extract taken from Report by Gerry Graham on the icu web page
“…The 19th Bunratty Chess Festival took place in the Bunratty Castle Hotel from February 17th to 19th and it was, without doubt, the strongest weekender ever held in Ireland and one of the strongest in the world ! The line-up included no less than 10 grandmasters, 10 international masters, and a few fide masters too. They were from mostly England, Ireland and Scotland but we did have one from Portugal, Luis Galego GM as well as two from Romania Andrei Istratescu and Constantin Ionescu, both GMs as well as the American IM, John Donaldson.
Top seed this year was GM Michael Adams ( pictured below ) from England, who enjoyed his first ever visit to the event, undoubtedly made all the sweeter by the result.
Second seed, Nigel Short was in fine form at this year’s event and his game against the defenting champion, Gawain Jones, in the last round was a particularly good example of this imaginative style, he certainly pushed hard for a win in this fine game.”….. for full report go to
Rathmines Junior Chess Players took part in the minor section of the event with excellent results
Scott Mulligan, scored 4.5 points and won a grading prize
Fiachra Scallan scored 3 points and Alex Mulligan 2 points
St Benildus B………………. 6………..16 .5 Balbriggan/ Cavan
Inchicore…………………..6…………. 15 BrayA/BenA
Bray Greystones A ………6…………14 Naomh Barrog / Inchicore
Naomh Barrog……………..6………. 15 Bray A/ Rath
Cavan……………………….. 5………..16 Rath/ BrayB/ Ben b
St Benildus A……………….6…………12.5 Inch/ Bray B
Bray Greystones…………. 6…………6.5 Bal/ Cavan/ Ben A
by Nick Scallan
Jobstown have pulled out of the Bodley. All results against them will be annulled, and all points gained will be lost and the target for a board prize is now 6/8 instead of 7/9 . The games will still count for rating purposes.
The new updated points table below puts us in first place, but still awaiting results from games played last week and today. As soon as I hear any news I will update it.
The ongoing adventure of the Rathmines Juniors first season in the adult Leinster leagues continued on Saturday, when the team came up against a very experienced Bray/Greystones A squad. Moral within the team was good after our recent victories over Ballbriggan and St Benildus A, and the team were hoping to record our first home win of the season.
The team lined out with one change from the St Benildus match, with a line up of Scott Mulligan, Fiachra Scallan, Michael Higgins, Liam Coman and Philip French.
The early exchanges were not going Rathmines way, and our hopes took a setback when Philips match on board 5 was first to finish. Philip had a strong attack going, and was putting strong pressure on the opponents king, when he got caught with a sucker punch, counter attack mate. We were One Nil down, and things were not going our way on the other boards. Michaels opponent had worked a rook advantage, Liam was a rook for a bishop behind, and both Scott and Fiachra were in very technical positions against highly rated opponents…
But slowly but surely the tide began to turn. Word came from the room that Michael had won back the rook, and then Liam worked his way into a strong advantage capturing his opponents bishop and rook on board 4. His opponent pushed his F pawn trying for a Queen pawn mate, but Liam expertly got in behind for the win, before his opponent could finish off his attack. One all and we were back in the match.
Next up Fiachra on board 2 had worked an advantage. He pinned his opponents rook, and then followed up with a decisive bishop rook attack to force a mate. Suddenly after and hour and a half we were 2-1 up, and we had also worked advantages on the other boards.
Michael went into the endgame with rook, minor piece and 6 pawns to rook minor piece and 5 pawns, whilst Scott was also a pawn ahead. Michael played a great endgame to promote his pawn first, and secure victory to bring the Score to 3:1 after a long 2 hour battle against the Bray captain.
It was now down to team captain Scott on Board 1. After a 2 ½ hour epic battle, Scott converted a Knight and 5 pawns to Knight and 3 pawns endgame to a fourth victory on a great afternoon for the team.
Afterwards the shocked Bray team were very complementary to how well and composed the team played in a series of very tense matches.
