National Championships

Rathmines competed in last weekend’s National Chess Championships. Normally, only teams topping their provincial club competitions would be eligible. This year, the format was for all clubs capable of entering a team with an average rating exceeding 1600 ELO to be eligible. However, this made some teams unhappy, so the final entry was just six: Kilkenny, Galway, Ennis, Rathmines, Dublin University, and Limerick (in seeding order). DU turned up without Karl McPhilips, which was bound to totally destroy their chances, but also meant that Rathmines were bumped up to become fourth seeds and a first round tie with Kilkenny!

The full results are on the ICU website in a report by Gerry Graham. He also shows two first round games from Kilkenny-Rathmines, namely Baburin vs. J. Delaney and Quinn vs. K. Delaney, both losses for the Rathmines players. We lost 4.5-1.5 to Kilkenny (Michael scoring our only win). We followed that with a tough tie against Ennis, eventually losing 4-2 (this time, Mindaugaus scoring our only win). Next up were the weakened Dublin University and we secured a 3.5-2.5 win (Mindaugaus again, and Jack scoring wins, Michael with a walk-over). We finished strongly against the lowest seeds Limerick, with a 5-1 win.

In terms of players, Mindaugaus and Jack were the stars, both with 3/4. Michael also scored 3/4, but one was a walk-over. He was unbeaten on 2/3 in games played.

Final Standings followed the seedings very closely: Kilkenny 18, Ennis 16, Galway 15½, Rathmines 12, Dublin University 6 and Limerick 3½.  Kilkenny and Ennis go forward to represent Ireland in the Europeans.

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