After the first round and the Friday night we had the top 14 or so looking like this:

1 Reyer, Ulli 1.0 F 2092 3149 +0.82 2349.0 0.0 1.0 1
2 GM Short, Nigel 1.0 M 2626 3026 +0.08 2138.0 0.0 1.0 1
3 GM Turner, Matthew 1.0 M 2516 2938 +0.09 2138.0 0.0 1.0 1
4 GM Williams, Simon 1.0 M 2473 2929 +0.12 2129.0 0.0 1.0 1
5 Paehtz, Elisabeth 1.0 M 2472 2926 +0.11 2126.0 0.0 1.0 1
6 GM Arkell, Keith 1.0 M 2454 2921 +0.12 2121.0 0.0 1.0 1
7 IM Lopez, Alex 1.0 M 2441 2911 +0.12 2111.0 0.0 1.0 1
8 GM Baburin, Alexander 1.0 M 2418 2910 +0.14 2110.0 0.0 1.0 1
9 GM Hort, Vlastimil 1.0 M 2400 2909 +0.15 2109.0 0.0 1.0 1
10 GM Lalic, Bogdan 1.0 M 2400 2908 +0.15 2108.0 0.0 1.0 1
11 IM Bates, Richard 1.0 M 2366 2900 +0.18 2100.0 0.0 1.0 1
12 IM Fitzsimons, David 1.0 M 2341 2892 +0.19 2092.0 0.0 1.0 1
13 WFM Kanyamarala, Trisha 1.0 F 2299 2881 +0.22 2081.0 0.0 1.0 1
14 FM Brady, Stephen 1.0 M 2288 2838 +0.19 2038.0 0.0 1.0 1
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27-02-2020, 19:14   #15
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After the Saturday night games the siutation ranking for the top half was this:

1 GM Short, Nigel 3.5 M 2626 2685 +0.21 2349.5 10.0 9.5 1 1 1 ½
2 Paehtz, Elisabeth 3.5 M 2472 2675 +0.89 2302.0 9.5 9.5 1 1 1 ½
3 IM Fitzsimons, David 3.0 M 2341 2482 +0.77 2274.5 9.5 7.5 1 ½ ½ 1
4 FM Brady, Stephen 3.0 M 2288 2431 +0.80 2246.0 9.5 7.5 1 ½ ½ 1
5 GM Arkell, Keith 3.0 M 2454 2401 -0.20 2211.5 8.5 7.5 1 ½ ½ 1
6 GM Lalic, Bogdan 3.0 M 2400 2425 +0.20 2152.5 9.5 8.0 1 ½ 1 ½
7 IM Lopez, Alex 3.0 M 2441 2364 -0.25 2150.0 8.5 7.5 1 ½ ½ 1
8 IM Baker, Chris 2.5 M 2234 2435 +1.04 2436.0 9.0 7.0 1 ½ ½ ½
9 Wallace, Paul A. 2.5 M 2145 2361 +1.10 2380.5 8.5 7.0 1 ½ ½ ½
10 GM Turner, Matthew 2.5 M 2516 2362 -0.67 2265.0 10.0 7.0 1 ½ ½ ½
11 GM Williams, Simon 2.5 M 2473 2324 -0.69 2250.0 9.5 7.0 1 ½ ½ ½
12 Pein, Jonathon 2.5 M 2160 2298 +0.69 2204.0 8.0 6.5 1 ½ 0 1
13 O'Connor, Jonathan 2.5 M 2110 2280 +0.85 2169.0 6.5 4.5 0 ½ 1 1
14 Rawlinson, Aidan 2.5 M 2181 2273 +0.48 2154.0 7.0 6.0 ½ ½ 1 ½
15 GM Baburin, Alexander 2.5 M 2418 2257 -0.75 2152.5 10.0 7.0 1 ½ ½ ½
16 IM Bates, Richard 2.5 M 2366 2306 -0.25 2140.5 9.5 7.5 1 1 0 ½
17 GM Hort, Vlastimil 2.5 M 2400 2423 +0.14 2134.0 9.0 7.5 1 1 0 =
18 IM Heidenfeld, Mark 2.5 M 2361 2190 -0.78 2112.5 7.5 6.0 ½ ½ 1 ½
19 IM Mannion, Stephen R 2.5 M 2266 2275 +0.07 2111.5 8.0 6.0 ½ ½ 1 ½
20 FM Kanyamarala, Tarun 2.5 M 2349 2175 -0.81 2096.0 6.0 4.5 0 ½ 1 1
21 FM Li, Henry 2.5 M 2295 2177 -0.41 2031.5 8.0 5.5 = ½ ½ 1
22 Fromm, Marius 2.0 F 2189 2351 +0.74 2447.5 8.5 6.5 1 ½ ½ 0
23 Reyer, Ulli 2.0 F 2092 2327 +1.18 2324.0 9.5 5.5 1 0 ½ ½
24 Flynn, Jacob 2.0 M 2108 2226 +0.58 2308.5 8.0 5.0 0 1 1 0
25 Kolb, Marcus 2.0 M 2025 2281 +1.20 2280.5 10.0 5.5 ½ ½ 1 0
26 Manojlovic, Mihailo 2.0 M 2038 2228 +0.97 2244.5 9.0 5.0 0 1 1 0
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