The Result now sees the team up to third in the table with 3 games remaining
Rathmines Juniors took part in the St. Benildus Charity Blitz. 49 players took part with ratings ranging from unrated up to over 2100. They were divided into groups of seven with one player progressing from each group. The higher rated player was given 2 minutes on the clock with the lower player getting 8mins.
Scott Mulligan and Michael Higgins progressed to the quarter final stages and played Sam Osborne and Lukasz Goralski respectively,Both juniors put up a sturdy fight against their higher rated opponents, but Sam and Lukasz prevailled. Sam went on to come second while Lukasz came third.
In the opening rounds some surprising results were recorded. Stephen Higgins won his match against one of St. Benildus top Bodley players, Peter Fletcher. Oscar Twomey beat Shay Scott 1300+from Malahide.
St. Benildus raised €956 to be split between the Simon Community and the Samaritans. Thanks to all the organisers for a great night.
On the same evening a junior blitz was held in our own club . With 5 minutes per player we played 4 rounds. Great excitment was had. 5 minutes was a challenge for many of the players. Very close games ended with the clock falling.
Matthew Gallagher 1st and John Carton 2nd
PeterCarton, Dara Lynch and Thomas Warnert came joint third with 3 points
Great success at Gonzaga Tournament
Rathmines Junior Players took part in the Gonzaga Challengers.
Great performances from all players, Fiachra Scallan, Stephen Higgins, Michael Higgins, John Carton, Peter Carton, Alex Mulligan, Scott Mulligan and Matthew Gallagher.We cannot display this gallery
Scott Mulligan finished in third place on 5/6 defeated only by the eventual winner, a Rathmines Club Heidenfeld player, Oriel O’Cathail.
Excellent results for Michael Higgins on 4/6, and Fiachra and Alex on 3/6,
Peter, Matthew, John and Stephen were playing for the first time in a major senior tournament. As some of the youngest players in the event they all recorded wins against very strong opposition
Benildus Blitz next Wednesday night
GM Alexander Baburin Tournament, January
1st Scott Mulligan 6/6 2nd Michael Higgins 5.5 /6 Best Girl Tara Coveney
Merit awards Zoe Mulligan and Georgia Coveney
Peter Carton 5/6 Matthew Gallagher and Fiachra Scallan 4.5/6
Following on from a great victory 3.5 to 1.5 away to Balbriggan, Rathmines Juniors had an another successful outing away to St. Benildus A.
Thanks to Kevin Burke and Frank Scott for organising extra matches between St. Benildus and Rathmines Junior players, including Philip French, Peter Carton, Nikita Koush, Alex Mulligan, John Carton, Tara Coveney, Matthew Gallagher, Stephen Higgins and Cillian Scallan, with lots of wins amongst the many games played.
The Bodley Team, Scott Mulligan, Liam Coman, Fiachra Scallan, Michael Higgins and Oscar Twomey had a fantastic 3-2 victory over St. Benildus A.
Leading the team on Board 1, Scott , won a piece early against Andrew Kyne-Delaney to get our first win of the night. this puts Scott on 3.5 out of 5.
On Board 2 Liam had a very exciting game, after losing a pawn early he came back to a piece for 3 pawns but came under great pressure from the in form Tom Kearney. Tom went on to win a very complicated position.
Oscar Twomey, who was on 3 out of 3 in the Bodley, was paired with James Kearnes.In a very instructive game, James, after winning 2 pawns showed fantastic technique and end game play to convert his advantage.
Michael Higgins’ first match for the Bodley was pretty even for most of the opening but once in the middle game Michael outplayed his opponent and trapped his rook in the middle of the board, winning with a clever back rank mate threat.
Top scorer in the Bodley League on 4.5 out of 5, Fiachra Scallan. had the last game of the evening to finish clinching the win for Rathmins Juniors. In a very impressive performance he forced his opponent to resign in a King pawn ending with Fiachra having the only piece, a Knight, on the board.
A great night was enjoyed by everyone. Many thanks to our hosts and players.